The Instigator
His_Majesty
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
SweetLiberty
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
SweetLiberty
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 942 times Debate No: 63581
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (28)
Votes (2)

 

His_Majesty

Pro

I"d like to thank my opponent for his eager acceptance of this debate regarding the kalam cosmological argument. This is, in my opinion, is the best argument for the existence of God. It has been revolutionized by the likes of William Lane Craig (WLC) for the past 30 years, but its history has been rooted back to Islamic medieval thought. It is WLC"s version that I will be defending in this debate.

This argument is as follows:
P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
P2. The universe began to exist
Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause

Explanation of P1: What this means is everything that BEGINS to exist has a cause. This premise is to rid ourselves of the notion or postulation that things can pop in to being uncaused out of nothing, such as a horse popping into existence out of nothing right beside me as I type this. Such a concept goes completely against a reasonable person"s intuition and rationale, and I hope that me and my opponent don"t spend too much time (if any) on the question of whether things can pop in to being uncaused out of nothing.

Explanation of P2: It is worth mentioning that when I say "universe", I mean all space, matter, time, and natural energy that exists, which would include all natural realms that we are unaware of here on earth. Now, since the early 20th century, it was discovered that our universe began to exist at some point in the finite past. This discovery was originally made by Albert Einstein from a mathematical standpoint, and it was observed in the late 1920"s by American astronomer Edwin Hubble, as he observed galaxies moving away from us, galaxies that were shifted to the red end of the spectrum (Doppler Effect). Well, if galaxies are currently moving away from us into the future, then it follows that if we go back into the past, galaxies would thereby move closer to us..until everything, all matter and energy gets converted into one single point, what we would call a "singulartity"..a point to which literally nothing existed. This cosmological model became known as the "big bang theory" well before the television show (haha). This cosmological model has been confirmed by other empirical observations and has stood the test of time..and it is has the most scientific evidence supporting it as it stands today.

Explanation of P2 (continued): Another independent argument for P2 is the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the amount of available energy in our universe is decreasing, and the entropy needed for a life permitting universe would have had to be low..and this low entropy had to be an INITIAL condition, otherwise there is no way to explain how we could have such low entropy if the universe started with high, chaotic entropy.

Explanation of P2 (continued): We also have philosophical reasons we can give to support a finite universe, and these arguments are based on the impossibility of an actual infinity. To demonstrate this, consider the following analogy. Consider any event in time..now, in order for any event to come to pass, there would have had to have been an infinite number of events which preceded it, but how can one event come to pass, if an infinite number of events preceded it? This would be similar to someone telling you "I will give you a million dollars, but before I do, I have to get permission from Bob". And Bob say "I will give you a million dollars, but before I do, I have to get permission from Steve". Now suppose this pattern continues on and on and on for infinity (through infinite time and infinite people), will you ever get the million dollars? No. Because every event X is dependent upon an infinite number of event X"s, and each one has to be traversed in order to move to the next event. So if infinity is a concept that exists in reality, then that would mean that an infinite number of events had to already come to past, because after all, how else would we arrive at the present moment?

Infinity is not something that can be possessed, or traversed. It is a mere concept that cannot exist in reality. If the universe never began to exist, then time is infinite, and the events in time are also infinite. But that is clearly false for reasons I just mentioned. It is because of these reasons why we can logically conclude that there had to have been one single event which is the cause for all other events. If my opponent thinks otherwise, then he must explain how infinity can possibly be traversed, and I don"t think he can do this.

It is worth mentioning that all of the explanations for P2 are independent, which means that even if my opponent refutes one, he has to deal with the others. But I don't think he can refute any, so it isn't really much of a problem. Just felt it was worth mentioning.

Explanation for Conclusion: If the first two premises of the argument is true, then the conclusion logically follows. But what could be the cause of the universe? Well remember, the universe is all space, time, energy, and matter (STEM). If the universe began to exist, and if we are NOT to believe that it popped into being uncaused out of nothing, then the universe had to have a cause. The cause could not itself be made up of STEM, because STEM is exactly what began to exist as key components of the universe. So the cause had to be timeless and immaterial. The cause of the universe also had to have been necessary, meaning the cause could not be a product of anything prior or "before" it, because if it were, then the question of origins would be pushed back one step further, which would lead to the same absurdities that I"ve argued against in P2 and actual infinities. The cause would have also had to have a free will, with the capability of eternally having the will to create EXACTLY when it wanted to create. The cause also had to be a being on tremendous power, being able to create from nothing. So, what do we have here?

1.Immaterial
2.Timeless (before the universe)
3.Free will
4.Necessary in its existence
5.Omnipotent

We can conclude that the cause of the universe must have (and has) these attributes, and we can conclude this without picking up any Bible, Quran, or other religious book.

As we can see above, it would seem as if the only being capable (by definition) of creating such a finely tuned, finite universe would be the being that has traditionally been called, "God".

If and only if we are to disregard the notion that things pop into being uncaused out of nothing, then it is apparent that the concept of eternity exists...either the universe is eternal, or there was a eternal Supreme Being..either way, something had to always be there. The only question is, is that something the universe, or is that something God?

I think I've just made the case that this "something" was what we call...God.

In closing, I'd like to say that before the 20th century, the worldview of the times was that the universe was static and eternal. But before Copernicus, before Galileo, before Newton, before Einstein, and before Hawking...Christians have always maintained that the universe began to exist, as stated in Genesis 1:1 "In the BEGINNING, God created the heavens and the earth".

So modern science and contemporary cosmology has confirmed in the past 100 years what Christians have been saying for over 2,000 years. Coincidence?

I don't think so.

I rest my case.
SweetLiberty

Con

I appreciate my opponent setting up and accepting this debate. I will open with a general refutation of the elements of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA), but due to the 10,000 character limitation, will need to address many of my opponent’s specific points in future rounds.


Whatever begins to exist


To accept this proposition, one would need to examine examples of things which begin to exist. What do we know of things that begin to exist within our universe? Any physical object involving matter is actually just a restructuring of already existing matter that has been existent since the universe began. Break any material object down, and it consists of protons, neutrons and electrons (which are comprised of even smaller subatomic particles) in various configurations. We do not have access to the moment (t=0) when these particles actually began to exist, if indeed they did “begin” ex nihilo (rather than import from some larger cosmos for example – a possibility I’ll address in greater detail later). The only example of something which we can empirically observe to ‘begin to exist’ is the creation (and almost immediate annihilation) of virtual particles in a vacuum as detected by the Casimir Effect. [1] This quantum foam is quite unplanned and provides the only thing we can witness that truly ‘begins to exist’ within our universe. Random, virtual particles popping in and out of existence due to quantum flux do not advance the argument for a necessary supernatural intelligent agent, but rather point to a natural chaos affected by quantum mechanics.


