The Instigator
petersaysstuff
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Whatwhat1219
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

There are no arguments for God that cannot be refuted.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,431 times Debate No: 17043
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (34)
Votes (2)

 

petersaysstuff

Pro

I propose a challenge! I am taking that stance that there are no good arguments for god that cannot/have not been thoroughly refuted. I challenge anyone but preferably a theist. This first round will be for the contender to post his/her arguments and I shall respond to them. If I can successfully refute said arguments I win. If I cannot, the contender wins.

Definitions:
Refuted: I would consider refuted if I can prove a key premise in the argument for god to be false.

God:"The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being"[1]

[1] http://www.google.com...
Whatwhat1219

Con

So, hello, my opponent petersaysstuff. Hope you are doing well :) .

Definition: Change: "to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution"[2], or in other words, from one state to another.

Argument 1

Before proceeding into argument one, I would like to also prove that the universe could not have created itself:

- to saying that "something created itself" is a verbal absurdity for it is impossible for something to exist before itself and after itself at the same time. In other words if it is the "creator" of something then it must exist before it. And if it is created then it must exist after its "creator". Therefore, the merger of these two cases leads to an impossibility and what ever leads to an impossibility is itself impossible. If this is absurd, then claiming that nature created the world is more absurd, for if the world could not create itself, it would not be created by a part of itself.

Ok:

This is a Muslim argument, but, I feel it is nice.

Premise A: We exist here today.

Premise B: Before we existed there were a series of events, one after another leading up to our existence today. (The passing of such a series of events is what we call time, and measure in minutes, days, weeks and years.)

If one accepts Premise A, then one must also accept that the series of events in premise B must have a beginning. This must be, because if someone claims that an eternal/beginning-less amount of events had to be concluded before his existence, then he is saying that eternity came to an end, which is a contradiction in terms. It is like if someone said “this car will only get to its destination after its wheels have spun infinitely many times,” and then claimed that the car arrived at its destination. It is clear, however, that the car could never have gotten to its destination if an infinite number of spins was the condition for its arrival.

Those who claim that the world has no beginning are in fact saying that it is a prerequisite for tomorrow to arrive that an infinite number of events first take place. This is impossible, because infinity cannot end. Clearly then, the number of events that precedes our existence must have a limit.

In addition, since it is necessarily true that this series of events has a beginning, then it must also be that before this beginning there were no series of events (defined as anything with a beginning). If someone claimed otherwise, then they would end up with the same contradiction (saying that infinity came to an end). Accordingly, the claim that the world was created by random events is irrational.

Rather, there must be a Creator that gave the series of events existence, since it was nonexistent before it began. Moreover, since it is impossible for there to be any events before the existence of this series, then it must also be that the Creator is not attributed with events, i.e. with any attribute or action that has a beginning. This again means that the Creator does not resemble the creations, since all created attributes must have a beginning. Actually, having a beginning and being a creation is the same thing. This is because to create is to bring into existence, and everything with a beginning must have been brought into existence.

We know from the above, by mathematical precision and logical necessity, that the Creator exists and does not resemble His creation. From the fact that the world has a beginning, we have proven that it must have a creator. The name of this creator is Allah in Arabic. If someone asks, “Who created Allah?” we say Allah does not have a creator, and does not need one as He has no beginning. If someone then asks, “how can you accept that Allah has no beginning, while you do not accept that the world has no beginning?” The answer is that we have shown that the world has a beginning based on the fact that it changes (changes are events). We do not believe, however, that Allah changes. Rather, we believe The Creator is One, and doesn’t change and has no beginning.

