The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Renzzy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Following Arguments for the Existence of God are Valid - 1J

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/3/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,982 times Debate No: 9090
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

TheSkeptic

Con

Note: the "1J" notation in the Topic title is simply for searching purposes.

[Definition - Existence]
http://dictionary.reference.com......
1. the state or fact of existing; being.

*NOTE* I am not debating whether or not a God exists in one's MIND, but rather in REALITY.

[Definition - Valid]
http://dictionary.reference.com......
1. sound; just; well-founded
2. Logic. (of an argument) so constructed that if the premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.

*NOTE* Stemming from the second definition, I don't intend for my opponent to create a syllogism. Simply put, my opponent needs to construct an argument of which I can't successfully defeat (of course, this is to the opinion of the voters). So in other words, it needs to be logically valid and sound. Let's try to avoid semantics, and get a good hearty debate going.

Additionally, I require that my opponent argue for whatever deity they are proving with the intent of showing that it is PROBABLE/DEFINITE the deity exists (through their argument). Saying that something is possible does not necessarily mean it exists.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is how the debate will play out:

Round 1: This is my Round 1 for clarifications and guidelines. For PRO, he/she will either state that his following arguments will affirm a specific god (i.e. Christian God, Muslim God, etc.) or a metaphysically supreme being. If my opponent chooses to affirm a metaphysical supreme being, then he/she need to define it's properties (otherwise there will be nothing to debate). Then, my opponent will LIST his/her ARGUMENTS with at least a brief EXPLANATION for both (I don't want just a line of titles).

Try to not list too many, ranging from 1-3 is preferable.

Round 2 - 4: I will refute his/her arguments and it will go back and forth as such.

I hope we have a good debate!
Renzzy

Pro

Thanks for the debate, and I hope it will be both informative and enjoyable!

I am choosing to argue for the existence of God as a metaphysically supreme being, and creator of the universe.

[Definition - God]
http://www.google.com...
"the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe"

[Arguments]
To argue in favor of a God as the creator, I must go to the beginning of the universe. What happened at the begginning of the universe? Some Athiests argue that the universe had no beginning, but is eternal. I contend this view for a couple of reasons, and therefore support the existence of a God.

1. The universe is in motion (a). If the universe had no beginning, it would have always been in motion. Were there no God, there would have been nothing to set the universe in motion, contradiction Newton's first law of motion (b).

2. Were the universe eternal, the number of past events would be infinite. Currant mathmaticians argue against the existence of an infinite number, saying it leads to contradictions, i.e. what is infinity minus infinity? (c) Mathmatician David Hilbert says:

"The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." (d)

Since past events are real, they must not be infinite. Since they are not infinite, they must have begun at some point, this point being the beginning of the universe. (c) There are two main explaination for the beginning of the universe: Creationism, and the Big Bang Theory.

The above are my arguements against the idea of an infinite universe.

As stated above, the Big Bang theory is the main contender of Creationism, and Creationism states that there was a creator God. For the sake of simplicity, I will merge the beliefs of Creationism and Intelligent Design, though the two are not the same. Both affirm a metaphysically supreme being, AKA a God.

My burden is to disprove the Big Bang Theory, therein leaving only the option of a metaphysically supreme being having origionated the universe, thus giving the universe it's necessary beginning.

[Definition - The Big Bang Theory]
http://www.google.com...
"the theory that the universe originated sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from the cataclysmic explosion of a small volume of matter at extremely high density and temperature"

The Big Bang Theory asserts that matter exploded, and the universe was a result of that explosion. I have one main contension with this belief, and it is as follows:

The belief that matter exploded is contingent on the fact that said matter existed in the first place. If the matter existed, it must have come from somwhere. Similarly, the place from whence this matter came must have come from somewhere. Similarly, this place of origion must have come from somewhere. Eventually, we must logically come to one of two conclusions; either these places of origion go back into eternity past, which, as I have shown, is not possible (c, d), or they had a beginning. Again, this beginning could be the result of two thing; it was either the result of an event similar to that of the Big Bang, or it was the result of a metaphysically supreme being's creativity.

If we affirm the former, we are caught in the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. If we affirm the latter, we have a plausible, however abstract solution to the problem of the origion of the universe.

[Conclusion]
1. I have Affirmed the existence of a metahysically supreme being.
2. I have argued that an eternal universe defies the first law of motion. In doing so, I have argued that the universe had a beginning.
3. I have argued that an infinite number of past events is not mathmatically possible. In doing so, I have argued that the universe had a beginning.
4. I have stated that there are two main beliefs surrounding the beginning of the universe: Creationism, and the Big Bang Theory.
5. I have concluded that the Big Bang Theory leads to the logical fallacy of circular reasoning.
6. I have concluded that the beginning of the universe must be the result of the creativity of a metaphysically supreme being, AKA a God.

[Sources]
(a) - http://www.space.com...
(b) - http://physics.about.com...
(c) - http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
(d) - David Hilbert, "On the Infinite," in Philosophy of Mathematics, ed. with an Introduction by Paul Benacerraf and Hillary Putnam (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964), pp. 139, 141. [also see link d]

Thanks for your attention, and may the best debator win!
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate challenge - I hope it goes well!

My opponent's conception of God is some sort of supernatural entity that is the cause of the universe. Furthermore, he has also noted that said being is omnipotent and omniscient - this will be taken into consideration as it furthers a new counterargument. Since my opponent has made several points about the origin of the universe - which is the focus of cosmological arguments - I will respond to them in a numerical order similar to how my opponent organized them.

====================
PRO -- The universe is in motion
====================

My opponent's argument about the nature of motion would seem to be prima facie correct, given that Newton's law of motion supports it. Indeed, his concerns take inspiration from the Prime Mover argument, which dates back to Aristotle. However, the main criticism of this argument is that it relies on predated physics. Given our new understanding of the law of conservation of energy and molecular physics, there are well document examples of bodies in motion without being moved, such as gas molecules.

====================
PRO -- Issues about the universe being eternal
====================

The first problem with this argument is that it assumes the universe is eternal - because if the Big Bang theory is true, which it most likely is, then there were not an infinite past events; time "begins" approximately 15 billion years ago with the singularity expanding.

Secondly, even if there were an infinite amount of past events, you are presuming a certain model of theory of time; namely the A-theory, as opposed to the B-theory[1]. I will argue in favor of the B-theory because the idea of an absolute reference frame for time (in the form of singular predicates such as past, present, future) is absurd. Not only that, but the very application of A-theory is impossible due to it's inherently contradictory properties.

Finally, you assume instances of infinity can't be found in reality. This is false, there are clear cases of infinity being in found in the most common of examples - take Zeno's paradoxes[2] for example. Motion obviously exists, but according to Zeno they can't due to the impossibly of an infinity...so does motion not exist? Of course not, and not only that but mathematical discoveries such as calculus are able to resolve said paradoxes.

====================
PRO -- Issues about the Big Bang
====================

"The belief that matter exploded is contingent on the fact that said matter existed in the first place. If the matter existed, it must have come from somwhere. Similarly, the place from whence this matter came must have come from somewhere."

----> Firstly, matter expanded not exploded. But more importantly, in regards to your claim that whatever exists must have "come from somewhere"...why is that so? Would you care to give a reason or scientific principle that demonstrates your causal principle? And indeed, the rest of my opponent's concerns here can be addressed with my arguments concerning the nature of time and infinities.

====================
PRO -- Issues about the cosmological argument and my opponent's definition of God
====================

Even if my opponent's argument were to be valid, he would have to answer a final glaring criticism - why is it that only an omnipotent and omniscient entity could have caused it? In fact, why would one have to be all-powerful and not just really powerful? Or why would one have to know everything and not just a lot?

Given this vagueness in the argument, there are an INFINITE mount of possible "gods" who could fulfill the cosmological argument's conclusion - which demonstrates that my opponents attempt prove only his conception of God is narrow thinking. Hell, you could have a committee of gods like the ancient Greek conceptions.

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

My opponent's position fails because it presumes a ridiculous philosophical model of time, it relies on outdated scientific claims, and has too vague of a conclusion.

---References---
1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
Renzzy

Pro

[Defense - The universe is in motion]

I presented an arguemnt against the enternity of the universe. I did so by arguing that an eternal universe would contradict Newton's first law of motion. Your refutations were 1) Newton's laws are outdated, and 2) we have found examples of bodies in motion without being moved.

Your entire argument here is weak and completely unbacked, as you have provided no sources to support your claims. I trust this slipped your mind due to your illness, though, as I can imagine it is not easy trying to think when you feel miserable :) However I did look into this, and found, to the contrary, that all ideal gases do behave according to Newton's laws of motion (a). I assume you are refering to nonideal gases when you claim they do not behave according to Newton's laws, but I will await your supportive evidence, as I could find little on the subject.

My arguments stand as plausible evidence for my case, and will remain thus unitl my opponent can provide supportive sources for his currantly empty claims.

[Defense - The universe is not eternal]

"...if the Big Bang theory is true, which it most likely is..."

I am under the impression, then, that we are in agreement that the universe was was eternal, but had a beginning. Correct me if I am wrong.

You say I support the A Theory of time as opposed to the B Theory, but frankly I do not see how these theories of time have anything to do with the debate at hand. I have quoted a man who is regarded as on of the greatest mathmaticians of the 20th century saying that the infinite has no rational application to the tangible world. I am refering to the real, tangible events that took place over a period of time, whether you want to believe the A Theory or the B Theory of time. Either way, it makes no differnce in my argument.

"...you assume instances of infinity can't be found in reality."

I did not assume anything, but quoted a very legitimate source that said this; a source which you have yet to provide a counter argument for. You, on the other hand, have boldly claimed that this argument is false, and defended this claim by refering to an aspect of the infinite that bears no weight in the debate at hand. I agree that the infinite has rational application, but only concerning ideas. Because the infinite is purely ideological, it is bound to dealing in purely ideological fields. The necessary past events implied by an eternal universe are not at all ideological, but would have been real, tangible objects in volved in real, tangible events.

You argue using the example of motion, to which the infinite does apply. Furthermore, motion is not an idea, but is in fact a tangbile thing. Having said this, motion is, in essence, numbers. There is nothing to the concept of motion but numbers. It is these numbers, then to which the infinite applies, because numbers are not tangible things.

[Defense - Issues with the Big Bang]

I argue that the matter necessary at the beginning of the Big Bang would have to have come from somewhere for a simple reason: something cannot come from nothing. I know, you have evidence that something can in fact come from nothing, and you find it in the field of quantum mechanics. Allow me to address this for you.

You would argue that we see somthing coming from nothing in evets such pair creation of bosons, where in the particle and its antimatter partner seem to appear out of nowhere (b). What I do not understand is why you assume the bosons appeared out of nowhere. First of all, we know that neither energy nor matter can be either created or destroyed (c, d). Secondly, who is to say that these bosons are coming from nowhere? Take, or example, electron orbiting an atom. When they increase in energy, their orbit jumps aways from the atom. When they decreae in energy, their orbit jumps towards the atom (e). Oddly, the electron seems to be nowhere during this quantum jump! Does this mean it disappeared into thin air, and was recreated from nothing in the next orbit? It would be absurd to think so. The same applies to all things similar. I understand that it is hypothisized that these particels come from nothing, but be that as it may, it is only hypothisized, and that against the already accepted laws of physics. You could, then, make an argument based on this information, but it would be weak at best compared to scientific theories and laws, which I am presenting.

[Defense - Cosmological argument, definition of God]

In defining God, I was doing just that; defining God. I meant nothing by it in terms of what I was arguing for, but was simply creating a picture one could have in his mind.

Remember also that I am defending the existence of a metaphysically supreme being. So yes, it could be any of the possible "gods" you refered to. I am not specifying a particular god or gods, only arguing that a metaphysical and supreme being must exist.

[References]

(a) - http://physics.bu.edu...
(b) - http://liberatedmind.com...
(c) - http://www.tutorvista.com...
(d) - http://en.wikipedia.org...
(e) - http://www.tpub.com...
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for his response, and for his understanding about my sickness during my last round. However, I do want to quickly point out that he is on a very precarious position, given that he is relying on some very weak reasons to back up his arguments. Simply quoting a single mathematician who died decades ago does not do you good for grounding your thoughts in the concept of infinity, nor does it help you to ignore the entire concept of the time debate since your biggest premise relies on an assumption on it already. But first, parts about physics need to be addressed:

====================
PRO -- The universe is in motion
====================

I want to apologize beforehand by conflating Newton's law with the Prime Mover's argument - my opponent has made the mistake of saying that Netwon's first law supports it, but I failed to draw a distinction in my head (was probably due to the flu). Unfrotunately for him, he failed to catch his own mistake and this is what leads to his downfall:

His premise that whatever is in motion must have been moved is the basic premise in the Prime Mover's argument - which is based on Aristotelian physics. Obviously outdated, even Newton's law demonstrate that an object can be in motion without any causing it. For example, what reason are we to preclude that something could have always been moving? After all, the first law of motion does state that "every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it[1]", even when it's in motion. And with our knowledge of the law of conservation, such phenomena is possible. Indeed, if we are to talk about bodies in a state of motion with an "unique" cause - or lack thereof - your own link about ideal gases state that "the molecules obey Newton's laws of motion, and they move in random motion.[2]"

Random motion isn't motion that is too complicated for us to measure so we just call it random for convenience - it has an inherent randomness given the nature of the quantum world. To say that something is random are is to say that it is objectively random. That is, in an experiment where all causally relevant parameters are controlled, different results still sprout. This is how we can have the possibility of gas molecules in such weird phenomena, as is ascribed by theories such as the Kinetic theory of Gases[3].

====================
PRO -- Issues about the universe being eternal
====================

"I am under the impression, then, that we are in agreement that the universe was was eternal, but had a beginning. Correct me if I am wrong."

----> Well, in a way you are correct. The universe is eternal in the sense that the future will go on forever, though there was no such thing as an infinite past. However, you preclude this as a problem because you ask what caused the beginning, and what caused that further thing, etc. This is where my talk about the theory of time comes into play, which you ignorantly reject:

Your concerns with the impossibility of an infinite past would only be realized if you assume the nature of time to be modeled under the A-series. However, since I have shown such a model to be incoherent and the B-theory to be much more considerable, then the question becomes whether or not an infinite past is reconcile with the B-theory. To help you out, IT DOES. Therefore, any ammunition you had planned to use to fuel the cosmological argument is nonexistent given an enlightened understanding of the philosophy of time.

Yet, you totally ignore this point and state that you "quoted a very legitimate source". First of all, quoting what someone believes DOES NOT CONSTITUTE a proof given this dialogue. Not only is your mathematician dead for awhile - meaning advances in mathematics may have surpassed him several regards, but his expertise is only in mathematics; nowhere does he have expertise in the philosophy of time and causality.

"There is nothing to the concept of motion but numbers."

----> Are you really saying there is nothing about motion but abstract numbers? This is incredibly false - motion is an obvious physical phenomena. Don't believe me? Walk around, and you'll have first hand evidence.

====================
PRO -- Issues about the Big Bang
====================

First of all, on what philosophic or scientific grounds do we have to believe in your causal principle that something cannot come from nothing. Care to give a reason?

If you would like examples of creations ex nihilo, then refer to this great article[4]. A large part of your misunderstanding is that in physics, there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum - there is no such thing as a perfect "nothing". This is merely a philosophic idea, and in reality does not exist.

====================
PRO -- Issues about the cosmological argument and my opponent's definition of God
====================

You made specific characteristics in your definition of God, in which he classified him as omnipotent and omniscient. Obviously, you have to show why only such a conception of God would be the conclusion of the cosmological argument, and not the infinite amount of possible other gods who can fit the same conclusion. For example, powerful aliens from another dimension could have created the universe - would this not fit the universe?

Even if you deny this, at the very least you say that this being is metaphysical. So what prevents my previous example of inter-dimensional entities?

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

My opponent ignores the aspects of the argument dealing with the philosophy of time and causality, but he needs to pay it much more attention as it is the crux of his argument -- which I would say has crumbled. Furthermore, his preconceptions about infinity preclude him from getting anywhere then "quoting some famous mathematician".

---References---
1. http://csep10.phys.utk.edu...
2. http://physics.bu.edu...
3. http://www.grc.nasa.gov...
4. http://www.infidels.org...
Renzzy

Pro

Renzzy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
TheSkeptic

Con

With a forfeit I have nothing to respond to - extend my arguments to this round. Thank you, Renzzy, for the debate. Hopefully we can have another one in which unfortunate events such as this don't happen; I'm sure you have legitimate reasons for why a forfeit happened.
Renzzy

Pro

Renzzy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
Renzzy - 'I firmly believe quantun mechanics is amazing proof for the existence of God, I simply have no knowledge of the field'

Renzzy, you seem like a smart guy, but that strikes me as a really dumb thing to say.
Posted by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
I am so sorry! I got ridiculously busy all of the sudden with almost no down time.

Although I remain entirely unconvinced of your position, I admit you out argued me, and I got in over my head with the quantum mechanics argument. I firmly believe quantun mechanics is amazing proof for the existence of God, I simply have no knowledge of the field, and therefore do not know how to argue it.

Given your more sufficiantly backed arguments and my forfieted rounds, I concede the victory to you; you have undoubtedly won this debate.

Thanks for your time, and sorry for wasting it!

Renzzy
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Sorry for the somewhat subpar response - I've got a big flu, so it's been killing me to just stay on the computer >.>
Posted by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
*May the best debatEr win.*
Posted by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
Haha, wow. I had not read your debate with KRFournier before fromulating my own arguments, and now realize we have argued the same point concerning infinity :D You will find that I referenced the works of William Lane Craig themselves, and at one point in my arguments, paraphrased them.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Great :D!
Posted by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
It has been too long since I last debated, and the topic is tempting. Go ahead, challenge me again :) I guess I was feeling unambitious at the time.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
1. If you believe in God through faith, then I could challenge your usage of faith itself.

2. I won't shoot your sources down for being biased - after all, most sources are biased to begin with. It's how you use them, and more importantly what is stated in the source (how credible/reliable it is) that counts.

3. Remember, I never stated you had to prove the physical existence of God; this itself would be absurd given the definition of God being an immaterial spirit. All I need for you to prove is that he exists - whatever ontology he may have is at your discretion.
Posted by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
Thanks for the challange, but I must decline, because I would be entering a losing debate. I am in agreement wuth the writers of the Westminster Larger Catechism, who Define God as follows:

#4. Q. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Having said this, I cannot logically prove the existence of God. It is a belief through faith alone. In order to com remotely close to proving Him logically, I would have to prove a creator, as Da_King said, but to prove a creator I would have to disprove evolution. I have tried this, and all of my sources were shot down as "biased." Futhermore I would have to make a logical case for creationism, but without any "unbiased" sources, this is impossible. Finally, I would have to prove that this creator was a God we cannot see, comprehend, or touch. As you can see, it is a matter accepted by faith.

I do appreciate the challenge from such an accomplished debator. If you have any bones to pick concerning my doctrine, I will be happy to oblige, but proving the physical existance of God would be like asking you tp prove the existence of a fifth dimension.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
*general God

I don't know how in the hell those two other words got there o.O
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Vote Placed by Renzzy 7 years ago
Renzzy
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Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
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