The Instigator
Killer542
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
robert.fischer
Con (against)
Winning
53 Points

The laws of physics make it impossible for some god not to exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/31/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,970 times Debate No: 5856
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (11)

 

Killer542

Pro

I would first like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Secondly, I would like to define "god": some being or deity outside of the laws of physics. This is not the dictionary definition, rather what I meant by "god", which I only used for lack of a better word. I would also like to point out that I am only in high school and apologize if my facts are a little off. Now, on to the debate. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that the the total amount of disorder in the universe is increasing, while the total amount of order is decreasing. Also the famous equation "E=m/c squared" means that the total amount of matter and energy cannot increase or decrease, making the "big bang" theory impossible. I wish my opponent good luck.
robert.fischer

Con

I would like to take this chance to thank my opponent for presenting such an interesting topic, and wish my opponent the best of luck. Hopefully, the way in which this debate unfolds will allow for insight and growth for both of us.
I accept my opponent's definition of [a] God as, "some [any] being or deity outside the laws of physics [with no specific law being presented in the definition]. I would like to further refine this definition, by adding that this God must be an definite entity; i.e. that God cannot be redefined as an imaginary or hypothetical being; thusly, the burden is on my opponent to prove that such a God exists in a meaningful, discrete, physical way in order to uphold the resolution.
I would also like to submit a few definitions of my own.
Firstly, I would choose to define a, "Law of Physics" to mean a principle upheld by rigorous scientific testing and experimentation; that is to say, it is provable but not demonstratively disproved; and is supported by a general consensus of reputable physicists worldwide.
Secondly, I wish to define, "impossible" to mean that the event in question must not be remotely possible in any way. The event in question must not only be improbable, but proven beyond all reasonable doubt to have a) never existed, b) currently non-existent, and c) not possible for future existence, based upon current conditions.
Therefore, in the scope of this debate, the burden is on my opponent to prove that a Law of Physics makes it impossible for a God not to exist, all as defined above. This means that my opponent must prove beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that a God has no chance of ever not being, not being, or ever not being in the future (thus, impossible to "not be"), AND show that this condition of impossibility for "not being" is a DIRECT RESULT and PROPER FUNCTION OF a Law of Physics.
It follows, then, the the major criterion for this debate will be my opponent's ability to prove said condition. It will also be important for my opponent to specify which law (or laws) of physics will come under question, as well as how they relate to the case, and prove the impossibility of the non-existence of a god.
I will refrain from beginning further argumentation until my opponent has a chance to accept these definition and criteria.
Debate Round No. 1
Killer542

Pro

I accept your definitions, though I wish you had given me some points to refute. Now to my case, as stated previously the second law of thermodynamics says that the amount of disorder is increasing, therefore it is impossible for a god not tto exist, look at it this way: the universe is an old fasioned clock whose spring must be wound up. The clock cannot wind itself up, some other being(god) must wind it up. Also the equasion "E=mc squared" states that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, therefore nothing that acts within the laws of physics could create any of the matter or energy in the universe.
robert.fischer

Con

Okay, so right on to refutations.
I apologize in advance, my arguments will be inherently odd, as they will deal with theoretical physics.
The second law of thermodynamics, that the entropy of an isolated system which is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium, is used by my opponent to imply that since entropy (he uses the term disorder) in increasing, a God must have existed to have, "wound the clock," in the beginning.
This is absurd, and a misuse of the second law of thermodynamics.
The second law of thermodynamics simply states than in a closed system, entropy increases. This is usually used to mean that it is impossible to transfer heat from a cold to a hot reservoir without at the same time converting a certain amount of work to heat. It is also impossible for any device that can operate on a cycle to receive heat from a single reservoir and produce a net amount of work; it can only get useful work out of the heat if heat is at the same time transferred from a hot to a cold reservoir.
This, of course, means that there is no possibility of an isolated "perpetual motion" system. Also, from this it follows that a reduction in the increase of entropy in a specified process, such as a chemical reaction, means that it is energetically more efficient.
Heat, as used above, means loss of energy from the said system as radiant energy due to friction or similar processes.
Nowhere, in the law itself or in scientific circles, has the second law been implied to refer to the universe as a whole; it is commonly used for thermodynamic systems, which have a discrete boundary.
Furthermore, if you choose to use it to refer to the entire universe, you must prove that the universe is a closed thermodynamic system, which it may not be. To be a closed thermodynamic system, the universe would have to have a discrete boundary, through which no new energy may be added. There are many theories in place currently which have our universe as but one among many, the so-called "multiverse." IF this is the case, then energy may be moving from our universe to others, and from others to ours. Our universe, then, may not be a closed thermodynamic system, and thus the second law would not apply to it as a whole.
Even still, the amount of energy never decreases due to entropy; it is transferred from "useful" to "useless" energy. Those terms are relativistic, and mean nothing beyond their context. Which brings me to my opponent's next example.
My opponent uses E=MC2 to state than neither matter nor energy may be created or destroyed. This is actually the principle of the conservation of matter and the conservation of energy, which are separate ideas. E=MC2 means that energy will equal matter times the speed of light squared, and nothing more. It equates matter and energy equivalence, and unites the concepts of conservation of mass and conservation of energy.
My opponent then uses this to imply that, since no matter can be created or destroyed, there must be an agent independent of the laws of physics that can work outside them to create all the matter and energy in the universe, which he calls God.
This is non-sequitur. The energy and mass could have existed prior to the Big Bang which is generally considered to be the beginning of our current universe, preserved from a prior universe that had collapsed into a Big Crunch (as ours may eventually do as well).
Therefore, the presence of matter and energy does not imply BY ITSELF a God.
Debate Round No. 2
Killer542

Pro

To answer your multiverse theory, under your definition of the laws of physics the laws must be "supported by a general consensus of reputable physicists worldwide". How many physicists support your theory? There is a much larger chance that we are(the universe) is alone, even the name states that: "uni" meaning "one". In fact since astrologers say that the universe is expanding, we are either alone or we are "pushing" the other universe(s) which is hardly likely.
As for your big bang theory, it's a moot point as something(god) would have to create the first one, no matter how long ago that was. And for your big crunch, the same astrologers say that the speed at which the universe is expanding is increasing, so unless something the future the universe will not end in a big crunch. I apologize for not posting references, but I am writing from memory and therefore have none
robert.fischer

Con

To briefly address the multiverse; a large and growing consortium of physicist, astronomers, and cosmologists agree that it is possible that our universe is either one of many, or one in a chain of many http://www.qubit.org...), and such a hypothesis is supported by our understanding of quantum mechanics, which is currently the deepest and most complete physical theory we have.
If we were, in fact, the product of prior big bangs and crunches, each preceding universe would have had its own unique laws of physics and physical structure. This makes it entirely possible for matter to be composed differently, energy to be expressed differently, both governed by different rules; subject to different forces. It is, then, possible for a universe to exist in this chain where matter CAN be created (or, destroyed), negating your supposed need for a God to create such matter (weird as it is, you could start out with nothing but laws that allow matter and energy to be created, and matter and energy could spring into being).
I urge anybody reading this debate to consult any of the many reputable publications and journals on this subject for further reading, if you wish to broaden your knowledge of current theoretical physics and cosmology.
Furthermore, no matter how much my opponent asserts that E=MC^2 implies that the Big Bang is impossible, it does nothing of the sort. At "time 0" of the big bang, up to about 10^-43 seconds, matter and energy were compressed into a gravitational singularity, and thus not subject to general relativity, which breaks down at levels below the planck scale (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu...), thus making E=MC^2 irrelevant.
But, I digress. Back to the debate at hand.
My opponent, to win, must have definitively shown that, "the laws of physics make it impossible for some god not to exist." This is basically clumsy wording for, "the laws of physics necessitate a god."
I have shown that they do not, and my opponent has not shown that they do. In order to win, my opponent should have proven that the resolution ought to be upheld, which he has not.
When I refuted his claim in R2, he offered not serious argument to my refutations and thusly dropped his contentions. But, he never made any new contentions, or made any new lines of argument to bolster his position, which leaves my opponent with... nothing.
It is for this reason that I urge you, the audience, to vote CON in this debate. The burden of proof was on PRO, who provided none; and furthermore, PRO dropped all of his points.
I congratulate my opponent on this debate, thank him for the opportunity, and look forward to the chance to debate him again.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iamadragon 8 years ago
iamadragon
"because it would be near impossible for all the parts of a planet to fall in order perfectly, with no flaws or breaks."

