The Instigator
CaptainBallarms
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KthulhuHimself
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

KthulhuHimself's Argument is valid

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
KthulhuHimself
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 638 times Debate No: 92958
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

CaptainBallarms

Con

1) For something to actually exist, it has to be objective.
2) By definition, objectivity requires the objective concept to be well-defined (which cannot be paradoxical or internally contradictory).
3) Well-ordered definitions require well-ordered formal languages, and in order for the definition to be non-paradoxical, and hence well-ordered, the defined concept must be completely limited by the defining language (to prevent Russell's paradox), i.e. cannot be the "highest" being.
4) God is defined as the highest being.
5) By these necessary standards, god is ill-defined.
6) God cannot be objective.
7) God cannot actually exist.


This is his argument from the forums. Essentially my opponent must show his argument is valid, and I must show his argument to be invalid. Thus if there is no good reason to accept his argument then he has lost the debate.

RULES:
No plagiarism(putting unoriginal content without sourcing)




No trolling




No lawyering




Accepting this debate entails you accept stipulations




No personal attacks/Ad hominem



No pictures/images
KthulhuHimself

Pro

First thing's first, I'd like to thank the instigator here for challenging me to a debate, and I sincerely hope that it will be both constructive and respectful.

Before presenting my argument as a whole, I'd like to clarify a few things about my proof, to prevent misinterpretations.

The simplified version goes as follows:

1) For something to actually exist, it has to be objective.
2) By definition, objectivity requires the objective concept to be well-defined (which cannot be paradoxical or internally contradictory).
3) Well-ordered definitions require well-ordered formal languages, and in order for the definition to be non-paradoxical, and hence well-ordered, the defined concept must be completely limited by the defining language (to prevent Russell's paradox), i.e. cannot be the "highest" being.
4) God is defined as the highest being.
5) By these necessary standards, god is ill-defined.
6) God cannot be objective.
7) God cannot actually exist.

But this can cause a lot of confusion as the proof here is worded in such a way that a few terms used in it are intrinsically ambiguous, as they connect to terms used in other contexts. A better written version of the proof can be worded as follows:

1) For something to exist beyond the level of notion, it is necessary for it to be objective, i.e. independent on human (or otherwise) perspective; because if it isn't, then it cannot exist independent on the level of notion, and hence be meaningless beyond that level.

2) By definition, it is necessary for an objective term or concept to be fully and hermetically well-defined; because by definition, an objective concept or entity is one that is dependent on a timeless means of predication, or in other words definition. It must be well-defined, because if it isn't, then there are no predicated qualities given to the concept, and hence no meaning beyond what a subjective perception will give it.

3) Well ordered definitions can and must be manifested in the form of a well-ordered expression, identical to those used in mathematics nowadays; which come, in every case, in the form of some well-ordered, formal, objective, mathematical language, such as set-theory, etc. Moreover, such definitions must be non-paradoxical, because when a paradox is present, the concept loses any and all objectivity, and hence meaning.

4) To prevent a common paradox, a slightly different form of Russell's paradox; it is necessary for the concept to be completely limited by the language it is defined within; meaning that it cannot predicate over its own predicator.

5) God is commonly defined as an unlimited being.

6) By these necessary standards, i.e. those presented in 1)-4), God is ill-defined.

7) God cannot exist objectively.

8) God cannot exist beyond the level of notion, and hence has no effect beyond psychological.

Of course, you could claim that your God is limited; and in that case, this proof has nothing to do with your God.
Debate Round No. 1
CaptainBallarms

Con

Thank you KthulhuHimself, for accepting this debate. I hope we have a spirited discussion about this critically important issue. I am also involved in the mathematics field.

Essentially this debate is about whether my opponent’s argument proves what it sets out to prove. Hence the objections I will make are aimed toward the conclusion or the premises in question rather than about what one might conclude if this argument was convincing.

I am not quite sure if the argument that my opponent presents is the full version of what he intends to present or not. Thus I will assume it is but reserve the right to edit my objections to fit his defenses(since I am not sure what he has in mind).

I would also like to point out well-defined and well-ordered are not strictly speaking the same thing(one refers to a mathematical property, while the other is ambiguous and is not defined by the Affirmative). Hence the argument does not follow currently, this must be addressed otherwise my opponent loses this debate automatically.

With those clarifications made, let us look at the argument itself.

De Problemis Praeliminaribus:

The most difficult problem for my opponent to overcome will be his lack of justification for the second premise.

The principal problem is the distinction between defined at all, and well-defined. The proof is essentially made from the field of philosophy of language, however it requires some big assumptions that I will exploit now.

I would ask my opponent why they need to be well-defined and not simply coherent definitions. That is, coherent definitions are necessarily non-paradoxical and non-contradictory hence we need a reason to suppose that well-defined definitions are necessary.

In order to avoid premise 2, one can simply deny existence needs definitionary qualities whatsoever. If no humans existed to provide definitions for things, then no definitions would exist. This is the way if no humans were to exist, there would be no languages.

The absolute point is my opponent has a huge burden to meet if he wants to justify this premise 2, because he must that existence is contingent upon definition. To quote a famous philosopher, existence is not a predicate.

The epistemic question whether we can define something using our admittedly limited language that is beyond our sense experience has nothing to do with whether the thing has ontological status. This is fundamental to any type of ontology which takes reality seriously.

In order to easily refute this premise, one can easily appeal to the fact that false definitions are possible. If we simply defined things into existence, then there ought to be unicorns somewhere objective. The concept of unicorns are not incoherent or paradoxical but yet they do not exist. Hence definitions are independent of existence.

What that means is exists has nothing to do with what something is, but whether something is hence it is independent of any language used to describe it.

De Proposito Tertio

As of right now, my opponent has not provided the paradox to be evaluated by independent examination, hence this premise has not been justified even without the rest of my criticisms.

“All the sciences have a relation, greater or less, to human nature; and...however wide any of them may seem to run from it, they still return back by one passage or another. Even Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion, are in some measure dependent on the science of MAN; since they lie under the cognizance of men, and are judged of by their powers and faculties.” -David Hume, A Treatise on Human Nature

In order for my opponent to prove this must show mathematics are objective features of reality rather than constructs in our head for understanding the world. Otherwise, there is no reason to think mathematics ought to be the language one uses to express the definition in. One can simply express it any language which one sees fit.

That is, my opponent must show that mathematical truths are a priori analytic judgments and not synthetic or else I see no reason why I ought to think mathematics is any better than any other language at defining concepts or entities. We may have pragmatic reasons for accepting this truth for certain phenomena but I needn’t accept it for all phenomena especially supposed non-physical phenomena.

As Hume talks about in his Enquiry on Human Understanding, mathematics seem to be either relations of ideas(and therefore necessary but not substantive) or matters of fact(contingent but substantive). Either way mathematical truths are not the ultimate arbiter of existence.


De Proposito Quarto

There is a huge problem with this as well, and this is not arguing that God is not limitless so I would appreciate it not being construed as such. The fundamental problem is the distinction between properties and definition. That is, while God does have the properties of unlimited power, unlimited love, unlimited knowledge, etc. It does not follow that the definition of God ought to include this.

God is by definition(if we are construing a monotheistic perspective), the creator of the universe. However, God has the properties of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. The problem is God would still be God if he lacked these properties, because all that is necessary for being God is the creation of the universe by said agent.

Hence in order for opponent to prove this premise, he must prove the definition of God necessarily must include these properties rather than these being simply properties of God(hence not definitional). If he cannot prove this, then the conclusion does not follow.

Conclusio

There are many other problems I could rise with the argument but as I am not sure whether my opponent has provided his full defense and I do not want to build up strawmen, thus I have provided arguments strictly based on the argument itself.

However, I think voters would agree that these are sufficient reasons to reject the argument anyway. There are plenty of ambiguities and inconsistencies and thus I urge a vote in the Negative.

KthulhuHimself

Pro

First I would like to address what the instigator had said about well-ordered and well-defined. To put it short; yes, they are different things, well-ordered regards the integrity of a definition whilst well-defined regards to a concept with such a definition; at least that is their meaning in context of my proof.

I would also like to mention that it is a bit distasteful to state "otherwise my opponent loses this debate automatically.", because whether I lose or win is up for the voters to decide.

As for the actual refutations:

"De Problemis Praeliminaribus":

In this refutation, the instigator asks "I would ask my opponent why they need to be well-defined and not simply coherent definitions. That is, coherent definitions are necessarily non-paradoxical and non-contradictory hence we need a reason to suppose that well-defined definitions are necessary.", showing that he clearly does not understand what I mean by "definition" within this proof. To explain, I would like to clarify that there are two types of definition: One is the type used in order to describe concepts, and is the type that we humans give to already existing objects in order to understand them better; whilst the other is an atemporal, objective means of predication, which we humans have no effect on.

Because my proof regards predicatory definitions, the only way for them to be objective is for them to be completely and utterly independent on human perspective, which is why they can't just be "coherent definitions"; coherent definitions are only relevant when regarding explanatory definitions.

Because of the rest of his rebuttal is not even relevant to my proof (for the reason listed in the previous paragraphs), I doubt that I will need to address it any further.

"De Proposito Tertio":

In his rebuttal, the instigator says "In order for my opponent to prove this must show mathematics are objective features of reality rather than constructs in our head for understanding the world. Otherwise, there is no reason to think mathematics ought to be the language one uses to express the definition in. One can simply express it any language which one sees fit.", further demonstrating that he is using the wrong definition of definition; yet still, he presents a good point.

To answer this, all that is needed is to show one case in which an objective (perceptionless) system uses a language in order to work. The standards for a system being perceptionless is that it never receives any external input that would otherwise change its operation.

Of course, the laws of physics never change their functionality and operation according to any input whatsoever, showing that they are indeed perceptionless, and hence objective. Now, what language do the laws of physics operate by? Mathematics. This should be sufficient evidence supporting the differentiation of formal languages and natural languages, so I will move on to the next point.

