The Instigator
MTGandP
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points
The Contender
republican1021
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The God of the Bible exists.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,453 times Debate No: 10913
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (6)

 

MTGandP

Con

My opponent believes that God exists. I do not. We are both rational people; it's time to settle this once and for all.

The topic of the debate should be clear enough. God, as depicted in the Bible, exists in reality. As my opponent is making the positive claim, he has the burden of proof. I will allow my opponent to make the opening argument.
republican1021

Pro

Thanks for challenging me, this should be a great debate.
There are a myriad of ways to prove the existence of the Deity described in the Holy Bible. I hate to sound cocky, but it just can't fit into 8,000 characters.

Let me start with my 'fine-tuning' argument.
1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity, chance, or design.

2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, it is due to design.

Here, premise 1 is a given. It simply provides you with the obvious options to choose from as a means of explaining the apparent ‘fine-tuning' of the universe. So the entire argument falls upon premise 2. If we can confirm that, then the conclusion will logically follow, and the ‘fine-tuning' of the universe is due to design, which requires an intelligent designer. Before I go about confirming premise 2 however, I would like to make it abundantly clear that this will not pertain to the matter of evolution, as the ‘fine-tuning' that this argument speaks of is regarding the initial conditions of the universe which are required to be precise in order for any life to exist. Before I go over premise 2, I am obligated to provide examples of ‘fine-tuning' in the initial conditions of the universe.

To explain the nature of these examples, here is what William Lane Craig has to tell us:

"This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, they contain certain constants, such as the gravitational constant. The mathematical values of these constants are not determined by the laws of nature. Second, there are certain arbitrary quantities that are just part of the initial conditions of the universe—for example, the amount of entropy in the universe.

These constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants and quantities to be altered by less than a hair's breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed, and life would not exist."

A perfect example that we may consider is the fact that if the expansion rate of the universe had been one part in a hundred thousand million million less than what it was, then the universe would have collapsed on itself. If, however, the expansion rate were about that much more in the beginning, then galaxies would never have been able to condense out of expanding matter, and therefore, the universe would be practically empty.

Also consider the fact that if neutrons and protons weren't within the range of size of one part in a thousand, then decays that involve a type of particle turning into another type would not provide sufficient deuteron production in the core of the sun. In short, life would never exist, because there isn't hardly any nuclear energy being provided for life to exist in the first place.

Yet another example is the fact that the universal quantity of protons must be within one part of ten to the power of 37 of the quantity of electrons, otherwise stars and planets cannot form due to electromagnetism dominating gravity in range.
If the strong nuclear force were three-tenths of a percent stronger, hydrogen doesn't exist, because protons and neutrons are incapable of separating. Conversely, if the strong nuclear force were three-tenths of two percent weaker, then protons and neutrons would be incapable of binding, in which case Hydrogen is the only element in the universe.

With the slightest tweaks of any of the fundamental forces of nature life doesn't exist, and in several cases stars and planets can't form. Take for example the fact that if electromagnetism were just slightly weaker, then electrons wouldn't be captured in orbit around the nuclei of atoms, meaning that no bond can take place to build matter up to the molecular level (or any level for that matter!). If, however, the electromagnetic force were just slightly stronger, then electrons wouldn't be shared or exchanged by atoms, and again, there are no covalent bonds taking place to enable to building-up of matter.

The list of finely-tuned conditions for a life-permitting universe goes on and on. A change in gravity or the weak nuclear force of a mere one part in ten to the power of 100 would alleviate the possibility of any life in the universe. So, there are a seemingly endless supply of examples that we could provide of finely-tuned initial conditions of the universe to enable the existence of life. So, now let us consider the second premise of the Fine-Tuning Argument for God's existence. If we rule out the plausibility of the two alternatives to design, them being physical necessity and chance, then design is the most plausible explanation. First, we shall consider whether the finely-tuned conditions of the universe are due to physical necessity.

Did the universe simply have to be life-permitted, due to its very nature? Well, we have to keep in mind that this alternative contends that there is an unknown Theory of Everything, which would explain why the universe is the way it is and what it was like when the four fundamental forces of nature were combined in the universe's dense state. The best thing that this ‘theory-in-the-making' has going for it is M-Theory, which is a theory that combines all five string theories (including supergravity) to form a single theory. This theory fails to predict our universe in particular. As William Lane Craig notes, "…string theory allows a "cosmic landscape" of around 10500 different universes governed by the present laws of nature, so that it does nothing to render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary." In short, all of the evidence we have supports that the universe's qualities are not intrinsic, but rather, are acquired. So, either the finely-tuned conditions of the universe are due to chance or design.

By the nature of our case, the appeal to random chance strains credulity. Therefore, the Universe's fine-tuning is most plausibly accounted for in terms of a designer.
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If this does not suffice as evidence, please challenge me. :)
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Habakkuk 3:17-18
Debate Round No. 1
MTGandP

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Regarding my opponent's syllogism, I will be primarily challenging the second premise. However, the first premise is not entirely accurate, either. It can be reduced to "The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity or chance." If it is by design, then the designer made decision based either on physical necessity or on chance. This goes hand-in-hand with the argument for indeterminism, but that is a whole different debate.

========

"...if the expansion rate of the universe had been one part in a hundred thousand million million less than what it was, then the universe would have collapsed on itself."
This claim is unsubstantiated. In fact, it is easily disproven by the fact that the universe's expansion rate is accelerating. (http://arxiv.org...)

"Yet another example is the fact that the universal quantity of protons must be within one part of ten to the power of 37 of the quantity of electrons, otherwise stars and planets cannot form due to electromagnetism dominating gravity in range."
Another claim that my opponent has provided no evidence for. Such claims are not credible.

My opponent's entire list of examples of fine tuning will not be addressed; they all suffer from lack of substantiation.

========

Contention 1: Multiverse Theory

One possibility to account for what my opponent claims are "fine-tuned" laws is Multiverse Theory. (http://quasar.as.utexas.edu...) This theory proposes that there are multiple -- possibly even infinitely many -- universes, each with different universal constants. It is therefore far more probable that conditions to support life would arise by chance. By Occam's Razor multiple universes are more likely to exist than a deity, because we already have evidence that one universe exist while we have no (direct) evidence of the existence of a deity.

========

Contention 2: Carbon Chauvinism

Carbon Chauvinism (http://www.knowledgerush.com...) is the belief that life can only be carbon-based; more generally, it is the belief that life can only exist in the circumstances that we observe in our own environment. However, we have no reason to believe that life could not exist in conditions that are very different from our own. It is unreasonable to make the claim that life could not exist if the universal constants were slightly different: life might still exist, but in a very different form.

========

Contention 3: Outcome Fallacy

My opponent postulates that because life exists and life is improbable, therefore life was designed. This is a fallacy that I do not know the name of, so I will call it the Outcome Fallacy. If you generate a number between one and a trillion, whatever number you get you can point at and say, "Hey look! That number only had a one in a trillion chance of showing up! This number generator must be rigged!" A comparison in hindsight cannot be used to properly assess probability. Although life may not exist in other possible universes, other things would exist -- things that would never be possible in this universe. But it would be fallacious to point to those universes and use their unique traits as evidence of design. Similarly, it is fallacious to assume that life had to be designed.

Maybe the probability of the strength of electromagnetism being exactly what it is is very small. But it is just as small as the probability of it being any other particular number.

========

Contention 4: God of the Bible

My opponent has attempted to prove the existence of some supernatural entity. However, the existence of a supernatural entity in no way necessitates that such a supernatural entity is the God of the Bible.

========

Conclusion

I have presented five rebuttals to my opponent's argument (one direct response and four contentions). If any one rebuttal remains standing at the conclusion of this debate, then my opponent's case will be defeated.
republican1021

Pro

republican1021 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
MTGandP

Con

My opponent has forfeited. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
republican1021

Pro

republican1021 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MTGandP

Con

Regrettably, my opponent has forfeited. Allow me to recap.

I have effectively refuted my opponent's argument and I have provided four arguments of my own. If any one of my arguments stands at the end of the debate, the vote should go to Con. All arguments stand unrefuted. I think the choice is clear.
republican1021

Pro

republican1021 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
It is possible for two people who are both of sound mind to be in disagreement. It is possible for a perfectly rational person to be incorrect.
Posted by gamemaster 7 years ago
gamemaster
"My opponent believes that God exists. I do not. We are both rational people" Bzzzzt. Contradiction Alert!!!
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
RFD: My reasoning should be obvious.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Hahah I should have refreshed before I posted.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Pro's account is no longer active.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Republican's account is no longer active...
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Good point Vaibanez. I didn't include that in my contentions, but I still got four.
Posted by Vaibanez 7 years ago
Vaibanez
I love the "fine tuning" argument. There are billions of collapsing stars, imploding galaxies, chaotic sections of our universe, and our puny planet that supports life on some of it's surface, some of the time....fine tuned...sure.
Posted by Vaibanez 7 years ago
Vaibanez
"We are both rational people". I won't be so kind and say belief in a god is tremendously irrational. Pro is rational, con is a retard. Adults with imaginary friends are stupid.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
MTGandPrepublican1021Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff.
Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
MTGandPrepublican1021Tied
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Vote Placed by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
MTGandPrepublican1021Tied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
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Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
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Vote Placed by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
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