The Instigator
qwzx
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SNP1
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

The Existence of God is possible

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
SNP1
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 744 times Debate No: 73916
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

qwzx

Pro

The existence of God is possible.
The existence of God is probable.
The burden of proof will be on me...
The winner of this debate: lets debate and see

DISCLAIMER: This debate will not be a rap battle
SNP1

Con

I accept.
BoP is on Pro.
God is defined as the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
Debate Round No. 1
qwzx

Pro

The Ontological Argument

The ontological argument was devised by Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), who wanted to produce a single, simple demonstration which would show that God is and what God is. Single it may be, but far from simple. It is, perhaps, the most controversial proof for the existence of God. Most people who first hear it are tempted to dismiss it immediately as an interesting riddle, but distinguished thinkers of every age, including our own, have risen to defend it. For this very reason it is the most intensely philosophical proof for God's existence; its place of honor is not within popular piety, but rather textbooks and professional journals. We include it, with a minimum of discussion, not because we think it conclusive or irrefutable, but for the sake of completeness.

Anselm's Version
1.It is greater for a thing to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone.
2."God" means "that than which a greater cannot be thought."
3.Suppose that God exists in the mind but not in reality.
4.Then a greater than God could be thought (namely, a being that has all the qualities our thought of God has plus real existence).
5.But this is impossible, for God is "that than which a greater cannot be thought."
6.Therefore God exists in the mind and in reality.

Question 1: Suppose I deny that God exists in the mind?

Reply: In that case the argument could not conclude that God exists in the mind and in reality. But note: the denial commits you to the view that there is no concept of God. And very few would wish to go that far.

Question 2: Is it really greater for something to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone?

Reply: The first premise of this argument is often misunderstood. People sometimes say: "Isn't an imaginary disease better than a real one?" Well it certainly is better"and so a greater thing"for you that the disease is not real. But that strengthens Anselm's side of the argument. Real bacteria are greater than imaginary ones, just because they have something that imaginary ones lack: real being. They have an independence, and therefore an ability to harm, that nothing can have whose existence is wholly dependent on your thought. It is this greater level of independence that makes them greater as beings. And that line of thinking does not seem elusive or farfetched.

Question 3: But is real being just another "thought" or "concept"? Is "real being" just one more concept or characteristic (like "omniscience" or "omnipotence") that could make a difference to the kind of being God is?

Reply: Real being does make a real difference. The question is: Does it make a conceptual difference? Critics of the argument say that it does not. They say that just because real being makes all the difference it cannot be one more quality among others. Rather it is the condition of there being something there to have any qualities at all. When the proof says that God is the greatest being that can be "thought," it means that there are various perfections or qualities that God has to a degree no creature possibly could, qualities that are supremely admirable. But to say that such a being exists is to say that there really is something which is supremely admirable. And that is not one more admirable quality among others.

Is it greater to exist in reality as well as in the mind? Of course, incomparably greater. But the difference is not a conceptual one. And yet the argument seems to treat it as if it were"as if the believer and the nonbeliever could not share the same concept of God. Clearly they do. They disagree not about the content of this concept, but about whether the kind of being it describes really exists. And that seems beyond the power of merely conceptual analysis, as used in this argument, to answer. So question 3, we think, really does invalidate this form of the ontological argument.

Modal Version

Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm developed this version of the ontological argument. Both find it implicitly contained in the third chapter of Anselm's Proslogion.
1.The expression "that being than which a greater cannot be thought" (GCB, for short) expresses a consistent concept.
2.GCB cannot be thought of as: a. necessarily nonexistent; or as b. contingently existing but only as c. necessarily existing.
3.So GCB can only be thought of as the kind of being that cannot not exist, that must exist.
4.But what must be so is so.
5.Therefore, GCB (i.e., God) exists.

Question: Just because GCB must be thought of as existing, does that mean that GCB really exists?

Reply: If you must think of something as existing, you cannot think of it as not existing. But then you cannot deny that GCB exists; for then you are thinking what you say cannot be thought"namely, that GCB does not exist.

Possible Worlds Version

This variation on the modal version has been worked out in great detail by Alvin Plantinga. We have done our best to simplify it.

Definitions:

Maximal excellence: To have omnipotence, omniscience and moral perfection in some world.

Maximal greatness: To have maximal excellence in every possible world.
1.There is a possible world (W) in which there is a being (X) with maximal greatness.
2.But X is maximally great only if X has maximal excellence in every possible world.
3.Therefore X is maximally great only if X has omnipotence, omniscience and moral perfection in every possible world.
4.In W, the proposition "There is no omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect being" would be impossible"that is, necessarily false.
5.But what is impossible does not vary from world to world.
6.Therefore, the proposition, "There is no omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect being" is necessarily false in this actual world, too.
7.Therefore, there actually exists in this world, and must exist in every possible world, an omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect being.

The Argument from Time and Contingency
1.We notice around us things that come into being and go out of being. A tree, for example, grows from a tiny shoot, flowers brilliantly, then withers and dies.
2.Whatever comes into being or goes out of being does not have to be; nonbeing is a real possibility.
3.Suppose that nothing has to be; that is, that nonbeing is a real possibility for everything.
4.Then right now nothing would exist. For
5.If the universe began to exist, then all being must trace its origin to some past moment before which there existed"literally"nothing at all. But
6.From nothing nothing comes. So
7.The universe could not have begun.
8.But suppose the universe never began. Then, for the infinitely long duration of cosmic history, all being had the built-in possibility not to be. But
9.If in an infinite time that possibility was never realized, then it could not have been a real possibility at all. So
10.There must exist something which has to exist, which cannot not exist. This sort of being is called necessary.
11.Either this necessity belongs to the thing in itself or it is derived from another. If derived from another there must ultimately exist a being whose necessity is not derived, that is, an absolutely necessary being.
12.This absolutely necessary being is God.

Question1: Even though you may never in fact step outside your house all day, it was possible for you to do so. Why is it impossible that the universe still happens to exist, even though it was possible for it to go out of existence?

Reply: The two cases are not really parallel. To step outside your house on a given day is something that you may or may not choose to do. But if nonbeing is a real possibility for you, then you are the kind of being that cannot last forever. In other words, the possibility of nonbeing must be built-in, "programmed," part of your very constitution, a necessary property. And if all being is like that, then how could anything still exist after the passage of an infinite time? For an infinite time is every bit as long as forever. So being must have what it takes to last forever, that is, to stay in existence for an infinite time. Therefore there must exist within the realm of being something that does not tend to go out of existence. And this sort of being, as Aquinas says, is called "necessary."
SNP1

Con

First thing first, Pro plagerized his ENTIRE argument from
http://www.peterkreeft.com...
He didn't even sources it.

Second thing, we agreed to god being defined as
he creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

This is NOT the same definition of god that Pro used in his second round arguments.

Why this definition of God is impossible

The definition of god that was agreed upon is impossible for a simple reason, the universe cannot logically be created.

P1) If the universe was created, then it has a cause.
P2) The universe does not have a cause.
C) The universe was not created.

Premise 1 is true as a taughtology. I will therefore defned Premise 2 here.

From some of my previous debates (for example: http://www.debate.org...;):
P1) If God created the universe, the universe has a cause.
P2) The universe can only have a cause if tensed facts exist.
P3) Tensed facts do not exist.
C1) The universe does not have a cause (follows from P2 and P3).
C2) God did not create the universe (follows from P1 and C1).

Defense of Premise 1:
I am sure that this does not need much for explanation. If God created the universe, the logically god is the cause and the universe is the effect.

Defense of Premise 2:
The principals of causality require for there to be a movement of time. A before the effect, an after the cause, etc. This requires tensed facts.
This point is seemingly agreed upon by all time theorists, even William Lane Craig.

Defense of Premise 3:
To defend premise 3 I will be proposing that the most probable theory of time is the B-Theory of Time.
Effects like relativity and time dialation support the B-Theory of Time while refuting the A-Theory of Time (the A-Theory of Time is the theory of time that allows tensed facts to exist).

Further support for this premise comes from recent experiments in quantum mechanics. Under the B-Theory of Time, the progression of time is an illusion, and time does not really pass. If one were to have "god view", a view of the universe from outside of it, the universe would appear static.
A recent study has shown that the progress of time is an illusion caused from quantum entanglement, and that if you did have "god view" that the universe would actually appear static.

Conclusion:
From the above, we can conclude that the universe cannot logically have a temporal cause, and thus cannot have a creator.

Why the Ontological Argument fails

Even though Pro showed EXTREMELY poor conduct, I will show why the ontological arguments fail.

Anselm's Version
1.It is greater for a thing to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone.
2."God" means "that than which a greater cannot be thought."
3.Suppose that God exists in the mind but not in reality.
4.Then a greater than God could be thought (namely, a being that has all the qualities our thought of God has plus real existence).
5.But this is impossible, for God is "that than which a greater cannot be thought."
6.Therefore God exists in the mind and in reality.

This argument attempts to add to the definition of god the property of existence. The problem is that existence is not a physical property, and thus cannot be assigned to things.
If I define Big Foot as existing, it does not make Big Foot real.
If I define Vulcan as existing, it does not make Vulcan real.

Let's try a joke argument using the logic from Anselm's version:
P1) It is greater for a thing to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone.
P2) Vulcan is the greatest planet.
P3) Suppose that Vulcan exists in the mind but not in reality.
P4) Then a greater than Vulcan could be thought (namely, a planet that has all the qualities our thought of Vulcan has plus real existence).
P5) But this is impossible, for Vulcan is the greatest planet.
C) Therefore Vulcan exists in the mind and in reality.

Vulcan does not automatically exist because we describe it as being the greatest, or describe it as existing. The same is true of god.

Another probelm with the argument is that it commits a converse error.

It states that if something exists that it has greatness, but at the end it says that god has greatness and thus exists.

FURTHERMORE, using greatness as a measure of reality can be used in a parody argument that shows it would be greater for god not to exist.

Gasking made the following argument as a parody of the ontological argument:
P1) The creation of the universe is the greatest achievement imaginable
P2) The merit of an achievement consists of its intrinsic greatness and the ability of its creator.

P3) The greater the handicap to the creator, the greater the achievement (would you be more impressed by Turner painting a beautiful landscape or a blind one-armed dwarf?)
P4) The biggest handicap to a creator would be non-existence
P5) Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the creation of an existing creator, we can conceive a greater being — namely, one who created everything while not existing.
C) Therefore, God does not exist.

Using the same idea that greatness makes something real will also show that that thing cannot be real.

Since the logic of the ontological argument does not force a single conclusion, the logic is flawed.
If the logic is flawed, the argument is flawed.

The possible worlds version also does not force the conclusion since the following argument can also be made:
P1) It is possible that God does not exist, i.e. there is some possible world where God does not exist.
P2) God is defined as a necessary being, i.e. exists in all possible worlds.
P3) If there is one possible world where God does not exist, then there is no possible world in which God exists in all possible worlds.
P4) If there is no possible world in which God exists in all possible worlds, then it is impossible that God exists.
C) It is impossible that God exists.

Again, the arguement's logic is flawed.

Pro's argument from Time and Contingency depends on the A-Theory of Time, I showed at the beginning of this round that the B-Theory of Time is, in fact, correct.

I also want to point out one more time that the definition of God that was agreed upon does not even work for these ontological arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
qwzx

Pro

qwzx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
qwzx

Pro

qwzx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
I haven't read anything by Hawking in a while, and do not currently have access to his books (I had a friend that was obsessed with him that I borrowed books from)
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@SNP1, "time" may be defined under A-theory as the rate of rising entropy via. the Second Law. Doesn't that work fixedly enough for A-theory? I dunno ... maybe time is an illusory *description* of rising entropy ...

Since you read Hawking, go to page 153 and read till the end of 154 of A Brief History of Time, under the chapter "The Arrow of Time". And also look into the C-theory of time, you may find it interesting.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
The definition of god was provided by Pro in the comments before I accepted the debate.

Also, in order for the A-Theory of time to be accurate under eternalism, there must be an aether, time must be a constant, and light must be a variable (in order for there to be a tensed "now"). If time is emergent (which I supported), then the A-Theory of Time cannot be true. If time is relative, then the A-Theory of Time cannot be true.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Great refutation from Con. But the B-theory of time is not *necessarily* accurate. If entropy makes major physical changes (which is yet to be seen), then the A-theory would be accurate.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@SNP1,
Please source your definitions. I know yours is from the Oxford Dictionary (Google - define "God": that's from the Oxford Dictionary too), but it's best to source the definition to avoid confusion. Just advising you :)
Thanks,
Tejretics
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Wtf? Plagiarize much?

http://www.peterkreeft.com...

I thought this was actually going to be an intellectually honest debate, but this is PATHETIC.
Posted by m4j0rkus4n4g1 1 year ago
m4j0rkus4n4g1
What is the argument here? You make two claims in your opening statement, Pro. If you are merely arguing that God is possible, then the burden of proof should be on Con to show why God is, without a shadow of a doubt, impossible. However, if you are arguing that God is probable, or likely, then you do indeed have BoP. I'm assuming, since you gave yourself BoP (a noble gesture which I respect) that you are arguing that God is not just possible, but probable.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
BTW, why are you challenging me directly.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Set the minimum voter ELO to 2000 and I will accept.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
qwzxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the majority of the debate, which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. Thus, conduct to Con. | S&G - Tie. Both sides maintained reasonable spelling and grammar with no major errors. | Arguments - Con. Pro's arguments were based on a lot of unsourced assumptions and were often logically fallacious. The MOA is flawed in that "subjective existence" is impossible, and Con refuted it using reductio ad absurdum. A reverse MOA could render it fallacious. And the non-specific "greater" is poor. "From nothing nothing comes" is flawed, and Pro does not refute an actual infinity properly. Pro's FF hinders their ability to defend against Con's rebuttals. Thus, arguments to Con. | Sources - Con. Majority of Pro's arguments were unsupported by sources, but Con used extensive citations for the same. | 6 points to Con. | As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
qwzxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro forfeited. Arguments - Pro's argument was plagiarized, therefore it can be considered null and void. Con's arguments were not plagiarized, Con actually put some work into them and thus wins these points.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
qwzxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
qwzxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff and plagiarism
Vote Placed by The-Voice-of-Truth 1 year ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
qwzxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con due to FF and plagiarism by Pro. Arg. to Con due to plagiarism by Pro.