The Instigator
UnderHill
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Sargon
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

There is a God.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,668 times Debate No: 40328
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

UnderHill

Pro

I will give a few arguments that show why there is a God.
Round one is for accepting.
Sargon

Con

Ave

I accept.

Vale
Debate Round No. 1
UnderHill

Pro

The Principle of Sufficient Reason


First, I address the age old argument that nothing exists without sufficient reason. All things in existence require a sufficient explanation for their existence. Imagine a glass ball in a forest, you would assume that someone or something had put that glass ball there. If the glass ball was the size of the Earth, you would still assume something had put it there, if it was the size of the Universe, you would still have to assume that someone or something had put it there. The size of the ball doesn't changes its neccesity for sufficient reason of its existence. Using the PSR (Principle of Sufficient Reason)
we come to the...

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is this:
  1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or an external cause.
  2. The Universe does indeed, exist.
  3. If the universe does have an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.
  4. Therefore, the Universe does have an explanation for its existence.
  5. Therefore, the explanation for the Universe's existence is God.

Premise One: Premise one is merely a restatement of basic PSR, think back to the glass ball example.

Premise Two: The universe exists, and I hope my opponent would agree.

Premise Three: Three is the logical equivalent to what atheists often affirm
that if atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence. For
the transcendent cause must be immaterial, and there are two things which fit
such a description: abstract objects or Minds. But abstract objects don’t stand
in causal relations, they don't fit our criteria for existence, hence the cause
of the universe must be an ultra-mundane mind. The universe clearly exists (premise 2), so
therefore it follows logically that the universe has an explanation, that
explanation being God.

Premise Four: See premise 1 and 2

Premise Five: See premise 3 and 4

Argument from the Laws of Thermodynamics

  1. According to the Law of the Conservation of Energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed.
  2. The Universe is made up of energy.
  3. If energy cannot be created (premise one) there is no Universe.
  4. There is a universe, so an external force independent of Laws of Thermodynamics must exist, God.
  5. God exists.

The only other explanation for the existence of energy would be that the Universe is eternal, or it never had to be created. This however conflicts with the Second law of thermodynamics.

  1. According to the Second law of thermodynamics, the universe has a limited amount of energy it can expend.
  2. Therefore, the universe is finite.
  3. If the universe is finite, then it cannot be eternal.
  4. For the universe to exist, a force outside of the laws of thermodynamics would have been needed, God.
  5. The Universe exists.
  6. God exists.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals.

http://plato.stanford.edu...

http://www.maverick-christian.org...

Sargon

Con

Ave

Introduction

I want to thank Pro for initiating in this debate with me. As Pro, he has the burden of proof to establish the resolution. I simply have to negate the arguments he's presented. However, I'll make it harder for him to do this by presenting arguments against the resolution of my own. Let's begin.

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Pro's argument is meant to establish a necessary being which caused the universe to come into being. However, the idea of a necessary being is not even coherent.

The concept of a necessary being analytically entails its own instantiation (coming into being). By the nature of what it means to exist necessarily, we can determine this a priori. However, according to the English philosopher P.F. Strawson, "Logical or analytical necessity relates solely to the connexion [sic] of concepts with one another. No concept can logically gurantee its own instantiation...." [1] Quentin Smith, professor of philosophy at West Michigan University, expands this point: "Whether a concept is instantiated cannot be known a priori, through an analysis of the concept, but only a posteriori, through examining what lies beyond the concept.". [2] From this, we can deduce that a concept can analytically entail only another concept, and cannot be relatead in such a way to its own instance. The concept of a necessary being, however, requires that a concept is related to its own instantiation. Therefore, it is incoherent, and Pro's second argument fails.

[1] Smith, Quentin P. "Metaphysics of Reason and the Metaphysics of Feeling." The Felt Meanings of the World: A Metaphysics of Feeling. N.p.: Purdue UP, 1986. 37+. Print.
[2] Ibid

An Atheistic Explanation of the Existence of the Universe





The particle explanation of the beginning of the universe is a hypothesis which states that the first state of the universe was brought into being by simultaneous causation of elementary particles.




Simultaneous causation is the idea that "the causal order must not be the temporal order because of the possibility of cause and effect being contemporaneous.'[1] X and Y have such a relationship if X, the cause, and Y, the effect, happen at the same instantaneous moment. The possibility of simultaneous causation demonstrates how the universe could have came into being. The earliest instant of the universe was simultaneous causation of elementary particles. For example, a given quark is caused to exist by a given electron, which is caused to exist by a given quark, ad infinitum, at the earliest instant of the universe. This causation is instantaneous, so so all of these cause and effect relations happen at the same moment in time. Elementary particles therefore have an explanation with reference to other elementary particles. Since all physical things are reducible to interactions of elementary particles, an explanation of elementary particles in the first state entails an explanation of everything within the first state. Thus, we have explained the universe's coming into being in terms of elementary particles. This hypothesis makes two primary predictions: instantaneous causation with elementary particles, and the infinity of space. Both of these are confirmed by experiment.





In 1972, Stuart J. Freedman and John F. Clauser performed an experiment called 'Experimental Tests of Local Hidden-Variable Theories', published in the Physics Review Letter. They concluded in their abstract that "Our data, in agreement with quantum mechanics, violate these restrictions to high statistical accuracy, thus providing strong evidence against local hidden-variable theories."[2] Alain Aspect's experiments with Bell's inequalities served to put the nail even further into the coffin. His 1981 experiment called 'Experimental Tests of Realistic Local Theories via Bell's theorem' concluded that the experiment, 'in excellent agreement with the quantum mechanical predictions, strongly violated the generalized Bell's inequalities'.[3]






Aspect's future experiments with Bell's inequalities and special relativity showed that particles can instantaneously affect the states of other particles. His 1986 experiment, "Experiments on Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-type Correlations with Pairs of Visible Photons', published in Quantum Concepts in Space and Time, found that "If a photon x is measured to be in a 'spin up' state, this simultaneously causes a spatially distant photon y to be in a 'spin down' state". [4] The philosopher of physics Quentin Smith writes that "Alain Aspect's confirmation of Bell's theorem can plausibly be taken as confirming the existence of simultaneous or instantaneous causation across arbitrarily large spatial distances." [5] It is therefore the case that particles can instantaneously change the states of other particles.





In his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking discusses three models of the universe which are consistent with Big Bang cosmology. In the first model, the universe expands after the Big Bang. The expansion of the universe inevitably slows down and comes to a stop. Then, the galaxies begin receding back into a singularity. In the second model, the universe expands so fast that gravity cannot stop it, but the expansion is slowed somewhat. On the third model, the universe expands after the Big Bang, and continues expanding fast enough to avoid a collapse into a singularity. In the second and third models, writes Hawking, 'space is infinite'. He later writes that 'The present evidence therefore suggests that the universe will probably expand forever.' This entails that the first model suggested is false. This leaves us with two models, each stating that space is infinite.[6]







Inflationary Big Bang cosmology also entails that space is infinite. Alan Guth published an article called "Inflation and Eternal Inflation' in the journal Physics Reports[7]. Bradley Monton, professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Bolder, in his review of this article, states that "inflationary cosmology strongly suggests that the universe is spatially infinite."[8] Alexander Vilenkin and Jaume Garriga published an article called 'Many worlds in one' in the journal Physics Review, and they conclude in their abstract that "generic prediction of inflation is that the thermalized region we inhabit is spatially infinite."[9]

Because of elementary particles, we have an atheistic explanation of the universe, one which makes predictions that are confirmed by experiment and science. This is sufficient to refute Con's argument from the laws of thermodynamics.

[1] Schaffer, Jonathan, Schaffer,. "The Metaphysics of Causation." Stanford University. Stanford University, 02 Feb. 2003. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.
[2] Freedman, Stuart J., and John F. Clauser. "Experimental Test of Local Hidden-Variable Theories." Physics Review Letter (1972): 938-41.
[3] Aspect, Alain, Philippe Grangier, and Gérard Roger. "Experimental Tests of Realistic Local Theories via Bell's Theorem." Physics Review Letter (1981): 460-63.
[4] Aspect, Alain, Philippe Grangier, and Gérard Roger. "Experiments on Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Type Correlations with Pairs of Visible Photons." Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics In The Light Of New Technology (1997): 105-115
[5]
Smith, Quentin. "THE REASON THE UNIVERSE EXISTS IS THAT IT CAUSED ITSELF TO EXIST." Philosophy 74 (1999): 136-46.
[6]
Hawking, Stephen. "The Expanding Universe." A Brief History of Time. N.p.: 1988, n.d. 37-54. Print.
[7] Guth, Alan H. "Inflation and Eternal Inflation." Physics Reports (2000): n. pag.
[8]
Monton, Bradley. "Life Is Evidence for an Infinite Universe." Philosophy (n.d.): n. pag.
[9]
Vilenkin, Alexander, and Jaume Garriga. "Many Worlds in One." Physics Review (2001): n. pag. Web.





Conclusion



Pro's first argument fails because it puts forward a concept which is not even coherent. His second argument fails because there is an explanation of the universe from physics that does not require god. He has therefore failed to establish the resolution.

Vale





Debate Round No. 2
UnderHill

Pro

I would first like to thank my opponent for his quick and well thought out repsonse. Since my opponent has not yet directly rebutted my arguments, I will use this round to rebut his.

I would like to start with my opponents atheistic reasoning for the universe coming into being. My opponent states:

"Simultaneous causation is the idea that "the causal order must not be the temporal order because of the possibility of cause and effect being contemporaneous.'[1] X and Y have such a relationship if X, the cause, and Y, the effect, happen at the same instantaneous moment. The possibility of simultaneous causation demonstrates how the universe could have came into being."

Here are some of my arguments against simultaneous causation:

Given the known laws of physics, any kind of transfer of energy, say, a football player hitting another football player has to take non-zero amount of time. There is a necessary lag time between the cause and effect of the player hitting the other player, so any simultaneous causation is not possible.

  • We can put this argument into simple context like so:
      • Every kind of physical cause involves a transfer of energy
      • Transfers of energy always take a non-zero amount of time
      • Therefore, every physical cause always takes a non-zero amount of time
      • Henceforth, simultaneous causation is not possible

The only exception to this argument would be that this is not an ordinary physical cause/effect scenario, but outside the laws of physics, we can only find a higher power.

Here is another reason simultaneous causation is invalid, If simultaneous causation is allowed, then the thing does not need to exist before it exists, only simultaneous with its own existence, which everything does by definition anyway. So, it would seem that if there was simultaneous causation, then things around us should beable to cause themselves. However, we do not see this sort of causation happening around us.

  • Simplified, this looks like this:
      • If causation can be simultaneous, then a thing can cause itself to exist simply by co-existing with itself.
      • Everything co-exists with itself.
      • Therefore, everything can be the cause of its own existence.
      • But, since we cannot see that everything is the cause of itself, simultaneous causation likewise does not exist.

    Were we to look at simultaneous cause in physics, we would find this:

      • Casual influences cannot propagate faster than the speed of light, according to the theory of relativity.
      • Therefore, there cannot be simultaneous causation between bewteen events that are separated between space and time.

Even with simultaneous causation refuted, I, as pro, still have the burden of proving the existence of a God. All I have done here is shown why his/her atheistic reasoning cannot replace the theory of an existence of a God.

My opponent does refute the idea that the universe is the result of a necessary being:

"Pro's argument is meant to establish a necessary being which caused the universe to come into being. However, the idea of a necessary being is not even coherent."

  • I am quite sure my opponent knows of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
      • Everything in existence that has a beginning of its existence must have a cause of its existence.
      • The universe does, have a beginning of its existence. (See the Second law of Thermodynamics)
      • Therefore the universe has a cause of its existence.

      ...and since the universe cannot cause itself, it must have a cause that is beyond known Space and Time.

    • Therefore, the cause of the universe must be spaceless and timeless, a description fitting God.



http://www.youtube.com...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Sargon

Con

Ave

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument


The LCA argues for the existence of a necessary being who caused the universe. In my last round, I presented an argument, backed up by quotes from philosophers P.F. Strawson and Quentin Smith, that this idea was incoherent. Since a concept cannot analytically entail its own instantiation a priori, but only through a posteriori reasoning, the concept of a necessary being is incoherent; It requires that a concept is analytically relates to its own instantiation. This argument was not addressed by Pro in the last round. All Pro did was reference the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I consider my refutation to the LCA to stand untouched at this point.

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Pro brought this new argument up in the last round, so I'll spend time refuting it.

The first problem is that the argument is inconsistent with Einstein's general theory of relativity. Physicists derive equations from Einstein's theory called metric tensors, which describe the geometric and causal structure of space-time. [1] Ever since Einstein created general relativity in 1915, four physicists have derived metrics from his theory that describe the universe we live in, which are now called Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) metrics. [2] The FLRW metric describes a universe that is isotropic, homogenous, and expanding. These metrics also state that every state of time is half-open.[3][4] In other words, any given instantaneous moment is preceded by another instantaneous moment. If this is the case, then there is no moment at which god brings the universe into being. Any instant of the universe is caused by another instant, so there is no instant that is caused by god. Einstein's general theory of relativity therefore tells us that there is no moment at which god brought the universe into being, contradicting the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

If the theist wants to turn to quantum mechanics instead of general relativity to save the argument, they find themselves with even bigger problems. Bohm's equation for the wave-function of the universe tells you the trajectory a particle given initial data for all times of the universe.[5] According to Bohm's equation, the probability of the universe existing at its initial conditions is 95%.[6] The problems that the WFU of the universe presents for an omnipotent cause of the universe are also elucidated by Smith: ‘’For the wave function of the universe implies there is a 95% probability that the universe came into existence uncaused. If God created the universe, he would contradict this scientific law in two ways. First, the scientific law says that the universe would come into existence because of its natural, mathematical properties, not because of any supernatural forces. Second, the scientific law says the probability is only 95% that the universe would come into existence. But if God created the universe, the probability would be 100% that it would come into existence because God is all-powerful. If God wills the universe to come into existence, his will is guaranteed to be 100% effective.’’[7]

So, it's been established that the KCA is inconsistent with general relativity and quantum mechanics, and there is presently no physical theory which is consistent with its conclusons.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[4] I consulted DDO user nordmarj, who has a master's degree in Astronomy and Physics, and he told me this was a correct statement.
[5] Stephen Teufel, professor of mathematical physics at the University of Technology, Munich, in his lecture called "Quantum theories without observers".
[6] http://www.infidels.org...
[7] Ibid

Simultaneous causation

I'd like to start off with a brief explanation of quantum non-locality. In an experiment, when the spin state of one particle is measured, this instantaneously causes a spatially distant particle to take on an anticorrelated (opposite) spin. The amazing thing about quantum non-locality is that spatial distance is irrelevant. Particles can have these kind of relationships with each other even if they're on opposite sides of the universe. Our intuition tells us that you have to be near something to do anything to it (I have to be next to a shark for it to bite me). However, in the world of quantum mechanics, it's as if a shark bit me, a person in California, all the way from the Indian Ocean! You'll also notice the word "instantaneously causes". This means that quantum locality is simultaneous causation. Therefore, any experiment establishing quantum non-locality is proof of simultaneous causation. This is why I'm shocked to see that Pro ignored all experimental proofs of simultaneous causation. What about Alain Aspect's two experiments, or the experiments done by Freedman and Clauser? Pro doesn't have anything to say about this argument, so I consider this line of proof to stand untouched at this point in the debate.

Pro implies that simultaneous causation violates the theory of relativity. This simply isn't the case. As Technology Review notes in their article, "The influence between the particles may be immediate, but the process does not violate relativity because some informatiom has to be sent classically at the speed of light." [1]

Pro offers two arguments against the possibility of simultaneous causation. The first argument is a fallacy because it assumes the very thing it's trying to prove. By having the premise "Transfers of energy always take a non-zero amount of time", it already assumes simultaneous causation to be impossible, which is what the conclusion asserts. This means that it's a case of circular reasoning.

The second argument stands completely unsupported. There are no justifications provided to take any of the premises as true or reasonable to accept. I could simply stop right here, but I'll offer some attacks on this unsupported argument.

Pro says that if simultaneous causation can happen, then something can cause itself. I don't see how this is factually true. Simultaneous causaton has nothing to do with something causing itself (A--->A). Rather, it relates to causation among individual things (A--->B--->C--->A) [2]. Because of this, there are reasons to think that the first premise is false.

There is a great irony in Pro claiming that there is no evidence for simultaneous causation, while also arguing for the Kalam. Academic theists say that god created the universe through simultaneous causation! William Lane Craig, who popularized the Kalam, says this very thing [3]. As ApologeticsPress.Org says:

Philosopher William Lane Craig explains that this argument rests on a pseudo-dilemma, since the argument does not “consider the obvious alternative that the cause of the [alleged—JM] Big Bang operated at to, that is, simultaneously (or coincidentally) with the Big Bang” (Craig, 1994). Simply put: the Law of Causality allows for simultaneous causes.” [4]

It undermines theism, rather than atheism, to say that simultaneous causation is impossible.




[1] http://www.technologyreview.com...
[2] Schaffer, Jonathan, Schaffer,. "The Metaphysics of Causation." Stanford University. Stanford University, 02 Feb. 2003. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.
[3] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
[4] http://www.apologeticspress.org...

Conclusion

Pro has failed to defend the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. His Kalam Cosmological Argument is inconsistent with quantum mechanics and general relativity. He ignores many proofs of simultaneous causation, and his two arguments against it are fallacious or unsupported. As I also showed, arguing against simultaneous causation actually undermines theism rather than atheism.

Vale



Debate Round No. 3
UnderHill

Pro

UnderHill forfeited this round.
Sargon

Con

Ave

Extend all arguments.

Vale
Debate Round No. 4
UnderHill

Pro

UnderHill forfeited this round.
Sargon

Con

Ave

Extend all arguments.

Vale
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
You think so?
Try me.
Posted by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
I would say the educated atheist beats an educated theist. Every time. It depends on what Definition we are using though for how educated they would have to be to be considered educated, you know?
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
I also don't think that an atheist can totally defeat an educated theist.
It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, at least not by scientific means.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
I'm an educated theist.
I doubt that I could totally defeat an educated atheist, but I can certainly draw one into a stand still.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
I'd like to see William Lane Craig up against Sargon or Rational Thinker one day. I don't know if I can go so far as to agree that "the theist can never defeat the educated atheist or agnostic" but it does rather seem as if, day by day, scientific advancements are pulling the rug out from under the theist.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
This was an interesting read. Why is it that I constantly see that every debate like this, any god or gods are disproved as a possibility? The theist can never defeat the educated atheist or agnostic. Oh well.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Pro's comment that he's not sure if Con is familiar with Kalam causes me to think he may be underestimating his opponent. If you review Sargon's debate history you can see that he has debated KCA directly at least 3 times, winning all three of those debates by a wide margin. I can't assume that Pro doesn't have good answers Con's round 3 arguments, but I will say that I'm looking forward to his round 4 with great interest.
Posted by mickes15 3 years ago
mickes15
I fully disagree with the comment "And who created God? " you can ask this question about our spacetime universe governed by causality .But the chain of causes and effects ceases at The Big Bang .The question is now "what or who caused the BIG BANG and thereby our universe"? An uncaused cause that you can call a trascendence, a creation principle,john or God.It s not subject to space and time .So,it s eternal,omniscient,omnipotent and good though this characteristic requires a long debate to account for the presence of evil in the world.
Posted by subverter 3 years ago
subverter
Who created god? And who said god didn't create the first atoms that caused the big bang?
Posted by Artpop 3 years ago
Artpop
Of course there is no god. Go Sargon! :)
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
UnderHillSargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con because Pro forfeited. Arguments to Con because Pro forfeited.
Vote Placed by AndrewB686 3 years ago
AndrewB686
UnderHillSargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A most thorough and intriguing debate. Conduct goes to con due to pro's unfortunate, yet predictable, forfeit. The arguments by con were, for the most part, left untouched, or were rebutted poorly and incoherently with unsubstantiated claims. The sources used by con were effective and explained with great detail and precision. Pro had no answer for any of con's assertions that were supported with scientifically proven experiments.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
UnderHillSargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I would have massively preferred to see an argument on just one of these things, not going for the shotgun effect... Anyway conduct due to forfeit. Argument pretty much along with it, as con's position went unchallenged for multiple rounds.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
UnderHillSargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The arguments presented by Pro were rebutted very well by Con as such the debate goes to Con for best arguments and reliable sources. The one good argument that Pro had pitted classic physics versus quantum physics, but Con did a great job explaining why this argument could be dismissed. The conduct point goes to Con as he did not forfeit any rounds of the debate. Additionally, he was very respectful in his Latin way.