The fact that Allah does not resemble His creation can also be known by saying that since The Creator's existence must be (as shown above), then it cannot also be merely possible (since “must be” and “possible” are incompatible meanings – something cannot be both a must and a possibility at the same time). Therefore, The Creator must be clear of any attribute that belongs to the possible category of things. For example, weakness, limits, boundaries and needs are attributes that may or may not have existence; their existence depends on them being created; their existence is a possibility, not a must. They need a Creator to specify their limits. We know that we need a Creator, because we know that our own attributes need specification. We know they need specification because they have limits, and limits must be specified. For example, if you pointed at a table in a room and said, “Who made it in that shape?” and someone answered, “No one, it is just there like that eternally!” Would you accept this? Of course not, because we know anything limited needs someone to specify it.

If someone asked: If an event can be defined as an action that has a beginning and giving a series of events existence is an action with a beginning (and if it’s not, then what is it?), then how can one rationally conclude, based on the logic presented above, that the Creator is not attributed with events?

The answer to this is that we did not define events as actions having a beginning, but as “anything that has a beginning.” Actions may have a beginning, namely the actions of creation – as they all share this resemblance, or they may not, namely the actions of Allah.

Allah does not resemble His creation, so He is not an event or attributed with events. This is because to “create” is to “bring into existence,” and all events are therefore by definition created. As Allah’s attributes are not creations, they are not events.

Last but not least, in attempt to confuse, or out of confusion some may ask:

“What if the world’s existence is cyclical?” Our answer to this is that cycles are still one cycle one after another, so they are events. Some may also ask, in an attempt to confuse: “Before Allah created this series of events, was He able to create another series or not?” Our answer to this is that this is a nonsensical question, because what we established was that there must be an event that is first, regardless of the number of series, or the number of worlds preceding the current one. We also established that Allah’s actions are not events, so they are not described with a “before.” [1]

In conclusion, the universe is need of a Creator for its existence.

Argument 2

1) Whatever changes has a beginning*

2) This world has many changes occurring in it**

_______________________________________________

Therefore, the universe has a beginning.

You must conclude that the universe is need of a Creator, (after all, it existed after non-existence and could not have created itself) and that The Creator is clear of change/transformation.

Explanation:

*Whatever changes from one state to another has a beginning. This is because the change must have a beginning, otherwise, if one claims that the change has no beginning, then it never happened. This is because whatever has no beginning, has no end, and change is to go from one state to another. So, the change would have never got to the next form/occurred if it was beginning-less. Since the change has a beginning, so must the thing which is undergoing it.

**Humans undergo a lot of changes. E.g. : Baby à adult à grave.

Since we know the universe has a beginning, it’s existence is dependent upon something which doesn’t change. The person must then conclude that there must be a Creator for this universe.


[1] http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 1
petersaysstuff

Pro

I thank my opponent for writing back but I must admit, I was nervous he would not make the time limit.

Regarding the universe creating itself: It did not. The universe came from nothing, uncaused. (This will be expanded upon later)

//Premise A: We exist here today.//
This may not be true. For example, there is the classic solipsist argument that the only thing one is sure about is one's own mind thus I cannot be sure you exist and you cannot be sure I exist. Also, no one can be sure anyone else exists thus the claim "we exist here today" may not be true. You have not proven that "we" are and thus this is flawed. I urge voters (who may or may not exist) to take the aforementioned into consideration. However, for arguments sake I will assume premise A.

//Premise B: Before we existed there were a series of events, one after another leading up to our existence today.//
Sure. This serious leads back to the beginning of the universe. I agree with this.

**I am going to skip most of the middle paragraphs since they are proving a premise I already accept.**
But I will say one thing, as my opponent claims, "We do not believe, however, that Allah changes". With this in mind, if I show that Allah changes in someway, be it his mind or physically, this argument falls since that means Allah needs a creator which means he is not the "supreme being".

Allah changed his mind: There is a story in the Quran where Muhammed was talking with Musa who said that Allah's mandate of 50 prayers a day was too much. Once this was told to Muhammed he convinced Allah to lessen the number by 5. He did the above 9 times until the required number of prayer was 5. [1] This is an example of change because as my opponent's definition agrees with, he is going from one state to another, a state of mind to another. With this in mind we can see that Allah changes so we can substute Allah in argument two (which I will respond to in a minute).
1) Allah changes thus he has a beginning.
Then we go up to argument 1;
Premise B: Before Allah existed there were a series of events leading to his existence, and then I crossapply my opponent's own argument which means something must have created Allah thus meaning he is not the "supreme being" and is not god.

Now on to argument 2. (I will respond to the conclusions of both arguments in a minute)
The two premises are fine.

The conclusion for both of these is that the universe needs a creator but this is just not so. The universe can come from nothing. This may seem odd but listen.
Observation 1: Our universe has 0 net energy. Our universe has 0 total energy due to the fact that matter/energy is positive and gravity is negative thus if you add them, the cancel to 0 exactly. The important thing about a 0 energy universe is that it can come from nothing. This will be shown in subsequent observations.

Observation 2: Quantum fluctuations can create matter from nothing. Quantum fluctuations can create matter from nothing, of course these are quite short lived since they have positive net energy but if a particle, or a universe, were to say, have 0 total energy, there would be no limit upon the longevity of said entity.

Observation 3: Since our universe has 0 total energy and quantum fluctuations can create matter from nothing our universe can come from nothing.
Therefore: Your god is not needed.[2] (I can provide more evidence if needed)

Conclusion: Even if one were to ignore my refutation of the specific arguments and to assert that they still stand, I have shown that Allah changes thus using my opponent's own argument against himself. Essentially, my opponent's arguments fall or Allah is not god and I win.

[1] http://www.sunna.info...
[2] http://www.infidels.org...
Whatwhat1219

Con

Opponent said: "Regarding the universe creating itself: It did not. The universe came from nothing."

I agree with this.

Opponent said that it may or may not be true that we exist, he said: <I urge voters (who may or may not exist) to take the aforementioned into consideration>

This statement is a contradiction in a way; you can’t “urge” or inform that which is non-existent.

I will proceed since the opponent has accepted the premise "we exist" for the sake of argument.

The opponent claims that “Allah changed his mind” and claims to use as proof the happenings of the ordainments of the 5 obligatory prayers Muslims pray.

The opponent posits that God has a mind. This is false. A “mind” is an an attribute the creations have, since God doesn’t resemble anything (as proven earlier), is sublime of such an attribute. Prophet Muhammad didn’t “convince” Allah, rather he made “supplication” and it was answered, as the link says.

Opponent says “This is an example of change because as my opponent's definition agrees with, he is going from one state to another, a state of mind to another.”

Since the opponents (erroneous) premise is that God has a mind, then the conclusion is false. Furthermore, it seems that the opponent is equating God with a human in a way; he thought that God has a “mind” and that God “changes” his alleged “mind”.

In conclusion, there was no “change” that occurred to Allah. Prophet Muhammad made supplication for the prayers to be lowered and it was answered and lowered, 9 times, according to the link.

Summarizing the four points of the opponent’s contention, he claims that something can create itself. The initial point of proving that the universe could not create itself was to prove that something couldn’t create itself, but I guess I didn’t make that clear. But, then again, since the opponent agrees that the universe could not have created itself, then how can he claim that a part of the universe can create itself? Is it not apodictic that the part cannot create the whole, or that since the whole of something can't do something, then the part can't? Nonetheless, something can’t create itself.

I will prove that something can't create itself:

Existence precedes action. Whatever is non-existent is incapable of doing anything, much less allegedly "creating itself". The action itself is dependent upon the existence of that thing in the first place. Furthermore, to claim that the universe created itself, entails two contradictions simultaneously: it would be like claiming that the universe existed before and after itself to create itself.

Furthermore, this claim infringes upon a basic law of philosophy: The Law of Non-Contradiction, which is "the basic law of logic which states that it is not possible for something to be and not be at the same time." [1]

Aristotle had once said, regarding the Law of Non-Contradiction, "It is impossible for the same attribute at once to belong and not to belong to the same thing and in the same relation" [2]

I urge my opponent to stop being arrogant; as you can see, he domineeringly proclaimed "Essentially, my opponent's arguments fall or Allah is not god and I win". I never even had a chance to respond, yet he does such.

[1] http://www.philosophybasics.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
petersaysstuff

Pro

//I agree with this.//
Good, we agree on this.

Regarding solipsism, we can ignore this since I did agree with the first premise.

//The opponent claims that "Allah changed his mind" and claims to use as proof the happenings of the ordainments of the 5 obligatory prayers Muslims pray.//
I did use proof and you didn't refute it so I extend it.

//The opponent posits that God has a mind//
I was showing that what your god thought at one point was changed. It seems my opponent does not understand that the phrase "to change a mind" has to do with a change in what was thought or said which is what your god did. You god said one thing but then was convinced otherwise. He changed his mind thus my claim still stands.

//Prophet Muhammad didn't "convince" Allah, rather he made "supplication" and it was answered, as the link says.//
To be honest it really does not matter if Muhammed convinced Allah or not, the fact is that Allah said one thing, the 50 prayers, but he then revised his claim to 5 prayers.

//Since the opponents (erroneous) premise is that God has a mind, then the conclusion is false.//
This is not true. I never said god had a mind, I was using an expression that said that god thought one thing but then revised it. He changed his mandate. Anyone can see this.

// he thought that God has a "mind" and that God "changes" his alleged "mind".//
Change ones mind is an idiom that means "To decide differently than one had decided before" which is what happened in the case of the prayers. This is not disputable and I will restate it in the conclusion.

//In conclusion, there was no "change" that occurred to Allah. Prophet Muhammad made supplication for the prayers to be lowered and it was answered and lowered, 9 times, according to the link.//
This is utterly false. My opponent did not contest that Allah first said 50 prayers but then said 5. By definition that is a change. My point stands.

// he claims that something can create itself//
Not true. I never claimed that something can bring itself into existence, I claimed the universe came into existence out of nothing, uncaused. What my opponent is doing is strawmanning my argument. I am NOT arguing that the universe created itself. My 3 observations still stand since my opponent only refuted a non-existent argument.

Conclusion: Allah originally said 50 prayers but Muhammed talked to him and Allah then said only 5 prayers. Allah went from one state, a state of saying he needed to be prayed to 50 times to a state of saying he needed to be prayed to 5 times. This by definition is a change thus my previous argument

"1) Allah changes thus he has a beginning.
Then we go up to argument 1;
Premise B: Before Allah existed there were a series of events leading to his existence, and then I crossapply my opponent's own argument which means something must have created Allah thus meaning he is not the "supreme being" and is not god."

And I should win on this alone!

But moving on, my opponent tries to say my argument about quantum fluctuations says that the universe made itself but this is just not true. I said the following: "Since our universe has 0 total energy and quantum fluctuations can create matter from nothing our universe can come from nothing." This does NOT say the universe created itself, it says it came from nothing. Since this has gone unrefuted I extend it and the voters have two things to use to vote PRO on.
Whatwhat1219

Con

Rather than responding to each of the first few responses of my opponent (which is against me claiming that Allah didn't change by the prayers), I'll summarize it.

Opponent said: "the fact is that Allah said one thing, the 50 prayers, but he then revised his claim to 5 prayers...I was using an expression that said that god thought one thing but then revised it. He changed his mandate. Anyone can see this...My opponent did not contest that Allah first said 50 prayers but then said 5. By definition that is a change. My point stands."

Yes, that's a change. A change of the amount of prayers/mandate, but how does that necessitate a change to Allah? It doesn't;the change occurred to the creation, which was the order. Allah eternally willed that the order would change on that night, just as Allah eternally willed for the laws to change from one Messenger* to another (For example, during the time of Adam, the diktat of Allah was for them to pray once a day. The next Messenger, who was Shith -or in English, Seth- they were ordered to pray twice a day). None of that necessitates a change to Allah.

*In Islamic terminology, a Messenger is a Prophet who receives a new set of laws which abrogate some or all of the previous Messenger's laws. Every Messenger is a Prophet, but not every Prophet a Messenger.

Opponent says: "I never claimed that something can bring itself into existence, I claimed the universe came into existence out of nothing, uncaused. What my opponent is doing is strawmanning my argument. I am NOT arguing that the universe created itself."

I agree that it came out of nothing, but what you fail to understand is that one either takes the position that it independently came into existence (thus claiming that it created itself), or that it is dependent upon something other than itself to come into existence. There is no third option, so this isn't a false dichotomy. The latter would be claiming that it is caused, which is the position you choose not to take, so, by deduction, you are claiming it created itself.

Conclusion:

A change to the Laws doesn't necessitate a change to The Creator. The Laws have changed many times; from Moses to Jesus to Muhammad, et al.

The opponent says: "But moving on, my opponent tries to say my argument about quantum fluctuations says that the universe made itself but this is just not true".

I had meant that you were claiming that "something created itself", I mentioned that in the comments section seconds after I posted by previous response.

I agree that it came from nothing...but if there is nothing, then how can there be any action, such as a quantum fluctuations...? There can't be any action if there is nothing (there has to be some THING to perform that action, not no-THING(nothing), because the action itself is dependent upon something to do it).

Even if someone did take your position and say that the universe did come from quantum fluctuations, thus becoming dependent upon the quantum fluctuations to exist, wouldn't you be contradicting your stance of saying that it was "uncaused"? After all, you purport that the universe is a result of quantum fluctuations. Thus, one can infer that, according to you, the cause is the quantum fluctuations and the result is the universe; a paradox of your previous stance.

My opponent contradicts himself and fails to understand the implications of his claims. I have confuted the contentions of my opponent, vote CON.


Debate Round No. 3
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
But he isn't.....
Posted by interrogator 6 years ago
interrogator
The truth still stands. There is no debate. God is real.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
The quantum fluctuations are uncaused. The basis of your argument is that there must be an immutable "first mover" but I have proven that is false.
Posted by Whatwhat1219 6 years ago
Whatwhat1219
If something had a beginning to its existence, then it must be dependent upon something else for its existence.

You claim that the universe is uncaused, yet say that as a result of quantum fluctuations, the universe formed. According to you, the result is the universe and the cause is the quantum fluctuations.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
How is he a slave to secularism? He is arguing for god.
Posted by interrogator 6 years ago
interrogator
What What. You know way too much about nothing.
What you said here today is all irrelevent.
And it does absolutely nothing to sway people to the truth.
It was total garbage. Thanks for being a slave to secularism.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
False, quantum fluctuations can create matter from nothing even when there is no space or anything. It is merely a change in the amount of energy. For example let's say we have a space of nothing. No matter, energy, laws just nothing. This nothing has 0 total energy but this energy state is always changing thus it will at some point have energy and matter forms. Nothing causes it. Did you read my source?
Posted by Whatwhat1219 6 years ago
Whatwhat1219
Since it is absurd to assert that the universe created itself, then it is certainly dependent upon something other than itself for its existence. Your proposition is mutually exclusive.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
Something can come from nothing, uncaused without brining itself into existence.
Posted by Whatwhat1219 6 years ago
Whatwhat1219
Oops, replace, universe with the word "thing" in round 2 at the end of my response. "Furthermore, to claim that something created itself entails two contradictions simultaneously..."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
petersaysstuffWhatwhat1219Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con drops Pro's entire argument until the last round and then only replies to it weakly. 3:1 Pro
Vote Placed by TheNerd 6 years ago
TheNerd
petersaysstuffWhatwhat1219Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate had very little to do with the topic of "no arguments for god which cannot be refuted". I'm not sure how you would have fit that into 3 rounds anyway.