Maybe you were talking about the Earth, and not the universe. It doesn't really matter. The issue is that this way is not necessarily the "perfect" way. Maybe if the Earth/universe fell into order the perfect way, we would all have wings. We would drink oil for survival and the ocean would be made up of oil. Spiders would be the dominant life-form, not humans.

Your statement assumes that this is the "right" way, and that is simply not necessarily the case.

"And secondly who do not know if other planets in other galaxies can hold life. For al we know there can be a planet in some far off galaxy with a race of alien beings far more advanced then ours, and then another race in some other galaxy with a race of primative alien life-forms. We don't know if Earth is the only planet with life on it, and we will never know until all planets are explored."

This is completely besides the point. Assuming you were using the universe for your watch analogy and not the Earth, you can't say that the way the universe has formed is perfect. This formation doesn't have to be the watch. Perhaps the "perfect" way would mean that every planet can sustain human life, and we know that that is not the case.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
I forgot to mention I have never taken a physics class in may life, I got all my info from reading and the history channel.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
Well, considering I'm only 15 and in high school, I think I did pretty good.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
I vote Con, His explanations of physics were far superior to Pro's and Con was able to refute all of Pro's arguments with regards to physics.
Posted by Mr.Alex 8 years ago
Mr.Alex
@TheSkeptic:

Your right, the creation of the planets was slow and a long process, but the Earth is a perfect planet, and Mars is a perfect planet, and Jupiter is a perfect planet. The fact is that even though these planets cannot support life does not mean they are not perfect. They each are unique and adaptable to the space they are found in.

@iamadragon:

I was using the watch as an analogy, not literally stating that the Earth was a watch. And secondly who do not know if other planets in other galaxies can hold life. For al we know there can be a planet in some far off galaxy with a race of alien beings far more advanced then ours, and then another race in some other galaxy with a race of primative alien life-forms. We don't know if Earth is the only planet with life on it, and we will never know until all planets are explored.
Posted by iamadragon 8 years ago
iamadragon
Mr. Alex:

Who says we are a watch? Why is this way the "perfect" way? Maybe if the Big Bang had occurred differently, all planets could hold life.

TheSkeptic:

I'd like to add something to your last point. The probability of our planet being the way it is–I assume, able to foster life–is 100%... we wouldn't be here if it wasn't "the way it is." If "the way it is" is a more generic term, then the argument still doesn't make sense. Even if there are an infinite number of ways for something to happen, it still has to happen one way.

That's like saying that because the chance of one human winning a Nobel Prize is 1/[living people on Earth], it is almost impossible for it to actually happen.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
@Mr. Alex

--> I've heard such analogies many times, for now I'll just refute that in three ways

1. The vast majority of planets in the universe are hostile to life anyway.

2. The watch analogy doesn't work. We didn't come straight from the Big Bang EXPANSION (not explosion) to a preeminent planet filled with life. It was long and slow process.

3. Many times you would hear from creationists that the probability of our planet being the way it is a gigantic out-of-the-world number. Yet there are two flaws. First they suppose that Earth as it is right now is the only viable state for life to exist. And secondly, they assume that everything has equal probability. Think of it like this: when you let go of a balloon, where does it go? Can we not agree that a balloon can go left, right, down, up, diagonal, and tons of many other directions? But almost 99% we know everything it will almost always go up, because of helium, gravity, etc. Not everything in the universe is equally weighted for.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Conduct - TIE: No personal attacks nor noticeable disagreeable attitude amongst either debater

Spelling and Grammar - TIE: Though I would like for both debaters to use the "Enter" button more, there were no major spelling errors for either side

Convincing Arguments - CON: His understanding of physics was demonstrable, and he successful refuted all of PRO's arguments. Additionaly, PRO failed to fulfill his burden of proof, which also led to his downfall.

Reliable Sources - CON: In the third Round, PRO himself apologized for using no sources. CON used more and better sources, so the vote foes to him.
Posted by Mr.Alex 8 years ago
Mr.Alex
Interesting topic. I heard a sort of analogy that pertains to this argument recently. If you had all the parts to a watch in your hand, and threw these parts into the air, the chances of them falling in the exact order to form a watch is near impossible. So it is with Earth, and all planets. If you think that all the planets were formed by an explosion (Big Bang Theory) then you must also believe in a god, because it would be near impossible for all the parts of a planet to fall in order perfectly, with no flaws or breaks.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
*for which
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Vote Placed by robert.fischer 6 years ago
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