The Instigator
Vulpes_Inculta
Pro (for)
Losing
23 Points
The Contender
TheHitchslap
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

The Cosmological Argument is Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
TheHitchslap
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,038 times Debate No: 33288
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (12)

 

Vulpes_Inculta

Pro

Ave, ladies and gentlemen. I've decided to challenge TheHitchslap to a debate on the Cosmological Argument. He's obviously a fan of Christopher Hitchens, the late member of the New Atheist movement. I think it will be interesting, then, to see what he has to say about this argument. Perhaps he will fare better than his hero did against William Lane Craig at Biola University.

The cosmological argument for this debate will be the one that William Lane Craig uses. Everything that begins exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore the universe had a cause of its existence.

God is defined as the timeless, immaterial, spaceless, omnipotent, and personal cause of the universe existing.

Soundness means that the premises of the argument are true, and that the conclusion follows logically from the premises.

After my opening statement, each round of the debate will be constant back and forth rebuttals.

My burden of proof in this debate is to show that the cosmological argument is more plausible than the negation by inference to the best conclusion. Con's obligation is to negate my argument. General rules of conduct should be followed. Using pictures and images as quotes/references/arguments is acceptable.

Vale.
TheHitchslap

Con

I accept and agree to terms

My opponents argument will essentially be:

(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.

Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.

Therefore:
(5) God exists.

To meet my BOP, I must show the illogic of this argument; that it is either untrue or does not follow.

I shall show this later, by refuting my opponents case.

Lets hear what he has to say ...

Goodluck!
Debate Round No. 1
Vulpes_Inculta

Pro

Ave again, ladies and gentlemen. I'm sure that Hitch will provide challenging and interesting objections to the cosmological argument. What else would you expect from somebody carrying such a name? Because of the debating skills of the late Christopher Hitchens, we should expect his students to be very good debaters as well. We'll see which side carries the debate.

I would like to devote my opening statement to stating the premises of the argument, offering a defense of each premise, and supporting the conclusion that god exists. [1]

Overtly, the argument is a logically valid modus ponens argument.[2] If everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe began to exist, then it logically follows that the universe had a cause. The only issue with this argument is the truth of the premises. Therefore, I will attempt to demonstrate the premises to be true.


Let's begin with the first premise of the cosmological argument.
Everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is based on the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR), which was developed by Gottfried Leibniz. [3] I think that this premise is more plausibly true than its negation. Objective probabilities are tied to laws of nature and objective tendencies, so if an objective probability attaches to some contingent fact, then that situation can be given an explanation in terms of laws of nature or objective tendencies. Hence, if the PSR is false of some contingent fact, no objective probability attaches to the fact. Thus we can't say that violations of the PSR are improbable if the PSR is false. But someone who doesn't affirm the PSR can't say that the sceptical scenario is objectively improbable either. So if the PSR were false or maybe even not known a priori, we wouldn't know any empirical truths. But we do know empirical truths. Hence, the PSR is true, and maybe even known a priori.


Now that we've established the first premise, I'd like to turn to the second premise of the argument.
The universe began to exist. The current astrophysical evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the universe began to exist. On Stephen Hawking’s seventieth birthday, cosmologists gathered to discuss the current state of cosmology. Physicist Alexander Vilenkin concluded his speech by saying , ‘’All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning’’. [4]



Many atheists have tried to escape the beginning of the universe by postulating an eternal universe model, or an oscillating universe. Vilenkin and Mithani have proven that the mathematics of these models shows that the universe would still have a beginning. [5]



Unequivocally, modern cosmology supports a beginning of the universe. Therefore, it is deeply unscientific to suggest that the universe did not have a beginning. This puts the atheist in a very tough position, because all of cosmology demonstrates the truth of the second premise. Now, the only left thing for the theist to do is demonstrate that, using deductive reasoning, the cause is most likely a rational agent identified as god.


As the DDO philosopher of science and geophysicist Apeiron pointed out, there are two types of explanations that can be given for something. A personal explanation and a physical explanation. For example, one may walk into a kitchen and ask why the kettle is boiling. The physical explanation is that the atoms were sufficiently heated to where their atoms would collide, etc. The personal explanation is that I, a conscious being, wanted some tea. In some contexts, it is inappropriate to use certain explanations. This is true for the beginning of the universe. It is the beginning of all physical things. Therefore, a physical explanation will be incoherent. This leaves us with a personal explanation, with is the most plausible explanation given the condition of the universe. [6] Like Apeiron has said, ‘’The First Cause is an entity that has produced a finely tuned cosmos, containing beauty and creatures attuned to beauty, containing moral obligations and creatures aware of them, a universe containing conscious beings with free will, a universe some of whose contents have objective functions (eyes are for seeing, and so on). Thus the the idea that the first Cause is more plausibly a extremely intelligent and very powerful person acting purposively is highly plausible given all this data.’’[7]

In conclusion, we have very good reasons for believing that the universe had a cause, and that the cause was a personal one identified as god. There are a few ways Con can prove that this argument is false. Con can agree that the universe began to exist, but posit some other mechanism for it. Con can argue for the eternal or multiverse models, and disagree with my arguments in that area. Con can argue that things can begin to exist without a cause. I think it will be interesting to read Hitch’s objections in the next round given the strong evidence for this argument. Perhaps, we might even get into the proper interpretation of quatum mechanics!

Vale.


References

1: http://tinyurl.com...
2: http://tinyurl.com...

3: http://tinyurl.com...
4: http://tinyurl.com...

5: http://tinyurl.com...
6: http://tinyurl.com...
7: http://www.debate.org...
TheHitchslap

Con

Thanks Vulpes, having never debated this topic before -- and I mean this in the nicest way possible -- if I am to lose, I hope to put you through hell and back before that happens. None the less, lets examine your argument shall we?

Fallacies:

Appeal to Authority – My opponent uses testimony from Apeiron and claims that his testimony is legitimate due to his background in science and philosophy. However this is unverified, and anyone can claim to be anyone on the internet. This testimony is rendered null-and-void.

Bare Assertion Fallacy – My opponent claims this in premise one, that everything has a cause which creates an effect, and that this is a priori. Meaning that this is so self evident that one does not have to use any form of experimentation to disprove it. Or in more simplistic terms: that's just the way it is. It is not, I'll address this later.

Begging the Question – My opponent states the following:Overtly, the argument is a logically valid modus ponens argument and also statesThe only issue with this argument is the truth of the premises. Therefore, I will attempt to demonstrate the premises to be true”. Well of-course modus ponens is logically sound, otherwise it's called “affirming the consequent” which is fallacious. Furthermore, if the only issue with the KCA was the “truth of the premises” then this logic is actually unsound, because it is unfalsifiable and thus a weak argument.

Association Fallacy – The PSR[7] does not account for Quantum Vacuums, which are in fact observable. There is literally no reason for energy to fluctuate in a point in space which creates an electron. Furthermore, this is still in line with the laws of physics, through the law of conservation of mass.[8] Meaning that mass can never be created nor destroyed.[8] And furthermore, even by his own source, it notes that PSR is highly controversial philosophically speaking.[7] Thus this empirical truth of Quantum Vacuums IS observable (not a priori) and still contradicts PSR; they happen without cause which I shall expand on later.

First, Principal of Sufficient Reason/Modus Ponens:

Is not a Modus Ponens argument but instead affirms the consequent, a fallacious way of arguing. In other words even if hypothetically speaking premise 1 and 2 were true it does not imply that the conclusion is in fact God. Thus the principal of sufficient reason cannot possibly be used here; it would mean my opponent commits a causation fallacy. If instead my opponent wishes to take the argument the other way and state God is defined as an unchanging, uncaused, intelligent being, (as defined in the KCA) and everything has a cause and effect as my opponent claims, then the KCA does not acount for the cause of God. Even by my opponents admission, the first premis MUST be negated, otherwise he himself cannot account for God. In supporting the KCA, my opponent himself accounts for the very fall of his first premise; that something CAN in fact come from nothing. Either way premise 1 falls.

Quantum fluctuation which is simply the temporary change of energy of a point in space, is an excellent example to disprove the first premise[1]; the fluctuation allows for the creation of particles on the basis of the uncertainty principal (the uncertainty principal meaning it's impossible to know exact position/momentum and energy/time simultaneously)[2] which could cause a set of particles to exit the vacuum effectively and literally creating something out of nothing.[1][2] Furthered by spontaneous parametric down conversion,[3] which is stimulated by vacuums and causes random proton creations. Electrons can disappear (cease to exist) and reappear (come into being) at any given, random point and time.

Opponent uses the argument Ex nihilo nihil fit,[4] but only cherry picks the first half of the argument; the second half being that if there was absolute nothing and there was no such thing as existance, then logically it follows that nothing can stop something from happening. This as taught by Empedocles.[4]

Second Premis: Relies on Something Changeless to Create a Change.

Does this through A-Theory of time; that an absolute beginning/present moment exists. If there is however an absolute beginnning like my opponent maintains then his argument is in fact invalid; God cannot act before this “beginning”. Also it is impossible to have two events happening simultaneously, we know this through Einsteins Theory of Realitivity[5], and the Uncertianty principal[2]. Thus, the second premise is heavily negated. Scientifically, the general belief is in B-theory of time. The great thing about B-theory of time is that it holds that space is simply a 4 dimentional space time block that is finitley extended in the earlier direction. Thus, time is tenseless, and furthermore the universe never really comes into "being" as is implied in the KCA. This was even noted in WLC's book "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology" pages 183-184. Which unlike WLC who ignores this for A time theory, Einsteins realitivity shows that time is in fact tenseless and not absolute, and the absolute simultanious occurance of events is impossible, demonstraiting empirrically that B theory of Time is more empirically accurate and in conflict with the Second Premis. It is also furthered by the law of conservation of mass. [5][8]

This along with the fact that he cites the Vilenkin papers, which 1) never actually rule out Stephen Hawkings no boundry proposal, and 2) it suggests that a begining event to the expansion of the cosmos can be found, not that there was definatley a beginning to the universes formation.[6] In fact on the very papers my opponent cites, it also states: What can lie beyond the boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event. meaning the authors endorse the quantum neuclear theory, which means they have to believe that some form of quantum energy has existed eternally. Vilenkin goes on to say the following: Theologians have often welcomed any evidence for the beginning of the universe, regarding it as evidence for the existence of God … So what do we make of a proof that the beginning is unavoidable? Is it a proof of the existence of God? This view would be far too simplistic. Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist. [6] Oh and for the record, none of those scientists believe in a God, meaning these papers have been clearly misrepresented, or at least is a good sign that they were cherry picked.

The final Premise: Therefore a God Exists.
Although because the basis of my opponents argument rests on the notion that P implies Q, and I have countered them then the conclusion is successfully refuted. And as previously noted, this argument was presented as an appeal to authority and is thus illegitimate. Furthermore, it is weak due to correlation not implying causation, and the suggestion of God is empirically unfalsifiable.

Comrades! My opponents argument fails in the eye of compelling evidence. Let's see how he will recover.

Over to you Vulpes!

-Sources: http://www.debate.org...;

Debate Round No. 2
Vulpes_Inculta

Pro

Ave.

Hitch starts off by accusing me of committing several logical fallacies. All of these accusations are based off misunderstandings of my opening statement. I will address each of these individually.

Appeal to Authority: I quoted Apeiron for the sole reason that I was using his arguments. If I didn’t give him credit, I would be plagiarizing. I didn’t quote him and mention his expertise in order to show that everything he says must be true. I quoted him because he gave the argument better than I could. The allegation of an appeal to authority is just confused. Hitch hasn’t even engaged with the substance of the actual argument for why the cause must be personal, so this is essentially a concession.

Begging the question: Hitch doesn’t actually show that anything I said begged the question, which is when your conclusion is stated in the premises in some way. Instead, he points out that it’s obvious to say modus ponens is logically sound. This has nothing to do with begging the question. I also said that the only issue with the KCA is the truth of the premises. For some reason, Hitch interprets this to mean that the argument is unfalsifiable. Again, this has nothing to do with begging the question. Besides, it’s not the case that the KCA is unfalsifiable. When I said that the only issue is the truth of the premises, I was stating that most of the debate over the KCA is whether the PSR is true, whether the universe began to exist, and whether that cause is personal. In what way does this suggest that this argument is unfalsifiable? In fact, the huge debate over the truth of the premises should suggest the opposite.

Association Fallacy: Nothing here indicates that the KCA makes the association fallacy. Hitch just argues that quantum mechanics disproves the first premise. Again, Hitch is throwing highly sophisticated logical fallacies out there, and never actually doing anything with them.

Hitch also argues that the KCA affirms the consequent. He says that even if P1 and P2 are true, it does not mean the cause was god. This is just a straw man argument. No theist asserts that ‘’everything that begins to exist has a cause’’ and ‘’the universe began to exist’’ demonstrate the existence of god. Rather, the theist asserts that because of P1 and P2, it logically follows that the universe had a cause. Then, we use deductive inference to show that this cause is most plausibly god. I argued why the cause had to be personal in my opening statement, and Hitch didn’t even address it, instead choosing to falsely accuse me of using logical fallacies.

Affirming the consequent is when you argue that P implies Q, Q, therefore P. That's not the logic of the KCA at all. The logic of the KCA is P implies Q, P, therefore Q. It's miles away from anything resembling that fallacy. [1]

Hitch sets up another straw man when he says ‘’and everything has a cause and effect as my opponent claims’’. This is a common misunderstanding of the KCA. The premise isn’t that everything has a cause and effect. The premise is that everything that begins to exist has a cause. God would exist outside of time, therefore god did not begin to exist, and did not have a cause. [2]

Now, let’s turn to the proper interpretation of quantum mechanics. Hitch argues that quantum fluctuations disprove the PSR. However, this is based on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which most physicists on the cutting edge have abandoned. Scholarpedia says more about how Bell’s theorem puts the Copenhagen interpretation in dispute. [3]



We can’t rely on the Copenhagen interpretation, so Hitch’s argument, which depends on that interpretation, cannot be relied on as well. Let’s turn to Hitch’s second argument from quantum mechanics. He argues that virtual particles pop into existence from nothing, so therefore, something can come from nothing. This is based on the book A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss, and critics savaged this example. David Albert is an atheist philosopher and physicist who was heavily critical of Dr. Krauss’s book. [4] In his NY times review, he writes…




Vilenkin also explains why this example is incorrect. This is the best example Hitch can give us?


In a final attempt to try and prove that something can come from nothing, Hitch gives an argument first made by Empedocles. Essentially, he argues that there are no rules on nothing, so there is nothing to stop something from coming into existence. This argument, and its attempt to reify negative terms, is absurd. Sure, there are no rules on nothing, but there is nothing that allows nothing to do anything as well. Nothing has no rules, but no potentialities. Here are two good reasons to think that something cannot come from nothing.



Firstly, the potentiality argument. If there is a state of absolute nothingness, then there is no potential for anything to happen. If there is no potential for anything to happen, then there is no potential for a universe to come out of nothing. Therefore, it is impossible for the universe to have come from state of absolute nothingness.




Secondly, the property argument. If you have absolute nothingness, then you have the universal negation of everything. Logically, you would then have the universal negation of all properties. But if something can come from nothing without cause, then that nothing does have a property. The property of something coming from it. By definition, something cannot come from an absolute nothingness, because then you never had an absolute nothing to begin with.


In regards to the second premise, Hitch equivocates. He argues that if there was in fact an absolute beginning, then god cannot act before that beginning, because nothing exists before the beginning of everything. Hitch is just equivocating on the meaning of 'absolute beginning'. I am not asserting that there was not an absolute beginning to existence. I am asserting that there was an absolute beginning of the cosmos. Hitch is changing what it meant by 'absolute beginning' in order to make a point.

I think that presentism beats eternalism because of the Grim Reaper paradox. Thus, the A-theory of time is affirmed over the B-theory of time.

4

It is important to understand the context in which I cite Vilenkin. I use it to support the idea that the universe began to exist, in response to ideas of a universe lacking an absolute beginning. It's been long known that Vilenkin believes the universe began to exist as a quantum nucleation event. This, to him, just marks the beginning of the universe. If you listen to any of his lectures or seminars, he explicity states that the universe had a beginning.

Hitch argues that, somehow, I must have cherry-picked Vilenkin just because he doesn't believe in god. It simply doesn't follow that I took things out of context because Vilenkin disagrees with my conclusions. It just means that we both derived different conclusions from the same evidence.


Let's consider what has happened in the debate so far. Hitch has argued that I've committed several logical fallacies, and I've demonstrated that he's just abused these fallacies. He argues that something can come from nothing, and I refuted his reasoning, giving positive arguments as to why that can't happen. He argues that quantum fluctuations happen without cause, and that virtual particles arise from nothing, but there are good reasons in physics to think this is false. He has equivocated and straw manned at multiple points, and has failed to show that the cause is not plausibly personal. Far from falling in the face of evidence, the KCA is affirmed.

Vale.

References
[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...




TheHitchslap

Con

Appeal to Authority:

It does not matter why he quoted a particular person, what matters is the testimony they provide based on their expertise. Apeiron's expertise as claimed by my opponent was clearly intended to give him a form of legitimacy, but because this is unverifiable, it constitutes an appeal to authority.

Begging the Question:

My opponent claimed that Moden Ponens arguments are logically valid. That's begging the question. I ask my opponent to give me an example of a Moden Ponens argument that is NOT logically valid. This is like saying “facts are facts”. He also claims this with the “truth of the premise is that they're true”.

Association Fallacy:

My opponent tried to claim the legitimacy of PSR with it's association of empirical evidence via a priori knowledge. This is an association fallacy, due to the fact that the PSR has nothing to do with empirical evidence, it actually notes this in his own source!

Bare Assertion Fallacy:

My opponent conceeds.

Correlation/Causation:

My opponent also concedes here. Thus, he has to show every other single cause couldn't possibly have created the universe, before concluding that in fact God did. Even if point 1 and 2 were true, it still does not account for the big bang theory, or the loop theory, or even the steady state theory. He gives no reason to believe that the only explanation is God.

Straw man accusations:

The accusations of causation fallacies, and the bare assertion fallacy were dropped by my opponent. I have shown that my opponent not only begged the question, but also made an appeal to authority, and an association fallacy. These are not straw mans, and as a result, my opponent commits a fallacy fallacy.

Ignoratio Elenchi:

This is the fallacy of relevance. The grim reaper paradox has nothing to do with this debate. The question concerns A/B theory of the universe, not presentism. Through the Rietdijk–Putnam argument, using special realitivity (empirical proof) everyone has their own plane of simultaneity. [5] This is also seen through length contraction and time dilation as scientific proof. Thus eternalism must be taken here even if it was relevant, otherwise with presentism you have to believe that say, Einstein never existed, because he lived wholly in the past. But he DID exist, so presentism cannot be correct.[6]

Reductio ad Absurdum:

“This argument, and its attempt to reify negative terms, is absurd. Sure, there are no rules on nothing, but there is nothing that allows nothing to do anything as well. Nothing has no rules, but no potentialities.” And “Firstly, the potentiality argument. If there is a state of absolute nothingness, then there is no potential for anything to happen. If there is no potential for anything to happen, then there is no potential for a universe to come out of nothing.”

Copenhagen Interpretation versus Bell Theory:

1) the two are NOT in conflict. The answer is actually string theory![7] It is the only theory that actually connects everything in the world, accounting for both relativity and Bell theorem. We actually use this today in space to not only predict when the cosmos expand (or a red shift in astronomy) but also in atomic clocks which change “tick” speeds in space when leaving earths orbit. The second mistake is simple: The Copenhagen interpretation is the “standard” view of most physicists. I have no idea where my opponent justifies his claim that it is rejected today.[1]

The “Nothingness” Debate:

My opponent is actually correct on this. He is right to show that physicists believe that Quantum Vacuums are not exactly “nothing”. However, what is clear here is his misguided definition of nothing, assuming he thinks nothing is literally nothing in space and time – an absence of all matter in an area with nothing occupying it. This is wrong for several reasons: 1) it violates the conversion of mass (mass is never created nor destroyed) implying that SOMETHING is always around, and 2) The type of nothingness my opponent assumes empirically does NOT exist. This view of nothingness is taken by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jim Holt, and Eva Silverstein, that no matter what, if the laws of physics apply, the best your going to get to nothing is a Quantum Vacuum, and the layman’s terms of nothingness simply does not exist. This is called theological noncognitivism.[2][3] In fact he can't even believe in complete nothingness because his God always exists!

God/Time:

B theory requires there to always be an existance, whereas A has a beginning. God is timeless and uncaused, then this indicates B theory, because he's always existed! My opponent goes on to claim that this isn't possible; beginning is only concerned with the Cosmos, but he causes the universe to exist, which means that the beginning must start before the creation of the cosmos. Furthermore, this too is the fallacy of Ignoratio Elenchi because at no point is A theory dependant on the cosmos expanding. It just believes that there is a begining to the creation of the universe, whereas B theory claims it's always existed. Both of us agree the universe expands, but his accusing me of changing "absolute begining" doesn't actually address my argument at all. Furthermore, he cannot possibly believe in the conservation of mass and try to simultainously justify God. Otherwise, he reaffirms B theory. Also, B theory has Quantum Physics to support it, and Einstein's special realitivity, something my opponent drops completely. [4] In fact his own source claiming to contradict special realitivity actually re-affirms it too stating "quantum mechanics must have this extrordinary character, i.e must violate locality constraint that is motivated by realitivity" The article even goes on to note Einstein once again as a member of the EPR using locality principals. Thanks Vulpes! If on the other hand he continues to justify God under A theory as timeless, he couldn't create the world because he is unchanging (meaning also unintelligent, unmoving, etc...), and even if he does exist outside of time as my opponent suggests then the argument does not follow and committs question begging yet again.

Finally, Concerning Poor Vilenkin:

"[T]he state of “nothing” cannot be identified with absolute nothingness. The tunneling is described by the laws of quantum mechanics, and thus “nothing” should be subject to these laws. The laws of physics must have existed, even though there was no universe." - Alexander Vilenkin in his book Many Worlds in One (2006), Page 181

Again, my opponent unequivocally cherry-picks Vilenkin's work to prove a point. This directly contradicts my opponentns point that Vilenkin always believed in a begining of the cosmos. He does not, with the Quantum nucleation theory, he has to believe that quantum electricity exists eternally (B Theory not A like my opponent claims). As I noted in my previous round out of his own work on the same page my opponent cited Vilenkin tries to explain the begining of the expansion of the cosmos, not the absolute begining of it. It is important to note the context in which my opponent cites Vilenkin; he takes it ironically OUT of context to prove HIS point. Not the conclusions of the actual work it's self. Ergo cherry-picking.

Also, I never accused my opponent of cherry-picking due to his disbelief in God, I mearly noted that because they don't believe in God, one should suspect they wouldn't argue in support of him. I was correct, he never actually does. And he never uses the whole evidence of Vilenkin's work.

1) my opponent uses several fallacious arguments, these need to be addressed
2) I make a case for B theory of time, show contradictions of my opponent. And empirical proof
3) Showed how mass is eternal, along with the actual beliefs of several physicists
4) Used the help my opponent gave me ;)
5) Killed God using science! His existance isn't possible.

Now watch the beast known as Vulpes respond. Cricky he's a beauty! This on discovery channel!
Source:
http://www.debate.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Vulpes_Inculta

Pro

Ave.

It seems that Hitch is going to continue to name random logical fallacies in an attempt to make his argument look superior to mine. I encourage the readers of the debate to do their own research, and it should be obvious that none of the fallacies Hitch names have anything to do with my arguments. Sadly, however, DDO conduct requires me to answer the small fires Hitch has started.

Appeal to Authority: There isn’t anything new to say here. I quoted Apeiron because the arguments came from him, so if I didn’t give credit, I’d be plagiarizing. Hitch has jumped all over the fact that I quoted Apeiron, and never responds to the substance of the argument I gave. This is interesting, ladies and gentlemen.

Begging the Question: Begging the question is a logical fallacy where the conclusion of the argument is implied in the premises. This means that the premises, in some way, assume the conclusion to be true, which makes the argument circular. In my opening round, I stated that modus ponens was a logically valid form. Hitch doesn’t disagree, but he tries to argue that it’s a tautology, much like saying that facts are facts or that atoms are atoms. My question is: so what? What does this have to do with the conclusion of the argument being implied in the premises? Absolutely nothing. Hitch never shows that this is begging the question, and this allegation is ludicrous and distracting.

Association Fallacy: Again--so what? What does the fact that the PSR usually isn’t justified by empiricism have to do with the association fallacy? The association fallacy states that because A is B, and A is C, then B must be C as well. Hitch has never demonstrates that anything I’ve said follows this fallacious logical formulation.

Bare Assertion Fallacy: A bare assertion fallacy is when you assert something to be true just because you or someone else said so. It’s rather like a parent who says ‘’because I told you so’’. Hitch argues that I used this logic when trying to prove the PSR. That’s obviously not the case, because I gave reasons as to why the PSR was true. If I were to argue that the PSR is true because WLC said so, or because I said so, then there’s a fallacy in there. But that’s not the case.

Correlation/Causation: Hitch asserts that I haven’t given any reason to think the cause is god. This is completely false. I gave an entire argument in my opening statement to prove that the cause was personal. I argued that there are personal and physical causes, and since the latter could not have caused physical things to it exist, it is more plausibly the former. Why would Hitch say that I never gave any reason as to why the cause was god? Perhaps he said this because he has entirely ignored this argument since I gave it.

Hitch’s Straw man: I pointed out several examples of straw men on Hitch’s part. The first straw man was Hitch thinking that ‘’everything that begins to exist has a cause’’ and ‘’the universe began to exist’’ are supposed to demonstrate the existence of god. The second straw man was when he argued that theists think ‘’everything has a cause and effect’’. Using the KCA, I demonstrated that these were simply straw men. What does Hitch have to say in response? He brings up his past accusations of logical fallacies. This is simply irrelevant to the point I made, so Hitch drops this.

Ignoratio Elenchi: Hitch comically asserts that presentism has nothing to do with the A-theory of time. This is interesting, because the A-theory of time is nothing but presentism! Consider what the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has to say.

‘’For some A Theorists also endorse a view known as ‘Presentism and others endorse a view that we will call ‘The Growing Universe Theory.’’’

The grim-reaper paradox is supposed to prove my A-theory of time. It’s just embarrassing to assert that presentism has nothing to do with A-theory. This is unfortunate for Hitch, because other than messing up the terminology, he never responds to the paradox.

Hitch argues that the A-theory of time is wrong, because if it is true, then Einstein never really existed. This argument just begs the question. It’s rather like saying ‘’If atheism is true, then god doesn’t exist. But god does exist, therefore atheism is false,’’ You can’t say A-theory of time is wrong using a premise that assumes A-theory of time to be wrong!

Reductio ad Absurdum: Hitch takes my arguments in favor of ‘’ex nihilo nihil fit’’ and puts them under a category called ‘’Reductio ad Absurdum’’. I’m very confused as to what his point is. RAA is not a logical fallacy, it is a method of argumentation. Keep in mind that, aside from this bizarre move, Hitch has not answered the two arguments I gave.

Now that we've put out the small fires Hitch started, let's talk about Bell's Inqualities and the Copenhagen interpretation. Hitch asserts that string theory can reconcile Bell's inequalities with the Copenhagen interpretation. The problem is that string theory is extremely controversial and hasn't even been proven. Hitch can't assert that string theory reconciles Bell with Bohr (founder of the Copenhagen interpretation) unless he proves string theory to be true. And sadly, there isn't any more room for him to make that argument in this debate, considering that he can't make arguments in his last round.

On the point of nothingness, Hitch argues that something always exists because matter isn't created or destroyed. This doesn't show that matter existed forever. Once the universe begins existing, and matter forms, then matter cannot be created or destroyed. Conservation of mass only works in closed systems. The universe is such a closed system, but the closed system has to begin to exist before the conservation of mass can apply to that closed system.

Hitch argues that the closest thing to nothing is physics is the quantum vacuum. I can grant him this and doesn't have any implications on ex nihilo nihil fit. This is a metaphysical principle that states that something cannot come from nothing. When you're doing physics, feel free to work with the assumption that the quantum vacuum is the closest thing to nothingness that you can get. Just don't go around saying that virtual particles come from this 'nothing', when it's really a thin sort of something.

God, as a cause of the universe, would exist without time. This means that a god without a beginning cannot demonstrate that time existed forever, because time didn't exist with god. A god that has no beginning, therefore, does not require time without a beginning.

Hitch also straw mans me again. Perhaps one of my sources claimed to contradict special relativity. However, I never brought that up as a contention in this debate. Not once did I make any arguments based off special relativity being incorrect. I have no obligation to answer this straw man argument.

The fact that something is timeless and unchanging does not mean something can not change in the future, like taking on time as a contingent property, for example.

Hitch seems to think that I believe Vilenkin is some type of god, so I have to reconcile my use of Vilenkin with other things he has said. Obviously, it's necessary to put my use of Vilenkin in context once more. I'm quoting Vilenkin simply because he agrees that the astrophysical evidence demonstrates the beginning of the universe in a finite and measurable time in the past. Even Lawrence Krauss, an atheist who thinks the universe came from 'nothing, wrote an entire chapter in his book about why the universe began to exist. Hitch may appeal to things existing eternally, but I showed that even those models require a beginning, which hasn't been answered to.

I wish I didn't have to spend so much of my space answering Hitch's false accusations of logical fallacies. If I had more space, I would have wrote more on time, physics, and presentism v.s. eternalism. I didn't have the time to do this because I had to spend time on Hitch's accusations.

Other than that, Vale.


TheHitchslap

Con


Thank you for your time, I shall wrap up my arguments and explain why I have won.



Appeal to Authority:


This differs from expert testimony, my opponent inappropriately relies on an argument made by someone with no expertise in this area. Thus committing an appeal to authority and my opponents claim is untrue. Nor will I accept any such claim unless it came from an expert


http://www.nizkor.org...



Begging the Question:


My opponent does this several times and simply rejects my claim by simply claiming that it isn't true and does not ever correct his reasoning. Meaning that he has done this twice in this debate as noted. Thus, it is significant as clearly my argument is superior. This is like saying The bible is true because it says so in the Bible; it's circular.


http://www.nizkor.org...


*Note the second example, in my two objections due to my opponent's question begging, my opponent follows the exact same model of circular reasoning, it's just a different topic. I asked him to show me a Modus Ponens that was not logically valid. He couldn't.



Association Fallacy:


Again the PSR – by his OWN SOURCE – noted that it does not require empirical evidence, it's only close association was through the KCA, that was it. To claim legitimacy through association on the basis of empirical evidence a priori is a simple honour by association and misrepresents what PSR actually is; an unreliable principal with a built in agenda to assert the KCA's pseudo-legitimacy. There is no way to assert empirically that the PSR is true as my opponent claimed, it is only a principal, one of which I made the case we should not follow.


http://en.wikipedia.org...



Bare Assertion Fallacy:


My opponent submitted that the truth of the premise of his arguments can be known a priori. Which a priori knowledge is so self evident that you don't even have to get off your couch to see if it is true or not to justify the PSR. The issue with this is what my opponent was claiming. He was not claiming all bachelors are single, which is a priori, he was claiming that something cannot come from nothing. This IS a bare assertion fallacy because it assumes a state of nothingness is a point in space and time completely empty of all matter, problem is this assertion of “nothing” scientifically and empirically does not exist. The closest thing you can have to nothing is a Quantum Vacuum as I have shown, and that both philosophy and science claim my opponents nothing simply isn't true. Ergo, bare assertion fallacy, his premise is not “self evident”. I've already proven, and derailed my opponents argument here. We cannot assume this type of “nothing” exists as “truth”. Furthermore, my opponent completely dropped this claim until his final round. I think that's enough to point out he conceded it.


http://www.toolkitforthinking.com...



Correlation/Causation:


Isn't this type of personal also physical? This type of fallacy is like saying someone moved out of a house and said houses' roof was fine, but when a new person moves in and the roof suddenly needs repairs, the new person in the house probably caused it. Which isn't true in my hypothetical. This is no different here, as my opponents argument rested on the assertion that all else ruled out, then GOD. But even if both his premise were true, this does not mean God, because correlation is not causation.



Fallacy Fallacy/ my Accusations:


(see video)


That is a fallacy as I actually refuted my opponents positions. Him claiming these are illegitimate via straw-man, and thus the arguments are negated by default is a fallacy fallacy, they were not a fallacy and even if they were it means the deduction is flawed, but the argument's themselves are not and still need to be refuted. No drops were made.



Ignoratio:


Even his own source showed Present-ism is NOT the same as A theory of time (one can endorse A theory and not presentism, instead growing universe theory). In fact presentism has been around philosophy for centuries, A theory of time came around in the early 1900's signalling they are not one in the same. Furthermore, my opponent submits A theory through presentism (when they are not the same) and via a paradox of grim reapers (which have nothing to do with this debate due to presentism!) But I still refuted it, even though it was irrelevant to cover my own butt. My opponent substituted A theory for presentism (a different issue) and argued A theory via presentism, which is an Ignoratio elenchi. This is embarrassing for my opponent. Grim reaper for presentism, NOT A Theory as he asserts.


http://en.wikipedia.org...



Reductio Ad Absurdum:


It was due to the fact that my opponents arguments tried to claim that a silly result would follow through my logic, that the universe would be impossible to exist, which simply isn't true. My claim was clear: that this type of nothing had no rules so something could happen. My opponent acknowledges the legitimacy of this, then proceeds to show it's silly


http://en.wikipedia.org...



The question here isn't the legitimacy of science, but rather what does science show us? And does it account for a God? It does not, and it even skews our understanding of Quantum, Physics as I have shown, my opponent dropped several fallacies I called him on, and even showed his misrepresentation of sources. That almost everyone in the sciences agrees to B theory of time not A, and that in the case of philosophy versus science, science empirically and objectively is superior as my opponent claims as well. If God does not have a beginning, then it's B theory of time because he always existed, otherwise it's question begging. And my opponents form of nothingness simply does not exist.


And as a result of showing the flaws of premise 1 and 2, the conclusion fell. This, I believe is why I won. The key point here is the universe always existed, special relativity disproves A theory of time, string theory accounts for all and is more legitimate as my opponent showed the spurious argument, and we know it's more valid because the neo-lorentzian view does not account for relativity which has been shown to be true. String does.



Case and point. The KCA is a horrible arguments not in line with what we know today. It causes the person arguing for it to cherry pick, and relies on numerous fallacies. If there is a creator, who created him?



Thank you!


Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Guy_D: you fail at voting.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Wow, close one.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
I will vote on this later today.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
gordonjames wrote:
: I was interested to see the definition of God.
: "God is defined as the timeless, immaterial, spaceless, omnipotent, and personal cause of the
: universe existing."
:
: By defining God as the cause of the universe existing, PRO has given himself quite an advantage.
: By accepting that definition, CON has placed himself in a hard position.

I see that definition as working to Con's advantage, not Pro's.

If you just defined god as the cause of the universe, then you could get from "The universe has a cause" to "That cause is god." But, if you define god as "timeless, immaterial, spaceless, omnipotent, and personal," then there's no way to reach that conclusion from the given premises.
Posted by sadolite 3 years ago
sadolite
I was asked to vote but can't. My bias interferes with my ability to be fair. I can't in all good faith consider that my existence has no purpose or was created for no purpose to exist in a place with no purpose.
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
I was interested to see the definition of God.
"God is defined as the timeless, immaterial, spaceless, omnipotent, and personal cause of the universe existing."

By defining God as the cause of the universe existing, PRO has given himself quite an advantage.
By accepting that definition, CON has placed himself in a hard position.

Good debate in spite of this.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
It's not acceptable for debaters to decide to waive the character limits, any more than it would be acceptable for two baseball teams to decide to move the pitcher's mound. Readers should ignore the extra text. It could however be given to prisoners as a substitute for water boarding at GITMO.

The cosmological argument always comes down to an argument from incredulity. Let's suppose that all current scientific explanations for the origins of the universe are ruled out as being in conflict with know facts. Then there are several possibilities: God did it with magical powers defying physical laws; a scientific explanation exists but hasn't been found; or the human mind is conceptually incapable of understanding the scientific explanation so it will never be found. the cosmological argument asserts that a magical explanation is believable, but the alternatives are not.

The personal explanation versus physical explanation is an equivocation of "explanation." Scientific explanations always work in terms of repeatable natural laws. An explanation of any other kind isn't an explanation at all in context of the question of the origin of the universe. We'd need to know not just that God did it, but the physical mechanisms used to accomplish for it to be a true explanation. For example, we can explain sunrise as being God's will, and maybe it is, but the explanation sought has to do with earth's rotation.
Posted by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
@Vulpes_Inculta- I got 'em; I had to refresh a few times and they came up.
Posted by Vulpes_Inculta 3 years ago
Vulpes_Inculta
I think it will screw things up if you don't see them. Are the photos on my profile public?
Posted by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
@Vulpes_Inculta- Hmm, interesting, they decided to show up after refreshing the page a few times. Never mind, I see them now.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Vulpes_IncultaTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: (CVB against Anthra (aperion) for retributive voting against TheHitchslap)
Vote Placed by Guy_D 3 years ago
Guy_D
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Reasons for voting decision: From where I sit? that being your typical DDO member who has slightly more than just a passing interest regarding this topic, I?d say that Pro made a persuasive case according to the title of the debate. Wiploc?s comments were dead on, as I kept getting tripped up on Con?s portion of the debate, and his attempt to simply impugn Pro?s sources didn?t convince me that the topic was less sound as an argument.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
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Reasons for voting decision: Remove counter for JonathanCrane, since he withdrew his improper CVB. And now: That God is a cause for the effect stated in the cosmological argument does -and can not- follow from either the premises or any knowledge empirically knowable to man. CON noted that not only does the causal relationship not follow, but that therefore the cosmological argument's line of reasoning is not sound. CON wins, as such.
Vote Placed by drafterman 3 years ago
drafterman
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Reasons for voting decision: The weaknesses to these, and all such arguments, is that the cause being "god" does not follow from any of the premises of the argument. Additional premises, external to the argument, must be inferred. Hitch demonstrated this (and it's all he needed to demonstrate).
Vote Placed by JonathanCrane 3 years ago
JonathanCrane
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering GOP. It doesn't matter if AnthraSight was a double of Apeiron, because Apeiron never voted in this debate. If Apeiron and Anthra had both voted in this debate, then I could see the necessity. But as it stands, the vote was not needed. EDIT: I'm going to leave this to Airmax because YYW is going to keep his vote there no matter what I say.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
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Reasons for voting decision: CON wanted to dispute PROs argument based not on the content, but on technique. PRO was easy for me to read, CON not so.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: Vilenkin did not rule out Hawking's finite but unbounded model of the creation of our universe, and Pro didn't respond directly. Overall con wins Vilenkin point by carefully examining the source. There's no problem with Pro making an argument by quotation from Apeiron or anyone else. There's a basic problem with Pro arguing that if a consistent scientific argument has not been found it is then more plausible to accept a miraculous explanation. That comes into play specifically on the quantum model, where Con was more persuasive.
Vote Placed by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel Con had the better arguments in this debate, as far as weight, showing contradictions, and essential missed points. However, I will give Pro sources do to the fact that his arguments were well structured, visibly pleasing and easy to read, and demonstrated his points very well. Besides one source in particular most of them were pretty accurate. Great debate, good job to both debaters.
Vote Placed by AnthraSight 3 years ago
AnthraSight
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Reasons for voting decision: It was difficult to read Con, whereas Pro was more cogent and flowed well, as wiploc granted. Convincing arguments also go to Pro, he supported his premises sufficiently and showed how Con's main objection with QM was unfounded. Also, Pro used way more reliable sources. I rather enjoyed the pictures as well. I don't think Pro really abused this however.
Vote Placed by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
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Reasons for voting decision: I'll just go premise by premise. P1 goes to Pro. While reductio ad absurdum is a valid counter to arguments, Con needed to show how it's the misrepresentation of "nothingness" that leads to the absurd conclusion. P2 also goes to Pro, although there seems to be a disagreement on what the "Universe" is, as Pro includes quantum vacuums and Con doesn't. C1, though, goes to Con on an argument criticizing equivocation of two forms of "nothing" and "everything" (I find it a bit comical that this was the only logical fallacy Con didn't say explicitly). This leads into the A vs. B theory of time and the GR paradox. The way this paradox was laid out, though, it can only apply after t=0 for our Universe. Before that, it's all quantum fluctuations. What I find interesting is that this debate came down to whether the KCA was MP or not and neither debater pointed this out explicitly, rather both settled on implicit clash. If anyone has any questions, I can elaborate in the comments section.