The Instigator
KostasT.1526
Con (against)
The Contender
sengejuri
Pro (for)

The universe needs a creator, therefore God exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 824 times Debate No: 104411
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (0)

 

KostasT.1526

Con

Hello
In this debate the topic discussed is whether the universe requires a creator (or rather, a God) or not, on scientific and philosophical terms (mainly the former). Pro is to argue that it does need a creator, while I, Con, will argue that it does not. The burden of proof is therefore shared.
______________________________________________

Definitions:

Universe [1]:
[yoo-nuh-vurs]
noun
1. the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm.
My source provides more definitions, but that is the one to be debated on.

Creator [2]:
[kree-ey-ter]
noun
1. a person or thing that creates.
2. the Creator, God.
______________________________________________

Debate format:
R1. Acceptance and Pro's initial arguments, if they wish so.
R2, R3, R4. No special restrictions.
R5. Only rebuttals and no new arguments or claims which have not been elaborated on during previous rounds. It is suggested that both sides make an objective summary of the debate in the last round.

Regulations:
1. Please, do not forfeit, except if you have an important reason to do so. If that does happen, though, the discussion may continue in a separate debate.
2. No offensive behaviour is allowed, neither on the debate nor on the comment section.
3. Pro may propose a modification to the debate's format or regulations or an alternative definition to the ones provided above up to R2.
4. Both sides are allowed to provide new definitions to support their claims only during R1, R2 and R3.
5. Have fun.
______________________________________________

Sources:
[1]. Dictionary.com, "Universe"
http://www.dictionary.com...
[2]. Dictionary.com, "Creator"
http://www.dictionary.com...
sengejuri

Pro

The universe needs a creator = The universe needs a cause

According to Con's definition, a creator is a person or thing that creates. If we build on that and accept an appropriate definition of "creates" is "to cause to begin or come into being," then I propose an acceptable synonym for "creator" is "cause." Therefore, throughout this debate whenever I reference the universe having a "creator," I simply mean the universe had a "cause." I just want to clarify this in order to remove the emotional charge often carried by the term "creator." For the purposes of this debate, I am arguing that the universe needs a cause.

Now, for the second part - "therefore God exists." Con did not define "God." But suffice it to say that if something could exist outside of space, time, matter, and the natural order (i.e., super-natural), that thing would be a strong candidate for "God." So, here is a more precise version of my premise:

The universe needs a cause, and that cause is an agent outside of space, time, matter, and the natural order (aka, God).

Finally, BoP - it is impossible to prove whether God exists or how the universe began - we cannot observe or measure such claims. Neither of us can fulfill a pure BoP. Therefore, I suggest the debate operate on a preponderance of the evidence, or, what is most likely to be true given the evidence.

== Argument ==

To win this debate, my opponent must demonstrate that the universe exists without cause. Con must literally show that the universe came from nothing - no creator, no cause, no beginning. Con only has 3 options - either the universe created itself (no cause), the universe came from nothing (no creator), or the universe is eternal (no beginning). If there is another option I am missing, I welcome Con to present it. Unfortunately, these options are all impossible, and I will explain why for the following reasons:

1) Something cannot create itself. This is self-evident, because something cannot create itself if it already existed in the first place.

2) Nothing cannot create something. Let's be clear on what we mean by "nothing." It means quite literally "no-thing." No matter, no energy, no space, no natural laws, no properties. Therefore, logic and all scientific observation confirms that nothing cannot create something, because out of nothing, nothing comes.

3: The universe had a finite beginning. Not only does scientific observation overwhelmingly confirm this, but it would be logically impossible for us to exist in a past eternal universe - if an infinite series of events must transpire before arriving at the present moment, then we would never get to this present moment because it is impossible to complete an infinite series of events. This is important because, if true, it means that no space, time, or matter existed prior to the birth of the universe. Therefore, our "cause" is necessarily beyond space, time, matter, etc...

With these premises, the argument proceeds as follows:

P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C: Therefore, the universe has a cause which is necessarily spaceless, timeless, immaterial, and uncaused

I welcome Con's rebuttals. No rush - I won't be able to respond until Monday.
Debate Round No. 1
KostasT.1526

Con

Debate clarifications:

a. First if all, I would like to apologise for not elaborating more on the term "Creator".
The definitions I gave were the following:
1. a person or thing that creates.
2. the Creator, God.
By Dictionary.com
My opponent stated that "Creator" equals "cause". Indeed, sometimes "Creator" may have that meaning, but that is so in specific cases.
Here are the most common synonyms of "Creator":

Dictionary.com [1]
Main Entry: creator
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: inventor; God
Synonyms: architect, author, begetter, brain, deity, designer, founder, framer, generator, initiator, maker, originator, prime mover, producer, sire
Antonyms: destroyer, destructor

WordReference English Thesaurus " 2017 [2]
creator
Sense: n. (in general)
inventor, producer, originator, author, designer, writer, artist, painter, draughtsman, draftsman, draughtswoman, draftswoman, draughtsperson, draftsperson, architect, artiste, performer, begetter, brains (slang), constructor, builder, craftsman, craftswoman, craftsperson, artisan, engineer, engenderer, instigator, fashion designer, craftsman, mastermind, maker, manufacturer, smith

creator
Sense: n. (religious)
First Cause, Deity, Maker, God, God Almighty, Yahweh, Allah, Jehovah, Father, Our Father, Lord, Lord Our God, All-Powerful, King of Kings, divinity

As seen here, the word "cause" cannot be considered an alternative to "creator", except when in a religious sense. Meaning, "cause" will be accepted as a synonym to "creator" if in a religious frame, thus implying a higher or intelligent supernatural entity.

b. When talking about the burden of proof being shared, I mean that it is placed on neither Pro nor Con. Perhaps I did not make it clear enough. I apologise for that.

Arguments:

I would to begin with mentioning that the big bang is proven to have happened. I will use certain points I have made in another debate, namely "Religion is a delusion".
The evidence is listed below: [3]
i. A good telescope, under favorable circumstances, should be able to observe foreign galaxies that have a faint reddish hue. That happens because of the Doppler - or redshift, in this case - phenomenon, which tells us, according to the studies of wave mechanics, that the wavelength of a wave increases as the wave source moves away from the observer, and decreases, as it gets closer to him. The above occur in light waves too, making it more red as the wavelenght increases (redshift) and more blue as it decreases (blueshift). This is so because the red and blue colours correspond to the highest and lowest wavelength of a light wave in the visible spectrum of light. Knowing this, one can deduce that all the galaxies are moving away from the observers - us - with an astounding speed, considering that the speed of light is 300.000klm/sec.
That may lead to the conclusion that our galaxy is the centre of the universe. But to quote Hubble: ...if we see the nebulae all receding from our position in space, then every other observer, no matter where he may be located, will see the nebulae all receding from his position. However, the assumption is adopted. There must be no favoured location in the Universe, no centre, no boundary; all must see the Universe alike. And, in order to ensure this situation, the cosmologist, postulates spatial isotropy and spatial homogeneity, which is his way of stating that the Universe must be pretty much alike everywhere and in all directions."
The following is Hubble's law:
1. Objects observed in deep space (extragalactic space, 10 megaparsecs (Mpc) or more) are found to have a Doppler shift interpretable as relative velocity away from Earth
2. This Doppler-shift-measured velocity, of various galaxies receding from the Earth, is approximately proportional to their distance from the Earth for galaxies up to a few hundred megaparsecs away.
The logical conclusion that scientists drew out of this is, of course, the expansion of the universe, which we ascribe to the big bang.
ii. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (or CMBR/CMB) is an intense radiation detected throughout the whole universe, considered to be the most direct evidence for the big bang, as it is radiation that was initially produced by it.
iii. Last but not least, there are the accurate predictions made by the big bang theory concerning the detected quantities of the funfamental elements (Hydrogen, Helium, Deuterium, Lithium e.t.c.) in the observable universe. I cited an image from Lawrence Krauss' book "A universe from nothing" in order to present my argument better. [4]

My opponent made the following statements:
"1) Something cannot create itself. This is self-evident, because something cannot create itself if it already existed in the first place.

2) Nothing cannot create something. Let's be clear on what we mean by "nothing." It means quite literally "no-thing." No matter, no energy, no space, no natural laws, no properties. Therefore, logic and all scientific observation confirms that nothing cannot create something, because out of nothing, nothing comes.

3: The universe had a finite beginning. Not only does scientific observation overwhelmingly confirm this, but it would be logically impossible for us to exist in a past eternal universe - if an infinite series of events must transpire before arriving at the present moment, then we would never get to this present moment because it is impossible to complete an infinite series of events. This is important because, if true, it means that no space, time, or matter existed prior to the birth of the universe. Therefore, our "cause" is necessarily beyond space, time, matter, etc..."

The third point is the one I disagree with.
No scientist ever claimed that, the universe had a finite beginning based on evidence or observation. If Pro, by any chance, refers to the big bang, they are totally wrong, for the latter explains the expansion of our universe, as all matter was initially concentrated in one little area, but not its origin.
I contend that the universe is not finite, hence having no beginning. I shall justify my claim by mentioning that time itself appears to be a property of the universe (reference to relativity) [5], this proposing the possibility that time has no effect, or rather does not exist when talking about the universe as a whole. In this way, the universe can be described as "infinite", as it would have no finite beginning in the frame of time, for, as shown above, the aforementioned is subjective.
My opponent also argues that, if our universe is infinite, we could not exist in a specific point of time in it, because an infinite series of events would have passed before us. I believe they view the matter from a false perspective. With a timeless, as proven before, universe, one could simplify the topic by saying that everything happens simultaneously in that universe. Time poses no problem here. I would describe it as an infinite folder (infinite universe) containing reports of an infinite number of events (time). The point in which we exist is merely some of those papers.

I have to admit that I can hardly comprehend all the above, since the mystery known as "infinite" is involved, let alone elaborate on it. If any logical mistakes are made, I would appreciate it if Pro mentioned them.

Sources:
[1] Dictionary.com thesaurus, "Creator"
http://www.thesaurus.com...
[2] WordReference mobile application thesaurus, "Creator"
[3] Big bang, elaboration and evidence https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[4] Element analogy
http://bit.ly...
[5] a. Relativity
Relativity experiments:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Constancy of the speed of light experiments:
https://journals.aps.org...
https://journals.aps.org...
b. Constancy of the speed of light, supporting relativity
Constancy of the speed of light articles:
https://www.google.gr... (download)
http://www.emc2-explained.info...
sengejuri

Pro

Happily, it seems that Con and I agree on most points -

- We agree the term "cause" is an acceptable synonym for "creator" in this debate.
- We agree BoP is shared, meaning we will operate on preponderance of the evidence, or, what is most likely to be true.
- We agree the Big Bang happened
- We agree something cannot create itself
- We agree nothing cannot create something

Very good.

Thus, the debate now hinges on a single point - is the universe finite, or eternal? Did it begin to exist, or has it always existed?

I cannot access many of Con's sources because they require a subscription, so I cannot adequately address them. However, based on their argument, Con is essentially advocating for what is called "B Theory" Time (as opposed to "A Theory"). The only way for a causeless, past-eternal universe to exist is if time behaves according to B Theory. Unfortunately for Con, we have ample evidence to believe our universe operates according to A Theory, which I will now demonstrate:

== Rebuttal ==

"A Theory" time posits that time passes in the traditional sense like a clock- moments pass sequentially from past to present to future, and reality only exists in each present moment (like a ticking second hand) - the past can no longer be accessed and the future does not yet exist. This is the way we all assume time to exist - whether consciously or subconsciously. Our entire culture and society is built upon it.

"B Theory" time posits that time doesn't actually "pass." Rather, time just "is" - a fixed, defined property that we all exist within. Past, present, and future are all equally real and exist simultaneously. Like Con said, it is as if time were a stack of paper, and the moment we are experiencing is merely one of those papers, but all the other papers are equally real and also exist in the stack at the same time. To put it another way, it would be as if time was a loaf of bread and we exist on one slice of that loaf. However, although we are on one slice, many other slices also exist at the same time in the same loaf. In such a concept, there is no real "past" or "future," just different points. In this way, Con can indeed claim the universe is eternal because the concept of a "beginning" is meaningless. This is the only condition in which a causeless universe can exist.

So, which theory is most likely to be true?

We have zero reason to believe B theory time is true. If we truly lived within B Theory time, for example, time travel should be possible. We should be able to easily move from the future to the past at will because moments in time are merely different points in the same "loaf," all just as real as the present. And yet, at this point, it still seems this is an impossible thing to do. We have no evidence to suggest that time travel is real.

In addition, there is no logical way to reconcile time travel philosophically. Time travel according to B Theory time becomes circular and absurd once you ask whether someone could go back in time and kill themselves. If the answer is no, then that can't really be considered time travel (if a present reality of yourself trumps a past reality, then all points in time cannot be said to exist equally). If the answer is yes, then how is that possible? If you died in the past, how can you exist as a future agent in order to return to the past and kill yourself?

Other problems:

In B Theory time, we should expect to have just as many future "memories" as past ones. If all points in time - past, present, and future - are equally real and have always existed, then what can explain the fact that we only have memories of past events? The best possible explanation is that the future has not happened yet, which confirms A Theory time.

In B Theory time, the human experience of pain and suffering is absurd. If you have a headache, go to bed, and awake the next day pain free, you may say "thank goodness my headache is gone!" But this makes no sense if we live in B Theory time. If past, present, and future are all equally real, then it makes no sense to feel relief at the headache being "gone" (i.e., in the past) because it is not really gone - it still exists, just on a different slice in the loaf.

A Theory:

On the other hand, we have ample reasons to believe A Theory time is true. For starters, we all experience time as if it behaved according to A Theory. The past is gone (we remember it), the present is here (we experience it), and the future is yet to come (we anticipate it). By the time you finish reading this sentence, you will perceive it as something you just did, and it is now in the past. This is exactly the experience that A Theory would predict. B Theory, conversely, would predict us having "memories" of events both past and future - i.e., you should already know what the next paragraph says.

Furthermore, all of science depends on the reality of A Theory time. Only in A Theory can you have a cause and effect - a present action that impacts a future result. Science is, at bottom, the process of discovering cause and effect with the goal of manipulating future results. In B Theory, there are no causes and effects, things just "are" because moments do not actually pass (hence, how you can have a causeless universe). Science would be destroyed in a B Theory universe, because there would be no need to discover causes and effects if it were possible for things to have no cause. Conversely, what we perceive is exactly the opposite - everything has a cause. Since absolutely everything we experience in our reality came from a cause, it is both reasonable and justified to assume that the universe, therefore, also had a cause. If Con can provide one single example of something that exists without a cause, I will forfeit the debate immediately.

== Conclusion ==

We have no reason to believe B Theory is anything more than theoretically possible, and we have ample reason (starting with our own experience and empirical observations) to believe that A theory conforms to reality.

Since B Theory is the only scenario in which the universe would not need a cause (creator), and since the weight of evidence overwhelmingly falls in favor of A Theory, we have no choice but to reject Con's position.
Debate Round No. 2
KostasT.1526

Con

It seems that my opponent is under the misapprehension that I agreed to their first two premises. In fact, I do have some objections on which I shall elaborate below, I just did not mention them in the previous round.

My sources require no subscription, for I have gone through no such process. Perhaps my opponent refers to the two APS journals I cited. In that case, I should mention that what I intended to use as my main source regarding these journals were the abstracts and not the whole articles (for the same reason Pro mentioned), while the latter may be examined for additional information if the reader wishes so.

I agree with the concepts of A and B hypotheses of the nature of time, but I would like to make some clarifications on the latter, while describing my rebuttals. For the reader's convenience, I will quote Pro when referring to a specific argument or claim they made.

"We have zero reason to believe B theory time is true."
Not at all. As I showed, science has proven how time is subjective depending on a variety of factors, drawing the conclusion that time is a property of our universe. To be exact, time is often labeled as an illusion [1]. That is quite a reason to believe in B theory, considering how it contradicts A theory.

"If we truly lived within B Theory time, for example, time travel should be possible. We should be able to easily move from the future to the past at will because moments in time are merely different points in the same "loaf," all just as real as the present. And yet, at this point, it still seems this is an impossible thing to do. We have no evidence to suggest that time travel is real."
Time being a property of the universe does not imply that time travel is possible. In fact, I have no idea about whether it is or not. I will make use of my folder analogy once more; I described time events as reports written in an infinite series of papers in the folder of the universe. Nevertheless, the claim that information is able to somehow transfer to another paper or that a paper can be moved to another location in the folder is an assumption. In order for that to happen, an intelligent being that exists outside of our folder has to do it. But, to the information inside the folder, such as us, that would not be comprehensible, considering the paradoxes Pro mentioned. Therefore, if B theory is true, it can be said to contradict through logic the concept of an extra-universal intelligent being, namely a God, too. But that does not have anything to do with this debate, unless my opponent is able to scientifically and logically prove the existence of God (although I doubt that).
Note that I cannot know if time travel will ever be succeeded. I am unable to predict the future scientific discoveries. But if it does happen, it will prove that time is even more complicated than philosophy and my analogy suggest.

"In B Theory time, we should expect to have just as many future "memories" as past ones. If all points in time - past, present, and future - are equally real and have always existed, then what can explain the fact that we only have memories of past events? The best possible explanation is that the future has not happened yet, which confirms A Theory time."
As mentioned before, time is practically an illusion and a property of the universe. Meaning, while it presumably does not affect the universe as a whole, apparently exists within it. It is just like a fish tank, filled with water; the fact that the fish is able to swim in the inside of it does not necessarily imply that fish can swim out of it too. We, the fish, describe our aquarium according to what we perceive inside it. But it would be wrong to attempt to describe the outside world using what we have experienced within its boundaries.
One may also think of the above as a book. The reader, after finishing the book, can reread it, knowing what is going to happen in the "future", as it is not going to be any different, no matter how many times they read it. In fact, the information is all contained in the book. But I doubt that the characters would be able to realise that their future has "happened" again, namely every time one reads the book, and therefore they would not have any memory of it.

"Furthermore, all of science depends on the reality of A Theory time. Only in A Theory can you have a cause and effect - a present action that impacts a future result. Science is, at bottom, the process of discovering cause and effect with the goal of manipulating future results. In B Theory, there are no causes and effects, things just "are" because moments do not actually pass (hence, how you can have a causeless universe). Science would be destroyed in a B Theory universe, because there would be no need to discover causes and effects if it were possible for things to have no cause. Conversely, what we perceive is exactly the opposite - everything has a cause. Since absolutely everything we experience in our reality came from a cause, it is both reasonable and justified to assume that the universe, therefore, also had a cause. If Con can provide one single example of something that exists without a cause, I will forfeit the debate immediately."
I disagree with the claims made here. What happens within a universe has a cause, for time exists within it. On the other hand, if time does not affect the universe, it does not need to have a cause itself. I will describe the universe with the term theists use to justify religion and describe God; "infinite".
Also, please do not forfeit unless you believe that you cannot defend your thesis in any way. Thank you.

Conclusion:
There are reasons to believe in B theory, and thus we cannot reject it yet. Evidence, contrary to Pro's claims, overwhelmingly supports neither theory yet, for that is up to our future arguments to declare, and so I await my opponent's response.

Sources:
[1] Time
"Why Space and Time might be an illusion"
https://www.huffingtonpost.com...
"Are Space and Time fundamental?"
http://www.pbs.org...
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sengejuri 11 months ago
sengejuri
Not sure what's going on. If you'd like me to just forfeit I will, it's my fault. If you'd like to continue, perhaps you can cancel the debate and restart and we'll just copy/paste our rounds up to this point in and pick up where we left off. Again, sorry for the technical difficulties.
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
Unfortunately, while the debate is supposed to continue after a forfeit, I see no option that would allow my to post my next round.
Posted by sengejuri 11 months ago
sengejuri
Ya I usually do that too, but I didn't this time. I'm going to have to forfeit, there's no way i can rewrite in time. But if you waive the round i can post by the end of the day
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
I'd rather you do not forfeit, though you may act as you wish.
Personally, when writing my arguments, I save the text in either a google drive document or a sticky note, if on a mobile device, before posting it, for that not to happen. I would suggest you tried something similar too.
Posted by sengejuri 11 months ago
sengejuri
So, I was finishing up my rebuttal and the website froze. When I refreshed the page all my text was lost. There's no way I can re-type it in time. If you'd like me to forfeit I will. If you'd like to continue just write "I waive Round 3 and allow Pro to continue in Round 4" and I'll put my rebuttal in Round 4. Sorry about this! Good debate so far.
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
@sengejuri
Due to my unexpectedly busy schedule, I did not have enough time to write a more sophisticated rejoinder, concerning the last points I made. Moreover, I did not explain my view on the first two premises, which I shall do on the next round.
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
Ok. I will probably post my arguments on Sunday
Posted by sengejuri 11 months ago
sengejuri
KostasT - Unless you can respond by tonight, take your time, I can only respond either tomorrow or Monday.
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
It seems I mixed my sources up a little on relativity and the constancy of the speed of light. I hope there is no problem with that.
Posted by KostasT.1526 11 months ago
KostasT.1526
@segenjuri
Ok then.
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