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May Regular Tournament: God Exists

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/29/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,699 times Debate No: 75936
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (51)
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This debate is for the first round of Unitomic's May Regular Tournament [], on solely highly controversial topics. After long discussions on PMs, Mister_Man and I have finally decided on a topic, the existence of God, since it is one of my favorite topics. I shall be playing Devil's advocate in this debate, so it shall definitely be interesting.

There is a minimum required Elo of 2,000 to vote on this debate. I hope some good RFDs come up with valuable feedback. I thank Mister_Man for the debate and Unitomic for hosting the tournament, and look forward to an interesting discussion.

Full Topic

God probably exists.


All definitions are influenced by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the American Heritage Dictionary, and the Oxford Dictionary.

God - an intelligent being that is the supernaturally powerful, transcendent cause of the universe.
Probably - is likely to be true; >50% chance of being true.
Exists - is actual in objective reality.

In addition, I shall define Universe as "the totality of existence, that includes all of time, space, matter, antimatter and energy."


1. No forfeits.
2. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources can be in an outside link.
3. R1 is for acceptance only, and R2 is for opening arguments. No new contentions in the subsequent rounds.
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
5. No trolling.
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution).
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions. Deconstructional semantics are not allowed.
8. The BOP is shared; Pro must argue for God's existence, and Con must argue the contrary.
9. Debate resolution, definitions, rules and structure cannot be changed after acceptance of the debate.


R1. Acceptance
R2. Pro's case, Con's case
R3. Pro rebuts Con's case, Con rebuts Pro's case
R4. Pro defends Pro's case, Con defends Con's case, both crystallize


...again to Mister_Man for this debate and to anyone who reads/votes on it.


Hooray! So glad we could finally come to an agreement on this, lol.

Thanks for the debate and good luck! I'm sure it will be fun :)
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Mister_Man for accepting.

C1) Kalam Cosmological Argument

Apologist and analytic philosopher W.L. Craig reformulated the Leibnizian cosmological argument for God’s existence by combining it with Al-Ghazali’s variation of the cosmological argument to form the kalam cosmological argument, in respect of Al-Ghazali’s Islamic orthodox sect of the kalam [1]. It is rendered as a brief syllogism as below [2].

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe begins to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

From the above premises, a new syllogism is drawn based on ontological analysis of the properties of the cause [3].

1. The universe has a cause.

2. Then, the cause of the universe must be, sans the universe, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, changeless, beginningless, personal (thus intelligent) and enormously powerful.

That “everything that begins to exist has a cause” is rationally intuitive knowledge, derived from a critical first principle of science, the causal principle, based on the axiom from Parmenidean ontology: ex nihilo nihil fit [4]. While one may argue that this commits the fallacy of composition, there is good reason to believe the universe has a cause, if the universe did begin to Cexist. Something cannot come into existence without a cause, as it defies the First Law of Thermodynamics, and even sans physical laws, there has to be an explanation for the universe’s origin [5]. Craig writes, “Something cannot come from nothing. To claim that something can come into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat! But if you deny premise 1, you’ve got to think that the whole universe just appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. But nobody sincerely believes that things, say, a horse or an Eskimo village, can just pop into being without a cause.” [6] Physicists often defend themselves from this premise by using the example of virtual particles, arising from vacuum fluctuations, but these rise from the quantum vacuum, which has minimal amounts of existent energy. Since the universe is defined as all of spacetime, energy, matter and antimatter, this energy is part of the universe, thus must have had a cause.

The alternative to a universe having a beginning is the universe existing eternally. Most physicists reject this straight away, and this premise is rarely very controversial. This is because of the Big Bang cosmological model, which states that time and space had an outward “explosion” (not exactly an explosion, rather swift expansion) approximately 13.8 billion years ago [7], and the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem that traces the expansion of the universe back to a beginning, devised by physicists Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, demonstrating that the universe is past-finite [8].

The Second Law of Thermodynamics predicts that the universe will, at some point, experience ‘heat-death’, a finite amount of time after the beginning of the universe [9]. Craig writes further, “If, given enough time, the universe will inevitably stagnate in a state of heat death, then why, if it has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death? If in a finite amount of time, the universe will reach equilibrium, then, given infinite past time, it should by now already be in a state of equilibrium. But it’s not. We’re in a state of disequilibrium, where energy is still available to be used and the universe has an orderly structure.” [10]

Thus, the first conclusion, that the universe had a cause, follows. Since the universe encompasses all of time, space, matter, energy, and change, it logically follows that this cause, prior to and outside of the universe, is atemporal, spaceless, immaterial and changeless.

There are only two conceivable things that can be atemporal, spaceless, and immaterial--minds, which are not material, and abstract concepts. Minds are obviously not made of matter and energy, and abstract concepts are, by definition, subjective. Abstract concepts cannot have the slightest physical influence, but minds can interact with matter--it is our minds that propel us to perform actions. Thus, God would have to have a mind, thus is intelligent. Now, since (a) the universe was caused, and (b) there is a finite number of caused objects, the cause of the universe would have to be uncaused, and would never begin to exist as timeless.

Thus, a transcendent, intelligent, supernatural, and powerful cause of the universe, i.e. God, exists.

C2) Ontology necessitates God’s existence

If I can demonstrate that God’s existence is probably necessary, in a modal sense, I have demonstrated that God exists. Here, I shall attempt to affirm a transcendent, powerful, supernatural entity’s existence, as I have already demonstrated the creator and intelligent aspects. What is an ‘idea’? Philosopher Immanuel Kant defined an idea as “a concept of reason, whose object can be met with nowhere in experience.” [11] I will use ontology to affirm that the idea of God was derived due to objective reality.

P1: If an idea is within cognition, it is either false or necessarily true.

P2: The idea of God is within cognition.

P3: An idea of cognition is false if and only if it is imaginative.

P4: God cannot be imagined.

C: God’s existence is modally necessary.

P1 is rationally intuitive and logically true; all ideas are either true or false, whether or not we can derive whether they are true or false.

P2 is easily justified, as the idea of God is conceived of by myself and, surely, my opponent, to participate in this debate at all.

P3 is true as the mind is limited, in that it gains knowledge either empirically or rationally, and both generally lead to accurate conclusions that cannot be denied. A faculty outside of observation and reason would be imagination, that allows the mind to gain ideas that can be false or true, but if an idea is false, it is imagined.

P4 is demonstrated as the idea of God is a simple idea, that can be conceived conceptually, but not imagined by providing it imaginable characteristics, thus is simple. As Hume notes, a simple idea cannot be imagined at all [12].

Thus, God’s existence is modally necessary, thus God likely exists.

The resolution is resoundingly affirmed. Con must only present their case in the next round, and rebut mine in the following one, in accordance with the debate structure.


2. W.L. Craig and J.P. Moreland (2009). The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, p 102.

3. Ibid, p 194.



6. W.L. Craig (2010). On Guard, p 75.




10. W.L. Craig (2010). On Guard, p 93.




Thanks a lot, Tejretics. Apologies for the incredibly last minute reply, got carried away on the weekend ;)

It hurts not being able to form retorts in this round, but I guess I'll try and survive.

I also apologise for the format, my work computer doesn't like to cooperate with Rich Text, so this ugly format is what you'll be looking at, in this round anyway.

I also apologise for apologising so much - I'm Canadian.

Okay, down to business.

God - A supernatural, intelligent being, who is the transcendent cause for the universe.

Now if there were no other possible causes for the Universe to come into existence, this may be a reasonable claim. The definition for supernatural (great TV series) is - "of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal [1]." So basically it's just an event that is (currently) unexplainable. This simply means that the idea of God is not understandable according to the laws of logic, science, etc. This can be said about anything, however - The Flying Spaghetti Monster is supernatural, as it cannot be explained natural law.

But back to the origins of the Universe - the definition that you provided for God was that he's basically the creator of the Universe. That implies two things. One; the Universe had a beginning. The only evidence we have that supports the idea that the Universe (the totality of existence) had a beginning, is that all matter is seemingly moving away from a single point, shown by red shift, and the fact that we cannot see "beyond" the observable Universe [2]. However... "The Universe" is simply a word used to describe the totality of existence. The "totality of existence" is arguably infinite energy [3], considering the fact that energy can not be created nor destroyed. So the space that our "Universe" occupies is bigger than our Universe, and is most likely in fact infinite, if it is made up solely of energy. This energy spawns what we call "universes" - the multiverse theory [4].

How does it "spawn" universes, you ask? Well, according to religion, it's God that created the universes. But according to science, something a bit more reliable and plausible than faith, Quantum Fluctuations [5] can create Universes [6]. Quantum Fluctuations are basically the temporary change of the amount of energy in a point in space, in which that time period can create matter, as energy is capable of creating matter, and we've pretty much accomplished that here on Earth [7].

Earth is to our Solar System as our Solar System is to the Milky Way, as the Milky Way is to the Universe, as the Universe is to the totality of existence. A common misconception when referring to the Universe is that much of the population considers the Universe to literally be "everything," and considering the "Universe" (not in the "totality of existence" sense), most likely does have a beginning, it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that nothing existed before the Universe existed, therefore "nothing" creating the Universe is impossible, and therefore God created the Universe. However that's all based around the idea that the Universe is in fact the totality of existence - my argument is that the Universe - our Universe - is inside the totality of existence - which is in fact infinite, as the totality of existence is energy - the one thing that can not be created nor destroyed. Something that is infinite does not have a cause, and therefore, no reason for God.

So let's sum it up quickly - It is asserted that God created the Universe, however I have shown both that the "Universe" (the totality of existence) could very well be infinite, as well as quantum fluctuations very well being the cause for our "Universe" (the thing that's 13.8 billion years old). Both my theories are scientifically testable, and are not relying on "supernatural" terminology, giving the idea that we actually can (for the most part) understand and explain these phenomena via natural law. These two points alone make it much more likely that the God we are referring to most likely does not exist.

These major points, along with the fact that there has been no recorded evidence of God existing, let alone anything "supernatural" (in the spiritual sense) existing, it is again, fair to conclude that God most likely does not exist. Any claim can be made about anything, but just because it is "impossible" to "disprove" does not mean that it has been proved. Considering there is no evidence for the existence of God, nor is there "evidence" for the lack of existence (although I'd consider the zero evidence for the existence of God to be good enough to rationalize that he most likely does not exist), in order to mostly disprove the existence of God, we would be required to present logical, realistic alternatives to each others claim. You say God created the Universe, I say nope, Quantum Fluctuations did. So the only thing you have left arguing for the existence of God is most likely going to be 100% theory/semantics, and no real "proof" at all. However I am looking forward to your arguments!

I believe that's all I want to bring up right now. You say God exists, I say he doesn't. I've presented plenty of evidence that supports logical, realistic, highly possible alternatives to the primary "only God could do ____" claims. Remember, thousands of Gods once existed, when natural phenomena were "unexplainable," - at the time, considered supernatural. What is the main thing our species does not understand now? Well, we know how the Sun and Solar System cycles work. We understand how weather works. We understand how gravity works (for the most part.) However, we still aren't 100% on the beginning of time - very similar to not being 100% on lightning, for example, it's common to make up an answer to keep us happy - and that *temporary* answer is God, like it has been for every other unexplainable thing. The more we can scientifically understand, the less we need the idea of God. That's how it's been throughout history. It's just a matter of time until the last few Gods for each religion (and in general, as we're debating about now) fade away, as we discover more and more answers about the Universe (in the totality of existence sense).

Thanks a lot for the first round, talk to you in a bit, hah.







Debate Round No. 2



The definition of the term ‘universe’ is extremely important in this debate, since it conveys what is meant by the term ‘universe’, and of what God is the cause according to this hypothesis I present. Thus, for the purposes of this debate, I am defining the universe as all of spacetime, energy, matter, and antimatter, and everything present within the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time [6].

Furthermore, when I referred to God as ‘supernatural’, I did not mean it in a “spiritual sense”, as my opponent implies--rather, I meant it in a metaphysical sense, i.e. God is not predicted by physics.

R1) The beginning of the universe

There exists a scientific consensus that the universe began to exist. The primary idea that supports this is the standard Lambda-CDM model, which is the most widely accepted model in Big Bang cosmology [1]. The standard model is most likely since it provides the best and simplest explanations for the presence of the CMBR, abundances of light elements, and the accelerating expansion of the universe [2]. According to the standard interpretation of Big Bang cosmology via. the Lambda-CDM model, time itself likely began with the initial expansion of the universe [3]. The ‘prevailing model’ suggests that the universe’s age is approximately 13.8 billion years [4][5].

Rejection of the prevailing model will result in rejection of the scientific consensus, and there is much evidence that the prevailing model is true--the presence of the cosmic microwave background, the homogeneity of energy in the universe, galactic evolution, observation of hypothesized dark matter annihilation, and the accelerated expansion of the universe [2]. The prevailing model leads us to believe the universe did have a beginning in time. This, coupled with study of cosmological redshifts via. the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, allows us to conclude the universe began to exist. Physicists Audrey Mithani and Alexander Vilenkin write, “[There are] three candidate scenarios which seem to allow the possibility that the universe could have existed forever with no initial singularity: eternal inflation, cyclic evolution, and the emergent universe. The first two of these scenarios are geodesically incomplete to the past, and thus cannot describe a universe without a beginning. The third, although it is stable with respect to classical perturbations, can collapse quantum mechanically, and therefore cannot have an eternal past.” [7]

Four of the world’s most prominent astronomers describe the Big Bang event in these words: “The universe began from a state of infinite density. . . . Space and time were created in that event and so was all the matter in the universe. It is not meaningful to ask what happened before the Big Bang; it is like asking what is north of the North Pole. Similarly, it is not sensible to ask where the Big Bang took place. The point-universe was not an object isolated in space; it was the entire universe, and so the answer can only be that the Big Bang happened everywhere.” [8]

Thus, it is scientifically rational to conclude the universe began to exist, and the assertion that the universe is infinite is not backed by any of the models that support Big Bang cosmology in science. Con’s assertion that the universe never began to exist is unfounded, with almost no support in modern quantum mechanics, thus to conclude such a hypothesis is absurd in light of Big Bang cosmology.

R2) Causality is not required

Con asserts that the universe could have been created ex nihilo with quantum fluctuations. But a universe being caused by quantum fluctuations is not ex nihilo. Let me first explain a quantum fluctuation. A quantum fluctuation arises from a cosmic vacuum state by the annihilation of two ‘virtual particles’--a particle and its corresponding antiparticle, e.g. an electron and a positron--which then release energy that lasts for a period less than Planck time [9]. What is the quantum vacuum? The quantum vacuum is a place in gravitational spacetime in a vacuum state, i.e. a quantum state with lowest possible energy [10]. According to most physicists, the quantum vacuum is *not* empty, and contains energy [11]. Thus, vacuum fluctuations are caused by limited energy that is required to ensure no violation of the third law of thermodynamics [12].

Craig writes, in response to the idea that quantum fluctuations are uncaused, “The microstructure of the quantum vacuum is a sea of continually forming and dissolving particles which borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief existence. A quantum vacuum is thus far from nothing, and vacuum fluctuations do not constitute an exception to the principle that whatever begins to exist has a cause.” [13]

There are also major theoretical problems to the vacuum fluctuation model, especially with regards to production mechanisms of matter and its deep internal incoherence. According to such models, it is impossible to specify when and where vacuum fluctuations would emerge to cause universes, and gradually, universes will collide with each other and self-destruct [14]. Thus, vacuum fluctuation models fail to affirm an uncaused universe.


My opponent’s arguments relate to God not being required, thus is dismissed via. Occam’s razor, but I have debunked his assertions that causality of the universe is not required--there is a scientific consensus that the universe had a beginning, and there is no explanation of the existence of the universe except in a finite cause with properties that equate it to God. Con must not defend their arguments in the next round and only rebut my case.

Thus, I affirm. Over to Con.












12. Ralph Fowler and Edward Guggenheim. Statistical Thermodynamics, p 224.




Thanks, Tejretics.

I was never a fan of this format, but I guess I'll try and not scroll too far down to see what you said in regards to my arguments.

Regarding definitions, I see we've come to a mix-up regarding "Universe" and "totality of existence." I think it's fair if we stick to the original definition of the term "Universe" (13.8 billion years old, caused most likely by the Big Bang), and everything before or outside of the visible Universe shall be called "infinite" or "totality of existence." Considering most scientists (and people in general) refer to the Universe as everything inside the 13.8 billion year time period, I don't think it would make much sense in this debate to refer to everything outside of the Universe (energy, and whatever else...) as the same thing. I hope this is acceptable, as it's pretty much mandatory. There's the Universe - 13.8 billion years old - then there's infinite/totality of existence - everything before and outside of the Universe.


Right off the bat I went to point out who you're citing - William Lane Craig studied at Evangelical Universities, and his degrees are primarily in religious fields [1] - if you check out his Wikipedia [2], you see his "main interests" are Philosophy of Religion, Natural Theology, and Christian Apologetics. However he does have an interest in The Philosophy of Time (Eternalism [3]), this doesn't quite hold as much merit to any non-theoretical argument he presents. Although I still will dispute his/your arguments, I at least want you (and the people reading this) to understand that the main person trying to explain how Creation by God (which is unproven) is more possible than natural creation is someone who has primarily done research in a religious field. The people simply trying to find the origins of the Universe back their theories up with facts, and all have PhD's in science fields, physics in general, materials science, mathematics, astronomy, etc.

Saying "God created the Universe,* here's a theory taken from the Bible - an unreliable source - to support that," is a lot different than saying "The Universe was created by quantum fluctuations, here's mathematical proof that quantum fluctuations exist [4], as well as evidence that supports the idea that quantum fluctuations created the Universe, with evidence that supports the idea that beyond our observable Universe is simply infinity" (which is the fact that energy is infinite, tied with quantum fluctuations possibly creating a Universe).

*Side note - remember a time when God created just the heavens and the Earth? And when astronomers discovered other solar systems and galaxies and that there was more to be found than just Earth, all of a sudden God created the Universe? And we discover the Universe is billions of years old, and all of a sudden "well, one year doesn't necessarily mean one year today" or "the Lord works in mysterious ways." Or what about fossils? "God put those there to test our faith." And so on... my point is that when science and technology advances and discovers new things, all of a sudden "well yeah God did that too," or if they don't understand, "the Lord works in mysterious ways." Just like my previous examples of the thousands of different Gods basically dismissed because we discovered the reasons those natural phenomena occur, therefore no more God. Same with the most current and popular God - once we can actually prove (with scientifically testable evidence that pleases everybody) that the Universe was not created by God, and that there is no afterlife, I can guarantee the number of believers would drop. When there is no need for a God, there is no God.

Sorry about all that, now that we can see the difference between reliable theories backed with evidence and unreliable theories backed with faith, let's get back to what Mr. Craig has said.

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause - True
2. The universe begins to exist - The observable universe (13.8 billion years old), sure, let's just go with that. The Universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the Universe (13.8 billion years old) has a cause. - Sure, I'll run with that.

However, let's bring up your third point. Mr. Craig talks about the "Universe" in the "correct" sense, however he talks about the Universe as if there is nothing outside of the Universe. With science progressing more and more, like I've been saying, it is reasonable to believe that there is at the very least infinite energy outside of our observable Universe. Infinity does not have a beginning, nor an end. Nothing was the cause of infinity, therefore, saying "God created everything" is simply false. If we reword your own three points to accurately depict what science has discovered, backed with evidence, it would go something like this -

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. Infinity never began to exist.
3. Therefore, infinity has no cause.

Nothing created infinity. Crazy thing to wrap your head around, but it's infinity. It is forever. Quantum fluctuations, as I've shown before, are mathematically possible to create a Universe.

No God to create infinity. Quantum fluctuations to create the Universe.

Ontology, necessarily, possibility etc.

Okay... I was in a debate about the existence of God on this site before, and when my opponent brought this up, he hardly explained it and I pretty much had no idea what he was going on about. However you've explained it quite well, and I thank you for that.

The problem with this argument is that not a lot of people understood the human brain very well in the 18th Century. Please keep in mind that science advances; religion/faith does not.

Ideas come into people's minds without them ever being exposed to things that create that idea. Instead, we gather information from multiple sources to form an idea. I have never in my life seen a triangle-shaped green and blue and yellow and silver striped pickup truck with red tires, however I can imagine it and describe it in great detail to you. Does that mean I saw a triangle-shaped green and blue and yellow and silver striped pickup truck with red tires? No, it means I know what a pickup truck looks like, I know what a triangle looks like, and I know what those colours are, and I used all that information to create a new idea.

You're asserting that you have to see specific things exactly as you describe them from your imagination (or memory, according to you) in order to imagine them in the first place. Well... that isn't the case at all. How do you think the first of anything was created? The first telephone? Before that, telephones didn't exist, so nobody was able to create one from one they saw earlier. They took information they had gathered from multiple sources to describe and create it.

Let's very quickly tear apart the Ontological argument.

P1. If an idea is within cognition, it is either false or necessarily true. - I'm assuming we're talking about assertions of facts, for example "God exists." Then okay, you're on the right page.
P2. The idea of God is within cognition. - True.
P3. An idea of cognition is false if and only if it is imaginative. - True.
P4. God cannot be imagined. - Oh, but he can, and I'll explain how after.
C. God's existence is modally necessary. - No.

