The Instigator
Magicr
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

The First Premise if the KCA is Probably True.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Magicr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,483 times Debate No: 30069
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (6)

 

Magicr

Con

The first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument:

"Everything that begins to exist has a cause."


Rules:

1. Pro, the bearer of the BoP, shall begin his arguments in Round 1, and in the final round shall offer no further argumentation.

2. Drops shall count as concessions.

3. Abusive including abusively semantic arguments should not be counted.

Thank you.
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Con for instituting this debate. The first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is as follows:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

It is sometimes rendered:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

Con wishes to place the burden of proof on me, which I can understand, since it is a positive claim. But it's really not hard to support.

We are justified in believing that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence because it lines up with our intuitions. Now granted, our intuitions are not always reliable. But if they are not reliable, it takes an argument to show why they are unreliable. We are justified in believing that the universe exists, even though we can't actually prove it. You can say you can test that it exists with your five senses, but you can't prove that your senses are accurate. Your intuitions tell you that they are. Your intuition tells you that when you stub your toe, it is genuinely painful -- the pain is not an illusion.

I can't think of a single thing that comes into existence without a cause. In fact, William Lane Craig (who is the man that comes to mind when you think of the KCA) wrote, regarding the KCA,

"When I first published my work on the kalam cosmological argument back in 1979, I figured that atheists would attack premise 2 of the argument, that the universe began to exist. But I didn't think they'd go after premise 1. For that would expose them as people not sincerely seeking after truth but just looking for an academic refutation of the argument.

"What a surprise, then, to hear atheists denying premise 1 in order to escape the argument! For example, Quentin Smith of Western Michigan University responded that the most rational position to hold is that the universe came 'from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing'
[1] -- a nice close to a Gettysburg Address of atheism, perhaps!" [2]

Quentin Smith is utterly mistaken. Nothing can come from nothing uncaused. Nothing is literally nothing; it has no qualities, no potentialities. It literally does not exist. Before the universe existed was nothing, and if nothing existed, nothing can come from it without cause.

I can't think of a single thing that comes into existence uncaused. And if it did, then it remains inexplicable why just anything and everything doesn't come into existence from nothing. I exist, and the reason I exist is because my existence was caused by my mother and father conceiving me. The van I drive exists because people built it. Things don't just come into existence.

I'm not sure how else I can justify the first premise. It just denies common sense that it would be false. Craig, in his book On Guard, lists three reasons to believe that premise 1 is true:

1 -- Something cannot come from nothing.
2 -- If something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn't come into being from nothing.
3 -- Common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1.
[3]

That's really all I have to say on the matter. I look forward to Con's response.

[1] Quentin Smith, Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 135.
[2] William Lane Craig, On Guard, Ontario, Canada, 2010, p. 76
[3] ibid., pp. 75, 77, and 78.
Debate Round No. 1
Magicr

Con

I would like to thank KeytarHero for accepting this debate and I hope we have an interesting discussion. Without further ado, I will like to jump right in to addressing the claims made by Pro.


Intuition


Pro argued that our intuitions are generally correct unless there is some evidence proving our intuitions to be incorrect.


This is a rather naive approach since time and time again throughout history, our intuitions have been wrong about a great deal.


A flat Earth, a geocentric universe, and ancient beliefs that natural events that today have simple scientific explanations such as eclipses or volcanic eruptions were the direct work of supernatural gods are just a few examples of such intuitive beliefs that we know consider to be false [1][2]. And with the study of quantum mechanics, we are beginning to reveal many more instances of occurrences that defy intuition. A simple example of this is the wave-particle duality of light. Who would have thought that light could behave as both?


Indeed, within quantum vacuums we are even able to see particles pop into and out of existence with no apparent cause [3].


Clearly our intuition is a poor guide in a search for truth.


Something from Nothing vs. from Something


Here we come to the crux of the matter. Although William Lane Craig is an important figure in a discussion of the KCA, Pro’s initial quotation adds little to his case. From what I’ve seen of Craig’s work, I have found that, like my opponent, Craig fails to offer any good proof of the first premise.


The problem is this: As far as I am aware, nobody has ever experienced nothing to observe how it behaves. So, how then can we possibly conclude that something cannot come from nothing? The only examples we have in this universe of something beginning to exist is existence coming from some other something, not from nothing.


Examples of vans and people beginning to exist with a cause are all examples of things coming from something.


So, although Craig asserts that something cannot come from nothing and that all of our experiences confirm this, these claims are baseless as we have never really experienced nothing and therefore cannot assume that nothing cannot just become something.


Conclusion


I have successfully demonstrated why it is wrong to rely on our intuition for information as well as demonstrated why it is folly to make claims about the nature of nothing when we have never observed nothing.


I look forward to my opponent’s response.


Sources:


[1]- http://ancienthistory.about.com...


[2]- http://en.wikipedia.org...


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


KeytarHero

Pro

Again, I thank Con for instituting this debate.

Intuition

Con has misunderstood my argument. I never said that our intuitions are generally correct, I said that we are justified in believing them. I even indicated that our intuitions are not always reliable. But if our intuitions are not reliable, it takes evidence to suggest that we should forsake our intuitions. If someone were to tell you that the universe is an illusion, you would not bear the burden of proof since all you have to go on are your intuitions. The person making that claim would bear the burden of proof. As such, if you are going to make the claim that nothing, or not everything, that begins to exist has a cause of its existence, you bear the burden of proof to show why not. It is simply common sense that everything that exists had a cause of its existence.

People were justified in their beliefs that the Earth was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth, etc., because of their observations of the world around them. It wasn't until brilliant men who witnessed how a ship disappeared in the horizon, or that the Earth was the one moving, not the sun, etc., questioned these common views. It was through reason and evidence that they were able to change our common intuitions about the universe.

Regarding quantum vacuums and particles, these particles do not pop into existence from nothing uncaused. They pop into existence from the quantum vacuum, which is not "nothing." The quantum vacuum is a sea of transient energy. To claim that these particles come into existence from nothing is to equivocate on the meaning of "nothing," which Sam Harris didn't even buy. [1]

Plus, to say that they have no cause is to make an argument from ignorance. Just because we don't know the cause now doesn't mean that we never will. Science's main purpose is to discover answers for our questions. Who's to say science won't one day discover why this happens?

Something from Nothing vs. from Something

Craig offers very compelling evidence for the first premise, which I illuminated in my opening argument (and Con has not illustrated the failings).

Con is simply incorrect that we have never observed nothing. We have not observed pure nothing, sure, because it would be impossible to do so. But we can certainly observe that nothing comes from nothing uncaused. After all, nothing just pops into existence uncaused from nothing. Everything on my computer desk exists there because I purchased it and put it there. Nothing on the desk popped into existence, and nothing will, because nothing comes from nothing uncaused. So it is still inexplicable why just anything and everything don't pop into existence uncaused. Why not cars, or trees, or Beethovens? Why only subatomic particles and universes?

Plus, even Christians don't argue that absolute nothingness existed. Before the creation of the universe, God existed. So even then absolute nothingness did not exist. When we say "comes into being from nothing," we mean comes into being, uncaused, from no preexisting materials. If I hold my hand out and something were to pop into existence uncaused, that would be coming into existence from nothing, even though my hand exists and the air that is over my hand exists.

It's true that people and vans are examples of things coming from nothing, but that's not the point of the first premise. The point is that these things came into existence due to a cause, not uncaused. So whether from nothing or from something, everything that begins to exist has a cause. What the first premise essentially means is that "x begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is no time t* prior to t at which x exists." [2]

Conclusion

Con has not successfully shown why something (or really, anything) could come from nothing uncaused. The arguments I supported last round, that our intuitions tell us it is true (and must be argued against if it is false), something cannot come from nothing, that it is inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn't come into being from nothing, and that common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1, continue to support the truth of premise 1.

I look forward to Con's response.

[1] http://www.samharris.org...;
[2]
Debate Round No. 2
Magicr

Con

Thank you to Pro for his response.

Before I begin, I would like to make a small correction on my sources from last round. The link given for my source number 3 was intended to support my statement about wave-particle duality. The correct link for the paragraph with the citation is this: http://en.wikipedia.org.... Sorry about that, folks.

Intuition

Pro argues that although our intuitions are often unreliable, we are still justified in believing them until we are given evidence that shows we should forsake our intuitions. This is basically an attempt to shift the burden of proof as, according to Pro, any person challenging intuition must prove this claim.

A brief tangent: Who’s intuition are we to go by anyway? Given that people come from different backgrounds it is easy to see how different people could have different feelings, different intuitions, about an issue. It is therefore that I ask this question. For indeed my intuition tells me that we cannot know whether something can or cannot come from nothing.

I have already demonstrated why our intuition has been repeatedly been shown to be a poor guide when attempting to evaluate the truth. In this round, I would like to offer specific reasons for believing that our intuition would be incorrect in certain instances about this issue.

Seeing as Pro used a video in his previous response, I feel that it is justified to attach one to my argument. Don’t feel you need to watch it, I just wanted to give the source that source that I came across this point, just as my opponent has done.

In the video, Thunderf00t presents the following syllogism in a style somewhat parallel to the KCA:

P1. Objects pushed forward move faster.
P2. A can of spam is an object.
C. Therefore, a can of spam traveling at light speed pushed forward will move faster than light speed.

We know the conclusion is incorrect. So what’s wrong with the syllogism? P1 is supported by our intuition and all of our personal experiences. As is pointed out in the video, our intuition tends to be incorrect when we are dealing with the very small or the very fast or other extreme conditions. An occurrence like the beginning of the universe, the subject of the KCA, is certainly an extreme condition.

I agree with Pro that as we learn more about the universe, our intuitions change. But, I think it is fallacious and an appeal to ignorance to then say that because we do not yet completely understand the beginning of the universe or quantum events we should stick with our ignorance and say that it is more probable that our intuitions are correct. As Lawrence Krauss states in the interview my opponent cited: “‘easy’ does not always coincide with “true.” Once again, my mantra: The Universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not.” So it is, that just because our intuitions tell us something, what is easy, these intuitions themselves have no bearing on fact.

Regarding Laurence Krauss and Sam Harris and particles and the like, I am confused in which part of the interview Harris disagrees with Krauss on his points. Harris is merely asking questions to clarify and Krauss himself acknowledges that there are different kinds of nothing and he proceeds to elaborate on the different meanings.

Something from Nothing vs. from Something

The first thing I would like to do here is to state that by nothing, I mean a lack of physical matter and energy. That is, of course, unless I specify that I mean otherwise in a specific instance.

Pro writes: “Craig offers very compelling evidence for the first premise, which I illuminated in my opening argument (and Con has not illustrated the failings).”

The only evidence from Craig that Pro offered in R1 was three unsupported assertions. I pointed out that the assertions were unfounded because we have never experienced nothing.

Pro, however, disputes the contention that we have never experienced nothing. He writes: “Con is simply incorrect that we have never observed nothing. We have not observed pure nothing, sure, because it would be impossible to do so. But we can certainly observe that nothing comes from nothing uncaused. After all, nothing just pops into existence uncaused from nothing. Everything on my computer desk exists there because I purchased it and put it there.So it is still inexplicable why just anything and everything don't pop into existence uncaused.”

He seems to agree that we have never observed nothing in the sense I described above, which is what I originally meant when I said we have never experienced nothing, but he still says we have observed nothing. I therefore encourage him to explain what he meant in discussing the kind of nothing we have observed.

Additionally, I’m not sure why my opponent has brought the objects on his desk into the discussion. I do not dispute that those items came into existence due to a cause, yet all of those are examples of one form of something coming beginning to exist as something else.

Pro further asks why if he holds out his hand, there is no magical beginning of existence if something can come from nothing. But certainly this would not be a creation from nothing for as my opponent and Dr. Craig on numerous occasions have taken the time to point out vacuums, much less everyday empty space is hardly nothing in the sense I previously described. Craig often accuses atheists of equivocating over the term nothing, but in equating the empty space we see to nothing, Pro is doing just that. If this is the definition of nothing Pro wishes to utilize, then he cannot deny that quantum fluctuations in this state of “nothing” are not counter examples to the premise.

Conclusion

I have demonstrated that appealing to intuition is a bad idea in the first place and that it is an especially bad idea when talking about extreme conditions.

In the previous round, my opponent failed to provide any more evidence that something cannot come from nothing beyond making unfounded and irrelevant assertions.

KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Con again for his response.

I, too, have a correction to make. My first paragraph under the "intuition" heading that reads "It is simply common sense that everything that exists had a cause of its existence," should actually read "it is simply common sense that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence."

As I argued first, this will be my last round.

Intuition

It is not shifting the burden of proof to say that if someone is arguing against our intuitions, that they bear the burden of proof. I already gave you the example of our intuitions telling us that the universe exists. If someone is making the claim that the universe doesn't, actually, exist, the onus of proof is on them. Similarly, if someone is going to make the claim that not everything that exists has a cause, they bear the burden of proof to show that they don't.

If someone holds an intuition that something may be able to come from nothing, it is only due to not truly understanding what nothing is. Nothing literally does not exist; it has no qualities, no potentialities. To claim that something could possibly come from nothing uncaused is a logically incoherent statement. You might as well believe that two dogs can have sex and produce a car.

It was not my intention to use a video. Unfortunately, videos automatically embed in the debate. That video was, in fact, the source my statement came from.

Unfortunately, Thunderf00t doesn't really seem to understand how to use logic. The KCA is a perfectly logically valid argument. The only way to refute it is to show one or both of the premises is/are false. Thunderf00t's argument is logically invalid.

P1: Objects pushed forward move faster.
P2: A can of spam is an object.

The only thing that follows from these two premises is:

C: A can of spam, when pushed forward, moves faster.

If Thunderf00t wishes to support the conclusion, he needs to add at least one additional premise, something like:

P3: Objects can move faster than the speed of light.

Then the Conclusion would necessarily follow. But then the argument would be unsound, because as Einstein has shown P3 is false. Our intuitions are not necessarily incorrect when dealing with extreme conditions. If everything in the universe had a cause, then the universe itself had a cause. This is simple logic, which Thunderf00t seems to have missed.

The bottom line is if our intuitions tells us something is true, we are justified in believing them, even if it turns out they are not. If we were not justified in trusting our intuitions, then we couldn't believe anything, and we couldn't trust in anything. We can't even trust in our scientific observations if we didn't trust our intuitions. Our intuitions are really all we have to base any conclusions off of.

Besides, we trust our intuitions because we study the universe and learn from it. Based on common experience, we know that things don't just come into existence uncaused. This is not a "baseless" intuition, it is an intuition which we can observe in the universe around us.

Something from Nothing vs. from Something

Con may define "nothing" as a lack of physical matter and energy, but that is not how Theists define "nothing." Nothing is literally "no thing," not just a lack of physical matter and energy, but nothing literally does not exist. It has no qualities, no potentiality. It is literally just that -- nothing. It's not like a supernatural realm in which can exist in a spiritual state without physical form.

No one has ever experienced absolute nothingness. Even before the universe existed, God existed. So there was not a state of absolute nothingness before the universe. So I'm not saying we can believe it despite never have experienced a state of absolute nothingness. But we have experienced that things do not pop into existence uncaused (and Con still has not shown why only subatomic particles and universes can come into existence uncaused). If something were to come into existence uncaused, then we can say that we experienced that. But everything in our experience that began to exist had a cause of its existence. I really don't know how to put it any more simply than this.

The example from the objects on my desk was to show that things come into existence with a cause. My computer monitor is there because I purchased it and set it there. It did not pop into existence uncaused. There is an empty space next to it, yet nothing has popped into existence uncaused in that empty spot. To say "we have never experienced nothing" is to confuse the matter. We could not experience a state of nothingness, because we would not exist, but we could experience something coming from nothing uncaused.

I am not equivocating on nothing. I mean literally nothing. If something were to pop into existance, uncaused, on my desk, it would not have to be from the "sea of transient energy," it could be from absolute nothing. I suppose the argument could be made that we wouldn't be able to tell, but Con still has not demonstrated why just anything and every couldn't pop into existence uncaused. It's special pleading to assert that it only happens to subatomic particles and universes.

Conclusion

Con has not successfully demonstrated that appealing to intuition is a bad idea in the first place when talking about extreme conditions. I have shown that his logic in that situation was invalid. Plus, in order to make that assertion in the first place, he must trust his intuitions that tell him his position is the correct one. He is trusting his intuitions that something can come from nothing uncaused. So it seems his argument is self-defeating, in that they can't live up to their own claims of reality.

I have successfully shown that while our intuitions are not always reliable, it is fallacious to claim that they are always unreliable. Our intuitions are reliable if they are a result of our experiences, and we know that things don't just come into existence uncaused.
Debate Round No. 3
Magicr

Con

Intuition

Pro argued that the person arguing against intuition inherently has a burden of proof. This concept is something that has been asserted by my opponent throughout the debate, but no real logic was ever presented to support it.

Pro writes that intuition must support the idea that something cannot come from nothing because it is a logically incoherent concept. While the type of nothing my opponent is referring to in his argument, nothing with no qualities or potentialities, cannot exist, I see no reason why the type of nothing I brought up in my arguments could not have/ cannot exist(ed).

Thunderf00t’s argument is not invalid, though it could have been organized a little more clearly as follows:

P1. Objects pushed forward move faster.
P2. A can of spam is an object.
C1. Therefore, a can of spam, when pushed forward, moves faster.
C2. Therefore, a can of spam traveling at light speed pushed forward will move faster than light speed.

But just because C1 was not explicitly stated in the argument, it’s implication from the premises is enough to justify C2.

The real objection my opponent has is that C2 does not follow from the previous premises and conclusion. It is not difficult to see, however, that C2 does indeed follow logically. In P1, no restrictions are placed on what objects are applicable or at whether there are certain speeds at which objects cannot move. It is a broad statement that encompasses all objects moving at all speeds. This third premise that my opponent discusses would only be needed if P1 did not encompass all speeds.

And in disputing the validity of this silly argument, Pro brushes over the point of the argument: That our intuition has been wrong many times when we are discussing extreme conditions. While, I do not disagree with Pro’s only comment related to this point: “Our intuitions are not necessarily incorrect when dealing with extreme conditions,” our intuitions are more likely to be incorrect when discussing extreme situations that are different from our practical experiences. Pro straw mans my argument in only responding to the claim that our intuition must necessarily be wrong with extreme situations. My argument was that we have good grounds not to necessarily trust our intuitions when they have been shown to be wrong in similar situations.

In short, it is better to take a position of agnosticism when we have a lack of conclusive evidence than to hold onto a belief based on intuition. While we can observe the universe around us and know that within our realm of common being, things do not come into existence uncaused, it is logically unsound to extend this basic knowledge to everything as the KCA does.

Something from Nothing vs. from Something

While theists and I may disagree on our definition of nothing, my point does not go away. While absolute nothingness in the sense my opponent talks about may never have existed, there is no reason to think that nothingness in the sense that I defined it could not exist. And we have never experienced the kind of nothing I defined. Therefore, we cannot make judgements about this state, whatever one wishes to call it. Nevertheless, this is what the premise does. In saying that everything that begins to exist has a cause, the premise is including things in this state about which we have no knowledge.

What it comes down to is this: Yes, everything in our common experiences within the universe has a cause, but this means nothing for events outside of the universe or outside of the something we experience. This has been my argument all along and Pro has never really refuted it.

Conclusion

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

Pro has not demonstrated that we can make a judgement on whether it is more probable or not on whether things outside of our realm of experience must have a cause when they begin to exist.

The resolution is negated.

Vote Con!

KeytarHero

Pro

As per the rules, since I argued first, I will not argue in this round.
Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
This was just a blow out. Good job Magicr.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"It's really not that hard to support"

Then why do you, and so many other theists have such a hard time with it? lol
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
It's the natural and normal definition of "beginning." The only reason for the other definition is so that we have have special pleading for Jehovah, a way to say that he didn't begin when everything else did.

Even then, the argument fails because it relies on equivocation. If we use one definition, then everything but Jehovah began, but Jehovah began too. If we use the other definition, then Jehovah didn't begin, but nothing else did either.

The only way, then, to make the argument seem to work is to surreptitiously two-step back and forth between the two definitions, hoping nobody catches you. If you're good at it, you may not even notice it yourself.
Posted by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
Fair enough.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
X's first moment is the earliest moment at which X existed.
Posted by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
How would you define "having a first moment?"
Posted by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
How would you define "having a first moment?"
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Magicr wrote:
: ... saying that something has a beginning is also tied to time, given that beginning to exist implies that
: there was a state of affairs in which that thing did not exist before that thing existed.

Why doesn't it just mean that the thing had a first moment? Why does there have to have been a moment before the thing's first moment?
Posted by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
Anything having to do with a "prior" state of being is necessarily connected to time.

Bringing up the Big Bang seems to do little more to further your point than to serve as a red herring.

Additionally, I would argue that saying that something has a beginning is also tied to time, given that beginning to exist implies that there was a state of affairs in which that thing did not exist before that thing existed.

I'd be more than happy to debate the KCA with you, though RT would probably do a better job than I would.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
It's not incoherent, unless you're equivocating on the word "before" (which is why it's important to clarify terms). When the KCA talks about "before," it's not talking about "temporally prior," but "causally prior." There was a point at which the universe began to exist. Before that, there was nothing. Cosmologists agree that the universe began to exist with the Big Bang event. At any rate, I'd be willing to debate it again if someone wishes. I have more resources that I can draw on from when I debated it before (having only really heard the argument and defense from William Lane Craig's lectures and debates).
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
MagicrKeytarHeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con won with: "nobody has ever experienced nothing to observe how it behaves" and also how our intuitions are often wrong.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
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Reasons for voting decision: The KCA attempts to argue God from a scientific position. Since science deals with the world we observe, it must define nothing from what we observe. Which is a space of uncaused virtual particles. Pro never really objected to the particles being uncaused. Pro also never proved the first premise is valid, other than intuition. Intuition is probably the most ineffective way of discovering if something is true or not. If Pro wants to argue KCA is scientific, he must go by science! We've also never observed Pros idea of nothing to see if something can come out of it. For this I must award arguments to Con
Vote Placed by lit.wakefield 4 years ago
lit.wakefield
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Reasons for voting decision: "Nothing" should have been defined immediately. It would have made for much less for confusion. Anyway, the whole nothing part was generally irrelvant as the first premise is "things that begin to exist have a cause", not "nothing can come from nothing uncaused" (which is funny when you think about it with the different defintions.. no thing verse nothingness). I felt that Con succesfully refuted Pro's argument in regards to intuition. Also, Pro really failed to explain a flaw in Con pointing out virtual particles (the nothing aspect is, once again, unrelated to the actual debate topic) to support his argument. It was funny how both sides accused the other of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Con says with no "apparent" cause. He never states "there is no evidence that the particles have a cause, therefore they do not" However, Con made a similar incorrect accusation and seems to not understand the fallacy. I do not feel comfortable giving arguments to either
Vote Placed by Milliarde 4 years ago
Milliarde
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate, and the only reasons I didn't find Con the to be the winner was because the title was "probably true". I don't think Pro came close to proving premise 1, but it seems the most likely choice. However, that is merely based on my intuition which Pro didn't serve to build upon and Con did a good job of rejecting. Con provided good counterexamples to the generic intuition theory provided by Pro. I think Pro's arguments that "something cannot come from nothing" is readily accepted as common sense, but repeating the statement does not refute Con's arguments. The discussion on the definition of "nothing" didn't really contribute to the debate in my opinion. Also, I felt like giving 3 points evenly instead of 0 and 0 so ignore the actual points which I gave. S&G and sources were even, and as described above, I found the arguments to be tied.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 4 years ago
Jarhyn
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Reasons for voting decision: Magicr made a very important point: That in the variety of "nothing" that we observe, empty space, virtual particle activity happens. Things do indeed pop out of the "nothing" that we observe. Hence regardless of PRO's claims that intuition can be used, it is clearly NOT justified in the presence of his contrary evidence. Secondly, intuition is NEVER justified as the sole reason for believing a thing, and no claim made by PRO to this effect will ever be convincing. Only evidence, through failed attempts to disprove, justifies knowledge; in any request to trust there is the inherent responsibility to verify. Secondly, PRO straw-manned con's argument; pro never claimed large, ordered things were likely to come directly from nothing, so conduct to CON; Straw Man arguments are poor conduct. Finally, sources to CON, as PRO used sources out of context.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
MagicrKeytarHeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.