The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Resolution: A creator of the universe exists.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,740 times Debate No: 22448
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (3)




Hello I am Sterling Contreras and I will debating the issue of whether a God exists. I would thank my opponent ahead of time for accepting. 16kadams is a conservative and I would like to thank him for coming here today.
Definitions(as per Oxford):
creator(as per definition 2):God
universe:the whole of space and everything in it, including the earth, the planets and the stars

This is the argument that is being made:
Pro:Must maintain that a supernatural being(ie God) exists
Con:Must maintain that a supernatural being is unlikely to exist.


My opponent has the BOP (see comments).

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Resolution: A creator of the universe exists.
Definitions are in the opening post. As per tradition, I have provided a reasonable set of definitions. My argument shall be lied out as follows:
I will debating two basic contentions:
1.There are good reasons to think God exists.
2.There are no good reasons to think God doesn't exist.
1. The Kalam Cosmological Argument as formulated by Dr. William Lane Craig
2.The First Mover Argument as formulated by St. Thomas Aqunias

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Premise seems to be intuitively obvious. Even quantum fluctuations, which many suppose to be uncaused, are causally conditioned in that they depend on the existence of a pre-existing quantum vacuum. As David Oderberg argues:

We are asked to countenance the possibility of the following situation: the nonexistence of anything followed by the existence of something. The words “followed by” are crucial — how are they to be interpreted? What they cannot mean is that there is at one time nothing and at a subsequent time something, because the nonexistence of anything is supposed toinclude time: to say that at one time there is nothing whatsoever is self-defeating because it is to say that there is a time at which nothing exists — hence something did exist. But it is hard to see how else we are supposed to understand “followed by”; or when the denier of the causal principle says that it is possible for something to come from nothing what are we to understand by “from”? Again it cannot have a causal sense because something is supposed to have come into existence uncaused. All that appears to be left is a timeless contradiction — the existence of nothing and the existence of something. [1]

Premise number two:
Premise 2

If premise (2) is false, then it follows that the universe never began to exist. But, if the universe never began to exist, then the number of past events must have been actually infinite in duration. This assumes that the existence of actually infinite sets in re is possible. But if in fact actually infinite sets cannot exist in reality, then (2) must be true.Several types of arguments can be advanced in favor of this thesis.
Hilbert's Hotel

Suppose that we have a hotel with an actually infinite number of rooms and that an actually infinite number of guests arrives. The manager easily accomodates the guests, and that's that. But now suppose that another guest arrives. "No problem!" says the manger, and he moves the guest in room #1 into room #2, the guest in room #2, into room #3, and so on. In a flash, the fully occupied hotel suddenly has one more room. But how can this be? The hotel was already full!

Now suppose that an actually infinite number of new guests arrives looking for rooms. Without breaking a sweat, the manager moves each guest into a room that is twice his own. As a result, all of the odd numbered rooms become vacant, and the guests are accomodated without issue. But again, how can this be? The hotel was already full prior to their arrival! But now suppose that all of the guests in the even numbered rooms check out. It would still be the case that the hotel had just as many guests as before. In fact, with some re-arranging, the manager could turn his half empty hotel into one that's jam-packed. But how can this be?

Hilbert's hotel is rightly absurd, and it illustrates the absurdities that could result if actually infinite sets did exist in reality. Because mathematical operations involving actually infinite sets lead to contradictions, they cannot exist in reality.

It must be noted that since there is nothing prior to the cause of the universe, it cannot be explained scientifically, as this would imply the existence of antecedent determining conditions. Because there are no prior determining conditions, the cause of the universe must be personal and uncaused, for how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect? Moreover, the cause must transcend both matter and time to create matter and time. Finally, in order to create the universe ex nihilo, this cause must be enormously powerful, if not omnipotent. One is warranted in concluding that therefore, God exists. [1]

My next argument is the thomistic first mover:
The Thomistic First Mover

The great Catholic thinker, philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas summarized his cosmological argument in the Summa Theologia. In this theological masterpiece, St. Thomas writes five "ways" that we can know God exists. His first three ways deal with the cosmological argument:

St. Aquinas argues that there are things in the world in motion (this simply means that things are changing) and that whatever is in motion must have been put in motion by another thing in motion. Aquinas holds that, "whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another," and that, "this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover." Hence St. Thomas argues that in order to eliminate the infinite chain of motions, there must be a first mover and source of all motion, God.
The second way is very similar to the first. It argues that," In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible." By this he means that any thing, circumstance or event cannot change itself, but can only change something else (concept of efficient cause). Since there is a string of causes in which the string cannot be infinite (see premise #1), then all causes must attribute themselves to a first cause: God.
The third way also argues using the notion of a chain of causes. St. Thomas notes that things in our world owe their existence to something else in the world. Aquinas calls this the way of "possibility and necessity," meaning that all things made possible, necessarily attribute their existence to some pre-existing thing. Only God can be the source of all things since he is a being having its own necessity and does not need a pre-existing thing to cause him to exist. All things existing can trace themselves in a chain back to God.[3]
    1. Every being (that exists or ever did exist) is either a dependent being or a self-existent being.
    2. Not every being can be a dependent being.
    3. So there exists a self-existent being
  1. Thank you and I eagerly await your response.
[1]1. David S. Oderberg, "Traversal of the Infinite, the “Big Bang” and the Kalam Cosmological Argument", Philosophia Christi 4 (2002): 305-36
[2]Timothy Hsiao




The majority of my opponents arguments lie on the KCA, and this is the main premise I need to refute to win this debate so it seems. I will refute the premise in order.

Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause

This is false, as many things begin to exist without a cause. Look at quantum fluctuations, these energy particles form temporarily OUT OF NOTHING. [1] Odd isn't it? This here cripples the argument, as many things that come to be now do not need any cause. Also may I add it is quantum fluctuations that have created the big bang, this right here shows the universe needn't have a cause. [2] As this is the case, we can now assume the universe needn't have a cause! This means the whole KCA is fully refuted.

Premise 2: The Universe came to exist

I agree, but this proves nothing with P1 refuted.

Premise 3: Therefore the universe has a cause

As stated, the thing that created the big bang was a quantum fluctuation, which can spontaneously spawn from nothing. As the big bang created the universe, and its cause comes from nothing, the universe needn't need a cause. KCA refuted.

--> Hilbert Hotel

My opponents case here is relating to the beginning of the universe, and infinity. May I first add, for this argument to be sound infinity must exist. As the universe is finite, infinity cannot exist. To do anything infinitey, there must be an infinite amount of time. As there is a finite amount of time, infinity cannot exist. As this is true the argument is invalid, as the argument is meant to be in era of current time (well current as in universes existence).

Second, the premise also claims there is nothing to start the universe, as nothing exists, therefore some omnipotent being must exist. Once again this is false as the big bang created the universe, [2] and the things that created the universe (quantum fluctuations) can become to exist out of NOTHING. [1] This proves the universe needn't have a omnipotent godly cause.

The Thomistic First Mover:

I will refute each premise:

Premise 1: Every being is either a dependent being or is self existing

This first assumes we have a god. As I will prove in this debate, we do not. And the main argument is nothing is in control of its own movement, my opponent has actually written the wrong argument. [3] But basically the argument is the first mover is the thing that creates all movement, and we are dependent. So for my opponent to win this argument he must disprove free will, and that things can come out of nothing[1], and as he has not done so the argument is invalid.

Premise 2: Not every being can be a dependent being

My opponent has provided no justification for this. So my argument will be of similar quality: Every being is dependent. (shouldn't the word be independent here?

Premise 3 is not needed for refutation.


~P1~ God is all loving and powerful, and if this is true it is impossible evil could exist.
~P2~ There is evil in the world we live in.
~C~ Therefore god cannot exist

P1: God is all loving and powerful, and evil cannot exist logically under this

As I have stated the bible says many times god is all loving and powerful. [4] Of this is the case then why does evil exist? Evil in our world is unavoidable. Example: I dropped a rock on my foot, and I allow an excruciating surgery to fix it, but it could be considered evil. People get killed every day, tune into the news. Recently there was an ohio shooting, [5] and that is considered evil.

"on the face of it, the idea that God may well permit gratuitous evil is absurd. After all, if God can get what He wants without permitting some particular horror (or anything comparably bad), why on earth would He permit it?" [6]

Gods existence seems logically dis-proven on this point as as he wants to prevent and protect us, why would he permit its existence?

P2: There is evil in the world we live in.

This point is not deniable. There is evil in the world we live in. The bible itself concedes the point that we have all sinned in the face of the lord. [8] There is murder, rape, robbery, assault, stealing, cheating etc. I expect I need say little more on this point as it is pretty much a fact, and little need be said more about P1 as evils compatibility with god is zero.


My opponent has the BOP, and has not fulfilled it, and I have refuted his arguments and disproved god. Vote CON.


[4] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995
[6] Howard-Snyder, Daniel, and Frances Howard-Snyder. 1999. "Is Theism Compatible with Gratuitous Evil?" (accessed through PDF)
Debate Round No. 2


As I said before I will be defending two basic contentions:
1.There are good reasons to think God exists.
2.There are no good reasons to think God doesn't exist.

I will first attack my opponents case then proceed to defend my own.

My opponent's makeshift Problem of Evil.
My opponent seems to think that the Problem of Evil is a attack on a creator, but(even though I will refute this) it has no bearing on this case, whether the Creator is bad or good is irrelevant in this debate. The problem of evil only is applicable if we are talking about a Judeo-Christian god but the resolution only says creator therefore it is irrelevant. Furthermore, even if it were applicable, because of human cognitive limitations, there is no sound inductive argument that can enable one to move from the premise that there are states of affairs that, taking into account only what we know, it would be morally very wrong for an omnipotent and omniscient person to allow to exist, to the conclusion that there are states of affairs such that it is likely that, all things considered, it would be morally very wrong for an omnipotent and omniscient person to allow those states of affairs to exist. A second way of attempting to show that the argument from evil does not even get started is by appealing to the proposition that there is no best of all possible worlds. Here the basic idea is that if for every possible world, however good, there is a better one, then the fact that this world could be improved upon does not give one any reason for concluding that, if there is an omnipotent and omniscient being, that being cannot be morally perfect.[1]
Defence of the KCA:
My opponent simply attacks premise one but as Timothy Hsiao notes in a debate of his: "he confuses epistemic indeterminacy with ontological indeterminacy. That science isn't able to furnish a clear causal scenario does not mean that the event in question is uncaused. Indeed, it is likely that this inability is merely epistemic. If the causal principle really is false, then why does causal indeterminacy (Understood in an ontological sense) only happen at the quantum level? There should be no reason not to suppose that it can also be true on a macroscopic level. It is thus more likely that there is indeed a cause, but our inability to detect it is only an epistemic limitation that does not have any ontological implications."[2]
He concedes premise 2 therefore if he cannot raise further objections then the KCA is unblemished. But lets assume that the objection is correct, if it is correct than "We can simply recast the argument in inductive form, arguing that the conclusion has a higher probability than its negation."[2]
Attack on Hilbert's Hotel:
Cross apply from defence of the KCA.
Thomistic Cosmological Argument:
My opponent attacks this but really this is not the first mover argument just a atypical thomistic argument so even though I needn't defend it since I still have the first mover argument standing I will anyway.1. The existence of something is intelligible only if it has an explanation.
2. The existence of the universe is thus either:
a. unintelligible or
b. has an explanation
3. No rational person should accept premise (2a) by definition of rationality
4. A rational person should accept (2b), that the universe has some explanation for its being.
5. There are only three kinds of explanations:
a. Scientific: physical conditions plus relevant laws yield the Event explained.
b. Personal: Explanations that cite desires, beliefs, powers and intentions of some personal agent.
c. Essential: The essence of the thing to be explained necessitates its existence or qualities (for example, if you ask why a triangle has 3 sides, I would respond that it is the essence and necessity for a triangle to have 3 sides by its definition.
6. The explanation for the existence of the whole universe can’t be scientific because there can’t be initial physical conditions and laws independent of what is to be explained. Event the Big Bang theory fails to explain the existence of the universe because modern science cannot explain where the original Big Bang singularity came from. The universe as a sum total of all natural conditions and laws cannot be explained unless we have an Archimidean reference point outside the system.
7. The explanation for the existence of the universe can’t be essential because the universe cannot exist necessarily. This is because, it could have been possible for the universe not to have existed (if the Big Bang had been slightly different it is possible for large-scale structures to not have existed). Thus the universe is not something the must necessarily or essentially exists.
8. Thus a rational person should believe that the universe has a personal explanation.
9. No personal agent but God could create the entire universe.
10. A rational person should believe that there is a God.[3]
Thomistic First Mover and Other arguments made under this label:
My opponent has dropped the three arguments above the simplistic argument. If follows logically that he agrees with them or didn't notice. I would ask my opponent to answer the arguments or concede them.

I have fulfilled my BOP, and I don't believe that either of my contentions are touched. Thank you and Vote Pro.

[2]Timothy Hsiao



My opponents refutation is actually a refutation to a wrong argument. As this is the case, I will extend the argument of the POE.

He claims I said god was "evil", when I said nothing of the sort. My argument was simple, god is against evil, he has the power to defeat evil, if this is true there would be no evil, there is evil, therefore god exists.

My opponents argument totally lies off of my saying "god is evil", with other references as this would be immoral, and unlikely. This was not the argument, it was god is unlikely to exists with other things in existence (like evil). Basic argument is god stands against evil, and is morally perfect, all knowing and all powerful, therefore he would prevent all evil. As evil exists we can assume god does not exist. [1]

As my opponent has not refuted the actual POE that I presented, my case stands 100% intact, therefore I should win this debate, as my BOP is filled. Now, if I make an room for doubt in multiple arguments of his, or even just attempt to refute them, I should already get a con vote. My opponent has not refuted the argument of:

~P1~ God is all loving and powerful, and if this is true it is impossible evil could exist.
~P2~ There is evil in the world we live in.
~C~ Therefore god cannot exist

Therefore my case stands.


My opponents refutation is my argument lies on I used an epistemic argument. For those who do not know who this is this is an argument based off of knowledge and science. [2] As my opponent is refuting an argument on the existence of the universe, (my argument) I will again counter with more of this, then refute his actual premise.

As I believe I have proven god has no creator and some things require nothing to start, correct? As it is highly philosophically possible for everything to come from nothing, and therefore everything has a cause. [3] The basic argument for the KCA, the everything must have a cause. But, may I ask, if things can come from nothing, then isn't it viable for things (the universe) to come from nothing? Theists, much of the time, deny this premise. Then it can be countered if everything can not come from nothing then how did god come along? It's a very long cycle that is highly pragmatic.

So, now instead of making my old arguments again I will actually refute my opponents claim of we are measuring in our fields. My opponents argument is lying on the assumption that some type of entity exists, and god must explain my argument. [4] But this is faulty, as this fist assumes god is the cause for all, and also assumes god exists. As you have no refuted my argument, god does not exist. (it stands 100%)so for the purpose of this debate the argument you have presented is invalid.

My opponent thinks me conceding premise 2 is giving up the whole argument, which is not the case as premise 1 is the most important one. Premise 2 is simply the universe exists. Premise 1 is the one assuming everything has a cause. As I have proven not everything needs a cause, the whole argument comes tumbling down. Lets take out premise one, and see if it is valid:

-Universe began to exist
-The universe has a cause

This does not add up. Me conceding point 2 is ok, as point two is only valid if premise one exists.

P is invalid unless Q is proved along with it. As Q was refuted P is invalid, and C is now false.

--Hilbert's Hotel--

He essentially dropped this argument.

--Thomistic Cosmological Argument--

Oh so I will refute my opponents arguments in order:

2(a) and 2(b), 5(a), 5(b), 5(c)

My opponents first argument is an unintelligible argument is invalid, yet forgets 2(b) is also unintelligible, as the supernatural under most definitions is unexplainable. So as 2(a) and (b) fall under the same category one must now see what is logical. I have proven many things, the things that come from nothing, create the universe. As these things are spontaneous, there is no need for 2(b)'s explanation to be god, rather quantum fluctuations deciding to create the big bang. My opponents only argument here is false, as 2(a) and 2(b) are both the same if god is defined as a supernatural all powerful being. So his argument here is false.