Going back to P4 - I can very easily dismantle this argument by showing that everything stated in the Bible was observable. The people who wrote about what God did and what God is were able to see everything they wrote about in person. The clouds, being Heaven. The stars, being galaxies (but referred to as stars). The land and water and sun and moon they claimed God created. Everything spoken about in the Bible was observable, and simply throwing "God created all that" in there doesn't say anything about God himself.

But what about God himself, you may ask? Doesn't Revelations say quite a bit about God's appearance? Well, it does and it's kind of a let down - he looks like an old guy. In a robe. Something plenty of people have seen.

If you can present a Bible verse that mentions something that no human was able to see, such as the Andromeda Galaxy and it's trajectory toward the Milky Way, considering God did create all that, then you would have a case. Or if you could present something on Earth that was undiscovered until recently (although not nearly as credible as something outside of Earth) then maybe you'd have a case. But the Bible depicts God as an old man with white hair, in a robe... Genesis, the very beginning, even says "God created man in his own image" basically, God looks human. That isn't "imagining" something, that's looking at another human and saying God look like him. Here's a link [5] that describes how ideas are formed, and they aren't exact recreations, like you're claiming, of past events.

So in a nutshell, an idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements. You're on the right track, but your idea claims that an idea is simply an exact recreation of something you've already seen or witnessed, which just isn't the case.

Okay, so... The Universe most likely had a beginning, but that beginning was most likely quantum fluctuations. The totality of existence did not have a beginning, as it is infinite, so it does not have a cause, and therefore was not the product of God. The human brain works with multiple forms of current knowledge to create a blend of all these things, and does not simply recreate exact past events, and does not require actual physical awareness of something for someone to describe that thing, but simply awareness of everything that makes up that thing.

Thanks, Tejretics, back to you.






Debate Round No. 3


C1) Kalam cosmological argument

Con accepts the universe has a cause, and rejects God as the cause of the universe. There is no reason to believe this. As mentioned, if the universe had a cause, the cause of the universe would have to be, sans the universe, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, causeless, and intelligent [1].

I do not deny that vacuum fluctuations may have caused the universe as we know it, i.e. caused the eventual expansion, etc. But vacuum fluctuations are a part of the universe. As mentioned, the quantum vacuum contains a finite amount of energy, and the universe encompasses all energy, including the quantum vacuum [2][3]. So, the question follows--what caused quantum fluctuations?

Con concedes that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and quantum fluctuations begin to exist from the quantum vacuum, which is a part of the universe. I have adequately defended that the universe began to exist. Thus, the quantum vacuum itself must have a cause [4].

We now require an ontological analysis of the properties of the cause. The universe encompasses all of time, space, energy, and matter. The cause of the universe existed before the universe, and sans the universe, there is no time, space, energy or matter, thus the cause would have to be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less. It is almost impossible to conceive of something that is timeless and spaceless, and there are only two possible things that can be timeless and spaceless--abstract concepts, and disembodied minds. Abstract concepts cannot conceivably cause anything physical, thus it would have to be a timeless, spaceless, energy-less, immaterial, and supernatural disembodied mind that caused the universe [5]. Additionally, it would have to be enormously powerful. God is defined as “a supernaturally powerful, transcendent cause of the universe.” This entirely fits the definition of God, thus it is logical to conclude that God likely caused the quantum vacuum even if the rest of the universe was caused by vacuum fluctuations.

As illustrated in the previous round, there are major flaws to the vacuum fluctuation model [6][7]. The vacuum fluctuation model would predict a multiverse, which is dubious due to inter-universal collision [8][9]. Con cites the paper of He, Gao, and Cai (2014), but Con entirely misinterprets their paper--the paper states that, via. the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, quantum fluctuations *could* have created the universe, but it doesn’t mean they necessarily created the universe [10]. And even if they did, the kalam cosmological argument successfully demonstrates that they were caused by God.

Next, Con asserts that I’m saying “God created everything”--this is a strawman. I never mentioned that God created everything, and Con quotes the Bible. I never mentioned once that I’m defending the God of the Bible--God created the universe. Infinity is an abstract concept, thus is not part of the universe. Thus, I do not, in any way, assert that God created concepts such as infinity. God caused the universe--that is all my burden of proof requires me to show.

The universe cannot have infinite energy, since actual infinities are metaphysically impossible. The concept of an ‘infinite’ is entirely potential and not actual. David Hilbert wrote, “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 to play is solely that of an idea.” [11] Hilbert’s Hotel and other such paradoxes seem to imply an infinite is paradoxical within the universe [12].

Thus, the universe had a cause, and that cause is God.

C2) Ontology necessitates God’s existence

Con’s rejection of P4 is entirely based on the Bible. The Bible is *irrelevant*. I completely accept that the Bible’s description of God is to appear and seem human-like, but I entirely reject the Bible.

The resolution is about a generic God, not the God described in the Bible. The only definition of God given: “the supernaturally powerful, transcendent cause of the universe.” Which means this definition of God does *not* include a description of how to imagine God.

This entails that God is a simple idea, and, as Hume notes, it is impossible to imagine such a simple idea, and one can only conceive of such an idea.

With the Bible, Con has used a straw man to dismantle this argument, and, thus, his rebuttals are logically fallacious [13][14].


C1: Kalam cosmological argument

The kalam cosmological argument is entirely justified by an ontological analysis of the cause required. Con accepts the first three propositions, and then rejects the ontological analysis with no basis. I have also demonstrated that quantum fluctuations emerge from the quantum vacuum which is a part of the universe, thus God must have created it, and demonstrated that an actual infinite cannot exist. Thus, the kalam cosmological argument necessitates God.

C2: Ontological argument

Con challenges P4, albeit using the God of the Bible, who is *irrelevant* to this debate, which does not concern such complex visions of God. A non-described simple God, as with the definition, completely fulfills all premises, and the conclusion entails that God exists.

R1: The beginning of the universe

I have shown that the Lambda-CDM model and Big Bang cosmology entail that the universe did begin to exist, along with proper interpretations of quantum mechanics. The cosmological redshift and the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem also justifies the same. This shows that the universe did indeed begin to exist, contrary to Con’s assertion.

R2: Causality is not required

I have clearly demonstrated that quantum fluctuations emerge from the quantum vacuum, which contains energy, and, thus, is part of the universe itself. This entails that it would need a cause necessarily via. the causal principle, which Con also concedes in his response to the first premise of my C1. This means that quantum fluctuations themselves would have to be caused by God.


Thus, I have presented two arguments for the existence of God that Con has not come close to refuting, and have completely refuted both of Con’s contentions. Thus, the resolution is resoundingly affirmed. Vote Pro.

1. W.L. Craig and J.P. Moreland. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, p 194.




5. Ibid.



8. Ibid.

9. Christopher Isham. Creation of the Universe, pp 385-387.



12. W.L. Craig. On Guard, pp 80-83.




Well thanks.

Saying "I don't know, therefore God exists" is not very reasonable and does not help your argument. I want you (and the readers of this debate) to keep this in mind.

I also want you to keep in mind that what's "generally accepted in the scientific community" is not always right. It was once generally accepted that the Earth was flat, and you could fall off if you went over the edge. This debate is not about what is the most popular idea as to what happened before or to cause the Big Bang, this debate is about who can present the most reasonable, valid argument for their case. If something is "generally accepted," it doesn't mean it's correct, it means it's... generally accepted.

You explaining that the observable universe had a beginning is irrelevant, as I agree with you. My point is that whatever was before that and outside of the calculated 92 billion light year radius (540,833,534,332,891,911,238,367.931281 Miles) [1] of the universe, is infinite.

Here is an article that explains how infinity can be possible [2]. When we're talking about the creation of the observable universe, it is more reasonable to believe that the universe formed (by natural means) at a point in infinite space and energy, over the idea that it formed from nothing. Nothing cannot create something, and I'm assuming that's your point, so you're just blindly asserting God created something from nothing, however my point is "nothing" doesn't and never exist(ed). As I showed before, energy is infinite, so at the very least, our universe formed inside infinite energy and space. A large group of astrophysics discussed (somewhat) this topic in 2013 [3] and basically concluded that it's unreasonable to rule out the possibility of infinity. Considering it hasn't been "proved" to be "real," I can't assert that infinity exists, however it does line up and cooperate with pretty much everything on a grand scale.

There is a difference between the universe and everything else. A small article (that I recommend reading) explains this [4], and the realistic possibility that space and time is infinite, and our universe is one of an infinite amount of others in space and time. You say quantum fluctuations can only occur inside the universe, but this is a simple misunderstanding, as the universe does not exist of "everything," but is merely a bubble inside "everything." You practically admit that quantum fluctuations can occur in the universe (everything in existence, your definition), so therefore they can occur in actually everything in existence, as everything is infinite.

You claim your burden of proof is to prove that God created the universe. You misinterpreted the meaning of the "universe," and asserted that the universe is a finite bubble of space-time, when in reality, space-time is not finite, and extends further and earlier than our universe, and our universe is simply one of an infinite amount of universes [5] (see #1) in an infinite amount of space-time.

So to conclude the creation of the universe topic - You have not shown that infinity is impossible. I have shown that it is possible (although I have not proved that it EXISTS, I have shown that it is possible). By you not being able to prove infinity is impossible, you have not disproved any theory relating to the creation of the universe in the infinite space-time. Due to this fact, asserting that God created the universe (or even time itself) is simply incorrect, and is not backed by anything at all. You have failed to prove that God was the cause of the universe, as all you've done is assert that because we aren't 100% on what happened pre-Big Bang, it was God. That is not evidence nor proof supporting the existence of an intelligent being that is the supernaturally powerful, transcendent cause of the universe. All you did was assert that nothing existed before OUR universe, therefore it was God that created it. That isn't evidence at all, and most likely incorrect (about the nothing part - space and energy have existed forever).

"Thus, the universe had a cause, and that cause is God." - Like I said before, saying "I don't know, therefore God exists" is not evidence. You have failed to prove God's existence. Even if you could 100% disprove everything I said, your main argument is that because we don't know how the observable universe (or space-time, if you were able to prove it is finite) came into existence, it was God. That's nothing more than a theory.

Now, on to the ontology.

My apologies about referring to the Bible, however my point still stands, and you didn't even attempt to dispute it. I fully explained how *new* ideas are created, and although I see what you're getting at, that *simple* ideas are impossible to dream up over complex ideas, all I have to do to dispute your claim is explain how it was possible to come up with the idea of God "an intelligent, supernatural transcendent cause of the universe" without actually witnessing it. And I'll do that quickly, in one second.

First, let's quickly go over the definition of simple and complex ideas. As John Locke kindly puts, "though we all know what blue looks, no one could give a definition of it, so it qualifies as a simple idea" [6]. A cat is not a simple idea, as it is made up of colours, textures, motions, noises, etc. ....Dare I say it? God is not a simple idea, as it is made up of different qualities as well.

An unknown higher power. There, I did it. God is intelligent - something humans can grasp the idea of and conclude through experiences. Supernatural - simply beyond our levels of understanding nature and natural phenomena. Supernatural is a word used to describe something we can't explain, it isn't a "simple" idea. And finally, transcendent - being able to be outside of space-time is also not a simple idea, it's taking into account that we live inside space-time, and the possibility that before this existed, something else existed to create it. And of course the universe is not a simple idea. So God is in fact a complex idea, as there are many different parts that make the idea up, all which are obtainable from human experience.

If you assert that anything imagined is true or false, then infinity must be necessarily true. I'd even go as far to say Infinity is a simple idea, whereas God is a complex one, and according to your own logic, Infinity is more possible than God. I already explained how God can be imagined through human experience of different elements, but can infinity? Infinity does not have an end [7], therefore we cannot define where that end is. Infinity is not a measurable quantity, so we cannot define how much infinity there is.

Either way, you basically contradicted yourself with this argument. If God could exist, so could infinity, as both are ideas. So that basically negates your entire argument about God creating the universe, as space-time is necessarily infinite. However the thing that also kills this argument is that God is not a simple idea, as I've shown.


It seems as though you focused your entire anti-fluctuation argument on the premise that the observable universe consists of everything in existence, when in reality, it's more than reasonable to believe that the observable universe is, well, just that - only what we can observe - and there is most likely infinite space and time outside of (and before) the universe. You being unable to disprove this (and even if you were able to) shows that you definitely failed to prove the existence of an intelligent, supernatural, transcendent being. Asserting something exists because we aren't 100% on the answer has proved to be incorrect every single time in the past, so it's reasonable to conclude that the assertion of a God is simply a plug to fill the hole while we search for the actual answer. Here's something [5] to explain more about this, and although it does get into Christianity, it explains how ancient Gods have stopped being worshipped because there's no evidence for them, as well as reasoning behind the naturally occurring phenomena that the civilization was worshipping as a "God" when they didn't know what it was.

God is nothing more than a complex idea based on human experience. Infinity is more of a simple idea than God is.

Your two arguments have not helped the idea of God. Asserting that God created the universe because we aren't 100% on what was the actual cause is not evidence. On top of that, you failed to grasp that the universe could very well not be the only thing in existence, and there is space that goes on forever outside of our universe. I agree that our universe had a beginning, but space, time, and energy in general is infinite. And as I showed before, throwing God at an unanswered question has happened too many times in the past, and has been 100% refuted every single time. Your other argument makes the false assumption that God is a simple idea, when it is actually not, and can be imagined through personal experience with real life situations.

Thanks a lot for the debate, and thanks a lot to whoever got the time to read all this. I won't tell the voters to vote for me because I want them to make their own decision.








Debate Round No. 4
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
Thanks for the votes. Thank you for an amazing debate, @Mister_Man, though it wasn't my best and I'm a bit disappointed in myself.
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
Thanks for the feedback, Raisor. I think I didn't really give enough effort or thought to this debate as I should have. I found myself just not really caring enough as I usually do through parts of this and just wanting to get it over with. Kind of disappointed in myself but I'm still happy with some new argument I came up with, especially against the ontological argument.

Anyway, thanks again for the vote and feedback! :)
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
To add to my RFD:

There only seems to be substantive clash on two issues:

1) Whether the super-universe the Con argues about must have a beginning/is uncaused

2) Whether god is a simple idea

on 1 - I actually think Pro could do a better job explaining why the super-universe requires a cause. The R1 argument about why the universe can't be eternal doesn't apply to Con's super-universe. Pro has some decent counter arguments (quantum fluctuations collapse or something and a very brief and unexplained reference to Hilbert's paradox) but they weren't clearly applied and should have been honed to really cut Con's argument. Still Pro is doing a way way better job of selling his model of the universe as being most likely to be true than Con is.

on 2 - Con offers no clear criticism until the last round, which is a major underperformance by Con and as I said below, its enough to lose the debate. At the same time, to my eye Pro isn't making any argument for why god is a simple idea- he seems to just be asserting it. Pro also doesnt make an argument why simple ideas can't be imagined. But I guess its silly for me to point that out considering Con didn't attack these claims. Pro probably would have had responses if Con had.

So I thought Pro won on both arguments- clear vote for Pro.

Stylistically Pro is much clearer and organized. Con has some good ethos building jokes and humor but needs to firm up on organization and the technical side of argument.
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
Interesting votes, and a good read. Thanks, guys :)
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

Alright, lots to cover, so let's start with some overarching problems.

1. Rules

Yeah, it's pretty apparent that there's some friction over these, especially from the comments. Admittedly, there is some haziness between what functions as defense of case and what functions as offense, especially as there's some overlap between the cases. But when Con starts addressing Pro's case directly multiple times in the final round, this at least calls into question whether he's paid attention to the limitations placed on him in the final round. More on that as we get there, but it does mean that I'm accepting and dismissing certain arguments in R4.

There's also this other difficulty, which regards the definition of universe presented in R1. It seems to me that there's something of a disconnect between what the universe means to Pro, and what it means to Con. I'd address this on the debate itself, but since this is a rules issue, I think it warrants spending some time here. It's pretty apparent that Pro includes the universe as the totality of existence, whereas Con argues that there must be something beyond it (or multiple versions of it) that affects its inception. If Pro had actualy spent some time pointing to this particular problem, then the debate would end right here. As it stands, without a response, the most I'm able to do is slam Con with a conduct violation, but even that seems minimal to me.

2. New args in the final round

Another problem affecting Con's final round. I see several new rebuttals to points Pro had presented in previous rounds, and even if the rules didn't stipulate that these were problematic, I'd still be dismissing several points on the basis that they are disallowed in the final round. Again, more on this later.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 2)

3. Burdens

I'll admit, I'm a little baffled that burdens only come up in the final round, and get all of one sentence from each debater. It seems clear to me that Pro has the greater burden " if there are two equally likely options on the table in this debate, my vote goes to Con. Still, I would have liked to have seen some analysis here, especially from Con. When you leave it up to your judges, you end up with RFDs that ignore those burdens.

So, let's get into it then.

1) Kalam Cosmological Argument/Quantum Fluctuations

Con grants all three premises, and the first of the points under the resulting syllogism. And so this really isn't a question of whether the universe began " both sides agree it did, and there's even thorough agreement on when this happened.

All that's left is to decide what is the impetus for that beginning.. Since Con never really showcases a problem with Pro's use of God as his impetus, Con has three options of how to win this point: provide a means for the start of the universe that has at least as much support as Pro's, or tell me why Con's choice of God is inadequate. To the latter effect, Con only gives me one point, stating that God as the reason behind things has been proven wrong time and time again... but that's not a reason, in and of itself, to view Pro's argument as wrong. The possibility that maybe, someday, we will determine what was the impetus for the start of the universe scientifically and eliminate God from contention isn't really enough for me to say that God isn't the reason right now. It factors into my thought process, but it's not enough to do substantive harm to Pro's case.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 3)

The main problem with Con's argument is that, much as he gives me scientific support for his arguments, I don't have much in the way of means to go by. Con really only gives me one: quantum fluctuations. I'm not really given a reason to not believe in the neverending expanse of energy that exists outside our universe (though that produces a number of questions that probably should have been asked), but even if I do believe it in, the mere existence of that energy doesn't provide a means for matter to come from a lack of matter. I never see a response to Pro's argument that vacuum fluctuations are caused by limited energy. Somehow, a zone of limited energy is created, and that zone could then potentially expand. But, as Pro points out, there's no reason to believe that, under Con's argument, such a zone would form. He accepts that quantum fluctuations may be responsible for the expansion of that zone into a universe, but that's not a start, that's a continuation.

This is where I think Pro should have spent the vast majority of his time in R4, yet I only see the word "quantum" appear twice in that whole round, and without any response to Pro's arguments. You're right that you've presented plenty of good scientific evidence in support of quantum fluctuations, but that evidence clashes with your infinite space outside of the universe theory. You need to have those two in line, and Pro is drawing a clear wedge between them for me.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 4)

Thus, with only Pro's argument still in play, I'm forced to accept his argument that the specific traits he's drawn out are necessary for the formation of a universe. And I could stop here, since this necessitates that a deity of the sort Pro describes exists and created the universe. Even if his ontology point is wrong, I've got little choice but to accept his case right here. Admittedly, neither side spends any time weighing this against ontology, but this is where both of you spend the most time, and it's also far clearer than the ontology argument by the end. All the same, I will address ontology.

2) Ontology

Every argument Con makes to this effect in the final round is out of bounds based on the rules, which is too bad, since much of this argumentation is pretty good. The argument that God is a complex idea is brand spanking new, as is the argument that infinity is a simple idea (not to mention somewhat confounding). I'm not left with much from Pro, since he barely shells out this argument in R2 and doesn't spend much time here in R4. I didn't find it particularly convincing from the outset, since he lets his links do most of the explanation. I never get a basic analysis of why a simple idea is unimaginable, and it gets even weirder when Pro starts talking about how he's discussing a very generalized God. That concerned me a little, mainly because it invited questions of what the impetus for that God was. Why, for example, couldn't that impetus have been the various deities that mankind has concocted throughout the ages, and that we took from those complex ideas to produce a simple one that unites them? Pro really didn't explain why the concept of God started as a simple one and became complex, rather than the other way around.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 5)

But I digress. Since the only response that I can use from Con is a red herring (i.e. the focus on the Bible in R3), Pro's ontology argument remains relatively unscathed. It's still weaker than his previous contention, but it survives and functions as another reason to vote Pro. If Con's turn regarding infinity had come up in R3, this might have been a big deal for him, but it simply came up too late.


There's not much to say at this point. I vote Pro mainly because I feel that only Pro did enough to support his version of events. Admittedly, his support is basically all negative, but it still seems more plausible than Con's scenarios, which may be breaking some rules as well. Even if I bought that scientific evidence trumps all, it seems that that evidence is often functioning against Con, leading to some inconsistencies with his case that I simply cannot ignore. If Con had spent some time focusing on how God is itself inconsistent, then this would have been a closer debate.
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
The tilde of my vote is that pro is consistently clear in his explanation of his arguments while con struggles to make contact with the arguments of pro. My easy out is that con doesn't clearly articulate his rebuttal to the simple idea argument until the last round, at which point the argument is a new argument pro has no chance to refute. Since con concedes te ither premises of the modal ontological argument its a clear win for pro.

I am short on time I may come back later with more specific criticisms
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Rfd in comments
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 3 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.