The Instigator
theta_pinch
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Magic8000
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The first cause argument for God is invalid

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Magic8000
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,310 times Debate No: 44496
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

theta_pinch

Pro

First round is acceptance.
Magic8000

Con

I accept in playing Jesus' advocate.
Debate Round No. 1
theta_pinch

Pro

In this debate the concept of time that will be used is time in relativity.


THE FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT
  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.
This argument is based on causality; the relationship between cause and effect. However without time(or having time but not being the "forward progression" time), causality cannot exist.

MY ARGUMENT AGAINST IT

In the singularity that inflated to form the universe; all the physical laws were present and so was space-time; however because it had infinite density(kind of like a black hole), relativity and quantum mechanics break down. Relativity describes the warping of space time but if it breaks down then that means time must be breaking down too; because of this causality can be violated. That means that the big bang could've been an effect without a cause or the big bang could have been the effect and the cause happened after the effect.
Magic8000

Con

I’d like to thank Pro for challenging me to this debate. His two arguments have to do with the notion of causality. His first is deductive and next is an inductive one from a singularity.


Deductive Causal Argument


Pro states that since time is a forward progress of events a caused first state of time is incoherent. Because causes precede effects. The problem with this argument is that cause and effect can happen in a simultaneous manner. For instance, the chandelier’s cause of it hanging in the air is the chain and ceiling. This effect and its cause are simultaneous in time, yet the chandelier hanging is caused. Another example is from quantum entanglement. When you measure the spin of one entangled particle and discover its spin is up, then you know the other entangled particle is spin down. The cause of the second particle’s spin (measurement) is simultaneous with its effect (a -½ spin).


The cause of the universe can be simultaneous with its effect removing this problem.


Inductive Causal Argument


There are three problems with this argument I will point out. First, this only would refute a scientific justification of premise one. The physical laws of causality may not apply, but this says nothing about the philosophical justification. Scientifically, it may be possible for an uncaused cause, but premise one is based on the metaphysical principle ex nihilo nihil fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. An effect can’t have nothing as a cause. It may be possible in the scientific realm, but philosophically, P1 still holds.


Second, it is wrong to think of the singularity as an ontological existing thing. But a mathematical conception, whose ontological status is the same as nothing. A singularity has no time, no space, and no physics. This hardly qualifies as an existing physical thing. As William Lane Craig said


That is to say, the singularity has no positive ontological status: as one traces the cosmic expansion back in time, the singularity represents the point at which the universe ceases to exist. It is not part of the universe, but represents the point at which the time reversed contracting universe vanishes into non-being...Just as there is no first fraction, so there is no first state of the universe. The initial singularity is thus the ontological equivalent of nothing. The breakdown of the laws of physics and the attendant unpredictability is perspicuous in light of the fact that nothingness possesses no physics... Simply put, an object that has no spatial dimensions and no temporal duration hardly seems to qualify as a physical object at all, but is rather a mathematical conceptualization [1]


Physicist Dr. Gustavo Romero agrees. He states


….there are no physical space-time singularities. There cannot be, neither. Singularities are not physical entities, but limits of our ways of representing the world. There is no shame in that. [2]


The third problem is the idea of a singularity existing at the beginning of the universe. One huge problem with this idea is that it doesn’t take quantum mechanics into consideration. Hawking who was one of the creators of the Penrose-Hawking Singularity theorem said


It is perhaps ironic that, having changed my mind, I am now trying to convince other physicists that there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe – as we shall see later, it can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account. [3]


The idea that there was a singularity is based on general relativity. Physicist Sean Carroll commented on this saying


"It's going to be wrong, because it doesn't take into account quantum mechanics. And quantum mechanics is certainly going to be important once you get to that place in the history of the universe." [4]


Thanks, back to Pro.


[1] Craig, William Lane and Quentin Smith. Atheism, Theism, and Big Bang Cosmology. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, p.227

[2] http://arxiv.org...

[3] http://sqentropy.dyndns.org...

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

Debate Round No. 2
theta_pinch

Pro

"Pro states that since time is a forward progress of events a caused first state of time is incoherent. Because causes precede effects. The problem with this argument is that cause and effect can happen in a simultaneous manner."

Cause and effect happening simultaneously doesn't disprove the notion of the forward progression of time; you can't go back into the past(to our knowledge) which proves that notion. Also this could be considered conceding the debate since simultaneous causation also invalidates the first cause argument.

There are three problems with this argument I will point out. First, this only would refute a scientific justification of premise one. The physical laws of causality may not apply, but this says nothing about the philosophical justification. Scientifically, it may be possible for an uncaused cause, but premise one is based on the metaphysical principle ex nihilo nihil fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. An effect can’t have nothing as a cause. It may be possible in the scientific realm, but philosophically, P1 still holds.

The first cause argument is supposed to prove God's existence which means that it has to be valid in all senses including in a scientific sense.


Without the singularity my argument is invalid so I will move onto the argument that simultaneous causation can explain it without God.
Magic8000

Con

I wasn’t trying to disprove the notion that time is a forward progression of events. I was trying to refute the idea that causality can’t exist without time. So, my opponent agrees with me. He stated I conceded because simultaneous causation refutes the CA. This is false, for reasons I’ll get into later.


Inductive Causal Argument


I never said the CA was invalid in a scientific sense. What I’m saying is, if this argument is true, premise one still holds because of philosophy. The objection says you’re only narrowly looking at scientific possibility and not philosophical impossibility. Taking science and science only it would be possible, but premise one is a claim that stretches into metaphysics as well as physics. On paper, it may be possible, but in the actual world there would be no uncaused events in a singularity. The evidence for premise one is culmative, so my objection holds.



Pro then goes onto concede his singularity objection is unsound. He then says he’ll move onto the argument that simultaneous causation can explain the universe’s existence without God.



Simultaneous causation


The problem with atheistic simultaneous causation is very simple. In order for there to be the act of SC there must be potential for it to happen. This is true by definition. If something has no potential it can’t happen. My opponent must then account for this potential, which brings you to the same problems. It wouldn’t be the beginning of the universe because something would have to be existing. Appealing to simultaneous causation as an atheist only pushes the argument up, it doesn’t refute it. Theism can explain this potential for the act of SC easily. Furthermore atheistic SC doesn’t explain the universe as well as theism. Why did this act of SC happen? Why did it just randomly happen? Why atoms? Why not something else? This makes theism more probable as atheism has no explanation for this.


I have pointed out Pro’s straw man and shown his new argument from simultaneous causation is flawed for two reasons. One is a defeater and the other makes his position less probable.

Debate Round No. 3
theta_pinch

Pro


I never said the CA was invalid in a scientific sense. What I’m saying is, if this argument is true, premise one still holds because of philosophy.

But for the argument to work in reality it would have to be scientifically valid too. This debate was about whether or not is it a valid argument for the existence of God in the real world.

The problem with atheistic simultaneous causation is very simple. In order for there to be the act of SC there must be potential for it to happen. This is true by definition. If something has no potential it can’t happen. My opponent must then account for this potential
.

One possibility is that membranes collided(M-Theory.)

CONCLUSION

The first cause argument is valid philosophically but for it to actually work in reality it would have to be scientifically valid which it is not.


Magic8000

Con

Pro has dropped his argument his deductive causal argument. I never said the argument was scientifically invalid. Pro does not address my response. On paper, taking only science, it may work. In the actual world however, it holds.


Simultaneous causation


Pro drops this argument. He presents a possible creation from membrane universes. If I were to concede this, this doesn’t explain where the multiverse came from. The idea of an infinite amount of membrane universe bares philosophical absurdities. One is the fact that it violates Occam’s razor. One universe is much simpler than many. Furthermore, these membranes must be finite, otherwise we deal with the consequences of infinity. In order to get to the point “now” we would have to cross an infinite amount of time in this set. Lastly, there is no experimental support for any multiverse ideas [1]. They are essentially speculative.


Pro in his conclusion agrees the argument is philosophically sound. Since philosophy does indeed make claims about the actual world, he is basically conceding my point. Pro has dropped many arguments in this debate. His argument from a forward progression of time, his argument from simultaneous causation, and his only hope is an argument that is based on speculation that bares absurd consequences.


Thanks.



[1] video

Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
I already know where you're going with the simultaneous causation argument. Can I address it in my round 3?
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
Lol, it's ok. I just wasn't sure if you meant "sound" or "invalid"... it seems that despite this confusion, Magic is arguing that it's sound, so it's all cool.
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Why do I always mix those up!?
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
Shouldn't it be "The first cause argument for God is sound" and not "invalid"? The KCA is obviously a valid categorical syllogism...
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Yeah, I'll do that. Sounds like fun
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
I may accept and play devil's advocate.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
also yay tesla!
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
I don't understand why you challenged me. I agree with you.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
theta_pinchMagic8000Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't reply to alot of Con's arguments. Con showed that the argument is still philosophically sound. Pro conceded this, and thus conceded the debate, since the KCA isn't supposed to be just a physical argument, but also a metaphysical one. Con used sources which were reliable.
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
theta_pinchMagic8000Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Well, this debate was easy to judge. Pro assumed from the jump that causality is temporal, and that is why the first state can be uncaused. However, Con responded by appealing to simultaneous causation to show that causality still entails regardless of time. Also, metaphysics is more fundamental than physics. The refutation of any physical principle wouldn't debunk the metaphysical principle. All of these objections from Con stood, and Pro was unable to sufficiently rebut these objections. Obvious source points to Con.