The Instigator
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
DakotaKrafick
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a sound argument for God's existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
KeytarHero
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,265 times Debate No: 22607
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (8)

 

KeytarHero

Pro

This will be a debate as to the soundness of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The Kalam Cosmological Argument I will be defending is as follows:

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe had a cause.

While it may not necessarily follow from this argument that the cause of the universe's creation was God, it can be logically shown from this argument that the creator was, in fact, God.

As instigator, I accept the burden of proof.

Round one will be for acceptance, round two for opening arguments, round three for rebuttals, round four for rebuttals and closing statements.
DakotaKrafick

Con

I accept, although I think I should be able to use my round two for rebuttals since I won't be presenting any arguments this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
KeytarHero

Pro

I thank DakotaKrafic for accepting this debate. I will officially state that he may feel free to use this round for rebuttals.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is as follows:

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Premise 1 -- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

This is pretty self-explanatory, and pretty uncontroversial. The principle of causality is a first principle. In other words, it is self-evident. According to this fundamental principle, every effect has a cause and as such, non-being cannot produce being.

Premise 2 -- The universe began to exist.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics affirms that the universe is running out of usable energy and, hence, cannot be eternal. We also see that the universe is expanding, and at an accelerated rate. [1] As we see the universe is expanding more and more rapidly, and the universe is running out of usable energy, the universe will inevitably run out of usable energy and result in a "heat death." As the universe is expanding and not static, we can see that the universe, indeed, had a beginning as it is not eternal.

We can also approach this from a philosophical viewpoint:

1) If an infinite number of moments occurred before today, then today would never have come, wince it is impossible to traverse an infinite number of moments.
2) But today has come.
3) Hence, there was a finite number of moments before today; the universe had a beginning. [2]

Conclusion -- Therefore, the universe had a beginning.

This shows the argument valid (as the conclusion follows from the premises), and that it is a sound argument. It can be scientifically and philosophically shown that the universe had a beginning, and therefore had a cause.

But what of this cause? Can we know that this cause was intelligent and not just a natural cause?

I believe we can.

As was already stated, the universe had a beginning. Without God, there would have existed nothing before the universe, and nothing cannot produce something without intervention from an outside force. Nothing is a state of non-existence. Nothing, not the universe, not the world, not humanity, but nothing would be here right now if there wasn't a God.

However, God pre-dates the universe. The KCA states that everything that begins to exist has a cause. However, God is eternal. He has always existed and therefore has no cause. We humans are contingent beings. Our existence was began (caused) by God and we can only be kept alive at God's pleasure. We are contingent beings. A contingent race of beings could only have been created by a necessary being (i.e. God). God is a Necessary being because it is in His nature to exist. He has no beginning so He logically will have no end.

As it would be impossible for the universe to have come into existence on its own, the only way it could exist is if there was an intelligent Creator.

I look forward to our next round.

[1] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
[2] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, p. 399.
DakotaKrafick

Con

Thank you, Keytar Hero, for setting up such a wonderful defense of your argument. It's hard to delve into theology for longer than a minute without coming across this extremely popular, modernized rendition of the classic cosmological argument (excuse the hyperbole). So, without further ado, let's get to it...

Debunking the Argument

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

It's a good thing philosopher have added that "begins to" saving grace since its first appearance centuries ago. Regardless of that, and your lacking warrant on the basis that this premise is "pretty uncontroversial" (which I must wholeheartedly disagree with; this is the premise most commonly attacked by opponents of the argument), I must say anyway that this premise does indeed fall short of its desired effect.

Firstly, it should be pointed out that there is little to no warrant of this premise. And there hardly ever is no matter who is presenting it, be it Keytar Hero, Al-Kindni, or William Lane Craig. This is because, simply put, there is no valid warrant for it; it thrives off of our intuitions. "Of course everything that exists has a cause (oops, I mean "begins to exist" has a cause)! It just doesn't make sense to say otherwise!"

However, a major part of thinking logically is to ignore our intuitions, at least until those intuitions can be justified, either evidentially or logically. Let's not forget that prior to a proper education, our intuitions would tell us the world is flat, the sun orbits the earth every day, and Justin Beiber should be executed for treason on music (upon further review, this moral view simply can't be justified, unfortunately...).

Besides its lack of warrant, it tries to justify one type of causality from another entirely. What do I mean by that exactly? Let me clarify...

Aside from labels humans place on concepts, it's clear to see that every "thing" is just an arrangement of energy and matter particles, a slightly different arrangement of energy and matter particles from its previous form a moment prior. Every "thing" that comes from a previous "thing" has a cause, of this much we can be plausibly sure. This would be concerning ex materia causality ("from pre-existing material").

However, as my opponent justifies himself, the universe came into being ex nihilo ("from literally nothing"), not ex materia. Do things that come into being ex nihilo have a cause? How could they? They came form literally nothing at all!

My opponent says "nothing cannot produce something without intervention from an outside force". This may sound intuitive, but nevertheless, it raises some problems for you...

(A) How do you know that? Have you ever seen anything come into being ex nihilo?

(B) "An outside force"? I think we're talking about two different kinds of "nothing"s here. Nothing means "no thing at all" (including "outside forces", whatever that means in this case... "outside" of what...?).

Given this recent enlightenment, the first premise should read "Everything that begins to exist ex materia has a cause" unless my opponent can justifiably show how everything that begins to exist (both ex materia and ex nihilo) must have a cause.

2) The universe began to exist.

I'll charitably allow this premise to slide on the basis that it's most likely not false.

3) Conclusion, therefore the universe had a cause.

The conclusion is rendered invalid once the first premise is corrected to fit our actual knowledge on the matter.

Debunking the jump from "cause" to "God"

First and foremost, my opponent provides no justification for why this God must have been "intelligent" and not "dumb, but slightly lucky". Think that sounds like a joke? I'm being serious. We could imagine literally thousands upon thousands of explanations for the cause of the universe, each equally unwarranted by evidence.

Second and foremost, my opponent states this in defense of why God doesn't need a cause according to the first premise: "The KCA states that everything that begins to exist has a cause. However, God is eternal. He has always existed and therefore has no cause."

He always existed, did He? Well now, that seems to contradict a bit of information you passed onto us earlier... that an actual infinite cannot exist. I hope you don't mean to say that an actual infinite cannot exist, except for God. Please elucidate in the next round.

(Yes, I realize I said "foremost" on both points; they are equally important.)

Over to you, Keytar Hero. Play us some sick theology in A minor.
Debate Round No. 2
KeytarHero

Pro

Thank you, again, Dakota for your thought-provoking response to the argument.

Premise 1 -- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

I must have seen different debates than Dakota, because whenever I'd see someone debate this they would always concentrate on attacking the second premise. It wasn't until I started debating on DDO that I saw folks attack the first premise. At any rate, what I meant by uncontroversial is that there is a principle that every effect has a cause. A car is not a car until it is constructed. A hunk of metal is not a car, and won't become a car until someone sets out to construct it. A human is not a human until the process of fertilization has begun by the man's spermatozoan coming into contact with a woman's ovum. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence, a cause that is outside itself. This still seems pretty uncontroversial to me.

So I believe our intuitions in this case are justified. After all, if humans don't begin to exist without a cause, and cars don't begin to exist without a cause, why can universes begin to exist without a cause?

I see no problem with saying something comes into being ex nihilo, which can't happen without outside intervention. It can only happen by a powerful Being who has the ability to create from nothing. It is equivocation to state that something can come into being from pre-existing materials, but not from nothing. Coming into existence is coming into existence. We have already seen that the universe is not eternal. If non-being cannot produce being, then a Being must have produced it. Otherwise there would be nothing in existence at all.

A) I have not seen anything come into being ex nihilo. I have also never seen atoms but I know they exist. We do not have to see something in order to logically infer that they happen. Scientists have never seen humans evolve from lower forms of life, but they still believe that it happened.

