The Instigator
atheistman
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Xer
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

The Existence of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Xer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,325 times Debate No: 9989
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (35)
Votes (4)

 

atheistman

Con

Definitions

God: any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature; deity, esp. a male deity: typically considered objects of worship;
in monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing; Supreme Being; the Almighty

Exist: to have reality or actual being;
to occur or be present

Sources: http://www.yourdictionary.com...

I will be arguing that God does not exist. I will let my opponent present his arguments first.
Xer

Pro

I thank atheistman for the opportunity to debate, and hope the best for him. I shall be playing devil's advocate, so this should be fun.

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Arguments
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Contention 1: Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA)

P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

This premise is basically, given. There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that something has come out of nothing. I don't feel the need to delve much further into this premise, as I assume my opponent will accept it.

P2. The universe began to exist.

It is impossible for an actual infinite to exist. Since the universe has currently reached now, and it is impossible to count from negative infinity to now, then it is safe to conclude that infinity does not exist. The above statements are probably all for naught though, because I assume my opponent agrees with the Big Bang. The Big Bang states the universe started with the Big Bang [1], which means the universe is not infinite. Conclusion - the universe has a beginning.

P3. Therefore, the universe must have a cause.

Since everything that begins to exist has a cause (1), and the universe began to exist (2), then we can conclude that the universe must have a cause.

C. The cause is God.

My opponent's objection to this conclusion would be that since I posited that everything needs a cause in P1, then God needs a cause. However, God exists outside of time. Since God exists outside of time, he is not bound by any laws of the universe or any restrictions thereof.

Contention 2: Watchmaker argument.

"In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer that for anything I knew to the contrary it had lain there forever; nor would it, perhaps, be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that for anything I knew the watch might have always been there."
~William Paley

1. A complex object like a watch necessitates a designer.
--->The designer is a human.
2. A complex object like the universe necessitates a designer.
--->The designer is God.
C. God exists.

Contention 3: Teleological argument.

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.
C. The designer is God.

Contention 4: Fine-tuning argument.

Basically, if the universe was off by just a little bit, then we would not exist. The physicist P.C.W. Davies if the weak force had been different by 1 part in 10 raised to the 100th power our universe would not be life permitting. [http://books.google.com...] These odds are just astounding. This kind of preciseness implies an intelligent designer - God.

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Conclusion
============================================================================

Sorry for the (bad/short) arguments, I'm running short on time. I look forward to the rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 1
atheistman

Con

"Everything that begins to exist has a cause."

True, and this would also mean that God would need a cause if he began to exist.

"There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that something has come out of nothing."

I agree that it is impossible for something to come out of nothing, there is also no evidence of God.

"It is impossible for an actual infinite to exist. Since the universe has currently reached now, and it is impossible to count from negative infinity to now, then it is safe to conclude that infinity does not exist. The above statements are probably all for naught though, because I assume my opponent agrees with the Big Bang. The Big Bang states the universe started with the Big Bang [1], which means the universe is not infinite. Conclusion - the universe has a beginning."

It depends what you define as the universe. If you define it as when the Big Bang caused the universe to expand, then the universe is about 14 billion years old. If you define it as when the matter and energy existed, even before the Big Bang, then the universe has always existed. This is because the Law of Conservation states that matter cannot be created or destroyed, so it would've have to have always existed. This would also make the idea that God created matter and energy impossible. How do you know that an infinite is impossible? That is simply an idea thought up by fellow humans, it isn't necessarily true.

"Since everything that begins to exist has a cause (1), and the universe began to exist (2), then we can conclude that the universe must have a cause."

If you define the universe as the start of expansion, then the cause was the Big Bang. The matter and energy before the Big Bang didn't need a cause since they didn't begin to exist.

"The cause is God."

This is simply jumping to the conclusion that an invisible man in the sky did it, based off of absolutely no evidence.

"My opponent's objection to this conclusion would be that since I posited that everything needs a cause in P1, then God needs a cause. However, God exists outside of time. Since God exists outside of time, he is not bound by any laws of the universe or any restrictions thereof."

You can't simply assert that 'God exists outside of time,' and 'is not bound by any laws of the universe or any restrictions thereof.' This is simply an attempt to dodge the question that can cause the whole Cosmological Argument to collapse. Nothing exists out of time, as that is simply impossible. Everything is bound by the laws of the universe, so not only does that make God impossible for many reasons, (God has to exist on something, God would have to be a living thing to be all-seeing, all-knowing etc, but all living things die) it also completely destroys that argument, since it causes an infinite regression of causes. Who made God? Who made the person that made God? Who made the person that made the person that made God? etc

"suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that for anything I knew the watch might have always been there."

http://books.google.com...
There's actually a whole book debunking this argument, it's called 'Evolution is a Blind Watchmaker,' by Richard Dawkins. The reason we know things such as watches, paintings, and Boeing 747s were created, is because we have no other explanation for their existence. But we know that things such as life, planets, stars, and the universe itself were not created because we do have scientific explanations for their existences. For instance, we know evolution is the cause of the diversity of life on Earth, and abiogenesis started life. We also know that the cause for the universe is the Big Bang.

"A complex object like the universe necessitates a designer.
--->The designer is God.
C. God exists."

Jumping to conclusions once again.

"1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.
C. The designer is God."

Again, you jumping to conclusions does not present a good case for your position. Even if we didn't know how the universe came into existence, there's still no reason the assume 'God did it.' The universe is not 'fine-tuned,' we simply perceive it that way. If it is fine-tuned, then why is the Earth and its inhabitants susceptible to danger? Black holes, asteroids, and other things could easily threaten the existence of our planet. Natural disasters can threaten life on Earth. Also, there is no mention of aliens of other planets with life in any religious texts. Why would an entire universe be fine-tuned, just to support one planet with life?

"if the weak force had been different by 1 part in 10 raised to the 100th power our universe would not be life permitting"

This is not true, life would have simply evolved differently to adapt to the different environment.

Now I will let my opponent present his arguments.
Xer

Pro

============================================================================
Defense
============================================================================

Contention 1: KCA.

My opponent's objections are as follows:
1. The Law of Conservation of Energy disproves KCA.
2. "How do you know that an infinite is impossible? That is simply an idea thought up by fellow humans, it isn't necessarily true."
3. "You can't simply assert that 'God exists outside of time,' and 'is not bound by any laws of the universe or any restrictions thereof.'"

1. Well, I've never heard that one before. I have multiple rebuttals to this, but I will just make it short. The Law of Conservation of Energy only applies to closed systems [1], while the univese is an isolated system [2].

2. I already proved this. "It is impossible for an actual infinite to exist. Since the universe has currently reached now, and it is impossible to count from negative infinity to now, then it is safe to conclude that infinity does not exist." I challenge my opponent find a way that we could currently reach now if infinity exists.

3. Yes I can. God is metaphysical and of the supernatural, the definition does not demand God to exist physically.

My opponent has failed utterly to refute KCA, and all of my premises stand, thus my contentions stands.

Contention 2: Watchmaker argument.

My opponent's objections are as follows:

1. "There's actually a whole book debunking this argument, it's called 'Evolution is a Blind Watchmaker,' by Richard Dawkins."
2. "The reason we know things such as watches, paintings, and Boeing 747s were created, is because we have no other explanation for their existence."
3. "But we know that things such as life, planets, stars, and the universe itself were not created because we do have scientific explanations for their existences. For instance, we know evolution is the cause of the diversity of life on Earth, and abiogenesis started life. We also know that the cause for the universe is the Big Bang."
4. "Jumping to conclusions once again."

1. The book by Dawkins does make references to Paley's Watchmaker, but the book is a defense of evolution, not a refutation of the Watchmaker Argument. Regardless, Dawkin's words have no sway over this debate.

2. My opponent's claim is baffling to me. He claims we knows things like watches were created, because we have no explanation for their existence. This makes no sense to me and doesn't stand up as valid.

3. Just because things have scientific explanations does not mean that the things were not created by God. It's called intelligent design.

4. How am I jumping to conclusions? You conceded that the universe necessitates a designer. A designer of the universe would be recognized as God. Pretty simple.

My opponent's refutation of the Watchmaker Argument does not stand either.

Contention 3: Teleological argument.

My opponent's whole rebuttal is a straw man. "The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design." Now, the universe doesn't physically need to exist, this is obvious. The universe didn't come about by chance either, although my opponent can try to prove that. Thus, the universe is designed. My opponents talk about the universe being hostile to life is moot because life does exist, so the hostilities don't matter much. Also, it doesn't matter that there are no mentions of extraterrestrial life in religous texts (although I'm sure there are) - as we are not talking about any of the Gods of religions - we are talking about a God that fits the definition of God.

Contention 4: Fine-tuning argument.

My opponent's sole objection is:
"This is not true, life would have simply evolved differently to adapt to the different environment."

1. My claim was backed up by a reputable physicist - it is recognized as fact.
2. My opponent objected without a source of his own, he fancies himself smart enough to make claims without evidence.
3. Since my claim was backed up by evidence, and my opponent's is not, my point stands.

============================================================================
Conclusion
============================================================================

All of my arguments stand as of now, without much effort necesarry. As long as one of them stands at the end of this debate, I shall be the victor. That shall be all for now.

============================================================================
Sources
============================================================================

[1] http://www.nyu.edu...
[2] http://www.springerlink.com...
Debate Round No. 2
atheistman

Con

"The Law of Conservation of Energy only applies to closed systems [1], while the univese is an isolated system [2]."

You have no way of knowing whether the universe is a closed system or not.

"I challenge my opponent find a way that we could currently reach now if infinity exists."

The idea that an infinite is impossible is simply an idea based on mathematical concepts, not a fact.

"God is metaphysical and of the supernatural, the definition does not demand God to exist physically."

You can't make up a reason for a failed hypothesis to be true. What is the evidence that anything supernatural or non-physical exists?

"The book by Dawkins does make references to Paley's Watchmaker, but the book is a defense of evolution, not a refutation of the Watchmaker Argument. Regardless, Dawkin's words have no sway over this debate."

It's true that it was refuting the Watchmaker Argument against evolution, but it can also be applied to the Watchmaker argument against the universe.

"My opponent's claim is baffling to me. He claims we knows things like watches were created, because we have no explanation for their existence. This makes no sense to me and doesn't stand up as valid."

I was pointing out that man-made objects such as watches aren't valid examples, since the only explanation for their existence is a human creator. Life and the universe on the other hand, have explanations that don't involve a creator.

"Just because things have scientific explanations does not mean that the things were not created by God. It's called intelligent design."

Intelligent design is simply a synonym for Creationism in an attempt teach students biblical myths while avoiding the Separation of Church and State clause. Creationism is not science, as it is based off of mythology, not empirical evidence.

"How am I jumping to conclusions? You conceded that the universe necessitates a designer. A designer of the universe would be recognized as God. Pretty simple."

I've already refuted your 'proof' that the universe necessitates a designer.

"My opponent's refutation of the Watchmaker Argument does not stand either."

Why? Because 'intelligent design' is legitimate science?

""The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design." Now, the universe doesn't physically need to exist, this is obvious. The universe didn't come about by chance either, although my opponent can try to prove that. Thus, the universe is designed."

You're making these contentions without having anything to back them up. As I said, jumping to conclusions does not make a good case for your argument.

"My opponents talk about the universe being hostile to life is moot because life does exist, so the hostilities don't matter much. Also, it doesn't matter that there are no mentions of extraterrestrial life in religous texts (although I'm sure there are) - as we are not talking about any of the Gods of religions - we are talking about a God that fits the definition of God."

I was making a logical argument that there would be many planets discovered with life, and many mentions in religious texts of them if we had a fine-tuned universe. Obviously we are talking about any of the Gods of religions, as that was the definition I put in Round 1.

'God: any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature; deity, esp. a male deity: typically considered objects of worship;
in monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing; Supreme Being; the Almighty'

"1. My claim was backed up by a reputable physicist - it is recognized as fact.
2. My opponent objected without a source of his own, he fancies himself smart enough to make claims without evidence.
3. Since my claim was backed up by evidence, and my opponent's is not, my point stands."

Aside from the fact that your claim being tagged with a source does not necessarily make it superior, I was simply making a possible explanation. I wasn't claiming that was the actual reason. Besides, a probability argument holds no ground, as statistics don't govern the universe. An improbable occurrence does not mean that event even didn't happen.

Conclusion

My opponents arguments were based off of blind assumptions, and jumping to conclusions. He has not given any substantial evidence for his case.
Xer

Pro

<"You have no way of knowing whether the universe is a closed system or not.">

+The universe is an isolated system. See: [1] and [2]. So, yes I do know.

<"The idea that an infinite is impossible is simply an idea based on mathematical concepts, not a fact.">

+I refute the possiblity of an infinity, yet my opponent counters that it is simply an idea. Right..

<"You can't make up a reason for a failed hypothesis to be true. What is the evidence that anything supernatural or non-physical exists?">

+That is what we're debating here. You can't get pissy just because God is not defined as existing physically.

<"It's true that it was refuting the Watchmaker Argument against evolution, but it can also be applied to the Watchmaker argument against the universe.>"

+We're not debating books here. We're debating each other.

<"I was pointing out that man-made objects such as watches aren't valid examples, since the only explanation for their existence is a human creator. Life and the universe on the other hand, have explanations that don't involve a creator.">

Exactly my point. The only expanation for the existence of watches are creators, because they are so complex. The only existence of humans are creators, because they are so complex. You just proved my point. Also, you didn't offer any alternative explanations

<"Intelligent design is simply a synonym for Creationism in an attempt teach students biblical myths while avoiding the Separation of Church and State clause. Creationism is not science, as it is based off of mythology, not empirical evidence.">

Ok, you gave your opinion on the etymology of intelligent design and you gave your opinion on creationism. This does not refute what I said though.

<"I've already refuted your 'proof' that the universe necessitates a designer.">

Lol, what? You've barely responded to any of my points, you've simply copied and pasted a few select sentences that are barely relevant. You have failed to counter much of anything.

<"Why? Because 'intelligent design' is legitimate science?>"

More stupid responses.

<"You're making these contentions without having anything to back them up. As I said, jumping to conclusions does not make a good case for your argument.">

It's been packed up with logic, reason, and my sources. You're not even attempting to refute.

<"I was making a logical argument that there would be many planets discovered with life, and many mentions in religious texts of them if we had a fine-tuned universe. Obviously we are talking about any of the Gods of religions, as that was the definition I put in Round 1.">

First off, why would there be more planets with life? Even if this were true, we have not the technology or capabilties to find out if there actually is life or not on any other planets. Also, your definition is not talking about Gods or religions. You gave countless definitions - I don't have to prove a specific God. I simply have to prove a deist God.

<"Aside from the fact that your claim being tagged with a source does not necessarily make it superior, I was simply making a possible explanation. I wasn't claiming that was the actual reason. Besides, a probability argument holds no ground, as statistics don't govern the universe. An improbable occurrence does not mean that event even didn't happen.">

More nonsense from my opponent. I write a thorough argument and explanation and my opponent makes a possible explanation approximately one sentence long not backed up by a source. Ridiculous.

============================================================================
Conclusion
============================================================================

My opponent has not even countered most of my arguments and contentions. If he has attempted to refute something, he simply cuts and pastes a couple sentences and then gives an irrelevant rebuttal. This debate has been incredibly dull and repetitive with my opponent refusing to debate anything of substance. Con hasn't even offered any contentions of his own yet. The resolution has been easily affirmed thus far.

============================================================================
Sources
============================================================================

[1] http://www.springerlink.com...
[2] http://rationalwiki.com...
Debate Round No. 3
atheistman

Con

atheistman forfeited this round.
Xer

Pro

All arguments remain unrebutted. Resolution affirmed.
Debate Round No. 4
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ciphermind 6 years ago
ciphermind
I know Nags, just nit-picking. Great job!
Posted by Xer 6 years ago
Xer
My counter to that was that God is eternal, and exists outside of time. I'm really an atheist though, and was just saying that for devil advocacy. My personal counter to the above argument is that placing God outside of time commits the fallacy of special pleading. It's pretty easy to prove that, and usually no more argumentation is necessary.
Posted by ciphermind 6 years ago
ciphermind
Nag's premises are contradictory.

One was something cannot come from nothing (meaning that at least one thing needed to exist for eternity)

And then he states that an infinitely existing universe could not be possible!

This means that if something cannot spring from nothing, and that infinity cannot exist, nothing could have ever come into being, including the universe AND god at the higher level. Therefore accepting Pro's premises, there is no universe, AND no god.

(Just playing devil's advocate here)
Still, awesome debate Nags.
Posted by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
I too gave Pro a point for conduct simply because con missed a deadline. I was going to give Pro a point for sources, but his sources did not confirm his assertion. (Conservation of energy does apply to isolated systems.)

Pro was charged with proving the existence of God, but he made no attempt to do so. Pro presented several arguments that show that particular aspects of God are logically possible if taken individually, but that isn't proof of existence.

Meanwhile Con specifically said before the debate that he was not merely arguing that Pro was wrong, rather he was supposed to prove that God didn't exist. Like Pro, he never even made the attempt, he just took potshots at Pro's arguments and rather poorly aimed ones at that. If Con had accepted the lesser claim, that Pro could not prove God's existence, then I would have given Con points...
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
B/A: Con/Con
Conduct: Pro - Con forfeited.
S&G: Tied
CA: Pro - Con didn't even try to refute most of my arguments. He selectively copied and pasted passages and then straw manned them.
RS: Pro - Pro used quite a few to help back up his claims, Con did nothing of the sort.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
lol I could never debate Pro
Posted by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
After this debate is over, I would live to see the two of you go at it again, except switching sides.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
I find the argument against an actual infinite rather conceptual, and holds no ground in reality. Usually the arguments against infinity are mathematical. The bottom line is that something that exists within the Universe cannot be infinite, because it exists within something larger than itself. The Universe however, must be infinite. The idea that there is an invisible wall with nothing on the other side is preposterous.
Posted by Apologician 7 years ago
Apologician
It appears as if Con doesn't even understand the argument against the possibility of an actual infinite.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Nags, you can win this easy, just stay focused.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Awed 7 years ago
Awed
atheistmanXerTied
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Apologician
atheistmanXerTied
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Vote Placed by Xer 7 years ago
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