The Instigator
Magic8000
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
BigSky
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Evidence Points to Atheism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Magic8000
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 937 times Debate No: 31491
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

Magic8000

Pro

Resolution: The Evidence Points to Atheism

BOP is shared

Rules:
No Forfeits
No Fallacies
No Insults
72 Hours to Post
8000 Characters Max
1 Week Voting Period
Start your arguments in round 1
Follow the debate structure

Structure:
Round 1: Pre-debate info and Con's arguments
Round 2: My arguments + rebuttals by both parties
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusion, no new arguments or rebuttals. Keep under 1000 characters.
BigSky

Con

I accept, keep in mind that I am not defending Christianity in this debate, but that the evidence doesn't point to atheism.
Debate Round No. 1
Magic8000

Pro

I would like to thank Con for accepting, but he was suppose to post arguments in R1. I will post my argument

Magic8000's Non-Cognitivism Argument

1. God is outside of our understanding and experience

2. We give meaning to words by our understanding and experience

C. “God” is meaningless (From 1 and 2)

Con probably agrees with 1. It's logically proven if he doesn't. God is usually defined as “Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnibenevolent” We have no experience of these things in reality. We have no experience of all power or all knowledge, we have experence of some power and some knowledge but it's far from experiencing all of it.

Michael Martin writes [1]

In the first place, when terms like “is loving”, “is forgiving”, and “brings about” are applied to God, they seem to mean something very different from what they mean when they are applied to human beings. For example, when we speak of a mother as being loving, we are referring in part to her behavior, and in particular the way she responds to her children. When we say that Jones brought about a fire, we are referring to certain of his bodily actions, such as his carelessly throwing a match onto a pile of paper. But when we say God is loving or God brought about a miracle, we cannot be referring to the behavior or bodily action of God, for He has no body.

Finally, George Smith says [2]

All of the supposedly positive qualities of God arise in a distinctively human context of finite existence, and when wrenched from this context to apply to a supernatural being, they cease to have meaning.
By classic Theistic reasoning, God is perfect, we are not. We can't understand “perfection” because we are imperfect. In fact the Catholic Church actually said God is “incomprehensible” and “ineffable” [3]
2 is simply known a priori and I don't think it will be disputed.


If a word is meaningless, any attempt to prove it is useless! This makes atheism the only justified position. As a god can no more exist than any other meaningless thing that doesn't refer to reality such as a “zsgarbub”.


Strongatheism.net writes [4]
...to say, “A God exists” insofar as it attempts to construct itself as a proposition is false because the term “God” does not refer to an actual concept, and therefore to posit such a statement supposing that it does and that this referent exists in reality as something is an untrue positive declaration......
One cannot posit the existence of something if that something means nothing. The term itself, without referring to any specific concept or possible instantiation, holds no actual or even potential place in reality. In truth, it is amusing to note that the theistic position is unwittingly equivalent to the atheistic position, as to posit belief in “God” actually means “belief in nothing” – the stance of atheism.”


The resolution is affirmed
Now to Con
[1] Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, Chapter 1.
[2]George Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1979), Chapter 3.
[3] 1968 National Catholic Almanac, edited by Felician A. Foy, O. F. M. (Paterson: St. Anthony’s Guild, 1968), p. 360
[4] http://www.strongatheism.net...

BigSky

Con

Thank you for the response, forgive me for not giving my arguments in the first round. I have found several holes in your reasoning, you said:

“belief in nothing” – the stance of atheism.”

By saying you believe in nothing, you believe there is nothing. Therefore, you are claiming that there is in fact, no God, just pointing this out. This means that in order to win this debate, you have to prove to the audience that there is no God, I have to do the opposite.

There are many acclaimed proofs that there is in fact a God, evidence points to it. While a theist doesn’t need these proofs for their own beliefs, there are some, like my opponent, that demand scientific proof. The fact is, this is no “proof,” that God does, or does not exist. There was no one around all those years ago to witness the big bang, or Genesis. So, and I feel my opponent would agree, we turn to whatever evidence we can find.

If you look at what you are standing on, you will find your first evidence, the Earth. The Earth is perfect; it is just the right size. If it were smaller, we wouldn’t be able to sustain an atmosphere, much like Mercury. Any larger, and it would be like Jupiter, which contains free hydrogen. If the Earth were closer to the sun, we would all burn, if it would too far, we would freeze. The Earth’s temperature fluctuates just so that it can sustain life. [1]

The evidence points to God.

Liquids are the rarest forms of matter in the Universe. They have to exist in the exact right circumstances, even more so, water. If my opponent wishes to claim that the Big Bang just magically threw all of these perfect circumstances in, and we are able to survive, that is ridiculous, and I can’t imagine how a man who follows evidence would ever believe that it was luck that got us where we are. Sheer luck: It’s unreasonable, highly improbable, and very unlikely. [1]

The evidence points to God.

This brings us to the theory of intelligent design, or that a higher being created everything. The Principle of Sufficient Reason [2] shows us that all things that exist, in their own necessity, need a reason for their existence. The Law of Thermodynamics [3] shows us that energy and matter can’t be created, so how could the Big Bang explain anything? If energy and matter cannot be created, and the universe is finite (2nd Law of Thermodynamics) [3] there had to be another force in play.

The evidence points to God.

Meaning: What is intended to be; the end, purpose, or significance of something; the thing one intends to convey especially by language. [4]

Meaning is not based on our understanding of something; meaning is a symbol, a message, if you will.
The Bible is a message, it has a meaning. It has significance, Christ died on the cross for all of humanity, so that we may be saved from sin. The Bible has meaning; the Bible is the Christian word of God:

The evidence points to God.

“By classic Theistic reasoning, God is perfect, we are not. We can't understand ‘perfection’ because we are imperfect. In fact the Catholic Church actually said God is ‘incomprehensible’ and ‘ineffable’ ”

Perfection is God because God told us he is perfect.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” -John 4:16

Jesus said, “I am the truth.” When you ask: what is the truth? He is your answer. He is perfection.

The evidence points to God.

"One cannot posit the existence of something if that something means nothing. The term itself, without referring to any specific concept or possible instantiation.”

This evidence is flawed. If God is omnipotent, and he is all-powerful, and he has influence over virtually anything, how do you apply any logic you know to proving his existence? You are given a definition that says God is all-powerful, therefore, he is not limited by any restrictive ideology you put on him. He is not limited to the human standard of existence.

The evidence points to God.

Thank You.

[1] http://www.everystudent.com...

[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[3] http://www.emc.maricopa.edu...

[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


Debate Round No. 2
Magic8000

Pro

Non-Cognitivism

Con begins his response at the end of his round. He starts by attacking premise 2 (which I'm shocked by) saying “Meaning is not based on our understanding”. The flaw here is that the definition disagrees with him.

the thing one intends to convey especially by language”

The problem is, the definition says “the thing one” this is obviously talking about a human. How does one convey something if that something is not within our understanding and experience.

Convey is defined as

to impart or communicate by statement, suggestion, gesture, or appearance <struggling to convey his feelings>” [1]

His response is clearly debunked.

If Con wants to hold to this response, then I challenge Con to convey something meaningful that doesn't refer to anything that's within our understanding or experience.

Con then commits a red herring fallacy. He says “Perfection is God because God told us he is perfect.” This is irrelevant, it's agreeing with what I said and does nothing to the argument.

If God is omnipotent, and he is all-powerful, and he has influence over virtually anything”

The problem is your assuming “Omnipotence” has meaning. When someone says they influenced something it means they have the power to produce an effect. However as Michael Martin said, our understanding and experience of an effect in sentient beings is a bodily action. The term ceases to have meaning when applied to God. The rest of what Con said doesn't do anything to the argument. Saying God is outside our standard of existence doesn't give God meaning anymore than saying a “zuhsde” is outside our standard of existence gives it meaning. It's irrelevant, the point is, we can't have a concept of this “God” until it's meaningfully defined! If you say this thing is outside our standard of existence, you're arguing for my position and against yours! If God was meaningful, why does Con have to appeal to an unknown standard of existence?

This argument hasn't been refuted.

Con's case.

Anthropic Principle.

Con first gives us 2 fine tuned attributes of our Earth

1, The Earth is the correct size for our atmosphere

2, The Earth is at the perfect place for life

These have various problems and assumptions.

1, It assumes that carbon based life is the only type of life that can form in our universe.

2, The terms“smaller” and “closer” are ambiguous. What is it meant by these? How small and how close?

3, It forgets the insane number of planets that exist. It's not that hard to think one day we will find a planet like ours.

In fact, NASA has a mission called “Kepler”, which seeks to find Earth like planets. January 7th of 2013 NASA said

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively.[2]

Kepler has also found a planet in a Habitable Zone, perfect for water.

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface” [3]

Notice how the terms like “closer” and “smaller” undefined. Like the second fine tuned attribute. How far/close would it be for life to die out?

The habitable zone is the region around a star in which water will be liquid at the surface of a planet. The habitable zone around the Sun (depending on how you calculate it) is about 0.95 AU to 1.37 AU. An AU is the Earth's average distance from the Sun, 93 million miles, so the Earth's orbit could decrease by 4,500,000 miles or increase by 34,000,000 miles and still be in the habitable zone.[4]

Hardly fine tuned. It's obvious why the terms were undefined.

Rare liquid argument

Con claims that liquid is the rarest form of matter in the universe. This is uncited, because it's false. Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the universe and Oxygen is the third [5]. We all know what happens when we put those together! Con claims it's too unreasonable and unlikely to think liquid formed in the Big Bang. Contrary, evidence from the LHC shows the universe was “not only very hot and dense but behaved like a hot liquid.”[6]. Con also hasn't given the numbers, it's just his assertion.

L.O.T. Argument

Con says by the laws of Thermodynamics, another force must be active in the creation of the universe. There's a few fallacies here. First, it's an argument from ignorance, if we don't know how something came to be, this doesn't mean God did it. It's a causal proof by effect problem[7]. Con points to some effects and says God is the cause. Con has yet to prove this! Second, it's also a special pleading fallacy. If I ask where God came from, you would state God is outside the universe and needs no cause. If you grant something can exist without a cause and outside the universe, then why not something other than God?

Under the mainstream interpretations of quantum physics, quantum vacuum fluctuations have no cause. They in a sense, bypass the laws of thermodynamics. [8][9]

But that just raises the question of where the energy came from.Keep in mind E=mc^2 shows energy and matter are basically one in the same, they can transform into each other The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.[10]

Edward Tryon said


The laws of physics place no limit on the scale of vacuum fluctuations. The duration is of course subject to the restriction ΔEΔt ~ h, but this merely implies that our Universe has zero energy, which has already been made plausible.[11]

Tryon's model is falsified, but he set the stage. There's newer updated models that use the same foundations as Tryon. Like Alexander Vilenkin's quantum tunneling model. His model states the universe came from an uncaused quantum tunneling event. [12]

Why should we accept God over the scientific alternatives? There's no reason to assume God when talking about the creation of the universe.

The resolution is affirmed

Back to Con

Sources

_____________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[2] http://www.nasa.gov...

[3] http://www.nasa.gov...

[4] http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...

[5] http://www.einfopedia.com...

[6] http://phys.org...

[7] http://doubtingdave.com...

[8] “In the everyday world, energy is always unalterably fixed; the law of energy conservation is a cornerstone of classical physics. But in the quantum microworld, energy can appear and disappear out of nowhere in a spontaneous and unpredictable fashion.” Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics.

[9] “Even in a perfect vacuum—a region of space containing neither matter nor energy—particle-antiparticle pairs constantly appear and disappear....”

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu...

[10] Hawking, Steven. 1988. A Brief History of Time

[11] Tryon, Edward P. 1973. Is the universe a vacuum fluctuation?

[12] http://www.mukto-mona.com...

BigSky

Con

Thank you for your response. I am sure that my opponent will agree that if his first premise is proven false, then so is the whole argument.

By saying that “God is outside our understanding our experience,” my opponent is self-refuting his own argument. Anyone who asserts the proposition that “God is unknowable” is purporting to know something about God, namely that he’s unknowable! That is exactly what premise one is doing, contradicting itself. It shows that my opponent’s whole argument is based on this contradiction.

“The terms“smaller” and “closer” are ambiguous. What is it meant by these? How small and how close?”

Steven Hawking stated in his book, A Brief History of Time, that if the Universe were changed by a thousandth-millionth-millionth, the world would not be able to sustain life. [1]

“Con claims that liquid is the rarest form of matter in the universe. This is uncited, because it's false. Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the universe and Oxygen is the third.”

My opponent believes that liquid means “water.” Water is a liquid, but liquids, any liquid, are the rarest form of matter in the Universe [2]. H20 can be a solid, and a liquid, my opponent’s arguments are full of holes.

“But that just raises the question of where the energy came from.Keep in mind E=mc^2 shows energy and matter are basically one in the same, they can transform into each other”

That is false, even if matter could become energy, which it can’t, there would still be a finite amount.

My opponent’s arguments have been refuted.

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument [3]

1) Anything that exists 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 exists

4) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3)

5) Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from 2, 4)

Warrant for Premise One

one is a modest version of PSR: Anything that happens does so for a reason. One merely requires any existing thing to have an explanation, which is compatible with their being brute facts about the world. Think of a translucent ball in the forest, that ball would require an explanation, no imagine that same ball the size of the universe, the universe is no exception to explanation, you cannot just dismiss the universe needed an explanation like a taxi cab.

Warrant for Premise Two

Two is the logical equivalent to what atheists often affirm, that if atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence. For the transcendent cause must be immaterial, and there are two things which fit such a description: abstract objects or Minds. But abstract objects don't stand in causal relations, they don't fit our criteria for existence, hence the cause of the universe must be an ultra-mundane mind. The universe clearly exists, so therefore it follows logically that the universe has an explanation, that explanation being God.

The evidence points to God.

[1] Steven Hawking, A Brief History of Time

[2] http://www.windows2universe.org...

[3] https://bearspace.baylor.edu...

Debate Round No. 3
Magic8000

Pro

Non-Cognitivism

Con drops his previous arguments for a new one.

Con says the argument is contradictory. However it's clearly false because his argument assumes that not knowing something is the same as knowing it. For example, let my say there's a "hfgu". What do we know about this "hfgu"? Nothing! If Con was correct we must have knowledge of “hfgu”, because to say we have no knowledge of this hfgu is to say that we do have knowledge of it! To take it further. Con must say we have all knowledge of the universe, because to say there's something in the universe which we don't know, is to know about what is unknown! Is this a contradiction? Well, no it's not because knowing something and not knowing something are two different things. All I have to show is that we that we know that we don't know(different from actually knowing what it is). This has been done.

Con would also have to be saying God is knowable. He has yet to demonstrate this. Con would also be throwing away the definition of God as proposed by the Catholic Church.

My main argument hasn't been refuted.

Con's case.

Anthropic Principle.

Con again drops his argument and misrepresents Stephen Hawking. Con is referring to Hawking when he said

If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, they universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size” [1]

Hawking is talking about the rate of expansion, not how close the Earth is to the Sun nor how big the Earth is! Even if Con is proposing this as an argument for the fine tuning of the Universe, it still doesn't work because Hawking was just explaining the flatness problem. Later he actually explained why the rate of expansion was so “fine tuned”

Moreover, the rate of expansion of the universe would automatically become very close to the critical rate determined by the energy density of the universe. This could then explain why the rate of expansion is still so close to the critical rate, without having to assume that the initial rate of expansion of the universe was very carefully chosen.”

The problem was solved by inflationary theory. So, Con misquotes a quote mine by Hawking.

Rare liquid argument

Con is missing the point. If the chemicals that make up liquid are abundant, then liquid wouldn't be the rarest form of matter! Con also ignored the evidence that shows the early Universe had liquid.

L.O.T. Argument

Con drops most of my rebuttals here and just claims E=mc^2 is false. It's not false at all, it's been proven and is accepted as fact by current physics [2] [3]. He also says there must be a finite amount of it. This is an irrelevant red herring fallacy, because I've already shown models that give an explanation of the Universe's energy. He then presents another argument, which my LOT responses work against. His new argument has a new problem that the others didn't suffer from.

"For the transcendent cause must be immaterial, and there are two things which fit such a description: abstract objects or Minds. But abstract objects don't stand in causal relations, they don't fit our criteria for existence, hence the cause of the universe must be an ultra-mundane mind."

Minds don't have the ability to have causal relations! They can only cause thoughts inside its own head. I challenge Con to post his next argument using nothing but his mind alone. You can't do it, you can think of responses to give, but you can't affect anything. Con can get away from this by saying the mind is special and can cause things. This would be committing the special pleading fallacy, as I can say an abstract object is also special in this way! My other aguments against the LOT work against this one too

My opponent’s arguments have been refuted.

I don't know how you say that when you dropped most of your arguments and didn't answer all of mine.

The resolution is affirmed

Back to Con

Sources

_____________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://sqentropy.dyndns.org...

[2] http://www.drphysics.com...

[3]

Video

BigSky

Con

BigSky forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Magic8000

Pro

Conclusion

Con never refuted my argument. He dropped his first objections for one that assumes knowing and not knowing are the same thing.

Con makes a case based on the fine tuning of the Earth. I refuted this and Con misquoted Stephen Hawking. Con doesn't properly answer my response to his thermodynamic argument. He only goes after 1 thing that's well supported in physics.

To top it all off, he forfeits R4. This violates one of the agreed rules, making me the winner.
BigSky

Con

BigSky forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Only 3 hours left, please don't FF. If you just post something in R4 you'll have some type of chance.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
So con can just drop anything he said and make what you think is 1 good point to win? Real objective....
Posted by Apeiron 3 years ago
Apeiron
Con basically just won the debate with this,

"By saying that "God is outside our understanding our experience," my opponent is self-refuting his own argument. Anyone who asserts the proposition that "God is unknowable" is purporting to know something about God, namely that he"s unknowable! That is exactly what premise one is doing, contradicting itself. It shows that my opponent"s whole argument is based on this contradiction."
Posted by BigSky 3 years ago
BigSky
Ok, lol, I should be able to respond in time, but I'm taking AP History and the amount of homework is pretty intense.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
k
Posted by BigSky 3 years ago
BigSky
I will accept this as soon as I can, thanks.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 3 years ago
Misterscruffles
Magic8000BigSkyTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
Magic8000BigSkyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
Magic8000BigSkyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Sources to Pro because he used more reliable sources.
Vote Placed by Xerge 3 years ago
Xerge
Magic8000BigSkyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit