The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
drafterman
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The cosmological argument from contingency is sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
drafterman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,226 times Debate No: 21854
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (4)

 

socialpinko

Pro

===Resolution and BOP===

Pro will argue for the soundness of the cosmological argument from contingency, whereas Con will attempt to show why the argument is either invalid or not sound. The burden of proof will be on Pro to establish and defend a positive argument for the soundness of the argument while Con must only show why Pro's argument is false.

===Definitions===

God will be defined as a necessary being or agent, one that depends on nothing but itself for it's existence.

An argument is valid when its premises logically necessitate it's conclusion. An argument is sound when it is valid and when all of its premises are true.

The cosmological argument from contingency (CAC) is as follows:

1: Every contingent fact has an explanation.
2: There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts.
3: Therefore, there is an explanation for this fact.
4: This explanation must involve a necessary being.
5: This explanation is God.[1]

===Structure and rules===

1. Drops will count as concessions.

2. Semantic or abusive arguments will not be counted.

3. New arguments brought in the last round will not be counted.

4. R1 is for acceptance. Argumentation will begin in R2.

===Sources===

[1] http://books.google.com...
Alexander Pruss. "The Lebnizian Cosmological Argument", The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.
drafterman

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

1: Every contingent fact has an explanation.

There are a number of reasons to accept this as true. The first of which being that we implicitly accept this (formally called the Principle of Sufficient Reason, hereon referred to as the PSR) in most investigative situations. When a dead body is found on the street it is reasonable to presume that there was a caue for that person to die. When a hurricane forms it is reasonable to presume that there is some sort of scientific explanation for that formation. The problem that the denier of the PSR runs into then is the seemingly arbitrary lime at which they decide which events and phenomena have an explanation and which do not. If my opponent was hit in the head with a football he would surely think there was an explanation. At what point then does my opponent decide which events do not beget an explanation?

I contend that in dealing with contingent facts (not necessary facts), they must by their very nature have an explanation since there could have been a scenario or possible world in which they could have not been. This reasonable calls for an explanation for why they DID happen.

2: There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts.

Obviously, if we are to accept that there is an explanation for every contingent fact, than this leads us logically to an explanation for all of those facts. A set of only contingent facts begets an explanation since the set itself (being the summation of contingent facts) must be contingent.

3: Therefore, there is an explanation for this fact.

As a contingent fact, it follows from 1 that this fact must also have an explanation for itself. While the explanation for a set of facts, it still exists contingently and hence 1 applies in this case.

4: This explanation must involve a necessary being.

In dealing with explanations, we can run into only two metaphysical options. Either some fact is explained contingenty and begets another explanation ad infinitum or that fact is explained necessarily. Since a contingent fact cannot explain itself (owing to the nature of contingency), we are left with only the option of necessity as an explanation for 3.

5: This explanation is God.

Obviously, the agreed upon definition of God is a necessary being. Since it has been established that the explanation for 3 must involve a necessary explanation, it fits in well with our conception of God. However, there is still the problem of whether or not this explanation has being, whether it can rightly be called an agent as opposed to some sort of casual or scientific explanation for phenomenon.

When dealing with the likely nature of our established necsesary explanation, we must look at the nature of explanations. In explaining something, there can either be a casual (scientific) explanation or a personal (agential) explanation. For instance, the reason for a fork falling to the ground can be divided into casual and personal explanations. The casual explanation might be that the Earth's mass was large enough that its attraction was to the point strong enough to pull the fork down. The personal explanation though would only include the fact that I chose to drop the fork in the first place.

It's unlikely though that this explanation could correctly be categorized as a casual explanation since scientific explanations rely on the contingencies of laws at their base. A scientific explanation cannot be divorced from the contingent nature of scientific laws. Since we are dealing with the explanation of the universe as a whole (which would include natural laws within itself), scientific explanations would rightly be called contingent and so not fitting in with the established nature of the necessary explanation. It therefore seems plausible that this necessary explanation is some sort of personal agent, thus in line with the agreed upon definition of God.
drafterman

Con

1: Every contingent fact has an explanation.

In the words of Spock, "I would accept that as an axiom."

2: There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts.

For any series, there are basically three options:

1. The series terminates (at one end or the other).
2. The series repeats.
3. The series continues ad infinitum without repeating.

If a series of contingent facts terminates at some point in the past, then it has a beginning and, thus, the first contingent fact explains all those that come after it.

Now, con states that "contingent fact cannot explain itself (owing to the nature of contingency)" but what of a series of contingent facts which loops back on itself? Certainly an individual fact cannot explain itself (otherwise it wouldn't be contingent). But why can't a series of individually contingent facts be a loop instead of a line?

Lastly, we have an infinitely long series of contingent facts; a series with no beginning. Again, I see no objection to this.

3: Therefore, there is an explanation for this fact.

3 follows from 2 and 1, but if 2 does not hold, then neither does 3.

4: This explanation must involve a necessary being.

Here we start to get into a non-sequitor. Even if 1-3 held, the only thing we could deduce from that would be "This explanation cannot be contingent." If we interpret the negation of contingency to be necessity, then we could say "This explanation must by necessary." The inclusion of the qualifier "being" however is unwarranted and not supported by anything previously stated in the argument. As such, it is an additional premise. By why include it? What is a "being" in the sense used here?

Con addresses this later, but since the concept is being introduced at this point in the argument, I will address it here. Con commits two errors.

1. He contends that scientific laws themselves are contingent. It would be more correct to say that the scientific laws, as we know them, are contingent. The Holy Grail of science is to find the Theory of Everything, a model that explains all contingent facts. If this model did not provide an explanation for itself, then it would not be complete. Now, it is arguable as to whether or not we will ever find such a theory but to simply and categorically dismiss necessary facts as out of the realm of science is baseless.

2. He distinguishes between scientific and agential explanations. The only agents known to exist are those in this universe, on this planet. Yet we, too, are bound by scientific laws. Biology, Psychology, Sociology; these sciences seek to explain and predict our behavior. They do so with varying degrees of accuracy, but to take some as yet unpredictable, unexplained aspect of human behavior and set that outside the realm of science is also baseless. While it may be outside the realm now, in that we cannot yet explain it with existing models, it is presumptuous to say that it is necessarily outside the realm of science.

Since Con has not established that neither agential explanations nor necessary explanations are necessarily outside the realm of science, then to describe the necessary explanation for all contingent facts as non-scientific and agential is begging the question.

5: This explanation is God.

Having dealt with the scientific vs. agential portions in the previous point, the only thing that remains is to evaluate whether or not such an explanation, even if non-scientific and agential, is rightfully called God.

Con defines God as "a necessary being or agent, one that depends on nothing but itself for its existence."

Now, without getting dangerously close to violating restrictions on semantic arguments, I will simply note that, as stated, any necessary being or agent would be called "God" by this definition.

However, it is important to note that God, as a being or agent, is also normally assigned many other attributes, such as omniscience or omnipotence. Con has asserted neither but should God have any other attributes other than being a necessary agent, then the mere proof of a necessary agent is insufficient to prove God, as it leaves unanswered the question of those other attributes.

Furthermore, it implies a necessary distinction between other possible causal agents for which we already have terms. For example, what if the universe itself is a necessary agent? Some might suggest that this makes universe God, a la pantheism. But we already have the term "universe" so what is gained by also calling it god? If the universe and "god" are one in the same, then we needn't have the second term. If "god" indicates something more than just the universe, then we run into the problem discussed in the previous paragraph. It would seem bizarre to have two people, identical in all beliefs save that one calls the universe "universe" and the other calls the universe "god" and the former is an atheist but the latter a theist. It would seem that any form of theism or deism would entail more than simply slapping the label "God" onto something.

Summary:

Contention 1: Con assumes only one way contingent facts can be organized: with a definite beginning. Infinite series and repeating series (looping back on themselves) are dismissed without adequate argument.

Contention 2: The qualifier "being" on whatever the necessary explanation for all contingent facts may be is an unsupported premise; The reasoning for discounting non-"being" explanations is fallacious.

Contention 3: While technically correct, given the proposed definition, there are issues with calling any proven necessary being God when compared with the use of the term in practice.
Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

Defense of Premise 2

Contingent sets and circular loops

In Con's objection to this point, he attempts to argue that a series of contingent facts may loop back into itself wherein the series is explained by itself. My opponent attempts to justify this point by referring to the supposed ontological differences in facts that come as a result of them being part of a set. How does my opponent justify the change though? We may take it as a given that a contingent fact may not explain itself. If one were to deny this, than one must also deny that the fact in question was contingent in the first place. Any fact which could explain itself must not be contingent at all, but would in fact be necessary. So we know that every individual part (contingent fact) or this set is contingent. It stands to reason then that the last piece of the set would not be able to explain the first since the last piece would be contingent on the first! For without the beginning of the set, the last could not exist (remember it is contingent after all). My opponent's attempted circular justification of contingent sets therefore proves unjustified.

Set beginnings and justification

My opponent also tries to justify the explanation of contingent sets by deferring to the first contingent fact of the set as explaining all those after. I would agree that this is a logical notion in itself, however we are still left with the question of what explains the original contingent fact. Obviously it cannot explain itself and so while it serves the purpose of explaining those facts which come after it, we are still left with the ultimate explanation, one which would explain the original contingent fact.

The possible existence of infinite sets

My opponent lastly attempts to argue that there could exist an infinite set which has no beginning or end. If this set were to exist then there would be no need to refer to a necessary fact or agent as explanation. However, as far as the discussion of contingent facts goes, an infinite set cannot exist. A contingent fact begets an explanation as was pointed out in my first premise. My opponent even conceded this point and so it doesn't make much sense for him to admit a contingent fact needs an explanation in one instant and deny it in another. The validity of Premise 1 destroys the concept of an infinite set of contingent facts altogether.

Defense of Premise 4

A necessary fact and a theory of everything

My opponent argues that my argument "simply and categorically" dismisses the idea of a theory of everything, a theory or model which explains all contingent facts. I would argue on the contrary however, that the necessary being that I'm positing is a type of theory of everything. As my opponent described it, the theory of everything would explain all contingent facts and would explain itself. In essence, it would be the necessary fact to complete the set of contingent facts. This is exactly what I'm arguing for and which my opponent is arguing against.

The difference between scientific and agential explanations

Here my opponent argues that I am taking an aspect of human behavior and setting it outside the realm of the humane and personal sciences. But since aspects of human behavior are within this realm, arguing that they could also be outside the realm is illogical. I am not arguing this however, what I am arguing is that there is a necessary agent with being. Nothing within the field of psychology or sociology takes the simple fact of being into account to explain and predict behavior. Psychology deals mostly with the psyche's response to internal or external stimuli while sociology attempts to make sense of societal phenomenon. Neither of these sciences (nor any other) deals with the more base characteristic of mere being and so my opponent's objection if misplaced. Also, since scientific explanations have proven to be inapplicable to the ultimate explanation of this contingent set (owing to their own contingency after all), the only option available is that of an agent.

Defense of Premise 5

My opponent in his objection to my fifth contention, brings up objections to certain characteristics of a necessary agent which I am not and have not tried to defend in the slightest. The agent who's existence I am defending does not possess the characteristics of omniscience or omnipotence and so it is at best irrelevant and at worst dishonest for my opponent to bring these characteristics up in debate. On whether the universe fulfills the definition of my necessary agent, it simply does not. The universe can be described as the summation of contingent facts in existence. In essence, it is another term for the contingent set which my necessary agent explains. Since this contingent set cannot explain itself, the universe cannot possibly be synonymous with the necessary agent who's existence I am attempting to prove.
drafterman

Con

Circular Loops

I'm not sure I made myself clear on this point. I concede that a contingent fact cannot explain itself. For example, if we label a contingent fact "A" then I accept that "A" cannot explain "A."

"A", however, can explain "B." "B", being a contingent fact, can't explain itself, but why can't it explain "A"?

Each fact individually is a contingent fact: it is contingent upon another fact for its existence. But yet, there is no need to invoke a necessary fact to explain either.

This seems paradoxical, but it is not. Consider the theory of general relativity. General relativity is a mathematical model. Within this model, time loops are permitted. Now, many scientists reject the possibility based on the fact that such loops can lead to paradoxes. However, it is not necessary that time loops result in a paradox which has let to other scientists to accept the mathematical possibility of such loops, inasmuch as they avoid paradox: that is, they are consistent. In fact, causal loops are what scientists propose in order to fix alleged paradoxes involving time travel.

Rather than merely waxing scientific here, it is important to note that math and science are subordinate to logic. If something is logically impossible, then it is mathematically and scientific impossible as well. If such causal loops were logically impossible, then it seems foolish that scientists would devote serious effort into considering their possibility.

Now, it may be the case that such loops can't exist, either scientifically or mathematically, but they've yet to be conclusively ruled out by science or math and, thus, ruled out by logic, despite what our preconceptions about nature tell us.

What does this have to do with contingent loops? Well time loops would allow for the self-containing series of contingent facts just described. Consider: A billiard ball knocks another billiard ball through a wormhole. After passing through the wormhole, it travels through space for a period of time, until coming across another billiard ball (actually itself from before it entered the wormhole) strikes it, and knocks it into the wormhole, thus completing the loop. Each event is contingent upon another, forming a loop.

Infinite Series:

I don't recall ever denying that contingent facts need explanations. Rather than contradicting this, an infinite series necessarily provides for this: "A explains B which explains C which explains D which explains E..." all of which are contingent facts going infinitely in either direction. Why is this forbidden?

Theory of Everything

My opponent says he is arguing for a Theory of Everything. This directly contradicts his own words:

"[S]cientific explanations would rightly be called contingent and so not fitting in with the established nature of the necessary explanation."

The Theory of Everything to which I'm referring to, the "The Holy Grail of science" is a scientific explanation. Or would be, should it ever be found. Whatever my opponent is looking for, it is outside the realm of science and, thus, not the Theory of Everything.

Agential Explanations:

My opponent proves my point while at the same time missing it:

"Neither of these sciences (nor any other) deals with the baser characteristic of mere being and so my opponent's objection if misplaced. Also, since scientific explanations have proven to be inapplicable to the ultimate explanation of this contingent set (owing to their own contingency after all); the only option available is that of an agent."

Now consider this in light of my objection:

"While it [agential explanations] may be outside the realm now, in that we cannot yet explain it with existing models, it is presumptuous to say that it is necessarily outside the realm of science."

And that is exactly what my opponent is doing, which is an interesting violation of his own words. He contends that science is contingent. This is true in the sense that our scientific knowledge is contingent. So if we agree on this point, then it seems irrational to then treat it as complete with regards to categorizing something as necessarily scientific.

What we know and consider to be scientific is ever changing as our knowledge of the universe increases. To say that something can't be scientific simply because it cannot currently be explained or predicted with science as it is, is presumptive.

The Universe as a Necessary explanation:


My opponent says:


"The universe can be described as the summation of contingent facts in existence."

This is merely a cherry-picked definition in order to support the conclusion. There are many definitions for the universe but, more importantly, the definition, at least from a scientific stand point, can - and will - change depending on what we know about the universe to begin with. While "the summation of contingent facts in existence" is certainly a viable definition now, since all we know to exist are contingent facts, to assert that this must always and forever be the definition regardless of what we discover tomorrow - such that, instead of altering our definition of the universe we must invent a new term or now call it god - is unwarranted.

Summary:
1. Infinite series and self-referential loops do not violate the necessity of contingent facts to have explanations outside themselves, nor do they require necessary facts to explain any of the contingent facts contained within.

2. The inability of science to currently explain what appear to be agential explanations does not logically lead to the conclusion that such explanations are necessarily outside the realm of science.

3. The universe is not an acceptable candidate for any necessary fact based purely on our current knowledge and conception of it. However, our understanding of the universe is necessarily dependent on our knowledge which is always changing. It cannot be denied that some future discovery may cause us to redefine the universe as to explicitly be not contingent.
Debate Round No. 3
socialpinko

Pro

Defense of Premise 2

Contingent sets and circular loops


My opponent in trying to defend circular loops as explaining a contingent set asks why some fact A which explains B could not also be explained by B. The mere fact that B is explained by A makes B contingent upon A. And if A were to be explained by B than A would be contingent upon B. But A cannot explain and be explained by B since if that were so than A would be contingent and non-contingent upon B. Either some fact is contingent upon another or it is not, it cannot be both. My opponent is incorrect in assuming that no necessary fact is necessary to explain the set of contingent facts. As has been shown though circular loops are insufficient means of explaining contingent sets and thus a necessary fact is still necessary.

The possible existence of infinite sets

I have no problem with my opponent's concept of contingent facts being able to explain other contingent facts of a set. For instance, A may explain B which may explain C which may.....and so on. However this still calls into question the explanation of A. A is still a contingent fact and thus from Premise 1 begets an explanation. My opponent's explanation here does not provide any sort of explanation for this initial contingent fact and thus has insufficient explanatory power.

Defense of Premise 4

A necessary fact and a theory of everything

My opponent seems to believe that a theory explaining all contingent facts must in itself be a scientific explanation. However, as I argued already, physical laws are themselves contingent. As being an inherent part of the universe (which being the summation of contingent facts must also itself be contingent) scientific laws cannot function as a necessary explanation for the set of contingent facts. And so by my opponent's definition of a theory of everything (one which explains all contingent facts), the theory of everything must be "meta-scientific" or outside the realm of the physical sciences.

The difference between scientific and agential explanations

My opponent here argues that I am being "presumptive" by arguing that the necessary fact which I am defending could not be a scientific or casual fact. But how is this? I am basing this view off of the contingencies of scientific laws. Scientific laws are not necessary, and as such cannot logically be a necessary explanation. Scientific laws and explanations must be contingent. This is not to downplay their explanatory power, but in dealing with the ultimate explanation of facts, owing to their contingent nature they prove insufficient.

Defense of Premise 5

My opponent attempts to argue that the definition of the universe may very well change depending on future scientific discoveries and thus my definition is unwarranted. It is not unwarranted on my part however to offer this definition of the universe. The universe is made up of only contingent entities i.e. physical laws, etc. Nothing within the universe has been shown to be non-contingent and thus it is certainly warranted to define the universe in terms as the summation of those facts. My opponent has shown no evidence to the contrary. If it could be shown that any entity or phenomenon in the universe could not possibly have not been (that it is necessary as opposed to contingent) then my definition would not hold weight. However, no such entity or phenomenon has been to exist and my opponent has certainly not provided warrant.

I would like to thank my esteemed opponent Drafterman for this engaging debate and I wish him the best of luck in the voting period.
drafterman

Con

Circular Loops:

Here my opponent introduces new restrictions on what it means to be contingent. Note the original argument say this:

"Every contingent fact has an explanation."

And my opponent later adds:

"Since a contingent fact cannot explain itself..."

These are the only requirements and definitions provided for contingent facts: they have explanations; those explanations are outside of itself.

Now take my proposed circular set:

"A explains B, which explains A."

Or, in other words:

"A has an explanation in B, which has an explanation in A"

All the facts in question have an explanation and none of the facts explain themselves. Based on what has been provided up to this point, such a circular set is not in violation of any rules.

Now, my opponent states that:

"But A cannot explain and be explained by B since if that were so than A would be contingent and non-contingent upon B."

But this introduces a new implicit rule:

"If A explains B, then A cannot be contingent upon B."

Where is this rule stated in anything so far? Nowhere. Contingency, as presented, only addresses the explanation of a fact. It does not address what the fact itself explains.

Infinite Sets:

The proposed set does not call into question the explanation of A. The infinite set being discussed was explicitly one without finite beginning or end:

"Lastly, we have an infinitely long series of contingent facts; a series with no beginning. Again, I see no objection to this."

Now, certainly, what I presented has a beginning, but that is a limitation of the Representation of said set. "A" was merely an arbitrary starting point of the subset of the infinite series that was presented on screen. However, it is easy enough to have simply said:

"A is explained by B, which is explained by C, which is explained by D...."

If we can go infinitely in one direction, as my opponent concedes, then why not the other?

Theory of Everything:

My opponent falsely accuses me of saying that a "theory explaining all contingent facts must in itself be a scientific explanation." I never said that. What I did say was that a "theory explaining all contingent facts" can be a scientific explanation, in that this is not explicitly ruled out and the scientific explanation for all contingent facts would be found in the scientific Theory of Everything, an identified goal of scientists. My opponent fails to address this point and simply reasserts that a necessary fact cannot be scientific, ignoring the fact that such a thing is exactly what scientists are looking for.

Scientific vs. Agential Explanations:

"Scientific laws and explanations must be contingent" is not a premise in the presented argument, and is not accepted. Furthermore, my opponent doesn't address my actual criticism here: that merely because agential explanations are not currently scientific explanations, that doesn't mean they necessarily can't be scientific explanations.

Definition of the Universe

My opponent has offered a paradox:

"If it could be shown that any entity or phenomenon in the universe could not possibly have not been (that it is necessary as opposed to contingent) then my definition would not hold weight."

But if my opponent defines the universe as:

"The universe can be described as the summation of contingent facts in existence."

This is an impossible task and the point of my contention. How can I show that the universe contains necessary facts when you have explicitly defined the universe as to only contain contingent facts?

Your request indicates that you could potentially accept the universe containing necessary facts. But that's my point! If you accept the mere possibility of the universe containing a contingent fact, if such could be demonstrated, then you haven't ruled out the possibility. And so long as the possibility exists, it is premature to automatically say that any necessary fact would be god, instead of the universe!

Summary:
1. Based upon the definition and rules of contingent facts originally introduced, neither circular nor infinite series of contingent facts are disallowed. Furthermore, my opponent at least explicitly allows for series of contingent facts that are infinite in one direction.

2. The scientific Theory of Everything is a real goal of many scientists and seeks to explain all contingent facts. That scientists themselves, who must necessarily adhere to logic, do not reject the quest on logical grounds indicates that there is some potential for a scientific explanation for all contingent facts.

3. The exclusion of agential explanations as necessarily being not scientific is based only on the current inability of science to explain agential behavior. To say that a current lacking of science is necessarily a fundamental area that will always be outside the realm of science is assumptive. That is, agential explanations also being scientific explanations is not ruled out by a mere limitation of current scientific knowledge.

4. The universe. If the request by my opponent is genuine, then it would seem that he contends at leas the possibility that some necessary fact could be contained within the universe. If so, then we needn't rush to slap the label God on anything at all.

I know that some of the areas discussed are drastically outside the realm of our common perceptions of the world. Circular and Infinite series of facts? The universe being necessary? These concepts rail against our intuition our - for lack of a better word - common sense. However, we must be careful when we judge even the world by such things, let along logical arguments. We know, as well as we can know anything, that the world, let alone the universe, does not conform to our preconceptions, preconceptions which exist as are, not because they hit upon the truth, but merely because the process of evolution has selected them as being beneficial to our survival.

Our world operates in a linear, finite manner. The only things we are actually exposed to are contingent things. Ergo, our understanding revolves around and expects such things and we have a natural distates in accepting anything that does not conform to these macroscopic, physical, everyday conceptions. So, in judging this debate, which deals with the intangible and the universal, I ask the voters to not allow these things to cloud their judgement.

I thank my opponent for presenting this topic for discussion and debate.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
Posting to remind myself to read.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD:

Con was able to analyze Pro's argument and take it apart very well. Pro essentially conceded the point of every contingent fact having an explanation by saying that a contingent fact can't explain itself. This was pretty much what Con was arguing for with his point on Circular loops. Con also accurately showed that the theory of everything can be scientific. I also felt that Con nailed it when he pointed out that the word "being" added to necessary was unwarranted and "god" according to Pro's argument can simply be a label put on anything - including the universe itself.
Posted by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
RFD:

I thought that this was a pretty clear Con win. Pro never adequately addressed the infinite series and looping examples except with assertions that included new restrictions on the definition of contingent facts (this was demonstrated by the Con in the final round). I found Premise 4 of the Pro case to be particularly weak; as the Con noted in his opening speech, it is basically a non-sequitor. Con also provides the clever rebuttal that agential explanations could, in fact, be scientific explanations, so this point flows Con as well.

Good debate overall.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
It's important to Liebniz's mathematics, not the cosmological argument, if I remember correctly.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
It did seem common sense to me but the chapter devoted to the Lebnizian argument in the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology spent quite a lot of time on the matter, so I thought it would be a large point of contention.
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
It seems tautological, to me. If a contingent fact has no explanation, then what is it contingent on?
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I admit coming into the debate I thought the premise you would give me the most trouble on was Premise 1. But that's the ONLY one you accepted off the bat. Weird.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I was tempted to wait until the last minute to post my response to make this a nail biter but 7 hours to spare is close enough I suppose.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
Sorry about that, pages 25 and 26.
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
I've accepted. So I don't have to read the entire link, do you have a page reference for your source?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
ScottyDouglas
socialpinkodraftermanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I liked the debate was good from both sides, I agreed with Pro!
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
socialpinkodraftermanTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not do as good a job as I would have liked in his rebuttal to Con's circular loop and infinite contingent facts arguments. However, Con also made too many bare assertions about the possibility of scientific necessary explanations without trying to convince me that such a thin is logically possible at all. It seemed as though Con was not treating the term "scientific" the same as Pro was, which was regarding natural laws. On balance, I think Pro squeaked by on defending the argument.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
socialpinkodraftermanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
socialpinkodraftermanTied
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