The Instigator
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points
The Contender
phantom
Con (against)
Losing
30 Points

It is probable that God exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,836 times Debate No: 27333
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (62)
Votes (14)

 

thett3

Pro

I thank my opponent for his willingness to debate me on this topic, hopefully we will have a nice discussion.

As the affirmative, I will accept the burden of proof in proving the existence of God. My opponent can present his own arguments if he pleases, but he is under no obligation to do so. He is obligated however to attack my arguments in the 2nd round. My advocacy will be defending the conception of God as the powerful, sentient creator of the Universe, by showing that both scientifically and philosophically it is more probable that the Universe was created by God than that it arose naturally. If my opponent disputes this definition he should comment before accepting and we can work out an agreed upon definition there.

The debate will begin in round 2. Standard rules apply, no new arguments in the last round ect. Debaters are permitted to put citations in a separate debate to save space.
phantom

Con

I look forward to the debate.

And thanks to pro for complying with my thoughts on the defnition.
Debate Round No. 1
thett3

Pro

I. The KCA

The Kalam cosmological argument advanced by Dr. Craig can be formulated as follows[1]:

P1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
P2. The Universe began to exist
C. Therefore, the Universe had a cause

1. is seemingly indisputable. As Craig put it, out of nothing, nothing comes! To deny this premise goes against reason and thousands of years of human observation and experience; indeed, to question it we must also question why things like a glass of orange juice or a cat do not just randomly appear out of nothing.

2. is more controversial, however there are good philosophical and scientific reasons to believe that the Universe did indeed absolutely begin at one point. On the scientific side, there is a startling and rapidly growing pile of evidence indicating that the Universe began to exist from literally nothing at the big bang. This theory is supported by repeated observations such as red shift showing that the Universe is still expanding from the big bang, and thermodynamics. On the philosophical side, an eternal universe is impossible, because the number of past events must be finite. Indeed imagine for a moment if I took an infitine number of dollar bills and lined them up in order of serial number, then imagine that I took out all of the dollar bills with even serial numbers and lined them up in a seperate line, what would be the results? I would also have an infinite number of even numbered dollar bills--a logical contradiction since that would entail that infinity minus infinity equals infinity! But clearly this is absurd! The idea that infinity can exist in reality is simply philosophically bankrupt, causing the mathmetician David Hillbert to conclude[2]:

"The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite...is solely that of an idea..."

From these facts the conclusion logically follows. But what exactly does this conclusion entail? What could have possibly caused the Universe? We can logically deduce that whatever caused the Universe was outside of it (obviously, for nothing can logically create itself). The only things that can possibly be outside of the Universe are abstract objects such as numbers and minds. But since numbers cannot cause anything, the cause must therefore be a mind. Moreover, the cause does not exist naturally but rather supernaturally. It must be above time, above space, and imensly if not all powerful in order to iniate the creation of all things from literally nothing. It follows then from the Cosmological argument that you have a supernatural, timeless, spaceless, imensely powerful, personal mind. Clearly this strongly confirms the God hypothesis.

II. Fine tuning

As scientists discover more about our world and it's beginnings they are discovering more and more that the paremeters allowing life to evolve are incredibly narrow and specific. Boa & Bowman[3] explain that, for example, if the strong nuclear force was off by 1% the Universe would be either all hydrogen or contain no Hydrogen at all, if the gravitational force was slightly stronger stars would be "so hot that they would burn out too quickly and unevenly [for life]", or if the electromagnetic force was weaker electrons would fly away before the could be bound into molecules, or if slightly stronger atoms would not be able to share, again leading to no molecules and thus no life. And so on and so forth. Indeed, even the initial beginning of the Universe has been fine tuned for the existence of life! In fact, the mathematician Roger Penrose has calculated that if the initial expansion rate after the big bang was altered by the absurdly small degree of 1 in 10^10123[4], life would not exist. So remarkable is it that our Universe contains these sets of values that even Stephen Hawkins concluded[5]: "...the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life".

Since its been proven both scientifically and philosophically that the Universe must have had an absolute beginnng, the continued observations of the extremely specific conditions for life to exist strongly disconfirms naturalism.
even more absurdly specific. For example, to even have a life permitting galaxy certain conditions must be met, for example the galaxy likely must be a spiral[6],[7] and must be far enough away from other galaxies that they do not interfere gravitationally with one another. Any life permitting star must be on the fringe of a spiral arm so that they are not too close to other stars, or too far to obtain many heavy elements needed for the creation of planets[8], and the star must be the right size and right distance from other stars in order to sustain life. A life permitting solar system needs to have planets certain distances away, ect and any the individual planets must be certain distances from the star and other planets and have an atmosphere and orbit consitent enough to substain life constantly. All this for just life, let alone intelligent life which constitutes .00000001% of all the species on Earth[9], a number best described as 0.

Moreover since science has failed to give a reasonable explanation for the abiotic generation of life, the fine tuning of the Universe and the existence of life strongly indicate design from an intelligent and powerful mind. One can do no better than to once again quote Dr Craig: "The odds against the fine tuning occurring by accident are so iincomprehensibly great that they cannot be reasonably faced"

III. Metaphysics

Smith and Kendzierski explain that the fundamental question of existence is "why are there any existents at all, actual or possible?"[10] They argue further that the question continues to why are there two existents? Or three? Or any other number? The conclusion they draw is that existents exist because there is a cause. This seems to line up with human experience and mainstream philosophy, but the conclusion they draw from this is one profound but seemingly indisputable: "the cause of multiple being is uncaused"[11]. Indeed, how could it be anything else? The implication of this is enourmous, the fact that anything at all exists requires some kind of first cause, an uncaused cause from which all other existents, actual or possible, come into being.

