The Instigator
izbo10
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
Contradiction
Pro (for)
Winning
52 Points

It is probable god exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/20/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 13,058 times Debate No: 17980
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (266)
Votes (12)

 

izbo10

Con

My opponent must show that it is probable that their is a god. It is his burden of proof as he is making a positive claim. All I have to do as con is show that his evidence is false.

The Pro will not respond in the last round.

Any shifting the burden of proof fallacies by pro and he will forfeit the debate. All seven points will go to con.
Contradiction

Pro

In this debate, I'll be presenting several arguments in favor of the proposition that it is probable that God exists. Without further ado, let me begin:

1. The Ontological Argument

Dating back all the way to St. Anselm of Canterbury, the ontological argument has been both praised as brilliant and reviled as a trick by philosophers on both sides of the spectrum. I'll be defending a version of the argument made popular by Alvin Plantinga. Plantinga's argument makes use of S5 modal logic and thus is immune from the standard objections posed by Gaunilo and Kant. I'll be defending a simplified version offered by William Lane Craig.

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Premise (1) is relatively modest, for it states only that the existence of an MGB is possible. An MGB is a being who exemplifies the greatest possible array of great-making properties, such as omniscience, omnipotence, etc... In order to falsify (1), Con must show that the existence of an MGB is impossible due to its being self-contradictory -- quite a tall task. Now from (1), (2) follows, since the very idea of something to be possible means that it must exist in at least one possible world. P3 is simply a statement of axiom S5 of modal logic, which is that:

S5: If possibly necessarily P, then necessarily P.

If an MGB is possibly necessary, then it exists in at least one possible world. But it follows from this that it must also exist in all possible worlds qua maximally great, since maximal greatness entails necessary existence. Since the actual world is part of the set of possible worlds, the MGB must also exist in the actual world. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The KCA is deceptively simple, and consists of three premises:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

The first premise expresses the metaphysical truth that something cannot come from nothing, the denial of which is absurd. If something could come into existence without a cause, then it's odd as to why we do not have any examples of this constantly happening. Why doesn't everything and anything pop into existence without a cause? Indeed, why doesn't a black hole suddenly appear and consume our solar system? It can't be because nothingness is constrained by physical laws, for there is nothing to constrain. To deny the first premise is to thus deny causal regularity.

Moving now to the second premise, which is supported by both philosophical and scientific examples. Scientifically, the beginning of the universe has overwhelming support in modern cosmological. Phenomena such as redshift, the cosmic background radiation, the expansion of the universe, and the second law of thermodynamics all point toward the idea that the universe began to exist over 14 billion years ago. More recently, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem has demonstrated that any universe in a state of cosmic expansion must be finite in past duration.

Philosophically, if the universe were eternal in its past duration, then this implies the existence of an actual infinite. However, since it is impossible for an actually infinite set of things to exist, the universe must be finite in its past duration. An actual infinite is a set which has attained infinite status. Its existence is impossible because one yields contradictory answers when applying mathematical operations to it.

From this is follows that the universe has a cause. But why think this cause is God?

It must be noted that since there is nothing prior to the cause of the universe, it cannot be explained scientifically, as this would imply the existence of antecedent determining conditions. Because there are no prior determining conditions, the cause of the universe must be personal and uncaused, for how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect? Moreover, the cause must transcend both matter and time to create matter and time. Finally, in order to create the universe ex nihilo, this cause must be enormously powerful, if not omnipotent. One is warranted in concluding that therefore, God exists.

3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

As formulated by Joshua Rasmussen, the LCA goes as follows [1]:

1. Every contingent fact concerning the existence of contingent beings has an explanation.
2. The BC (the contingent fact that there are or were contingent beings).
3. Therefore, the BC has an explanation.
4. No fact concerning the existence of contingent things can be explained solely in terms of one or more of those very things it contains.
5. Every contingent thing is contained within the BC.
6. Therefore, the BC is explained at least in part by something that is not contingent.

P1 is a very modest statement of the principle of sufficient reason (PSR). Why should we believe PSR? First, it enjoys a priori support. Take any collection of contingent things -- say one hundred cookies. It's plausible to say that if this set of cookies were to exist, that it would require an explanation of its existence due to the fact that it need not have existed. From an empirical standpoint, P1 is also plausible. Our everyday experience reveals that the existence of various contingent things requires an explanation. Indeed, science presupposes this and it is safe to say that PSR has never been falsified. Finally, there are skeptical epistemological implications that may arise from denying P1. One's cognitive states might be appearing to him for no reason at all. We would also have no reason to think that a given hypothesis has an explanation or to assume causal regularity.

P2 is simply the contingent fact that there are or were contingent beings. Because P2 is itself contingent, it requires an explanation if (1) holds. According to P4, the set of contingent beings cannot be self-explanatory as it would be circular. Suppose that there exists a possible world with a set of an unspecified amount of cookies. It would be circular to explain a cookie in terms of another cookie in the set, for the question is why the entire set of cookies should exist. We thus see that to explain why a set of contingent things exist, the explanation must be located outside of the set in something that is itself not contingent. The explanation of the BC must thus be found in a necessary being.

What might this necessary being look like? It must be eternal by virtue of the fact that it is non-contingent, and it must exist in every possible world by virtue of being necessary. It must also be personal because if it lacked the capacity to choose to actualize non-necessary things, then everything must be necessary. From this, it is reasonable to conclude that this necessary being is God.


1. Joshua Rasmussen, "Cosmological Arguments from Contingency" Philosophy Compass 5.9 (2010): 806-812.

Debate Round No. 1
izbo10

Con

"Many theologians and theistic scientists claim that evidence has been found for the existence of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God or, at least, some being with supernatural powers. However, they cannot deny that their evidence is not sufficiently convincing to satisfy the majority of scientists." Stenger 21

Ok, I would like to thank my opponent for the debate, he is in for a rough ride though. It should first be noted, that he is presenting the positive claim that God is probable, I am merely responding to said arguments. For I think it is important to note that my opponent has defined god in a deistic form, rather then a Traditional form. The Deistic god I tend to be a weak atheist, so to expect me to present a strong case that this god is improbably may be a straw man of my position, and does not actually grant enough space for me to give his arguments for the positive claim an adequate rebuttal.

Onto his first argument the Ontological Argument.

The biggest problem with the Ontological argument is that there is no reason to go from possible to necessary. It seems to make a huge jump here. That will not be my main contention with this argument though. My main contention is it may be a rational argument but even Plantiga himself is quoted as saying this: "'a sane and rational man who thought it through and understood it might none the less reject it'. On the other hand he suggests that this key premiss is rather like Leibniz's Law: if we carefully ponder it, considering objections and its connections with other propositions, 'we are within our rights in accepting it'." Mackie pg 59

The reason for this is we can easily see that this argument can be countered. Plantiga himself helps to do this by defining: No Maximality. As we learn a counter argument can be made that a NO maximality is in every possible world. I'll let J.L. Mackie explain:

He defines another term, 'no-maximality'. This is the property of being such that there is no maximally great being. Then someone might argue as follows: no-maximality is possibly exemplified; that is, there is a possible world in which no-maximality is exemplified, and therefore in which maximal greatness is not exemplified; but if maximal greatness is not exemplified in every possible world, it is not exemplified in any; therefore there cannot be any possible world in which maximal greatness is exemplified, that is, maximal greatness is not possible. Since we could argue before from the premiss that maximal greatness is exemplified in some possible world to the conclusion that no-maximality is not exemplified in any, we can argue equally validly from the premiss that no-maximality is exemplified in some possible world to the conclusion that maximal greatness is not exemplified in any" Mackie pg 59

Now this brings us to the conclusion that based on both do not create contradictions that it may be a toss up. So how do we decide well we would go about using Occam's Razor. The Maximum being actually requires a lot more where as the rival as Mackie again puts it:" where as the rival premiss that no-maximality is realized in some possible world, still allows maximal excellence to be realized in some possible worlds though not in others. The latter, then, is less restrictive, less extravagant, and so on very general grounds the more acceptable." Mackie pg 61

So therefore based on Occam's razor and the 2 contradictory positions here we are forced to conclude god is still not probable.

2. Kalam's Cosmological Argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

This argument fails in many ways. Firstly, and most importantly it commits the Fallacy of Composition. It attempts attributes the attribute of all the things that have began to exist, to the entire set( the universe). This is a blatant logical fallacy. Say I only have square legos and I start building with them. What shape would my structure have? Oh that's right you can't attribute an attribute of the pieces of the set to the entire set so we don't know. I will contest as well that we can't accept this argument based on the 2nd premise.

"Nevertheless, another nail in the coffin of the kalam argument is provided by the fact that the second premise also fails. As we saw above, the claim that the universe began with the big bang has no basis in current physical and cosmological knowledge." Stenger 125

So the 2nd premise has no reason to be taken seriously as current knowledge simply does not know what happened before the big bang. This argument also has another huge mistake to it. It assumes a personal cause. We know from science that not everything has a personal cause. Craig even inadvertently admits as much: "Craig has retorted that quantum events are still "caused," just caused in a non-predetermined manner"what he calls "probabilistic causality." In effect, Craig is thereby admitting that the "cause" in his first premise could be an accidental one, something spontaneous"something not predetermined. By allowing probabilistic cause, he destroys his own case for a predetermined creation." Stenger 124

Extra bonus reading material for people interested in a further critique of this argument, including excerpts from Plantiga, my opponents first source: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com...

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

This argument again commits the fallacy of composition. The fact that every thing in the universe needs a cause says nothing of the universe. As the universe is the set of all known things. We can not say that the universe needs an explanation. The first premise is also unfounded. We do not know if the universe was not a necessary outcome.

Who is to say the universe is not the BC or brute fact. In this argument, it basically concludes that at some point there has to be something non-contingent. The argument then defines this thing as god. Well, lets see, again we have not shown that the universe is contingent at all. It could be that brute fact. As Alvin Plantiga even has argued, one fo the problems with the Cosmological argument is it conflates the universe with other things, which the Fallacy of composition. f the universe is contingent, could it be contingent upon another universe, a regress of universes. So, I have given us 4 possibilities. God, this universe is a brute fact, there is another universe that this universe is a contigent on, and finally this universe is contingent on a series of universes. All of these things being equal and thats a stretch, the god hypothesis is at 25%, or below 50% so not probable. It gets worse, the god hypothesis contains the most unnecessary assumptions, we know this universe exists, hence the other 3 options don't really on assuming beings that are not even known to exist, so therefore that lowers the odds even further to a rational person based on Occam's razor.

Another refutation of this poor argument is given here for further reading: http://fatfist.hubpages.com...

So In conclusion, we have 3 arguments that on there own do not present god as a the best possibility. None of them get past Occam's razor so there is no reason to assume that god is likely or probable, based on the evidence my opponent has presented.
Contradiction

Pro

The responses that Con has given to my arguments are rather inadequate. Indeed, his responses against the Leibnizian cosmological argument isn't even applicable to that version of it. One gets the impression that Con didn't even read my opening argument but instead Googled the arguments' names along with the keyword "refutation" or "debunked" at the end.

1. The Ontological Argument

According to Con, the biggest problem with the OA is that "there is no reason to go from possible to necessary." Had he read my opening argument however, the move from <>[]P -> []P is perfectly warranted and axiomatic given the S5 axiom of modal logic. As I previously indicated, P3 is simply a statement of axiom S5 of modal logic, which is that:

S5: If possibly necessarily P, then necessarily P.

If an MGB is possibly necessary, then it exists in at least one possible world. But it follows from this that it must also exist in all possible worlds qua maximally great, since maximal greatness entails necessary existence. As such, the shift from mere possibility to necessity is justified.

Con's primary criticism is that Plantinga himself says that the OA may be rationally denied. But how is this a criticism Plantinga is simply making a statement about what may be within the epistemic rights of the person who considers this second. That an argument may be rationally denied does not mean that the argument is unsound. So the mere fact that an argument can be denied doesn't mean its wrong (Lest Con shoots himself in the foot).

He then charges the OA with what J. L. Mackie calls the "no-maximality" objection. According to NM, it is possible that maximal greatness is not possibly exemplified. Therefore, it follows that the OA is unsound. But unfortunately this criticism is wholly off point. It confuses epistemic possibility with metaphysical (or what Plantinga called broadly logical) possibility. It may be epistemically possible that maximal greatness is not exemplified in some possible wold, but its metaphysical possibility does not follow. In order to show that maximal greatness is not possible, one has to appeal to more than just epistemic possibility. For all we know it is epistemically possible that, say, Goldbach's conjecture is true/false, but its metaphysical possibility does not follow.

Finally, he advanced Ockham's razor against the OA. But the razor isn't even applicable to this situation. [1] Indeed, the quotation he gives from Mackie nowhere near endorses using Ockham's razor against the OA. One wonders if he actually has read his sources.

2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The first thing to note is that the fallacy of composition is an informal fallacy. Informal fallacies are only fallacious given certain situations. For example, it is not fallacious to assert that because every brick in a wall is red, that the wall itself must be red. Thus, it will not do for Con to simply say the KCA is guilty of the fallacy of composition without showing why it does, as part-whole reasoning is not always fallacious.

Secondly, the KCA does not rely on part-whole reasoning. The KCA is not saying that because every part requires a cause, the whole too requires a cause. Rather, it is claiming that whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe, regardless of whether it is a part or a whole, still requires a cause if it began to exist. Con's criticism is thus wholly inapplicable.

Con's criticism of the second and third premises are completely off point too. He asserts that there is no evidence for the second premise, yet he does not even attempt to refute the two lines of evidence that I brought up in my opening argument (That P2 is supported by the big bang and the impossibility of an actual infinite). Moreover, his statement that we do not know "what happened before the big bang" is mistaken as well. There is no such thing as "before the big bang." As Quentin Smith (himself an atheist) notes, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity... entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity... This rules out the idea that the singularity is an effect of some prior natural process." [2]

Con has also completely misunderstood the reasoning behind P3. It is not claiming that "everything has a personal cause," but that the cause of the universe must be personal because there cannot be antecedent conditions in which event causation can take place. Event causation is when an event A causes event B, and agent causation is when an agent A causes an event B. The mode of causation operative at the beginning of the universe could not have been event causation because there were no prior conditions under which natural causes could operate. As a matter of necessity then, the cause of the universe must have been a personal agent.

3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Did Con even read the LCA I presented? If he did, he would recognize that it is completely immune from the fallacy of composition. Sure, older versions of the argument may be have been vulnerable to it, but Ramussen's version certainly isn't. Aside from the fact that the FoC is an informal fallacy (and thus not always fallacious), exactly which premise is guilty of this fallacy? The move from (1) to (3)? Certainly not, for there is no part-whole reasoning at all, nor is the term "universe" found anywhere in the six premises. From this I conclude that either Con has misunderstood the argument, has not read it, or both.

He also accuses the first premise of being "unfounded" and that "we do not know if the universe was not a necessary outcome." This is completely irrelevant. First, Con merely asserted that P1 is unproblematic and did not provide a single argument for that thesis. By contrast, I provided several arguments as to why the PSR is more plausible than its denial. Secondly, this version of the LCA is not about the universe, but about contingent facts simpliciter. Con thus attacks a strawman.

The LCA thus remains completely unresponded to, and hence I extend my argument. Plus, the link he provides doesn't even attack the right argument.

A Lesson on Background Evidence

In order to win this debate, Con has to show the negation of the resolution. He must thus show that the existence of God is improbable. Thus, it is simply not enough to respond to my arguments. He must also include his own arguments as to why we should consider the existence of God to be improbable.

Con begs to differ. He thinks that improbability is the default position, as the existence of God is on par with other mythical deities and figures (Which are also presumably improbable). But this simply begs the question. Probabilities are always relative to some background evidence. What that background evidence is will determine which hypothesis is the more probable. Con simply assumes that the background evidence is against theism, and he uses this as an argument that theism is improbable. This is simply a circular argument, as he is assuming his conclusions. Why is theism improbable relative to the background evidence? Con has not shown us why; instead he assumed it. As such, he cannot say that God's existence is improbable. At best, he can only say that it is inscrutable (We don't know the probability either way). Now as it stands, I have given evidence that the background evidence is in favor of theism. It is thus more probable that God exists.

This is not a "shifting the burden of proof fallacy," this is a simple lesson on probability.


1. For when Ockham's razor is justified, see my response to DetectableNinja's arguments here: http://tinyurl.com...
2. W. L. Craig and Q. Smith, Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (OUP) p.120

Debate Round No. 2
izbo10

Con

Firstly for The Ontological Argument, my opponent does not seem to begin to grasp the actual rebuttal. Lets try the rebuttal a little differently. Firstly, let me define No Maximality: This is the property of being such that there is no maximally great being. So onto a counter sylligism.

1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.
2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.
3. If a "no maximality" exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a "no maximality" exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a "no maximality" exists in the actual world, then no maximality exists.
6. Therefore, a "no maximality" exists.

Ok so we have now at the very least 2 syllogism that apparently prove the opposite of each other. There must be a problem. At best we can say it is 50/50 right now?But, again as Mackie says this is not the case.
"However, he would not be justified in claiming even that it is a toss-up. For one thing, suspense of judgement, not accepting the premiss either of the ontological argument or of the counter-argument, is another option. For another, if we are to choose between these premisses, in default of any other reason, we must ask which is the more modest and which the more extravagant, which can be accused of multiplying entities beyond what is necessary. And surely the more extravagant is that which asserts that maximal greatness is realized in some possible world. For this one carries with it the requirement that a maximally excellent being--and, indeed, a maximally great one--should exist in every possible world, whereas the rival premiss that no-maximality is realized in some possible world, still allows maximal excellence to be realized in some possible worlds though not in others. The latter, then, is less restrictive, less extravagant, and so on very general grounds the more acceptable."

for the educational purposes of my opponent this is a variation of Occam's razor, as Occam's razor implies taking the response the requires the least possible assumptions. So, by time my syllogism was done, we were down to this the odds of this beings existence being 50/50,not probable, but now after this fact, it would appear this argument leaves god less likely then likely.

My opponent also completely missed the point of my rebuttal of Kalams as well. I demonstrated that the argument was the fallacy of composition. Then also went on to point out that, that if the original syllogism were correct, that get this, god does not have to be that cause. I gave specific alternate causes. I gave reasons why they were more likely, and he did not even bother to address them. Which brings me to the last point this argument blatantly commits the fallacy of appeal to a singular cause.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

This argument is a basic god of the gaps fallacy. It tries to assert god at the end. Yes contingent beings require and explanation and any contingent fact requires one as well. I grant that. The problem is that the argument would be required to commit the fallacy of composition to get to god. Why is this one might ask? Well let me explain. The Universe is the set of all contingent beings and all contingent facts. With that said, It could just be brute fact that there would be a set of contingent beings. Therefore, I am saying there is no reason to assess that something needs to be the overall cause. It could be an overall loop. To assert god is to attempt to slip him into a area of knowledge that we don't have. When scientists don't know something, they go under the assumption it is brute fact, until something is actually demonstrated. The argument also fails to address that even if this cause was noncontingent, why couldn't this cause be a universe of non-contingent beings. If we are going to be asserting random things that we have no idea can exist. Why not assert this? There are many other assertions we can make. If he wants to pick god, he is merely committing the fallacy of appeal to a singular cause. Which is especially problematic when we use our inductive reasoning to assess the causes of things that tend to be more complex. Whenever we have something that is complex, science does not have a tendency to find singular causes but a string of events or causes that created these complex items. Sorry as we actually start to understand these arguments and look at them in regards to things we already know, they fall quite easily.

Now for this idea of background evidence. What is this background evidence he is referring to? He is clearly asserting this. Has he shown it? Nope, so it can not be used. As a matter of fact this was a not so cleverly disguised way of attempting to shift the burden of proof, by default he should be forfeiting all 7 points. Lets look at some background evidence against god:

All signs that we know of morality point to the elimination of child suffering and death as the right thing to do. God is defined as a maximally great being so he would be able to do the right thing, and should do the right thing. Yet he does not. All that one needs to ask to determine if you think god is probable is take a look at this evidence and ask yourself, how likely do you think it is that stopping child suffering and death is not the right thing to do?

I brought up another piece earlier, the complex an item is the more likely it has multiple causes. Yet, we are suppose to assume a appeal to a singular cause for the most complex set of things we know, the universe? How probable is this.

We also have evidence that gods are concepts of men that evolve. The gods that my opponent believes in has most likely evolved from multiple gods such as El and Ba'al.( The Evolution of God- Robert Writght and A History of God- Karen Armstrong) How likely do you think it is that man 4000 years ago happened to just all of a sudden get this right?

A study by Luke Muehlhauser on January 28, 2010 in Philosophy of Religion 101 shows
Also note that, among these top 99 philosophy departments, here is the breakdown of belief in god:

Non-believers: 78.1%
Believers: 14.5%

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

Only 7% of the national academy of science believe in god.

Now, lets look at this in terms of background evidence. We have people who study these fields and are experts saying god is improbable. How likely is it that the evidence is probable for god to exist on one of the most important topics, the existence of god and yet all these people miss it. Yes, it is possible, but the question is, is it probable. Your answer should be no.

Now remember, Contradiction has agreed that he can sum up his argument in the last round but can not add additional arguments or forfeit. It is agreed upon in the comments section. If he fails to do so he forfeits. Now, I know since he already did one thing that makes him forfeit, he should already lose all points, but I will not take that for granted. So, if he does add an argument you are forced to say he forfeits.

All comments attributed to Stenger come from God: The failed Hypothesis
Contradiction

Pro

As per the terms, I will not be issuing any new rebuttals or arguments in this final round. I will, however, summarize my arguments and my responses to Con's objections. Regardless, there is nothing new to be said anyway, as Con either misunderstood or ignored my objections.

1. The Ontological Argument

Con objected to the modal ontological argument on the grounds that it was possible that maximal greatness was not possibly exemplified. I criticized this response with conflating epistemic possibility with metaphysical possibility. Con, however, doesn't seem to have understood this objection, as he merely repeats his already refuted argument. I get the impression that Con is simply blindly repeating what he has read in some books without actually comprehending the issues at hand.

His counter-syllogism fails from the beginning. P1 is false because it conflates epistemic possibility with metaphysical possibility. It may be epistemically possible that a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world, but its metaphysical possibility does not follow. After all, it's epistemically possible that Goldbach's conjecture is either true or false, but it does not follow that either is a genuine metaphysical possibility. In the same way, one may be able to conceive of assert the non-existence of an MGB, but there was no metaphysical implications from this. Conceivability does not entail possibility. [1]

Is P1 of the OA more extravagant than Con's P1? Perhaps, but I could care less whether or not it is. Either way, it has no bearing on the argument. It is not enough to show that Con's P1 is less extravagant. As I pointed out before, whether or not Con's P1 is true depends on whether or not the possible non-existence of an MGB is metaphysically possible. But this is an enormous task, as it would have to amount to showing that the very idea of an MGB is logically incoherent. Con would thus have to show that the idea of an MGB is self-contradictory, something which he has failed to do. Extravagance matters little, for as long as P1 of the OA is even possible, then it is true -- regardless of how extravagant it may be.

On Ockham's Razor

Con evidently does not understand how Ockham's razor is used. As pointed out in a previous footnote, Ockham's razor states that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. To assume that theism multiplies entities because is not necessary is basically to presuppose the falsity of the ontological argument. This is patently circular, as it amounts to assuming the ontological argument is false to show that it is.

2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Either Con is blind, or he admits the force of my criticism. His one paragraph rebuttal does not even begin to touch on my rebuttal to his objections to the KCA. He simply repeats objections I have already refuted. As such, I will simply repost my counter-arguments from the previous round:

The first thing to note is that the fallacy of composition is an informal fallacy. Informal fallacies are only fallacious given certain situations. For example, it is not fallacious to assert that because every brick in a wall is red, that the wall itself must be red. Thus, it will not do for Con to simply say the KCA is guilty of the fallacy of composition without showing why it does, as part-whole reasoning is not always fallacious.

Secondly, the KCA does not rely on part-whole reasoning. The KCA is not saying that because every part requires a cause, the whole too requires a cause. Rather, it is claiming that whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe, regardless of whether it is a part or a whole, still requires a cause if it began to exist. Con's criticism is thus wholly inapplicable.

Con's criticism of the second and third premises are completely off point too. He asserts that there is no evidence for the second premise, yet he does not even attempt to refute the two lines of evidence that I brought up in my opening argument (That P2 is supported by the big bang and the impossibility of an actual infinite). Moreover, his statement that we do not know "what happened before the big bang" is mistaken as well. There is no such thing as "before the big bang." As Quentin Smith (himself an atheist) notes, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity... entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity... This rules out the idea that the singularity is an effect of some prior natural process." [2]

Con has also completely misunderstood the reasoning behind P3. It is not claiming that "everything has a personal cause," but that the cause of the universe must be personal because there cannot be antecedent conditions in which event causation can take place. Event causation is when an event A causes event B, and agent causation is when an agent A causes an event B. The mode of causation operative at the beginning of the universe could not have been event causation because there were no prior conditions under which natural causes could operate. As a matter of necessity then, the cause of the universe must have been a personal agent.

3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Con charges the LCA again with the fallacy of composition. Yet, as I have already pointed out in my response to his objections to the KCA, this is simply an unjustified charge. That fact aside, Con's latest response strikes one as being self-contradictory. He writes that "Yes contingent beings require and explanation and any contingent fact requires one as well." Yet a few sentences later, he states "It could just be brute fact that there would be a set of contingent beings." These two statements are mutually exclusive. Either contingent facts require an explanation, or they are brute facts. You can't have both. So which one will it be, Con?

He also makes the charge that the explanation of contingent facts need not be God. Yet this charge is without warrant, as I provided arguments in my opening argument which demonstrate the the explanation needs to be personal. I simply extend my arguments.

More can be said on this and other topics, but I am prohibited from introducing new arguments/rebuttals.

Summary

The resolution stands affirmed. The existence of God is probable given the ontological argument, KCA, and LCA. Con's objections have been found to be weak and inept; moreover, he has not demonstrated the existence of God is improbable. I urge that the audience vote accordingly.


1. It's worth nothing that some dispute whether or not one can even conceive of the non-existence of an MGB (Who is incorporeal).
2. W. L. Craig and Q. Smith, Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (OUP) p.120

Debate Round No. 3
266 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Contradiction 5 years ago
Contradiction
"Jewgirl" -- Who are you and why are you voting on all of my debates?
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
Joe (bro),

I hope you come to understand that evolutionary biology does not negate nor entirely relate, in principle, to the term 'nature' used within my blog post, such as the terms use within Thomistic metaphysics. The term is not used synonymously and is distinct from what you think it actually is.

Bro, you're just butthurt. So cut the poo poo.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Contradiction
F-16: You're kidding me. I responded to all of his arguments and additionally showed how each of the arguments implied that God exists (The LCA proves a necessary being, so I'm not sure what the problem even is there).
Posted by warpedfx 6 years ago
warpedfx
Cut your "bro" sh it, buddy. I was never our "bro". The fact that you think I've been somehow "lacking in understanding" regarding the topics while making your hilariously misguided points regarding the purpose and function of sexual organs and how they do not in any way, nor should they deem what "should be"? Maybe you need to brush up on evolution which actually explains why they don't have some "special" purpose. Don't confuse YOUR ignorance with my lack of understanding, "bro".

Funny how you should use the term "butthurt", ya homophobic mook. Go back to your gym and try not to hurt the one organ you don't ever exercise ;)
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
Joe,

Your understanding of what comprises a philosophical circle is highly questionable. Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again, on the different websites that my friends and I have hosted, and throughout the discussions that have been held elsewhere, that you really don't understand what you're talking about--certainly, you don't understand much. Do you remember when you denied the purpose and function of the reproductory organs? That was funny and quite telling.

Anyway, when you can begin to scratch away at Dr. Craig's arguments, who by the way is not a hero of mine, then, please let me know. For the idiosyncrasies of your behaviour suggest that something is wrong. Particularly that you must resort to ad-hominem attacks. Fair is fair, though. As you still are an abject moron.

Later, skater.

(You're butthurt, bro.)
Posted by warpedfx 6 years ago
warpedfx
I know of your group. There's a reason why it's composed of the likes of about- what- 9 of you? Not a very big "group". Just as your group laughs at my posts because you really don't have an iota of points except rectally extracted assertions and "gleanings" from the umbilicus, just know the rest of the world- scientific circles, for instance- laugh at your "understanding" of anything. Current leaning regarding the existence of god in philosophy circles also have you pegged as at best the minority position, if not laughable. William Lane Craig, your hero is a fu ckwit according to just about ALL physicists and scientists for one.
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
You have me all wrong, Joe. I just don't care very much for your stupidity anymore. But just so you remember: There is a large group of individuals, to whom I am affiliated, who laugh at each and every comment you make, to which you obviously believe are logically valid and sound.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
The video is load of BS. The speaker says that a maximally great pizza is logically incoherent because it can be eaten. How is a maximally great being coherent? He is annoying and well. What crap!
Posted by warpedfx 6 years ago
warpedfx
it took you a WEEK to come up with that? get back on your shortbus and f uck off, boy.
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
Shut up you dolt.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by MassiveDump 4 years ago
MassiveDump
izbo10ContradictionTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This is the only time votebombing will ever be acceptable.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
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Reasons for voting decision: Izbo you SUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!
Vote Placed by jewgirl 5 years ago
jewgirl
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Reasons for voting decision: @GeoLaureate8. vOTEING GOES BASED ON WHAT THE OPPONENTS WROTE, NOT WHAT YOU THINK.
Vote Placed by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
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Reasons for voting decision: Gave a point to Pro for sources, I found Con's sources poor in the sense that he just gives author's name and page number. Con also linked to a refutation, instead of giving it. I did not find that Con adequately dealt with Pro's rebuttals (his comments on the fallacy of composition, for instance).
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: Neither the KCA nor the LCA actually prove that god exists which was what the resolution was. The KCA only says that the Universe has a cause. Pro's interpretation wasn't strong enough. The ontological argument was well refuted by Con by showing that if no maximality exists, then it could go either way. Conduct to Con because Pro was disparaging towards his opponent.
Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 6 years ago
GeoLaureate8
izbo10ContradictionTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Izbo put forth good rebuttals to Pro's attempt to demonstrate Gods probability. Also, Pro said nonsense like the Big Bang couldn't have been the result of precedent events, yet many cosmologists are supporters of the Multiverse theory which grants that our singularity came from another universe or perhaps sprouted into existence in the Multiverse. Saying the past can't infinite is bs. Con made a good point that existence could just be a brute fact refuting Leibniz. Con win.
Vote Placed by thett3 6 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: All that needs to be said has already been said. Anyone who actually reads this debate will see that the RFD is obvious.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
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Reasons for voting decision: Con loses points in his lack of maturity as displayed within the comments section of this debate. Con loses points for conceding to unstructured gibberish, as Kohai observes. Con loses all points for his utter incompetence in this topic and overwhelming arrogance and ignorance, as displayed within this debate and throughout the comments.
Vote Placed by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
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Reasons for voting decision: CON spoke giberash the entire debate. Further analysis in comments
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
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Reasons for voting decision: Voted pro on the arguments not because I find them terribly convincing, but because, on balance, they were more convincing than Con's. I found Con's writing style to be hard to follow as well.