The Instigator
kingcripple
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KhalifV
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Occam's Razor can successfully defend the existence of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
KhalifV
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 959 times Debate No: 58596
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

kingcripple

Pro

Rules and definitions

5 rounds

RD 1- Opening arguments & acceptance of rules and definitions

RDs 2-4 rebuttals and cross examinations

RD 5 closing arguments; no new arguments may be made, if any are made and not answered, no points deducted for not answering

Definitions:

Occam's Razor- The idea that the simplest answer is often the best

God- the God mentioned in the Christian bible

My opening argument:

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the greatest minds of our time. His laws of motion have explained a lot to us that we never knew. He was also a lay theologian. Newton happened to be a Christian. Actually he was a Catholic, which many protestants do not consider a true Christian. But he believed in God and he believed in Jesus and loved them. So for the purposes of this paper, we will call him a Man of God, or a Man of Faith. He believed that religion and science could coincide. I happen to believe the same thing. Only, I came this realization through a different means. A few years ago I was watching an episode of Law & Order SVU and the episode dealt with a family of Christian Scientists who had a son with cancer. Christian Scientists rely only on prayer for healing and shun doctors. At the end of the episode the son who had cancer had a relapse and the cancer came back more aggresively. He was sitting on a bed in the hospital when Detective Stabler came to see him. I will never forget the boy's words: If God made everything and everything He made was good, then he would have had to make doctors too. That immediately struck me as true. Doctors are essentially scientists. They research ways to heal people and they help people. So in this sense, religion and science go hand in hand. It also goes hand in hand when trying to explain the existence of the universe. I don't believe you can have one without the other. An explanation of the creation of the universe cannot be fully explained by science alone, as it cannot be explained by religion alone. That being said, if I absolutely had to pick one over the other, I would err on the side of religion.

I have had many an atheist criticize me and other Christians for believing in creationism. They say it does not adequately answer the question of how everything came to be. This is why they tout evolution and the Big Bang. They feel it definatively explains how the universe and humans came to be. I submit that it did not come simply by magic as the scientific atheist seems to claim. There was a big explosion that created the planets and stars. Where did this explosion come from? What caused it? I like to use the illusion of a ladder. You start at the top of the ladder and work your way down. Each rung down is what caused the previous thing. What caused the big bang? What caused the thing that caused the thing that caused the big bang? And so on and so fourth. The ladder may be longer for some people or shorter. Eventually everyone is going to be stumped. At that time the wise thing for these supposedly hyper intelligent scientific atheists to do is to admit at least the POSSIBILTY of the existence of God. That is how I personally prefer to approach debates with atheists.

But there are the Christians who are content with simply saying that the universe was created by God without any further explanation. And as much as I, a Christian, hate to admit it, they have a point. The point is supported by Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor is the idea that the simplest explanation is often the best explanation when explaining a phenomena. And when an atheist asks a Christian, "How was the universe and everything in it created" the simplest answer REALLY IS "God did it". So therefore, according to Occam's Razor, is the best answer. The best answer should be accepted.

I have been told that this is not the "simplest" answer, but rather the "most simplistic". The term simplistic is what is called a pejorative. A pejorative is essentially an insult. When the scientific atheist resorts to making an insult, he loses all credibility.

Finally we can explain the "how", and by a small default the "what", either using my method or Occam's Razor, the "where" and "when" do not matter. But what about the "why"? Does science explain why the universe was created? Absolutely not. However in Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Warren gives an explanation on the why: Because God wanted to. Again this is the simplest answer and if we refer back to Occam's Razor, being the simplest answer, it is the best answer.
KhalifV

Con

Thank you to pro for debating this with me.
I'll be arguing god is the opposite of Occam's Razor and furthermore the god of Abraham can't logically exist.
Pro has 2 points:
1.God is the simplest explanation
2. Everything must have a cause

On The KCA: KCA(first cause): This is a terribly presumptuous argument.
It presumes:
1. Everything has a cause
2. The universe has a cause
3. The universe has a transcendent cause
Axiom 1 is false. In quantum physics particles come in and out of existence with no cause.
Axiom 2 might be true. I will elaborate on axiom two in my discussion of plausible cosmological models.
Axiom 3 is so absurd that it ISN'T EVEN FALSE. One could never know if the universe has the transcendent cause; it isn't even testable.
This violates Occam's razor.
If it is true everything has a cause and the universe has a cause, then why can' the universe be the cause of its self.
Saying the universe has a transcendent cause raises unneeded questions that CAN'T EVER BE ANSWERED.
Axiom 3 does not follow from 1 and 2.

Christianity/ Theism Is A Poor Cosmological Model:
Theistic Cosmology basically states god created the universe. This is not a good cosmological because it is excessive and it not testable. It also makes no predictions and this is because there is an infinite degree of flexibilty. Any theist could just say "god made the universe that way".
Theism's series is as follows: X(god) --> X -->Y (universe).
A much more simple and rational series is: X(universe)-->X. (assuming there is a cause).


Self Contained Models Of The Universe:
-The Oscillating Universe
This is a self-contained model in which the universe evolves from a big bang, then expands and expands and then collapses upon it's self and then re-expands. This model is perfectly self-contained and no god is needed.

-Hartle Hawking
A boundless self contained universe model in which a creator is unneeded.


QET:-
Any universe that is described by quantum mechanics with non-zero energy and a time independent Hamiltonian is eternal in both arrows of time.
The point isn't that any of these are the right model, rather that there are self contained models.

semantic Incoherence:God in the Christian religion is defined as: Omniscient, omnipotent, omni-benevolence, immaterial, volitional.
These are mutual attributes.
Lets first examine free will(volitional) and omniscience.
A. If god is omniscient then he knows everything.
B.If he knows everything then he knows his own future.
C.If he absolutely knows his own future then he can not change it(because he would have known he would change it, thus being apart of his original plan).
D. Therefor god can not be omniscient and volitional.
God's actions are determined.

-Omnipresence and eternality/ infinite being:
It is also agreed that god is eternal and given god has omnipresence, it follows that god has been present everywhere forever. It is accepted that the universe has existed for thirteen point seven billion years, but given god is eternal, god existed prior to that. However it is also accepted that there was nothing before the universe, so it follows that god was present everywhere when nothing existed. It logically follows at that time god was nothing. This is often avoided by saying god exists outside of space time. For this to be the case, the word exist would have to be used in a way that is completely different from its usual definition. If one was to say god existed before time, it is the same as saying god existed for no unit of time, and in the general usage of the word exist, if something exists for no unit of time, it doesn't or didn't exist. In regards to space, the same problem arises; if god was to exist before space, it is the same as saying he existed in no space, and consequently if something exists no space, it does not actually exist. It can still exist as an abstract concept, such as numbers, but the definition of god is that god actually exists. The implications of god's omnipresence is contradictory to the concept of god.

Hell and Omnibenevolence:Hell is a huge problem. Now I will concede that if my agnostic atheism has harmed anybody, or caused me to harm anybody and god thinks I need to be punished, then fine, but not forever. The point of a punishment is to bring about more well being for the individual later. What greater good can possibly come from someone being in hell forever? NONE. "God has all wisdom. He works everything out for the good of his people ", obviously not, because eternal suffering is to no one's greater good. What does this say about the character of individuals in heaven? They can manage to enjoy themselves, while countless people burn in agony. Let's add god's omniscience. An infinite amount of years ago god was aware of your birth, death and fate. Propose you end up in hell, god knew this for all eternity, yet he let you be born, only to suffer, and yet he is going to fault you, even though he knew you would reject him.This is not a characteristic of an omni-benevolent god.

The problem of evil:
God exists.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.
An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils.
An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence.
An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God, then no evil exists.
Evil exists (logical contradiction).
Evil and god as described by theism can not logically co-exist.

Gratuitous evil possess an even bigger problem. Babies born with cancer is no one's free will, it naturally occurs. How can one reconcile this? NO


the watch maker and design:
Now the watch maker argument assumes design is an apparent attribute one would assume.
If there's a watch, someone who knows what a watch is would infer design, but one with no concept of a watch, would most likely conclude that the watch is naturally there.
Also how do you come to the conclusion the universe is designed. We have not experienced other universes to compare it to.
With the argument from design you encounter an infinite regression.
If anything with intelligence comes from prior intelligence, then god must have been designed. Is god not intelligent?
It is absurd to argue everything intelligent comes from prior intelligence but the most intelligent being conceivable doesn't.


-On low probability events and chance,
Any single event can take an infinite set of infinite sets of probabilities.
Given probability is on a scale from 0-100, but between these is an infinite set of infinite sets of probabilities it is impossible for an event to fall outside of this range.
Any event can naturally happen.
Low probability DOES NOT mean impossible.
Supernaturalism.
. The universe or multiverse or omniverse is all that there seems to be.Given we live in a natural world, and experience events in this natural world, we should expect natural causes for events in this natural world. If an event occurs and a natural cause is not found, it can be we don't yet know the cause or that there is not a cause(which is possible via quantum physics. However let's propose that there is a supernatural cause; is that even comprehensible? We live in a natural world, and all events we experience take place in this world, so if there is a cause outside of the natural world, it would have to come into the natural world to cause anything, does it then follow that it becomes a natural cause? Yes.
If there was a supernatural cause, you couldn't know.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.universetoday.com...
http://www.preposterousuniverse.com...
http://rationalwiki.org...
http://plato.stanford.edu...
http://www.theopedia.com...
http://www.scientificamerican.com...

Conclusions: Pro must demonstrate that it is even possible for his god to exist, given the contradictions that arise from the attributes.
He must demonstrate everything needs a cause despite quantum physics.
He must figure out some way to detect the super natural.



Debate Round No. 1
kingcripple

Pro

My opponent seems to not understand the resolution at hand. The resolution is Occam's Razor Defends the Existence of God. My opponent makes barely a mention of Occam's Razor in his argument and then proceeds to make arguments that are not relevent to the debate. In reading his argument, he states things that are very complicated for your average person to understand. I myself am not a scientific mind, but that in no way makes me a simpleton as many scientific atheists would have you believe. Again, Occam's Razor states that the simplest answer to a phenomena is often times the best. The best answer should be the accepted answer. As you can see, my opponent has made things anything but simple. Therefore his scientific reasoning should not be accepted as truth. With that said I will not attempt to touch many of my opponent's points because:

A. I have already in the previous paragraph explained how he complicates things with his scientific reasoning.

B. A lot of what he says has nothing to do with the resolution brought on by me.

Axiom 1, Everything has cause, is false

This can easily be remedied by my assertion that God created everything because he wanted to. It is simple and to the point. Occam's Razor supports this.

Axiom 2 has the same answer. The cause for everything, the universe, as stated by Pastor Warren in The Purpose Driven Life is, for God's enjoyment.

Axiom 3 AND my opponent's claim that Theism is a poor cosmological model because there is no way to test it, is false, at least to a point. Though my opponent says there is no way to have a transcendent universe, there ARE ways to test God's transcendence. Christian's know what atheists do not. And that is that God is not a phyisical being, but a transcendent one. [1]A transcendent God follows three criteria: Self-revolution, Authoritative, and Miraculous. In order to test these three criteria, one would have to read the bible which is riddled with evidence of these three criteria.[2] In order to disprove the Bible, one would have to first disprove the existence of God and the easiest way to do that would be to disprove the Bible as truth. And again, in order to disprove anything in the bible, you would need to disprove God. You would be a dog chasing its tail. It is just pointless.

My opponent talks repeatedly of God's omnicience. Is first two points on this are true:
A. If God is omniscient, then he knows everything
B. If He knows everything he knows his own future

Everything else just falls apart from there. Ofcourse God knows everything. Ofcourse he knows his own future. It is stated plainly in the bible.

Lastly I will touch on the problem of evil. This is a tough one that is hard for even some Christians to understand.
Does God want to prevent evil? Yes[3]
Does God know how evil came to be? Yes[4]
Does God have the power to prevent evil from coming? Yes

Consider 2 Peter 3:9. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but that all come to repentance[5]

My opponent also should explain, since he brought up the problem of evil, how he defines evil? Where do morals come from exactly? The atheist cannot do that. The atheist cannot explain morality simply because there is no atheistic basis for morality. [6]

1. http://carm.org...
2. http://carm.org...
3. http://www.rationalchristianity.net...
4. http://www.josh.org...
5. https://www.biblegateway.com...
6. http://carm.org...
KhalifV

Con

Ok my opponent has utterly missed the point. In order for something to be able to be defended by Occam's Razor, that something has to be POSSIBLE. I have effectively shown that the Abrhamic god can't exist.

Pro says: "here did this explosion come from? What caused it? I like to use the illusion of a ladder. You start at the top of the ladder and work your way down. Each rung down is what caused the previous thing. What caused the big bang? What caused the thing that caused the thing that caused the big bang? And so on and so fourth. The ladder may be longer for some people or shorter. Eventually everyone is going to be stumped."

Now his argument is that everything needs a cause. Once again, this is false. In quantum physics, particles come in and out of existence with no cause.

Pro says: "Axiom 1, Everything has cause, is false
This can easily be remedied by my assertion that God created everything because he wanted to. It is simple and to the point. Occam's Razor supports this."

NO. This is not a solution. Even if pro's assertion was true, it would only establish things that have cause are caused by god.

Pro says:"Axiom 2 has the same answer. The cause for everything, the universe, as stated by Pastor Warren in The Purpose Driven Life is, for God's enjoyment."

First, I don't care what a non-cosmologist has to say about the early universe. Second, not everything has a cause.

Pro says:"Axiom 3 AND my opponent's claim that Theism is a poor cosmological model because there is no way to test it, is false, at least to a point. Though my opponent says there is no way to have a transcendent universe, there ARE ways to test God's transcendence. Christian's know what atheists do not. And that is that God is not a phyisical being, but a transcendent one. [1]A transcendent God follows three criteria: Self-revolution, Authoritative, and Miraculous. In order to test these three criteria, one would have to read the bible which is riddled with evidence of these three criteria.[2] In order to disprove the Bible, one would have to first disprove the existence of God and the easiest way to do that would be to disprove the Bible as truth. And again, in order to disprove anything in the bible, you would need to disprove God. You would be a dog chasing its tail. It is just pointless."
This is really just a bunch of nonsense. He makes an appeal to the bible. He says I neeed to disprove god in order to disprove anything in the bible. I think I have demonstrated god to be impossible given that he has not responded to the contradictions that arise from the traits.

On omniscience my opponent says:"My opponent talks repeatedly of God's omnicience. Is first two points on this are true"

Pro fails to mention the logical conclusion. God's actions are predetermined. If god knows his future 100%, then god has no free will. So if free will and omniscience are traits needed for the god we are talking about, then the god can't exist.

In regards to the problem of evil he says: "'
Does God want to prevent evil? Yes[3]
Does God know how evil came to be? Yes[4]
Does God have the power to prevent evil from coming? Yes

So god can and does want to stop evil, but he's just not.
This god is essentially lazy then. If he can and wants to but isn't,what's the point of him wanting and being able to?
And I'm a consequentialist. I'm sure my opponent will attack some strawman of consequentialism. I specifically embrace a kind of utilitarianism.

An external and omniscient cause can't exist: P1:Observers collapse quantum superpositions.
P2:An omniscient observer would observe all superpositions
P3:An omniscient observer would collapse all superpositions
P4:All superpositions have not collapsed
C: An omniscient observer does not exist.

Conclusion: Pro has not responded to the semantic incoherence of the attributes of the christian god.
Pro has not offered a refutation to any of the eternal universe models.
Pro has not demonstrated that the universe needs a cause.
Until Pro deals with the semantic incoherence, his god can't exist. The attributes are contradictory, so this god can't logically exist. I think we can conclude Occam's Razor does not favor his god, just on the basis that the semantic incoherence occurs. Not only is an external cause uneeded, but with the addition of my argument from quantum superpositions, I think I have demonstrated an external cause to be impossible.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://plato.stanford.edu...
(Also note that all of pro's sources are from christian apologetic websites. His info is biased.)
Debate Round No. 2
kingcripple

Pro

kingcripple forfeited this round.
KhalifV

Con

Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
kingcripple

Pro

kingcripple forfeited this round.
KhalifV

Con

Extend arguments
Debate Round No. 4
kingcripple

Pro

kingcripple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
True philosurfer, having a God in anything complicates it as God is a Magician and magicians are unpredictable.
Science depends on predictability, everything in science, hypothesis, Theory must be testable and predictable.
Put any reliance on a Magician into the Hypothesis and the Hypothesis is infinitely more complicated, as it becomes completely unpredictable.
Because the resultant, outcome depends entirely on the whims and temperament of the Magician at the time, you will have to ask the Magician what the outcome will be, but the magician could change his/her/it's mind at any time, destroying predictability.

So introducing a Designer/Creator/Magician God actually makes it Infinitely more Complicated.
Certainly not simpler as Pro tried to pretend.
Posted by KhalifV 2 years ago
KhalifV
why should I change my size and font?
Posted by philosurfer 2 years ago
philosurfer
A god concept is more complicated than the concept of god not existing at all. Occam's Razor is a principle of parsimony in which the simplest explanation(s) tends to be the right one.. God NOT existing is far less complicated and simpler..
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
I think my razor only follows Occam's principle.
It only cut the fattest and most complex hair, but left all the simplest, fine hairs.
Time to go shopping for a new one.
Posted by Sashil 2 years ago
Sashil
I would suggest CON to change his font and font size.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
kingcrippleKhalifVTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was essentially fallacious, but Con did not pick up on fallacy, instead attacked religion, but Pro forfeited, giving Con the debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
kingcrippleKhalifVTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff