The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
van77maxon
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

The cause of the universe must be a sentient/ personal being

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,016 times Debate No: 32599
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

For the sake of this debate, we will assume that the universe did, in fact, have a cause. The burden of proof will be on my opponent to show why the cause must be a sentient/ personal being.
Since the burden of proof is on Pro, Pro will make the first argument in this round (the first round is not for acceptance, but for my opponent to present an opening argument).

In round 4, my opponent will simply put:

"No argument will be posted here, as agreed"

This means, that we both give up a round (I'm giving up this round, and Pro is giving up round 4) to ensure that Pro gets the first say, and I get the last say due to the burden of proof.

Failure to abide by the rules will result in an automatic forfiet.

Good luck!
van77maxon

Pro

Thank you Con for posting this debate. Personally, I'm not sure if the universe has a cause. If it does have a cause, I'm not convinced that it "must be a sentient/ personal being." I accepted this debate to explore the subject.

Since the assertion presupposes "the cause of the universe," I will not waste time questioning it. Also, since my opponent did not provide definitions, I will attempt to do so.

Sentient - Having sense perception; conscious.1
Personal - Referring to, concerning, or involving a person's individual personality.2

Argument #1
There are many hypotheses we could make about "the cause of the universe," but since none of them are testable (as far as we know) they are therefore not falsifiable.

"Hypotheses that cannot ever be disproven are not real science. Hypotheses are generally formed by observing whatever it is you are studying, with the objective of understanding the nature of the subject (this is systematic empiricism)."3

CONCLUSION
The hypothesis that "the cause of the universe is a sentient/ personal being" cannot be tested. Disproving it is equally as impossible as disproving the hypothesis that the cause of the universe is a block of wood. Therefore, I will not waste my time trying to argue either side and request that the audience vote for a tie.

1 http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2 http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
3 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Well, this was a big waste of time.....I guess I have to make another debate, please don't accept the new one. Also, the rules stated that you had a burden to provide a case that affirms the resolution, since you didn't abide by these rules and denied your burden, this is an automatic forfeit for you, not a tie.
van77maxon

Pro

I agree that this was "a big waste of time." However, I disagree that you have to make another debate. Making a rule that someone has a "burden to provide a case that affirms the resolution" when the resolution is impossible to affirm or deny is pointless. I encourage Con to realize that the waste of time was not my analysis of the position but the absurdity of posting this debate in the first place since it's impossible to falsify any "cause of the universe." Saying that "this is an automatic forfeit" because I acknowledged that debating this subject is impossible is equally absurd. It's a tie because the assertion cannot be disproven either way.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

"I agree that this was "a big waste of time." However, I disagree that you have to make another debate. Making a rule that someone has a "burden to provide a case that affirms the resolution" when the resolution is impossible to affirm or deny is pointless."

I agree that one cannot show that the cause is sentient, but the theist does. This was supposed to be a debate to prove them wrong.


"I encourage Con to realize that the waste of time was not my analysis of the position but the absurdity of posting this debate in the first place since it's impossible to falsify any "cause of the universe.""

You pre-suppose it as absurd, but many theists would disgaree. This is why I wanted the debate, to prove them wrong, not to have some troll post his opinion that it is pointless.


"Saying that "this is an automatic forfeit" because I acknowledged that debating this subject is impossible is equally absurd. It's a tie because the assertion cannot be disproven either way."

It's not a tie, because you broke the rules. If you didn't think my rules are absurd, you didn't have to accept. Period.
van77maxon

Pro

You agree that one cannot show that the cause is sentient so we are partially in agreement. However, your stated goal to "prove them wrong" is absurd because your assertion that "the cause of the universe must be a sentient/ personal being" is not falsifiable. Therefore, by definition, you cannot "prove" that the cause is not sentient. As I pointed out in the conclusion of my argument in Round 1, "Disproving it is equally as impossible as disproving the hypothesis that the cause of the universe is a block of wood." Setting out to "prove" something that is impossible to prove is absurd or "ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous."1

Con wrote, "You pre-suppose it as absurd." In the interest of proper grammar, presuppose is actually a word and does not have a hyphen. Therefore, a more accurate statement would be, "You presuppose it is absurd, [...]" Presuppose means "to suppose beforehand."2 Your assertion that I presupposed that this debate was absurd is not supported by the evidence. If you will return to my argument in Round 1, you will see that I provided definitions and demonstrated that the assertion could not be falsified. Then I showed that claims that cannot be falsified are nonsense. Pro did not attempt to dispute any of this and instead continues to seek to "prove them wrong" and even threatens to start another absurd debate.

Con wrote, "But many theists would disagree." I don't care who disagrees. If I start a debate with the assertion that "the cause of the universe is a block of wood" and seek to "prove them wrong," I would expect someone to point out that the statement is not falsifiable. The fact that a statement is not falsifiable (and therefore absurd) has no bearing on the ability of humans to "believe" it. Even if 5 billion people that believed a block of wood caused the universe, it would not change the fact that the assertion is absurd. Note: It is equally absurd to say that the cause of the universe is not a block of wood because this assertion is absurd as well.

Con wrote, "This is why I wanted the debate, to prove them wrong." Exactly. And as I pointed out, trying to "prove" them wrong is equally as absurd as trying to "prove" them right because neither side can be tested.

Con wrote, "not to have some troll post his opinion that it is pointless." This ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy and does nothing to undermine my conclusion that the debate is absurd.

Con wrote, "If you didn't think my rules are absurd, you didn't have to accept." In the interest of proper grammar, I think you're trying to say "If you thought my rules were absurd, you didn't have to accept." As I stated previously, "I accepted this debate to explore the subject." After exploring it and realizing that the assertion was not falsifiable, I don't see any other conclusion to reach. Debating this absurd assertion is absurd.

Conclusion
Con did not address my argument from Round 1 effectively. I encourage Con to admit that trying to "prove them wrong" is absurd and accept a tie.

1 http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2 http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

van77maxon did not follow the rules, so this is an automatic loss for him, not a tie. If he posts anything in the next round besides:

"No argument will be posted here, as agreed"

Then there will be debate that he broke the rules, even though there shouldn't be any debate anyway.
van77maxon

Pro

"No argument will be posted here, as agreed"
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
@narmak- No, Con's resolution was clear: "The cause of the Universe must be a sentient/personal being." BoP was on Pro and BoR was on Con. Pro conceded, so Con wins.
Posted by narmak 3 years ago
narmak
con should lose if the voters had half a brain they would realize con created a debate that can not be effectively won by either side and as such is relying on his rules for a win.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 3 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
The Fool: What's a PERSONAL Being?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Rational_Thinker9119van77maxonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full Forfeit.
Vote Placed by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
Rational_Thinker9119van77maxonTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Assuming neither side can be tested, the resolution is negated. Pro didn't fulfill his BoP. That's really all I have to say about the arguments. S&G to Pro due to some grammatical errors by Con. Conduct goes to Con since Pro tried to change the debate's structure during the debate. Reliable sources go to Pro, even if they helped negate the resolution.