Has a cause of its existence


The fact is, all physical things that we know to exist are witnessed inside our universe, their present formation derived from the laws of physics governing time and space. We do not have an outside view of how our universe was made, and thus cannot with complete confidence currently point to any external “cause”. Because time and space are inextricably linked, even asking the question of what caused the universe may make no sense; like asking what time it was before time began. So while it is possible that there was an initial cause of our universe that we might make sense of, it’s also possible that there wasn’t a cause in any meaningful way we can now comprehend given the limits of our internal perspective. Similarly, we currently don’t know for sure if there is anything to even discuss outside our known universe or if the observable “cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” [2] Having said that, I’m willing to accept that most of the discussion will revolve around external causes which may have been responsible for creating our universe.


The universe began to exist


That our universe started with a ‘big bang’ is not really in dispute, but it should be noted that the big bang itself is currently an incomplete scientific theory as it does not currently address its own origin. However, when we focus upon the speculation of what ‘caused’ the big bang that started our universe, we have many hypotheses to choose from. Explicit in the KCA proposition is that a supernatural agent (God) was necessary for our universe to begin. But if our universe is a reformation of material from a larger expanse – perhaps the result of a black hole [3] (perhaps even a four dimensional black hole [4]) within a larger universe, then its beginning was simply a natural reconfiguration of existing material; as it would be if our universe is “just one in a vast collection of universes known as the multiverse.” [5] We could even be living inside a Holographic universe where the 3-d space we perceive is just an illusion. [6] Whatever our universe is, whatever may have “caused” our universe, most cosmologists are not convinced the solution to the inception of our universe is a supernatural being.


Argument based on the impossibility of an actual infinite.


The Kalam Cosmological Argument in denying the possibility of actual infinites fails on two counts – scientifically and logically. Scientifically we understand that if the universe continues to accelerate due to “dark energy” exceeding critical density, it will expand forever. In other words, there is no known logical or physical barrier to preventing actual infinite space and time. [7] The second problem is defining an uncaused eternal being (God) as himself being infinite. When denying infinity, one shouldn’t imagine a real being that has “always” existed. This is a logical contradiction. Either God has a finite beginning, in which event one might still rationally argue actual infinities could be impossible - or God has always existed and always will, thus refuting the notion that actual infinities cannot exist. Furthermore, one of the key principles of Christianity is the promise of life eternal [8] in an everlasting place known as heaven (or, for infidels like me, never ending torment in a place called Hell). Whether viewed scientifically or through self-contradictory beliefs , defending the impossibility of actual infinities fails. If actual infinities can exist, then this leg of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is false.


If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God


Finally, even if we concede for the sake of argument that the universe does indeed have a comprehensible “cause” of its existence, it by no means leaves “God” as the only conclusion. If God can be eternal, so can an infinite multiverse that has the innate natural properties necessary to birth baby universes… like ours. Admittedly, all propositions are currently hypothetical – however, scientists like Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek are hard at work designing empirical tests that may one day prove or falsify the multiverse hypothesis. [9] Indeed, we may already have the first actual evidence of the axions that Wilczek’s model predicts which begins to affirm the conclusion that the multiverse is more than just idle speculation. [10] Contrary to these scientific efforts to objectively prove various hypotheses, the theist proposes no empirical testing that can prove or falsify God. But even if we had no other potential explanations for how our universe came to be, defaulting to God as the only conclusion is simply a failure of being able to imagine other causes. It’s an argument from ignorance (God of the gaps) to claim that, because we don’t know with certainty exactly how our universe came to be, God did it.


Therefore, God Exists


Implicit in the opening premise is the argument that whatever has always existed does NOT require a cause for its existence (since only things which “begin” to exist require a cause). This is clearly an unproven assertion. We have no empirical evidence of something that has always existed (we cannot observe it, we cannot test it.) In fact, even asserting that something has always existed begs the question. We can speculate as to the nature of something which may have always existed, but this does not mean the claim that there is something which has eternally existed is true. The burden of proof required to make this claim has not been met.


Thought of another way, if we reform the syllogism, we can see that inserting God is only special pleading and other concepts that meet the criteria could be inserted…


P1: X exists without initial cause.


P2: All other things which exist depend first upon X pre-existing.


P3: Other things exist.


C: Therefore, X is an uncaused multiverse that has always existed.


The theist would be right to demand evidence before accepting this logical “proof”. Syllogisms cannot stand alone – they are insufficient to prove the conclusion, just like the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Simply defining a possibility (an eternal God, an eternal multiverse, unicorns, etc.) in a construct which does not logically contradict itself does not make that possibility real. Furthermore, each premise may be false or incomplete: for example, Y and Z could also exist without initial cause. In fact, when we open the door to things existing without initial cause outside of space and time as we understand them, if one thing could exist without initial cause, then many things (each perhaps with many different attributes) could exist without initial cause. The KCA artificially limits its syllogism to presume only one thing (God) could exist with no initial cause and has no logical justification for this limitation.


Finally, no matter how sound, one cannot create an analytical proposition that proves the reality of that proposition without observation. [11] For example, the analytical statement, “there is no alien life on other planets within our universe” may be a perfectly valid and true statement, but without empirical evidence verifying its validity, it cannot be proven to be true.


The Kalam Cosmological Argument, in any form, is constructed on faulty and unverifiable analytical premises, and thus the conclusion that God (or anything else) exists outside our universe fails from this argument.


Sources:


[1] http://math.ucr.edu...


[2] Carl Sagan, Cosmos


[3] http://www.insidescience.org...


[4] http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca...


[5] http://www.dailygalaxy.com...


[6] http://www.symmetrymagazine.org...


[7] http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...


[8] John 3:16


[9] “Ongoing experiments aimed at detecting the axion background could prove, in one stroke: […] A multiverse.” http://youtu.be...


[10] http://www.sciencedaily.com...


[11] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_fork


Debate Round No. 1
SweetLiberty

Con

This premise is to rid ourselves of the notion or postulation that things can pop in to being uncaused out of nothing…


I have addressed that virtual particles do indeed pop into (and out of) existence all the time – with measurable effect - so on this subject my opponent is misinformed. However, I will grant that we have no evidence for anything else just popping into existence (such as horses) within our universe. And this agreement suggests my opponent does not believe in the biblical Genesis account of creation where the heaven, earth, light, land, seas, plants, stars, the sun, the moon, sea creatures, birds, cattle, creeping things, wild animals, man, and woman (in that order) just popped into existence within our universe any more than I do. Otherwise, my opponent would believe that a horse (or perhaps a creeping thing) could just pop right into existence beside him.


…when I say "universe", I mean all space, matter, time, and natural energy that exists…


I can accept my opponent’s general definition of the universe (space-time, matter and energy – if we include ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ which comprise the bulk of our universe), with the caveat that it defines only the observable universe we can identify at present. From earth, we can see about 46 billion light years in any direction, but due to the speed of light, we are limited from seeing farther.


… all matter and energy gets converted into one single point, what we would call a "singulartity" [sic]..a point to which literally nothing existed.


The assumption that the universe may have begun with an actual singularity is probably inaccurate. Physicist Stephen Hawking helped originate the idea, but later writes, “So in the end [the work of Penrose and Hawking] became generally accepted and nowadays nearly everyone assumes that the universe started with a big bang singularity. It is perhaps ironic that, having changed my mind, I [Hawking] am now trying to convince other physicists there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe – as we shall see later, it can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account.” [12]


Furthermore, an inflationary universe is modeled without using singularities. And even when equations regress to the mathematical point of a singularity, most modern physicists do not believe an actual singularity is likely in nature, but rather mathematical singularities merely point to current ignorance absent a unified theory that can marry general relativity with quantum mechanics. [13] [14]


Infinity is not something that can be possessed, or traversed. It is a mere concept that cannot exist in reality.


I’ve dealt with this above, but will expand upon it here.


Ironically, my opponent calls above for our universe to begin with a singularity, where calculating the density of the universe means dividing by zero volume, yielding infinity. [14] Now he tells us infinity does not exist in reality.


If we recall our earliest introduction to geometry, we will remember the definitions of a line (a straight set of points that extend in opposite directions without ending), a ray (part of a line that has one endpoint and extends in one direction without ending), and a line segment (part of a line between two endpoints). [15]


Let’s engage in some thought experiments…


Case 1: The multiverse is infinite. In this event, a natural, dynamic cosmos could have always existed and always will. As time (as measured in the multiverse which could encompass a dimension of time like our universe) progresses, it will give rise to many baby universes. If we model the multiverse on a line (as defined above), we need only identify one point along that timeline relative to surrounding points before and after to place the inception of our universe amongst the infinite.


The theist also pictures this extra-universal timeline when imagining a god who has “always” existed, and also must place a point along an infinite timeline where God chose to create the universe. However, the theist must also wrestle with the problem of defining why God did not create the universe sooner (or later), given that God in defined as omniscient and has “always” known about the universe he would create. And, once God knows about the universe, what possible reason could he have to procrastinate its inception? Could God even procrastinate given that the moment he conceived of the universe, it could not help but to exist from his all-powerful mind?


Case 2: The universe began in a big bang due to the quantum instability of nothing. [16] If this model is accurate, then infinity could be demonstrated by drawing a ray (as defined above), where there is one endpoint (or beginning in this case), but time and space continue on forever.


The Christian theist also imagines rays when he believes at some point, God created heaven and hell – places that had a beginning but are ‘eternal’.


Case 3: Our universe has a defined beginning and a defined end. Time and space originated in the big bang, and eventually gravity will pull everything together again in a big crunch, thus creating a finite line segment with a beginning and end. (Note: This theory is no longer supported by the majority of cosmologists.)


Theists make a logical contradiction when they argue against actual infinities yet use these infinities to describe aspects of their own mythology – unless they envision God as existing like a line segment.


So the cause had to be timeless and immaterial.


Begs the question and is completely unsupported by evidence. The cause of our universe could very well be dependent upon a dimension of time existent outside our universe, and the material from our universe could very well have been supplied from without. Again, scientists are coming up with tests to prove their hypotheses, whereas my opponent simply makes unsubstantiated fact claims.


The cause of the universe also had to have been necessary, meaning the cause could not be a product of anything prior or "before" it…


I think I’ve demonstrated successfully the absurdity of theists arguing against actual infinities while imagining them at the same time. If the most complex being imagined can always have existed outside the universe (which itself implies time and space – “always” and “outside”), then a far less complex cosmos that gives birth to universes like ours can be imagined as well.


The cause would have also had to have a free will, with the capability of eternally having the will to create EXACTLY when it wanted to create.


“eternally” and “EXACTLY when” are again temporal statements, requiring that God live in and be subjected to a dimension of time. My opponent’s logical contradictions abound.


The cause also had to be a being on[sic] tremendous power, being able to create from nothing.


The assertion that our universe is caused by a “being” is what is in dispute, and I’ve demonstrated many other scientifically supported hypotheses which explain our universe without a magical “being”.


So, what do we have here?


1.Immaterial


Not proven.


2.Timeless (before the universe)


You can’t have a “before the universe” if you don’t have Time.


3.Free will


Again, refers to a magic “being” which has not been proven.


4.Necessary in its existence


If the universe has a “cause”, then something may exist outside our universe (although that something need not be supernatural or magic) – or the universe could be the byproduct of the attributes of “nothing”. [16]


5.Omnipotent


A being that cannot create an actual infinite universe cannot be omnipotent.


We can conclude that the cause of the universe must have (and has) these attributes…


The conclusions are based upon faulty premises, as I’ve demonstrated.


As we can see above, it would seem as if the only being capable (by definition) of creating such a finely tuned, finite universe would be the being that has traditionally been called, "God".


This ignores every other possibility that scientists consider, and is a God of the Gaps approach to explain the currently unexplained.


If and only if we are to disregard the notion that things pop into being uncaused out of nothing…


But we can’t disregard it. Things do pop into being uncaused out of nothing... constantly, in the churn that is quantum foam.


...either the universe is eternal, or there was a[sic] eternal Supreme Being..either way, something had to always be there.


Again, my opponent is relying on the concept of an actual infinity (“eternal”, “always”) outside of our universe’s time, claiming elsewhere actual infinities cannot exist.


Christians have always maintained that the universe began to exist, as stated in Genesis 1:1 "In the BEGINNING, God created the heavens and the earth".


If only the bible would have stated, “In the beginning, God created the universe, including time and space, and all the matter which would eventually form the first hydrogen stars - which would forge and explode heavier elements into the universe - that would eventually be pulled together by gravity to form an insignificant solar system in an insignificant galaxy where earth is the third planet from the sun originating more than 9.1 billion years AFTER God actually created the universe…” If the bible would have said something like that, instead of placing the creation of earth before the sun and stars, then I think Christians would have a more reasonable and scientifically supportable position. But instead, “modern science and contemporary cosmology has confirmed in the past 100 years…” that Christians have been dead wrong when relying on the bible to explain the universe.


Sources:


[12] A Brief History of Time


[13] http://profmattstrassler.com...


[14] http://www.scientificamerican.com...=2


[15] http://www.mhschool.com...


[16] A Universe From Nothing, Lawrence Krauss



Debate Round No. 2
His_Majesty

Pro

I have addressed that virtual particles do indeed pop into (and out of) existence all the time – with measurable effect - so on this subject my opponent is misinformed.

Trust me, this is far from me being misinformed. The whole “virtual particles” thing is often used by naturalists and opponents of the kalam argument. They appeal to quantum physics, and which, depending on the interpretation, would suggest that virtual particles pop in and out of existence in the quantum vacuum. But there are over 10 different interpretations of quantum physics (http://en.wikipedia.org...), and no one knows which one is correct. Some interpretations are deterministic, and some are indeterministic, and no one knows which is true. The vacuum itself is not “nothing”, in the sense of “non-being”, it is a sea of fluctuating energy and is described by natural law.