"De Proposito Quarto":

In this section, all the instigator says is that God, by definition, doesn't necessarily have to be omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.; to which I answer, yes; it is entirely possible (for all we know) for a limited God-like creator to exist; but this proof payed no regard to that type of being. My proof's conclusion, in a more precise manner, is that if there is a God, it cannot be unlimited.

"Conclusio":

Given, the instigator had barely refuted what he had tried to refute, I would find it somewhat unsavory to vote for him.
Debate Round No. 2
CaptainBallarms

Con

CaptainBallarms forfeited this round.
KthulhuHimself

Pro

Well; seeing that CaptainBallarms had forfeited his last round (and last chance at refuting my argument); I would like to finish this debate with some closing remarks.

This argument is one of the strongest that can be given, as it is a mathematical proof; meaning that it cannot be refuted using data or evidence once it is established as well-ordered. The implications that follow it; are that even if there is a creator, it must be a limited one (even though it could be powerful, it must always have its own limits).

It had been a good debate while it lasted; and I thank the instigator for challenging me to it in the first place; and to all the commentators and voters out there whom might come across this debate, I will thank you if you voice your opinion and vote honestly.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KthulhuHimself 1 year ago
KthulhuHimself
Well, this is the first debate I've officially won; so congratulations, me.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Chaosism// Mod action: NOT Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly explains their decision by analyzing the arguments given and explaining how they affected the outcome. While the reporter may disagree with certain portions of the decision and find certain aspects lacking, none of these constitute a reason for removal.
***********************************************************************
Posted by KthulhuHimself 1 year ago
KthulhuHimself
Interesting; I've actually seen this happen a few times (in other media).
Posted by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
I imagine that a lot of people come to this debate site with a confident belief in their competence, likely in the form of the Dunning-Kruger effect. If someone's competence is shown to be far less than what they had believed it was, this could evoke Cognitive Dissonance and trigger an appropriate response; most likely in the form of dismissal, in which they leave this site so they can effectively ignore the reality of this and maintain said belief.

I'm not saying this necessarily applies to this individual in question; this is just a hypothesis that I formed about this type of occurrence, in general, because this appears to happen a lot, especially where a new-comer accepts or starts a debate and disappears as soon as they see the opposing arguments.
Posted by KthulhuHimself 1 year ago
KthulhuHimself
I find it interesting that he had deactivated his account; I wonder why.
Posted by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
=+= RFD, Part 1: Arguments =+=

De Problemis Praeliminaribus:
This attack of Con's on (P2) of the argument as if the premise assumes that a subjects objective existence is dependent on it being well-defined, and that existence is "contingent upon definition". This is a misunderstanding of what is meant by "definition" in this argument, which is apparent from Pro initial justification of said premise. In response to Con's rebuttal, Pro simply states (in regard to the types of definitions), "whilst the other [definition] is an atemporal, objective means of predication, which we humans have no effect on". Pro's defenses would have been significantly more substantial if this point were explained or elaborated. The majority of people are not going to automatically understand what this means, which significantly hampers this defense. However, between this and the initial justifications provided, Con's objections are adequately refuted.

De Proposito Tertio:
Although Con intends to attack (P3) here, this rebuttal appears to be more applicable to (P2), in that, it challenges the argument by questioning whether mathematics can determine the objective existence of elements of the universe if mathematical language, in of itself, can be shown to have objectivity. As such, this rebuttal makes the same assumptions of the meaning of "definition" as before. Pro cites the previous defense and provides an example of objective definition regarding the laws of physics. As before, Pro's defense would have benefited from explanation, as if to laymen. However, Con's rebuttal is sufficiently negated.

De Proposito Quarto:
Con challenged (P4) by disagreeing with the definition of "God", and attempts to alter the notion of "God". Since this premise is what establishes the foundational and specifically isolated "target" of the entire argument, and is therefore not subject to refutation, which is explained by Pro. This rebuttal is rendered invalid.
Posted by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
=+= RFD, Part 2: Misc and Conclusion =+=

Conduct: The instigator forfeited; Conduct to Pro.

Spelling/Grammar: Both participants performed near flawlessly. Tie.

Sources: No external sources were cited by either participant. Tie.

Conclusion:
Since all premises were successfully defended and all rebuttal were refuted, Arguments to Pro. In closing, I will stress again to Pro that thorough explanation as if speaking to an unknowledgeable audience would be incredibly beneficial. This may be a case of the Curse of Knowledge, which is a form of cognitive bias in which a well-educated speaker will take for granted that listeners will understand or already know basic, almost axiomatic, pieces of foundational knowledge, and often unconsciously omit them. This leaves the listening audience largely in the dark as they cannot follow the advanced explanations.
Posted by KthulhuHimself 1 year ago
KthulhuHimself
You don't understand the argument.
Posted by skipsaweirdo 1 year ago
skipsaweirdo
There's no basis for a claim that something that is affected by emotions or opinions cannot also be based in some fact. This argument it basic false dichotomy 101. Its not like you're arguing either something can get pregnant or it cannot.
Where do you people get your reasoning skill set from?
Posted by KthulhuHimself 1 year ago
KthulhuHimself
Also, I appreciate the fact that the instigator put this under "philosophy", and not under "religion".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
CaptainBallarmsKthulhuHimselfTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments.