The Christian god exists and rules over the universe - read rules!
Debate Rounds (3)
All terms and definitions are influenced by or excerpted from the Oxford Dictionary.
1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or deconstruction semantics
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution)
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolution definitions
8. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9. The BOP is shared
10. The first round is for acceptance only
11. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss
R1. my rules, your argument
R2. my refute, your defence
R3. my summary and refute, your summary and defence
"The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time). The laws of the universe are balanced on a knife-edge. Any slight variation and we wouldn't exist. Almost as if some sort of Grand Architect designed it for us.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project said that you can "think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell." (The Language of God). This is the code of all life. Three billion characters of code inside every one of your cells. "A live reading of that code at a rate of three letters per second would take thirty-one years, even if reading continued day and night." Francis Collins (The Language of God). To believe that this code just randomly put itself together without the guidance of an intelligent designer is impossible.
Sir Fred Hoyle of Cambridge University calculated that the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for even the simplest living cell without panspermia was one in 10 to the 40,000. Since the number of atoms in the known universe is infinitesimally tiny by comparison (10 to the 80), he argued that Earth as life's place of origin could be ruled out. He claimed "The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order." (Evolution From Space). He would go on to compare the random emergence of even the simplest cell without panspermia to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein" (The Intelligent Universe)
In all of this and more you see the hand of God guiding his children toward their destiny. You can see the beauty of God in the Sistine Chapel. You can hear his voice in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He lives in the transcendent. He lives in the love between two people. He is what gives us consciousness and free will. He imbues us with empathy and remorse and instills in us our moral values. The Christian God exists and rules over the universe.
You start it off by talking about the origins of our universe, you claim that "Everything in the entire universe including space and time just suddenly appeared and then rapidly expanded in all directions. Before this there was nothing. No space. No time. No matter. Nothing." but pre-big bang conditions are not well known. Sure that is what is indicated by the little understanding of this area we have but they specify nothing was there, i.e. god was not there either. Furthermore, surly you can understand than an alone intelligent entity that can create universes, creates physical laws etc. pre-big bang is far more complex and strange than the singularity that caused the universe. I know it is an attempt to explain the singularity, but this needs evidence, I hope you provide some soon. By the way I am currently working on a model to explain what "sparked" the big bang, the hardest bit is the evidence, without evidence it is useless.
In your final sentence of the initial paragraph you define god as the cause of the big bang, but in Christianity and the oxford definition (the agreed upon terms) it is more than that, it is appalling of you to make "god" appear logical by defining it in a way that means it is necessary to exist, maybe it exists in this way (and others) for you but not necessarily in reality!
We will now move on to your Stephen Hawking based argument, a great man might I add. I will refute this argument on 2 ways: a direct refute and an indirect refute.
You are using Stephan Hawkins understandings to substantiate your judgments. This man is an Atheist, he has put his broad understanding together with his judgment to come to the conclusion that "there is no god" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au...). I do acknowledge that this does not account for the refute of the facts he raised or the possibility of a flawed judgment so that is why I will now directly refute your claim.
If you are indicating local fine-tuning - "The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence. It is a bit like a rich person living in a wealthy neighbourhood not seeing any poverty." " Stephen Hawking.
If you are indicating Stephens"s whole quote where he talks about the universe collapsing in something like a plank second if indeed these laws are "no good" " you assume: that the constants can take other values and there has and will only ever been one universe.
The universe is not all that finely tuned for a specific purpose, after all there is one known habitable place (that will be inhabitable one day) in what is an unimaginably large area. By arguing that the universe is finely tuned for us humans as that is its purpose is crazy! It is only under the assumption of atheism that we really need these exact values. "For only these values allow the formation of life to occur without God and without any outside influences" (http://wiki.ironchariots.org...). This argument in no way proves the CHRISTIAN god, let alone any god.
Moving onto your complexity of DNA argument.
The complexity and "size" of DNA does not indicate the existence of god. DNA started relatively simple, it was through evolution that it became so complex. The origins of DNA are unknown, abiogenesis and aliens are but 2 of many possible explanations for its origin.
Despite this, going under the assumption that god does exist, what provided it with all of its ability to provide for us, your logic appears to indicate that it could not occur naturally!!!
And once again, no indication of the CHRISTIAN god, let alone any god.
Your final "real argument", the 747 tornado! I really enjoyed coming up with the summarised name of that one =514;.
The tornado argument depends on the common fallacy of equating "natural" explanations of life with "randomness". "Only a small part of evolutionary theory is actually based on randomness. Genetic mutations and natural genetic variation present in populations are, to a large extent, random; and the kinds of selective pressures encountered by individuals (predation, food supply fluctuations, etc.) are to some extent random in nature. However, the differential benefit of one characteristic over another in dealing with these environmental pressures (that is, the "fitness" part of "survival of the fittest") is not random. Some adaptations are clearly beneficial to the organism and some are clearly not. This means that Darwin's proposed driving force behind evolution, natural selection, is anything but random.
In addition, evolution doesn't work quickly by way of massive, uncontrolled forces, as tornadoes do. Evolution theory suggests that small changes, accumulated over extremely long periods of time, result in the current diversity of life.
Most importantly, the tornado analogy lacks the two main elements that make evolution work: reproduction (which enables "descent with modification") and selection (which enables increasing complexity). The lack of these aspects reinforces the improbability of anything useful coming out of the process.
If rephrased to account for time, natural selection and different outcomes, it should be asked what the odds are of achieving some functional transportation device from a tornado moving through a junkyard of airplane parts for three billion years, where any parts that combine successfully remain while any parts that do not match will not stay together, and assuming that no parts are ever damaged and they are interchangeable."
i.e. this calculation assumes that creating that creature is a "goal" unguided by anything, which is false as evolutionary processes "guide" the "adaptation" of life to a creature similar to this one (not exactly alike, as the calculation does not account for).
This argument can be further refuted by revealing how ridiculous it is by trying to explain the order in a complex system with a far more complex system (god i.e. the 747-8 (the biggest 747))
And once again, no indication of the CHRISTIAN god, let alone any god.
Finally, your conclusion.
Firstly, I would like to put these 2 quotes of yours together: "God guiding his children toward their destiny" and "He is what gives us consciousness and free will."
Also, you sneak in "He imbues us with empathy and remorse and instills in us our moral values". Well if that were the case there would be objective morality, unless we come from like different gods or god was not real or something else. To display objective morality does not exist you need not look further than any form of "ethics".
As a side not and somewhat a joke, you refer to god as a "He", thus god has a penis (Dictionary). I guess HE is a pretty "ballsy" guy in the Old Testament.
1(In Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
You say "pre-big bang conditions are not well known. Sure that is what is indicated by the little understanding of this area we have but they specify nothing was there, i.e. god was not there either." God was not there because God is not of space and time. He is not of our universe he lives in heaven. Some may consider heaven a sort of alternate dimension. So because there was nothing before the Big Bang doesn't prove God doesn't exist. You can't prove God doesn't exist.
You also say "Furthermore, surly you can understand than an alone intelligent entity that can create universes, creates physical laws etc. pre-big bang is far more complex and strange than the singularity that caused the universe." Some people think there was singularity before the Big Bang but that doesn't explain what actually sparked the Big Bang. What ever initiated the reaction that caused the singularity to explode into a universe had to come from outside of the singularity. And where did the singularity come from? If it has been there forever why would it all the sudden explode into a universe with a set of laws that would guide a chain reaction of events from the formation of our galaxy and our solar system to the rise of life on this planet that would ultimately lead to us. What else would you call a force that exists outside of space and time that created a universe, either out of nothing or out of a singularity, that has a set of laws perfectly fine tuned for the existence of life? What would you call this force if not God?
Definition of singularity in English:
NOUN (plural singularities)
2 Physics & Mathematics A point at which a function takes an infinite value, especially in space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
In the centre of a black hole is a gravitational singularity, a one-dimensional point which contains a huge mass in an infinitely small space, where density and gravity become infinite and space-time curves infinitely, and where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate. As the eminent American physicist Kip Thorne describes it, it is "the point where all laws of physics break down". (http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com...)
No matter what existed before the Big Bang whether it be nothing or singularity it did not yet have the laws of the universe. So whatever caused the Big Bang also caused the laws of the universe. The same laws of the universe that Stephen Hawking a self proclaimed atheist must admit are perfectly fine tuned for the existence of life. So if you would call the force that caused the universe God then you would see that like any other ruler he rules through his laws that he created when he created the universe. (He as in anything of unspecified sex. Dictionary. Or he as in our Father. Either way I'm pretty sure he works here. I liked the joke though.) It is because of the laws of the universe both known and unknown that the universe unfolded in this specific way and could only have unfolded in this specific way. So everything that ever happened and everything that ever will is a consequence of the Big Bang and the guidance of the laws of the universe. So everything was predetermined by God. It is in this way God rules.
The Source of All Moral Authority
You say that I "sneak in "He imbues us with empathy and remorse and instills in us our moral values". Well if that were the case there would be objective morality, unless we come from like different gods or god was not real or something else. To display objective morality does not exist you need not look further than any form of "ethics"."
Objective morality doesn't have to exist in order for God to be the source of all moral authority because God created everything in the universe. If everything in the universe is a result of Gods creation then morality is a result of God. So God is the ultimate source of all moral authority.
You also say "I would like to put these 2 quotes of yours together: "God guiding his children toward their destiny" and "He is what gives us consciousness and free will." Let me clarify. God gives us our consciousness that has the freedom to make its own decisions. However these decisions are based off an environment and intuition given to you by God. So every decision you make has been predetermined by God because het set the conditions under which the decision was made and he knows how your going to think therefore predetermining the outcome of that decision.
You say "The origins of DNA are unknown, abiogenesis and aliens are but 2 of many possible explanations for its origin." First aliens is an explanation of how DNA got to earth not how DNA came into existence and abiogenesis is still nonsense. Then you say "Despite this, going under the assumption that god does exist, what provided it with all of its ability to provide for us, your logic appears to indicate that it could not occur naturally!!!" This debate is not about why God exists or where he gets his abilities it's that God does exist and we know he exists because of evidence that could only be caused by God.
You say "Only a small part of evolutionary theory is actually based on randomness... Darwin's proposed driving force behind evolution, natural selection, is anything but random." I hope I don't automatically lose for saying this but I agree. The development of life is not random it is by design. You can see the design through convergent evolution of complex system like echolocation or flight. Where the evolution of two totally different animals follow a similar evolutionary path to reach the same conclusion. Like how bats and whales both separately evolved a complex system such as echolocation or how bats and pterosaurs evolved similar modes of flight. So to use the analogy now you have two tornadoes going through totally different scrap yards with completely different kinds of junk but somehow building the same exact plane.
You say "This argument can be further refuted by revealing how ridiculous it is by trying to explain the order in a complex system with a far more complex system (god i.e. the 747-8 (the biggest 747)" This seems to be your fallback argument whenever your theory has holes. That another life form from another dimension with different laws and properties can somehow accomplish this. If that is more complex then self exploding universes and life spontaneously forming in a primordial soup to you then at least it is the only complete theory presented so far..
I was under the impression that we were trying to have an intelligent debate over complex issues. But my opponent wants to take the easy way out by demanding a burden of proof that doesn't exist. Instead of weighing the evidence and finding the most plausible theory my opponent would rather play games.
When my opponent says "I am not arguing for a "self exploding universes and life spontaneously forming in a primordial soup". I am just saying that the Christian god is not the cause for the origin of the universe and life. I have not taken any direct position to the origin of the universe in this debate and I have suggested what are relatively strongly supported alternatives to the origins of life." He is admitting he can not argue for the Big Bang without an external force. He is admitting he can not argue for abiogenesis. He can only "suggest" these infinitesimally small possibilities to muddy the water in a complex debate. These are the only alternative theories we have been presented with and he can't argue for them. He is saying he doesn't have an opinion one way or another about how these things happened he just has a feeling deep down inside that it wasn't God.
My opponent wants proof for the origins of the universe. Proof that he knows doesn't exist yet. So far we only have evidence for what happened after the Big Bang. What we know is that around 14 Billion years ago the universe rapidly expanded seemingly out of nothing. Now maybe there was singularity but that doesn't change the fact that something had to spark it. My opponent can not argue that the universe can just explode on its own singularity or not so he seems to be conceding that there must have been an external force that sparked the Big Bang he just seems to disagree about what we should call this force. He wants to call it "the cause of the singularity" but in the words of Shakespeare "a rose by any other name" is still a rose. It was a force from outside our universe and outside of space and time itself. This force created a universe out of nothing. And this universe that this supernatural force created is finely tuned for the conditions to support life.
My opponent also seems to question that the laws of the universe were a result of the Big Bang. This is what we know. Singularity does not share the laws of the universe so whatever was there before the Big Bang whether it be singularity or nothing it did not have our current laws. Before the Big Bang there was no universe and with no universe you have nothing for the laws to exist in. So it is plain to see that the laws were created at the same time as the universe and by the same thing that created the universe. My opponent tries to refute that the laws are finely tuned for life by saying "after all there is one known habitable place (that will be inhabitable one day) in what is an unimaginably large area". But how much of that unimaginably large area have we explored for life? Many people believe we are bound to find some other forms of life as we explore more deeply into the universe. We have already identified multiple other planets where we believe life can be supported. And some Amercian scientists believe that they may have found evidence that life once existed on Mars. (http://www.independent.co.uk...)
My opponent tries to downplay the jump from a primordial soup to life by saying the first DNA was relatively simple or maybe it started with RNA. But he still doesn't want to say that's his position because he himself doesn't believe the mathematical improbability of it occurring. He points to panspermia and claims life came from outer space because maybe it would be easier for life to form on some other planet and then travel to earth but then he tries to say that earth is the only place that can support life. Abiogenesis on any other planet is still abiogenesis. They can't even recreate it in a lab when they are trying and your trying to say it happened on another planet by accident? DNA is a code that directs every cell in your body. To say that it just randomly put itself together is like a "747 Tornado". My opponent tried to refute the 747 analogy by saying "Only a small part of evolutionary theory is actually based on randomness." and "evolution doesn't work quickly by way of massive, uncontrolled forces, as tornadoes do" and "the tornado analogy lacks the two main elements that make evolution work: reproduction (which enables "descent with modification") and selection (which enables increasing complexity)". But the 747 analogy was in reference to the formation of the first cell not about evolution or natural selection. As for evolution I do believe in evolution but I believe that the first strand of DNA was put together by God and evolution was the mechanism he designed to ensure our development.
Evolution followed the path laid out by God as everything in the universe follows the path laid out by God. You can call this causal determinism. "Causal determinism is "the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature". However, causal determinism is a broad enough term to consider that "one's deliberations, choices, and actions will often be necessary links in the causal chain that brings something about. In other words, even though our deliberations, choices, and actions are themselves determined like everything else, it is still the case, according to causal determinism, that the occurrence or existence of yet other things depends upon our deliberating, choosing and acting in a certain way". Causal determinism proposes that there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe. The relation between events may not be specified, nor the origin of that universe. Causal determinists believe that there is nothing in the universe that is uncaused or self-caused." (https://en.m.wikipedia.org...). In the church this is referred to as God's Plan. God, in his infinite wisdom of everything that will come to be, set up the initial conditions of the Big Bang, like so many dominos, to fulfill his grand design.
In this same way he is responsible for all moral authority. The Grand Architect gave us a framework to follow. However he also gave us a consciousness and that consciousness has the ability to make its own decisions. Whether these decisions are predetermined by the environment that shaped the consciousness or by genetic predisposition or by countless other variables doesn't change the fact that the consciousness freely made that decision.
And now it's time for the judges to make there decision... I am running out of characters so I will have to put my closing remarks in the comments section.
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