However, I will grant that we have no evidence for anything else just popping into existence (such as horses) within our universe.

My opponent will have to answer the question of what is so special about quantum mechanics that will allow only particles to pop in to being, uncaused out of nothing as opposed to anything else such as horses. The state or condition of “nothingness” doesn’t have any pre-causal conditions that will only allow for ONLY particles to pop in to being and nothing else. So why just particles?

And agreement suggests my opponent does not believe in the biblical Genesis account of creation where the heaven and everything on earth, just popped into existence within our universe any more than I do. Otherwise, my opponent would believe that a horse (or perhaps a creeping thing) could just pop right into existence beside him.

Actually, I do agree that those things (as mentioned above) popped in to being. But I don’t believe that they popped in to being, uncaused out of nothing. As Dr. Craig puts it “When a magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat, at least we can conclude that the magician caused the rabbit to appear, which is vastly different than the notion of the rabbit just popping into existence uncaused out of nothing..no magician, no nothing”.


I can accept my opponent’s general definition of the universe with the caveat that it defines only the observable universe we can identify at present. From earth, we can see about 46 billion light years in any direction, but due to the speed of light, we are limited from seeing farther.

So my opponent admits that we have limitations on what we can observe, which would make the multiverse scenario that he appealed to previously quite irrelevant. If we are only limited to what we can see in our observable universe, then any postulation of external cosmologies are pointless.

The assumption that the universe may have begun with an actual singularity is probably inaccurate. Physicist Stephen Hawking helped originate the idea, but later recanted.

What my opponent is referring to is the Hartle-Hawing quantum gravity model which attempts to eliminate the singularity by introducing “imaginary time”. I’d like for my opponent to explain to me what is the physical interpretation of imaginary time, like two “imaginary” minutes? Hawking admits “Only if we could picture the universe in imaginary time would there be no singularities….when one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularites”. (Hawking, Brief History of time, 138-39) And even on this proposal, the universe begins to exist, just not at a singularity point. A singularity is not a NECESSARY requirement for a finite universe.

My opponent mentioned an “inflationary” universe, which makes a good time for me to point out that American physicist Alan Guth, “Father of Inflation”, got together with two other physicists, Arvind Borde and Alexander Vilenkin and formulated a theorem, called the BGV theorem, which “proved” that any universe that has been expanding on with an average expansion rate of 0 must have had a beginning.



I would like to repeat to my opponent that singularites are not a requirement for a finite universe. Again, even on the Hartle-Hawking model, the universe begins to exist, just not at a singularity point. But a beginning is a beginning.

My opponent fails to distinguish between the two types of infinity which philosophers recognize (actual infinity and potential infinities). My argument is against an actual infinity, not a potential infinity, which my opponent is alluding to with his “dividing by 0” piece.

I’d like my opponent to explain to me how he can on one hand say admit that we are limited from our vantage point in the cosmos as to what we can observe, and then on the other hand postulate a multiverse which exists beyond our universe?


My opponent must be a fan of Stephen Hawking, as Hawking proposed such a “baby universe” model, and even engaged in a friendly bet with a colleague of his (James Preskill) regarding the viability of such a model. Hawking has sense lost the bet, and admitted to losing the bet and even apologizing to his fans for “false hopes”. (Google it).


I am speaking of cause/effect relations. If our universe is one product of an infinite number of events which LEAD to its origins, then I’d like my opponent to explain to me how our universe could have ever originated. So for our universe to even begin, infinity had to have been traversed, but if counted every single event which lead to our universe, where would you stop? If there is no way you can stop as you go back in time, there is no way you can stop if you move forward in time, therefore our universe would have never began.

The difference between a God that has always existed, and a universe that has always existed is that if a universe is infinite, it is infinite in TIME. If God is infinite, God was timeless (atemporal) before creation. And this is not begging the question in favor of God, but postulating “timelessness” as a plausible explanation because it is in fact a necessary condition.

God did not create the universe sooner (or later) because it was his eternal will to create the universe at the exact moment at which he did.

My opponent is falsely assuming that there was a point at which God didn’t know that he was going to create, and then
suddenly “decided” to create. God had an eternal will to create the universe, so he never began to “decide”. He always knew.

I’d like my opponent to explain how “nothing” can be categorized as “quantum”.

Distinguishing between actual infinity and potential infinity would be helpful here.

It is good that my opponent notes that oscillating models have come, and gone.

What my opponent fails to realize is that theists don’t use “infinity” in a quantitative sense in reference to God, we use it in a qualitative sense, meaning that God, being the Supreme Being, is the absolute greatest conceivable being…infinite.

My opponent is appealing to infinite regression. He is willing to accept that our universe may be the product of an infinite chain of cause/effect relations extending all the way to infinite past, but what is hasn’t done yet is answer the question of how a universe could begin to exist if an infinite number of events preceded it. So my opponent is falsely concluding that an infinite set of events have been traversed, but infinitely cannot be traversed by successive addition.

My opponent has just given rise to the notion that the universe could have existed outside of time, which seems absurd, because it leaves the question of how can a universe that is in constant change ever be considered outside of time, when change implies time??

I’d like to point out to my opponent that the word “eternity” could mean atemporal(timeless), according to Stanford Encyclopedia http://plato.stanford.edu...

You cannot have a “temporal” before, but you can have a “causal” before. A man that has been sitting perfectly still in a chair for eternity suddenly begins to stand. There was no time “before” he began to move, but the man existed causally “before” time.

According to modern dates of the universe..how universe is an estimated 13.7 billion years old. I’d like my opponent to explain why our universe would begin only 13.7 billion years ago, if the conditions that would make our universe originate were there from eternity past?

My opponent seems to think that being omnipotent means that one can violate logic and reasoning, such as existing and not existing at the same time. This is clearly not the case.

My opponent accuses me of using God of the Gaps reasoning (using God as a plug-in for lack of knowledge), but in the same sentence appeals to science with the hopes that science will one day find an answer to these problems. Is that “Science of the Gaps”?


Again, my opponent is relying on the concept of an actual infinity (“eternal”, “always”) outside of our universe’s time, claiming elsewhere actual infinities cannot exist.

My opponent continues to make it seem as if theists claim that God has existed eternally in time, which is not the case, nor the argument.

Looks like my opponent is moving the goal posts to me. Even if the bible would have said everything that he wants it to say, well, it doesn’t mention the cosmic background radiation of the big bang, does it? My opponent could then say, “Well, it doesn’t mention CBR, so it can’t be true!!”

