The Instigator
janetsanders733
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
black_squirrel
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Existence of God is More Probable than Not

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,495 times Debate No: 44931
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (0)

 

janetsanders733

Pro

I will be arguing that the Existence of God is more probable than not. My opponent will be arguing that God's exisetence is not probable. I would also like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.


Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion/No-New Arguements
black_squirrel

Con

I accept this challenge. PRO did not give any definitions so I will suggest some.


God [1]
the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

probable [2]
1. supported by evidence strong enough to establish presumption but not proof <a probable hypothesis>
2. likely to be or become true or real <probable outcome>
(We could use either definition. If something is true with probability >50%, then we can call it probable as in definition 2. However, in some instances, it may not be possible to give/compute a precise probability. In that case we can resort to definition 1.)

exist [3]
have objective reality or being


I will argue that God probably does not exist. I am looking forward to my opponent's arguments.


[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...










Debate Round No. 1
janetsanders733

Pro


I am glad to be having this debate with my opponent. I will now begin my opening statements down below.


The definition of God[2]: superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.


God is beyond nature, so that means he must be immaterial, timeless, space-less, all-knowing, all-powerful, morally sufficient, and metaphysically necessary.




The Teleological Argument[1]:



  1. 1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to: physical necessity, chance, or design.




  1. 2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.




  1. 3. Therefore, it is due to design.



Fine-Tuning of the Universe:


I think that both my opponent and I will have to agree that the Universe is so finely tuned. Now what do I mean by Fine-Tuned? The Universe’s value and constants fall into such narrow ranges, that if any one of these constants or values were changed by a degree or decimal, the conditions for life would not be suitable to live in. For example: n the 1950s, Cambridge University astronomer Fred Hoyle recognized the precision of the energy match up, called carbon resonance, and made the following observation down here below.


"A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."


The mass of a proton is roughly 1836.1526 times the mass of the electron. Were this ratio changed by any significant degree, the stability of many common chemicals would be compromised. In the end, this would prevent the formation of such molecules as DNA, the building blocks of life.


Another interesting example of a finely-tuned initial condition is the critical density of the universe. In order to evolve in a life-sustaining manner, the universe must have maintained an extremely precise overall density. The precision of density must have been so great that a change of one part in 1015 (i.e. 0.0000000000001%) would have resulted in a collapse, or big crunch, occurring far too early for life to have developed, or there would have been an expansion so rapid that no stars, galaxies or life could have formed. This degree of precision would be like a blindfolded man choosing a single lucky penny in a pile large enough to pay off the United States’ national debt.


The question we want to raise is why is the Universe so finely-tuned the way that it is? Why are the constants and values so narrow and precise in order for life to exist? Why are there “arbitrary” constants and values?


This leaves us with only three options: Physical Necessity, Chance, or Design. I will explain the justification below for why it’s designed.



Justification for Premise 1:


Given above, the first Premise simply gives us three options to choose from: Physical Necessity, Chance, or Design. Physical Necessity a.k.a. “The Theory of Everything” says that there is an unknown theory waiting to happen or not yet know, that can explain why the Universe is so finely-tuned. Chance is pretty obvious, as it pretty much says at the roll-of-the dice, the Universe just sort of happened to be so finely-tuned. And then there’s Design, which says that an Intelligent Mind was behind the cause of the fine-tuning of the Universe. We want to now know which one is best.


Justification for Premise 2:


Now that we have addressed the three options, let’s go ahead and see which one provides or offers the best explanation of the Universe being this way. Let’s start with Physical Necessity. Physical necessity is extremely implausible, for it doesn’t have the explanatory scope to explain how the constants and values are independent of nature. How about the second option of Chance? Well Chance can’t explain the precision of how finely-tuned the Universe is. For it’s so improbable, that chance alone would be impossible to make these ranges and constants fall into such narrow arbitrary values.


Conclusion of Premise 3:


I think we can safely say with certainty that the cause of the Universe is from an Intelligent Mind(God), and that none of these other options that we have in this pool of explanation can logically explain the fine-tuning of the Universe. What my opponent needs to do is then show and defend how physical necessity or chance can best explain the fine-tuning, and he must also show why God is not the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the Universe.


Sources:


[1] www.reasonablefaith.org/the-new-atheism-and-five-arguments-for-god#ixzz2sNUVlGmU


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


[3] http://biologos.org...


black_squirrel

Con

Fine-tuned?

PRO: "I think that both my opponent and I will have to agree that the Universe is so finely tuned."

No, I do not agree that the universe is fine-tuned. If we would change some of nature's constant (which we cannot), then the universe might become logically inconsistent. This means, that such a universe could not possibly exist. There may be lots of relations between natures constants which HAVE to be satisfied because of purely mathematical reasons. Take for example the mathematical constantspi=3.1415..., e=2.8182..., and i, the imaginary number. Euler found the following relation among these constants:
e^(pi*i)+1=0. This relation is not completely obvious, but can be proven with some basic mathematics. So it might look like a coincidence that pi is equal to 3.1415... and not 3.1414..., but if pi were equal to 3.1414...., Euler's equation would not be satisfied.
So it is actually not a coincidence at all.

PRO:"The mass of a proton is roughly 1836.1526 times the mass of the electron. Were this ratio changed by any significant degree, the stability of many common chemicals would be compromised. In the end, this would prevent the formation of such molecules as DNA, the building blocks of life."

As in the example of Euler's equation [1], it may be not a coincidence at all the the mass of a proton is roughly 1836.1526
times the mass of an electron. There may be some complicated math behind it, which we do not completely understand yet.

PRO:"Physical necessity is extremely implausible, for it doesn’t have the explanatory scope to explain how the constants and values are independent of nature."

We do not know whether these constants are independent of nature. One could imagine that the gravitation constant is slightly different, but that does not mean that it is actually possible and consistent. In my dreams I can defy gravity and fly, but in real life this contradicts nature's laws. But one needs to know enough physics to understand that it is not physically possible for humans to fly like birds. In the same way, it may seem that we could vary some of the constants, but this appearance may just be because of our lack of understanding of physics.

parallel universes/multiverses

Richard Dawkins suggested a multi-verse theory to counter the fine-tuning argument.

Another argument against the fine-tuning are the parallel universes. Suppose for a moment, that some of the constants are independent of nature as my opponent claims. So, we assume that if we vary one of the constants, we get a different, but still logically consistent universe. Then, the fine-tuning argument asks why the constant is exactly right for life to exist.
First of all, if we change the value of the constant, we may get a different universe that does not support life as we know it. However, it might still support life in a very different way. Organic chemistry may not be the only way to support life.
But let us assume, again for the sake of the argument, that only one possible value of the constant supports life.

Now, for every value of the constant we get a universe. So we get parallel universes. The probability that a given universe supports life is close to 0, but the probability that there is life in one of the parallel universes is 1. Now you may say that it is a coincidence that there is life in our parallel universe. But that is of course not a coincidence at life. Any universe that we can life in, is a universe that supports life, because we are life.

One also may argue that all those other parallel universes are not real, only our universe is real. But what is real? It means that it can be observed by us. But if is observed by us, then it must support us, and therefore, that universe must support life.

The conclusion is, that every universe that is real, must support life.

probability

The bottom line is, that the probabilistic reasoning in the fine-tuning argument is nonsense. Probability makes only sense if one has experiments that one can repeat. The question, what is the probability the the universe supports life does not make too much sense.
The only sensible answer I can give to that is, that the probability is 1. Because there is only 1 universe we know of, and that one does support life. But really, the notion of probability does not make sense. There is no random experiment that spits out a random universe.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_identity

[2] Richard Dawkins, the God Delusion











Debate Round No. 2
janetsanders733

Pro


Rebuttal to Fine-tuning:


My opponent says that the Universe is not fine-tuned. However, he can believe that, but the consensus amongst majority of Physicists is quite different. Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires.[1]


I would agree with my opponent who also says that this is no coincidence at all. There must be a reason for why the Universe is so finely-tuned.




Rebuttal to: “We do not know whether these constants are independent of nature.”


My opponent couldn’t be farther from the truth. That’s arguing from ignorance and is quite frankly nonsense. It’s a mathematical fact that the constants are independent of nature. According to the current standard model of particle physics, there are over 25 freely adjustable parameters with an additional parameter. In fact, Martin Rees, a British cosmologist and astrophysicist, has calculated 6 main important constants that would be considered the “Secret ingredient” for our Universe to come into existence. I will now list the formula down below.


*Note, these constants are “Dimensionless”.


N = ratio of the strengths of gravity to that of electromagnetism;


Epsilon (ε) = strength of the force binding nucleons into nuclei;


Omega (ω) = relative importance of gravity and expansion energy in the Universe;


Lambda (λ) = cosmological constant;


Q = ratio of the gravitational energy required to pull a large galaxy apart to the energy equivalent of its mass;


D = number of spatial dimensions in spacetime.


I don’t think I’ll have enough room to go in and explain all 6 of these constants, but I will explain the purpose and how they affect our universe. As I said before, these six fundamental constants are so vital to for the existence of our universe, that if any 1 of these constants were changed there would be no life on earth or our current Universe would be so dramatically impossible to exist the way that it does now.[2]



Rebuttal to parallel universes/multiverses:



Richard Dawkins suggested a multi-verse theory to counter the fine-tuning argument. There are several problems with Dawkins argument from fine-tuning. I will go ahead and list some down below.



  1. 1. Each universe in the ensemble is not simple but is characterized by a multiplicity of independent constants and quantities. Plus, if the Universe were “simple”, then why would Dawkins need to come up with a Multiverse/World-Ensemble argument?

  2. 2. Dawkins assumes that the simplicity of the whole is a function of the simplicity of the parts. This is a huge error, for this is somewhat of a non-sequitur. If you have a group of simple universes, their values would still be complex and their constants would vary one another, so each universe in a multi-verse would not share the same values and constants since they would be fundamentally and necessarily different in order for each universe to exist.

  3. 3. Ockham’s Razor tells us not to multiply entities beyond necessity. Positing a multiverse beyond what is necessary is a clear error that Dawkins has made.









Rebuttal to probability:


“The only sensible answer I can give to that is, that the probability is 1. Because there is only 1 universe we know of, and that one does support life. But really, the notion of probability does not make sense. There is no random experiment that spits out a random universe.”


The Weak Anthropic Principle


Now what my opponent is affirming here is actually the Weak anthropic principle. Basically it’s saying “Well high improbabilities happen all the time, so we shouldn’t be surprised by the high improbability of finely-tuned constants.”[5] https://www.youtube.com...;


A good analogy to this sort- of reasoning is given by Philosopher John Leslie[4]


“In this parable, an individual faces a firing squad, and fifty expert marksmen aim their tifles to carry out the deed. The order is given, the shots ring out, and yet somehow all the bullets miss and the condemned individual walks away unscathed."



"How could such a remarkable event be explained? Leslie suggests that there are two possible alternatives ... In the first place, there may have been thousands of executions being carried out in that same day, and even the best marksman will occasionally miss. So the odds just happen to be in favor of this one individual, and all fifty of the marksmen fail to hit the target. The other option is that something more directed is going on, and the apparent poor aim of the fifty experts was actually intentional. Which seems more plausible?"



Basically, we want to know why the marksmen missed the individual at the firing squad. The problem with Dawkins reasoning is that



  1. 1. Fails to explain the Fine-tuning of our universe.

  2. 2. Wants us to sit around in ignorance until an answer is given.

  3. 3. Not seek out the most rational inference or conclusion





Sources:


[1] George F. R. Ellis, "Does the Multiverse Really Exist?" Scientific American


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


[3] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...


[4] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...


[5] https://www.youtube.com...


black_squirrel

Con

PRO: "My opponent says that the Universe is not fine-tuned. However, he can believe that, but the consensus amongst majority of Physicists is quite different. Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".
This is not a valid argument because:

a) This is an argument ad populom (fallacy). Because a majority believes it, does not make it true.[1]
b) There is no such broad agreement among my physicist friends. For PRO and Paul Davies to make such claim, one should have at least do some poll among physicists.

PRO: "I would agree with my opponent who also says that this is no coincidence at all. There must be a reason for why the Universe is so finely-tuned."

This is a false dichotomy (fallacy). [2] PRO claims that, either the existence of life in the universe is a coincidence, or there is a reason for the existence of life (and that reason is "God"). Well, it could be that it is not a coincidence (outcome of a random experiment) and there may simply be no reason. We like to have reasons for everything, but there is no guarantee that there always is a reason.

CON (me):"We do not know whether these constants are independent of nature."
PRO's rebuttal: "My opponent couldn’t be farther from the truth. That’s arguing from ignorance and is quite frankly nonsense. It’s a mathematical fact that the constants are independent of nature. According to the current standard model of particle physics, there are over 25 freely adjustable parameters with an additional parameter."

How many free parameters are there? 26? more than 26? Physicists don't seem to have a definite answer. The number of parameters seems to be ever increasing. On the other hand, IF a unified theory is found, then the physical constants of the standard model will be explained from the unified theory, and so they wouldn't be free anymore.

from [3] (emphasis added):
"It is impossible to say when these problems will be overcome. They may be solved in a preprint put out tomorrow by some young theorist. They may not be solved by 2050, or even 2150. But when they are solved, even though we cannot do experiments at 1016 GeV or look into higher dimensions, we will not have any trouble in recognizing the truth of the fundamental unified theory. The test will be whether the theory successfully accounts for the measured values of the physical constants of the Standard Model, along with whatever other effects beyond the Standard Model may have been discovered by then."

Whenever we have empirical discoveries, we find new physical constant (for example the mass of a new particle). On the other hand, unification of various theories in physics has the effect that we find relations among the physical constants we have found so far. The idea, that there might be relations among the dimensionless constants is far from crazy.

I am not arguing from ignorance. I am not saying that the universe is not fine-tuned, because there is no proof that the nature's constants are independent. I am just saying that there is no proof that the universe is fine-tuned, because there is no proof that the nature's constants are independent. The universe may or may not be fine-tuned. I am not convinced that it is.


Regarding the multiverses, I did not understand what PRO meant with "simple" universe.

Let me explain it in simple terms what my vision is on multi-verses and fine-tuning.
Suppose that we have a physical theory that depend on some dimensionless parameters. For simplicity,
let us assume we have 1 parameter in our theory, which we call t. (or t could be a vector of several parameters)

CASE A: U(t) is only logically consistent for 1 value t. Then there really is no fine-tuning. We cannot choose t freely.

CASE B: U(t) is logically consistent for several or even infinite values of t. For simplicity, let us assume that U(t)
is consistent for all values of t. This is what I would call a multi-verse. By Occam's razor, we indeed would prefer not to have a multi-verse. But if we have independent physical constants, we must have a multi-verse.
We have infinitely many (possible) universes. For only few values of t, the universe U(t) can support life. Now every universe U(t) exists as a theory. But which universes exist in reality? A universe exists in reality if it can be observed by us. But if a universe can be observed, it MUST support life, because we are alive. So logically we conclude, that every universe that exists in reality, MUST support life. So in other words, the probability that a real universe supports life is 1!

PRO: "Now what my opponent is affirming here is actually the Weak anthropic principle. Basically it’s saying “Well high improbabilities happen all the time, so we shouldn't’t be surprised by the high improbability of finely-tuned constants.” "

Yes, my argument is a version of the Anthropic Principle, but I would not formulate it with probability. Rather, probability in this context does not make much sense. You can only talk about probability when you have experiments where you know the probabilities.

Let me talk a bit about probability. For this kind of reasoning one needs conditional probability. [4]
If A is an event, then I denote the probability that A happens by p(A). The complement of A is denoted by Ac.
So A happens if and only if Ac does not happen. So p(A)+p(Ac)=1.
If B is another event, then the probability
that A happens, given that B happened is denoted by p(A|B).
The probability that we are interested in is p(A|B), where A="God Exists", Ac="God does not exist" and B="the universe supports life"
So the argument of fine-tuning says:
p(B|Ac) is small: if God doesn't exist, the chance that the universe supports life is small
p(B|A) is large: if God does exist, then the chance that the universe supports life is large (perhaps even 1).
Then it concludes, p(A|B) is large (>50%). Given that the universe supports life, the probability that God exists is more than 50%.

This conclusion is wrong. One needs additional assumptions to make the conclusion.
I am running out of time, so I will explain this in more detail next time , as well as explain why Leslie's firing squad is not a good analogy for the fine tuning argument.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.math.vt.edu...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...


Debate Round No. 3
janetsanders733

Pro


b) There is no such broad agreement among my physicist friends. For PRO and Paul Davies to make such claim, one should have at least do some poll among physicists.”


a) No because I gave some evidence that Cosmologists and Physicists have shown and proven. Appeal to popularity is therefore valid only when the questions are whether the belief is widespread and to what degree. I was just simply using that to show that my opponent is disagreeing with the undisputed opinion held by majority based upon the evidence. I wasn’t using majority alone to prove something true. My opponent needs to show why the Universe isn’t fine-tuned despite the overwhelming evidence that has been proven beyond a doubt by leading Cosmologists.


b) That’s not true. You won’t find many cosmologists that dispute the evidence. So far only a small minority of cosmologists actually dispute it such as: Victor Stenger and Fred Adams.[1] [2]



“This is a false dichotomy (fallacy). [2] PRO claims that, either the existence of life in the universe is a coincidence, or there is a reason for the existence of life (and that reason is "God"). Well, it could be that it is not a coincidence (outcome of a random experiment) and there may simply be no reason. We like to have reasons for everything, but there is no guarantee that there always is a reason.”


No it’s not a false-dichotmoy because I gave more than 2 options to choose from. What we’re looking for is the best-explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe. So far, the only options we have are 1) Physical Necessity (Theory of Everything) 2) Chance 3) Design. I’ve already proven why 1 and 2 are false in my opening argument. I don’t merely assume anything. Remember I gave good reasons for thinking why 3 is the best-explanation for the fine-tuning in my opening argument.





How many free parameters are there? 26? more than 26? Physicists don't seem to have a definite answer. The number of parameters seems to be ever increasing. On the other hand, IF a unified theory is found, then the physical constants of the standard model will be explained from the unified theory, and so they wouldn't be free anymore.”


25 at least are shown right now, according to the standard model of particle physics. I don’t really see how this defeats my argument. This is somewhat of a “red-herring”. The point is that 25 parameters exist, which is one of the lines of evidence I used to show that the Universe is finely-tuned. My opponent needs to show why Physical Necessity or the (TOE) can explain the fine-tuning, but so far he hasn’t.




“I am not arguing from ignorance. I am not saying that the universe is not fine-tuned, because there is no proof that the nature's constants are independent. I am just saying that there is no proof that the universe is fine-tuned, because there is no proof that the nature's constants are independent. The universe may or may not be fine-tuned. I am not convinced that it is.”



Yes there is proof that the universe is fine-tuned. I gave two arguments in round 3 of my rebuttal that showed how the Universe is fine-tuned. 1) The 25 parameters and 2) Martin Rees 6 constants that are necessary for the Universe to exist. To say otherwise is without Justification.





“Regarding the multiverses, I did not understand what PRO meant with "simple" universe.”



If you remember in your rebuttal, you said: “First of all, if we change the value of the constant, we may get a different universe that does not support life as we know it. However, it might still support life in a very different way. Organic chemistry may not be the only way to support life.


But let us assume, again for the sake of the argument, that only one possible value of the constant supports life because we are life.



One also may argue that all those other parallel universes are not real, only our universe is real. But what is real? It means that it can be observed by us. But if is observed by us, then it must support us, and therefore, that universe must support life.



The conclusion is, that every universe that is real, must support life.”


I responded to this by saying “simple” because you and Dawkins think that values and constants don’t make a big deal because different material or life would have formed in these other universes that are part of the multi-verse. I am simply saying that each universe in the ensemble is not simple but is characterized by a multiplicity of independent constants and quantities.



So even if a multi-universe did exist, we still would want to know why is it so finely-tuned for life to exist in every universe. That’s the question we want to know. Why is the Universe so finely-tuned?




Conclusion:


My opponent hasn’t really shown why Physical Necessity or Fine-Tuning would be the “best” explanation of our Universe or in other words, my opponent has really shown how Physical Necessity or chance is more probable than God.


I on the other hand think that we have very good reasons and evidence for thinking that God is the best explanation and or the most probable explanation than Naturalism. I gave Scientific facts and evidence to back up my statements, as well as show why the other two options are false and un-reasonable.


The purpose of probability is to show what is more likely to be true. Scientific evidence points in the direction of an Intelligent Mind beyond our Universe(God) and not Naturalism/Atheism.


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I wish him the best: D Remember to vote fairly.




Sources:


[1] Barnes (2011). "The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life". arXiv:1112.4647 [physics.hist-ph


[2] Adams, F.C. (2008). "Stars in other universes: stellar structure with different fundamental constants". Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2008 (8): 010. arXiv:0807.3697. Bibcode:2008JCAP...08..010A. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2008/08/010.


black_squirrel

Con

In my final argument, I will systematically destroy the fine-tuning arguments of my opponent. The basic fine-tuning argument was summarized in one of the rebuttals of my opponent.

PRO makes the following claims:

A. There are only 3 possibilities
1. "fine-tuning" is a physical necessity. For example there may exist a "theory of everything" that is not yet known that forces natures constants to be what they are. This essentially means that the Universe is not fine-tuned at all, because there are no longer variable parameters that can be freely chosen, since the values of the parameters are forced by the physical model of everything.
2. The fine-tuning of the universe is an accident
3. The universe is fine-tuned because of God

B. Fine tuning is not a physical necessity
In other words, there really IS fine-tuning. Possibility 1. is not true.

C. God is a more likely explanation for fine-tuning than coincidence

I will show that each of these statements is wrong or unfounded. PRO has given arguments for these statements but these will be, or already have been disproved.



STATEMENT A: God of the gaps

PRO: "No it’s not a false-dichotmoy because I gave more than 2 options to choose from. What we’re looking for is the best-explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe. So far, the only options we have are 1) Physical Necessity (Theory of Everything) 2) Chance 3) Design. I’ve already proved why 1 and 2 are false in my opening argument. I don’t merely assume anything. Remember I gave good reasons for thinking why 3 is the best-explanation for the fine-tuning in my opening argument."

First, whether it is a false dichotomy or a false trichotomy depends on the formulation and is mostly semantics. But either way, it is a fallacy. There is clearly a fourth option:

4. There is no reason for the "fine-tuning"

Some people may find this fourth possibility unsatisfying. Clearly we would like to have an explanation, but it does not have to exist just because we want it to exist. And "God" is not really an explanation anyway. If "God" is the explanation for the Universe, then what is the explanation of "God"? Some say that "God" is its own explanation (I don't know if PRO subscribes to this), but then one might as well say that the universe is its own explanation and get rid of the notion of God. Sometimes people refer to arguments like this as "God of the Gaps". Whatever cannot be explained, is caused by God. This is a fallacy as explained in [1].

"Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God who chose to create the universe that way. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. We claim, however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings."
--Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinaw [2]

CONCLUSION: STATEMENT A IS FALSE.

STATEMENT B:

PRO: "Yes there is proof that the universe is fine-tuned. I gave two arguments in round 3 of my rebuttal that showed how the Universe is fine-tuned. 1) The 25 parameters and 2) Martin Rees 6 constants that are necessary for the Universe to exist. To say otherwise is without Justification."

The 25 parameters/6 constants are part of the mathematical model that describes nature. Historically, physical theories have changed over time. Newtonian mechanics is a valuable model, but with high speeds, Einstein's relatively theory is more accurate.
But for small particles, Einstein's theory does not explain everything, so we need quantum mechanics, etc.etc. This is one of the reasons why the number of parameters keeps changing. But the number of parameters is just part of the model, not necessarily part of nature. Most physicists will make a clear distinction between nature and our mathematical models of nature.

PRO: "My opponent needs to show why the Universe isn’t fine-tuned despite the overwhelming evidence that has been proved beyond a doubt by leading Cosmologists."

Most physicist believe that the current models are useful, and that these models have a number of free parameters in it. However, many physicists would not agree that these free parameters are a fundamental property of nature. Rather, they just seem an artefact of the mathematical model that is just an approximation of nature. Because of the current models, the universe appears to be fine-tuned. But that does not mean that it actually is.

CONCLUSION: ALTHOUGH STATEMENT B COULD BE TRUE, IT HAS NOT BEEN PROVED.

STATEMENT C

Suppose for the sake of the argument, that statements A and B are correct. So we assume that either God created the universe, or the fine-tuning of the universe is a coincidence. My opponent illustrated his argument with

PRO: "In this parable, an individual faces a firing squad, and fifty expert marksmen aim their tifles to carry out the deed. The order is given, the shots ring out, and yet somehow all the bullets miss and the condemned individual walks away unscathed.
How could such a remarkable event be explained? Leslie suggests that there are two possible alternatives ... In the first place, there may have been thousands of executions being carried out in that same day, and even the best marksman will occasionally miss. So the odds just happen to be in favor of this one individual, and all fifty of the marksmen fail to hit the target. The other option is that something more directed is going on, and the apparent poor aim of the fifty experts was actually intentional. Which seems more plausible?"

I first will explain this parable in terms of probability theory and then explain why the same reasoning does not apply to the fine-tuning argument. Let me recall some basics and notation from probability theory.

p(A): probability the event A happens
Ac: the complement of an event A, this is the event that event A does not happen
p(A,B): probability that events A and B both happen.
p(A|B): probability that A happens, given that probability B happens.

formulas: p(A,B)=p(A|B)p(B), p(A)+p(Ac)=1, p(A,B)+p(Ac,B)=p(B) etc.

Now let B be the statement "all marksmen miss", and A the statement "the marksman conspire to miss deliberately". Given that all the marksmen miss, the probability that they conspired is p(A|B).
We have p(B|A)=1, because if the shooters conspire, they WILL miss.
Let x=p(B|Ac). This is the probability that the shooters miss, given that they are not conspiring.
Let y=p(A) be the probability that the marksmen conspire.
We have
p(B)=p(A,B)+p(Ac,B)=p(B|A)p(A)+p(B|Ac)p(Ac)=y+x(1-y).
So p(B|A)=p(A,B)/p(B)=p(B|A)p(A)/p(B)=y/(y+x(1-y)).

Suppose that x=.01 (1% probability that the shooters miss), and y=.1 (10% probability that the marksmen conspire)
then we have p(B|A)=.1/(.1+.01*.9)=100/109. So it is quite likely that they conspired, given the that shooters miss.

However, if we change the numbers a bit, and take x=.1 (10% prob. that the shooters miss),
and y=.01 (1% prob. that the shooters conspire) then we get
p(B|A)=.01/(.01+.1*.99)=10/109. So it is NOT likely that they conspired, given that the shooters miss.

In the parable, there are hidden assumptions that the likelihood of the marksmen missing is small if they do not conspire,
and that the probability that the marksmen conspire is not too small.

Now back to the fine-tuning argument. A is the statement "God Exists", B is the statement "the universe is fine-tuned".
Again in this case we may assume that p(B|A)=1 (if God exists, he WILL fine-tune the universe).
The fine-tuning argument says, x=p(B|Ac) is very small, so p(A|B) must be large. This conclusion is not correct, because p(A|B) ALSO depends on the value of y. If y is also very small, then p(A|B) would be small as well.


So: Even if the probability that the universe supports life is very small, we still cannot conclude that it is likely God Exist. To come to that conclusion, we already must assume that the probability that God exists is somewhat likely even if we did not know that the universe is fine-tuned. But making such an assumption almost would be like a circle reasoning.

CONCLUSION: THE ARGUMENT FOR STATEMENT C IS A FALLACY.

FINAL CONCLUSION

All the arguments that the existence of God is likely are wrong. The "probability that God exists" is not well-defined, because there is no experiment that has "God" or "no God" as possible outcome. So the statement "The existence of God is more probable than not" does not even make sense. Therefore, one should vote for CON.

I thank my opponent for this discussion.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design.












Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@johnlubba thank you! I can't wait till the voting period to see the results. I'm not so concerned about winning or losing, but just getting the arguements out there for discussion:D
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Nice debate here. :)
Posted by kingcripple 3 years ago
kingcripple
Using Richard Dawkins' God Delusion as a source? Really?
Posted by kingcripple 3 years ago
kingcripple
I always find these "does God exist" debates entertaining somewhat. Already partial to Pro's side, I can assume Con will have the same debates any Atheist would have. Atheists miss a very important part
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@black_squirrel the definitions are pretty much the same. That is what God is. So this debate isn't over semantics, but evidence and reason:D
Posted by black_squirrel 3 years ago
black_squirrel
I did not see that PRO already defined God in the comments. My definition is not that different and we can use either definition.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@Mystic EggThis is probably going to be my last debate. I got really addicted and am having trouble stopping. I'm sorry:(
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
I would rather debate you on agnosticism vs atheism... I thought you were too busy to debate, anyhow.

???
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
God by definition is the greatest conceivable being, and that means he must therefore be the highest good.

Why does ID/Creationism Matter for debating the existence of God?
Posted by tkubok 3 years ago
tkubok
But, i mean, the Deistic God wouldnt necessarily be Good. So I guess i dont know where youre getting the "absolute good" characteristic, from.

And also, how far has this God tinkered with life? ID? Or full on out Creationism/created each species separately and not from a common ancestor?
No votes have been placed for this debate.