He then breaks things into categories, I ill make is 5(a), science, 5(b), personal, 5(c) essential. My opponents argument actually leads me to the conclusion of 5(a) is correct, the way he words it. As I have stated throughout the debate things without a cause with scientific proof have created the universe, therefore the argument in 5(a) is valid to this very moment. His 5(b) is a baseless assertion based on PERSONAL, may I repeat PERSONAL belief on the way the universe was created. 5(b) is based off of no facts and as the way he worded is just a feeling. 5(a) trumps 5(b). Now 5(c) is the universe has some essential aspect to it. This too is flawed, as our existence is not essential, rather luck in my theory, or a privilege in his. 5(a) trumps 5(c).

My conclusion to this is any rational person would agree with 2(a), and 5(a).

---> My opponents perceived dropped arguments

My opponent claims I dropped 3 of the arguments of the 6 in this category, but if you read his case he summarized the arguments in the end into 3 broad points, in which I refuted. It was very helpful to me, as it was easier for me to read every time I looked over. As I refuted this premise, and then went and basically refuted some of the details in the middle of my mess, I have refuted this argument.


My opponents refutation to the POE was not the refutation to the actual POE, and therefore 100% of my argument (case) stands, and I have heavily refuted the KCA, and this round sealed the deal for the last argument. He, indeed, dropped arguments (by accident, we all do it). He dropped the POE (misinterpretation), the hotel (I understand, but they do not fully cross apply), and therefore has not fulfilled his BOP, which he said he had in the comments before I accepted. As my opponent did not fulfill the BOP, and I refuted his arguments, I urge a CON vote.


Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
The argument that quantum fluctuations are caused by the vacuum itself (as a necessary cause) fails. If there is no sufficient cause, then there is no causal chain, and causation is not talking place when these virtual particle pairs pop in and out of existence. If a rock skips across a lake uncaused, it wouldn't make sense to say the Earth caused it to happen simply because without the Earth, the event couldn't take place. The Earth would only be a necessary cause in that situation if there was also a sufficient cause, but if the event happens without a cause, then the Earth obviously cannot be a necessary cause. Quantum Mechanics definitely undermines/ falsifies the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Also, a finite temporal duration of the universe does not mean an absolute beginning....Look up B-Theory, no-boundary proposals, and the arguments from Philosophers Richard Swinburne and Adolf Grunbaum about what it means to "begin to exist".

The Kalam Cosmological Argument, is simply not very good.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
I think last round made me win.
Posted by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
thank you but I believe the justification for the vote is based on personal opinion
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
just because your losing is not a reason to get counters. I will get a vber to give you a vote wait a sec
Posted by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
This is getting ridiculous was no one else watching. I clearly won. LOL Jk 16kadams, I still would like a counter vote bomb on this guys.
Posted by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
What I am saying is that subjective perspectives are unreliable. Thats the point. Thats the whole reason that the POE fails.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
you would like to see evil? You never want to see evil.
Posted by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
not nessariarly, and we never debated a judeo christian god. Also, if liked to see evil and how it works...
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
if he thinks we where evil we would have not been created, he would likely classify us as overall good. Also, if the story of jesus is correct he also proved he cares for us.

This is why I never debate religion, all reasoning on both sides is circular, and a semantics trap
Posted by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
Not all of are alike. But lets grant that. Morality objective. Then one could claim that our subjective perspectives of morality are flawed compared to the objective morality of God therefore God's good could be humans subjectively flawed evil.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by WriterDave 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not refute the argument from evil as stated by Con; Con poked enough holes on Pro's case to overcome prima facie.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter VB. Doesn't matter if you hate the KCA, vote on the debate. Pro defended the KCA well. Con made an argument against classical theism, not a creator of the universe. Con sought to add a definition to creator that was not agreed upon in this debate. For that conduct to Pro.
Vote Placed by Idauntiles 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The 2nd of the two most basic contentions provided by pro is completely false. Also, the fundamental flaw in the KCA that makes me hate its very existence is the fact that when it's applied to God, it falls apart like a poorly constructed jenga tower. I sort of hate KCM and stuff like that.