The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
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The Contender
yuiru
Con (against)
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The fine-tuning argument fails to demonstrate an intentional, intelligent designer of the cosmos.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,274 times Debate No: 23701
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I will be arguing that the fine-tuning argument fails on my levels to demonstrate an intelligent designer of the universe and life.

First round for acceptance.
yuiru

Con


I accept!!!

I will be arguing that the fine-tuning argument succeeds on your levels to demonstrate an intelligent designer of the universe and life.


First Argument:

Formula 1
  1. The combination of physical constants that we observe in our universe is the only one capable of sustaining life as we know it.

  2. Other combinations of physical constants are conceivable.

  3. Therefore, some explanation is needed why our actual combination of physical constants exists rather than a different one.

  4. The very best explanation of the given fact is that our universe, with the particular combination of physical constants that it has, was created out of nothing by a single being who is omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, eternal, and interested in sentient organic systems, and that he "fine-tuned" those constants in a way which would lead to the evolution of such systems.

  5. But such a being as described in (δ) is what people mean by "God."

  6. Hence [from (δ) & (ε)], there is good evidence that God exists.

Similarly, this can be applied to FSM.


Source:
http://www.infidels.org...


Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I will arguing that the fine-tuning argument fails to demonstrate an intentional, intelligent designer of the cosmos and life itself (the argument also plants the seeds of it's own refutation).

First, I will review each premise to see if they can really add up to a solid argument in favor of intelligent design.

Attacking The Premises

"P1: The combination of physical constants that we observe in our universe is the only one capable of sustaining life as we know it. "

Lets say I was to accept this as fact, this does not entail that life as we don't know it could not exist. You may ask yourself, what reason is there to assume that life could arise if the constants were different? Well, we know of organisms called Extremophiles which can survive under conditions that we previously thought life couldn't thrive. Even though the current physical constants are necessary conditions which need to be in place for these particular observed Extremophiles to exist, it still shows that there is much about life within universes we are very ignorant of, and it's very likely that another form of life could have easily formed if some of physical constants were somehow different (maybe life that wouldn't be considered "biological" by our standards).

"P2: Other combinations of physical constants are conceivable."

There is absolutely no evidence that their is a "wide range" of physical constants, even if there is a range, it has not been shown how wide that range actually is in reality. If determinism is true, then these specific constants are necessary and had to turn out the way they did due to predetermining factors at each point in time durring the development of the universe.

"P3: Therefore, some explanation is needed why our actual combination of physical constants exists rather than a different one."

Determinism being true is one explanation (Now, I am just mentioning determinism to undermine the necessity of other contants being possible). Regardless, lets say we were playing bridge and I got dealt a random hand. The odds of me getting that exact hand are 1 and 635 billion, in fact, the odds of me getting any combination of a 13 card hand is 1 in 635 billion. Of course, nobody would receive a random hand and say the deck must have been stacked because the odds of getting that exact hand were 1 in 635 billion. Some combination of physical constants had to arise, just like some combination of cards had to be dealt when playing bridge. The odds of any other constants would surely not be anymore staggering than the odds of getting the constants we have now. Also remember, there is no good reason to assume that this is the only type of life that could have arisen out if the constants were different (assuming they could be, which I'm not sure can been demonstrated).

"P4: The very best explanation of the given fact is that our universe, with the particular combination of physical constants that it has, was created out of nothing by a single being who is omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, eternal, and interested in sentient organic systems, and that he "fine-tuned" those constants in a way which would lead to the evolution of such systems."

Ironically, the Fine-tuning argument is not an argument for intelligent design, but rather an argument against intelligent design. The idea of an extreme fine-tuning beyond which the target cannot exist is indicative of a precarious natural system, not of intelligent planning.

To understand this, an analogy may be useful. Suppose that our breathing was dependent on a specific level of oxygen in the atmosphere, and that any other level would cause suffocation. That would certainly count as “fine-tuning” in the sense given by the argument. The atmospheric composition in question would be the only one capable of supporting life, and this would therefore demand “explanation”.

But even if that was true, how would this fine-tuning justify design explanations? A designer would not
make it so that humans would constantly face the danger of suffocation. An intelligent designer would try, whether possible, to ensure that a given system could keep functioning under different conditions. Such is the case with humans, who can breathe in atmospheres thin or rich in oxygen. The precarity of a system’s functioning is not evidence of intelligent design, but rather of natural law. This is of course, assuming the validity of the first two premises (which of course I do not, as I have pointed out the huge problems with those assumptions).