B) We are not talking about different things. Nothing means "non-existence." The only thing that existed before the universe came into existence was God. There wasn't "nothing" before the universe. There was God. But God created a universe out of nothing, where there wasn't one before. For example, I exist (thank you, Descartes). If an apple just popped into existence on the table in front of me, that apple would have come into existence from nothing. Even though I exist and this table exists, the apple came from nothing.

Premise 2 -- The universe began to exist.

As Dakota has let this slide, there is no need to defend this premise.

Conclusion -- Therefore, the universe had a cause.

The conclusion is still rendered valid and sound, considering that it naturally follows from the premises. Unless Dakota can show why people and small objects can't come from nothing but universes can.

God as cause of the universe.

I could concede that the God who created the universe was "dumb, but lucky." That would not disprove the existence of God, just that God is a different God than I believe in. For the purpose of this debate, that is irrelevant. I do believe God to be an intelligent Creator because I hold faith in the Bible, but that's really not absolutely essential for this argument. I believe other arguments, such as the Teleological Argument, show that God is an intelligent creator.

I will elucidate on what I mean by infinite. There are two definitions of infinite which are relevant to my argument. [1] One is an unlimited amount of objects; an infinite amount. This is why I say we can show through philosophy that the universe had a beginning. It would be impossible to traverse an infinite amount of time.

The second definition of unlimited. We are finite beings in that we are limited. We don't have the ability to create from absolutely nothing, or to work outside the laws of nature. However, God is infinite; He is unlimited in His power which is why we even exist today. I hope that clears things up.
I thank Dakota for taking the time to debate this topic with me. Over to you, and I look forward to reading your next rebuttal.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
DakotaKrafick

Con

Debunking the argument

My opponent says I've somehow used equivocation, the logical fallacy of using more than one definition of a word to confuse the issue, because I differentiate between ex meteria creation and ex nihilo creation. This is simply not the case; it's more fallacious to try to lump these two categories into one and act as if they are the same thing when in fact they are not.

"It is equivocation to state that something can come into being from pre-existing materials, but not from nothing," KeytarHero tells us. "Coming into existence is coming into existence."

I guess it's also equivocation to state that some people can naturally produce sperm while others cannot? After all, people are people. If I were to assert the premise "Every person can naturally produce sperm" you'd be justified to disagree, saying "While it is true that adult males can naturally produce sperm, women cannot". Your premise "Everything that begins to exist has a cause" is equally objectionable. While it's plausibly true that things which begin to exist ex materia have a cause, there is no reason to believe things which begin to exist ex nihilo have a cause.

You remind us of the principle of causality, that every cause has an effect. "A car is not a car until it is constructed," you say. "A hunk of metal is not a car, and won't become a car until someone sets out to construct it." True, but need I remind you these are all ex materia creations. Can you give us a similar example, but with an ex nihilo creation?

If what you say is true, that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes and effects, then there must be an uncaused effect (an effect that didn't come from a cause, but from nothing at all). I know you are eager to call this uncaused effect "God", but I see no reason at all to look any further than the universe itself.

Now, the argument can be formulated in one of two ways (pick your poison, KeytarHero). Let's look at them both individually:

EX MATERIA

1. Everything that begins to exist ex materia has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist ex materia.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

In this argument, I would see no reason to dispute the first premise, but the second premise is obviously untrue. To make the second premise true, however, would be to render the conclusion invalid.

EX NIHILO

1. Everything that begins to exist ex nihilo has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist ex nihilo.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

Now the second premise is plausibly true, but the first premise has no evidential support. I didn't mean to imply that sight is the only tool for observing evidence worth noting, KeytarHero, excuse me if I was unclear. What I meant was that there is no evidence at all to support that premise, be it evidence attained through sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, logic, or anything in between.

In fact, I'd bring up the quantum fluctuations that constantly occur in the vacuum of space, where photons literally pop into existence ex nihilo and uncaused, to flatly disprove the first premise but there's no need for even that. Firstly, even without considering the contradicting evidence, we can see there is no supporting evidence.

Secondly, without considering those photons, what else is there to consider regarding the first premise? Nothing, except for the universe itself. So when the first premise reads "Everything that begins to exist ex nihilo" all it is really referring to by proponents of the argument is "The universe". There is nothing else that fits the description (aside from the contradicting evidence). It is essentially little more than asserting "Everything that begins to exist, and by that I mean the universe, has a cause; Therefore, the universe had a cause".

Debunking the jump from cause to "God"

First and foremost, you say that the attribute "dumb, but lucky" would not disprove your argument or the existence of God, but that is false considering you defined "God" as an "intelligent creator". We would be talking about something else entirely if we decided this cause was not intelligent, but merely lucky. So which are you trying to prove the existence of: an intelligent creator, or a dumb but lucky creator? Or are you just trying to prove the existence of some undefined mystical thing which ought to fall under the umbrella term of "God" since that's usually where all undefined mystical things go?

Second and foremost, your false accusation of equivocation must have simply been foreshadowing or something because now you say you were secretly using another definition entirely of "infinite".

You say this: "I will elucidate on what I mean by infinite. There are two definitions of infinite which [...]"

I must say, though, I'm a little confused. I looked back and read over your previous two rounds again. Not once did you ever use the word "infinite" to describe God until your third round. No, that seems to be nothing more than a distraction from what you really said, and I quote verbatim: "The KCA states that everything that begins to exist has a cause. However, God is eternal. He has always existed and therefore has no cause."

You didn't say "infinite". You said "He has always existed", pretty matter-of-factly. This was, of course, an attempt to exempt God from the first premise. By claiming God has always existed, he would logically never have began to exist, and therefore he wouldn't need a cause according to the first premise. However, in doing this, you contradicted your warrant for the second premise that nothing can always exist.

That's all for now; over to you, KeytarHero!
Debate Round No. 3
KeytarHero

Pro

Once again, I would like to thank Dakota for accepting this debate, and for his thought-provoking responses.

First, a clarification about the word I've used, infinite. In round two, Dakota asked me to elucidate on why no infinites can exist, except for God. Then I explained that infinite has two separate meanings.

First, I used the word "infinite" to indicate that the universe cannot be eternal as it would be impossible to traverse an infinite number of moments. And yet this moment has come. I did not use this term in reference to God because I am arguing that only one God exists, not an infinite number.

Second, Infinite has a second meaning, unlimited. This term can be used for God because He is unlimited. I could simply substitute "unlimited" in the place of "infinite." As such, I have not equivocated.

Third, I may have misunderstood Dakota's confusion from last round. I didn't even use the word "infinite" in reference to God in an "unlimited" sense, so I haven't equivocated. However, I think Dakota was asking how God could have existed forever but not the universe, if an "infinite" cannot exist. So let me take another crack at explaining.

As I have shown, an infinite number of moments cannot exist. It is impossible to traverse an infinite number of moments. Yet this moment has come, so the universe is not eternal. However, it is not an impossibility for God to have existed forever. God exists outside of the universe, so He is not bound by its natural laws. We, as temporal beings, only exist in one moment in time. We cannot exist in more than one moment in time. However, God exists in the future, as much as in the present, as much as in the past. God is a Necessary Being. It is in his nature to exist. He will have no end because He had no beginning. But aside from the philosophical reason that we can see the universe had a beginning, we can also see the same through the scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning, and so had a cause of its existence, a cause outside of itself.

I don't agree that we're not justified to believe that things that begin to exist ex nihilo have a cause. The universe didn't just pop into existence. If we accept the Big Bang as a creation model for the universe, the Big Bang was still a cause of its existence. And if you accept that there was a singularity at the beginning of time that exploded into the universe, then you would have to show how that singularity was able to explode into the universe we have today. If I leave dynamite on the ground, it's not going to explode on its own. Someone has to come along and light the fuse. If there was a singularity that has always existed, there would have to be a catalyst for it to bulid up energy and then explode. On top of that, explosions don't create order; they cause chaos.

It would be impossible for me to give an example of things that come into existence ex nihilo that need a cause because we only really have one example, the universe. But if the universe can come into existence ex nihilo without a cause, why not more things? Why don't humans, or cars come into existence ex nihilo?

Even if you accept the Copenhagen model of quantum mechanics (which is only one of several, and there's no reason to accept that one over all the rest), the particles which are alleged to pop into existence from nothing, don't actually come from nothing. The "nothingness" that quantum mechanics uses is not non-existence, but a sea of transient particles. These particles come through a quantum fluctuation, which requires the existence of a wave function. Without a wave function, you have no quantum fluctuations. So what caused the quantum wave functions?

Now, regarding the two arguments Dakota recommended, I would accept the ex nihilo argument as true. Dakota states that there is no evidential support for premise one, that everything that begins to exist ex nihilo has a cause. This may or may not be true. However, to state that it is absolutely not true because there is no evidence for it is to make an argument from ignorance, which is a logical fallacy.

But humans begin to exist at fertilization. The cause is the male sperm meeting the female ovum. However, we don't actually exist ex materia because the sperm and egg cease to exist once the new human is created. This is different from a car, in which once the car is designed you can still detect the materials that it was created from. Dakota did, in fact, state that we can use logic as evidence for it. While we can't necessarily use our empirical senses to prove this, I really don't think it's a huge leap to suppose that if anything that exists ex materia requires a cause, that anything that exists ex nihilo also requires a cause. beginning to exist is beginning to exist. Why does the method for its beginning to exist determine whether or not there was a Creator?

Regarding Dakota's two "foremost" claims:

First, I can see his point. The particular God that I believe in is an intelligent God, the one spelled out in the Bible. But I am of the opinion that the naturalistic arguments for God's existence (including this one, the Teleological Argument, the Moral Argument, etc.) don't necessarily point to the God of the Bible. Once you've established God's existence through naturalistic means, then you either leave it at Deism (that a God exists but is unconcerned with human affairs), or try to show which God is the true God. I believe that if a God exists and created mankind, He would surely take an interest in what happens to us. There have been many holy books which claim to be God's revealed word to mankind. Once you have established God's existence, the next step is to discover which holy book is the one God actually revealed to mankind. I believe the Bible to be God's revealed word and as such, to be the intelligent God behind the naturalistic explanations. But this is another debate entirely. As such, while I believe we can use the KCA to establish a God exists, it doesn't necessarily follow from this argument alone that the God that exists is an intelligent creator.

But a dumb creator is still a creator, none-the-less.

As for his second point, I addressed it at the beginning of this argument.

Thank you for reading, and thank you, Dakota, for the debate.
DakotaKrafick

Con

Thank you, KeytarHero. You’ve been a great opponent in a great debate! With only one round left, let’s wrap it up…

Debunking the argument

I’m afraid that by now, there are so many holes in the argument I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll try to keep this as organized as possible. Below is the new argument my opponent is trying to defend:

1) Everything that begins to exist ex nihilo has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist ex nihilo.
3) Therefore, the universe had a cause.

Regarding the first premise, my opponent says this: “Dakota states that there is no evidential support for premise one, that everything that begins to exist ex nihilo has a cause. This may or may not be true. However, to state that it is absolutely not true because there is no evidence for it is to make an argument from ignorance, which is a logical fallacy.”

Reread my argument; I am very careful with my words. I never said it isn’t true; the most I said is there’s no reason to believe it’s true. And if there’s no reason to believe the first premise is true, then there’s no reason to believe the conclusion is true.

Of course, my opponent continues to say that we are justified in believing the first premise is true. He says this: “I don't agree that we're not justified to believe that things that begin to exist ex nihilo have a cause. The universe didn't just pop into existence.”

That is the warrant for the first premise: “The universe didn’t just pop into existence.” Essentially, this is defending the premise with the premise.

He also says: “It would be impossible for me to give an example of things that come into existence ex nihilo that need a cause because we only really have one example, the universe.”

This unequivocally confirms my previous statement that “Everything that begins to exist ex nihilo” is referring to and only to “The universe”. That means the entire argument is really just saying “The universe had a cause; therefore, the universe had a cause.

Then he says: “And if you accept that there was a singularity at the beginning of time that exploded into the universe, then you would have to show how that singularity was able to explode into the universe we have today.”

Firstly, the steps in which our universe took to become what it is today is pretty well mapped out by now (although there will inevitably be some gaps in knowledge due to the fact it all happened BILLIONS of years ago). Secondly, I find this funny because you insist that we must show every detail of a naturalistic explanation of the universe for you to believe it, when you know you can’t show how God was able to create the universe either. In the words of William Lane Craig, “In order to understand an explanation is the best, you don’t need an explanation of the explanation.”

While reading your final argument, KeytarHero, I started to get the feeling you don’t even believe in the Big Bang theory. “On top of that, explosions don't create order,” you say, “they cause chaos,” and you compare the Big Bang to a stick of dynamite.

The Big Bang was not an explosion; it was merely an expansion of space-time, which I’d say was neither chaos nor order; it was just the expansion of the smallest particles of space (which later formed atoms, then gas, then stars, then heavier elements, then rock, then planets). Applying a concept such as “order” and saying “it’s so orderly; it must have been designed” is fallacious for several reasons…

(1) The concept of order essentially has no existence but in the minds of humans. The universe is neither chaotic nor orderly; it just is.
(2) Natural phenomena create things which look orderly to human beings all the time, due to our brains’ evolutionary tendency to seek patterns (a strange formation of rocks on the beach, an imagined face in the clouds, an eyeball-eating parasite with all its little working parts, etc).
(3) An adjective such as “orderly” is subjective. You can base your subjective opinions on objective facts, but surely you’re not going to assert objective facts based on your subjective opinions… are you?

Debunking the jump from cause to “God”

First and foremost… I understand my opponent’s unwillingness to prove God is the God of the Bible as that would mean providing an entirely new argument, one that we simply don’t have time for. Let this point be irrelevant for the purposes of deciding who had the better arguments.

Second and foremost… KeytarHero addresses this point by saying: “God exists outside of the universe, so He is not bound by its natural laws. We, as temporal beings, only exist in one moment in time. We cannot exist in more than one moment in time. However, God exists in the future, as much as in the present, as much as in the past.”

Even if God could simultaneously be present in every moment of time, the number of those moments cannot be infinite. So, before the Big Bang, was there time? (Note that this is a question only theologians must answer. As an atheist, I don’t have to make up another dimension that preceded the Big Bang for God to have resided. In other words, there was no “before the Big Bang”. But to say God was the cause of the universe, there must have been.)

(A) Yes.
(B) No.

If (A) is true, then we run into the same problem that an infinite number of moments cannot exist. Sure, I’ll grant that God can exist in every moment of time, but every moment of time can’t actually be infinite!

If (B) is true, then instead of saying “God always existed,” you’re saying “God never existed,” that before the Big Bang, there was no time which God existed.

Thank you, KeytarHero, for debating with me and the audience for taking the time to read. Please read both of our arguments carefully and vote accordingly.

Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Polaris 4 years ago
Polaris
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe had a cause.

This argument isn't sound quite simply because it does not logically follow that if the universe has a cause, that this cause must be God.
Posted by Gileandos 5 years ago
Gileandos
Great debate across the board.

Conduct point to Dakota for being a rare atheist who can put up a good debate without character attacks and insults and sticking to the arguments.

Sources to Pro.

Arguments to Pro as well. I felt let down by the line of reasoning proposed by Con.
The burden of proof was well met and Con's response to detract equates to ‘because I do not understand how this is so' and ‘You are using sophist sneaky words!'

An example from Con's response to P1:
""Of course everything that exists has a cause (oops, I mean "begins to exist" has a cause)! It just doesn't make sense to say otherwise!"
Posted by DakotaKrafick 5 years ago
DakotaKrafick
@KeytarHero: "Some debaters on this site are really good, like Dakota, and then you get others which are kind of lousy. Then you get debaters like me who have no prior experience with formal debates, which are just kind of learning as we go. I've actually learned a lot about debating just by debating on this website."

Everything I know about debating I learned through experience by debating on Facebook and DDO.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 5 years ago
DakotaKrafick
Thanks for all the comments, guys! I take the constructive criticism (and everything else) to heart.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Frozen_Eclipse:

I appreciate your unbiased vote on this debate. I'd just like to point one thing out, that when we say that God is unlimited, this doesn't mean He can do absolutely everything possible to do. This means that His power is unlimited. For example, He created the entire universe from nothing. He has the ability to re-arrange the universe as He wishes.

However, He cannot do anything that is logically impossible. For example, He cannot create a square triangle, or create a boulder so heavy He cannot lift it.

Additionally, God cannot do anything that goes against His nature. He is perfect, therefore He cannot sin (which includes lying).

So yes, God is unlimited in power. I apologize if that wasn't made clear in the debate.
Posted by GenesisCreation 5 years ago
GenesisCreation
Outstanding debate.
- The mutual respect between the opponents was maintained throughout the debate, allowing the arguments to flourish unhindered by character attacks. Quite rare.
- Both sides used easy to follow formatting. If I needed to jump between rounds to re-read arguments, I was able to navigate the text without much trouble. This mutual attention to detail is also fairly rare.
- Granting the point for sources was unfortunately very easy.
@ DakotaKraffic, While you maintain a solid prowess as a debater, you cannot exclusively rely on your own ability to win. You must support your stance, even if it's trivial. If not to solidify your position, then to safeguard the points given for sources. You gave this point away.

-Granting the point for arguments was fairly difficult. Quoting DakotaKraffic,"I'm afraid that by now, there are so many holes in the argument I don't know where to begin..".
I found it difficult to balance the arguments. After reading this debate and using only the information made available, I can rationalize the Pro and the Con with near equal fervor. The only saving grace for Pro was Con's inability to properly refute that a supreme deity can and must exist outside of his own creation to allow ex nihilo. It was the point that tipped the balance.
To be specific ( I don't want to simply speak without cause, pardon the pun):
DakotaKraffic's rebuttal to God's external nature was -
"Even if God could simultaneously be present in every moment of time, the number of those moments cannot be infinite. So, before the Big Bang, was there time?"

Pro had already established that God exists outside of time,space and matter. Your (A) & (B) responses made no real sense. You conceded in you (A) option that God can exist infinitely and your (B) option ignores that God exists outside of time. The essential arguments looked like this:
Pro: God exists outside of time.
Con: What about the time before time?
Pro: God exists outside of time.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
RFD:

As someone who has debated this before, I'll admit its hard not to vote based on problems I personally found with Con's argument instead of the debate itself.

In essence it came down to "begins to exist". Con argued that we see causes ex materia all the time, but we never see causes ex nihilo, therefore we can't know whether creatio ex nihilo requires a cause. Unfortunately, Con never really made a case that creatio ex nihilo can happen without a cause. So Con's argument was really an argument from ignorance whereas Pro's argument was based on inductive reasoning. Of course, Pro did not stress this adequately. Which is why I did not give him a conduct point that I feel he would have otherwise deserved. In round 2 Con's attitude towards Pro, WLC, and the KCA was rather condescending.

Other then that, I do not see any other real argument against the KCA being made. Con appears to merely be arguing that we have never seen creatio ex nihilo take place, therefore we do not know that it requires a cause. However, as a reader to me it is inexplicable why if universe can come into existence uncaused, then why can't anything and everything come into existence uncaused? Furthermore, based on inductive reasoning we find that ex nihilo creations would require a cause.

Con then spent a lot of time talking about how the cause of the universe isn't necessarily God, and there are other possible causes of the universe besides God (though he listed none), but all of this is irrelevant to this particular version of the KCA.

Con also spent time addressing Pro's accusation of the equivocation. While Con was correct in his critique, he spent about four or so paragraphs addressing about one sentence which was probably mistyped in the first place. I didn't feel that this was conducive to the debate, therefore I didn't consider it in my vote.

Sources to Pro, because Con gave none and Pro did.

Good job all around.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
RFD:

As someone who has debated this before, I'll admit its hard not to vote based on problems I personally found with Con's argument instead of the debate itself.

In essence it came down to "begins to exist". Con argued that we see causes ex materia all the time, but we never see causes ex nihilo, therefore we can't know whether creatio ex nihilo requires a cause. Unfortunately, Con never really made a case that creatio ex nihilo can happen without a cause. So Con's argument was really an argument from ignorance whereas Pro's argument was based on inductive reasoning. Of course, Pro did not stress this adequately. Which is why I did not give him a conduct point that I feel he would have otherwise deserved. In round 2 Con's attitude towards Pro, WLC, and the KCA was rather condescending.

Other then that, I do not see any other real argument against the KCA being made. Con appears to merely be arguing that we have never seen creatio ex nihilo take place, therefore we do not know that it requires a cause. However, as a reader to me it is inexplicable why if universe can come into existence uncaused, then why can't anything and everything come into existence uncaused? Furthermore, based on inductive reasoning we find that ex nihilo creations would require a cause.

Con then spent a lot of time talking about how the cause of the universe isn't necessarily God, and there are other possible causes of the universe besides God (though he listed none), but all of this is irrelevant to this particular version of the KCA.

Con also spent time addressing Pro's accusation of the equivocation. While Con was correct in his critique, he spent about four or so paragraphs addressing about one sentence which was probably mistyped in the first place. I didn't feel that this was conducive to the debate, therefore I didn't consider it in my vote.

Sources to Pro, because Con gave none and Pro did.

Good job all around.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Writer, it's also possible that I'm not articulating the position as well as I could be. I may need to do some more reading to see if I can explain the position a bit better.

Honest, yeah, you get all kinds. Some debaters on this site are really good, like Dakota, and then you get others which are kind of lousy. Then you get debaters like me who have no prior experience with formal debates, which are just kind of learning as we go. I've actually learned a lot about debating just by debating on this website.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
Keytar's opponent seems to know his stuff a lot better than his last opponent. This should be interesting.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
KeytarHeroDakotaKrafickTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The Kalam Cosmological Argument is fallacy-filled nonsense, yet Con managed to lose this through excessive circumlocution.
Vote Placed by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
KeytarHeroDakotaKrafickTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con's breakdown of the premises and highlighting the fallacious logic behind its defense and pro's inability to rebut them ultimately made con's case much more convincing.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 5 years ago
Gileandos
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has the initial BoP this argument, a key element of which is that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Con doesn't necessarily have to prove the opposite, but to tear down Pro's argument. Con does so by pointing out that Pro's support for the first foundational premise is either question-begging or appeals to intuition. I found Con's argumentation about Pro interpreting the KCA as a tautology especially convincing.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
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Reasons for voting decision: i am a theist but con won on many points....especially while disputing the term infinite.....god isnt unlimited because he cannot lie...thus he is limited. Thus he is not infinite........con made a more logical appeal to me. Pro gets sources because con used none.
Vote Placed by GenesisCreation 5 years ago
GenesisCreation
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments...
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
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Reasons for voting decision: Dakota's criticisms of Kalam were spot on. Dakota should probably be penalized for not attributing his source quotes, but I don't feel that this is worth a full two points, so we'll pretend that KH had better spelling. Both behaved well.