Multiplicity (that existents exist seperately- even though two atoms may have the exact same numbers of particals, they are not the same existent, or else there would only be one atom) has to be caused-- possible existants (for example, any future children one will have) cannot actualize themselves, cannot bring themselves into being, or else they would be actual, not possible. They must be brought into being by a cause. Everything that did not at one point exist (including everything that physically exists) was brought into being by some cause ad infintum until we reach the final cause--the uncaused cause that brought all else into being. This strongly indicates an intelligent creator of the Universe, what else could have caused all other existents? An intelligent creator meets this criteria, nothing else does. The authors further explain that we can only fully indentify: "the cause of [existence], God. Short of God we only identify causes in the sense that they circumscribe the area...bad food makes on sick, but what is "bad" in bad food? Bacteria no doubt. But what is bad in them? So we go on. Thus the attempt to answer 'whodunit' is successful only to the extent indicated, but the demonstration that someboy or something within a circumbscribed area did the job can be successful, but the demonstration that God causes multiple existences is the only instance of complete identification of a cause." [emphasis mine][12]

A first cause, God, is the only explanation for multiple existents.

It follows from these arguments that theists are amply justified in their claim that God does indeed exist.


Citations:

http://goo.gl...;
phantom

Con

I. KCA

Objections:


Causality

Quantum mechanics & the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle directly refute universal causality. Taner Edis states, "Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random time. Even the quantum vacuum is not an inert void, but is boiling with quantum fluctuations. In our macroscopic world, we are used to energy conservation, but in the quantum realm this holds only on average. Energy fluctuations out of nothing create short-lived particle-antiparticle pairs, which is why the vacuum is not emptiness but a sea of transient particles. An uncaused beginning, even out of nothing, for spacetime is no great leap of the imagination. "[1]


The appearance of "virtual particles" have been observed to come into being spontaneously & stochastically in empty space, meaning there is no external cause & it is impossible to predict when it will happen. Quantum fluctuations are the "temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle. It is synonymous with vacuum fluctuation." [2] Leading physicist Michio Kaku says that there is uncertainty in whatever we do because there's "uncertainty with regards to the position of the electron".[3] This dispels the notion of causality. Causality only applies sometimes but it is clear not always.


Fallacy of composition


Even if we were to establish a causal nature of the universe, that in no way entails those laws apply to things outside of the universe. Pro will argue that our universe operates in a cause & effect nature, but that does not establish that the whole universe had a cause simply because things inside of the universe have causes. How are we to know that the laws of this universe are applicable to before or out of the universe? It's a fallacious jump in logic.


A natural cause is pluasible


Pro states that the first cause must transcend space & time & be an abstract powerful mind, thus rendering God as the most suitable definition. I'd have to dispute a few of pros assertions. Firstly I'd reference Immanuel Kant.[4] Kant argued that space & time were forms of intuition. "Space is not something objective & real, nor a substance, nor an accident, nor a relation; instead, it is subjective & ideal, & originates from the mind's nature in accord with a stable law as a scheme, as it were, for coordinating everything sensed externally." Time is dependent on its relation to things. We can certainly view space & time as not properties of substance. They are not material, rather immaterial abstract ideas. They are relational & belong to the intuition & are subjective constitutions of the mind. To transcend space & time is to transcend the subjective intuition of it. For reasons outlined, there is nothing very meaningful about things transcending time.


Furthermore Stephen Hawking theorizes that the big-bang was an inevitable occurrence because of gravity. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can & will create itself from nothing," he writes. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper & set the universe going."[5]


Theoretical physics proves that this universe is not all there is. There is a multiverse which consists of many other universes.[6] Pro's reason for saying God escapes the need for a cause is that he is timeless but what about the multiverse? Can parts of that not also escape time? According to Kaku, the multiverse is an 11-dimensional arena. You cannot go higher than 11. There are bubbles that float in this arena. The skin of the bubble represents a universe. "So we're like flies trapped on fly paper". Our universe is a three dimensional bubble but you can also get 4 & 5 dimensional bubbles. Bubbles expand & can sometimes bump into eachother which would explain the big-bang.[7] Thus we have a theory of the big-bang that does not require a divine cause.


Problem of induction

Hume is responsible for the problem of induction but I'm going to go off on my own track. How can you establish causality? A posteriori proof of it is quite evidently impossible. Causality is the nature of the reason behind one event following the other. To establish universal causality, would be to infer that every event that has occurred has a cause. That cannot possibly by a posteriori knowledge because we only observe some events. But a priori knowledge of causality is not possible either. There is nothing that allows us to a priori reason the necessity of causality as it's an empirical statement, but empirical proof of it is even more absurd as shown previously.


II. Fine tuning

I can't but help to notice a fallacy pro makes. That is his objections mostly only show that if the conditions were different, life as we know it would not exist. The key factor is that he is only refuting life as we know it, not life itself. Life could have evolved under different scenarios even if it would be much different to life as we know it now. The conditions of the world decide what type of life exists, so only life suited to those conditions can evolve. It very easily follows that life is suited for this universe solely because that was the only way we could evolve, & if the universe was different, life would have evolved in different ways.

We can also differentiate between necessary laws & contingent laws. What does pro mean by "if the force of gravity was stronger?" Is pro saying the force of gravity could be different? Does he think the laws of mathematics could have been different as well? Certain laws are necessary in that they could not have been different. There is no single argument that states the universe could have had any different constants in the way pro is arguing. We may conceive of it being different but that does not equate to proving it could have been. The constants of the universe could very plausibly be necessary which would completely refute pros argument.

I've already demonstrated the multiverse in the previous argument. Think of the vastness of our own universe. Now think of the fact that there is a whole multiverse. The size of the multiverse entails vast potential so that very fitted conditions for life would be not only probable but quite inevitable. We could say the positioning of all the planets & such had a small chance to be fitted just right but when you consider the multiverse, it's inevitable that conditions would exist somewhere that would be just right for life to exist.


III. Metaphysics

The one problem I find with the argument is it takes the statement "Why is there nothing rather than something" & just slaps on God as the answer without too much evidence except for gaps in our knowledge. We're coming closer & closer to finding the reasons behind the existence of our universe. That in itself is an incredible feat. But once we start talking about the reason for existence itself, it is pure speculation. Pro cannot go further than that.

There are plausible theories however that require no divine explanation. Pro already stated out of nothing nothing comes, or "& ex nihilo nihil fit". Taking this premise & the fact that there is something, it would seem that something is a logical necessity. In other words, existence is necessary. Everything is necessary. It was a logical metaphysical necessity that the universe & matter exists. The idea of there being no existents is a logical impossibility. Nothing, as a condition, is impossible. If we say that there being something is contingent, than pro has contradicted himself since it would conflict with the "& ex nihilo nihil fit" premise.

Credit to rationalthinker for the basis of this argument.

Sources

http://goo.gl...

Debate Round No. 2
thett3

Pro

1. KCA

Causality

Con is unresponsive to causation at the absolute beginning of everything. His first objection fails to counter the KCA because it offers no legitimate case in which something actually appears out of nothing, or just happens. First, quantum events do not "just [happen]", they occur based on the laws governing quantam mechanics, and moreover his argument fails because it doesn't actually link to the first premise--that is, even if there was no cause of the behavior of particles, they can only engage in behavior because they exist. The cause therefore would be whatever caused these particles to begin in the first place.

Con then tries to show that virtual particles come into being without cause. First, even if this is true it fails to answer the KCA because he hasnt linked the appearence of individual particles to the existence of the entire physical universe out of nothing, however there are good reasons to think that this objection is fallacious. In fact Craig calls this argument a "deliberate abuse of science"[1], arguing that "Properly understood 'nothing' does not mean just empty space...nothingness has literally no properties at all...how silly, then, when popularizers say things like 'the universe tunneled into being out of nothing!'"

The fluctuations my opponent advocates are not contained in nothingness, but rather a sea of fluctuating energy[2]. The particles come into being not out of nothing but because of causes, so this is no example of creatio ex nihilo. He gains no offense here.

Moreover, to assume that ANYTHING can come into being begs the question as the why everything does not come into being without cause. Con offers no explanation for this, so you prefer the worldview I offer that explains why these occurrences dont happen.

FOC

Con misunderstands the nature of what logic actually is. Logical and mathematical truths are not dependent upon certain aspects of the Universe, but are rather self evident truths. So for example, while there are concievable universes where the gravitiational force is different, there is no concievable universe where 2+2 can equal 7. Thus, the logic inside the Universe does govern that outside of it, because it is the same. Con needs to offer some kind of plausible alternative to logic when it comes to assessing things, otherwise you cant just say "oh well he could be right", he needs to show that its probable that outside the universe logic is irrelevant.

Natural cause

Con gives you no explicit explanation as to what the natural cause is. He has to show you what it is or else you don't buy it--remember, things cannot bring themselves into being that's logically incoherent. Ignore his Kant evidence because he gives you no reason to think space and time do not exist--continual observations of the effects of time strongly disconfirms it. Nonwithstanding the fact that modern science has essentially proven that the laws of physics governing the Universe are uniform for all observers[3], Con gives you no reason to believe that Kant is correct. Moreover, even if time does not actually exist events do, so the problems posed by infinity still exist. This is non responsive to the actual argument.

Cons Hawkings card is irrelevent; how exactly does gravity effect *anything* if there is nothing to effect? This doesn't explain creatio ex nihilo--just because Hawkings asserts that the universe can create itself out of nothing doesnt make it true absent some logical analysis. In order for the universe to bring itself into being, it would've had to already existed.

His multiverse theory is unresponsive--first, there is absolutely NO evidence that other universes exist, its called theoretical physics for a reason. Until Con gives you reason to believe that it's more probable than not that other universes exist, he gains no ground here. Current science only allows us to speculate on these possibilies. There's simply no substance behind this argument because even if I coceded it, it doesnt show that the multiverse was without a cause, this objection doesnt counter the philosophical elements of the KCA--so long as infinity is still impossible (not refuted) the multiverse had a beginning, all things beginning have a cause (not refuted) thus you eventually must get to an immaterial and timeless being that brought these into existence-God.

If our Universe was just a bubble in the Multiverse (no actual evidence), it's FAR more probable that we would not be observing the massive Universe we have, but rather a much smaller world[4]. Craig explains: "...a fluctuation that formed an orderly region no bigger than our solar system would be enough for us to be alive and be incomprehensibly more likely than a fluctuation that formed the whole orderly universe we see"

Induction

Con essentially argues here that because we do not observe all events, we cannot know that everything requires a cause. There are two flaws here: 1. We observe enough to know that things do not just come into existence without a cause--thus far, Con has failed to give any example of something that began to exist without a cause. 2. We do have a priori knowledge that everything that began to exist had a cause--its elementary logic. The justifications given for this were enormous and unrefuted, so there's no real problem here.

Con has failed to bring about any powerful criticisms against the KCA, it still stands.

2. Fine tuning

Almost completely dropped. He only makes two response. His first response fails because while it's true that we can only draw conclusions based on the life we observe, he gives no other example of how life could exist in different conditions (although the dearth of life on other planets strongly confirms that the conditions needed for life are extremely specific). For example, it's inconcievable that life could exist without molecules, or in a hydrogen only universe. Con needs to show how life could exist in conditions other than the ones we have now, or else he cant just assert that life could've evolved other ways. He also fails to give an abiotic explanation for life to begin with.

His second objection fails. The force of gravity is not like mathematics, the necessary laws of logic and mathematics are compatible with a wide range of values, other universial forces logically could be different than what they are today. Con gives you no reason to think that the way the Universe is is the way it HAS to be--and his multiverse argument certainly goes against that. As such, the fine tuning argument stands--these values are finely calculated to allow for life. Even the expansion at the initial explosion (dropped) was an extremely specific value.

His only argument is again the multiverse theory, but he gives no actual evidence for this, and the multiverse theory doesnt actally take out this argument--the mechanisms governing a "multiverse" are so vague and undescribed by Con that it's completely unclear as to whether or not fine tuning would be needed there as well. Prefer the conlcusions drawn from the observable universe.

3. Metaphysics

Con only responds by saying that the argument doesnt actually prove God--not exactly. It proves a first cause, he gives no other explanation as to what this could be. The only thing capable of creating other existents including matter and energy would be a non-material entity such as an intelligent mind. There is no other explanation, if there is Con has not given any. Thus you affirm right here, this is a clear path to vote pro: I offer an explanation for existents, he doesnt.

Con asserts that everything is a logical necessity because something does exist. This is either incoherent or not expanded enough, because there's literally no substance behind this--its completely concievable that the Universe could not exist.

Cons objections fails because they dont address the crux of the argument--you can cleanly extend the first cause argument.

I urge a pro vote.

Sources:

http://www.debate.org...
phantom

Con


KCA


Causality

Pros first objections don't do anything to refute this point. In the observable world there are ALWAYS going to be laws restricting & allowing certain events. It is entirely true that the random events I mentioned had necessary preconditions. I just don't see how it's relevant. Is it remotely conceivable to say something within the universe could have transcended all its laws? No, but that's not the point. It is entirely plausible to say there were preconditions to the uncaused beginning of the universe. One would be that it had the potential to become the universe! Pro himself could not even argue for an uncaused God without certain preconditions such as the existence of logic for example, so by pros reasoning we should also discount his view that God was uncaused.

Pro furthermore states, "The cause therefore would be whatever caused these particles to begin in the first place." But that makes absolutely no sense. What caused particles to exist is not responsible for causing them to move & perform actions. There were causes prior to the uncaused event. It doesn't make the event caused.


Unfortunately for pro, scientists don't believe the beginning of the universe began from literally nothing. So when pro notes that quantum fluctuations occur in a sea of fluctuating energy, it does nothing to refute my point. That sea of fluctuating energy is empty space. Well almost empty space. It is very much in a sense nothing. Not literally nothing but nothing in the sense that scientists talk about. Quantum fluctuations can very plausibly have caused the beginning of the universe & some physicists agree. You might ask how such a small thing could cause such a big event. That is because in the beginning, because of the negative energy of gravity, the total energy would be zero. The negative & positive energies added together would cancel out, leading to the big-bang & expansion of the universe. [1]


Pro commits a clear false dichotomy when he asks if things can come to being uncaused why does not everything come in to being as so. The possibilities are not everything has a cause or nothing has a cause. We don't understand why some things are caused & uncaused but empirical evidence directly shows some things are caused as well as defeating the premise that everything is caused.



FOC

There is a very noticeable lack of evidence by pro to prove that causality is a necessary law that exists in all possible worlds. I can clearly conceive of a world without it. It can't be equated with mathematics. It's a complete strawman to say I need to show that logic is irrelevant outside the universe. Causality is a metaphysical principle. Contrary to math, it's all dependent on the nature of things. Logic itself does not necessitate causality, & non-caused events can occur well within the bounds of logic. Causality is not even properly understood. As Hume notes, just because we always see A follow B, we never really detect an actual link.[2] I’m not promoting the idea that causality does not exist, just that we don’t have a full understanding of it. So pro cannot in any way prove it is a necessary law of the universe like mathematics.



Natural cause

I'm at a complete loss as to why pro claims I failed to explain what the cause was. Seeing as he even responded to my arguments that demonstrated the exact thing, I am left quite clueless.

Pro again strawmans me. I never stated space & time do not exist, merely that they only exist in correlation to agency in a subjective sense. They are necessary to understand reality, but all they end up being are intuitive properties. It’s factual that out intuition of time is relative. When we go to sleep, time seems to speed up & it also seems to go slow/faster doing certain things. Time is merely the idea that we use to understand the nature of reality. Pro has provided no explanation as to what time is while I have. Notice also, my point was not to refute the contradictory nature of infinity as pro seems to believe but merely to undermine pros contention that only a being like God could transcend time.

As stated before, pro misunderstands nothingness. The nothingness before the universe, was like how we conceive of empty space as nothing. To expand on the point more, general relativity can be combined with quantum theory to explain the origin of the universe. The two theories combined “predicted that small fluctuations would develop & lead to the formation of galaxies, stars, & all the other structure in the universe. This is confirmed by observations of small non uniformities in the cosmic microwave background, with exactly the predicted properties.”[3]


Pro also gives no response to my argument via Kaku that the multiverse could exist outside of time. Thus he concedes that the multiverse, if it exists, did not have a beginning.

More evidence for the multiverse is under the fine tuning argument.



POI

Unfortunately dropped for lack of space.


Fine tuning

Pro keeps shifting the burden of proof one me. In the last round I pointed out pro made a lot of unfounded assumtions. He has still failed to substantiate those assumptions. Pro fails to show how we could not have evolved under different circumstances. We can empirically observe that what's necessary for human life is not necessary for other life. How then is he to say we needed these exact conditions to live?

Last round I asked pro to show how the laws of the universe could have been different but instead of answering he says I haven't showed the laws couldn't have been different. I'm afraid it's pro who is making the assumptions not me. It's him who needs to provide proof.

Either one universe exists or multiple universes exist. The only theory that's been lent any support is for the multiverse. Pro has no argument for for a single universe. There are however wholly plausible ones for the competing theory. For example, dark matter can only be explained by the multiverse as Brian Greene explains, “The spectacular failure of attempts to explain the amount of dark energy has raised questions about this confidence, driving some physicists to pursue a radically different explanatory approach, one that suggests (once again) the possible existence of a multiverse.” [4]

To put my argument in perspective, imagine a googolplex universe. In a googolplex universe, the potential for the certain arrangements of matter & molecules would be so incredibly large that in all probability, if you were to travel through it, you would most likely come across an exact replica of yourself![5] It is completely conceivable to believe that via chance, a fitted condition for life would arise.


Metaphysics


I don't see why I would need to show what created existents. That's not my position. Things that are necessary don't need to be created.

Pro unfortunately commits an extremely common mistake amongst theists. God can explain just about absolutely anything. Theists then can insert him into wherever there are gaps in our knowledge & say they have the only explanation. That is exactly what pro is doing. He's saying he has an explanation while I do not. Well I'm afraid the more unknown the question of discussion, the more fallacious it is to assume God. The question of why there are existents is easily one of the biggest questions ever posed & far from our knowledge. God may answer it, but that doesn't mean it's a credible argument whatsoever.

Pro largely drops my argument for the necessity of existence. Perhaps it would be good if the argument could be expanded on, but it can't really. We can deduct that existence is necessary. We may not know exactly why but it is clearly the case. That is because if existence was contingent, there would be nothing. Pro hasn’t refuted that. There is something however thus leading us to believe that existence is necessary.

Pro has not backed up his arguments, thus you must vote con.

http://goo.gl...

Debate Round No. 3
thett3

Pro

Well, I sincerely thank my opponent for a thought provoking and intelligent round. In my final round I'll go over my arguments and explain why Pro has won them all. I also want to remind the voters that if I win on any one of my three arguments in the end you vote for me because I've shown that its more probable than not God exists.


KCA

Con never actually shows anything that came into existence without cause. His argument against this is essentially broken into two parts: quantum events occur without cause, and certain particles come into being out of nothing. First I dont believe either of these hold true, but even if they did it fails to refute the first premise because none of these show anything that came into being without cause out of nothing. Thus the first premise stands even taking my opponents arguments as true.

But there are good reasons to think that his arguments are not true. For one he didnt respond (and now cannot) to the fact that these events occur according to the laws governing quantum events, and moreover he doesnt link this to anything actually beginning to exist. I get that hes trying to dispute causality here, but he hasnt shown a truly random event and he hasnt linked this to the creation of thing.

He makes no response to Craigs critique of his argument, he merely affirms it. Unfortunately for Con fluctuating seas of energy are not nothing but rather something, so he fails to show something coming from nothing, nor does he show why everything doesnt show up out of nothing, he calls this a false dichtomy but it seems like a reasonable question. Con gives no explanation as to waht can/cant randomly appear and why and its too late for him to do so, thus premise one stands.

What of premise two? Con gives essentially no response to the problems posed by infinity. If an infinite number of past events is impossible than his entire theory goes out the window as a logical impossibility; more significantly he makes no explanation as to how the Universe came into being from nothing. He just argues that quantum fluctuations could've caused the universe, but hes already conceded through not disputing that infinity is impossible and thus there had to be an absolute beginning of the Universe from nothing. He asserts with no evidence that scientists dont think the Universe began from nothing but without eveidence or explanation you ignore this. Premise two stands.

The conclusion logically follows. Con gives does not dispute that the conclusion follows from the premises, and since I've shown them both to stand you affirm.

Causaulity

The last critique Con brings up against the KCA is a perfect example of grasping at straws. He asserts that I havent proven causality to be a necessary law like mathematics and then fails to show how it isnt. It's basic logic and he hasnt shown that even if it doesnt apply in other worlds, he doesnt link this to the beginning of the Universe. Its incocievable to imagine a world without cause and effect. We can speculate about one existing but since its beyond the realm of human understanding to actually envision one we cant debate it. Ignore his Hume evidence, it doesnt even make sense. We can see, for example, that procreation leads to children, that phyical injury leads to pain, that fire to gasoline creates a blaze, ect. Hes just grasping at straws here, sure I cant actually PROVE that they cause one another, just as I cant actually PROVE that I exist. Its just a reasonable assumption to make given the wealth of human experience.

Natural cause

Con never gives an actual example of a natural cause other than quantum fluctuations, which are impossible as the cause because fluctuations are events and the number of past events must be finite so the universe had to have had an absolute beginning from nothing. Do not allow him to advance arguments against him in the next round, judge the round on a framework that infinite numbers of events is impossible because it hasnt been disputed by Con.

He argues that time or space are relative, bringing up the example of sleeping. First, relativity in experience has absolutely no relevance to the actual existence of these entities, but more importantly as I stated and he ignored even if TIME doesnt exist, EVENTS do and have to be finite. This takes out the Kaku evidence he said I dropped because even in a Universe/multiverse without time (if thats possible, he hasnt proven so) events still exist and are finite.

Con claims that nothingness is just like "empty space" but this is false. Nothingness is not empty, or a vaccuum. Like Craig said, nothingness has literally no properties at all. Recall also that in this round it is a fact that the Universe began from nothing, thus his quantum argument is nonresponsive.


Fine tuning

Surprisingly my opponent did not dispute this argument much. To my arguments about the finely tuned values of universal constants he only says that I didnt prove that life couldnt exist without this. My apologies but I thought it was self evident that life could not exist without, for example, molecules or in a hydrogen only universe (which literally could only be hydrogen, nothing else). Its cons burden here since hes the one who made the claim that life can exist in different conditions he didnt, so you have another point to affirm on. I showed that the laws of the Universe could easily be different. Strangely my opponent is advocating a multiverse composed of an infinite (and some timeless) number of universes while arguing that the conditions of the Universe could not be any different, a clear contradiction. But here it is actually Con who is shifting the burden of proof, his response is basically accusing me of making an assumption, but its a reasonable assumption because he gives you no reason that the conditions are necessary. Only logic is necessary. Con also totally drops that the initial expansion rate was finely tuned for life to exist.

Con provides literally zero proof that the multiverse exists. He cites a scientist saying that dark energy someow makes the multiverse possible without explaining it. You ignore this because he doesnt explain it, a scientist asserting something means nothing absent some logical analysis. Con also drops Craigs critique of the multiverse theory that its incomprehensibly more likely that we would be observing a smaller universe than we are, and he completely drops the argument that the mechanisms in the multiverse are so undescribed by him that we dont know if fine tuning is necessary there too or not.

Prefer observations made from the universe we know exists, Con doesnt give a single scrap of evidence to show that the multiverse actually exists--and indeed how could he? Its outside of our Universe.

Metaphysics

Con says he doesnt have to show what created multiple existents, while his entire position (atheism) is advocating the proposition that everything that occurs/exists happened without God. Of course he has to show another cause here, or else you prefer my worldview that explains this.

Con grasps at straws--he says that I commit the God of the gaps fallacy, when what I actually did was explain why an intelligent mind as the first cause explains existents and nothing else does, and he says that I dropped his argument about everything being necessary. Unfortunately he didnt actually argue this, he asserted it was true and its to late for him now to do so. Con would've had to show that everything that exists had to exist, and he didnt. He only says if existence was contigent nothing would exist--no...all that means is its possible that nothing would exist. Moreover he doesnt actually dispute that God can explain this.

Here you have a third reason to vote Pro--I showed that a first cause is necessary and God is the best candidate to explain this. Con doesnt dispute this.

Thus since all three of my arguments stand, I think that Theism is the more rational view to hold and a pro vote is in order. I thank my opponent for a great round!
phantom

Con

Thanks thett for the great debate. I hope all voters vote fairly & try to leave their bias behind.

KCA

Causality

Pro wants you to believe that just because I can't show something from nothing uncaused, means I haven't refuted premise 1. We can't observe matter beginning to exist but we can know that events can occur without a cause. In our universe they may be small but I have already shown how quantum fluctuations could plausibly explain the beginning of the universe. Also uncaused events in our universe are a certain way simply because that is the nature of our universe. But the nature of our universe does not necessarily apply to outside of the universe. Seeing as caused events are way more common than non-caused in this universe, uncaused events are somewhat restrained. However, outside the universe, nature may not be so constraining of non-causality.

I did respond, despite what pro says, to his point that uncaused events can only occur according to the laws of quantum mechanics. I fully accept that certain conditions are necessary for uncaused occurrences but that could be used to refute pros own argument. The existence of logic is a necessary precondition to pros reasoning that God was uncaused. Are we then to say he was not caused? Everything has preconditions.

Pro is again misusing the term nothing. There are two types of nothing. A literal nothing or a scientific meaning of nothing. Scientifically, the nothing before the universe was not literally nothing. Even pro cannot argue the beginning of the universe began from nothing since the nothing would have had to have the potential to be the universe & potential is something. Potential is a property so it's not literal nothingness. So both of us seem to agree. Empty space is not literally nothing but is similar to the scientific meaning of nothingness & what the universe was before it began to exist.


FOC

Pro claims that causality is necessary like mathematics but seems to say the burden is on me to prove it isn't. As stated, causality is dependent on the material nature of things whereas mathematics is an immaterial concept. Pro can a priori affirm mathematics is necessary but he cannot a priori confirm causality is. Simply comparing it with mathematics does not demonstrate it as true.

Pro misunderstands the purpose of my Hume point. It was not at all to defeat causality. It was to show we don't have a real understanding of it, so pro can't show that it’s a necessary law. Pro also hasn't explained it. We do see injury leading to pain but all pro is doing is observing the events. Sure they very likely cause each other, but all we observe is that they cause each other, not the actual link. You can go into scientific detail but that merely narrows it down to discussing individual smaller causes.

Natural cause

Pro falsely states that my only explanation for a natural cause was quantum events. I clearly argued that parts of the multiverse that exist outside of time is a plausible cause of the universe as well.

Pro's refutation of quantum events being the cause, does not make sense. He says an infinite regress disallows it, but random quantum fluctuations do not entail an infinite regress because, well, they're uncaused. How does pro reason that uncaused events entail an infinite of events? He doesn’t. Uncaused events completely escape it.

Pro has never explained what space & time are. I have however, so viewers have no reason to take his side. You can't explain space & time in an absolute sense. You can only explain it in the sense that it is necessary as an intuition. Pro still seems to believe the purpose of my point was to disprove the infinite regress problem. That was not at all my purpose. I was merely showing that transcending space & time is nothing meaningful since they are merely intuitions.

Pro furthermore never addresses that the multiverse, if it existed, could transcend time. He merely states that an infinite amount of events is the problem. Well, existing outside of space & time directly escapes the infinite regress does it not? Or else why did pro say God must transcend those qualities? The multiverse escapes the problem the same way God would. A finite number of events is plausible if it transcends time.

I have to wander how on earth pro can say nothing has no properties but still claim the universe came from it. Potential is a property, is it not? Whatever was before the universe had the potential to be the universe. If it did not have the potential, than it could not have become the universe.

And why is pro arguing definitions? The scientific understanding of nothingness is not literal nothingness. That's just fact.

Fine tuning

The multiverse theory does not posit an infinite amount of universes. That's a complete misunderstanding.

Pro's statements that I'm merely quoting a scientist making assertions is laughable. Is that not exactly what pro has been doing throughout this whole debate? Quoting Craig making assertions? Craig, probably the biggest theistic philosopher of today. A clearly bias source yet pro is making qualms about me quoting other scientists.

I have provided evidence why the multiverse exits while pro has not. The amount of dark matter is only conceivable under the multiverse theory. It's not plausible under the single universe theory, a theory pro has reclined from substantiating yet he still assumes. Pro also provided no reason why a multiverse would entail ours would be smaller.

I also have to note, pro implies that I can't prove the multiverse since it's outside of our universe. If I direct that reasoning to pros arguments than I guess we can't possibly theorize on the beginning of the universe since it was outside of this one. As you can see that point is obviously flawed.

Pro has exaggerated the chances of fine-tuning throughout this whole debate. All his numbers are essentially meaningless for the most part. For example, it assumes there was an equal chance for all the possible constants of being as so & it assumes that they could have been otherwise. If you take a random number generator, the chances of it landing on 2 seem incredibly low, but what if all the possible numbers were 2, 10 & 59? Or what if 2 was the only possible number it could have landed on? The analogy is directly applicable to pros argument. He makes these massive numbers & argues those were the chances of life being able to occur. He has to prove it could have conceivably been as otherwise. How could the force of gravity have been different? Pro hasn't explained.

I never argued that life could have evolved under any circumstance. I only argued that life could have evolved under different circumstances, a purely reasonable assertion. Pro was assuming life could have only evolved under the current constants which was clearly false.


Metaphysics


Firstly, pro states in the previous argument that only logic is necessary. If only logic is necessary than why doesn't only logic exist? Things that are contingent don't cause themselves so they wouldn't exist.

I don’t need to explain what created existents because that is a meaningless statement. Existents are necessary which is why they don’t need a creator, just their internal necessity. Pro assumes there must be some final uncaused caused. Ontological necessity escapes it. Pro does commit the God of the gaps fallacy. While God explains it he is not conceivably necessary.

I wasn’t arguing that everything was necessary but that existents are necessary. Showing that existents are necessary directly refute pros arguments because necessity escapes the need for an external cause (God). If existence was contingent, nothing would exist. That’s because nothing could make it exist. It’s implausible to say something would exist when existence is contingent. The only possible explanation is that existence is necessary because then we have a reason as to why there is something.

Debate Round No. 4
62 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 2 years ago
devient.genie
alvarezd41, thank you for your poetic delusion. You alone are harmless when poisoned by such delusion.

The leaders who inject religious posion into the minds of the masses are the problem.

Lets get bacck to big kids stuff :)

QUESTIONS 7:6--Why is it that people who think Elvis or Tupac are alive, we consider delusional, yet people who think that the reason for everything can convict you of thought crimes, those people somehow posess moral excellence? :)

CaptainObvious 2:3--Science cannot prove or disprove a slave supporting sexist who is admittingly jealous and can convict you of thought crimes, anymore than science can prove leprechauns at the end of rainbows. Those things seems a bit far fetched for a thinking person and are therefore called statistical improbabilities amongst the most brilliant minds of today:)

WARNINGS 2:59--Stay away from books that proclaim virtue while hiding behind a shield of humilty during the commission of vile, wicked, childish and immoral actions :) There is unfortunatley a best selling book that is indoctrinated into millions of childrens minds all over the world, that suggests the reason for everything in the world is admittingly jealous and can convict you of thought crime :) The holy binky provides as much nourishment to your childs intuition, intellect and instinct, as a plate of gunk from the bottom of a McDonalds dumpster is nourishment for your childs heart :)

GROWUP 4:4--We need to evolve conciously. Conciousness is the ground of all being. This is NOT psychic talk or imaginary pseudo science. The world is facing many problems. Our societies problems are rooted in religion. Religion is a problem. When it comes to the problems of religion and the world, Albert Einstein says it best, No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it :)
Posted by alvarezd41 2 years ago
alvarezd41
Hi everyone,
I would like to give you hope and tell you what I have been revealed by our creator. 1st let me start by saying that we are our creator's most treasured and beloved creation. We are all extremely valuable and we all hold the knowledge of creation inside each and everyone of us.

God is inside everyone of us. We are all eternal beings, this means we have always been and will always be. When in doubt look inside of you and you will find the truth. It has always been there. Our true self exist beyond this existence. If you truly want to know god all you have to do is remember and let the truth come out and embrace your true self for we already know god and have always known him.

Don't get caught on the lies of this materialistic world.

We are already closer to our creator than anything else in existence but we must learn to look inside and trust for he exist within you.

Peace and love be with you my eternal brothers. I truly love you all.

We are all connected.
Posted by JesusAaronChristPayne 2 years ago
JesusAaronChristPayne
To answer your Q, Yes! God does exist. I have been sent by God to share the truth with you. God turned his back on Buddhism and cut off Sheiva's feet so she may never put her feet down unless I do first. I am kin to the key of the Holy Family. The direct descendant of Jesus Christ heir to the throne of the Church and Pharaho of Egypt.

Sin,

Your Excellency, Lord and King
Jesus S Aaron Uni Peg Unix Eisus Christ Payne XXXIVQ

House Of Payne Church Of God
CEO of all I See Vatican City The Holy SEE

PS
DON'T BE EVIL DNA AND Wii TOS OFF THE
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
Voting aside, I really wish I had had more space to talk about everything in this debate. Every round I went a few thousand characters over the limit and had to cut out a lot. I'm sure thett had the same limitations to. Would have been nice to be able to have been more thorough but it would have been to long a debate unfortunately.
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
I didn't give enough evidence initially, true. But I had a whole other round where I was allowed to do so.

Don't think it matters much but you're free to you have your opinion I suppose.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
It kind of left me in a tight spot voting for it because thett was frankly right pointin out there wasn't any evidence for the theory. Had you brought it up earlier it would've carried more weight than bringing it up in the last possible round to do so. Putting it in your initial rebuttal as evidence to believe the multiverse might've been the best play, but you might have had to cut a different argument to make the room (probably the PoI since you ended up dropping it anyway.)
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
Thanks. I don't see how it matters that I didn't bring up the dark energy point initially though.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
One answer to the natural cause argument coming right up.

Essentially, all I got from this point that things like time an space were subjective so transcending over those didn't really matter and that two multiverse bubbles bumping into each other could've caused the Big Bang. I didn't put all that much weight to the former argument because you extended it out to be a way that the multiverse would disprove causality by being timeless in itself (not a bad idea at all, by the way). But this attack really stalls at the multiverse theory for the Big Bang. You did everything right there except explain evidence for the multiverse and not responding to the weak critique of it by Craig. Had you said your point about dark matter earlier and actually responded to Craig before the last round, I probably would've bought the multiverse theory.
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
"First off, before I even get started, let me extend the greatest middle finger possible to both debaters for giving me a massive headache for sorting through the copious amounts of arguments."

Lol, sorry :P

For the question, I would like your opinion of the natural cause point if you don't mind.
Posted by Shenanigans 2 years ago
Shenanigans
The KCA is a rather poor theistic argument, it's a shame con didn't attack it more thoroughly. Still, I think con did a superb job and won this debate.

Overall though this was very good for both sides, the only bad thing I see is the vote bombers, what a shame.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Heineken 2 years ago
Heineken
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter jh1234.... "Slightly better arguments needed." (Slightly better RFD needed.)
Vote Placed by Zaradi 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: My attempt to cohesively explain my decision in the comments starts now.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 2 years ago
jh1234l
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Reasons for voting decision: S/G to thett3 because pluasible is not a word, sources to phantom for linking scientific papers. Arguments to thett3 for slightly better arguments.
Vote Placed by philochristos 2 years ago
philochristos
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Con because Con mostly cited legitimate scientists on scientific questions, Pro mostly quoted a philosopher/theologian on scientific questions. Arguments to Pro because Con didn't adequately explain why the universe should be an exception to our usual assumption that events have causes. Even if there are exceptions, he needed to explain why the universe was one of them. His exceptions did not entail anything coming into existence uncaused out of nothing, so they don't count as counter-examples to the universe coming into existence uncaused out of nothing. When Con said "nothing" he actually meant "something," but Pro meant "nothing." Con claims that existents are necessary but doesn't adequately counter Pro's arguments for a beginning of the universe (time is relative, not subjective; there's a difference). It seems to follow that a necessary being external to the universe exists. The multiverse was never substantiated, nor that the constants of the universe are necessary.
Vote Placed by Stupidwalrus 2 years ago
Stupidwalrus
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Reasons for voting decision: counter kingcripple
Vote Placed by kingcripple 2 years ago
kingcripple
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Reasons for voting decision: God exists. Deal with it
Vote Placed by johnlubba 2 years ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: I am tempted to withdraw my points for calling Azul an idiot, plus for including the words, 'These idiot in the comments, implying more than one idiot. However After some thought about my position on this debate, I will reimburse Thett3 his points for sources, seeing as magicr, has unjustifiably countered my points. also I will reimburse him the points for most convincing argument. because mainly it was for me. That is all I have to say on this debate. My position is the same. I will not alter my vote again.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 2 years ago
Man-is-good
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Reasons for voting decision: Azul, you need an explanation that would, verily, I tell you, demonstrate your knowledge of the debate.
Vote Placed by Azul145 2 years ago
Azul145
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Reasons for voting decision: God is real
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 2 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
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Reasons for voting decision: See Comments