Also, the fine-tuning argument leads no credence to the idea of an omnipotent God. The death trap universe we live in leads no credence to the idea of an all-loving creator either (I will dig into both of these issues further).

"P5: But such a being as described in (δ) is what people mean by "God.""

As I have shown, such a being has not been logically demonstrated.

"C: Hence, there is good evidence that God exists."

Since the argument rests on baseless assumptions that are most likely false, and actually doesn't fit well with an intelligent design, we can dismiss the conclusion.

Additional objections to the fine-tuning argument for intelligent design

The universe is designed for non-life and death

If one says the universe is fine-tuned for life, one must also admit that it's fine-tuned for death. It seems strange that an intelligent being who fine-tuned the universe so much just so we could be here, would also fine-tune it just as much to make the universe a death trap for us.

Universe

. Most planet orbits are unstable
. Less than 3% of gas clouds actually make a star
. Most places kill life instantly - heat -radiation - cold
. Galaxy orbits bring you near a supernova
. Our galaxy will collide with Andromeda
. Universe will wind down to oblivion

Humans

. Aggressive Childhood Leukemia, Hemophilia, Sickle Cell Anemia
. Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Parkinson's, ALS
. Narrow view of the electromagnetic spectrum
. Vision loss with age - teeth fall out - Alzheimer's - Prostate Cancer
. Exhale most of the oxygen we inhale
. Warm blooded must eat constantly
. We are practically comatose for 1/3 of our lives sleeping
. We cannot detect magnetic fields, ionizing radiation fields, Radon
. We cannot smell or taste CO, CH4, CO2, but if you breath them in, you are dead. [1]

It seems that elements of randomness mixed with intricate complexity and order produced the environment we live in which gave rise to us. However, it seems unlikely than an intelligence with the intent to create us had anything to do with it, due to death traps we face constantly. This would be like breeding a horse for the purpose (lets say, a horse race) just to booby trap the entire pathway in front of your horse, and this is not something any intelligence would do. Someone could accuse me of trying to "understand the mind of God", but that's exactly what the opposition does when they call God all-loving and apply all of these attributes and wills to God. So if the opposition is to avoid special pleading, it's clear that speculating about God is reasonable.

Omnipotence and Fine-Tuning

It seems that the idea of a universe being "fine-tuned" does not really sit well with the idea of an omnipotent God. Why would an omnipotent God be bound by any fine-tuning? An omnipotent could God could create a universe where any conditions would allow for life as we know it, instead of having to place the Earth just in the right place where life could arise ect. (an omnipotent being shouldn't have set any conditions to be "just right", because this means God is bound by the conditions being set which contradicts omnipotence).

Conclusion

The reasons for rejecting the fine-tuning argument for intelligent design, are stronger than the reasons to accept the fine-tuning argument for design. Unless my opponent shows otherwise, the resolution has been affirmed.

Source(s)

[1] Video

PS. Sorry, not many sources were needed.
yuiru

Con

OH MY GOD,


You destroyed my argument.

Meaning it succeeds on your levels atleast to the degree to compell you to totally debunk it.


P1) "Lets say I was to accept this as fact[...]" - said by Awesome Person

Seems like an innocent hypothetical question, yes?

I beg a differ.

This kind of hypothetical question tells me you were considering the probability, and that you were allowing yourself to think in terms of it.

You would not be able to do this, unless it met the expectations of your level. Therefore P1) meets your intellectual stantard, and thats so far a 1/6 score.

P2) "There is absolutely no evidence that their is a "wide range" of physical constants, even if there is a range, it has not been shown how wide that range actually is in reality. If determinism is true, then these specific constants are necessary and had to turn out the way they did due to predetermining factors at each point in time durring the development of the universe."

2/6 score!

P2 meets your level expectation because you are able to conceive it.

P3) "Determinism being true is one explanation[...]"

This is irrefutable evidence of you indirectly agreeing that some explanation is necessary.

Thus meeting your intellectual standard.

So I will count this as 3/6 score to meeting your level.

P4) "Ironically, the Fine-tuning argument is not an argument for intelligent design, but rather an argument against intelligent design."

This individually meets your level, you have stated the fine-tuning argument is not to demonstrate an intelligent designer of the universe and life but rather against it.

This meets your level expectations because for the argument to fail it must first have the goal.

Therefore, because you have stated that it is an argument against intelligent design, it does not fail to demonstrate an intelligent designer because thats not what its goal is according to you.

If it does not fail it still atleast meets expectations.

Thus, the score is 4/6.

P5) "As I have shown, such a being has not been logically demonstrated."

This directly implies you agree this being is what people mean by "God" and what you yourself mean.

Therefore, P5) meets your expectations of intellectual standard.

Thus the score is 5/6.

Conclusion) "The reasons for rejecting the fine-tuning argument for intelligent design, are stronger than the reasons to accept the fine-tuning argument for design. Unless my opponent shows otherwise, the resolution has been affirmed. "

You have deliberately ceased to think about the conclusion meaning it does not meet you intellectual standard.

Conclusion:

83.33 % of the Premises of the argument have meet your Level (Intellectual Stantard).

83.33 % is within the range of 80–89 % therefore a qualified B.

A B is a pass, therefore the fine-tuning argument succeeds.

I hereby rest my case, the fine-tuning argument has passed on your levels.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

It seems there has been a misunderstanding, in the first round I meant to type "fails on many levels" not "fails on my levels". I wasn't planning on making this a debate about my "intellectual standard", this is just a debate regarding whether the fine-tuning argument demonstrates an intentional agent/ intelligent designer or not (I apologise for the typo, and for any confusion).

Either way, I will still address my opponent's last round.

P1: "This kind of hypothetical question tells me you were considering the probability, and that you were allowing yourself to think in terms of it.

You would not be able to do this, unless it met the expectations of your level. Therefore P1) meets your intellectual standard, and thats so far a 1/6 score" - yuiru

As I already explained, even if I were to accept premise 1, it still doesn't negate life as we don't know it.


P2: "P2 meets your level expectation because you are able to conceive it."

Sure, I can conceive of different physical constants.


P3: "This is irrefutable evidence of you indirectly agreeing that some explanation is necessary."

No, it really isn't. If the constants can only be conceived of, then an explanation for why we have this specific set of constants isn't necessary.


P4: "Therefore, because you have stated that it is an argument against intelligent design, it does not fail to demonstrate an intelligent designer because thats not what its goal is according to you."

This makes no sense. If the fine-tuning argument is an argument against intelligent design, then clearly the argument doesn't meet my standard as an argument for intelligent design.

P5: "This directly implies you agree this being is what people mean by "God" and what you yourself mean."

Sure.


Conclusion regarding my "intellectual standard"

My opponent's whole round was based on a misunderstanding (which I will take the blame for, I guess). Either way, my opponent did not demonstrate that the fine-tuning argument for intelligent design succeeded according to my intellectual standard (my opponent didn't even defend the idea that the fine-tuning argument supported Theism). It is irrelevant anyway, I would like to keep this a regular fine-tuning debate, which would actually be more beneficial for my opponent as well (and was the whole point of me creating this debate in the first place).


Continuing my case

My Fine-Tuning Argument for Atheism (Inspired by the original Fine-Tuning Argument for Atheism)

So, even if I granted the first 3 premises of the fine-tuning argument for Theism (stricty for the sake of argument, mind you), it could be shown that the argument actually supports Atheism.

P1: This particular combination of physical constants within the universe which are capable of sustaining 
life are
necessary or have a necessary part (the physical necessity of being capable of sustaining life over
other conceivable
constants).

P2: If life lying in this very narrow range of constants was due to an intelligent designer of the cosmos,
then this
particular range of physical constants in the universe which are capable of sustaining life would
be contingent to this
intelligent designer (Thus, this particular combination would not be necessary or
have any necessary part but would be
completely contingent to this being).

P3: This particular combination of physical constants within the universe are not contingent (from P1).

C: Life lying in this very narrow range of constants is not due to an intelligent designer [1]

The Theist could deny Premise 1, but then they would have to deny the entire fine-tuning argument for Theism. If the combination of physical constants that we observe in our universe is the only one capable of sustaining life as we know it, then these constants are necessary for life, and no other constants could produce life.

The Theist could deny Premise 2, but of course they would have to deny the Argument from Contingency for Theism.


So, it seems that the fine-tuning argument actually supports Atheism over Theism, and it does not successfully demonstrate an intelligent designer.

Conclusion

An extreme fine-tuning beyond which the target cannot exist is indicative of a precarious natural system, and is exactly what we would expect to find if Atheism were true. However, this is not what we would expect if Theism were true, and the argument fails to demonstrate an intelligent designer of the cosmos, and life itself.


Unless my opponent can:

1) Logically rebut the Fine-Tuning Argument for Atheism
2) Logically rebut my objections to the premises of the Fine-Tuning argument for Theism (of course, after refuting the Fine-Tuning Argument For Atheism)

and

3) Argue that the Fine-Tuning Argument, actually supports intelligent design

...Then I believe I have the upper hand in this debate (once more, I apologise for any misunderstanding regarding the "many levels" typo).

Source(s)

[1] http://wiki.ironchariots.org...

(PS. The video included is just for kicks, and is not really part of my argument)
;
yuiru

Con

yuiru forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round.
yuiru

Con

Sorry about my putrid forfeit

"
P1: This particular combination of physical constants within the universe which are capable of sustaining
life are necessary or have a necessary part (the physical necessity of being capable of sustaining life over 
other conceivable constants)."

That is not true, it is not necessary for the universe to subsist with these constants, only for our planets life.

"P2: If life lying in this very narrow range of constants was due to an intelligent designer of the cosmos,
then this particular range of physical constants in the universe which are capable of sustaining life would
be contingent to this intelligent designer (Thus, this particular combination would not be necessary or
have any necessary part but would be completely contingent to this being). "

That's like saying aliens are jaguars.

Not true, an intelligent designer would not have to design their creation logically or conditional.
Especially if they are all powerful, they can make it as unneccessarily complex and unconvient as they want.


"P3: This particular combination of physical constants within the universe are not contingent (from P1).

C: Life lying in this very narrow range of constants is not due to an intelligent designer [1]"

You can't apply rules of logic, convience, and neccessity to the illogical, unconvient, and unneccesary!!!

"The Theist could deny Premise 1, but then they would have to deny the entire fine-tuning argument for Theism. If the combination of physical constants that we observe in our universe is the only one capable of sustaining life as we know it, then these constants are necessary for life, and no other constants could produce life.

The Theist could deny Premise 2, but of course they would have to deny the Argument from Contingency for Theism.


So, it seems that the fine-tuning argument actually supports Atheism over Theism, and it does not successfully demonstrate an intelligent designer. "

Maybe I misunderstood p1?
If thats what you meant then, you are still wrong. Just because they are neccessary for life and the only ones capable of SUSTAINING life, does not mean they can and others can't PRODUCE life.


"Conclusion

An extreme fine-tuning beyond which the target cannot exist is indicative of a precarious natural system, and is exactly what we would expect to find if Atheism were true. However, this is not what we would expect if Theism were true, and the argument fails to demonstrate an intelligent designer of the cosmos, and life itself. "

Who cares? Only atheist and theist care, because its all about gods? They are the only superstition, eh?
Your first sentence I can not fully understand, so I can not argue against the conclusion accurately. Sorry...

"Unless my opponent can:

1) Logically rebut the Fine-Tuning Argument for Atheism"

See my rebut for premise 2! Its basically the same concept

2) Logically rebut my objections to the premises of the Fine-Tuning argument for Theism (of course, after refuting the Fine-Tuning Argument For Atheism)

Already done!

and

3) Argue that the Fine-Tuning Argument, actually supports intelligent design

B*tch, what you think I be playin? You think I be stoopid up in here? pssh, you ain't know squat fool.

This is how its done, read real careful now y'all:

First all, just who you think I am? Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee Jones, Fransico? I'm a brazilian model, that means I'm right by default...

Second of all.. No, second of ALL... Okay to the argument:

The fine-tuning argument (what a b*tch, I tell yah) maybe stooooopid man, but that don mean nuthin!

Brotha, have you ever seen a three inch tall polyatomic dinosaurus flex? They don't play man, they be eat'in fresh of the skiddle.

Let meh tell yah something...
My minivan pull over and my crew pulls out, we ain't got no woman but sure as hell a lot of clout.
Brotha, I love yah man. Me and you man, go way back. Hell, I remember seeing you all the way in round 1 brotha.

Okay to the argument for sure this time:

The fine-tuning... argument...

Supports the intelligent design because... becuz... it be an intelligent design argument, there for it is in support(or favor if you will) of the intelligent design argument.

"The fine tuning argument states that these values(constants) occurring in such a precise state by mere chance is highly improbable, and that there must have been a creator to fine tune these values in order for our universe to exist as it does and for life to exist on Earth."
Iron Chariots

^Proof^ This is obviously an argument in support of intelligent design.

...Then I believe I have the upper hand in this debate (once more, I apologise for any misunderstanding regarding the "many levels" typo). "

Yeah, I just copy paste yo arguments...



Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
You said "fails on my levels" not "meets my standard as [blah blah blah]"
So it doesn't FAIL on your level because it didn't have the goal in the first place according to you!
Posted by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
I will have to be arguing some serious poopy donk here man :/
Posted by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
Sorry for that forfeit, it was physically impossible for me to type a response up.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I apologize for the 2 or so typos I allowed into my opening argument.
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