The Instigator
Subutai
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
janetsanders733
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Subutai
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 929 times Debate No: 42983
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Subutai

Con

Sorry about all the confusion I've caused in this debate, but I think we can get back on track with a rechallenge.

Full Resolution


The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is sound.

The BoP is on pro.

Definitions

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument:

"1. Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

3. The universe is an existing thing.

4. Therefore the explanation of the universe is God."[1]

Sound: " Of or relating to an argument in which all the premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises."[2]

Rules

1. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
2. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
3. All arguments and sources must be visible inside this debate.
4. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.

Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.

Debate Structure

Round 1: Presentation all arguments by pro
Round 2: Presentation of arguments by con and rebuttal by pro
Round 3: Rebuttal by con and defense of original arguments by pro
Round 4: Defense of original argument by con and a bye round by pro (to make for even rounds; only use one line for your final post)

Sources

[1]: http://www.theopedia.com...
[2]: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
janetsanders733

Pro


The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument





1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or an external cause.




2. The universe exists.




3. If the universe does have an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.




4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 2).




5. Therefore, the explanation for the existence of the universe is God (from 3 and 4).






God:




an eternal, transcendent, metaphysically necessary personal entity, who is the greatest conceivable being possible.





[1]The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR): The principle of sufficient reason (PSR) is a principle saying that everything (of a certain class) has an reason/explanation. The PSR has a number of different forms, but I will use the one version of the PSR says that anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.





[1]Justification for Premise 1: Premise 1 is the form of the PSR that the argument uses. Things don’t just pop into existence on their own. That would be “magic”, and we all know that magic is just an illusion and not real.





Physical reality doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that exists necessarily. There doesn’t appear to be any physical part of physical reality that is metaphysically necessary (e.g. stars and planets are contingent and indeed at one point they failed to exist; there are also no molecules that couldn’t fail to exist.)





If there is a possible world where no physical reality at all exists, then a fortiori there is a possible world where our own physical universe does not exist, in which case the explanation of the universe’s existence cannot lie in the necessity of its own nature because the universe does not have necessary existence.





With option (1) being unreasonable, let’s consider explanatory option (2): the universe having an external cause of its existence. If we go the explanatory route of some external cause of the universe, an external cause of all physical reality would have to be nonphysical, and there are only two sorts of things we know of that could fit requirement: abstract objects (like numbers) and unembodied minds (e.g. God, if he exists).





But, abstract objects can’t cause anything. So the only viable candidate for a nonphysical cause seems to be a personal cause. Among the pool of explanatory options considered (the universe existing by the necessity of its own nature, physical things causing the universe, abstract objects causing the universe, and a transcendent personal cause of the universe) a transcendent personal cause is by far the best explanation; indeed it is the only viable explanation among the entire pool. Thus we’re left with a transcendent personal cause of the universe if the universe has an explanation of its existence.






Justification for Premise 2:




Pretty self-explanatory, I mean we know the universe exist through our five senses.





[1] [2]Justification for Premise 3:





If God does not exist, then the Universe does not have an explanation of its existence. God who by definition is the greatest conceivable being possible, that means he must be transcendent, personal, and external. Therefore, he must be the only viable explanation as to why the Universe exists.





With a physical external cause of the universe’s existence being impossible, the universe’s external cause would have to be ethereal and no less strange than God creating the universe. By far the best option for my opponent is to say that universe exists eternally, inexplicably, with no external cause of its existence.





But, we know that it is false. Our universe had a beginning.





The BGV theorem- says that if the universe is on average expanding along a given world-line, this world-line cannot be infinite to the past. This theory also implies the theorem that even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called “multiverse” composed of many universes, the multiverse must have an absolute beginning.





Alexander Vilenkin, Professor of Physics explicitly says:





“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)[3]





Justification for 4+5:




Pretty self-explanatory since it logically follows after the other premises that I listed.





First Conclusion:




We can safely and soundly say that the LCA is sound and proves that God’s existence must be necessary in order for the Universe to exist. My opponent must show which 3 premises are not true.




Sources:




[1]http://www.maverick-christian.org.........




[2]http://www.reasonablefaith.org.........




[3]Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176


Debate Round No. 1
Subutai

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for presenting his arguments. I will be considering each premise one-by-one.

To present an outline of my argument, here are the LCA premises my opponent uses:

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or an external cause.

2. The universe exists.

3. If the universe does have an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.

Premise 1

To begin taking down this premise, not everything requires an inherent cause to its existence. Quantum fluctuations are an example of this. During this, a particle and antiparticle exist for a very short time (even shorter than Planck time), and then annihilate with a great release of energy. Because the time of the fluctuation's existence is even shorter than Planck time, it does not technically violate any physical laws because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. At this, we arrive at a very remarkable conclusion that the quantum vacuum is the source of all potentiality.[1]

This theory isn't as far-fetched as it seems. For example, protons and neutrons, two classes of baryons, particles consisting of three quarks, have a lot of unaccounted-for volume because the mass of those three quarks only adds up to about 1% of the apparent weight of a proton or neutron. "Theory says it is created by the force that binds quarks together, called the strong nuclear force... The energy of these vacuum fluctuations has to be included in the total mass of the proton and neutron... For now, Dürr's calculation shows that QCD describes quark-based particles accurately, and tells us that most of our mass comes from virtual quarks and gluons fizzing away in the quantum vacuum."[2]

Now that we understand quantum fluctuations and the inherent potentiality in a quantum vacuum, now let's see how this applies to the universe's creation itself. Because space itself was created as the universe expanded, at the instant of creation, there was a singularity - a "point" of infinite density and temperature that held everything the universe now contains, including matter and energy. Because it is an infinite, it is physically impossible to observe, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist (I'll get to more on that later). The black hole is the modern analog to this: "A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not escape. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space." What prevents us from seeing inside is the "event horizon", or the point in space where the space becomes black. This solves two problems - because the force can even pull light in, one time stops, and two, observation is prevented. So essentially, there was no time before the singularity (more on that later as well).[3]

Inside this black hole, quantum fluctuations from energy, which was a net zero (matter is positive energy while that huge gravitational force was negative energy, both of which made the total energy sum to zero), created the universe. The original time constraints are not there anymore because the total energy summed to zero: "[T]he laws of physics place no limit on the scale of vacuum fluctuations. The duration is of course subject to the restriction ΔEΔt = h, but this merely implies that our Universe has zero energy, which has already been made plausible." The first universe epoch was the Planck era - unfortunately, we do not know much about it, but we do think this: "The Universe expands from the moment of the Big Bang, but until the Universe reaches the size of the Planck scale, there is no time or space. Time remains undefined, space is compactified. String theory maintains that the Universe had 10 dimensions during the Planck era, which collapses into 4 at the end of the Planck era (think of those extra 6 dimensions as being very, very small hyperspheres inbetween the space between elementary particles, 4 big dimensions and 6 little tiny ones)."[4][1]

I won't go into much more detail (besides the two quotes below) because I think it's understood that the universe could be created without a cause, because although the Planck time marks the beginning of the universe, the convoluted nature of spacetime in this early phase, with numerous singularities and overlapping event horizons, makes it impossible for matter, photons, or even causality to exist. Matter arises at the end of the spacetime foam epoch as the result of strings, or loops in spacetime. The transformation is from ripping spacetime foam into black holes, which then transmute into elementary particles:

"In general relativity, space-time can be empty of matter or radiation and still contain energy stored in its curvature. Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless space-time can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature. This is called the "space-time foam" and the regions are called "bubbles of false vacuum." Wherever the curvature is positive a bubble of false vacuum will, according to Einstein's equations, exponentially inflate. In 10^-42 seconds the bubble will expand to the size of a proton and the energy within will be sufficient to produce all the mass of the universe.

The bubbles start out with no matter, radiation, or force fields and maximum entropy. They contain energy in their curvature, and so are a "false vacuum." As they expand, the energy within increases exponentially. This does not violate energy conservation since the false vacuum has a negative pressure (believe me, this is all follows from the equations that Einstein wrote down in 1916) so the expanding bubble does work on itself.

As the bubble universe expands, a kind of friction occurs in which energy is converted into particles. The temperature then drops and a series of spontaneous symmetry breaking processes occurs, as in a magnet cooled below the Curie point and a essentially random structure of the particles and forces appears. Inflation stops and we move into the more familiar big bang.
The forces and particles that appear are more-or-less random, governed only by symmetry principles (like the conservation principles of energy and momentum) that are also not the product of design but exactly what one has in the absence of design."[5]

To sum the contents of this extremely complicated argument down: "The fact that the Universe exists should not be a surprise in the context of what we know about quantum physics. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the quantum world is manifested in the fact that whatever can happen, does happen (this is often called the principle of totalitarianism, that if a quantum mechanical process is not strictly forbidden, then it must occur)... The same principles were probably in effect at the time of the Big Bang (although we can not test this hypothesis within our current framework of physics). But as such, the fluctuations in the quantum vacuum effectively guarantee that the Universe would come into existence."[1]

Premise 2

Unless I want to use semantics on the meaning of "exists", I can't really refute this premise. The universe does exist.

Premise 3

Going back to the singularity mentioned earlier, if there was no time before the big bang itself, that implies that there couldn't have been anything that caused it. Without there being a time before the big bang, the notion of a cause is null. The main point I'm trying to make is that even assuming premise 1 is valid, premise is not. I'm not sure how my opponent wants to define "God", but using the common definition of a single, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent man above the universe, I contend that this is not necessary.

My main objection here is why we should accept the idea of an intelligent creator instead of things like a ekpyrotic universe, retro-casuality or simultaneous generation. DDO user Magic8000 has this to say about pro's call for God: "Pro tries to prove the cause was God. However, he doesn’t do a good job in doing so. He never proved the cause is a sentient cause. Pro himself says the cause only must be something like God. The LCA [sic] we’re arguing is for a sentient creator. Pro has not fulfilled his burden of proof."[6]

Finally, going back to the impossibility of seeing the singularity in the event horizon, here is an argument against an omniscient, omnipotent God:

P1: The God-concept designates an omniscient and omnipresent – all-observing – being (i.e. its knowledge effectively observes all phenomena).
P2: Observation collapses quantum superpositions.
P3: An all-observing being would automatically collapse all quantum superpositions. (from 2)
P4: We observe that not all quantum superpositions are collapsed.
C: Therefore, God cannot exist. (from 1, 3 and 4)

God can't exist because of the nature of quantum mechanics.

Sources

[1]: http://abyss.uoregon.edu...
[2]: http://www.newscientist.com...
[3]: http://www.nasa.gov...
[4]: Tryon, Edward P. 1973. "Is the universe a vacuum fluctuation?" Nature 246: 396-397.
[5]: http://www.colorado.edu...
[6]: http://www.debate.org...
janetsanders733

Pro


[4]


Rebuttal to Premise 1:



Sub-atomic particles don’t pop into existence


randomly. They are contained in a fluctuation of energy contained in a vacuum.


If the Universe came about like a sub-atomic particle, then it didn’t come from


nothing but form some pre-existing substance, which came from something else or


is necessary of itself. In order to avoid an infinite Regress, the chain must


end in a necessary being which is God.




It sounds like Con is arguing for the Weak Anthropic


Principle here. An argument by philosopher John Leslie that from the


probability of our current situation, we can argue plausibly for an intentional


creation. The quote below is Francis Collins re-telling the story.



"In this parable, an individual faces a firing


squad, and fifty expert marksmen aim their tifles to carry out the deed. The


order is given, the shots ring out, and yet somehow all the bullets miss and


the condemned individual walks away unscathed."




"How could such a remarkable event be


explained? Leslie suggests that there are two possible alternatives ... In the


first place, there may have been thousands of executions being carried out in


that same day, and even the best marksman will occasionally miss. So the odds


just happen to be in favor of this one individual, and all fifty of the


marksmen fail to hit the target. The other option is that something more


directed is going on, and the apparent poor aim of the fifty experts was


actually intentional. Which seems more plausible?"



The WAP still leaves us empty-handed since it does


not provide the explanation for the Universes existence.



This is a sort of a nonchalant shrug of the shoulder


from Con. Con needs to show how a life-prohibiting universe, is incompatible


with the laws of physics, and many Leading Physicists know and accept that a


life prohibiting universe is compatible with the laws of physics.




[1][2][3][5]Rebuttal


to Premise 3:




Con assumes that if there was no time before the big


bang, than there couldn’t have been anything that caused it. However, time does


not cause time that is a self-contradiction. That is why I argued that a


timeless, immaterial, uncaused, metaphysically necessary being(God) must be the


reason for time to exist.



Con does not give any justification whatsoever to


show that assuming God is “invalid”. Why is assuming a timeless, immaterial, un-caused


and metaphysically being not necessary? I think it prevents an infinite regress


of materialism, which then leads to a self-contradiction.



Con wants to know why we can’t argue from an


ekpyrtotic Universe, retro-causality, or simultaneous generation. I will answer


down below the three premises as to why this can’t happen.



1) The Ekpyrotic Cyclic model of Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turock will avoid the


beginning of the universe. The Ekpyrotic Cyclic model is precisely one of those


higher dimensional “brane” cosmogonies covered by the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin


theorem. Therefore, it cannot be past eternal. Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turock,


tend to argue for a “relaxation mechanism”. They incorporate these into the


Ekpyrotic cyclic model, which then slowly decreases the value of the


cosmological constant over time while taking the notice of contributions to the


vacuum density, over all energy scales. The way this type of mechanism works,


is that it allows the relaxation of time to grow exponentially as the vacuum


density decreases, generating asymptotic behaviors in which every volume of


space spends the majority of time at a state when the cosmological constant is


small and positive-just like today. This is a sort-of ad-hoc approach, since a mechanism had to be invented to produce


the desired behavior, and then declared to be a virtue of the model simply


because a way was found to make it work.(Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God:


Contributions of Contemporary Physics ...)



2) Simultaneous Generation or Simultaneous Causation- Why can't the cause and effect exist at


the same time in an asymmetric dependency relation? For example, a heavy


chandelier hanging on a chain from the ceiling. The ceiling and chain hold up


the chandelier; the chandelier and chain don't support the ceiling. Imagine C


and E are the cause and the effect. If C were to vanish before the time at


which E is produced, would E nevertheless come into being? Surely not But if


time is continuous, then no matter how close to E's appearance C's


disappearance takes place, there will always be an interval of time between C's


disappearance and E's appearance. But then why or how E came into being when it


does seems utterly mysterious, for there is no cause at that moment to produce


it.



3) Con quotes from the user Magic8000’s debate with someone else. However, that person


is not me. http://www.debate.org......


. In fact I never argued that there must be something like God in order for the


universe to exist. If something is like God, then what Con is describing is


God. As I showed in my opening argument God by definition is the greatest


conceivable being possible. That means he must be omnipresent, omniscience,


omnipotent, and metaphysically necessary etc. In order for the universe to


exist. How can any substance or force act to create a universe without being these things? So I think P2 of my argument which says “The Universe has an explanation, and that explanation







Con argues that quantum mechanics disproves the


existence of God; however, he never provides any Justification for P2 of his


argument which says that “Observation collapses superpositions”. Con also does


not justify P3 of his argument which says that “An all-observing being would


automatically collapse all quantum superpositions are collapsed.” In fact P4 of


his argument which says that “We observe that not all quantum superpositions


are collapsed contradicts P2. If we observe that not all quantum superpositions


are collapsed, then it logically follows that P4 does not disprove the


existence of God since God can observe certain superpositions without them


being collapsed.



Schrodinger’s Equation showed that the very act of


observing caused the wave function collapse, and create the existence of matter,


in two forms Particles or Waves.




So I don't think we should assume any reason at all to think that particles are completely Annihilated, but they are just created into different forms.


Sources:



[1]http://www.reasonablefaith.org......



[2]http://www.reasonablefaith.org......



[3]https://www.youtube.com...;



[4]


http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu......



[5]


.(Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of


Contemporary Physics ...)


Debate Round No. 2
Subutai

Con

I would like to thank janetsanders733 for presenting his rebuttals. In this round, I will mainly be going into refuting pro's initial claims from round 1, but I will also cover any points my opponent made in round 2 that are directly relevant to the main argument I am presenting in this round, as my current argument would need to address those. Most defenses will be reserved for the next round, however.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason

What my opponent attempts to argue here is that the universe has a transcendental personal cause because every contingent fact has an explanation (by the PSR). However, this arguments fails in two respects; one I will get to right now - that is, the importance of the PSR; and the other - the importance of such transcendental personal cause.

One of the problems with using the PSR as an attempt to prove that the cosmological argument is valid - and therefore God exists - is that the reductio ad absurdum can used on the PSR to disprove its conclusion and the idea of God. For example, let p be the conjunction of all contingent truths. If p has an explanation, say q, then q will itself be a contingent truth, and hence a conjunct of p. But then q will end up explaining itself, which is absurd. This conclusion is formulated through the argument below:

11.No necessary proposition explains a contingent proposition. (Premise)
12. No contingent proposition explains itself. (Premise)
13.If a proposition explains a conjunction, it explains every conjunct. (Premise)
14. A proposition q only explains a proposition p if q is true. (Premise)
15. There is a Big Conjunctive Contingent Fact (BCCF) which is the conjunction of all true contingent propositions, perhaps with logical redundancies removed, and the BCCF is contingent. (Premise)
16. Suppose the PSR holds. (For reductio)
17. Then, the BCCF has an explanation, q. (By (15) and (16))
18. The proposition q is not necessary. (By (11) and (15) and as the conjunction of true contingent propositions is contingent)
19. Therefore, q is a contingent true proposition. (By (14) and (18))
20. Thus, q is a conjunct in the BCCF. (By (15) and (19))
21. Thus, qexplains itself. (By (13), (15), (17) and (19))
22. But q does not explain itself. (By (12) and (19))
23. Thus, q does and does not explain itself, which is absurd. Hence, the PSR is false.[1]

Essentially, this rebuttal is logically proving that God as in explanation does not explain itself, thus the Principle of Sufficient Reason is invalid. But still quantum mechanics has processes that do not have a cause, such as quantum fluctuations, and that is enough proof against the PSR in and of itself.

Defining an External Cause

A very shaky part of my opponent's argument is the necessity for a transcendental, personal external cause to the universe. Even assuming that there is an external cause, he hasn't really proved very well that that external cause must be transcendental and personal. The only thing that he has proved is that the external cause cannot be abstract. However, there are a number of explanations in between these two definitions of an external cause. Pro attempts to argue in round 2 that that is not the definition of the God being considered, but he said it right there in round 1. The models I presented do not fit pro's definition of God.

For one thing, he doesn't explain why an all-pervading force cannot be the external cause. For example, Stephen Hawking has argued that it was gravity (which I argued in the second round) that is this "force": "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist... It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going..."[2]

Going back to the quantum mechanics argument I made in the last round, an omniscient God would collapse superpositions. Each premise is sound by quantum mechanics or general religion. For example, "When an external agency (an observer, experimenter) measures the observable associated with the eigenbasis, the wave function collapses from the full [set of eigenstates] to just one of the basis eigenstates.""At present, every experiment has verified the [observation effect]." This proves premise 2 of the argument. Premise 3 obviously follows from premise 2, because an omniscient God sees everything, and therefore observes all superpositions, which would cause all of them to collapse. Premise 4 does seem at first to be contradictory to premise 2, but it has to be true that not all quantum superpositions have collapsed, as that would make the notion of it null. Most of the "proofs" my opponent demands are unnecessary because the statements are axiomatic.[3][4]

BVG Theorem

My opponent has used the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth (BVG) theorem in both rounds to attempt to prove that the universe began to exist, and that such an event creates a necessity for external causality. The problem is that my opponent misunderstands what the BVG theorem actually says and how it can be applied to making a universal timescale.

First off, here is the BVG theorem: "Thus inflationary models require physics other than inflation to describe the past boundary of the inflating region of spacetime... and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary." What this means is not that the universe cannot be eternal, but that inflation alone cannot account for an eternal universe; only that "some new physics" can show how the universe is eternal.[5]

What this does here is not only make pro's argument for premise 3 fall apart, it also dismantles several of pro's objections to my arguments against my arguments. It can very well be argued that the universe did not have an ultimate beginning, and that time is eternal.

For example, his main objection to the Ekpyrotic universe theory is that it "violates" the BVG theorem. However, it doesn't really violate it because it is just that sort of "new physics" that the BVG theorem calls for. Further, "The production of a scale-invariant spectrum from hyperexpansion was one of the great triumphs of inflationary theory, and here we have repeated the feat using completely different physics." It seems to fall right in line with the BVG theorem. It is later argued that the Ekpyrotic universe theory could explain dark matter, dark energy, and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.[6]

As for my opponent's objection that the Ekpyrotic universe theory has an ad-hoc approach, "In 2006, Steinhardt and Turok showed how the model naturally allowed the cosmological constant to relax to very small values, consistent with current observations." This shows that such an approach can be naturally incorporated. Even so, any natural explanation would automatically be better than any supernatural explanation, because even if it had ad-hocs, it's still natural; it doesn't assume anything above the natural and is thus simpler.[7]

Conclusions

Therefore, the only premise or conclusion that makes any sense in the LCA is premise 2, which is pretty much axiomatic. With quantum mechanics and alternative cosmologies refuting premise 1 and the unimportance of a transcendental, personal, external cause - God - necessary for creation refuting premise 3, my opponent's conclusions are logically unsound, negating the resolution.

Anything that I did not cover in this round will be covered in my final argument. The final argument itself will be a sort of "catch-all", as I see the debate structure may need to be bended a little to fit how this resolution should be argued.

Sources

[1]: https://bearspace.baylor.edu...
[2]: http://phys.org...
[3]: Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, p. 106-9.
[4]: Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universe, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, p. 261.
[5]: http://arxiv.org...
[6]: http://wwwphy.princeton.edu...
[7]: http://perimeterinstitute.ca...
janetsanders733

Pro

Defending
an External Cause and the PSR

My opponent has presented a modal fatalism of the PSR. The problem is, are the premises true, such as 11, 14, and 13. Premise 11 for example needs some justfication. 11 and 12 violate a libertarian free will.(The BlackWell Companion to Natural Theology, Craig, and JP Moreland)

My opponent wants to argue that Gravity explains our
existence hear on earth instead of God. However, does gravity logically explain
our existence as human beings? Does it explain objective moral values and
duties? Does it explain our meaning and purpose and destiny? No. Those are
philosophical questions that require a transcendent, immaterial, timeless,
metaphysically, absolute, moral supreme, eternal, personal being to exist.
Gravity is none of these things. Also Gravity is not “nothing”, but it is
something in of itself.

But Con assumes that God directly observes
Particles. How does con know that God has to directly observe particles if he
is omniscient? In fact, as I showed above in my earlier arguments. Schrodinger’s
Equation shows that matter becomes particles or waves when observed. They aren’t
eliminated, but change forms.

Defense
of the BVG Theorem

The BGV theorem says
that if the universe is on average expanding along a given world-line, this
world-line cannot be infinite to the past. [3]
What my opponent has posted is not the definition of the BGV
Theorem. What Con is referring to is the
process for which models expand within a universe. My opponent can evade the
theorem by postulating that the universe was contracting prior to some time. .
. . This sounds as if there is nothing wrong with having contraction prior to
expansion. But the problem is that a contracting universe is highly unstable.
Small perturbations would cause it to develop all sorts of messy singularities,
so it would never make it to the expanding phase. (A. Vilenkin to V. Stenger,
cited by
[5]

My opponent argues here that the Ekpyrotic meets the
BGV theorem’s “new physics.” While that is true that the Ekpyrotic Universe
applies to the BGV Theorem, it however goes against the BGV theorem, which
actually shows that the Universe must have had a beginning. I will argue why
down here below. My opponent must argue for a mathematical solution to the
Ekpyrotic Universe. The mathematical solution that Con could argue is called
the De Sitter Solution. The De Sitter Solution, describes a universe that
deflates(Contracts) exponentially from t = -infinity, until at some point at
which it reaches minimum size, and then inflates exponentially for all
subsequent time. However the problem
with the De Sitter Solution, is that it evades the BGV-Theorem, which only
applies to expanding Universes. However, a Universe that contracts for infinite
time or t = - infinity is extremely un-realistic (un-physical). In such a
Universe, it would be extremely hard to account for the very low entropy that
existed in our bubble at the time of our Big Bang. This goes back to the Second
Law of Thermodynamics, and the argument against perpetual motion machines.) In
summary, the eternal inflation scenario, my opponent has to say that the
Universe began some finite time ago, or he has to say that it contracted for
infinite time before starting to inflate(this makes “unphysical”). And, as I
argued earlier, the eternal inflation itself must require a beginning. This is
agreed upon by most cosmologists. (J. B.
Stump, Alan G. Padgett, The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity).

As I showed before in round 3, a mechanism had to be
invented to produce the desired behavior or effect, in order for the Ekyporotic
Universe to happen. Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turock incorporate this mechanism
into the Ekpyrotic Universe theory. They, therefore, manipulated the Ekyporotic
Universe theory in order for it to work.

Con then uses Occam’s Razor , a principle that says
that when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same
predictions alone to determine, the simplest one is the better. However, just
because something is “simple”, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is therefore
always “true”. Facts cannot be deduced from Occam's Razor alone. It can separate two theories that make the
same predictions, but it does not rule out other theories that might make a
different prediction.

Why should we accept
something that is purely ad-hoc?

Conclusion:

As we can see the LCA
is sound because it avoids an infinite regress. The Ekyprotic, Simultaneous
Causation, and Spontaneous Generation,
fail to explain how our universe can come into existence because of their
mathematical errors. I want to thank Con for this debate, and I hope he has had
a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sources:

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

[2]https://www.youtube.com...

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

[4]
(J. B. Stump, Alan G. Padgett, The Blackwell Companion to Science and
Christianity).

Debate Round No. 3
Subutai

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate. Like I mentioned in the last round, this argument will be more of a "catch-all" due to the nature of this debate having arguments that tie into each other.

Quantum Mechanics

I'm not arguing that a quantum vacuum is "nothing"; what I am arguing is that a quantum vacuum is acasual – in other words, that it is uncaused: "The singularity itself is also regarded in the GTR-based Big Bang theory as uncaused, although for a different reason. It is defined as a point beyond which space-time curves cannot be extended, and thus which cannot have causal antecedents." As I mentioned in my first argument, during the Planck era, the convoluted nature of spacetime made causality impossible.[1][2]

I also mentioned Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in my first round. Let me elaborate as to why that is important: "The conservation of energy seems to be violated by the apparent existence of these very energetic particles for a very short time. However, according to the above principle, if the time of a process is exceedingly short, then the uncertainty in energy can be very large. Thus, due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, these high-energy force-carrier particles may exist if they are short lived." These fluctuations are uncaused, due to the nature of the quantum vacuum I just mentioned. "There is observational evidence, albeit indirect, that this uncaused emergence of energy or particles (notably virtual particles) frequently occurs."[3][1]

Overall, I'm arguing that the singularity was acasual, and thus did not require a God for its existence.

Also, my opponent argues that the universe was fine-tuned for us. While life-prohibiting universes are far more common than life-permitting ones, according to multiverse theory, there are around 10^120 (probably more) universes in existence, and it only seems probable that at least one supports life, and that we live in one. So it seems that the universe was not fine-tuned for us – we were fine-tuned for the universe.

Defining an External Cause

My opponent's objection to gravity being the necessary "force" for the creation of the universe is essentially a red herring. The third premise of the LCA states that if the universe has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God. Our existence as human beings and the existence of objective moral values are irrelevant to this debate. We are only considering the "being" that created the universe. With that being said, gravity is the result of matter curving space-time. While there is no single accepted "supergravity" theory, this "superforce" is the result of an acasual event, meaning gravity is acasual as well.

As for the quantum superposition argument, my opponent is forgetting the very characteristics of the God he is describing. Anything that is omniscient, by definition, knows everything. The only way to definitively know something is to observe it at every time. Therefore, God would have to observe all quantum superpositions, and thus make them collapse. Also, while the collapsing of quantum superpositions do create particles and waves, not all quantum superpositions are collapsed: "When measured afterwards, the resonator was sometimes in its non-oscillating ground state and sometimes in an oscillating "excited" state. The number of times it was measured to be in each state followed the probabilistic rules of quantum mechanics." Logically, by this argument, an omniscient God cannot exist.[4]

Simultaneous Causation

My opponent never really gets to the point of this argument. Imagine atoms A, B, and C. A comes into existence and instantaneously causes B, which instantaneously causes C, which instantaneously causes A. All the atoms have a casual explanation, and they all begin to exist at the same time. "The idea of a physical system containing an explanation of itself might seem paradoxical to the layman but it is an idea that has some precedence in physics. While one may concede (ignoring quantum effects) that every event is contingent, and depends for its explanation on some other event, it need not follow that this series either continues endlessly, or ends in God. It may be closed into a loop." In other words, each effect is its own cause, which creates a closed loop and makes a creator unnecessary. EPR correlations support this theory.[5][6]

Principle of Sufficient Reaso
n

My opponent's sole objection to my refutation of this is dependent on the existence of free will. He does not accept that no necessary proposition can explain a contingent proposition, and the latter cannot explain itself. However, if the former were false, the contingent proposition would itself be necessary, because it would be the consequence of something necessary, and if the latter were false, an infinite regress would result (which, I might add, my opponent does not believe in) and cannot explain anything. What results from these premises is that everything is determined. Nothing in the past could have gone differently, and nothing in the future can go differently than is already determined by the past. In other words, if we accept determinism, this refutation of the PSR is still valid.

BVG Theorem

Here, my opponent seems to just ignore my point - I showed part of the abstract of the paper that presented the BVG theorem which showed what the BVG theorem really stated. Just to prove that what I posted was the actual BVG theorem, here is the chief result of the paper: "...inflation alone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary. This is the chief result of our paper." In other words, the chief result was not that the universe necessarily had to begin to exist.[7]

There may still be a question on this, so here is part of a second paper published after the above paper that talks about the BVG theorem: "This important result is sometimes paraphrased to imply that there is no escape from the big-bang. This is not the case... Thus, the LQC resolution of the big-bang singularity can evade the original singularity theorems of general relativity even when matter satisfies;es all energy conditions because Einstein’s equations are modified due to quantum gravity effects, and it evades the more recent singularity theorem of which is not tied to Einstein’s equations because the LQC universe has a contracting phase in the past." What they are saying is that the universe could have had a contracting phase in the past, which extends infinitely into the past. Nowhere is an initial beginning ever argued for. Further, it also gets rid of the De Sitter solution problem my opponent talks about, and also presents a third option to the list of universal creations.[8]

This makes my opponent's only objection to the Ekyprotic universe theory I presented, and therefore that theory is still a relevant alternative to the immaterial, universal God my opponent argues for.

Also, while Occam's razor cannot choose which theory is correct, it can make a prediction as to which theory is correct, and predictions made with Occam's razor have been probabilistically shown to be more correct than those that go against Occam's razor. All Occam's razor does is make the idea of a God unnecessary and unlikely. Again, my opponent's argument is more ad hoc than mine, so his question at the end of his argument seems to just make his argument even worse off.

Conclusion

The LCA is a very unsound argument, both in assuming that everything that exists has an explanation for its existence, and in necessitating an immaterial, universal God for said explanation. Quantum mechanics has shown how the former premise is incorrect due to the impossibility of causality during the early universe and alternative theories can show how such an immaterial, universal God is unnecessary even if the former premise were true, and quantum mechanics has also shown that an omniscient God makes quantum superpositions impossible, even though they have been shown to exist.

I also hope that my opponent had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and again thank him for participating in this fantastic debate.

Sources

janetsanders733

Pro

No argument will be posted here, as agreed upon by Con.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Quantum superposition is relative to the observer, thus to be all-observing one can observe all quantum superpositions as it *would* be "all" to the observer, thus one views all quantum superpositions relative to the observer. While one may argue omnipotence dictates one can view any quantum superposition, relative or non-relative, to the observer, there are no fixed quantum superpositions, ergo the quantum state of each particle is relative to each observer, wherein God can *be* each observer, thus not collapsing quantum superpositions while observing them.

But obviously there are many further amazing arguments against God's existence.
Posted by WilliamofOckham 2 years ago
WilliamofOckham
Both sides' beginning argument were very strong. Pro's arguments almost proved that a universal God had to exist because the universe exists, whereas con's arguments showed how a creator is not necessary for the creation of the universe.

However, con got the upper hand in the rebuttal round. To begin, pro's arguments were sorely lacking in regards to quantum mechanics - he essentially strawmanned con's argument. He didn't refute at all how quantum mechanics could account for an acausal explanation for the universe's existence. This was enough to cost him the debate because con had already proved how a God was unnecessary because of quantum mechanics. His only other rebuttal was regarding premise 3, and I think he misunderstood the argument con was trying to make, especially on the quantum superposition argument, or didn't adequately address the point con was trying to make, instead relying on past arguments. Con had a very strong rebuttal round, not only in presenting a very strong argument against the PSR, but in pointing out pro's fallacies in not only relying on a universal God, but in is misunderstanding of the BVG theorem.

Pro's situation deteriorated further in the final set of arguments. Many of his defenses did not refute the claims con made, or rested on fallacies. For example, con showed how pro's defense of the PSR was based on a belief in free will, whereas an equally valid belief in determinism keeps his original refutation valid. Pro then continued to virtually ignore the defining God arguments, and basically presented the same argument using the BVG theorem. Con easily came in the final argument to destroy what was left of pro's argument by reexamining quantum mechanics to show acausal, defending his quantum superposition argument and simultaneous causation argument against pro's misrepresentation, and presenting again his pro misinterpreted the BVG theorem.

Overall, con wins arguments. He also wins sources because of his more reliable sourc
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
@Magic8000 Thanks for voting!
Posted by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
RFD 1/2

Pro presents the argument in a little difficult to read manor. He argues that everything has an explanation of its existence, the universe exists, and so the universe must have an explanation (God). Con objects to the first premise by showing uncaused effects in a quantum vacuum then goes into detail how the universe could have came into being without a cause. Con's next objection is on premise 3. He lists many possible alternatives where the universe is caused, but no god needed. Con's next objection is on premise 3. He lists many possible alternatives where the universe is caused, but no god needed. Then presents an argument from quantum mechanics. If God knows all, he knows all of the collapsed superpositions, which would collapse the superpositions.

Pro came back claiming sub-atomic particles are surrounded by energy, not nothing. Pro attacks the weak anthropic principle for some reason. And attacks the Ekpyrotic model by claiming it has ad hocs and it contradicts the BVG theorem. Pro never understood the simultaneious causation alterative. Con is arguing for it, not against it. Retro-causality, went ignored. Pro says the quantum physics argument has not been justified and said God can observe superpositions without them being collapsed

Con presented a reductio ad absurdum argument against the PSR. He argues the cause doesn"t have to be a transcendent personal cause. He defends his argument from quantum mechanics. Shows the Ekpyrotic universe fits with the BVG theorem and demonstrates the relaxation mechanism isn"t an ad hoc. He also said with ad hocs, it"s still simpler and preferred.
Posted by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
RFD 2/2

Pro said Con"s PSR rebuttal is unjustified. He also said gravity doesn't explain our existence on earth, morality and our purpose. What? Did Pro forget what debate he was in? Those questions are entirely irrelevant. Pro said Con had to argue for the De Sitter Solution to argue for the Ekpyrotic universe. Pro then essentially argues that occam's razor only tells us what"s probably true. Well, yeah. It"s inductive. If induction didn"t have that, then Hume would have been a little less famous. The objection is refutes Pro"s argument from the BVG theorem.

Con shows Pro"s objection to quantum fluctuations are irrelevant. He"s arguing that they"re acausal, not that they are from nothing. This makes Con"s argument from the second round valid and since Con has to undermine Pro"s case, he has won already. Con points out the irrelevance in Pro's objections to the force argument. Con points out if God knows all, he must know all superpositions, making them collapse. This argument shows a God doesn"t exist and was not properly answered by Pro. The simultaneous causation argument was never understood by Pro and everyone forgot about the retro-causality argument. Con shows the BVG theorem doesn"t show the universe began to exist and got rid of a De Sitter solution problem.

Sources goes to Con

A majority of Con's sources were physics sources. From Uoregon.edu, newscientist, NASA, Nature, colorado.edu, Michio Kaku, phys.org, Arxiv.org, princeton.edu, ect this is compared to Pro"s sources resonablefaith.org, maveick-christian.org, New Proofs for the Existence of God, now granted he did have some credible sources. However, it was only two scientific sources. This is quite low on account of all the physics claims he's made.
Posted by imsmarterthanyou98 2 years ago
imsmarterthanyou98
Seems like an interesting debate however Con failed to underline the majority of his arguments.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 2 years ago
WilliamofOckham
Subutaijanetsanders733Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
Subutaijanetsanders733Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.