The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DeFool
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The God Hypothesis should be considered a Scientific theory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DeFool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,409 times Debate No: 26458
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

kenballer

Pro

FIRST ROUND IS ACCEPTANCE AND RULES ONLY

Understand that my approach is suppose to be of a scientist using the scientific method not a philosopher like William Lane Craig and other debaters attempt to do, So its a little bit different. I am arguing that the God Hypothesis should be a scientific theory.

In principle, I technically have all the Burden of Proof, but for the purpose of winning and losing this debate, my opponent must successfully poke holes in my science based on the criteria I set out without appealing to pure philosophical arguments. This means my opponent MUST provide arguments that have scientific backing to support it and not just logical assertions.

My opponent will have to try and show how my hypothesis fails to better explain the data compared to the Null hypothesis and how it does not reach the essential criteria of being an established theory:

Essential criteria

"The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how potentially useful the theory is.......A body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory if it has fulfilled these criteria:

1. It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).

2. It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.

3. It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)"[1]

The "God Hypothesis" is there exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in having a human affair.

A "scientific explanation" therefore makes an unknown phenomenon comprehensible by relating it to known scientific facts and established theories.

Moreover, since my approach is scientific in nature, It needs to be five rounds for me to have enough ground to work under, and so I can adequately respond and address my opponents objections.

P.S. I would preferr my opponent to be a flaming atheist since they would be the most motivated to examine my hypothesis thoroughly and falsify it.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
DeFool

Con

Many thanks to my partner for presenting this topic. I look forward to challenging this, the most updated and formidable version of this debate to be fielded (I presume.) Pro will also be happy to learn that I am the most brimstone-flaming atheist in all of the known world...

At any rate, it will clearly be up to Pro to present the definitions, some of which has already been done. The definition of "Theory" is acceptable to me. I can accept the following addition, which I present to Pro for review.

Hypothesis
Noun:
1. A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
2. A proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.

I bother to list this definition in order that we may also (beginning in the next round, of course - rules are rules) establish how a hypothesis can possibly be a theory.

As I deal with the chore of definitions, which I know is tedious, I feel that we should also specify precisely which god we will be discussing as we examine the God Hypothesis. If the GH will be used to support an argument for Yahweh, for example, it would be necessary to demonstrate how the GH is not heretical to the Abrahamic religions that adore him. I am of the opinion that the premise cannot stand if it disagrees with the religions that it attempts to "prove." Further, we should establish precisely how we can independently measure any attributes of Yahweh that can be explained by hypothesis - before we can offer a credible graduation to scientific theory.

Obviously, humanity stands on a precipice. If the GH is proved in this debate, mankind will have been changed forever. To say the very least, I am honored to take part in such a monumental scientific enterprise, and look forward to carefully studying my partner's Opening Argument.

Which I await...

Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

The God hypothesis will definitely not be heretical to the abrahamic religions and will be right aligned with it. That being said, I will not go any farther than this. For instance, I would have liked to have argued that God has manifested himself in the person of Jesus Christ and his resurrection would prove this to provide empirical evidence of the divine attribute of omnibenevolence. However, Since reportings of miracles cannot be scientifically repeated or tested by definition (breaking of scienctific laws) nor can you empirically measure morality, I would have no choice but to provide a completely different method ( i.e. historical method) in trying to establish this that would violate the terms of this debate . Unfortunately, Its just one of the main limitation of the scientific method.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

According to the Hartle-Hawking's model, The Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning. Now, what I mean by the universe having a beginning is that at 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. In a place where the curvature in space-time is infinite or near infinite the laws of physics break down and do not apply, which means the aforementioned first law of thermodynamics would not hold inside a singularity and matter may be created or destroyed. Since matter and energy cannot exist without time, the singularity had to have come into being as well. [1]

Borde, Guth,Vilenken developed a theorem that proves inflationary models must contain singularities [2]. 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 [3]. This theorem does not assume Einsteins equations and holds even when we don't have a complete quantum theory of gravity of the early universe.

In fact, Even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" with another version of space-time that follow 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.

THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE

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 came into being right after the big bang, error free and without change throughout this process.[4]

Let me explain what I mean by "fine-tuned for life". I am talking about fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life of any kind requires [5]. In other words, 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. In science, the meaning of the term "life" is not fully established or defined [6]. Moreover, there are experiments that show amino acids and RNA viruses ,which are two of the three essential components of life, can come from non-life. Thus, there could be other types of life forms besides human life we don't know or have not discovered yet we might call "life" now or in the future.

The phrase "finely tuned" universe is 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.

How do we know the values are fine-tuned? 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. This means 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. [7]

THE GOD (ALTERNATIVE) HYPOTHESIS

Philosophically, there cannot be an infinite amount of time because Time is by definition 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. Thus, if time was eternal in the past, we would have never have arrived at this point, which means there has to be an absolute first cause. Science has essentially stumbled upon the same conclusion.

The initial singularity, which is a single point of infinite density and heatness, was a timeless thing that created most of the matter in the Universe. Thus, If this singularity was eternal, it would have never have created most of the matter in the universe and we would not have arrived at this point in time.

However, this was not just any old bang from a simple beginning, but a great expansion of exquisitely arranged magnitude containing galaxies, planets, stars and all other heavenly bodies. The other important aspect of this extraordinary order following the big bang was the creation of our habitable planet Earth. So the question before us is this, "If there is even a cause at all, What force is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe?" .
If a great order arose from an expansion, then it should be understood that the intervention of an intelligence was involved in every moment of this expansion. I will call this force the God Hypothesis.

PREDICTIONS

If the God hypothesis is true, then the universe should exhibit divine attributes from a divine intelligence. Moreover, this divine intelligence would have to be similar to human beings but without the limitations the universe possesses. The null hypothesis is that there is no cause for this finley-tuned universe and it just quantum fluctuated out of nothing. However, CON can falsify my hypothesis completely by showing that intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.

THE INDUCTIVE METHOD

Now, 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.

This round is probably not going to compel a challenge from CON ,especially based on the rules of the debate. However, In the next round, I will provide the experiments that prove my hypothesis and the experiments that potentially could falsify it.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://arxiv.org...
[3] http://arxiv.org...
[4] John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" p. 288
[5] Paul Davies, "How bio-friendly is the universe?" International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 2, no. 2 (2003): 115.
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
DeFool

Con

I want to thank my partner for his recent presentation, which I believe he has indicated was going to be put forward in two parts. I hope that I am not mistaken here, as I will await the completion of the opening argument before I begin a full examination of it.

That aside, there is no way we can discuss this topic without recourse to religiosity. To do so would require that we ignore the “god” portion of the God Hypothesis. I will attempt whenever possible to avoid violating the “philosophical arguments” injunctions – but the nature of the debate itself makes this impossible to fully implement. I propose that either we eliminate this prohibition altogether or modify it to include discussions of gods.

1. I must insist that the GH be connected to a specific deity. I maintain that a necessary component of the God Hypothesis is the god element. It is disingenuous, in my view, to pretend that the religious aspect of the GH is irrelevant or immaterial to the idea of a divine origin to the universe. As I read over the Opening Arguments, it seems that my partner and I both agree on this point. Therefore, it becomes incredibly important that we specify exactly which god we are supposing to have created the universe. As the God Hypothesis could conceivably be used to prove that Tiamat was the origin of the universe as it could be used to prove that Enki and Enlil did. A major flaw in the God Hypothesis is that it is unconnected to any particular god, and if found to have merit, could “prove” any number of religions. As presented, the scientific-sounding babble that was displayed in R1 is a much closer fit to the Hindu Over-God Brahma than it is to Yahweh. A side by side comparison of these two deities can be had by studying the links here. [1] [2]

2. I mentioned that my partner is engaging in heresy, if viewed from the perspective of the Abrahamic pantheon. Essentially, he is claiming that we can learn about the god that he follows – by studying the works that he has authored here. I must remind everyone that this essentially places my partner into the role of “prophet.” Never mind the bible – we may learn about this god (he is so far vague on precisely which one) by way of careful study of his research.

As I understand the matter, another member of the Abrahamic faiths made a similar claim, saying that, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) If we can gain greater understanding of this ancient Mesopotamian deity by studying the works of my partner, rather than the bible, then we have either a heresy or a prophet. He essentially makes the claim that there are now two ways by which we can “come to the father.” This raises an interesting question: is my partner’s realization of the God Hypothesis divinely inspired? If he has come to this knowledge thanks to a visitation from a god, then it follows that the God Hypothesis could supplant biblical scholarship and study of scripture. If not, then it follows that the God Hypothesis is a potentially errant and heretical blasphemy. This possibility simply must be ruled out before any Christian, Muslim or Jew can safely study the hypothesis.

Important: I am not alleging that the God Hypothesis is simply incompatible with Abrahamic religion. I am making the claim that Abrahamic religion directs worshipers to learn about those faiths biblically – and not by way of rejecting the bible, or diminishing it’s role within those religions. The God Hypothesis reduces the role of the bible by relying on faux science rather than biblical scholarship to describe that god – which I maintain is an act forbidden by that religion.

This is important for more than just establishing the internal consistency of the GH argument. If the god that the GH is attempting to “prove” is unlikely to exist as anything other than a cultural and literary figure, then the god hypothesis will also fail. The God Hypothesis will also necessarily fail if it is rejected as heresy. Considering all of this, we must spend at least some time discussing the “god” portion of the God Hypothesis. If we must remove all thought of god from the GH, then I honestly do not see what we are discussing at all.

3. This is the God Hypothesis, in a nutshell:

All things require some prerequisite event to allow their existence. If we go far enough back in time, we will eventually run out of preceding events by which we may explain subsequent events. Since this period of development is a mystery to scientists, then gods exist and one of them was responsible for the creation of the universe.

In other words, "If you can't prove to me that you know how the universe was created, then this specific god exists." Which is a bit like saying that "If you can't explain how lightning and thunder occur, then Thor exists."

This argument skips a few steps. For one thing it does not follow that a god is needed to explain this mystery. Why not any of a number of other fantastical scenarios – such as a cosmic computer program, or galactic dream? Second, which god? To be frank, introducing a god into this mystery does not answer anything at all – it simply works as a synonym for “I don’t know.” But the “god response” fails in many other ways, as well. Which I will discuss in the next round. But in the meantime, I will define a few logical fallacies that I suspect that I may find helpful:

1. Appeal to Ignorance: If there is no evidence against P, then P is proved true. "It's true because you can't prove it isn't."
2. Unexplained isn't unexplainable: Science doesn't know now, therefore science will never know. "The Earth must be flat, because how could people stand on the other side of the Earth without falling off?"
3. Does Not Follow: The conclusion does not follow from the premise. "The sun is hot, therefore it is a god."
4. Post hoc ergo propter hoc: Confused causation: "Stranger comes into town at noon, and the clocks struck 12:00. Therefore, the stranger made the clocks strike noon. Or The universe has life, therefore, it was designed for life."

Despite the fact that there may be more of the Opening Argument coming in soon, I will nevertheless address this strange statement:

"The Universe is finely tuned for life."
In all the years that I have been arguing with everyone in sight, I have never met a more ridiculous statement made by anyone with a straight face. The universe is decidedly not well suited for life. In the entire thing, mankind is only aware of one insignificant speck of life - on one dust-like fleck of a planet in some forgotten backwater of a lonesome galaxy. Even here, on earth, life seems to die in exactly the same proportion that it is created. In regards to humans, ten living humans will become ten dead humans in less than one million years. Remove these short-lived beings from the protection of the planet earth - and the humans die almost right away. Place them on their sun - throw them into the vacuum of space... or leave them alone for only a billion years or so. Even with food and water, they still die. Only the most incompetent god would create such a sterilized universe and expect it to foster life. In fact, all of the evidence seems to suggest that life exists despite the very best efforts of a truly destructive, mad and tyrannical god that tries at every moment to stamp all of it out. If I could find even one magical geanie in a bottle, I could do better. Anyone who feels that the universe is finely tuned to support life does not know what a quasar is.

[1] Yahweh Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] Brahma Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro

I will address CON's concerns and objections in the next round in order to see whether he still feels the same way.

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every effect there must be a cause for it. In addition, The Law of Biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, states that life (as we know it) only arises from pre-existing life.

Both these physical laws together indicate that whatever is responsible for this complexity and beginning must have been an eternal life force without Spacial and Temporal properties who programmed the first self-replicating DNA molecule along with the universe itself. It must be eternal 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 dimensionless/immaterial not physical. Lastly, it must be a personal mind since the DNA contains information and ,according to information theory [1], information only comes from minds. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal force.

ABOSOLUTE MIND

There are only two possible candidates we are aware of that could possibly have the attributes of an immaterial, omnipresent, eternal and conscious entity: either an abstract object (like numbers) or a human mind (or consciousness).

The first candidate would be abstract objects. Abstract objects like mathematical entities are not found under rocks or grown out of trees nor are they understood to be contingent upon human minds. Our minds have simply been recognizing these necessary truths rather than create them, and lastly they can apply to virtually everything that exist. Nevertheless, these kind of abstract objects are still demonstrable because we can create physical manifestations of them in reality involving the fine-tuning constants.

The second candidate would be human minds. Human minds are understood to have agent causality where a cause would be able to bring about new effects at will without any physical dimensions or determining conditions 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 [2].

However, abstract objects by definition are not suppose to stand in casual relationships with reality, and human minds are understood to be intrinsically connected to material substances that naturally possess physical constraints on knowledge and power. Thus, if it cannot be an abstract object or a human mind, then maybe its a combination of the two which would involve an absolute mind where there would not be a brain or body attached.

A mind absolute force would explain why you can get a temporal effect with a beginning from an eternal cause with unlimited properties. We should find, from more empirical observations, attributes of an all-knowing and all-powerful being exhibited within the universe.

ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING

According to the BGV theorem, the expansion rate of the universe, which is called Eternal inflation, will continue to accelerate forever; this suggest that there's potentially an infinite degree of power being exerted to expand the universe. This is attributed to the cancellation effect between negative and positive energy ,called the cosmological constant [3], which happens to be finely tuned to 120 decimal places making it the most well adjusted fine-tuning parameter of them all. Since this constant as well as the rest were present from the very beginning of the universe, it follows logically that the cause for this beginning was responsible for the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant as well. Thus, the attribute of this cause must be omni-potent.

Moreover, If this cause is all-powerful, then it would have to be all-knowing as well to know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, the potential outcome of all future interactions of these particles, and be able to control and anticipate each potential outcome from this future eternal inflation in a inconceivably precise manner. Thus, the attributes of this cause must be omniscient.

In conclusion, from the collection of divine attributes that were discovered it follows logically that a Divine intelligence in the form of a personal absolute mind is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe. Now, we are at the analysis portion where we compare the predictions from the God (alternative) hypothesis to those of the null hypothesis, to determine which one better explains the data and observations.

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS

With a simple thought, this personal absolute mind must have freely created and manifested itself in reality with the intention of having a relationship with its human creation, which would explain why we can observe a habitable planet within a life-permitting universe. Drawing from experience, this would be similar to human minds creating physical effects onto our brain and manifesting in the physical world through our bodies. Then, as humans, we have the emotional thought to have offspring and create a suitable house with the intention to also have a relationship with our offspring.

NULL HYPOTHESIS

Well first off, Quantum fluctuations would not explain how we as humans came to be or the fine-tuning of the universe since there is no evidence that the fine-tuning laws came into being by chance.

Most importantly, Quantum events do not take place in "absolute" nothingness. It actually takes place out of a larger quantum field ,which is a part of physical reality, that enables particles to come in and out of existence. Without this field there would be no quantum events [4]. This is why its not accurate to say that a particular quantum outcome is "uncaused" nor is it consistent with the data implying the beginning of reality.

In summary, since the alternative hypothesis better explains and is consistent with existing data, we can reject the null hypothesis and fully accept the alternative hypothesis.

FALSIFICATION

All of my predictions are falsifiable and Two of these predictions have already been experimented on by scientists, which have failed to show the God hyposthesis to be wrong. Where they have failed CON can succeed by trying to show how intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.

1. Theory of Everything

We have yet to create a theory that explains both Einsteins General Relativity and quantum mechanics (called the Grand Unified Theory). Once scientists discover a successful Grand Unified Theory, there is still the remote possibility that the fine-tuning constants like the Cosmological constant are a product of evolution given other laws of physics.

2. Life from Non-life

The Miller Urey-experiment attempted to prove the origin of life could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence [5]. However, The Urey/Miller experiments did not produce evidence for abiogenesis because, although amino acids are the building blocks of life, the key to life is information in the form of DNA that MUST exist first before evolution can even take place.

3. Mind-body Dualism

A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that attempted to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action "alone" [6]. However, he was unabled to find through eletrical stimulation a place in the cerebral cortex responsible for decision making.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://arxiv.org...
[4] Michael A. Corey, "The God Hypothesis" p. 14, 197
[5] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[6] http://www.custance.org...
DeFool

Con

Many thanks to my partner for his completed presentation. Now that I’ve been afforded an opportunity to view the entire treatise, I am a bit disappointed to learn that it is mostly unchanged from the many other times that it has been raised on this site. Therefore, the criticisms and challenges to the argument also remain just as effective.

Despite the sonorous and impressive sounding language used, the God Hypothesis essentially follows this line of reasoning.

1. All events must have been preceded by some prerequisite event that triggered it.

2. If we go far enough back in time, we seem to “run out of” preceding events to serve as prerequisites for subsequent events.

3. Humans have yet to learn conclusively what went on during that period when the universe was formed.

4. Therefore, Thor is not real, Poseidon is not real, Marduk is not real, Pazuzu is not real, Zeus, Neptune, Jupiter and Cupid are all likewise fakes, the Muslims and Jews are wrong about the divinity of Jesus, who is the same person as his father - and together, the two of them created the universe in a way that does not at all resemble the narrative given in the Bible – because the bible simply cannot be trusted.

….re-reading….I am almost at a loss for words with which to begin to detail all that is wrong with this illogic. To just focus on the final propositions, because humans do not know exactly what occurred during the period when the universe was first formed does not automatically require one to admit that any portion of the conclusion is beyond dispute… which is required of us if we are to grant the argument the status of “theory.”

But let us not be hasty. We all agree on the definition of theory; that high level of understanding that allows for ever more complex foundations of learning to be built. Music theory, mathematics, Relativity… all of these disciplines requires that the thing being described exist… because there is “music theory” are we to think that the existence of music is in any doubt?

My partner gives the criterion for ‘winning’ this discussion, going so far as to call these three conditions, “Essential criteria.” These are:

1. It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).

2. It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.

3. It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)

And the definition, once more, as presented by my partner:

The "God Hypothesis" is there exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in having a human affair. (sic. I left the grammatical errors intact for a variety of nefarious reasons.)

Although he has written for quite some time – nowhere does my partner even begin to meet these criteria. I will go through them:

Falsifiable:

The existence of the god or goddess allegedly responsible for the creation of the universe is not a falsifiable prospect. “Falsifiable” requires that a proposition is observable, and measurable… which these gods and goddesses are not.

Single Foundation:

The only source of information that we have with which to confirm the existence of these gods and goddesses are found in literature. In the case of the Abrahamic god, there is only one source of information.

Experimentation:

There are no laboratory tests that any god or goddess has ever participated in.

This, despite the almost excessive scientific sounding verbiage. We should take care that we not allow ourselves to become distracted; attempting to “drown the discussion in technobabble” is a well-known rhetorical ploy, and one that often works. Which is why I must take great pains to point out that none of the “science” matters with regard to this topic – until the theology is consistent. The “god” in the God Hypothesis must come first.

Is the God Hypothesis Compatible with Abrahamic Religion?

I feel fairly safe in assuming that, among all of the possible gods and goddesses from which we may choose to apply the God Hypothesis, the one that my partner has most in mind is most likely the ancient Mesopotamian tribal deity Yahweh. I will therefore restate my charge that the God Hypothesis cannot be used to demonstrate Abrahamic religion (those faiths that derive from the biblical character Abraham – which includes all Jewish, Muslim, and Christian followings.) The reason why is simple: all of these faiths must follow a strict “Bible First” policy with regards to their religion. Yahweh is a self-confessed “jealous god,” who does not brook having his sacred texts second guessed.

The following arguments were not rebutted by my partner, and so I should repeat them for emphasis.

1. If rejected by the religion that it hopes to “prove,” the God Hypothesis cannot be connected to that religion.

2. By arguing for the God Hypothesis as he does, Pro places himself into the position of “prophet” of what should be seen as a heretical new form of Christianity.

3. By arguing that the actions, tactics and nature of Yahweh can be understood by the God Hypothesis – Pro effectively argues that the bible is less trustworthy as a means of describing this god. He posits that what we cannot learn from the bible can be learned by way of studying the God Hypothesis.

I continue to argue, so far never rebutted, that the God Hypothesis may be a heresy, and therefore cannot be supported by any follower of Christianity, Judaism or Islam.

Can a Hypothesis be a Theory?

A hypothesis is, by definition, a “guess.” A theory is an attempt to describe the specific way that an observable phenomenon interacts with other phenomenon or with itself. An example of this might include Music Theory classes for college students. Or the Theory of Relativity, which attempts to describe gravity, among other things. Under no circumstances is any subject of a scientific theory unprovable. Do we argue that music is “just a theory,” and therefore, may not exist?

As a hypothesis and a theory cannot be made to be identical, no hypothesis can ever be a theory. In order for the God Hypothesis to rise to the rank of scientific theory, it will absolutely be necessary for us to have at least one god or goddess to observe, measure, describe, quantify, and experiment with. Until we have a god or goddess in a laboratory or habitat of some kind – we simply have no way to theorize about how he or she might interact with the world around them.

To recap my argument as of this round:

1. The God Hypothesis is heresy, and cannot be used to support Abrahamic religion.
2. If science cannot say how the universe was first formed - then science cannot be used to prove that it was first formed by a god or goddess.
3. The God Hypothesis does not follow - there is nothing in the argument that requires any particular theological conclusion.
4. My partner has failed to meet his own "Essential Criteria" for winning this debate
5. A hypothesis cannot be a scientific theory - by definition

Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

What CON is babbling about (regarding gods and godesses from different religions) is nonsense and completely off topic. He is in a sense just attacking a strawmen.

I acknowledge that the reason why someone is fundamentally an atheist or christian is based on the religious component. However, the topic of this debate for now is mainly about whether there is a God at all in the first place. I am building a foundation right now. You see the Scientific method is not a "mindless set of standards and procedures to follow, but is rather an ongoing cycle, constantly developing more useful, accurate and comprehensive models and methods.... Once a hypothesis is strongly supported by evidence, a new question can be asked to provide further insight on the same topic." [1]

In summary, CON is so wrong when he says 'none of the "science" matters with regard to this topic" until the theology is consistent. The "god" in the God Hypothesis must come first'. I am afraid not. Once this question is answered and I win the debate , then we can ask the question as to which religion is true and I would tried to answer it in another debate. Otherwise, the theology debate becomes meaningless when its never been established that there is a god in the first let alone a particular GOD.

However, CON can concede this debate right now if he finds it easier to falsify a God revealed in religion than a God in general and wants me to create another debate. I would be more than happy to grant his request if he feels he has a better shot :)

"The Universe is finely tuned for life."

Again, I made it very clear to CON in round 2 that when I say fine-tuned for life, I am talking about fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life of ANY kind requires. This means, You would not get chemistry or matter much less planets and stars that can serve as places where life might evolve so it does not necessarily have to be human life or life as we know it, but life that we don't know or have not discovered yet. CON's response is whats called "carbon based chauvism" [2] where CON just automatically assumes that humans or carbon based life forms are the only kind of life that can and actually exist throughout the universe.

Thus, there could be other types of life forms besides us we don't know . 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 kind of life to exist. Unless CON has evidence or can soundly argue that carbon based life forms are the only kind of life forms, the fine-tuning argument stands because there could be other types of life asides our own we might call "life" now or in the future. (I doubt he can do this since there are already experiments that show amino acids and RNA viruses ,which are two of the three essential components of life, can come from non-life. )

"There are no laboratory tests that any god or goddess has ever participated in"

Direct empirical evidence for a cause is not required in science/scientific method nor is the mechanism for it. Again, 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.
For example, We know that gravitational forces accounts for planetary orbits, why masses fall to the ground on earth, etc... But, we cannot clearly define, directly observe, nor determine the mechanism for which gravity uses to move objects. We just take it as a brute fact.

"Humans have yet to learn conclusively what went on during that period when the universe was formed."

Well first off, my hypothesis is not based on observations of a universe being created but what happens afterwards and continues to happen regarding the fine-tuning constants phenomena. Secondly, this is not about me scientifically proving the existence of God. This is because Science is not about proof or certainty as CON constantly mentions but its about evidence and falsifying (disproving) a claim. I provided CON the ways in which he can falsify my hypothesis. However, instead of waiting for CON to try to falsify my hypothesis, I am just going to attempt a premptive strike and address possible objections and arguments that have been frequently been thrown out in the past.

"who creates the creator? And who creates the creator of the creator? "

The Law of Cause and Effect, which is a scientific law I referenced, does not entail or require that every cause must have an explanation for it. Instead, it states that for every "effect" there must be a cause for it. Most importantly, even if the scientific law did require this, the law of cause and effect does not apply outside the Universe. So the question as to what created God is purely a philosophical question. Thus, since there is no scientific reason that would compell us to go another step further in asking what created God, we apply occams Razor in this situation. Occam's Razor is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect. In other words, one should not multiply causes beyond necessity. There is no need to deposit another cause that are equally or greater than this cause in this situation. The casual chain apparently stops here.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
DeFool

Con

I welcome the latest installment of this debate by my partner. To say the least I was curious as to what form it might have taken. I feel, this round, that I can best continue my challenge of his premise by offering a few rebuttals.


"What CON is babbling about (regarding gods and godesses from different religions) is nonsense and completely off topic. He is in a sense just attacking a strawmen."


Obviously, I disagree, and I am fairly certain that many readers will, as well.


I view our current discussion as follows:


Science can be employed to prove that certain fantastical beings exist – such as gods and goddesses. One way that this can be done is by way of the “God Hypothesis,” which suggests that if science does not know what created the universe, then science knows that a god or goddess created it.


If we remove the gods and goddesses element from the argument, what we are left with is a nonsensical statement about nothing:


Science can be employed to prove that certain fantastical beings exist. One way that this can be done is by way of the “Hypothesis,” which suggests that if science does not know what created the universe, then science knows that.”


I maintain, therefore, that the gods and goddesses element is a necessary component of the debate, and cannot be removed without significant argument destabilization. My own counter argument reads in a way that is very similar to that used by my opponent, if his demand that we do not discuss gods and goddesses is followed:


Science can be used to explain the origins of the universe, but cannot do so right now – due to insufficient data.


" In summary, CON is so wrong when he says 'none of the "science" matters with regard to this topic" until the theology is consistent. The "god" in the God Hypothesis must come first'. I am afraid not."


It is very difficult for me to accept this statement as anything other than blasphemy. Were I to be a religious person, I would be loath to place anything before whatever god I wanted to declare allegiance to. Additionally, the god of the Hebrews may be outraged that a mere hypothesis could supplant his divine rule.


" Once this question is answered and I win the debate , then we can ask the question as to which religion is true ... the theology debate becomes meaningless when its never been established that there is a god in the first let alone a particular GOD."


Here we agree; I feel that my partner is correct in asserting that it has never been established that there are gods and goddesses in the first place. Until that has been done, any discussion of how these gods and goddesses may interact with their environments is speculative – and cannot be used as the basis of a scientific theory.


"Again, I made it very clear to CON in round 2 that when I say fine-tuned for life, I am talking about fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life of ANY kind requires. CON's response is whats called "carbon based chauvism" where CON just automatically assumes that humans or carbon based life forms are the only kind of life that can and actually exist throughout the universe."


This argument has two components:


1. The universe is hospitable – on balance – to the building blocks and environments that any kind of life requires


2. There are likely non-carbon life forms that can exist where we cannot


These two arguments should be treated separately. I regard 1 as utterly absurd: when we view the universe we see mostly empty space – not life, and no environments that support any of the basic building blocks of life – except on earth. Even on earth, life is tenuous, and short-lived when viewed on a cosmic scale.


Argument 2 is only an act of speculation: “If we can’t see around the corner, then it’s possible that almost anything could be around that corner.” Such speculative hopes are not the grounds by which the scientific community bases its theories.


"Unless CON has evidence or can soundly argue that carbon based life forms are the only kind of life forms, the fine-tuning argument stands because there could be other types of life asides our own we might call "life" now or in the future. (I doubt he can do this since there are already experiments that show amino acids and RNA viruses ,which are two of the three essential components of life, can come from non-life. )"


I am happy to agree with my partner that life can indeed come from non-life. This argument of his helps to support my argument, which is that the influence of gods and goddesses in this process is unnecessary.


Direct empirical evidence for a cause is not required in science/scientific method nor is the mechanism for it.


I honestly have no idea what this sentence means.


"Again, 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."


No there isn’t. My partner goes on to say:


"For example, We know that gravitational forces accounts for planetary orbits, why masses fall to the ground on earth, etc... But, we cannot clearly define, directly observe, nor determine the mechanism for which gravity uses to move objects. We just take it as a brute fact."


However, in the case of gravity – we can indeed observe the phenomenon in action. This is not the case with gods and goddesses. For example, if I “chose” not to believe in gravity, I would not get far before I was forced to comply with its forces. If my partner were to “choose” to believe that gods and goddesses could grant him wishes, he would not get far before he would be forced to admit that they will not.


" The Law of Cause and Effect, which is a scientific law I referenced, does not entail or require that every cause must have an explanation for it."


I am not at all certain which scientific law my partner is referring to. I am unaware of any “Law of Cause and Effect.” I would need to know more about this before I can rebut the information that he provides here. He could be talking about “Karma,” a doctrine that is often called a “law” by Buddhists.


"the law of cause and effect does not apply outside the Universe. So the question as to what created God is purely a philosophical question. Thus, since there is no scientific reason that would compell us to go another step further in asking what created God, we apply occams Razor in this situation. Occam's Razor is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect. In other words, one should not multiply causes beyond necessity. There is no need to deposit another cause that are equally or greater than this cause in this situation. The casual chain apparently stops here."


Occam’s Razor stipulates that, all else being equal, the simplest solution to a given problem – that accounts for all of the parameters – is normally the best answer in most situations. Occam’s Razor is specifically ill-suited to demonstrate that a god or goddess created the universe with magic. This type of proposition explosively adds complexity, and does not remove it – thereby violating Occam’s Razor. Examples of complexity: where is the native habitat of the gods? What do they eat? How so they procreate? What do they look like? Etc.


My argument as of this round:


The God Hypothesis as it is being presented, is an act of heresy to Abrahamic religion, and has no scientific backing. It assumes that if science does not know what created the universe, then science can know that it was a god or goddess that accomplished this feat. This is a well-known logical fallacy, called “appeal to ignorance,” and offers no basis for scientific proof.

Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

1. "Obviously, I disagree, and I am fairly certain that many readers will, as well."

I finally am to see what CON is actually trying to do. He thinks he can win the debate by technicality rather than in spirit by dealing with my arguments directly (mainly because he can't falsify them albeit).

His central argument essentially flows like this:

A. Religion or religious claims mainly deal with the supernatural while science (particularly scientific theories) only deal with the natural.

B. The term "GOD" from the hypothesis has religious connotations that are deeply embedded in it.

C. Therefore, the GOD hypothesis should never be "considered" a theory .

I beg to differ. First off, I called it the God hypothesis to just name a unknown force that could not be the universe. Secondly, the term "God" does not necessarily only have to be related or symbolize religious fervor. It can just be understood to be a creator of the universe/ a Cosmic designer that we call GOD to signify something that is the greatest amongst intelligent interactive agents. As I said before, my theory is based on observations of the fine-tuning constants that came about after the incepton of the universe. So saying that there was a cosmic intelligent designer and calling it God to signify an extraordinary designer is not a religious statement. Saying who designed it (Allah, Jesus, yahweh, etc) would clearly spark a religious theme that would require me to parttake in from the begining.

Lastly, there are other bonafide theories that have names that signify and represent a particular idea that does not fully match the theories intentions or findings and is just not taken literally. For example, the big bang theory confused many people into thinking that the theory entailed a big explosion since the term "bang" signfied this. However, in reality, it was not an explosion at all. Its the same thing with the theory of everything. The theory is not suppose to literally explain everything just three of the four fundamental forces. In conclusion, I made it very clear to CON that this was not going to be a philosophical debate but a scientific one. The very fact that he accepted the debated and continues to ignore the rules of the debate should be and is a conduct violation on his part. All he is doing is giving strawmen arguments and OPINIONS about what I should do or should have done and its simply childish.

2."I feel that my partner is correct in asserting that it has never been established that there are gods and goddesses in the first place. Until that has been done, any discussion of how these gods and goddesses may interact with their environments is speculative "" and cannot be used as the basis of a scientific theory."

No we don't agree and he is again putting words in my mouth. I said we cannot discuss who the intelligent designer is in terms of which personality without establishing what it is first.

3."The universe is hospitable "" on balance "" to the building blocks and environments that any kind of life requires"

I have already clarified what I really said about this and what CON has twisted. I am still waiting for CON to show that carbon base life forms are the ONLY forms of life (which its definition is not fully established yet by the scientific community) throughout the multiverse. Most importantly, amino acids are indeed found in meteorites outside of our planet. So CON is wrong here on all accounts.

4."I am happy to agree with my partner that life can indeed come from non-life. This argument of his helps to support my argument, which is that the influence of gods and goddesses in this process is unnecessary."

Again, CON wants to twist what I said. carbon-based life forms ,which is life as we know it, are what can only come from other life. CON made no effort to falsify this at all which I gave him a chance to.

"in the case of gravity "" we can indeed observe the phenomenon in action"

Exactly, we can observe all the known phenomena and complexity regarding the fine tuning constants within the universe just like with gravity.

In CONCLUSION, What voters are here to decide on is three things that were established in round 1 regarding my hypothesis:

1. Does it make falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics)?

Yes, and CON did not dispute this. In fact, The only thing that CON disputed was the fine-tuning constants, which is appropriate because my hypothesis was based upon that only. However, Con did not and was not able to falsify this. This does not mean that my hypothesis was unfalsiafiable; it just means he was not able to show it to be false. There is a difference. CON still has a chance in the last round to do this but it would have to be under the guidelines that I have set to falsify my hypothesis.

2. Is it well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation?

CON admittingly dropped all of these arguments and conceded.

3. Is it consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results?

Yes, CON made no effort in this area as well.

4. Did CON's arguments successfully prevented my hypothesis from rejecting the Null hypothesis?

The same also goes here.

Now, What voters are NOT here to decide on is whether or not I actually scientifically proved the existence of God . Science is not about proof or certainty as CON constantly mentions but its about evidence and falsifying a claim.
DeFool

Con

I want to offer many thanks to my partner for having instigated this challenge, and for his final presentation. I also want to acknowledge any readers who might have followed the debate to this point.

Falsifiability
In studying the previous argument, and preparing for my own final statement, I note that my partner seems confused as to the correct meaning of the term “falsifiable.” I had suspected that he was unintentionally misusing the word earlier, but now I am quite certain. Based on the context in which it is used in this final round, I am convinced that he believes that it means “to disprove” something. Consider the wording in this passage, taken from his last argument:

Con did not and was not able to falsify this. This does not mean that my hypothesis was unfalsiafiable; it just means he was not able to show it to be false.

For the full quote, please read the passage above – but my partner was pointing out that I did not show that the god or goddess that might have made the universe, or how they made it (or something), was “false.” This seems to be important to my partner, who appears to be almost beside himself with frustration at my intransigence.

To begin, let us look at the dictionary definition of “Falsifiable.” From the online dictionary, (I am using Google Chrome, so an offering from Princeton University comes up first) the correct definition of falsifiable is:

Confirmable: capable of being tested (verified or falsified) by experiment or observation.

Interesting. Wikipedia (why not) explains the idea of falsifiability like this:

That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false, rather it means that if it is false, then observation or experiment will at some point demonstrate its falsehood….

Popper pointed out that it is always possible to change the universal statement or the existential statement so that falsification does not occur. On hearing that a black swan has been observed in Australia, one might introduce the ad hoc hypothesis, 'all swans are white except those found in Australia'; or one might adopt another, more cynical view about some observers, 'Australian bird watchers are incompetent'.” [1]

Will experimentation and observation someday prove or disprove that the gods and goddesses created the universe? No. Not unless we have some gods or goddesses to observe and conduct experiments on.

Falsifiability is important, even a necessary condition of some debatable statement of fact. However, it is not a sufficient condition to demonstrate the veracity of a given claim. Popper pointed out that falsifiability is important, because it gives us a sharp means by which we might separate superstition from science, but that it should not be over relied upon.

This. But my partner wishes I would hurry up and tell if I think his claims are falsifiable, or if I can “falsify” them. I can’t. As the dictionary told me, I would need a god or goddess to be tested (verified or falsified) by experiment or observation. The good news for me, is that he cannot do this either. This is because his blasphemies are simply not falsifiable; we cannot experiment on his proposed gods and goddesses.

I therefore completely reject the entire premise of this argument as nonsensical.

My partner is also upset with my tardiness in answering the following question:

Is it well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation?

The context, again, is with the God Hypothesis. He regrets that I have yet to contend with this question, so I best get to it. In answer, I point out that the only ‘foundation’ of the God Hypothesis is within New Age theology. There are no atheists, for example, who describe “god shaped holes” in the galaxies. So, since my partner has not demonstrated that other strands of evidence exist (besides a cultural allegiance to a particular deity) exist, this statement cannot be properly evaluated. I say that there are no scientists who do not already believe in gods and goddesses who also say that they are likely to exist on other planets.

Is it consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results?

No, the God (and Goddess) hypothesis does not agree with any reputable branch of science, and is even rejected by the very gods that it seeks to “prove.”

Did CON's arguments successfully prevented my hypothesis from rejecting the Null hypothesis?

(The English language is molested by my partner…) The God Hypothesis is not my partner’s original idea, meaning that he did not design it. And the “Null Hypothesis” is not a real scientific question. Again, we go to Wikipedia:

The practice of science involves formulating and testing hypotheses, assertions that are capable of being proven false using a test of observed data. The null hypothesis typically corresponds to a general or default position. For example, the null hypothesis might be that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena or that a potential treatment has no effect.[2]

The “Null Hypothesis” is a benchmark by which scientists can determine the value of a set of experiments. The Null Hypothesis is always that nothing will occur as a result of the experimentation. A complicated set of parameters are set up to determine the weight that the Null Hypothesis will have, and how effective the experiment will have to be in order to overcome these challenges. With the God (and Goddess) Hypothesis, there is no way to test against the Null Hypothesis (the expectation that nothing will happen as a result of an experiment), unless we have a god or goddess to observe and experiment upon.

My partner also does not (in all caps) want readers to decide if he has offered any scientific proof that there are gods and goddesses about creating the universe. This is fortunate, because he has not done this. However, his task was to establish that the God Hypothesis should be raised to the vaunted rank of scientific theory, alongside the works on Einstein, Newton, and Karl Popper (mentioned above.) This will not happen. To say the very least, more research is required.

My final argument, then, is this:
There has not been enough evidence presented in this debate to support moving the God Hypothesis to the status of theory. The main failure: we cannot observe any gods or goddesses with which we can experiment or study. Since my partner has not demonstrated that any even exist, there is no foundation upon which the theory can be built.

Additionally, his best argument simply states that if science does not know the exact conditions that existed at the beginning of the universe, then science can know that gods and goddesses created it with magic.

It remains mathematically possible that fantastical creatures such as gods and goddesses exist. However, it is incumbent upon advocates of the God Hypothesis to demonstrate them - and that did not happen in this debate.

Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by TheElderScroll 4 years ago
TheElderScroll
No idea. Everything is a wide guess game. Perhaps movie makers would solve the myth.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
This topic is so completely beyond my grasp, that I am intimidated to even offer an opinion. I am certain that no matter what I say, I will sound stupid. It is best that I sit here silently, and strike a wise and thoughtful pose.
Posted by TheElderScroll 4 years ago
TheElderScroll
@Defool
The fate of scorpions, alligators and sharks may perhaps largely be the result of competitions of other more adapted species. In a highly competitive environment, if you were not evolving fast enough, you are retarding. From a statistical perspective, the combination of human genes are finite. So what will happen when combinations are exhausted? After watching "Prometheus", I suddenly wondered whether the evolutionary process can be stopped under certain circumstances.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
Elder, if you are wondering whether or not the biological evolutionary process can retard or stop completely, I have often noted that it often does. This has been the fate of scorpions and alligators and sharks. I expect that humans will also stall out. Easy access to healthy nutrition, safe housing and medical care will overwhelm the painful natural development of the species.

Says me. But I am often disagreed with, so.
Posted by TheElderScroll 4 years ago
TheElderScroll
@Timurlan
The cause-effect one is fallacious. In fact, that is how Christians had attempted to prove the existence of the Supreme Being prior to 20 century. I am not sure about fine-tuning, since it involves many complicate mathematical formulas.

Darwin's theory is very convincing. Even if people can prove that the theory was created out of political necessity, there is no reason to discredit its scientific power. Facts are facts. What am I wondering is that whether there is an evolutional dead-end.
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
@DeFool this last comment is case in point. Your debate partner will at least do better than that.

I will not comment on either performance until the end of the debate, in spite of the tremendous temptation.
Posted by Timurlan 4 years ago
Timurlan
I agree with the argument, that God's Hypothesis should be considered a scientific theory.
At first, nowadays it is not a secret, that Darwin's theory isn't correct. There are many evidences which claims that Darwin's theory about human's origins was created according to political interest of Masson's.
More over, it is silly to refuse, that there is some highest power on universe. And only relogion could describe this so called "Highest Power or Energy". God is the highest and He is a creator of everything.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
Isn't it? (I'm chuckling.)

I think that most of us have debated this at one point or another. Now, it seems to be my turn. My worry is that I will have absolutely no new method of defeating this doormat.

I don't intend that as an offence to my debate partner - only to the argument. I am hoping that he can present a new and refreshing twist to the old debate, as I hope to do.
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
Interesting. A proposition that a majority of both atheists and believers can disagree with.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
kenballerDeFoolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro began by saying he would not use Philosophical arguments "a la" William Lane Craig and proceeded to use precisely the same philosophical arguments that Craig uses. The use of a scientific premise in a logical argument does not make the argument itself scientific in the sense of empirical or testable. Pro therefore breaks his own opening rules and debate therefore goes to con.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
kenballerDeFoolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con responded well to Pro. I also happen to agree with Con's last portion of the debate on Pro's arguments, therefore the arguments go to him.