The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
HonestDiscussioner
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

The God Hypothesis is the best scientific explanation for the origins of existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
HonestDiscussioner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,520 times Debate No: 23230
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

kenballer

Pro

First Round is for acceptance of this only

Understand that my approach is suppose to be scienctific or of a scientist not a philosopher like William Lane Craig and other debaters attempt to do. So its a little bit different with only one exception, I won't be using scientific terms. I expect you to debate and argue under this context:

I am arguing that the God Hypothesis indeed qualifies as a scientific explanation as well as the best one for several reasons. It is a rationally conceived hypothesis, it does not violate occam's razor, there is enough evidence that would describe the nature of this cause from connecting the data points, and most importantly its falsifiable.

Lastly, the burden of proof is mainly on me since I am scientific approach for the most part so it needs to be five rounds for me to have enough ground to work under. However, you will naturally have to provide an alternative explanation to rival against the God Hypothesis or else my explanation would have to stand by default. That's how it works.

Also, to the audience, I have gotten some complaints before about not using scientific terms. I don't want to do that here because most people reading this debate may not understand it and I don't know the range of scientific terms I should or would use to qualify it.

Lastly, if five rounds is too long for you, then I will change it. However, if this is the case, You need to be the instigator while I become the contender. Since I have the burden of proof, I need to have the last word.
HonestDiscussioner

Con

I thank my opponent for the challenge, and accept his initial statements as per the debate. I look forward to an interesting and fruitful exchange.
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

THE GOD HYPOTHESIS

Philosophically, there cannot be an infinite amount of time because Time is by definition is a series of "moments". The nature of a moment is "a beginning of the future and an end of the past." The assumption of an absolutely first moment would consequently carry with it the implication of a period of which is terminated by, and prior to, that first moment, and the prior time would itself contain moments.

Furthermore, if time was eternal in the past, it follows that we would have never have gotten here at this point. For example, if I told someone that before I go to bed, I will flip the light switch for an infinite amount of times, would I be able to go to bed still? The answer would be NO. Thus, there would have to be an absolute first cause.

However, If time is supposed to be a part of the universe, then the first cause could not possibly be the universe itself according to empirical observations. So the question before us is " Why is there something rather than nothing?". The First cause must be some sort of entity that is not made up of the Universe, so I will call this cause the God Hypothesis.

FALSIFICATION

If the God hypothesis is true, it would show that the universe had an absolute beginning in the past and that it came from nothing with a cause. CON can either falsify this by showing that the universe had no cause at all and does not require one or he can do it the hard way and falsify everyone of my claims I will make about the alternative hypothesis that would prevent rejection of the null hypothesis.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

The Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning. This theorem has been shown to be 8 decimals accurate.

Borde, Guth,Vilenken developed a theorem that proves inflationary models must contain singularities. They also authored the BGV theorem which proves that ANY universe that is on average in a state of cosmic expansion greater than 0 throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past space time boundary. This theorem holds even when we don't have a complete quantum theory of gravity of the early universe. In addition, Even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" that have different laws of nature, their theorem would STILL require an absolute beginning from this multi-verse as well.

THE INDUCTIVE METHOD

The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every effect there must be a cause for it. This means the universe coming into existence out of nothing would be the effect ,therefore, we can assume a cause. That being said, the space-time boundary prevents us from observing this entity directly to discover the properties of this cause. However, There are all kinds of things that we can't see or identify but yet we see there effects which led us to potential hypothesises about what they potentially were and how those things manifest using the inductive method of reasoning.

Inductive reasoning is a form of logic that is most characteristic of the scientific method itself, because it moves from the effects to causes which can yield the most likely conclusion for a certain body of data. This inductive method is important for physicist when observing the unobservable nature of subatomic particles or atoms, which can only be detected through indirect manners in order to learn about its nature.

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

A. Now, based on the law of causality and the two theorems demonstrating a finite universe, whatever caused this beginning must have been a timeless, changeless, and an immaterial being that created the universe. It must be timeless and therefore changeless without the universe because it created time. Since it also created space, it must transcend space as well and must therefore be immaterial not physical. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial.

ALL-KNOWING

B. The fundamental laws and constants of nature fall under an extraordinarily narrow range of life permitting values ,within an infinite set, in which the right value was chosen every time. The slightest change in these values would prevent any kind of life from evolving or existing. Moreover, these perfectly fine-tuned laws and constants that allow the existence of intelligent life came into being right after the big bang, error free and without change throughout this process.

This means that the cause for the beginning of the universe also had to have been the explanation of the finely tuned universe. Thus, it would be evidence of cosmic intelligent design as the possible explanation. Although, it would not necessarily mean this entity has unlimited knowledge, so more observations are needed.

The Principle of Universality states, that the same general scientific principles are probably true throughout the cosmos. This principle can bring us to the conclusion that by extracting from the unknown amount of intelligence in the natural sciences to the most likely degree of intelligence that is applicable throughout the cosmos.

The BGV theorem predicts a future eternal inflationary model. This means there's potentially an infinite number of mathematical relations out there to be discovered. Each of these relations by definition represents a small amount of cosmic intelligence waiting to be understood, so it follows that the universe must necessarily possess an infinite degree of mathematical intelligence. This not only suggest that the cause is intelligent but the degree of intelligence and knowledge is unlimited. Thus, the attribute of this cause must be omniscience.

ALL-POWERFUL

C. Our universe along with the law of physics were created out of a singularity perfectly fine-tuned to support life from the very beginning. This is something that would be impossible since there is no example of an actual "nothing" which is absence of reality and thus it would be something that is outside of human experience and knowledge. However, this would not necessarily mean this entity has unlimited power. Again, more observations are needed.

The expansion rate of the universe, which is a product of fine-tuning, will continue to accelerate forever. This shows that there's potentially an infinite degree of power or rates of acceleration being exerted to expand the universe. Thus, the attribute of this cause must be omni-potent.

DISEMBODIED MIND

D. There are only three possible candidates we are aware of that could possibly fit such a description of an immaterial, omnipresent, all-knowing, all powerful, and eternal entity : either an abstract object , a human mind, or a combination of the two which would involve a disembodied mind. However, abstract objects by definition do not stand in casual relationships. For instance, the number 9 cannot do anything.

A human mind would stand in agent causality where a cause would be able to bring about new effects at will without any physical dimensions by virtue of its agency. This is called "substance dualism" where there are two fundamental kinds of substance: mental and material. The mental would not have extension in the spacial and temporal constraints with the universe but occupy an independent "realm" of existence distinct from that of the physical world and the material cannot think.

However, human minds are intrinsically connected to material substances that possess limited knowledge and power. Only a disembodied mind would explain why you can get a material effect with a beginning from an eternal cause with unlimited abilities since the brain imposes certain limitations.

Therefore, it follows logically that the cause of the universe is a personal absolute mind for it to have the intrinsic desire to create a universe that allows the existence of intelligent life and then freely choose to act upon that desire; the same way human minds act as agents in the physical world through our bodies.
HonestDiscussioner

Con

Thanks go to my opponent for not only taking the time to do this debate, but also for writing what appears to be an original work, and not something merely copied and pasted from a website.


There is one fundamental aspect that is constant in the understanding of God that my opponent mostly leaves out until his last section, and that aspect is what is known as consciousness. Therefore I disagree with my opponent's statement: "First cause must be some sort of entity that is not made up of the Universe, so I will call this cause the God Hypothesis." If my opponent establishes that there is an eternal and timeless entity that exists outside of space and time, but does not show that this entity must be conscious, then he has not proven that "God" exists or that God is in any way a scientific explanation. All arguments other than ones that attempt to show a conscious entity created the universe can go out the window, for the most part, though I will address the others nonetheless.


I will agree that time had a beginning. Note that when I admit this, I am admitting nothing else. I do not admit that the energy or matter in the universe had a beginning (though obviously it changed forms). There is no reason to assume that matter and energy could not exist in a timeless state, and in fact the Big Bang theory, the most widely accepted scientific theory on the origins of our universe [1], states that "Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past" [2]. This is as best as we can get. Perhaps Pro can provide some scientific evidence that states that the material within the singularity had a beginning, but otherwise, all we are left with is a beginning for time and space. I should point out that General Relativity does not include matter in its creation, as my opponent claimed, but only the aforementioned time and space [3].


My opponent claims that whatever created space must also transcend space. This is not quite the same as being space-less. For example, we have space, and we are able to create in-depth computer simulations of entire cities [4], in effect, we created a space. While we have no reason to think that our universe is merely an incredibly advanced computer simulation (though some arguments could be made if we had the time), there is nothing to disprove this possibility, and therefore it is possible that whatever did create the universe does exist in some sort of space that is fundamentally different to our own. The same can be said for all of the other attributes he listed: changeless, timeless, omni-present, and immaterial. We can create what could be perceived as a universe (however small) and we are none of these things. Therefore the creator of our universe would not need to be any of these things, even if conscious.


Next, Pro argues that our universe falls under an extraordinarily narrow range of life permitting values, and therefore it must have been an intelligent life responsible for its creation. This is false for two reasons:


1.) Scientifically, we cannot know that there are not a number of universes out there, each with different sets of variables and that we are simply one of the lucky ones.


2.) My opponent is wrong to say "The slightest change in these values would prevent any kind of life from evolving or existing". Perhaps we could say life as we know it, but even that is a stretch. True, if you screw with the variables a bit, our universe could change in such a way that carbon based life wouldn't exist. However we don't know how many different sets of variables would produce some form of life. It is possible there would be a set of variables that would produce a form of life utterly alien to any concept we are currently aware of. As far as the number of life producing variables are concerned, until we can create near perfect simulations of every set of possible variables and play out those simulations throughout its existence, then all we can put under the column of "percentage of life producing variables to non-life producing variables" is one gigantic question mark.


When my opponent claims, "Each of these relations by definition represents a small amount of cosmic intelligence waiting to be understood", I would argue he does not really understand his definitions, be it for "intelligence" or "all-knowing". For one, infinite intelligence and all-knowing are not synonyms. Secondly, intelligence may be defined as the ability to think, but how much thinking you have done has no relation to your actual intelligence, just how much you've used your intelligence. Now something of infinite intelligence may actually know very little. It is possible that I have more raw intelligence than some scientists, but they may be older and have vastly greater knowledge that I have on virtually everything there is to know. Likewise, when I taught a genius kindergartener how to do long division, he may have had more intelligence than I did, but I knew more than he did. Further, even if we assume that a conscious entity created the universe, I do not see how the mathematical relations of the universe represents a piece of cosmic intelligence.


Now we move on to whether the entity my opponent describes must be all-powerful. He relies on, as he does throughout his argument, the BVG theorem. I would like to point out at this juncture that the evidence that allows him his eternally expansive universe is the same evidence that leads us to the conclusion of a multiverse [5], which would entirely undo Pro's telelogical point.


Finally, we get to the crux of the issue. As I stated, he does attempt to establish that the entity he speaks of has or is a mind in his last section "DISEMBOIED MIND". He begins by stating that whatever created the universe must conform to the definitions of omni-present, all-knowing, eternal, etc. I handled these earlier, and assert that whatever created the universe does not have to be these things.


My opponent attempts to put forward the idea of "Substance Dualism" (SD), the existence of a "mental substance". Findings in neuroscience would show that SD is an entirely untenable theory. The existence of split-brain patients alone would debunk this idea. Split brain patients have had their corpus callosum, a band of nerves responsible for communication between the left and right hemispheres, completely severed. Experiments have been performed where patients were fed stimuli to only one hemisphere of the brain. Depending on which hemisphere, you could ask a person what they saw, and they will reply "I didn't see anything", yet they will be able to draw what they saw [6], despite verbally insisting they never saw what they just drew. If SD were true, the "mental substance" would be aware of what was seen. There is no mental substance though, as the experiment clearly shows.


Without this, we have no reason to think that a non-physical entity could be conscious. If my opponent insists this is a timeless being, then it would also seem to be impossible that it would be conscious, as consciousness requires time, a state of affairs to be aware of yourself and a state of affairs to act upon that awareness.


My opponent cannot establish anything about the consciousness of what is responsible for creating our universe, except perhaps to show how unlikely it is, and therefore the God Hypothesis is not even a valid explanation for the origins of existence, let alone the best one.



[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...


[2] Hawking, S.W.; Ellis, G.F.R. (1973). The Large-Scale Structure of Space-Time. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-20016-4.


[3] Einstein A. (1916 (translation 1920)), Relativity: The Special and General Theory, New York: H. Holt and Company


[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[5] http://www.tufts.edu...


[6] http://faculty.washington.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro

As people may have noticed in the last round, I provided scientific terms after careful consideration. I will be explaining these terms in this round .

THE GOD HYPOTHESIS

CON needs to understand that the conclusion from the totality of my empirical observations is me providing "newly" found knowledge of a disembodied or absolute mind. I do agree that if I don't successfully defend what I feel is a piece of evidence of a metaphysical entity, it would not necessarily falsify the God hypothesis but it would prevent negation of the null hypothesis. Also, the fine-tuning observation for design could imply consicuousness as well.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

Let me clarify something I said last round. What I mean with the universe having a beginning is that one point in the past space, time, and matter/energy came into being. At this point, called the initial singularity, gravity, space-time curvature, density etc. becomes infinite.

I think CON is confusing the the theory of general relativity (Einstein created) which does NOT include quantum gravity with the Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity (Hawking and Penrose) which does include quantum gravity. Even though quantum gravity does reject singularities, According to the Hartle-Hawking's model, The Space-time theorem still shows a concrete beginning of space-time, matter, energy from a single point. This point just would not be a singularity of "infinite" density.

Lastly, matter and energy cannot exist without time, so CON cannot say time did not exist but the universe still existed. This means the singularity had to have come into being as well because the law of conservation of energy does not hold at this initial singularity or boundary.

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

When I say spaceless, timeless,etc, I am saying this cause would not be what we understand space and time to be through science and reason.
If thats how he wants to put it, then I don't see how this challenges my inferences. However, for the sake of argument, I will go along with PRO's contention since I think it will be good in giving a clear understanding of time. There are two theories of time. The A-theory of time and the B-theory of time:

The A-theory of time is the logical and concrete time I explained in round 2 where there's a series of "moments".The nature of a moment is "a beginning of the future and an end of the past." We as limited human beings can only understand this theory of time because we exist in it. I have already explained logically and concretely why this theory of time is what the universe itself would operate under.

The B-theory of time (or meta-time as some would call it) is the definition of eternity where there is no such thing as past or future. There would only be one moment of time, which is referred to as the "NOW" or present, which means eternity cannot and is not a measure of time as we know it, according to CON. This theory of time is what I argued God to operate under since the universe cannot and does not operate under it.

THE FINE-TUNING

Let me explain another scientific term. Fine-tuning just means that the laws and constants fall under an extraordinarily narrow range of life permitting values in which the right value was chosen every time. Therefore, this is called fine tuning, but it does not mean its design. A cosmic designer would be one of the explanation of this fine-tuning that I am advocating but the terms are not synonymous.

1) Well first off, I was not trying to argue that the universe is fined-tuned for just human life but according to the generic definition of life that scientists define, which is the ability of an organism to take in energy, metabolize it, and reproduce after its own kind. This is why I specifically said ANY kind of life to evolve and exist anywhere in the universe. If the constants were even altered just a little, You would not get chemistry or matter much less planets and stars that can serve as places where life might evolve.

For example, in terms of how finely tuned these parameters would be, most of them are 1% different. However, the cosmolgical constant which refers to the expansion rate of the universe or the future eternal inflation I spoke of in round 2 is so finely tuned its tuned to 120 decimal places. If this were different, the universe would be so drastically different it would be impossible for us to evolve.

So even if we assume for the sake of argument that complex life came from non-life through random mutations and natural selection, these finely-tune parameters would be required for any life to exist.

2) CON's world ensemble hypothesis:

I agree with CON when he says that we cannot know whether there are more than one universe in the first place nor have any evidence of them, so posing this as an alternative makes his point moot. However, for the sake of argument, let's assume there is more than one universe that could exist outside of our own.

The problem with this explanation is that it does not answer the question as to why this "life-permitting" universe exist. All it does is just beg the question of "well, it just has to exist" because under an infinite number of universes its possible that there could be at least one life permitting universe from an infinite or large number of chances.

The other problem is that this world ensemble hypothesis,as being the explanation for fine-tuning, is so unthinkably improbable that it would require an infinite number of fine-tuning from an infinite number of universes for this to reasonably happen.

The main problem is that the BGV theorem would essentially require this multiverse to have a beginning as well, so it could only be a finite number of universes. Therefore, even if CON deposits many universes or versions of the multi-verse, it still would not weed out the God hypothesis as the actual explanation for the fine-tuning of our universe. This is because there has to be an absolute beginning in some way shape or form anyways and the world ensemble hypothesis does not explain anything.

Unless CON can somehow provide some explainatory power as to how exactly this explaination would yield a life-permitting universe from a finite number of universes colliding or something, his objections on the fine-tuning cannot stand.

3) Knowledge is a subset of intelligence. Intelligence is the understanding of that knowledge through demonstration and behaviors. Since eternal inflation is a product of fine-tuning, infinite intelligence would be a mixture of all-knowing and all powerful, So no there not synonyms but it does not matter. http://en.wikipedia.org...

SUBSTANCE DUALISM

Instead of responding to CON's arguments here, I am going to explain and describe some terms so I can better to respond to CON's objections and for the audience to follow along. Reductive materialism, Epiphenomenalism, Substance dualism are three general views of mind-body dualism:

Reductive materialism: This view basically claims that mental and physical properties (mind and brain) are identical and synonymous.

Epiphenomenalism: this view accepts that mental and physical properties are separate entities but claims that the mind has no causal power and all mental events are ultimately caused by physical events.

Substance dualism: my view is essentially the same as Epiphenomenalism except that the mind has causal power over the brain and vice versa. However, it does not assert that the mind is completely independent from the brain as CON suggested like what you see in movies or cartoons. That is a separate claim neither CON or I can prove or disprove. I have already made it clear to CON that I claimed my empirical observations suggest that there's an absolute mind not a human mind.

CON needs to be clear as to what he is objecting to and arguing for me to respond. Is CON arguing that Reductive materialism or Epiphenomenalism is true or that Substance dualism is false?
HonestDiscussioner

Con

I appreciate my opponent continuing the debate and bringing up such interesting issues for discussion.

While much of what he says is interesting, I feel I should point out that at no point does my opponent actually put forward any reason to consider the 'God Hypothesis' (GH) as a 'scientific explanation'. Certainly, my opponent names a number of scientific theories, and then draws conclusions based off of those theories, but even if I were to grant him every last one of his conclusions, that would not make GH a scientific explanation. In order for something to be considered a scientific explanation, it must be testable, and you must be able to make predictions which the test results would show.


I will concede my opponent has made an attempt at a philosophical argument for God, but without being able to test or make predictions, it is not a scientific explanation. I would also point out my opponent's own standard for GH being a scientific explanation is that it is falsifiable. He has not accurately set the standards by which GH should be falsified. Even if I were to come up with a completely naturalistic explanation for the entire universe, that would not falsify GH. My opponent appears to misunderstand how falsification works, it is not merely dismissing all current evidence for a thing, or proving an alternate explanation. There must be an observation or test that we could perform, and a possible result of the test that would render the hypothesis false. For example, if we were to put forward that a specific coin always lands on heads, we could observe whether the coin has a tails side, and we can flip it, and if it lands on tails it would be falsified. Landing on heads would not prove the hypothesis, but we're not speaking of proof here, rather falsifiability. If Pro wishes to lay claim to his hypothesis being falsifiable, he must devise a test of which a possible result would negate the possibility of God causing origins of the universe [1].


My opponent claims I am confusing two theories of General Relativity, and that the Hawking-Penrose theory states matter and energy was created during the big-bang. However since he has yet to include any sources to his arguments I can only take this as a baseless assertion. The same goes for Pro's assertion that matter and energy cannot exist without time.

My challenge to Pro's inferences on the "Omni" attributes was based off the fact that he needed whatever is responsible for the universe to have these attributes, and in his mind the only thing that could possibly fill those attributes would be God. However I clearly showed how this could not be the case, how the universe could have been created by entities no less fallible than us, not that it would even require an intelligence.


In my first rebuttal, per the variables that would produce life, the best we can say is that changing the variables a bit would destroy the possibility of life "as we know it". My opponent responds by saying he was speaking of "the generic definition of life that scientists define", which is another way of saying "life as we know it". My opponent completely discounts the possibility of there being life that functions in a way that is utterly alien to our universe, life that would look at how our universe works and marvel at how life as they know it would be impossible here, never thinking that an entity could exist which takes in energy, metabolizes, and then reproduces based off that chemical energy.

As far as the cosmological constant being so finely tuned, what my opponent has done is take a single slider representing one fundamental lawsof nature, and move it a bit. Then he showed how our universe would not exist under this scenario, then assumes that any other permutation beyond that would also not work. I would ask my opponent this: How many possible combinations of physical laws are there, and how many combinations have been shown to not produce any possible form of life? The answer, if I may be so bold, is that we simply don't know. That answer is not within our ontological grasp.


My opponent argues that my point about multiple universes is moot as there is no evidence for or against them. Pro seems to have missed the part where I showed that the same evidence that supports his use of BGV is also evidence for multiple universes. Pro cannot cherry pick a theory for what he finds useful and discard the rest, so my point is not moot. In addition, Pro has the burden of proof. I do not have to prove multiple universes, not when he relies on his theory being the only tenable theory. Winning the lottery 10 times in a row is not evidence of foul play if it is possible the person bought every lottery ticket available each time. In such a way, if the theory put out by Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin is correct, that indeed it is the case that any possible universe will exists. Not only does that mean our universe, but also a universe incredibly similar to this one where only a single future event will be different. To make my analogy even more clear, if my opponent asks "how could that person win a lottery when there was a 1 in 78 trillion to the 59 trillionth power chance of them winning, the answer is: because they bought that many tickets. Now my opponent is welcome to discount this possibility, if he's willing to discount BGV as well. Otherwise, his fine-tuning argument falls flatter than a quantum pancake.


This would also cause his claim of all-knowing being based off of the fine-tuning of the universe to fall flat as well, as there is no evidence of fine-tuning. Even if there was, his assertion that eternal inflation represents infinite intelligence is still incorrect. It ignores the possibility that God merely started the universe and left it running. Imagine I design a mathematical model that creates a 3-d blob in a computer that moves in a simulated physical space. The number of possible formations and relationships is astronomical, but it does not mean my intelligence is astronomical. Pro's conclusion in no way follows from his premises.

Moving on to Substance Dualism (SD), I believe I made it quite clear that I was specifically debunking the concept of SD, not putting forward my own theory of mind. The burden of proof, as my opponent admits, is on him, so I am under no compulsion to prove physicalism or epiphenominalism.

My opponent attempts to refine his definition of SD by claiming it is similar to epiphenominalism only the mind and brain have a two-way instead of one-way causal relationship. I fail to see how this helps him, as the experiment I cited above still disproves his assertion. As the brain has causal power over the mind, the information received by the one hemisphere should cause the mind to be aware of that information as well. Then, if he is correct and the mind has causal power over the brain, the mind should be able to cause the left hemisphere to express what the mind saw, but it can't. If the right brain saw a pan, it isn't that the left brain was unaware of what a pan is, it is entirely cut off from any experience the right hemisphere alone had. This shows Substance Dualism is not possible. Going further, the right and left hemispheres can be asked questions separately, such as "Do you believe in God". The great thing about that, is that in some people, one side believes in god, and the other does not [2].

Pro attempts to side-step the need to show SD as a possibility by claiming that he's not advocating for a human, but absolute mind. He ignores the fact that there is no evidence that there could be such a thing as "mental material" or whatever he'd like to refer to it as, and there is less reason to consider it without SD. He is attempting to prove a scientific viewpoint with a philosophical proposition that has nothing to back it up, especially given that my opponent ignores my point about consciousness requiring time.


Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

THE GOD HYPOTHESIS

I did provide predicitions and explained how you can falsify this hypothesis, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough. If the God hypothesis is true, it would show that the universe had an absolute beginning in the past and that it came from nothing with a cause. There is a Heinzeinberg experiment called the "Uncertainty principle", where subatomic particles come in out of existence. If CON can show through this experiment that these particles came out of nothing without a cause to produce our universe, it would falsify the God Hypothesis and violate the law of cause and effect.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

In a place where the curvature in space-time is infinite or near infinite the laws of physics break down and do not apply. This is called a singularity, it occurs in black holes and of course, the Big Bang Singularity which created most of the matter in the Universe. The aforementioned first law of thermodynamics does not hold inside a singularity and matter may be created or destroyed, as was demonstrated by the Big Bang:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

NOOOO, I did not conclude that God could only fill these divine attributes. I concluded based on empirical oberservations (fine-tuning, human minds, etc) that it was an absolute/disembodieded mind. Computers are understood to be designed concrete objects that require time. If CON is going to say that this is a special computer that can self design and is abstract, then what CON is actually calling a computer is really god. It just becomes another word if you rob it of all the attributes that make it a computer. Right now, All CON is doing is throwing out logically incoherent and scienifically unsupported assertions and asking me to prove them wrong. Thats not how it works. CON needs to prove his own assertions and these claims have to be falsifiable as well so I can respond to them adequately.

THE FINE-TUNING

1) CON cannot just redefine words arbritrarily at will. What I meant by fine-tuned for life is that we would not be able to evolve at all or have environment where life can evolve. Therefore, I am referring to any kind of life whether its life as we know it or other kinds of life we don't know that fit the generic definition of life that scientist define. If it does not fit this definition, then it cannot be called life. He has to be logically and scienfically consistent.

Moreover, The term finely tuned is just a scientific term scientist use to describe the measurement of the laws and constants. We know that present day particle physics have a whole lot of adjusted parameters like the mass of certain particles along with the strength of certain forces. We know through math that most of the values in the parameters will not allow life to exist if these values were smaller or larger. My point is we don't need to know what values don't produce life, just the relevant values of the constants that do produce a life permitting universe.

2) Again, even if we assume there are many other universes, CON's "lottery" example does not show an example of chance but another form of design. God would just be the person buying the trillion or so tickets as a way to "purposefully" win the lottery. The same can be said here: How could God get a llife-permitting universe from a trillion or more universes that were not life-permitting? because God created that many universes.

He needs to explain exactly how you can get a fine-tuned universe from a finite number of universes that could not be fine-tuned itself or else he would not be able to negate the null hypothesis. However, since There is no evidence of other universes overlapping ours, there is no way he could demonstrate this with any transparency. The BGV theorem only provides evidence that multiple universes will be created from eternal inflation in the "future" not the past. Now, It does imply that there still could be other past universes that were before our universe but again there isn't any evidence to make us think this.

3) Well first off, his "3-d" blob example is not an accurate one because it implies that the laws and constants were fine-tuned through an unguided evolutionary process. For instance, there are people who believe that God started life and then allowed the molecules to evolve into a complex life form through natural selection and random mutations. This is not the case with the fine-tuning of the universe. These finely-tuned laws came into being right after the big bang from the very beginning. These values are still the same and have to continue to be in place for any kind of life to continue to exist. Thus, there is no reason to think that this cause is no longer involved.

SUBSTANCE DUALISM

Let me clarify what I said about Substance Dualism. What I meant to say is that while the mind is attached to the living brain, the mind is not independant from the brain. Although, Dualism does claim that when the brain dies, the mind/soul will live on.

CON's split brain example just reiterates what I said in round 2, which is the mind being intrinsically connected to the brain. At the most, it just proves that while the mind is connected to the brain, it cannot be independent from it and leaves us with no reason to think it does. CON would have to provide an additional argument to prove that the mind cannot be independent even without the brain.

Now, CON claims that his split-brain example also proves that the mind does not have causal power, but I fail to see how this is the case. Again, it only demonstrates that the mind is causally connected to the brain. I have never ignored the scienctific research on this. What neuroscience has done is provide us with a more detailed picture of how the human mind is influenced by certain events in the brain. It has not changed the general nature of that picture. The fact that much of what happens in our minds is influenced by what happens in our bodies was something known by the first self-conscious human beings.

However, not everything that goes on in our minds is causally determined by what goes on in our bodies. Sometimes what goes on in our bodies is a result of what goes on in our minds. For example, the movements of my fingers as I type this response is ultimately produced by mental events. Here we have mental-to-physical causation. What explains both this choice of mine and the physical events in my body that are ultimately produced by this choice? The explanation is the purpose that I provide a response to CON'S objection. A purposeful explanation is a teleological explanation. In addition, free will is also a mental event. Unlike with animals. We can make decisions apart from what the brain and body tells us

A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that are consistent with my point that choices are undetermined events with a teleological explanation. In his fascinating book The Mystery of the Mind, he writes the following:

When I have caused a conscious patient to move his hand by applying an electrode to the motor cortex of one hemisphere, I have often asked him about it. Invariably his response was: "I didn't do that. You did". When I caused him to vocalize, he said:" I didn't make that sound". You pulled it out of me....."

Penfield goes on to note that, "There is no place in the cerebral cortex where electrical stimulation will cause a patient . . . to decide (77). Penfield concludes the following: For my own part, after years of striving to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action alone, I have come to the conclusion that it is simpler (and far easier and logical) if one adopts the hypothesis that our being does consist of two fundamental elements(80).

Now, these studies are outdated but the point is that in order for CON to prove that the mind has no causal power he has to show that there is a region in the brain that causes these events.
HonestDiscussioner

Con

I respect my opponent for so rigorously defending his position. Despite that, I still cannot say he is doing so in a way that can even begin to be associated with science. In fact, where he does speak of science, he does so incorrectly, as I intend to show.

For example, let's take his first point that he has indeed provided a method for us to falsify his hypothesis, which is that if the God Hypothesis (GH) is true, it would show the universe had an absolute beginning in the past with nothing as a cause. What my opponent has done here is advocate for a method of confirmation (which I will later refute), not show a method for falsification. If we looked back at the beginnings of the universe and it appeared different, how would that prove God did not create the Universe?

Even if there was one or two examples of a universe that would have been impossible to be caused by an intelligence, this is still not a scientific test. What my opponent has done is looked at a single result, the creation of our universe, and has drawn conclusions based off of that result. False conclusions, as best as I can tell, but we'll get to that later. This may be acceptable in the realm of philosophy, but in science a hypothesis must be testable, falsifiable, and repeatable [1]. Looking at the same data over and over again does not constitute repeatable. We cannot change any of the variables, we have no control group, we have no science here.

How can we tell the difference between something that is truly uncaused, and something that was caused by a force we cannot perceive? To someone who cannot see the puppet's strings, it may seem as though nothing is propelling the puppet. In his previous rebuttal, Pro asserts that his hypothesis can be falsified if another hypothesis is proven. While proving a rival theory would disprove the original theory if they are mutually exclusive, my opponent misunderstands falsification. Imagine if we have a picture of someone with a Black Eye, and I develop "Baseball Theory", where the black eye was caused by a baseball. While we could test if black eyes can be caused by baseballs, my theory is nothing more than a possible explanation that hasn't been refuted. If we cannot know anything about the events leading up to black eye, then we really only have conjecture. If I claim "my theory is entirely falsifiable, if my opponent would just prove that the black eye was caused by a punch to the face", then I am not understanding the principle of falsification. In short, in order for a claim to be falsifiable, it must be able to be proven incorrect without appealing to an alternative explanation.

Pro asserts that my computer analogy is nothing more than a God that I call a computer, that if I posit a computer that can self-design and is abstract then that's what a God is. However I explicitly stated neither that neither of these cases are required. My point was an actual computer, like the one you are using to read this debate, is capable of generating or simulating a three dimensional space. It is not abstract, and it is not conscious. Remember that a God cannot be an unconscious force.

I am then accused of redefining words arbitrarily, in this case, life. In reality, there is a difficulty in science in defining what life really is [2]. The majority of the effort into defining life has been in regards to defining life as we would expect to see it within our own universe. It is that by which my opponent has attempted to define life, and then he goes on to say that this form would be impossible in any other universe, as though that in any way makes a point. The BGV theory that my opponent stands by asserts that some of the different universes would have different laws of physics [3], but Pro claims that the forms of life that would work under different circumstances than our own don't count as life for some reason.

As for teleology, and how BGV theory implies multiple universes, my opponent admits this is true, but claims that there is no evidence that the other universes exist already, and that we could be the first. Even if I were to grant this, Pro forgets that he has the burden of proof, and the way he has attempted to answer that burden is by saying his theory is the only tenable theory. Therefore if he cannot disprove an alternative explanation, he would not meet the burden of proof. However, I don't grant Pro's assertion, as he is wildly inaccurate about it. According to Vilenkin, there already have been multiple big bangs, and in fact the number of universes is not finite as my opponent claims, but infinite (as opposed to the number of possible histories those universes could have, which is finite) [4]. Again, my opponent cannot cherry pick.

My opponent then attempts to say that multiple universes does not show "chance" but rather another form of design where God is the one who buys all of the lottery numbers. However, he makes no statement as to why this should be considered the case. He asserts it as a possibility, and I will admit that an intelligence creating the multiverse is a possibility, but an idea being possible does not a scientific theory make. In reality, there is no scientific reason to require an intelligence in the BGV theory. Let me directly quote Vilenkin:

"This picture of the universe, or multiverse, as it is called, explains the long-standing mystery of why the constants of nature appear to be fine-tuned for the emergence of life. The reason is that intelligent observers exist only in those rare bubbles in which, by pure chance, the constants happen to be just right for life to evolve. The rest of the multiverse remains barren, but no one is there to complain about that." [3]

Next, my opponent asserts that my three dimensional blog example implies that laws and constants were fine-tuned through an unguided evolutionary process. I have no idea why he reaches that conclusion. I can literally, consciously, create the laws and constants and rules that govern the behavior of the simulation, just as he believes God did to our universe. I can then let the simulation run for a hundred years, and if I make the space large enough it could go through an enormous amount of changes, producing many, many relations. My intelligence has nothing to do with the number of relations in my simulation though.

Now, we move on to Substance Dualism once more. He claims my split brain example merely reiterates what he said in round 2, that the mind is intrinsically connected to the brain. It is exactly that proposed connection which makes SD an untenable theory for the human mind. If the mind is made of "mental stuff" and is connected to the brain, then the "mental stuff" should be aware that it saw a pan, regardless of which hemisphere made the "mental stuff" aware said pan. Again, since it is allegedly connected to the brain, it should then be able to cause either hemisphere to express its awareness.

I find it quite advantageous that my opponent used the example of moving fingers as a mental event, asking what produced that choice? Well, as best as we can tell, it is the unconscious portion of our brain that often causes it, not exactly a "free decision". In the study done by Soon et. al, they were able to predict which hand a subject would move over five seconds before the subject consciously chose to move their hand. They made this prediction by looking at the fMRI scan of the subject in question [5].

As for Penrose, the study would not cause a person to believe they performed actions. Mental events are caused by incredibly complex string of processing. Shocking part of the brain would not produce a thought any more than shocking a computer's processor would cause Daffy Duck to appear on the screen.

[1] http://www.lhup.edu...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://www.tufts.edu...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

THE GOD HYPOTHESIS

CON claims I did not provide a way to falsify my theory. I beg to differ. Here is the definition of falsifiablity:

"Falsifiability or refutability of an assertion, hypothesis or theory is the logical possibility that it can be contradicted by an observation or the outcome of a physical experiment...... if it is false, then some observation or experiment will produce a reproducible result that is in conflict with it."

For example, the assertion that "all swans are white" is falsifiable, because it is logically possible that a swan can be found which is not white. Not all statements that are falsifiable in principle are falsifiable in practice.[1] For example, "it will be raining here in one million years" is theoretically falsifiable, but not practically so.http://en.wikipedia.org...

My claim that every effect requires or has a cause is falsifiable, because it is at least logically possible (if its not practically possible) that we can find an effect that does not have a cause through quantum fluctuations.

How would this prove that God did not create the universe? well, this is not about proving God did not create the universe or proving anything because its about falsifiability. Nevertheless, by proving that not every effect requires a cause, it would eliminate scientific evidence for the need of any kind of cause at all under the rules of science.

What about testability through repetition? The law of cause and effect is a law that has been tested countless times. The universe had a beginning, therefore, the universe has a cause. The difference is that instead of the cause being physical, the cause would not have any dimensions to it.

CON may say , Well where is the control group for these kind of cause and effect relations? The control group and variables would obviously be human minds and this particular absolute mind that manifests itself within the universe would be the independent variable.

How can we tell the difference between something that is truly uncaused, and something that was caused by a force we cannot perceive?

I think CON is simply appealing to ignorance here. For it assumes if we do not know "how" A causes B, especially if the two consist of different properties, that it is not reasonable to believe the two can interact.

For example, Gravitational forces that account for planetary orbits, why masses fall to the ground on earth, etc appear to have very different properties to the solid and spatially located entities they affect. But, we cannot explain clearly what and why gravity "is" or where it "comes from" along with determine its mechanism. We just take it as a brute fact.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

CON claims: "why couldn't it exist in another version of spacetime which follows different laws"

It does not matter. Again, Even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" with different laws of nature, their theorem would STILL require an absolute beginning from this multi-verse as well. This is because the BGV theorem carries only one assumption: If the expansion rate of any universe is greater than 0, the universe began. Unless CON can think up a way to avoid the theorems conclusion, my argument stands.

Moreover, this would eliminate his computer analogy as well since computers are material and unconscious as he alluded to. Unless, CON is going to do the same thing he did last round and rob it of all the attributes to the point where he is merely calling this absolute mind called GOD, a computer.

The same goes with the issue of a life-permitting universe. Whether its life as we know it or other kinds of life we don't know that fit the generic definition of life, life could not exist in our universe . Again, If CON robs all the attributes of the term "life", then it cannot be called life or the life that CON is referring to is actually GOD as being the life. Now, this leads me to what he said about muliple universes doing the actual fine-tuning.

THE FINE-TUNING

1) Again, The BGV theorem only provides and implies evidence of multiple universes that are already contained in our universe. It does not provide evidence of universes that have existed outside (or prior) of our own or is overlapping our own universe. Even the source that CON gave about the BGV theorem reiterates my point here:

"He has had critical insights about the origins of the universe: the inflationary´┐Ż process that enlarged the universe in an explosive burst, filling it with matter and energy; the existence of multiple regions WITHIN our universe......"

2) However, what this does mean is that CON has the opportunity to explain exactly how you can get a fine-tuned universe from a finite number of universes from observing the multiple universes contained within ours through pure chance. It has to be a very intricate detailed explanation and it cannot be a mere assertion that the life-permitting values can emerge from pure chance.

This is because we are not aware of any chance events resulting in this kind of complexity. For example, the fine-tuning of cosmological constant is so fine-tuned there is no known force in the cosmos that can produce this complexity according to scientists.This was my point I made about CON's lottery example. I was not necessarily trying to show that CON's example was another form design but show that his example was not a Chance event at all. Chance events are not suppose to have causal conditions like the person buying the tickets to get a result: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Remember, we are talking about non-living matter here. Can a watch that has cogs and wheels put itself together? well if it can, no one in there right mind could reasonably believe so. Not even in a trillion years with a trillion watches contained in a category 5 tornado. It would be literally incomprehensible. Any claim that says this is reasonably possible would be an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. Therefore, CON has his work cut out for him. If he does not explain the exact way and mechanism from this multiverse that is suppose to produce this finely-tuned universe in his final response, My argument will stand.

3) I also want to point out that CON would not be able to use evolution as a way to refute this either with his computer analogy. Not just because these finely-tuned life-supporting values came into being right after the big bang from the very beginning and are still the same and have to continue to be in place. The other reason is that the laws of nature do not determine the fine-tuning constants and values in the first place

SUBSTANCE DUALISM

CON is confusing the concept of the correlation of two events with the concept of the identity of two events. It simply does not follow from the fact that two events are correlated that they are identical. Correlation does not prove causation. There is the fact that movements of bodily limbs like arms and legs are correlated with events in the motor cortex of the brain. No one believes, however, that movements of arms and legs are identical with their causal antecedents in the brain. Upon reflection, it is just as obvious that there is no good reason to believe that psychological events are identical with brain events simply because the two are correlated.

Again, CON must provide evidence that there is a region in the brain that causes these mental events when it comes to intention states and decisions or will power that are not determined by basic biological functions but by outside influences. Otherwise, my argument stands here as well.

In conclusion, for the audience, if CON prove one or both of my conditions I laid out for CON, You can go ahead and vote CON. However, if he fails to provide evidence for the brain having these causal powers or does not explain the fine-tuning precisely, I deserve a PRO vote.
HonestDiscussioner

Con


This has certainly been an interesting debate. I'd like to thank my opponent for taking the time to participate in it with me.


Throughout my opponent's response, we can see a pattern emerge. Perhaps this is done on purpose by his part or it is based on miscommunication. I will assume the latter. This pattern is that for each point I make, we see Pro respond to it as though my criticism were directed at something other than what I clearly stated it was. Take the first point he attempts to rebut in his previous argument: I argued that the God Hypothesis (GH) is not falsifiable because no evidence could be presented that would disprove the proposition that an intelligence was responsible for creating the universe. He switches my criticism to be about whether every effect requires or has a cause. If we falsified that proposition, it would not disprove or falsify the idea that an intelligence created the universe. You can see the switch up close & personal when he says falsifying this premise would eliminate the need for GH, but eliminating the need does not falsify the hypothesis. Think of it like a murder trial: disproving that the defendant was only person that could have committed the murder does falsify that he was the murderer. In short, he only attempts to show that one of the premises of his argument is falsifiable, one that isn't necessary for his overall hypothesis to be true. GH is not scientific.


I'd like to point out that my opponent admits to the possibility of other universes within our own universe, so proving that our universe had a cause certainly doesn't mean the cause for our particular universe wasn't physical. Again, not testable, not repeatable, not scientific. On top of that, again he switches from falsifying GH to falsifying one unnecessary premise of GH.


Pro completely misses the concept of control & independent variables in his next paragraph. A classic example of these would be to take two groups of people sick with a particular disease. You feed one group a sugar pill, & the other the medicine. You observe whether there is a change in the progression of the disease. If the sugar pill group gets no benefit, & the medicine group does, then the evidence for the medicine being effective against the disease would be strengthened. Saying that human minds are the control group & a disembodied mind is the independent variable shows a gross misunderstanding of science in general on my opponent's part.


Next comes another shift. I asked how we could tell the difference between something that is uncaused & something with a cause we cannot currently perceive. Pro responds as though I asked a "how" question, as though I implied that an explanation only counts if we understand its intricacies. I am instead pointing out that eliminating all known causes does not lead us to the conclusion that something is uncaused. Many things have APPEARED to be uncaused, for we did not understand the forces behind them. Later, we did understand the existence of these forces, even if we didn't understand how. In reality, it is my opponent that is appealing to ignorance, saying that since we don't know of any forces that could cause X, then X must be uncaused. This is fallacious reasoning.


The next shift my opponent makes is in regards to fine tuning. He argued that the variables for life were so slim as to make the existence of life proof of fine tuning by an intelligence. Now, if other variables were to produce life different from our own, this would mean that life-producing variables are not as rare as my opponent claims, dulling the evidence for an intelligence being responsible for these particular variables being the way they are. My opponent switches & says that it doesn't disprove that the universe or multi-verse had a cause. Of course it doesn't; my point had nothing to do with that particular aspect of Pro's argument, but whether or not the existence of life is proof of intelligence behind the universe.


My opponent then seems to say that even if a computer created our universe, it would have to have been created somehow, appealing to infinite regressions to bring him again back to the idea that the universe must have been created. This is a switch away from my actual point that a universe need not a disembodied mind to be created, & back to a point which it did not intend to address: whether the universe had a beginning. He does not respond to my actual point, & even ineffectively argues for what he switched my argument to be about. My opponent believes this disembodied mind operates under a "B-theory of time", meaning he believes that a plane of existence could be eternal. He also believes this mind of his can act & take actions in this plane of existence, which means a physical & unconscious computer could also do things inside such a plane of existence, such as produce the entire multiverse. Nowhere do we require a disembodied mind, certainly nowhere do we require consciousness.


I should point out that I do not rob life of all its attributes in my argument. I cited a source which says the attributes of life are difficult to define, to which he gave no rebuttal or contradicting sources. Beyond that though, if other variables produced universes that produced sentient beings, that would contradict the fine-tuning argument, & sentience is well defined enough that sentience is something considered "alive". Pro cannot show that other kinds of universes wouldn't produce sentient beings, therefore his fine-tuning argument fails.


Pro asserts that BGV theory only provides & implies evidence of universes already contained in our universe. Again, no source for this baseless assertion. More than that, I cited a source from one of the originators of the theory (Vilenkin, the "V" in BGV Theory) that completely contradicts my opponent's assertion, as well as others he makes. The quote Pro provides only says there are multiple regions within our universe, it does not say "only within our universe". Cherry picking.


I also cited Vilenkin unequivocally saying that his theory claims there are an infinite number of universes, that any universe that could exist, does exist (and therefore chance does not play a part in whether our universe exists), & specifically says that it explains why there is an appearance of fine-tuning within our universe. My opponent's response is to say there are finite universes, that chance does play a role, & that it doesn't explain design. All asserted without a single source other than a wikipage on chance which in no way addresses my citations of Vilenkin, who says that his theory not only means we had to exist, but there exists an infinite number of universes identical to ours.


When we get to Substance Dualism (SD), my opponent has chosen to drop any argument against the split-brain patient experiment & instead focuses on the unconscious determinates experiment. The split-brain patient example alone is enough to disprove SD; in not responding to it my opponent has conceded the point. To quickly refute his response to the other study, I will say that SD implies that conscious decisions are the realm of the mental stuff; if the physical brain is able to determine conscious decisions, free will goes out the window. The study shows this, so Pro's point fails.


In summary, what my opponent has done is list a six points, to which I respond & refute. He claims that my responses to points 2-6 don't refute point 1, & apparently my response to point 1 can't be right because of points 2-6.


I would say, even if you disagree with all my points, you must vote that I had more reliable sources, as Pro did not cite any sources other than wikipedia for background information, and not to prove a point, whereas I cited research and directly quoted the scientists in question. Pro had the burden of proof here, and he fell vastly short on every point he made. I urge you to vote Con.


Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
I know what you mean. I wish people could be more objective. That being said, I believe this is more conscious bias, where they know that they are being biased. In this case, RTN1994's debates were almost all with trolls that threw the debates, or the debates were 1-2 paragraph rounds. It is almost like that name was created just to vote.
Posted by XimenBao 4 years ago
XimenBao
You have a point, and my vote works as a CVB. I guess I just preferred voting for merit rather than against bias.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
@XimenBao

I wouldn't say it is entirely an "all or nothing debate" based on the votes. RTN's votes are clearly biased, but WriterDave had us tied for conduct. I'm not sure why Dave thought I had better grammar and spelling, I made as many errors as Pro did. However I can't imagine anyone in their right mind giving Pro the sources vote.

Another thing of note, RTN1994 closed his account almost immediately after rendering the vote on this debate.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
@RTN1994

I have to say, your vote seems clearly biased. I never said anything negative about God, I simply said that nothing Pro had constituted scientific evidence. I also can't see how you could say Pro had better sources than I did.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Ken accept my friend request
Posted by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
It is not his problem if you do not know vocaboulary.
Posted by Marauder 4 years ago
Marauder
I'm all for using 'laymans terms' kenballer but dude, the people that reads these debates are not stupid. if you feel the scientific term is one others would not know then just take a seconded to explain the term then proceed to use it. your debate will sound smarter and the people reading it might just learn something.

I had no idea what "despensation" meant before accepting a debate over it. But the other guy defined it quickly and I just proceeded to use the the newly learned word I gained in the debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 4 years ago
XimenBao
kenballerHonestDiscussionerTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I thought this was a rather poor debate as Pro kept addressing different arguments than those Con was making. The vote comes down to whether the GH is the best scientific explanation which means we have to ask if it is in theory falsifiable. Con held Pro's feet to the fire demanding that Pro provide a way it could be falsified. Pro spent 443 words in his R5 responding to that without actually providing one. Since, judging by previous votes, this is an all or nothing points contest, 7 to Con.
Vote Placed by RTN1994 4 years ago
RTN1994
kenballerHonestDiscussionerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: CON seemed to be vague and barely got to the point of the debate and instead "went off track" in order to put GOD in a bad light.
Vote Placed by WriterDave 4 years ago
WriterDave
kenballerHonestDiscussionerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think kenballer thought he could get away with nominally assuming the burden of proof, and then evade it by making an argument and saying, "Give me a theory that's better." That only works if the initial argument meets a standard of evidence to begin with, which Pro's didn't. Con refuted each of his points, and provided much more reliable sources.