The bible is obviously not a science book. My question is simply what reasons would shepard’s living 3,000 years ago have to believe that the universe began to exist? Lucky guess? My opponent then critiques the Bibles account of creation regarding the sequence order, as he or anyone alive today can conclusively determine how old the earth is compared to the sun. If you aren’t willing to give your life for the truth value of something, then you aren’t too sure, now are you?
Debate Round No. 3
SweetLiberty

Con

So, just to be clear, my opponent is the one that actually does believe horses can - and indeed have - actually “popped” into existence at the behest of an imagined cosmic magician. He believes this not only absent any empirical evidence, but in direct opposition of all scientific evidence to the contrary. Yet he criticizes quantum mechanics which provides verifiable evidence that virtual particles are the only thing known to actually pop into existence. Do not be misdirected - there are not over 10 different interpretations that the Casimir effect itself has been observed– an effect which has been predicted since 1948 and empirically measured for the first time in 1996. [1]


The best minds in science are still working on what makes the physics of extraordinarily small scales act so differently from the physics witnessed on larger scales. But this is irrelevant to my statement which stands… We have no evidence for anything [other than virtual particles] just popping into existence (such as horses) within our universe.


In addition to the apparent evidence of axions I pointed to previously which helps lend credence to a multiverse theory, direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves discovered in March of this year also fits with empirical evidence we would expect to find within our universe should a multiverse actually exist outside our universe. [17] In other words, yes we are limited to observations within our universe, but if a multiverse indeed does exist, scientists can test predictions of how such external forces might have pulled and shaped our own universe during cosmic inflation and/or how those external forces might continue to interact and be detectable today. This is not to say the multiverse is a fact and all physicists are now on board. But when theoretical physicists make predictions, and those predictions begin to accumulate empirical evidence, the transition from mere hypothesis to accepted scientific theory has begun.


My opponent slays straw men when attacking Hawking and mentions the Thorne-Hawking-Preskill bet. [18] It is because Hawking believes he was wrong about the existence and nature of singularities that I quoted him in the first place. Remember, my opponent argued for the actual existence of singularities, “until everything, all matter and energy gets converted into one single point, what we would call a ‘singulartity’[sic]..a point to which literally nothing existed.” I was offering one refutation of his assertion. Other physicists hypothesize black holes form a quantum bridge between universes absent singularities or imaginary time. [19] While singularities may be proven one day to actually exist, right now the trend amongst cosmologists seems to be against their reality. But my opponent who argued for actual singularities was in fact addressing an actual infinity (infinite density), at the same time arguing that actual infinities couldn’t exist. A logical contradiction.


My opponent still doesn’t get it when he says, “God was timeless (atemporal) BEFORE creation.”[emphasis mine.] When you eliminate “Time”, you eliminate “before”. He literally cannot grasp this. Just saying the word “timelessness” is meaningless if you cannot explain how one event (God existing before creating the universe) preceding another event (God creates the universe) is not itself a function of time. He also postulates God creating the universe at a particular ‘exact moment’ (again requiring Time). There are no ‘moments’ without time. Absent time, all events would happen simultaneously in no order. In this event, both God and the universe would share the same beginning at the same initial instant.


I will rephrase my opponent to make a point… “…theists don’t use ‘infinity’ in a real, empirical sense in reference to God, we use it in an imaginary, mythological sense…” Just substituting in the words ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ offers no substantive difference. But then, my opponent hasn’t really addressed how good Christians can live in an actual infinite heaven for all eternity with an actual eternal God that created and preexisted heaven for all of eternity and still somehow argue that actual infinities cannot be real. Makes about as much sense as monotheists worshipping a trinity.


My opponent offers another straw man when he says I have “falsely concluded that an infinite set of events have been traversed…” In actuality, I have concluded nothing and believe the jury is still out. It is possible that actual infinities exist, it is possible they don’t. I listed several different hypotheses in my opening rounds, some of which may or may not depend upon infinity concepts. But unlike my opponent, I wait for evidence to accumulate before actually concluding anything. The process of science is rigorous and must be scrutinized and justified before being accepted. Quite the opposite in the case of religions where blind obedience precedes and supersedes evidence.


My opponent is in error when he imagines that I propose a universe existing outside of time – I do not. If anything does exist outside our universe, I imagine it is subject to a dimension of time, much like ours. For example, let us imagine that a black hole inside our universe (with time and space as we know them) is capable of creating a bubble universe. Let’s call this new universe Junior. Junior has a space-time just like ours. Inhabitants of universe Junior would be right to point to a beginning of time from their perspective. But from our perspective, time would have pre-existed their universe. Just like human parents preexist their offspring and have a different temporal frame of reference from their children. I do not claim this is how our universe evolved for fact, I offer it merely to propose how such a thing might be possible that time could seem to have a beginning for one (the child’s perspective), while still preexisting before (the parent’s perspective).


As for moving goal posts, the bible not only does not mention or explain the big bang or Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, there is no explicit explanation of micro-organisms, covalent or ionic bonding, gravity, plate tectonics, radio waves, DNA, wave-particle duality, galaxies, virtual particles, general relativity, quantum tunneling, etc. Could it be possible that God knew nothing more than the ancient Jews and Christians who translated his word? It appears that way. Although, to be fair, knowledge does grow on trees, and the poor ancient shepherds were locked out of the Garden of Eden where the ‘knowledge fruit’ from the trees of quantum physics, organic chemistry, and evolutionary biology was denied them. (I’ve been told that the fruit of the evolutionary biology tree is terribly bitter, which is why many Christians fear it most). [20]


Indeed, as my opponent points out, the bible is obviously NOT a science book. My response: So quit treating it like one! If you really want to know how something works, actually read a science book. Maybe even two or three. They can actually explain the process for how they know what they know. They are also prone to change as new evidence modifies or supplants outdated theories. They admit to being written by people, so they don’t claim to be inerrant, and the authors are actually listed right on the cover for you to verify! But, if you prefer to read a work of quasi-historical fiction, read the bible.


As for, “what reasons would shepard’s [sic] living 3,000 years ago have to believe that the universe began to exist?” Perhaps because the Jews invented the same kind of mythological explanations as many other cultures who imagined how the universe might have originated. [21]


My opponent transcends the absurd to embrace the truly ridiculous when he writes: “If you aren’t willing to give your life for the truth value of something, then you aren’t too sure, now are you?” So anyone that isn’t willing to jump off a cliff to demonstrate their conviction that the earth revolves around the sun isn’t really too sure? Truly ridiculous. Also, scientists in a very real sense do give their lives to discovering the truth: years and years of college, long hours week in and week out sifting through reams of data, decades of research and observation - that’s more than most people are willing to dedicate to the quest for universal truths.


Finally, even if God were to actually exist, he’s not to be found in faulty syllogisms like the KCA. We can only truly know of God’s objective existence if we can test God empirically. But God has not been detected by any objective, modern means inside our universe. No observation has even accidentally discovered God (like the CMBR was accidentally discovered when initially running an experiment for something else. [22]) Every place we have searched, from the largest scales to the smallest, he’s simply nowhere to be found. God is absent. Imaginary. Illusory. An absent God is superfluous to any conjecture, indistinguishable from the non-existent, and therefore can be summarily dismissed.


[God] has no place in any scientific equations, plays no role in any scientific explanations, cannot be used to predict any events, does not describe any thing or force that has yet been detected, and there are no models of the universe in which its presence is either required, productive, or useful. [23]


Sources:


[17] http://www.space.com...


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


[19] http://www.newscientist.com...


[20] As conveyed directly to me by a talking snake. No need to prove it. Snakes talk. Just take my word for it.


[21] http://www.brighthub.com...


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


[23] http://atheism.about.com...

Debate Round No. 4
His_Majesty

Pro

So, just to be clear, my opponent is the one that actually does believe horses can - and indeed have - actually “popped” into existence at the behest of an imagined cosmic magician. He believes this not only absent any empirical evidence, but in direct opposition of all scientific evidence to the contrary.


Here, my opponent assumes that empirical methods are the only way we can establish truth value, which not only begs the question in favor of naturalism, but is also demonstrably false.

Yet he criticizes quantum mechanics which provides verifiable evidence that virtual particles are the only thing known to actually pop into existence. Do not be misdirected - there are not over 10 different interpretations that the Casimir effect itself has been observed– an effect which has been predicted since 1948 and empirically measured for the first time in 1996. [1]


I’d like for my opponent to answer the question that was posed to him, which is: What is it about quantum mechanics that will allow for only virtual particles to pop in to existence and not anything else?


My statement which stands… We have no evidence for anything [other than virtual particles] just popping into existence (such as horses) within our universe.


I will repeat: The state of “nothingness” doesn’t have any pre-determinstic conditions that will allow for only particles to pop in to being and nothing else. But why just particles? And notice he said “within our universe”. Well, if such phenomenon occurs within our universe, then it can’t be used to explain the origins of our universe, since no entity can be used to explain the origins of its own domain.


In other words, yes we are limited to observations within our universe, but if a multiverse indeed does exist, scientists can test predictions of how such external forces might have pulled and shaped our own universe during cosmic inflation and/or how those external forces might continue to interact and be detectable today.


My opponent is once again appealing to a multiverse scenario, which the BGV theorem that I mentioned previously would apply to as well. The multiverse theory is not an exception to the one condition of the BGV theorem, which is that any universe that has been expanding for an average Hubble expansion rate of greater than 0, it must have had a beginning.

Second, if the multiverse theory is true, and it has existed for eternity, why would our universe begin to exist only 13.7 billion years ago? If the conditions needed for it to originated existed for eternity, why would it begin a finite time ago? Why not sooner. Why not later?


Remember, my opponent argued for the actual existence of singularities. I was offering one refutation of his assertion. Other physicists hypothesize black holes form a quantum bridge between universes absent singularities or imaginary time. [19] While singularities may be proven one day to actually exist, right now the trend amongst cosmologists seems to be against their reality. But my opponent who argued for actual singularities was in fact addressing an actual infinity (infinite density), at the same time arguing that actual infinities couldn’t exist. A logical contradiction.


First off, when we say "infinite density" it is a figure of speech to describe the state of all space and matter existing at one single point. There isn't even an infinite amount of matter/space in the universe, so of course If all STEM existed in a singularity, it wouldn't be an actual infinite amount.

Second, I
was arguing in favor of the Standard Big Bang model, which is a model that has more empirical evidence supporting it than any model that my opponent appealed to thus far. In this model, a singularity is required. Now, if my opponent argues against this singularity, fine, but then he would in turn have to make a counter-argument which favors another model, which he has tried but unfortunately all known plausible models meet the required condition an absolute beginning as laid out in the BGV theorem.


When you eliminate “Time”, you eliminate “before”. He literally cannot grasp this. Just saying the word “timelessness” is meaningless if you cannot explain how one event (God existing before creating the universe) preceding another event (God creates the universe) is not itself a function of time. He also postulates God creating the universe at a particular ‘exact moment’ (again requiring Time). There are no ‘moments’ without time. Absent time, all events would happen simultaneously in no order. In this event, both God and the universe would share the same beginning at the same initial instant.


My opponent completely ignored my distinction between two concepts: chronically “before”, and causally “before”. I specifically stated and granted the fact that there wasn’t a chronically “before” time, but there was a causal “before”. If a man was sitting perfectly still in a chair for eternity, he is in a “timeless” state. Time simply doesn’t exist. If the man began to stand, then this action would initiate time, and while there was no “chronical” before (moments which lead to him standing), there was a causal “before” (his existence preceded the change).


My opponent hasn’t really addressed how good Christians can live in an actual infinite heaven for all eternity with an actual eternal God that created and preexisted heaven for all of eternity and still somehow argue that actual infinities cannot be real.


It appears that my opponent is once again failing to distinguish between the two types of infinity: actual infinity/potential infinity. The case is being made against an actual infinity, not a potential infinity.


My opponent offers another straw man when he says I have “falsely concluded that an infinite set of events have been traversed…” In actuality, I have concluded nothing and believe the jury is still out.

Here, my opponent doesn’t seem to understand the significance of postulating an eternal universe that has existed infinitely in time. If the universe is past eternal, then for every event X that has come to pass, there was an infinite number of events which preceded it, which means that in order for any event X to come to pass, infinity would have to have been traversed.


It is possible that actual infinities exist, it is possible they don’t.

If actual infinites do exist, then my opponent would have to believe that actual infinites can be traversed, which is exactly the kind of absurdity that I am arguing against.


Just like human parents preexist their offspring and have a different temporal frame of reference from their children. I do not claim this is how our universe evolved for fact, I offer it merely to propose how such a thing might be possible that time could seem to have a beginning for one (the child’s perspective), while still preexisting before (the parent’s perspective).


If my opponent imagined that there was an infinite number of births which preceded his birth, I’d like for him to explain to me how his birth could come to past? For every single birth which preceded his birth, there would be an infinite number to go before his birth is reached, so he would never be any close to birth. This is the kind of absurdity which would result if time is actually infinite.


As for moving goal posts, the bible not only does not mention or explain the big bang or Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, there is no explicit explanation of micro-organisms, covalent or ionic bonding, gravity, plate tectonics, radio waves, DNA, wave-particle duality, galaxies, virtual particles, general relativity, quantum tunneling, etc.


The Bible teaches us that life came from life, consciousness came from consciousness, and the universe came from an external cause. Thus far, science hasn’t been able to empirically explain/demonstrate the origins of consciousness and life from pre-existent matter, and I don’t think it ever will.


Indeed, as my opponent points out, the bible is obviously NOT a science book. My response: So quit treating it like one!

Who is treating the Bible like a science book? I merely stated that the Bible, of all books, supports P2 of the argument, which is that the “universe began to exist”.


If you really want to know how something works, actually read a science book.


I’d like to know how can life originate from non-living material, and I opened up many science books and nothing I read was able to explain how that “worked”.


They can actually explain the process for how they know what they know.

Can they explain the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe?


Finally, even if God were to actually exist, he’s not to be found in faulty syllogisms like the KCA. We can only truly know of God’s objective existence if we can test God empirically.


Fallacious reasoning. Again, my opponent is assuming that science is the “begin all / end all” to all knowledge, which is a non-sequitur. This is fallacious, since the truth value or “We can only truly know of God’s objective existence if we can test God empirically”
ßbut the truth value of this statement cannot be tested empirically.


But God has not been detected by any objective, modern means inside our universe.

And nothing inside our universe can be used to explain the absolute origins of anything within our universe.


Every place we have searched, from the largest scales to the smallest, he’s simply nowhere to be found. God is absent. Imaginary. Illusory. An absent God is superfluous to any conjecture, indistinguishable from the non-existent, and therefore can be summarily dismissed.


"Every place we have searched”? I’d like to ask my opponent has he looked everywhere. Suppose God is behind the sun, has my opponent looked behind the sun? A finite, limited human being is making semi-absolute statements…my opponent doesn’t even know if aliens exist, and they exist within space-time, so how can he rule out God when he has such limited knowledge, presence, and power?
SweetLiberty

Con


Some brief responses before I conclude. What is it about quantum mechanics that will allow for only virtual particles to pop in to existence and not anything else? I’ve answered that the best minds in science are working on this. I don’t know. No one does right now, including my opponent. But this doesn’t mean Gawddidit! unless you insist upon a God of the gaps that draws an arbitrary line between general relativity and quantum physics.


My opponent imagines a man sitting perfectly still in a chair for eternity. Ironically, “eternity”, by definition, is time without an end. [24] Thus, not only is the man passing through time, he is passing through an actual infinite time. Thus, my opponent contradicts both his own premises concerning infinity and timelessness. Again.


My opponent states, thus far, science hasn’t been able to empirically explain/demonstrate the origins of consciousness and life from pre-existent matter, and I don’t think it ever will. But just insert a God of the gaps, and he is satisfied. I’m willing to wait awhile, given that humanity is in our infancy of scientific understanding. Dinosaurs were dominant for 135 million years - give humanity at least another 100 million years to figure some of this out before throwing in the towel. [25] It’s only fair.


My opponent does indeed treat the bible like a science book when he states, Actually, I do agree that those things [the universe, the earth, the stars, horses, etc.] popped in to being [based upon the biblical accounts in Genesis]. As well as when he says, The Bible teaches us that life came from life, consciousness came from consciousness, and the universe came from an external cause. The bible may assert those things, but it doesn’t provide evidence the way science must.


As for the origin of the universe, life, and consciousness, my opponent and I want to know the same answers to the same questions - I’m just not willing to accept his unproven God of the gaps as a definitive solution.


My opponent, when disregarding empirical evidence, cannot by logic alone rule out UFO’s, fairies, bigfoot, Vishnu, leprechauns, the flying spaghetti monster, and any other host of fantastic claims. We require objective evidence, not syllogisms, to sort fact from fiction.


As for looking for God behind the sun, yes we do look there - every six months (think about it). But I do agree with his last statement, [I do] rule out God when [God] has such limited knowledge, presence, and power. For I rule out a God that writes a book (via his prophets) demonstrating limited knowledge. I rule out a God whose presence is not objectively manifest in the 21st century. And I rule out a God who hasn’t the power to intervene in any detectible way. Thus, Yahweh, Zeus, Odin, Vishnu, et al, can be ruled out until we have empirical evidence proving they are anything more than imaginary.


Now that my opponent has been addressed, what finally can we say about the Kalam Cosmological Argument? It is a self-serving contradiction, imagining everything has a cause to its beginning – well, except one thing of course, which gets a cosmic get out of jail free card. And that one thing must be God because theists just can’t imagine anything else. But logical proofs like the KCA are not evidence, not facts – they are simply intellectual thumb twiddling.


To demonstrate this, let’s devise a simplified syllogism along that lines of Kalam that works for elementary school children…


1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. (Hey, it starts the same!)


2. Christmas presents begin to exist under the Christmas tree. (From a child’s perspective, this is certainly true.)


3. Therefore, Christmas presents have a cause of their existence. (Sure. Makes sense so far.)


4. If Christmas presents have a cause of their existence, then that cause is Santa Claus. (Well, duh, everyone knows that!)


Therefore,


5. Santa Claus exists! (Yay! QED)


Or perhaps you prefer…


1. Santa Claus actually exists in the best of all possible worlds.


2. God created this world, thus this is the best of all possible worlds. (An almighty God certainly wouldn’t create anything but the best of all possible worlds, would he?)


Therefore,


3. Santa Claus really exists!


By the time children reach about the second or third grade, they may not be able to identify the exact error in the syllogisms, but they will smell something fishy. Because once you realize Santa Claus just isn’t real, there’s no turning back. No amount of philosophical sophistry can change something imaginary into something real.


One more look at the KCA broken down into its most basic elements…


1. U began to exist.


2. U has a cause.


3. The cause is G.


Therefore:


4. G exists.


Of course, the U stands for our universe. And G clearly stands for the Glorified Transcendental Pixies which, as everyone knows, become all powerful universe creating machines when six of them are gathered together (except for the purple ones – they hate universes and consider them terribly messy as universes scatter cosmic debris and black holes everywhere).


And that’s the lesson of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Substitute whatever you like for G and declare you’ve solved the mystery!


There are many ideas on the table to answer the greatest mysteries… all of which need empirical evidence before we can accept any final conclusion.


The purple pixies are correct, the universe is a terribly messy place, and only the most infinitesimal, insignificant blue speck in the vastness of the observable universe is known to be life-friendly. If God designed the universe for human beings, he sure wasted a lot of material and space that we could otherwise have found habitable. Like designing a small island playground in the middle of a sea of endless lava for your kid to play in. When Junior asks why Dad surrounded his playground with decidedly kid-unfriendly lava, Dad shrugs and says, “It’s my will.” If we step off our little rock into the vastness of space – we die (unless we bring our rock’s atmosphere with us).


Proponents of the Kalam Cosmological Argument imagine the universe (well, the earth and heavens first, and then the rest of the universe, including horses) popping into existence from nothing at the behest of their imagined wizard. So, in the pre-beginning, there was God and “absolute nothing”. I’ll define absolute nothing as that which is void of any matter, energy, space, time, physical laws, etc.. But if God is “something”, then absolute nothing never existed. Mathematically, if God is 1 and absolute nothing is 0, then 1 + 0 = 1. You get rid of the nothing as if it never were. So even theists cannot truly imagine “absolute nothing” ever existing in its own right, and thus God could not have created the universe out of absolute nothing.


But rather than speculate, what does the evidence tell us?


1. We have evidence of something existing: our universe.


2. The closest we can get to empirical observation of absolute nothing is empty vacuum space.


3. Empty vacuum space is not nothing, but a broiling froth of quantum foam, and is our only evidence of something that randomly appears created from nothing.


4. Our universe appears to have a beginning from our perspective within it – but that is as far as current evidence takes us.


5. Our universe (space itself) appears to be expanding at an accelerated rate with no known limits (thus, an actual infinity could exist for time and space, in which case we are a point on a timeline that began approximately 13.7 billion years ago and will continue forever).


6. Scientists seek empirical evidence to prove their claims.


Where do we lack evidence?


1. We don’t have any evidence that there presently exists absolute nothing inside or outside our universe.


2. We don’t have any evidence that absolute nothing ever did or logically could exist. (Where would absolute nothing exist? Nowhere. When would absolute nothing exist? At no time. What properties does absolute nothing have? No properties. etc.)


3. We don’t have any evidence that absolute nothing is the default state of the cosmos.


4. We don’t have any evidence for any beings that exist outside our universe, intelligent or otherwise, that could “create from nothing” as my opponent asserts in Round 1.


5. We don’t have enough evidence our universe was “caused” in any meaningful sense of the word.


6. We don’t have adequate evidence to prove string theory, a holographic universe, a multiverse, or any number of scientifically speculative ideas… yet.


But the main difference between science and theology is how they each approach speculation. For scientists, what is scientifically speculative, logical and consistent must still be proven empirically. For example, the Higgs Boson has been speculated since the early 1960’s, taking over 40 years for scientists to accumulate enough evidence to feel confident they’ve proven its existence.[26] Theologians, on the other hand, turn speculation into “fact” absent empirical evidence.


I’ve deconstructed the Kalam Cosmological Argument in various ways, exposing its faulty premises thus destroying its ad hoc conclusion. I’ve addressed and honestly rebutted my opponents assertions, absurdities, and questions to the best of my ability within the confines of this debate’s character limitations. I’ve established that empirical testing is required to objectively prove what actually exists, and is necessary to sort fact from fiction. I’ve affirmed that science must yet prove what may exist by being held to the same standard of empirical testing as theological claims. And I’ve demonstrated that syllogisms like the KCA are meaningless as proof of anything’s actual reality.


I thank my opponent again for engaging in this debate and hope that I’ve provided a fresh perspective for those who read it.


May the Divine Six (non-purple) Glorified Transcendental Pixies watch over you.



[24] Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com...


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


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



Debate Round No. 5
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by His_Majesty 2 years ago
His_Majesty
@Envisage

Never again will I be limited with a 10k character count on a broad subject. If you agree to take this topic to another platform where there are no such limitations, then lets do it. If not, kick rocks :)
Posted by SweetLiberty 2 years ago
SweetLiberty
@HM... Sorry, I didn't know the message setting on this site wasn't set to allow you to send me a message. It should be set properly now, so send me the info.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
If you need more than 10k, then you are probably making your arguments unnecessarily verbose. Nobody wants to read a novel anyway. Send me a challenge.
Posted by His_Majesty 2 years ago
His_Majesty
@SweetLib...open your box bro
Posted by His_Majesty 2 years ago
His_Majesty
@SweetLib...ok, I sure will...check your inbox in a few...

@Envisage...I don't know , buddy. I've come to the conclusion that 10k characters isn't nearly enough for me to "do my thang".
Posted by SweetLiberty 2 years ago
SweetLiberty
@HM... If you'd really like to discuss this further one-on-one in a less formal manner, then set it up and send me a private message as to what I need to do to connect. You can also send me your email address and we can go back and forth that way if you'd like so that we don't both have to be online at the same time like in a chat situation.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
To His Majesty, feel free to send me a debate challenge if you were interested in doing one,
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
Pro's justification for this premise was very weak, and was only supported by the imitation that horses etc would be expected to pop into existence from nothing, and they don't if this premise was false. Con never challenged this assumption and spent a large portion of his rebuttals attempting to demonstrate stuff *does* pop into existence ex nihilo. I think a Con *could* have had a very useful point here! but Con never tied the science to the premise *without a cause*, which Pro cogently rebutted by showing that the quantum vacuum etc was not nothing.

So while the justification was weak, Con just played right into Pro's hands here, when he really should have just challenged the preconceptions about *popping into existence*.

P3. The cause is God
This part was a win for Con, as virtually no justification from Pro went towards the first cause being God, and Con made numerous attacks against this (during his messy attacks in the other premises), and did enough to convince that the argument was based in too much ignorance. Con dint quite address the points regarding will, or the fact that the cause needs to lack STEM, so it wasn't a clean win.

So on judging this debate I am not sure... If I am judging the KCA based on purely the first cause argument, it's a clear win for Pro. If I am judging the argument to include God, then it's a slight Con win (since the argument fails on the third premise). Given that I am penalising Con anyway for his rhetoric, then on balance the win for arguments goes to Pro.

Regarding sources, Con put substantial effort into keeping his facts cited, however Pro did not cite anything, so I award Con sources points. S&G and Conduct were equal.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
This was a really painful debate to read... Both debaters, but especially Con need to work on their rhetoric and to make points cleanly. Something like:

Evidence x supports y
Justification for x

y implies z because of a
Justification for Z

This really hindered Con in this debate as while he clearly put a significant amount of work in this debate and knew a significant amount about the subject, his points simply weren't very explicit and a story didn't emerge, it just seemed rather a mess.

Numerous points regarding the bible etc were made which I will ignore because they were extraneous. The KCA was not defined in this debate, but I normally regard it as the first syllogism (establishing a first cause), followed by justification for why that cause is God. So I will assess as much. Pro needs to affirm all three premises to win. Here is my summary of each of them:

P2. The universe began to exist
Clear win to Pro, the thermodynamics argument was not touched, and con never really addressed the 'traversing an infinite number of events' problem. Pro did usefully postulate the same problem against God but Pro successful dealt with this by proposing a timeless entity. Pro did rebut (albeit messily) the BGV and Big Bang evidence, but the philosophical points stood strongest. Con would have done much better here if his points were aimed precisely at P1 (they instead seemed to diverge into other premise rebuttals, and it was never obvious what his point was going to be).
Posted by His_Majesty 2 years ago
His_Majesty
@SweetLib...you made that offer after I had already submitted my rebuttal for round 3. As far as whether I am a YEC or OEC....I don't know which worldview is correct, but my reasons for accepting Christianity is independent of either position.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
His_MajestySweetLibertyTied
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro spent most of their time rebutting Con's refutations and coming up with "answers" to each hole Con pointed out. None of these "answers" satisfied the holes and only created more questions which Con was forced to ask. While the debate topic was the KCA, the actual proposed system was rarely addressed by either side until later on. Con showed a significant weakness in the KCA where all things are possible if the words are ordered correctly. A plug-in-play belief justifier it seems the KCA is. Con also correctly pointed out that science does not claim the Big Bang was when the universe "began" to exist, only that our universe was in a much smaller state than it is now. The infinity arguments could have been solved with two points: Unlimited is different than Infinite, and that Infinite can not be used as an adjective. Conduct was borderline peaceful and S&G was not an issue with either side while ignoring typos, so both tied. The debate topic was mostly ignored, but it was a fun read
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
His_MajestySweetLibertyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments