The Instigator
Mestari
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
xxx200
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound - 3

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,503 times Debate No: 22703
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (4)

 

Mestari

Pro

Resolved: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound.

Rounds:

1. Acceptance only
2. Opening arguments
3. Clash
4. Closing arguments/clash

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (LCA)
  1. Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. The universe is an existing thing.
  4. Therefore the explanation of the universe is God.
I cite the The Nature of God by A.W. Pink [1] to describe the complexity of the Lord:

[F]rom a review of the perfections of God, it appears that He is an all-sufficient Being. He is all-sufficient in Himself and to Himself. As the First of beings, He could receive nothing from another, nor be limited by the power of another. Being infinite, He is possessed of all possible perfection. When the Triune God existed all alone, He was all to Himself. His understanding, His love, His energies, found an adequate object in Himself. Had He stood in need of anything external, He had not been independent, and therefore would not have been God.

He created all things, and that for himself (Colossians 1:16), yet it was not in order to supply a lack, but that He might communicate life and happiness to angels and men and admit them to the vision of His glory. True, He demands the allegiance and services of His intelligent creatures, yet He derives no benefit from their offices, all the advantage redounds to themselves (Job 22:2-3). He makes use of means and instruments to accomplish His ends, yet not from a deficiency of power, but oftentimes to more strikingly display His power through the feebleness of the instruments.

I ask readers to take note that we should rationally accept an argument as sound if the affirmation of its premises is more plausible than the negation.

Sources

1. http://www.pbministries.org...
xxx200

Con

i accept it.
Debate Round No. 1
Mestari

Pro

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
  1. Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. The universe is an existing thing.
  4. Therefore the explanation of the universe is God.

Premise 1

An Overview of Modality

Modality is a typology of argumentation that bases its premises in the contingency or necessity of their content. Something is necessary if it could not have failed to exist. The laws of mathematics are necessarily true; it seems reasonable that mathematical truths such as one plus one making two hold true irrespective of how the world may function. The world could exist in the exact opposite manner as it does now and one plus one would still make two. God is also a necessary being, a being that logically could not have failed to exist. It is in the very nature of God that he essentially possess all compossible perfections. Necessary existence is in itself a perfection, and thus God must possess it. That is to say that the very nature of God necessarily explains his existence.

Something is contingent if it could have failed to exist. Most things exist contingently. Each human might not have existed, their respective parents may not have met or may have opted not to have children. Thus, our existence is contingent. The universe appears to exist contingently as well. It seems that the universe may have developed in such a way that the planets were created in different positions, with different respects to habitability. The stars we observe may have been blindingly bright or too dim to see. The Earth itself may not have come into existence. As the universe is contingent, it cannot explain its own existence, for if its own nature entails its existence then it must have necessarily existed.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

The Principle of Sufficient Reason claims that all contingent beings must have explanations. I will defend several arguments that support the PSR.

First, it would seem that the PSR requires no defense. All evidence gathered by our sense perception seems to support the universal and undeniable affirmation this principle. Indeed, if we admit the first premise to be invalid, then there seems to lack any logical reason that things do not simply pop into and out of existence. However, it appears that there is no evidence to prove that this happens. For every existing thing there must also be an explanation of its existence.

Allow me to present further another argument in support of the PSR:

P1. The PSR holds reality to be rational.
P2. It is irrational to suppose reality to be irrational.
C1. It is irrational to deny the PSR.

I believe my opponent will agree to both premises of this claim. If he shall not, however, I will provide defense in the next round.

There is one final argument I would like to propose in support of the PSR: The Explanation of Negative States of Affairs. I feel this argument is best articulated by Alexander R. Pruss [1] in his book The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment:

Here is a pattern of explanation we all accept [...]“Why did the yogurt fail to ferment? It failed to ferment because none of the usual explanations of fermentation, namely, the presence of bacteria, were there to explain it, and there was no unusual cause. Why did the dog not bark? It did not bark because no stranger approached it and none of the other possible causes of barking caused it to bark.” These are perfectly fine explanations, and they are not elliptical for longer explanations, though of course they are not ultimate explanations since one may ask why no stranger approached the dog.

In these explanations, we explain a negative state of affairs by noting that the positive state of affairs that it is the denial of lacked an explanation. But now observe that this form of explanation presupposes a PSR, at least for positive states of affair, for if such a PSR does not hold, then one has failed to explain the negative state of affairs. If it is possible that a dog should bark without cause, then in saying that there was no cause for the dog to bark we have not explained why the dog did not bark. We may have explained why a nonbrute barking did not occur, but we have not explained why a brute, or unexplained, barking did not occur.

Our acceptance of the preceding explanations as nonelliptical is thus a sign of our tacit acceptance of the PSR.

With these arguments, I hold that the PSR is sound.

Underview of Premise 1

It seems apparent through modal logic that things may exist necessarily or contingently. That which exists necessarily will explain its existence through its own nature. The same cannot be said for that which exists contingently. However, the PSR successfully provides that all things which exist contingently must have an explanation. Thus, premise 1 holds true.

Premise 2

Premise 2 is rather simple. If the universe exists, it must exist contingently as elaborated upon in the overview of modality. The PSR holds that all contingent beings must have explanations. The existence of a contingent being cannot be explained solely by other contingent beings, for those contingent beings would require explanations from other contingent beings ad infinitum. Thus, there must be a first cause, a necessary being that explains the existence of all contingent beings. Bruce Reichenbach [2] argues, "the necessary being cannot provide a natural explanation for [the universe], for we know of no natural, non-contingent causes and laws or principles from which the existence of the universe follows. What is required is a personal explanation in terms of the intentional acts of some eternal supernatural being."

Now, the argument is not that God must exist because we do not currently have evidence of natural, non-contingent causes but rather that the idea of natural non-contingent causes is irrational. Consider this: a completely material cause is the first cause. This cause, known as N1, or the first natural cause, sparked the creation of the entire universe. N1 is a necessary being because as previously explained, an infinite number of contingent beings cannot explain their own existence. N1 is the reason the spacio-temporal world as we know it was created. It is the reason matter came into existence. But how is this possible? How can N1 create space and time? By definition, natural beings require space to exist within and are temporal. Also by definition, natural beings are composed of matter. How can that which is composed of matter also account for the creation of matter? On the other hand, suppose P1 is a necessary, personal being and serves as the first cause. Now we can logically explain the creation of space, time, and matter because a personal being may posses the qualities of being eternal, and may transcend the physical. It's will allows for the creation of that which it is not, the physical world. As demonstrated a necessary, natural being that is also the first cause is logically contradictory. Due to the inability for it to be anything but God, God himself must serve as the explanation of the universe's existence.

Premise 3

I do not believe that this premise will be contested by my opponent. If he, however, decides to raise the question of whether the universe exists I will gladly provide evidence in the following round.

Conclusion

The conclusion that the explanation of the universe is God cannot be logically denied if the 3 premises in support of it hold true. Thus for my opponent to reject the conclusion he must ascertain the negation of any of the 3 premises of the LCA. Indeed, this will be a challenging task for my opponent and if I succeed in defending all of the LCA's premises I shall win this debate.

Sources

1. Pruss, Alexander R. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: An Explanation. 2006.
2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
xxx200

Con

i disagree with modality logic. it says that if something exist then it is necessary but if something failed to exist it is contingent.suppose x is a thing that exist for a span of 100,000 years.after that it will be no more. we call x during its lifetime that x is necessary but we call it after its cessation, contingent. so there will be a doubt as to what will be the true nature of x.is it a necessity or contingent? it cannot be both because necessary and contingent are opposite thing.

i also disagree with the necessity of mathmatical law of 1+1= 2 in any situation. you say that 1+1= 2 irrespective of how the world functions. but how do you know that? many laws of science changes during the current functioning of universe, nobody can predict what will happen when the functioning of the universe changes.

so the modality logic does not work.

since rest of your argument is based on modality logic, hereby i hold them false.
Debate Round No. 2
Mestari

Pro

Well, that was disappointing. Let's make this one short.

Modality does not claim that whatever exists possesses the quality of necessary existence and that whatever does not must exist contingently. That makes absolutely no sense because contingency in modality is a property of existence and as such, something that does not exist cannot be attributed a property of existence.

To clarify I would only like to rehash two key definition.

Contingent Existence - Existence that could have failed to exist, i.e. existence that is explained by an external cause. You and I exist contingently because our respective parents may not have met, or may have chosen not to have children. We could have, logically speaking, failed to exist.

Necessary Existence - Existence that could not have failed to exist, i.e. existence that is explained by the necessity of its own nature. The laws of mathematics exist necessarily. It would seem perfectly plausible that if the world existed in the exact opposite manner then two and two would still make four. A perfect being, or God, exists necessarily because necessary existence is an essential perfection and thus would be possessed by a perfect being. Take not that God's status as a necessary being does not offer proof of his existence. Necessary existence merely functions to explain why God exists, if he does. The LCA offers evidence for God's existence by means of argument to the contrary, in which no other explanation for the existence of the universe is possible. Note that necessary existence is equivalent to the state of being eternal. Something that exists necessarily cannot be created or destroyed.

My opponent also claims that the laws of mathematics do not exist necessarily. Let me point out two major flaws in this argument. First of all, he claimed that everything which exists must exist necessarily and that anything that does not exist must be contingent. Given this logic by rejecting that the laws of mathematics do not exist necessarily then they must not exist at all. His line of thought justifies the belief that one and one makes three. Next, we can evaluate his claim using the proper interpretation of modal logic. He states that we cannot know that if the universe functioned differently the laws of mathematics would hold true. I would claim that the laws of mathematics are by definition metaphysical properties that are true independent of any physical reality. The laws of nature could function in such a way that worlds pop into existence from nothing. One world popping into existence and a second world popping into existence would still, however, make two worlds.

Nothing else has been refuted. I am too tired to rehash arguments that my opponent did not respond to. Vote PRO.

xxx200

Con

xxx200 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Dude, mestari, you just got freaking pwned by this guy. I mean did you see his first round? When I aw it I was like "Woah there is NO way mestari is gonna revocer from this!".

And then after his final response, I was just amazed by how much win this debate carried. Con definitely did so amazing, that the utter amazingness of his arguments are too much too bear.

Mestari, shame on you for debating so horribly against this awesome rockstar of a debater who totally destroyed you in this debate.

/Endtrollcomment
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
That was disappointing.
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
You lost by 20 points? You are TERRIBLE bro.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Dont feel too bad. I got my @ss handed to me by him too

See: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
I know, I feel like I'm so outclassed. I'm really worried about his final round!
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Wow mestari, I think your opponent might be out of your league here by just a tad ;P
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
I really did not want to put effort into a debate that my opponent did not do he same for. However, I am interested in what type of argument you are proposing, so feel free to pm me for discussion.
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
You could combine temporal logic and modal logic to resolve the issue tat Con raised in a very rigorous and elegant way. No one with training in logic would consider it a serious problem (though it might take some effort to actually do it).
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
Somehow my response was still longer than my opponent's...
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
Aw you flatter me ;D
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 4 years ago
Sojourner
Mestarixxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Not surprised by the forfiet
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
Mestarixxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
Mestarixxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: All points to Pro for forfeit.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Mestarixxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Horrible spelling and grammar, arguments, lack of sources, etc. This was an embarrasment to read. Good job to mestari though.