My 100th Debate: God Exists
Debate Rounds (4)
Pro should present their arguments in Round 1 and waive the final round by posting simply "no round as agreed," to ensure an even # of rounds [as I'm not arguing in this round].
== Resolution ==
Resolved: God most likely exists.
(1) To exist is to "have objective reality or being."
(2) "Likely," as used in the adverb form here, is defined as "probably."
(3) The God referenced here is defined as "the intelligence behind reality," or "a mind that grounds reality."
== Rules ==
1. No forfeits
2. All arguments must be within the debate, but citations and end/footnotes can be in external links
3. No new arguments in the final round
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. For undefined terms, debaters should adhere to commonplace understandings that fit within the debate's logical context
8. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives their right to add resolutional definitions
9. The burden of proof is on Pro
10. Violation of any rules or any of the R1 set-up is an automatic loss
I thank my opponent for this debate as not only is it his 100th debate it is my 450th debate. I wish him good luck.
Contention 1: TA Arguement
St. Thomas Aquinas's theory on Teleologic which is the ultamate causes of objects or actions in relation to their ends. This is from the 5th of Thomas Aquinas's theories explaining the existance of God. His theory is bellow.
Contention 2: Kalam Cosmological Argument
The Kalam Cosmological Argument (which I'll start refurring to as the KCA in order to save space) was created by William Lane Craig and is a simple theory that I have bellow.
(1) Everything that began to exist had a cause
(2) The universe began to exist
(3) The universe had a cause
(4) If the universe had a cause, that cause is God
(5) Therefore, God exists 
The 1st premise is true by the very laws a physics as it is a law of Conservation of Mass it shows that Matter can't be neither created nor destroyed. Meaning the Universe couldn't have been spontanously created as Big Bang opponent Flyod has stated. These things are not spontanous here. Like why doesn't the Earth suddenly expload? This is because the laws of Physics binds and restrics nothingness so we can see that for one to question the first premise would be to question regualrity.
Now let us move on to the second premise here which is backed both by scientce and philosophy. Craig agrues the Brode-Gruth-Velikum Theory that through the use of Red shift which shows that the universe is exspanding we can actually see that the universe, even if it is part of some multi-verse, still had to be created.  The philosophical side of this argument is that though many argue that the universe may be infinate the thing is that it is highly unlikely for things to exsist in an infinate chain and are thus had to have a starting finite point somwhere. Even if we look at Tyson's theory on how this universe started and that it is a multiverse we can still see that the universe, this one, had a beginning.
For the 4th Premise I will argue Monistic Idealism. Since it had a cause, the cause was transcendent meaning that it was timeless and spaceless. Only minds are from this sphere and if I can prove that God is a Mind/sphere then I win the debate.
P1 Mind is mental
P2 Nothing mental can interact with what is non-mental
C1 Nothing mind interacts with is non-mental
P3 Mind interacts with reality
C2 Reality is mental
P1: Mind is mental.
P1: IF mind is matter, THEN solipsism is impossible (exists in no possible worlds).
P2: Solipsism is possible (does exist in some possible world).
C: Mind is not matter.
Metaphysical Solipsism shows that all exists within our own minds. Though we may think there is a world out there it is all actually in our minds.  Thus a world has to exist within our own minds and there are several reasons why this is completely true. It makes perfect sense since it isn't prima facie impossible and thus must be accepted as a solid fact, not to mention that it is perfectably reasonable and a sound argement. If we can see that the mind was matter, then it would be impossible to exist appart from matter itself. Things that are Metaphysically impossible are not even imaginable. Can you imagine a Square Hexigon? No, such a thing is perposterous. We can thus see that Metaphysical solipsism is consitstant with Metaphysically possible. Here we have to apply the Indentity of Indiscernibles.
∀F(Fx ↔ Fy) → x=y.
This is reflected by showing that these things are distinguished by some differential, but in the case of, let's say clones for the sake of arguing, is just a replication of it's own molecules. This is centered on the basis that all things have an individualistic characteristic and in the case of God it is the existance of it's own mind and it's consciencousness that shows this. I shall give an example bellow.
There are 3 Sphere, Sphere A, B, and C
Each have the same qualities.
Each of these Spheres exist in world 1.
Sphere A exists in World 2, but Sphere B and C cannot due to their likeness characteristics. 
We can see that this is a logically coherrant case and thus is sound. We can also see that due to the theory of Truely Large Numbers that there is a great chance that this world is that of a Solipsism one as many studies have shown. (but that's for another debate)
P2: Seperate Substances cannot interact
I will now debunk substance and property dualism for this to be true.
This is best cleverly sumed up by the phrase "Mind over Matter" where they argue that there's escentially two distinct things: Mind and Matter.  Though the key question here is if the mind is seperate from matter than how does the mind and the brain interact? We would have to see in order for the consciousness and matter to interact there would have to be some sort of interaction. (See image bellow) The trap here is that since there is a linkage here we can see that there cannot be two seperate things since they would have to be interlinked. Thus the theory here is false.
So you may concede to the above dualism, but then you might say, alrighty, if that is true then the mind must be a property of the brain. Though if this was true then it would lead to epiphenomenalism and that there would be no free will since everything that we do would have been created by some reaction in the Physical aspect.
Though this is completely false as this leads to an interesting contradiction of itself. Say I weigh 180 lbs (not my actual weight, but it's an example), the property of me would be 180 lbs. Now tell me, have you ever gone outside or to the zoo and seen 180lbs? No something that weighs that, but the 180 lbs by itself? Thus we can blatently see that it is an abstract that exists only as a property. It can only exist as a property of something else.
If we remember my Solipsism argument from earlier we can see that the mind can exist by itself and thus it cannot be a property like the 180 lbs as the mind isn't a property thus it wouldn't be consevable much like the 180 lbs.
P3: Mind interacts with reality.
This almost seems like it's the most obvious here, so I'll try to not spend a whole great deal of time here. We can take many examples, but let's take pain for the greatest example here. I get hit in the head with a foul ball at a baseball game. Outside of the fact that I would probably have been KO'd we can see that the mind affects what I feel. I would feel a massive amount of pain and if it was great enough then I would lose consciousness and the mind would go dormant to protect itself and me as a person.
Thus the reality is mental and God has no choice but to exist.
Sources in Comments section.
In the television series House, M.D., the internist and nephrologist Dr. Gregory House -- famous for his skills in diagnosing rare diseases, especially infectious diseases -- uses “differential diagnosis,” a form of diagnosis used by multiple doctors in diagnosing patients. In differential diagnosis, the diseases that explain a patient’s symptoms are listed, and, based on a set of criteria, the possible diseases are narrowed down, and tested for. House always uses criteria such as Occam’s razor, using explanations with least assumptions; background knowledge, using explanations that are less rare; testability, since diseases with often-false tests have no point in testing for them; and so forth. This form of reasoning is called “abductive reasoning,” and is a critical part of the scientific method. It follows from a set of criteria to determine, among a set of competing hypotheses, which hypothesis is the most probable:
1) Principle of simplicity
2) Invokes fewer ad hoc explanations
3) Explains phenomena better (has greater explanatory power)
What am I arguing for? God is defined as the mind which grounds reality -- I argue that intelligence is a part of reality, therefore there is no mind to ground it; a position called physicalism. Let me analyze physicalism from each of the mentioned criteria.
(1) The “principle of simplicity,” or Occam’s razor, posits that, among a set of competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with least assumptions is most likely a priori.  The assumption of physicalism is simple -- everything is physical; a mind doesn’t exist. Physicalism -- and other forms of monism -- fulfill this criterion (as does idealism). So, physicalism and idealism are equally simple.
(2) I will defend the point that God’s existence invokes more ad hoc explanations by presenting two arguments in favor of atheism. With these two arguments, I shall:
(a) Make God’s existence less likely
(b) Force theism into invoking more ad hoc explanations to explain the phenomena
Minds are temporal: God is, by definition, an “intelligence behind all of reality.” This means, reality is contingent upon a mind that grounds it, and is external from reality. Therefore, God’s existence would hold that there is a mind outside of reality, an intelligent being sans the universe. We don’t have a quantitative understanding of intelligence, but we do know that intelligence requires a process of generating/gaining information. Any process, which involves a progression of events, is contingent on time. Without the universe -- and reality -- time doesn’t even exist, therefore there is no intelligence behind reality. This argument can be escaped, but it only adds to the number of ad hoc explanations invoked by theism.
Eternalism and an experience of time: The flow of time is an illusion, and there is no coherent distinction between the past, present, and future. This view represents a position called eternalism, the idea that we exist in a four-dimensional space-time block; our perception of time is an illusion. Past, present, and future all simultaneously exist, and time dilation (time travel) is metaphysically possible. This is affirmed by the fact that time dilation has been observed.  Further, the only explanation for the phenomena known as Andromeda’s paradox -- where there is a significant shift in time due to lack of absolute simultaneity -- is eternalism.  What does this entail for God? It is a known fact that humans experience temporal becoming, a form of progression of events; distinction between the past, present, and future. If eternalism is true, only non-conscious minds, contingent on brains, can explain it. 
(3) God is not required to explain any phenomena. All phenomena within the universe, and all observations, can be explained by what is “material,” without need for entities such as God, or minds that ground reality. Take the mind. Everything about the mind can be explained by what is natural. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Detailed psychological research . . . gave no indication of any physical effects that cannot be explained in terms of basic physical forces that also occur outside living bodies . . . since the only laws governing behavior are those connecting behavior with physical antecedents, mental events can only be causes of behavior if they are identical with those physical antecedents.” 
Now, onto the rebuttals.
First, the teleological argument. I argue that both premises of the teleological argument are false. The first premise is a hasty generalization. Pro’s example, e.g. a car has a builder, fail to prove that everything with telos is generated by intelligence. Take, for example, evolution via natural selection, which -- by means of a combination of random mutations and natural selection -- manages to produce telos. The second premise fails to provide an objective standard for telos. Telos is subjective. There is a distinction between telos that is prescribed and telos that is attributed. Pro merely attributes telos to things, but that is subjective. Pro must demonstrate the objective existence of telos for the argument to work.
Next, the cosmological argument. My objections lie with premise 1 and premise 4. Let me address each of them individually.
(1) The Conservation of Mass is a physical law, that applies within the universe. The Earth doesn’t explode suddenly because it is bound by the laws of physics. *Outside* the universe, there are no laws of physics, as there is no physical constraint. Thus, this justification fails.
(2) This premise isn’t even justified. First, Pro argues that the cause has to be beyond cognition, therefore is God. I still don’t see how this is an “intelligence,” or a “mind.” A cause beyond comprehension does not necessarily entail God. Further, the idealism justification fails, for the following reasons:
(A) I don’t see how idealism even links to the fourth premise. Pro doesn’t even *mention* the relevance of idealism throughout the whole idealism argument. This is irrelevant to justifying the KCA.
(B) The argument from solipsism only works if physicalism is true in all possible worlds. P1 is false, because the mind being matter in the actual world doesn’t mean the same is true in all possible worlds. The statement “mind is matter” is not logically equivalent to “mind is necessarily matter.” As such, there would still be a possible world where mind isn’t matter. Further, this argument is explicitly circular. This is because, if solipsism were metaphysically possible, necessary physicalism would be false. If physicalism is true in all possible worlds, then solipsism is not metaphysically possible. So the argument’s justification for solipsism being metaphysically possible has to presume that physicalism is false. Finally, Pro conflates logical possibility with metaphysical possibility, which has been contested.  Until Pro establishes this distinction to be false, the argument fails.
For these reasons, vote Con.
I would like to thank my opponenet for being as patient as he has been with me. Since my of my opponent's Opening arguments mix with my 2nd contention it will be addressed there.
Contention 1: TA Argument
"The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is directed by the archer. Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God." 
I began with a quote here from St. Thomas here to show the intensity of this argument at the point. Here St. Thomas argues that each thing on the planet has a purpose. No one really does not know they purpose, but there is something that directs us towards this. Of which this thing is related to God. We can also see that when we apply this to living or even non living objects that there is a direct morality argument being made whether we like it or not. This shows the fact that whether we like it or not there is an outside force acting upon us. My opponent brings up evolution and natural selection which, as he argues, shows that teleology would fail and there would be no designer. This is false though. Here I will counter will the Watchmaker argument. The Watchmaker argument is that once the universe and the creation was created then, like a watchmaker, walked away and let the technology go off on its own.  This was an Enlightenment idea that was to get people to improve soceity as since God no longer interfered with our affairs it was "our" job to fix the world that God had built. With this in mind we can see that with the creation of the universe and the world amongst other things, like the Watchmaker argument pertains. God left things along and left them to their demise. Does this leave room for evolution? Absolutely, even Pope Francis admitted that and it still works with this argument as well. We can see that this is simply pure Objectivism since we can both argee with a lot of these things as they are scientific fact and even my opponent agrees with a great portion of what I have to say here.
Contention 2: KCA
Though my opponent's argument is partially true, but it actually proves my own argument as it shows that since God opperates outside of the space-time continium which is the 4th demension as my opponent brought up earlier in R2. With this almost like concession it goes and shows that God can and did create the universe on that grounds as it opens up that door alone permitting me to automatically prove this premise without much difficulty.
A statement is a priori = one can see that it is true using pure reason and given an understanding of the meanings of the words in it. We don’t need empirical evidence to know that it’s true. A priori statements seem to be true necessarily.
A statement is a posteriori = our evidence for its truth is empirical, or based on data that we receive via sense experience.
My opponent states that everything must be physical and thus God cannot exist. However, this is completely false on the grounds that of simply looking at feelings. We must first observe that if these expirences were all physical that I would be able to view them in third person, but since I'm not able to do such a thing then we can see that these expierences aren't physical. We can see the very fact that all physical expierences are in third person, but since there are first person expierences we must also be able to expierence that are not purely physical. On top of that we can see that this is a posteriori. Not to mention that since God in this case is already a priori the Occam's Razor is bunk in this case, but even in showing in the most simplistic terms we can still see that God has to be a Mind and that is a driving ground for a great deal of things as we can already see how the Mind has affects on a lot of the surrounding world as my opponent has even agreed with. By this standard we can see that this would tend to result and agree with the current status quo of God having no choice but to exist. We have to continously acknowledge that since God is a mind that he works outside of the bounds of the current world, but that is completely possible as there can be a possible 5th dimension that we are unaware of which is where God exists, but we known that God exists outside of the spacetime continum which is that of the 4th dimension.
My opponent claims that the mind is matter and due to this then Solipsism is false, but my opponent is actually just confusing the mind is matter with the mind interacting with matter and reality. We can actually see that the mind, which isn't physical, can interact with reality, but let's take an interesting scenerio for a minute. Since it is Halloween I'll use a like example. Let's say you clone yourself. I don't mean just a twin, but everything like you in everyway, but it will be unable to have a consciousness. This is known as a zombie (excluding the decay and rotting corpse). We can see that it looks like you, talks like you, and it Physically like you, BUT it doesn't have the mind and hence not aware. Thus we can see that the mind is able to interact with reality, because if it wouldn't then we would all be mindless zombies like my opponent's clone in this example. Thus my argument stands.
1. Himma, Kenneth Einar (2006). "Design Arguments for the Existence of God", in James Fieser and Bradley Dowden, eds., The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved 8/24/08
3. Anselm, St., Anselm's Basic Writings, translated by S.W. Deane, 2nd Ed. (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Co., 1962
Pro drops my argument. The abductive reasoning argument, the argument from eternalism, and the argument from atemporal minds are all completely dropped. I extend those arguments, that make up much of my offense, and demonstrate that God most likely does not exist. The only small mention Pro makes is that Occam's razor fails since their arguments use a priori reasoning. But Occam's razor is an a priori principle in itself, so it specifically applies with a priori reasoning. Thus, presume Con.
Onto the rebuttals.
First, the teleological argument. Pro drops my objections to the second premise of the teleological argument, that made up the crux of my rebuttal. I argued that there is a distinction between telos that is prescribed, and telos that is attributed. Prescriptive telos is where telos actually, objectively exists, while descriptive telos is where we subjectively attribute purposes. All Pro has demonstrated so far is subjective examples of telos. Without objective demonstration that telos exists, it's impossible to discern that an ordering intellect exists. The watchmaker analogy is just garbage. It is overly circular in nature. The very premise, "[i]f telos exists . . . an ordering intellect exists," employs circular reasoning. The analogy of a watch is a hasty generalization. All Pro's examples are merely hasty generalizations. The moment those generalizations are applied to everything, then Pro *presumes* that everything requires an ordering intellect, i.e. that God exists. Two fallacies are employed, and telos is subjective. Further, Aquinas' argument is a bare assertion, and commits a fallacy of appeal to authority. Due to this fallacious reasoning, the teleological argument fails.
Pro drops the first premise of the cosmological argument. Pro's justification employed the Conservation of Mass, which I refuted by saying it doesn't apply outside of the universe, so the universe's causation cannot be limited by it. Extend this point, and the KCA is refuted.
Onto idealism. Pro is frequently contradicting himself, making absolutely fallacious, circular arguments that I just don't buy into. Pro presumes that the mind is separate from matter, and makes all justifications from there. I gave valid reasons -- from special relativity and abductive reasoning -- that the mind is a result of physical processes. Pro drops all of this. Pro then attempts to defend the solipsism argument against physicalism with a zombie argument. Note that this argument is *irrelevant entirely* to the solipsism argument. Pro doesn't even explain what the zombie argument has to do with solipsism. Pro's argument in favor of idealism says, "[T]he mind, which isn't physical, can interact with reality." Where does Pro get the justification for the mind not being physical? There's no explanation given, except the zombie argument. Now, to the zombie argument. The zombie argument explicitly contradicts with Pro's position that "reality is mental." It is an argument for substance dualism, which Pro argues against in the first round.
Further, the zombie argument is circular. The zombie argument says zombies are metaphysically possible -- i.e. beings with brains that lack qualia are possible. But they wouldn't be possible if physicalism is true. There's no justification for them being possible outside of "physicalism is false." They entail a logical contradiction assuming physicalism is true. Therefore, the premise that zombies are metaphysically possible presumes that the mind isn't physical, thus it fails.
I will refute the zombie argument using Keith Frankish's reverse zombie argument, a reverse of the zombie argument meant to refute the zombie argument.  The argument follows:
P1) If anti-zombies are possible, then consciousness is physical
P2) Anti-zombies are metaphysically possible
C. Therefore, consciousness is physical
What is an "anti-zombie?" Frankish explains:
I begin by introducing the notion of an antizombie. I shall call an object x a bare physical duplicate of an object y if x is a physical duplicate of y and has no further properties of a non-physical kind. Then we can define anti-zombies as beings which are bare physical duplicates of us, inhabiting a universe which is a bare physical duplicate of ours, but none the less having exactly the same conscious experiences as we do. That is, in the anti-zombie world consciousness is a physical phenomenon, supervening metaphysically on the world's microphysical features — in virtue of token identities. 
Therefore, the argument applies via the same logic of the zombie argument. A being with qualia that lacks non-physical conscience is possible, therefore consciousness is physical. The premises are based on the same justification as Pro. The argument doesn't prove physicalism in itself, but it merely shows the flawed logic of the zombie argument.
[Note: God's operating sans the universe does not prove their existence, and Pro entirely fails to explain that point, therefore it is a bare assertion.]
For these reasons, vote Con.
My opponent has defeated me in this debate and I have no choice, but to concede.
No Round as agreed upon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
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