The Instigator
Mestari
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

Resolved: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,122 times Debate No: 21838
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (64)
Votes (5)

 

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 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.

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I accept, present your case.
Debate Round No. 1
Mestari

Pro

It goes without saying for Rational_Thinker and I that the God we are referring to is a personal creator, more specifically one of the nature defined by Christian Theology; however, as Socalpinko indicates, a definition may be necessary for the readers. As such, 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.


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 [2] 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. 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 [3] 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."

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. http://tinyurl.com...
2. Pruss, Alexander R. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: An Explanation. 2006.
3. http://tinyurl.com...
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate.

Pointing out the fallacies in my opponent's arguments:

Regarding Premise 1:

An Overview of Modality

The deterministic model pretty much shows everything is necessary.

Determinism is a philosophy stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. This would in essence, make everything necessary and nothing contingent. [1]

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

The deterministic model applies to this as well.

"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"

The above is a bare assertion. That which can be asserted without evidence and reasoning, can be dismissed without evidence and reasoning.

Regarding Premise 2

"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."

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.

God of the Gaps fallacy. Just because you don't have an natural explanation for something at a certain point in time, doesn't mean you can just claim "That means God must have did it".

What is required is a personal explanation in terms of the intentional acts of some eternal supernatural being


This is a bare assertion fallacy. This is no reason why the cause has to be an eternal supernatural being, there are explantions involving a "cause" of the universe (M-Theory) that don't involve a supernatural being. The claim that a supernatural being is required is baseless.

Arguments against The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument being sound:

If one of the premises of the The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is shown to be most likely false

and surely fallacious, then the whole argument crumbles as an argument for the existence of God.

I'm going to defend three contentions in this debate.

1. The The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious

2. There are reasons to believe at least one of the Premises is not true, and these reasons are

stronger than the reasons for why it is true.

3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious, most likely false, and can be dismissed.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious:

What I'm going to do is address each premise to see if they are sound and logically follow.

"P1: Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own

nature or in an external cause."

Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence

This does seem logical enough based off current knowledge, so I will accept it.

...either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause

This is where I have a problem, there is no evidence that the explanation of a thing existing can be

an external cause, because objects exist due to the necessity of their atoms. A cause isn't a term

you can logically use to describe why an object exists, you can only use it to describe a situation

involving a change in form, or a rearrangement of things that pre-exist.

If someone asked "what
was the cause of the plastic cup's existence?", the lazy everyday answer would of course be"somebody caused it to exist ". The error in scientific logic, is believing that multiple things being rearranged somehow equates to a single new thing being added to exisence. Their was noadditional mass added to the universe due to the creation, no atoms coming into existence due to the creation ect....Basically, nothing actually began to exist that didn't already exist within the universe in some form or another due to something being created.

Now, if someone asked "what was the cause of the plastic cup's existence?", the nitty gritty

scientific answer would be "the plastic cup has no cause for it's existence, it exists due to the

necessity of it's atoms".

"P2: If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God."

The reason this premise is fallacious is because it just made the entire argument a non-sequitur.

Even if I were to grant you Premise 1, that explanation of God does not logically follow.

Also, the explanation of the universe could be in the necessity of it's own nature according to

Premise 1, so simply stating that God is the cause would be committing the bare assertion fallacy [2].

"P3: The universe is a existing thing."

Sure, no arguments there.

"P4: Therefore the explanation of the universe is God."

The problem with the conclusion, is that it can only be logical if it followed step by step from the

premeses. Now, even if I didn't refute Premise 1, Premise 2 would still be a non-sequitor [2] and a

bare assertion fallacy [2]. However, because I did refute Premise 1 and 2 I have clearly demonstrated that the argument is fallacious.


Additonal noticed fallacies:

The fallacy of composition

Claiming that because everything within the universe require causes, then the universe as a whole must require a cause is committing the fallacy of composition. [2]


The equivocation fallacy

Using the word "cause" to descibe both re-arrangments of material and the beginning of the exisence of a material is commiting the eqvivocation fallacy. [2]


There are reasons to believe at least one of the Premises is not true, and these reasons are

stronger than the reasons for why it is true:


M-Theory

P1: When there are two opposing theories attempting to describe a hypothetical cause, the one which can adequately describe the "how" is more likey true that the one which can only assert the "what" or "who".

P2: M-Theory describes the "how", God only asserts the "what" or "who".

P3: Based on all available knowledge, if the universe needs a cause, M-Theory is most likely true.

Also, Saying that a cause can be the explantion to the existence of something that didn't already exist prior in some form is most likely false for two reasons:

1) All examples of causes are either a force that acts on pre-existing things, or a rearrangement

of pre-existing things.

2) Causes don't bring things into existence.

Example 1:

If there was an asteroid coming to Earth and someone asked "what is the cause of the asteroid

being pulled into earth?", the answer would be "Gravity". Therefore in this case, a cause is a force

which acts on pre-existing things, it didn't bring anything new into existence.

Example 2:

If someone asked me "what caused the cup?", they would be using the word "cup" to describe a

peticular assembly of pre-existing things (plastic for example), not some new "stuff" being added to

existence. Even the plastic didn't begin to exist, it was made of pre-existing monomers that

pre-existed before the oil it was made from and so on and so forth. Once more, the "cup" (which is

only a specific assembly of pre-existing materials) exists due to the necessity of it's atoms in all

scientific reality.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious, most likely false, and can be dismissed:

Since one or more of the premises of the The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument was shown to be

most likely false and surely fallacious, then the whole argument crumbles.

Conclusion:

I said I was going to defend three contentions in this debate:

1. The The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious

2. There are reasons to believe at least one of the Premises is not true, and these reasons are

stronger than the reasons it is true.

3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is fallacious, most likely false, and can be dismissed.

I believe I have fufilled my burden.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is not sound.

Sources:

[1] http://www.informationphilosopher.com...;
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...;.


Debate Round No. 2
Mestari

Pro

I will first defend the LCA and then proceed to my opponent's case. As a request, I ask my opponent to organize all of his arguments against each premise under the premise itself rather than in 2 or 3 separate areas for the sake of both my own and the reader's comprehension.

Premise 1

An Overview of Modality

My opponent simply asserts that determinism solves for my argument. Determinism, as my opponent states, argues that every effect that is occurred necessarily occurs because of previous physical states. Determinism would claim that, for example, I do not think, rather neurotransmitters send chemicals to my brain that cause certain thoughts to occur. My opponent advocates an incompatibilist determinism that stands opposed to free will. I ask however, that my opponent first proves that determinism is a sound theory before asserting that it solves for my arguments. Once my opponent provides support for determinism I will engage it as a contention to be debated.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

Again I request that my opponent properly prprove determinism true before using it to blindly assert that my arguments are false.

"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"

The above is a bare assertion. That which can be asserted without evidence and reasoning, can be dismissed without evidence and reasoning.

My opponent claims that my defense of God as a necessary being is a bare assertion. This seems to be a rather shallow response to me, and quite misguided at that. It is in the nature of God that he is a perfect being, for if he were not then he would not be God. The argument as my opponent interprets it states that God must exist because he is a necessarily perfect being. However, the claim I am positing is that if God exists, or at least the God of Christian Theology that I am defending, then he be a perfect being and his nature would necessarily explain his existence. This argument does not prove the existence of God, but provides evidence for why he exists if he does. My evidence for God existing comes from the inability of an infinite series of contingent beings to explain their own existence, and the logical requirement of a necessary being serving as the first cause. This however is argued in Premise 2.

My opponent, in the second part of his rebuttal argues that external causes are impossible. What is meant by an external cause is something other than the contingent being itself. I exist due to the external cause of birth from my mother. I did not cause this birth, the birth is not a necessary part of my nature that entails my existence, but a contingent event that explains my existence. He goes on to assert that we exist necessarily due to our atoms. I ask you to refer back to my overview of modality. My opponent commits the fallacy of redefinition in that atoms are a prerequisite to our existence, but we don't necessarily existence in terms of modal logic. Necessary existence is that when cannot be logically denied. For atoms to entail my necessary existence as a human being, then the occurrence of atoms in the natural world would necessarily entail that I exist. By this logic humans should be sprouting off of the atoms found in rocks and trees. This is a truly absurd proposition.

My opponent's next refutation is that of the plastic cup. Sure, the plastic cup may be a rearrangement of atomic particles, but that arrangement was contingent on the creator's design. The existence of atomic particles, again, does not necessarily entail the existence of plastic cups. By the same logic presented in the previous argument, cups would pop into existence off of rocks and trees and out of the nitrogen atoms in the sky. My opponent simply resorts to the fallacy of redefinition with the words "necessary" and "existence." Don't be fooled by linguistics.

Premise 2

"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."

My opponent claims that I am committing the God of the gaps fallacy. I suppose we have yet another misunderstanding. My 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. You see, I am not committing the God of the gaps fallacy in defaulting to God as the first cause due to a lack of scientific knowledge, but because 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 be the answer.

This answers back my opponent's non-sequitar argument as well. Granted premise 1, the universe must have an explanation. As I've explained through my overview of modality (which is not definitely a part of premise 1, but rather an easy way to ease into it without leaving the audience behind) the universe exists contingently. My opponent claims that I have not proved that the universe could not exist by the necessity of it's own nature but my example of N1 clearly shows the absurdity of that claim. In the previous round I also acknowledged that you and I may not have existed if our respective parents did not meet. In the same way the universe may not have developed the way it did nor that it had to exist at all. My example of N1 and P1 shows that logically, God is the only non-contradictory explanation of the universe.

My opponent's next argument is that the first cause does not necessarily have to be eternal nor supernatural, are proposes M-Theory. I will arrive at this towards the end of the round.

Premise 3

This premise is uncontested. The universe is clearly an existent thing.

Premise 4

The conclusion follows if the premises hold true. I've reasonably supported the contested first and second premises of the LCA and my opponent has yet to provide adequate refutation. Thus the LCA is sound.

M-Theory

My opponent provides a logical argument in which you would prefer M-Theory to the LCA, yet fails to explain what M-Theory claims. My response is the same made to determinism. My opponent must not only explain his theories, but prove them to be true before they can be held as legitimate rebuttals to my arguments.

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I apologize if my arguments weren't formulated in the most organized manner, and will try to do better this time. Regardless, there are still huge flaws in my opponent's reasoning. My founded assertion of the Fallacy of Composition and M-theory are all I believe I need to win this debate (unless they go logically refuted of course).

Also my opponent claims that The LBA is an argument for why god exists if he does (whatever that means) and not an argument for the existence of God. This is false (cosmological arguments are inferring a God).


"The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause (or instead, an Uncaused cause) to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God." [1]


Premise 1

Pro made some good points regarding my "existing due to the necessity of it's atoms" claim and my bare assertion of determinism (which I apologize for), however this is in no way harmful to the overall point regarding Premise 1 which needs to be made clear.


The overview of modality and The Principle of Sufficient Reason could very well be true...It would still only be known to apply to parts of the universe, to assume they must apply to the universe as a whole once more, is committing the fallacy of composition (which my opponent didn't even address).


"It is in the nature of God that he is a perfect being, for if he were not then he would not be God."


I'm shocked at how fallacious this argument is, you can't define properties into existence without reasoning. What reasoning is there to believe God is perfect besides some random property applied to him? This would be like arguing:

P1: The girl down the street likes me
P2: If the girl down the street didn't like me, then she wouldn't be the girl down the street

Of course we can chuck out this argument.

"My evidence for God existing comes from the inability of an infinite series of contingent beings to explain their own existence, and the logical requirement of a necessary being serving as the first cause"

Being, Why? You have just asserted "God" without any reasoning. My whole point is if I were to grant you an external cause of the universe, what reasoning could you offer me that it has to be a conscious being instead of a “something”, or a force? This reasoning has not been provided by pro and was just asserted. You cannot logically jump from "external cause" to "conscious being" without reasoning. Regardless of what my opponent says, it's a non sequitur.

Re-cap

1) If I were to grant The overview of modality and The Principle of Sufficient Reason, it would only be for the parts of the universe, not the whole. Therefore is a fallacy of composition.


2) Pro asserts a being when a force may be more reasonable.


Premise 2

Now my opponent tries to argue against a material first cause, however I'm not arguing for a first cause (or even one that have to be made for material). I’m not even saying there is a cause, I’m just saying that even if we granted it, it would not logically follow to a conscious being. If someone wants to ask "what caused the cause" that's a different debate, I will only defend the proposition that if our universe had a cause, it was more likely due to what is explained by Physics than God.

"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."

Straw man. Who said anything about a first cause? It's very possible that what ever caused the universe (if anything) wasn't the very first cause.

"an infinite number of contingent beings cannot explain their own existence"

Why beings? I'm confused to my opponent's reasoning why he invokes beings and not non intelligent things or forces which is most likely the case? Also infinity may not be able to exist in our version of time, but maybe another.

"natural beings require space to exist within and are temporal"

Either my opponent is willfully ignorant or intellectually dishonest, because this is inferring supernatural beings without reasoning or evidence.

"Also by definition, natural beings are composed of matter. How can that which is composed of matter also account for the creation of matter"

Actually, M-Theory rejects the idea of a singularity as many cosmologists do. Matter didn’t begin to exist at The Big Bang under this model, also the membranes are composed of energy.

Basically, premise two is completely baseless for one reason:

If you granted a timeless, spaceless, all powerful cause of the universe (which I don’t, but for the sake of argument) this still wouldn’t indicate God. God is defined as an intelligence, a conscious being, who is capable of rational thought and empathy, however there could be a timeless, spaceless, all powerful field of energy which exists due to it’s own nature which can convert it’s energy to different types of universes outside of time, and therefore would not be bound to the problem of an actual infinity within time. Now, I don’t believe this to be true, I’m simply illustrating that my opponent has done nothing to present a case for anything conscious or thinking (which is what God is defined as).

Now I’m going to provide a quote to briefly describe M-Theory,I don’t quite fully understand it but that is beside the point.

“Proposed is a modification of gravity in M-Theory that could
successfully combine relativity and quantum mechanics by means of a
membrane (brane) theory of gravity. The force of gravity would be produced by
the curvature of our brane by the vibrations of individual strings of
matter in the three gravity dimensions of M-Theory. Gravity’s weakness
would be due to the size of our membrane relative to the Planck length
of an individual string...This theory allows for a direct method
of energy transfer from membrane collision to individual virtual strings
present within the brane at the instant of the collision. This explains the
creation of our universe without a singularity while keeping physics intact
throughout the big splash.” [2]


Now, M-Theory explains how everything in the universe came to be, it explains dark energy, gravity, matter, the whole show. It leaked from another dimension because of two membranes colliding, and this is backed up by perfect mathematics, and scientific logic based on evidence. There may be no testable predictions yet, but it certainly is the "lesser of two evils" when choosing a logical cause (if one is required) of the universe.


Logic behind the three premised argument for M-Theory over God


For example, when the police find a murder suspect, the “who” obviously is the basis. However, if there is no “how” or involved then there is no conviction of the suspect. Regardless, even if the “how” is known and the “who” isn’t, we still know exactly what type of murder took place. “Why” doesn’t help us understand as much about a situation as the “how”.

Also, people used to think Zeus willed lightning bolts into existence, now we know the complex science explaining them. People still think God willed the universe into existence....I may be as wrong as anybody else could, but I believe I have made a reasonable case for M-Theory.


In closing


I apologize if this debate is sloppy on my behalf, however all I need to do is show that two hurdles stand for my opponent.

Unless my opponent can:

1.Show that the principle of cause and effect comes from something other than parts within the universe, to avoid the possibility that Premise 1 of the The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is guilty of the Fallacy of Composition.

2. Demonstrate that a God explanation provides a better understanding as to how matter, energy, gravity ect. Got into our universe than M-Theory (because the “how” must be established by the theist’s side).

Then I believe I fulfilled my burden.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.branebrain.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Mestari

Pro

Overview

I do not claim that the LCA "is an argument for why god exists if he does and not an argument for the existence of God" as my opponent quotes me, quite out of context if may add. What I claim is that the nature of God's existence explains why God exists if he does, and the LCA explains that God exists. I would like to remind readers that in round 1 it was agreed that an argument should be accepted as sound if the affirmation of its premises is more plausible than the negation

Premise 1

My opponent's refutation of premise one has collapsed down into two separate claims.

Rebuttal 1: The Fallacy of Composition

I apologize for not touching on this argument in the previous round as I had reached the character limit as it was quite literally only developed as a one sentence blip. The fallacy of composition appears to be a very appealing rebuttal to my first premise; however, it is important to note that the fallacy of composition is an informal fallacy. Indeed, while the fallacy of composition may adequately explain some lines of reasoning, there must be an explanation as to why that reasoning is fallacious. For example, to claim that a wall made entirely of bricks is a brick wall is not in the least bit fallacious, although the conclusion was deduced through the same logic that would be refuted under the fallacy of composition. To reject the conclusion would be absurd and thus the refutation must be rejected in this case. In the same way, the universe's contingency may be explained through composition. Indeed, if the universe developed in a far different manner, would the nature of the universe's existence not have changed? If the nature of a being's existence may change, then we may conclude that it does not exist necessarily as necessary existence is derived from the nature of the being. We may also derive that the universe exists contingently without relying on composition. Let's look back at my overview of modality. Everything exists either contingently or by necessity of it's own nature. To have necessary existence, it must be logically impossible for that being not to have existed. It is no absurd to claim that the universe itself may not have existed. That proposition is perfectly valid. It is possible indeed that the universe as we know it may not have existed at all. This is reinforced by the M-Theory that my opponent proposes. This will be addressed later in the round.

Rebuttal 2: Bare Assertion

My opponent labels the second rebuttal as being that a force is more reasonable than a being but what is claimed in his refutation is that my explanation of God having the attributes he does is a bare assertion. I would claim first that the foundation of his refutation is based on misunderstanding. When I state that "It is in the nature of God that he is a perfect being, for if he were not then he would not be God" I am not claiming that because God is God, he must be perfect. If we refer to my definition of God, he is a perfect being. By basic substitution we can see at I am stating that it is in the nature of a Perfect Being that he is a Perfect Being, for if He were not then He would not be a Perfect Being. In other words, it would be logically contradictory to claim that a Perfect Being is not indeed perfect. This isn't the same thing as saying that because a Perfect Being is defined as such, he must be such. If God were not perfect, he could still feasibly exist, but we would not claim that he is God, he would be a near-perfect being. The conclusion that God is perfect, is a simple deduction arising from the validity of the LCA, so it is a separate debate altogether than what we are discussing. However, as my opponent still appears to be confused about why this follows I will formulate the argument here, but remember voters, this is a separate debate and should not influence your decision. Brandon C. Look [1] explains Leibniz's argument.

First, insofar as the first cause of the entire series must have been able to survey all other possible worlds, it has understanding. Second, insofar as it was able to select one world among the infinity of possible worlds, it has a will. Third, insofar as it was able to bring about this world, it has power. (Leibniz adds here that “power relates to being, wisdom or understanding to truth, and will to good.”) Fourth, insofar as the first cause relates to all possible, its understanding, will and power are infinite. And, fifth, insofar as everything is connected together, there is no reason to suppose more than one God. Thus, Leibniz is able to demonstrate the uniqueness of God, his omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence from the twin assumptions of the contingency of the world and the principle of sufficient reason.

If the LCA is sound, it cannot be denied that God is a Perfect Being. This also serves to point out the fallacious strawman my opponent makes in the previous round.

P1: The girl down the street likes me
P2: If the girl down the street didn't like me, then she wouldn't be the girl down the street

should actually be

P1: The girl down the street likes me
P2: If the girl down the street didn't like me, then she wouldn't be the girl down the street who likes me

Now, back to my opponent's second rebuttal of premise 1. My opponent begs the question of why the external cause of the universe must be a conscious being instead of a force. I would claim that the force first of all would be refuted by my example of N1 and P1 as plausible first causes of the universe, as it would by definition be a natural cause. Second, I would reinforce the logic of modality. My opponent "barely asserts" that a force could explain the universe without formulating an argument in support of the possibility of a force possessing necessary existence. Forces are by definition exerted energy, thus they would logically be the link between cause and effect, and not the cause itself. As such, not only would they fail to serve as a first cause, but their existence is contingent on some external being exerting them.

Premise 2

First off, an issue of clarification. When I state that, "an infinite number of contingent beings cannot explain their own existence" the term beings can refer to anything that "is." Anything that "can be" and is such, is in the process of "being."

Now, onto M-Theory. M-Theory fails to refute the LCA. Let's say for instance that we granted the soundness of M-Theory. The universe was caused by the transfer of energy from an external universe. Now, this would explain the existence of this universe, but simply begs the question of what caused the other universe. This also brings me back to the argument for the universe's contingent existence. If the universe was caused by another universe, then it is by definition contingent. But in the same way, we may ask what caused the other universe, and what caused that cause, ad infinitum. My opponent claims that M-Theory explains the how of existence, but only so for this universe. The energy transfer is coming from another physical universe. But again, the physical must be created by something immaterial in order to coherently exist. Matter cannot explain matter. Sure, the force of energy may have caused the existence of matter in this universe, but again forces are intermediary beings, they are exertions of (and thus contingent upon) other beings, and by definition cannot be the first and necessary cause of existence. As we can see, M-theory does not disprove God's existence, and is in fact perfectly compatible with it.

Underview

My opponent grants me the dual burden of circumventing the fallacy of composition as well as M-theory. I have explained the fallacious logic of the fallacy of composition and the compatibility of God and M-theory. As such, I have met my opponent's requirements for winning the debate. Again, for the LCA to be sound, the affirmation of its premises must be more sound than the negation, which I believe they are.

(Unnecessary) Source

1. http://tinyurl.com...
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

My rebuttal isn't going to be too long because it doesn't need to be, but just long enough to get my point across. My opponent formulates his arguments well (due to being familiar to this particular argument, which I have never heard of before this debate) but the arguments themselves fail. The LCA is presented as logical absolutes, therefore if one of the premises has not been shown to be logically absolute, then it is not logically sound as a statement claiming to be logical truth. Basically, it's false to claim that the LCA is sound because it represents itself as absolute logical truth because it doesn't use words like "most likely" and implies a must.


The Fallacy of Composition

My opponent claims that the LCA may be a fallacy of composition, but may not be. Since I didn't show how it was for sure, then my objection does not stand. The problem is even the potential still makes the LCA not logically sound because once again, the LCA deals in absolutes.


P1: If the idea of X existing may be fallacious, then it's not logical to say X existing is a must.
P2: The LCA may be committing the Fallacy of Composition, so it's not logical to say the LCA is valid (because the LCA presents itself as absolute logical truth)
P3: The LCA (which presents itself as logically absolute) is not logically sound, because it may be a Fallacy of Composition




Now if the LCA used words like "most likely" or "plausibly" then I believe my burden would have to show how at least one of the premises is most likely false. However, when regarding an argument that claims to be absolute logic, all I have to do is show a potential fallacy to show it's not sound.

Bare Assertion Fallacies


My opponent isn't understanding my point here, even if I granted a timeless, spaceless, powerful, immaterial, non physical, and eternal cause of the universe, it's still a bare assertion to infer sentience without reasoning. Without sentience we have no God, my opponent has only used infinite regress arguments which would be applied to things with non sentience as well. My opponent did not show sentience, and therefore, did not demonstrate God.

M-Theory


1) The problem is my opponent is using the special pleading fallacy. He is saying that if there is a "prior" to The Big Bang that it can avoid infinite regress if it is what he infers, but when I infer something else "prior" to The Big Bang then it's not safe from infinite regress. If you apply rules to others you don't use yourself, it's called special pleading. For all we know there the membranes are eternal and our finite universe comes from this eternal super-universe. Claiming that God is the only thing that can be eternal is not logical.

2) This debate isn't about other universes, the LCA is about the universe which means this universe. Since M-Theory describes how everything better than God, it is more likely because it can explain more.

Re-Cap

1) If an argument presents itself as absolute by not inferring a "most likely" or a "most plausible", then even a potential fallacy being present is enough to hinder the argument's soundness. Therefore, the existence of the Fallacy of Composition makes the presentation of absolute logic from the LCA, not logically sound

2) Even if I granted a timeless, spaceless, powerful, immaterial, non physical, and eternal cause of the universe my opponent still never showed why sentience is necessary. Since God is defined as a sentient being, then my opponent failed to show how God follows from the other contents of the premises. This makes the LCA a non-sequitur.

3) My opponent is special pleading by claiming that only his sentient being (which he didn't even show was sentient) is safe from infinite regress. Also this debate is about this universe, and since it can be better explained by M-Theory, then M-Theory is most likely.

Conclusion

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is sound only if you ignore other important factors which make it not sound. Since ignoring these factors is not logical, then by indirect contact, the The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is not sound.


PS.
I have never heard of this argument before this debate, I'm used to debating the Kalam version. Regardless, I believe my opponent didn't do enough to show the argument's soundness regardless of his apparent knowledge of the argument.
Debate Round No. 4
64 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Fool, I'm done arguing with you. I have already proven why my arguments are sound, both in and out of the debate. If you want to turn a blind eye to logic then so be it.

This is a concession.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
An edit so use grammer to RUN

If you would rather talk in private tell me, if you have a personal problem I am reasonable. Message me in private.

But here is a chance to refute me.

My claim is it doesn't matter what you call it, if you are using the conditional p->q it must be compatible with its rules. I showed you the interaction problem. RIght? Remember the condition has invicible bracets. (p->q) these indicate the shared CONTEXT of INTERACTION. If P is me eating. and Q is a Bomb going of in China. They are non-sequitar, because there is no interaction between two. Unless I was refering to the context of TIME. And past is the necessary condition of the future. RIGHT? Therefore all that is in the past is necessary. There is no rational way around it! When possible words are used for past references they are Epistimologically based only.

That is why LCA can't work. You are trusting it off FAITH and not Reason. Break free from mental slavery. Use your own mind, Freedom is reason.

Can you refute or not, you innability to refute it is an objective concession, where you disagree subjectivy or not. That is the purpose of logic, that is how I know I am Right, regardless if the whole world believed other wise.
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
Fool, I'm done arguing with you. I have already proven why my arguments are sound, both in and out of the debate. If you want to turn a blind eye to logic then so be it.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
If you would rather talke in private tell me.
But here is a change to refute me.

My claim is it doesn't matter what you call it, if you are using the conditional p->q if must be compatible with the rules. I showed you the interaction problem. RIght? Remember the condition has invicible bracets. (p->q) these indicate the shared CONTEXT of INTERACTION. If P is me eating. and Q is a Bomb going of in China. They are non-sequitar, because there is no interaction between two. Unless I the context was time. And past is the necessary condition of the future. RIght? THere for the past is necessary. There is no rational way around itl That is why LCA can't work. You are trusting it of FAITH and not Reason. Use your own mind, and break free from that mental oppression.

Can you refute or not, you innability to refute it is an objective concession, where you disagree subjectivy or not. That is the purpose of logic, that is how I know I am Right, regardless if the whole world believed other wise.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
I am responding to your comments,

It is honestly me not understanding Logic, ??? really. ????/ Come on now!... Lets be honest here.

Philosophy is not faith based. It does't matter who said what. It matters it is logical. You can't appeal to another philosopher. The only point is to give credit to the originator. but you still have to argue for it. If you think the different version are sound. You still have to give the arguement of why its sound. Its not a scientific report. If I am basing and idea of Kant, I still have to defend why it makes sense. I can just say "he said that" I am glad you are interacting thought because the more you do. THe more you expose how much you don't know what you are taking about.

Remember you are appealing to bias sources. The whole point of logic is to get rid of biases.

A conditional is a conditional. Its the logical form which makes it true or not. There would be not point in logic if it didn't. Like I said I think you are taking it of faith. You don't know why the logic makes sense. You just have faith in it because somebody said it makes sense.

If I ask you something simple like what is truth perservation , you have no idea what I am about. Right? <(8D)!!!!!

You have to remember I am speaking from a differnt country in that think that mistakes in concepts that have been accepted where you are? stick out like a sore thumb to me. So I am able to see things that others around you can;t see.

Notice how you are not able to actual show why its nonsense, or even why its spamming, or why its is or not determinist. Doesn't that set of red flags in your mind. All you can do is insult, or say I dont understand. Notice how you are not able to demenstrate youself.
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
Will you stop spamming this debate with nonsense?
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
Fool, if you can't understand that there are multiple versions of the PSR then you have an extremely poor understanding of the evolution of logic. Furthermore, I clearly cited Alexander Pruss to defend his formulation of the PSR, which allows for the existence on brute facts and events, such as barking. Brute events are necessarily incompatible with determinism.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
The Fool: Q.E.D.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
YOU are confusing Political Debating with Logic, This is a logical argument. SO IT IS FALSE
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
LCA is a logical argument . it is either false by logic or true. Defending has nothign to do with it.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
MestariRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
MestariRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Read proofs in RFD
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
MestariRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: counter the SG vote from iflyhigh
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
MestariRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was very consistent. He stayed will within the confines of modal logic. Con, on the other hand, kept switching in and out of modal logic as it suited him. As a result, Pro spent much time just trying to explain the proper use of terms such as necessary and contingent. Therefore, I found Pro to be the better debater. I also gave spelling and grammar to Pro because I found his formatting much easier to follow. Detailed RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by IFLYHIGH 5 years ago
IFLYHIGH
MestariRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Giving spelling and grammar to Pro for being more organized.