The Instigator
cbrhawk1
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blob
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

There is a logial argument for the existence of God.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Blob
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,554 times Debate No: 23279
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (2)

 

cbrhawk1

Pro

Pro Stance: There is a logical argument for the existence of God.
Con Stance: There is no logical argument for the existence of God.

Round 1: Accept
Round 2: Opening statements
Round 3: Rebuttals to Opening statements
Round 4: Rebuttals to rebuttals in round 3
Round 5: Summarize

Out of fairness and to keep things organized, it's requested that both parties respond to the previous rounds unless absolutely necessary (as opposed to trying to get 'the last word' within the current).
Blob

Con

I accept. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
cbrhawk1

Pro

~"God" as I refer to him here is the singular, aware creator of the Universe with the will to do so
~"God" does not refer to "religion" or any particular religion.

THESIS
There is a large misconception about God in that there is nothing that shows his existence. This statement is simply false. God shows himself in multiple ways. The scientific process, at least at the theoretical level, has shown God to be a strong possibility. Witness testimony and deductive reasoning also make exceptionally strong cases.

GOD EXISTS BECAUSE THE INVERSE IS MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
Now, in order to get to the proof of God, we first must get the number of possible configurations of the Universe. A configuration is the number of potential positions for every entity of the Universe in spacetime, as well as every possible relationship between them. I would list the number of possible results here, but my 6,741 characters remaining won't let me put in all of the zeroes, so we'll simplify this with the configurations that matter:

~The number of possible configurations where God does exist.
~The number of possible configurations where God does not exist.

To be more specific: What are the for:against odds of God existing in THIS universe? We can go about this two different ways: The first thing we can do is figure out the number of configurations where God does exist

Calculating the odds for God directly is hard to come by since, if we did concede the existence of God while avoiding the word "supernatural" would likely be beyond human bounds. This can be shown by using Planck scale lengths and times, as well as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Fortunately, there is another way: Calculate the probability for the inverse; the likelihood that God did NOT create the Universe (i.e. spontaneous or random generation). This probability is easier to come by because, while God is undefinable, objects and their respective relationships with one another are right in front of our faces, and have quantifiable properties that we can approximate, sometimes with extraordinary precision.

Roger Penrose has tried to do exactly that. According to his work, the probability of a Universe that can support life is at least 1 in 1010123 as shown here: http://www.creationofuniverse.com.... In English, that is 10 followed by 10123 zeroes. Bigger than a googol!

There is no putting ridiculous number into terms a human can comprehend, so let's just use numbers that are on the scale of this Universe (http://sententias.org...):
1080 = estimated number of elementary particles in the Universe.
1045 = number of alterations in state matter goes through per second.
1025 = According to the Standard Model of cosmology(SM for short), this is the maximum age the Universe can live in a stable state in seconds.
Take the product of these: 10150 possible states of every particle at any point of time the Universe can possibly exist (according to the SM)

Take these, and divide them by our probability, and you're talking about virtual zero. Keep in mind that this assumes the only scientifically observable and valid theory -- one universe, one chance. If you take every possibility in the Universe, divide it by our monster number (assuming all of those possibilities could result in a universe with life). We still have 1 in 1010121.
Keep in mind that the combined work of Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking proved mathematically that singularities could exist in the Universe before they were observed.

What does this mean? A universe by chance being impossible means only one thing: God created the Universe. He created it with the will to do so, and his plan stretches to every point of time all the way down to the Planck scales.

Keep in mind that the combined work of Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking are responsible for the mathematics of singularities.

GOD EXISTS BECAUSE MULTIPLE PEOPLE HAVE WITNESSED HIM
In a world where a few witnesses can be considered "proof beyond the shadow of a doubt," the stories of countless billions are thrown aside by many atheists and told they are wrong. Take into consideration that these very same people use witnesses to piece together historic events. Cross examination is the excuse I commonly hear used. If cross examination of multiple cultures' writings is favorable to piece together historic events, could we not piece together witness testimony to find the fundamental aspects of God? I don't make it out to be easy, or even easier than writing and correcting history (it's much harder, admittedly), but, to rule out the testimonies of everyone who has seen God as not seeing or experiencing anything is the same as telling every person on Earth that the blue sky is an illusion because you see it as green.

GOD EXISTS BECAUSE THE UNIVERSE PERSISTS
Want proof that God exists? Pick up a rock, place it on a table, and stare at it for a moment. That is proof that God exists. How, you ask? Because that rock continued to exist for the duration you looked at it.

Now, we're all aware of the law of the conservation of mass and energy in that matter cannot be created or destroyed. But, this law only applies to an exact point in time. For this law to persist, there must be another law underneath: The law of the conservation of the law of conservation of matter and energy to allow it to persist through time. But, aha! What conserves that law? Calling them "meta laws" we get to the meta-meta law of the conservation of Matter and Energy, meta-meta-meta, meta-meta-meta-meta, ad infinitum ...

A much more articulate and detailed argument is given by Dr. Dennis Polis:
http://www.youtube.com... - Look for #15 in his series.
While you're at it, take a gander at his progressive argument in favor of God. It's a truly enlightening listen if you've the time.

It is this that proves that the laws of physics cannot be responsible for the persistence of the Universe.

GOD MUST HAVE BEEN THE FIRST CAUSE
According to the law of cause and effect, every effect has a cause. You can state it like this:

cause 1 -> effect 1, effect 2, effect 3
cause 2 -> effect 4, effect 5, effect 6
cause 3 -> effect 7, effect 8, effect 9

But, it's also true that the effect of everything is the cause of something else, so we have:

cause 0 -> cause 1, cause 2, cause 3

What the law of cause and effect does NOT say is that every cause has a cause. Therefore, the Universe can be listed as a long chain of effects causing other effects (short word for this is causality).

If you believe in the mountain of evidence that supports the BBT (big bang), the Universe had a beginning. A beginning can mean only one thing -- a root cause (since effects require causes,the universe requires one).

If you believe in the law of conservation of mass and energy and its ability to remain consistent through time, it's easy to see where this fundamental law breaks down at the point of creation (singularity). This means one of four things:

~The Universe has a creator that acted as the root cause
~The Big Bang Theory is false and the Universe is of infinite age (i.e. no root cause)
~This Universe is the result of physics beyond its scope (i.e. multiverse, possibly no root cause)
~The law of conservation of mass, energy, angular momentum is false

Two of the three theories are based on zero observations and are pure mathematical guesswork (modeling as opposed to observing)

CONCLUSION
Please note that this is from an argument standpoint. This does not prove that God exists by itself. My intention is simply to show that the existence of God is a far, far more powerful argument than the opposite statement (God does not exist).
Blob

Con

Pro says: “There is a logical argument for the existence of God”, “Logical as in a sound argument, one that makes sense from common sense and acceptable theories”, “...anything that is obvious knowledge (e.g. gravity exists, etc...). But, the focus will be on reasoning combined with theory”, “...to show that the existence of God is a far, far more powerful argument than the opposite statement...”

Make of that what you will, readers. To me it seems that Pro wants to debate whether the existence of God is more likely than not. I will debate on this assumption.




My main argument is: an explanation for a universe not created by God is simpler and requires fewer assumptions than an explanation for a universe created by God. To add God into the equation is to add an additional, unnecessary step that requires a more complex explanation. As such, the existence of God is unlikely.

It can be contended, correctly, that science has not yet provided a complete explanation as to why there is a universe. However, this does not mean that science cannot or will not provide such an explanation (as has been proven time and time again with other unsolved questions). Indeed, there are a number of scientific theories as to why there is a universe. For example, it is possible in nature to get a physical something from “nothing”, as in quantum fluctuations. Given that the universe is physical something, it is possible to get a universe from “nothing” [1].

An argument for the existence of God is an argument for the supernatural. That is, an argument for the existence of something (an “aware creator of the universe”) that is external to, and independent of, all things that exist in nature.

Pro must provide a potential explanation for God existing, as I have done for the universe. That is, Pro must state a potential cause for God existing, or else explain why God is exempt from being caused. Importantly, any explanation Pro gives must not be equally applicable to the universe alone. If the explanation could logically be used to explain the universe alone, then to add God into the equation is to add an unnecessary step, thereby violating Occam's razor, and showing that the existance of God is not likely.

[1]

Debate Round No. 2
cbrhawk1

Pro

Just to clarify, Con does have the reasons for the debate correct, and my goals, and I expect this to be scored either way on the most valid argument. But, in the case of it being considered a tie in the voter's eye, the original statement of "There is a logical argument for God" should stand. Moving on...

I will rebuke your statements first, then I will address your source material (Krauss is an incredibly arrogant and biased individual, it's not easy to watch an hour of his trash talk of God!).

My main argument is: an explanation for a universe not created by God is simpler and requires fewer assumptions than an explanation for a universe created by God. To add God into the equation is to add an additional, unnecessary step that requires a more complex explanation. As such, the existence of God is unlikely.

To say this is to assume there is a comprehensive and sound theory of everything. Such a theory would have to encompass the theories of quantum mechanics with the theories of cosmology, something that has not been done. Saying "God is simpler," assumes all knowledge to be able to weigh God vs spontaneous or random creation. The truth is that we do not have the variables for either side to know how simple or complex either mechanism is.

In fact, if you want to take this a step further, a case can be made for the inverse if you follow theoretical physics. "scientific" theories such as M Theory attempt to explain this by proposing a "before the beginning," which would account for the asymmetry of the Universe (A subject I forgot to cover in the opening, but relevant to the topic). Assuming a "before the beginning," takes this a step further than what is claimed about God (considering God is "at" the beginning, never before).

It can be contended, correctly, that science has not yet provided a complete explanation as to why there is a universe. However, this does not mean that science cannot or will not provide such an explanation (as has been proven time and time again with other unsolved questions). Indeed, there are a number of scientific theories as to why there is a universe. For example, it is possible in nature to get a physical something from "nothing", as in quantum fluctuations. Given that the universe is physical something, it is possible to get a universe from "nothing" [1].

http://www.toptenz.net...
List of failed (or "superseded") scientific theories.

Now, before I go on bashing science, there's no doubt about its accomplishments in our everday lives and about better approximating how the world and the Universe works. But, it's important to realize that an approximation is different than an absolute. Science rarely deals with absolutes, and it takes vague laws such as thermotynamics and motion to do so.

Combine the assuming guesswork of science with constraints on our ability to measure (Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Planck scale limits), the chances of science ever coming up with a solution to creation, with or without God, are virtual zero.

As also stated above, the theories that deal with spontaneous and/or random creation of the Universe are based on no observations, and can be argued to assume more things than those who love God assume.

An argument for the existence of God is an argument for the supernatural. That is, an argument for the existence of something (an "aware creator of the universe") that is external to, and independent of, all things that exist in nature.

This statement assumes that God cannot and is not part of nature, a strawman point that I never presented. Awareness, creation, and God are not external to the Universe. How you define these three things dependns on your perspective, but they are all entities, even if God is, to you, just wild imaginings (not assuming, of course).

Pro must provide a potential explanation for God existing, as I have done for the universe. That is, Pro must state a potential cause for God existing, or else explain why God is exempt from being caused. Importantly, any explanation Pro gives must not be equally applicable to the universe alone. If the explanation could logically be used to explain the universe alone, then to add God into the equation is to add an unnecessary step, thereby violating Occam's razor, and showing that the existance of God is not likely.

Since this is an argument of deductive reasoning, this is not about tackling God's existence directly, but showing its inverse (i.e. all other arguments) to be less sound. God is the causality root. It is from him that all other causes and effects spawned.

God being the causality root makes a much stronger case than spontaneous / random generation, because any theory of spontaneous / random generation must take asymmetry into account. Without asymmetry, there can be no Universe (particles, waves, and charges cancel each other out, end back where you started). Because God created the Universe with an agenda, an explanation of asymmetry can be attributed to a specific, willed cause-effect loop.

*deep sigh*
I guess I have to watch Krauss now ... here are some notes on his little lecture, then I will address directly.

Krauss refers to religions as 'Fairy Tales' (roughly 3:25-3:35 on the video). Such an attack shows a level of bias on his part that could potentially alter his conclusions and the picture he attempts to draw of creation.

(49:50) Krauss talks about String Theory, which has been dismissed by most theoretical physicists
http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk... shows a progression from String Theory on. I'm not sure on the date of Krauss' lecture, but it's either based on outdated information, or uninformed judgment, crushing his credibility when it comes to his opinions on God.

There is no disputing the story of the Universe and how strong it is, but this makes absolutely no case for the non-existence of God. Krauss went into very vague detail about how quantum flutuations can result in the creation of the Universe, but he fails to mention one important quantity -- empty space! This did not exist in the beginning unless, again, Krauss probably submits to vibrating strings and multiple universes to account for the fluctuations. Again, mathematical models based on zero observations, but are only there as placeholders.

Issac Newton had mathematical models that worked perfectly for a long time, and were perfect for everyday experience. But, those turned out to be wrong. Mathematical models without support from measurements and direct observations should never be considered scientific theories, no matter how well they fit.

CONCLUSION
The atheist argument of simplicity is one of assumption, assumption to have the knowledge to guage how simple or complex a mechanism is. No one is perfect, no process is perfect. Science is an imperfect process driven largely by what everything and everyone else is driven by --- money. I will save the details of scientific flaws for another debate, but for the sake of this debate, I will simply state that it is far from perfect.
Blob

Con

God Exists Because the Inverse is Mathematically Impossible


Pro uses numbers and calculations derived from unreliable creationist websites to suggest that:

1. The total number of potential configurations of the universe is unimaginably large, but there are only 10150 potential configurations in which God does not feature.

2. The probability of a configuration that supports life unimaginably low.

3. Therefore, the probability of a universe that supports life, and in which God does not feature, is essentially zero, i.e. such a universe is “impossible.”

4. Since the universe supports life, God must feature in it.

I agree that the total number of potential configurations is unimaginably large. However, the number of potential configurations in which God features cannot be greater than the number of potential configurations in which he does not feature, because there can only be two versions of any given configuration: Configuration X or Configuration X+God. In this case, by Pros calculations, the probability of a universe that supports life, and in which God does feature, is the same as the probability of said universe in which God does not feature. That is, essentially zero i.e. such a universe is “impossible”. This is the best case scenario for Pro.

Unfortunately for Pro, he cannot even argue for his best case scenario. By Pro’s reasoning, God does not exist if the number of potential configurations in which God does not feature = the total number of potential configurations. Therefore, Pro must claim that the total number of potential configurations is greater (by at least one) than the number of potential configurations in which God does not exist (and indeed Pro does make this claim). For this claim to be true, God must exist, since the existence of God is the only thing that could result in the total number of potential configurations being greater than the number of potential configurations in which God does not exist. Therefore, Pro must assume the existence of God in order to show that there is even a possibility that God exists. This is clearly not logical.

I don’t feel that I need to go much further by addressing Pro’s arguments about the probability of a universe that supports life. I have already made those arguments redundant. However, I am willing to address that argument in the next round if Pro insists that I do so.


God Exists Because Multiple People Have Witnessed Him

Pro is scraping the bottom of the barrel by relying on anecdotes. People “see” and “witness” all kinds of unrealistic things all the time. I can close my eyes right now and “witness” a pink elephant that is larger than Earth. You can “see” this elephant too if you want. In fact, you probably did see it when you read the third sentence of this paragraph. Does that mean the elephant is real? The answer is, of course, no. But what if every single person in the world “saw” a pink elephant that is larger than Earth, and then subsequently claimed that they were not just imagining things? Does this give any weight to the claim that a pink elephant larger than Earth exists? No. To paraphrase you, Pro: to rule in the testimonies of everyone who has “seen” God as not imagining things is the same as telling everyone on Earth that the blue sky is an illusion because you see it green.



God Exists Because the Universe Persists

Pro is basically saying that the laws of physics can only stay constant over time if God keeps them constant. In other words, if God does not keep the laws constant, then they would change on their own accord. He claims this is the case because the laws of physics “only apply to an exact point in time”. Pro, what evidence do you have to support this claim? The laws of physics are called laws for a reason: they do not apply only at certain times; they apply all of the time. And if you want to claim that they only apply all of the time because God keeps them constant, then you must explain why the laws of physics would constantly change if God did not prevent them from changing.


God Must Have Been the First Cause

Even if every cause does not have a cause, Pro must still explain why God is not caused. Since Pro states that whatever begins to exist has a cause, Pro must claim that God did not being to exist i.e. that God has always existed. In making this claim, Pro is violating Occam's razor, since one could save an unnecessary step by saying that the universe has always existed (though perhaps not in its current form if we want to consider what existed before the Big Bang).



Conclusion

Pro has not provided any logical argument for the existence of God. It is not logical to try to show that God exists by assuming God exists. It is not logical that God exists because people claim to have “seen” God. It is not logical that the laws of physics can only stay constant if God exists. Finally, it is not logical that God but not the universe would be exempt from requiring a cause.


Debate Round No. 3
cbrhawk1

Pro

"unreliable creationist websites"
The numbers come from Roger Penrose' calculations. Your demeaning opinions on these websites doesn't change the source material. There are plenty of books and articles about his lifelong body of work and accomplishments in the theoretical physics and mathematical world, including his probability for a Universe that supports life, which will produce the numbers that have been shown.

Works by Roger Penrose:
Techniques of Differential Topology in Relativity (1972)
Spinors and Space-Time: Volume 1, Two-Spinor Calculus and Relativistic Fields (with Wolfgang Rindler, 1987)
The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and The Laws of Physics (1989, it received the Rhone-Poulenc science book prize in 1990)
Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness (1994)
The Nature of Space and Time (with Stephen Hawking, 1996)
The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind (with Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright, and Stephen Hawking, 1997)
White Mars or, The Mind Set Free (with Brian W. Aldiss, 1999)
The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe (2004)
Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe (2010)

Roger Penrose, by the way, claims to be an atheist (BBC Interview).

LACK OF GOD IS IMPOSSIBLE
because there can only be two versions of any given configuration: Configuration X or Configuration X+God. In this case, by Pros calculations, the probability of a universe that supports life, and in which God does feature, is the same as the probability of said universe in which God does not feature. That is, essentially zero i.e. such a universe is "impossible". This is the best case scenario for Pro.

The probability stated by Penrose refers to spontaneous generation with no constraints. That is, a universe that just magically appears out of nothing. The two probabilities are completely different because of this. Keep in mind that my initial points aren't to figure out the probability of God, but to see how likely a universe is to form on its own just out of random chance.

It's easy to see how the probability of a universe that supports life is ridiculous considering the ultra-tight constraints the Universe was under to begin with. Take a look at this graph:
http://everyjoe.com...;

This tells us that the Universe had a near-instantaneous expansion from 10-55 cubic meters all the way to roughly 1 cubic meter in less than 10-35 seconds (0.000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds, that is) then nearly comes to a complete dead stop in comparison. In fact, if much more energy were added to the system, it would have just collapsed again. Too little matter, and it blows itself to bits. This is the constraints of inflation theory. The universe isn't even one second old, and we're already talking about an almost exact quantity requirement. Take the product of this, and having physics that are able to form planets, and then form life.

Whether or not you trust the numbers of Roger Penrose, there is absolutely no doubting the number of probabilities that must come together just for anything meaningful to exist.

Pro must claim that the total number of potential configurations is greater (by at least one) than the number of potential configurations in which God does not exist (and indeed Pro does make this claim). For this claim to be true, God must exist, since the existence of God is the only thing that could result in the total number of potential configurations being greater than the number of potential configurations in which God does not exist. Therefore, Pro must assume the existence of God in order to show that there is even a possibility that God exists. This is clearly not logical.

My point was completely misunderstood. The number of possible configurations in this universe with the same constants, matter, and expansion rate independent of God's existence. God does not "add" to the number of configurations, The case being made with the no-god-is-impossible argument is what the probability is that God is part of this configuration vs not part of it.

I'll admit, though, I could have stated something I said in my original post a little bit better. I will clarify it here:

~The number of possible configurations where God does exist.
~The number of possible configurations where God does not exist.

Should have been stated like this:

~Configurations where life can exist.
~Configurations where life cannot exist.


Basically, here is this argument in mathematical terms
Take the only two possibilities:
God created the Universe = P1
God did not create the Universe (i.e. randomly created) = P2

These are the only two possibilities, because God either did or did not create the Universe.

In high school, we learn that for two possible outcomes (P1, P2), and given P1 = X, then P2 = 1 - X
So, for example, the probability that God created the Universe is 0.75. The probability that God did not create the Universe is 1 - 0.75 or 0.25.

Now, let's take the number of potential configurations in this Universe divided by Penrose's number, let it represent P2. We don't directly know the value of P1, but we don't need to. Assuming every possible state and alteration combination will result in life (from the above graph, that's clearly false) we get P2 = 10150

As in the opening. , dividing this number still results in 1 / 1010121 -- virtual zero.

Indirectly, we then calculate the probability of the Inverse (God) by subtracting the probability of a life-sustained Universe (~0). 1 - 0 = 1 = 100% chance that this configuration was created by God, and not spontaneously generated.

I don't feel that I need to go much further by addressing Pro's arguments about the probability of a universe that supports life. I have already made those arguments redundant. However, I am willing to address that argument in the next round if Pro insists that I do so.

I don't personally see that is the case. Of course, I'm sure you see things differently. I guess the numbers are the only objective thing we can go by :).

WITNESSES TO GOD
People "see" and "witness" all kinds of unrealistic things all the time.

Give me one example of when more than 100 million people have directly witnessed the same thing. On an individual level, people are easily deceived. As a people, it makes big news when just a couple of thousand people see something that betrays their senses. Despite what scientists tell you, people are exceptionally good at differentiating between reality and deception as a whole.

Also, keep in mind that more people have seen God than the inverse. Based on almost every tribe, empire, and people acknowledging a creator of some sort, it's safe to say far more people have seen God than those who have not seen him. Once again,

it's like the one guy tho points to the sky and calls it green. Sure, that one guy may be right amongst the thousands who disagree, but do you like the odds?

But what if every single person in the world "saw" a pink elephant that is larger than Earth, and then subsequently claimed that they were not just imagining things? Does this give any weight to the claim that a pink elephant larger than Earth exists? No.

A people so diverse, large, and that spans thousands of years would almost certainly not see something without there being some kind of substance to it. So, yes, it does give credit to the idea. It's certainly not proof that it is a pink elephant, but it's almost conclusive proof they aren't imagining things.

The same can be said about God. Nobody knows what God is, exactly what he wants, or how to receive his messages without a very heavy amount of error. This is why there are many religions and denominations in the world. It's human ignorance and stupidity. But, does this variation discredit the core of their message that a huge majority of the population knows? That there is a creator, and he has shown himself to them? Of course not.

PERSISTANCE
Pro is basically saying that the laws of physics can only stay constant over time if God keeps them constant. In other words, if God does not keep the laws constant, then they would change on their own accord. He claims this is the case because the laws of physics "only apply to an exact point in time". Pro, what evidence do you have to support this claim? The laws of physics are called laws for a reason: they do not apply only at certain times; they apply all of the time. And if you want to claim that they only apply all of the time because God keeps them constant, then you must explain why the laws of physics would constantly change if God did not prevent them from changing.

I find it sad that you did not watch the source material I presented. Dr. Dennis Polis explains this very thing. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip to 4:27.

There is nothing in the laws of physics that says that the laws persist over a given time.

The argument isn't that the laws would change. The argument is that the laws would simply not exist. In fact, the Universe (as the argument stated) persists only because God is the only solution to an infinite meta law regression which, without it, would stop the Universe from existing at all.

CAUSALITY
Even if every cause does not have a cause, Pro must still explain why God is not caused. Since Pro states that whatever begins to exist has a cause, Pro must claim that God did not being to exist i.e. that God has always existed. In making this claim, Pro is violating Occam's razor, since one could save an unnecessary step by saying that the universe has always existed (though perhaps not in its current form if we want to consider what existed before the Big Bang).

God is the root cause, existing at the point of creation. To say "X caused God" is to say "X existed before the beginning (since causes always happen prior to their effects)" The statement "before the beginning" mutually invalidates itself.

I never said what "begins to exist" has a cause. As I stated in the opening:
What the law of cause and effect does NOT say is that every cause has a cause. Therefore, the Universe can be listed as a long chain of effects causing other effects (short word for this is causality).

A root cause means the cause of a cause-effect chain. The argument is that God initiated this cause-effect chain.

CONCLUSION
Con has failed to show any mathematics to support the favorability of a Universe created randomly and/or spontaneously. The misunderstanding of using God to add extra configurations is a gaping hole in any argument to discredit the presented numbers. There is no attempt to discredit the source material, especially how it relates to the impossibility of a randomly generated universe. All of this considering I lightened the source material for easy reading on all of our parts.

For the purposes of completeness, I will ask Con in his next post (if he is inclined to do so) to address source material and either show that a majority of the 1010123 possibilities can support life, or invalidate said source material.

It can also wait until the summery. I will leave that up to him.
Blob

Con

Saying "God is simpler," [read as “God is more complex”, see Comments] assumes all knowledge to be able to weigh God vs spontaneous or random creation.

No, it does not make that assumption at all. My claim that the explanation invoking God is more complex is based on the fact that the explanation invoking God requires more assumptions but does not increase explanatory power. It requires more assumptions because it requires the additional assumption of the existence of God, and it doesn’t increase explanatory power because whatever may explain the existence of God may also explain the existence of the universe.



"scientific" theories such as M Theory attempt to explain this by proposing a "before the beginning,”...Assuming a "before the beginning," takes this a step further than what is claimed about God (considering God is "at" the beginning, never before).

Here, Pro claims that it is possible for something (e.g. God) to be the cause of an effect (the universe) even if it does not exist before the effect. Well, guess what else is “at” the beginning of the universe? You guessed it: the universe is at the beginning of the universe. If Pro wants to say that God is a reasonable explanation that avoids the problem of having to ask “what came before the beginning” (i.e. what was there before t=0), then it can also be said that the universe itself is a reasonable explanation that also avoids the problem of having to ask “what came before the beginning.” Therefore, to invoke God is to make an additional unnecessary step. It is to say, instead of “The Big Bang occurred at t=0”, that “The Big Bang + God occurred at t=0.”



Now, before I go on bashing science...

I find it amusing that Pro, in his opening statement, attempted to provide scientific evidence for three out of his four main arguments. He has also made references throughout to a variety of scientific laws, theories etc. to support his arguments. Pro, if you think science is worthy of a “bashing”, then perhaps you should refrain from attempting to back up your arguments with science. In Round 1, Pro stated that science can “approximate, sometimes with extraordinary precision”, but then in Round 2 he talks about how such approximation could never be close enough to ever come up with the correct explanation for why the universe exists. Why then, does Pro attempt to do exactly the thing that he claims is impossible to do, namely, to use science to provide an explanation (i.e. God) for why the universe exists? Furthermore, can Pro provide any approximations of God, which have the extra-extraordinary precision he demands? Can Pro even provide any approximation, any measurement, of God? He cannot. In fact, in Round 1, Pro openly admits that “... while God is undefinable, objects and their respective relationships with one another are right in front of our faces, and have quantifiable properties that we can approximate, sometimes with extraordinary precision.” This room seems to have an echo.



...the theories that deal with spontaneous and/or random creation of the Universe are based on no observations...

This is simply not true. I have already given an example of how the recorded observation of quantum fluctuations indicates the possibility of “a universe from nothing”, as theoretical physicists such as Krauss call it. But can Pro point to any recorded and reproducible observations of God? He is left with anecdotes only.



Since this is an argument of deductive reasoning, this is not about tackling God's existence directly, but showing its inverse (i.e. all other arguments) to be less sound...God being the causality root makes a much stronger case than spontaneous / random generation, because any theory of spontaneous / random generation must take asymmetry into account. Without asymmetry, there can be no Universe...

Pro is trying to shift the burden of proof by saying that all arguments for God not existing are less sound because they are not complete (“random generation must take asymmetry into account”, “Krauss...fails to mention one important quantity – empty space!” etc. etc.), and therefore it is more likely than not that God exists, as if God is a more complete explanation to begin with. If Pro should get points for anything, it should be for knowing the names of a few of the Unsolved Problems in Physics. Unfortunately, Pro does not go much further than that. If he did, he would know that there are several potential explanations for asymmetry, and he would also know that it is absolutely possible for a universe to exist without asymmetry [1].



Krauss refers to religions as 'Fairy Tales' (roughly 3:25-3:35 on the video). Such an attack shows a level of bias on his part that could potentially alter his conclusions and the picture he attempts to draw of creation.

If Krauss [2] is not worthy of citation, then who is? Michio Kaku [3]? He is also a proponent of the Universe from Nothing theory. Will he do, Pro? Or will you only accept references to the works of creationists who in 2010 received the unfortunately-named degree of “Bachelor of Science in Religion” and who have published not more than one paper, in a journal of theology [4]? How about we just let the voters decide who is and who is not a reliable reference?



(49:50) Krauss talks about String Theory, which has been dismissed by most theoretical physicists http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk...... shows a progression from String Theory on. I'm not sure on the date of Krauss' lecture, but it's either based on outdated information, or uninformed judgment, crushing his credibility when it comes to his opinions on God.

Did you even read the page you cited? String Theory has not been dismissed at all. The page you cited simply gives an overview of the development of String Theory and how it has been refined over the years to create M-Theory. Incidentally, M-Theory was created by Edward Witten, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest living theoretical physicists [5]. Krauss lecture was in 2009, as it says in the title, so can be considered “recent” and certainly not outdated.



The rest of Pro’s text amounts to “science is not perfect”. I have already done this to death above.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] http://sententias.org...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 4
cbrhawk1

Pro

First, let me address inaccuracies on Con's part:
Well, guess what else is "at" the beginning of the universe? You guessed it: the universe is at the beginning of the universe.

According to the Standard Model of Cosmology, there was no universe. There was no space, no time, no matter, no energy, no quantum fluctuations ... nothing.

ro, if you think science is worthy of a "bashing", then perhaps you should refrain from attempting to back up your arguments with science.

The fallacies of science is not the purpose of this debate, but I did not say it was incapable of great things.

...use science to provide an explanation (i.e. God) for why the universe exists?

I used many things. Science was one of them. Deductive reasoning is not the same as science.

the recorded observation of quantum fluctuations

Quantum fluctuations have not been recorded nor observed. This statement is false.

But can Pro point to any recorded and reproducible observations of God? He is left with anecdotes only.

Nor is it required of me. This is an argument based on deductive reasoning (i.e. ruling out all other possibilities).

and he would also know that it is absolutely possible for a universe to exist without asymmetry[1]

You read your source wrong. It says nothing about lack of asymmetry.

If Krauss [2] is not worthy of citation...

Bias sources are not worth citation, and I showed his bias in round 2 when he used personal attacks at his own lecture.

reationists who in 2010 received the unfortunately-named degree of "Bachelor of Science in Religion" and who have published not more than one paper

This statement shows a bias on Con's part toward his own views rather than on factual materials.

I didn't draw upon his conclusions. I used his numbers. These numbers are well established in the Standard Models of Particle Physics and the SM of Cosmology. Again, numbers are objective, and they were all in one place.

SUMMERY
This is a very complicated issue. The Universe, as it turns out, is more complicated than we could have ever known. So much as 50 years ago, science and God were incompatible. While those like Krauss, Hawking, and Penrose himself (as heavily as I used him), rely on old, bitter rivalries to drive their theoretical physics.

That can be another debate entirely.

Where I'm going, though, and I can understand Con's conntention, but it comes 50 years late. The pieces have come together where we can put together observations to conclude with phenomenal confidence that we live in a fine tuned universe within constraints so tight that ANY change almost certainly results in no universe.

The arguments above, most even on an individual level, show the extreme probability (generously speaking) of God's existence. It's certainly above the 50% mark as far as numbers go.

Con has failed to debunk these arguments other than peck away at the sources (rather than source material)

About all of the talking points:
IMPOSSIBILITY OF NO GOD: Con pecked at the sources of information, but didn't touch the actual source material except for to call it "unreliable" (how?). Con's contention that Standard Model of Cosmology and SM of Particle Physics numbers being inaccurate is denying much progress made by scientific observations made in the last century. Since the argument holds up by the numbers of world renounded physicists, mathematicians, and the Standard Models, this is clearly a valid argument for the existence of God.

MULTIPLE WITNESSES: His demeaning attitude toward people and their ability to sense the world is overshadowed by the fact that there are no examples of mass deception of the kind and in the numbers he assumes relates to God. Ancient peoples knew of very little, but they did know of three major things:

The sun rises during the day
Most of the time, the moon appears at night
There is a creator of this World (which can translate to the Universe, since Earth was their universe at the time).

Since people do not lie as a complete people, it's valid to say that there's at least a 51% chance that the people are right. After all, if 50% of what we see isn't real, then many of us might not be alive!

PERSISTENCE: Con's request for evidence was already covered in the source material. The source material provided was never refuted or used as a counter argument. What remains is the error in position assumption that the laws of physics would change in the absence of God.

CAUSALITY: Con assumes, the value t as in time can be in the negative with God beginning to exist. This is simply not possible in a cause-effect chain. In a cause-effect chain, there is one initiator, and that initiator cannot be caused. The fact that the Universe must have been caused combined with other arguments (all you need is one) shows that this is also a valid argument for the Universe as God's creation.

IN SHORT
Con has failed to debunk any of the arguments provided. He has misplaced, misused, and at times insulted the sources with absolutely no attacks on the source material. Few of the provided sources did anything to advance his counter arguments. Two of them propose a universe from nothing, something I never disputed (God can still exist in nothing because he does not require space, time, matter, energy. Oh, by the way, I like Michio Kaku). One of the sources was one I provided already (sentinels), and one was misread and misrepresented (baryon asymmetry wiki).

I'd also like to point out Con's overall bias demenor toward people who love God, his multiple uses of the word "creationist," and talking about an "unfortunately-named" degree in religion. He refers to my argument of accounts of God by people as "scraping at the bottom of the barrel" despite the fact that our very historical records depend, sometimes exclusively, on the written and verbal accounts of others.

keep in mind that if any of these arguments shows God to be favorable to no God over 49.9%, then that shows that there is a logical argument for God's existence at least as much as there is one for no God.

CONCLUSION
I'd like to thank Con for accepting my challenge. Whoever the voters decide on, I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this, and please feel free to discuss this in the comments when Con is done with his counter, as I'm sure many people have something to say on this subject.
Blob

Con

Clearly, Pro wants me to address the source material. I will now do so.

Let’s take a look at the original publication in which Penrose comes up with the number Pro relies on: 10^10^123 [1]. Pro defined this number as “the probability of a Universe that can support life.” Penrose, on the other hand, defines this number as “V/W”, where V = “the total phase-space volume available”, W = “original phase-space volume”, and a phase-space is “a 'space' of a large number of dimensions, one dimension for each of the coordinates Ai, x^.” Penrose derives V on the assumption that it should be represented by his estimate of the entropy of a closed universe at a Big Crunch i.e. the entropy of the universe at t =0. If one reads the entire section when Penrose derives the number 10^10^123, one finds that the words “probability”, “chance” and “life” are completely absent from the text. Why? Because the number has nothing to do with “the probability of a universe that can support life”, as Pro claims. Further, Penrose chose to do the calculations for a closed universe “for simplicity”, despite the fact that we know with a 0.5% margin for error that the universe is not closed, but flat [2]. In fact, Penrose openly states that many of the assumptions he makes in his calculations are for convenience or simplicity only (another example being the number of baryons in the universe).

Pro has taken a rough estimate calculated by an accomplished scientist, created his own definition for that rough estimate (a completely different definition), then applied a couple of steps of high school mathematics to arrive at the conclusion that it is mathematically impossible for God to not exist.

Pro has failed in his attempt to use showy numbers to pull the wool over our eyes. I have now shown, definitively, that Pro’s entire first argument falls flat on its face, and should be vigorously rejected by all. Pro’s “impossibility of no god” argument is dead and buried.

Now, I must point out Pro’s hypocrisy in demanding that I “address the source material”. Pro cites a creationist website that cites a scientist (Penrose). When I discredit the creationist website, he says that I have to go to the source material (Penrose) if I wish to discredit anything about his argument. Why didn’t Pro cite the source material in the first place? The answer is that he did not cite the source material because he did not read the source material, and he did not read the source material because it was just too hard. After all, why cite source material when one can just search for “Penrose 10^10^123” in Google, and then copy the pre-prepared argument from any of the numerous creationist websites that turn up in the search results? And then pro has the nerve to say that he “lightened the source material for easy reading on all of our parts”. Pro, you didn’t lighten the source material, you didn’t read the source material, and to top it off, you didn’t even cite the source material.



A configuration is the number of potential positions for every entity of the Universe in spacetime, as well as every possible relationship between them.
Awareness, creation, and God are not external to the Universe. How you define these three things dependns on your perspective, but they are all entities...
God does not "add" to the number of configurations...

Pro blatantly contradicts himself above. The obvious problem is that whenever you add an entity, the possible number of relationships must increase, and therefore the number of possible configurations must increase.



On an individual level, people are easily deceived. As a people, it makes big news when just a couple of thousand people see something that betrays their senses. Despite what scientists tell you, people are exceptionally good at differentiating between reality and deception as a whole. Also, keep in mind that more people have seen God than the inverse.

To the contrary, throughout history, people as a whole have proven to be extremely susceptible to hallucinations. Take the Sun. They (e.g. the Egyptians) used to think the Sun was god. We now know that the sun is a large mass of gas. Again, I must point out the blatantly obvious fact that nobody has ever seen God. Anecdotes simply are not observations of God. Furthermore, you have stated that “Nobody knows what God is”. That one could know they had seen a particular something, without knowing what it is they saw, is simply absurd and illogical. Pro’s “multiple witnesses” argument is dead and buried.



I find it sad that you did not watch the source material I presented. Dr. Dennis Polis explains this very thing...
There is nothing in the laws of physics that says that the laws persist over a given time. The argument isn't that the laws would change. The argument is that the laws would simply not exist.

Polis, who has a very unimpressive list of publications to his name (http://xianphil.org...), explains practically nothing. A physical law is "a theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present” [3]. Therefore, the laws of physics persist over time as a result of the universe persisting over time, and not the other way around, as Polis and Pro argue. The laws of physics are not causes, they are conclusions. Pro’s persistence argument is dead and buried.



Let’s now look at how Pro contradicts himself when making his Causality argument.

...causes always happen prior to their effects.
God is the root cause...
A root cause means the cause of a...
...God is "at" the beginning, never before.

If this is not illogical, then nothing is. Pro’s causality argument is dead and buried.




Quantum fluctuations have not been recorded nor observed. This statement is false.

They have been recorded and observed in the same sense that gravity has been recorded and observed i.e. by their effects. If you want to say that Quantum fluctuations have not been observed, then you will also have to say that gravity has not been observed.



You read your source wrong. It says nothing about lack of asymmetry.

First heading “Possible explanations”, second subheading “Regions of the universe where antimatter predominates”, first two sentences: “Another possible explanation of the apparent baryon asymmetry is that there are regions of the universe in which matter is dominant, and other regions of the universe in which antimatter is dominant, and these are widely separated. The problem therefore becomes a matter/antimatter separation problem, rather than a creation imbalance problem.



SUMMARY

I have refuted all four of Pro’s arguments. I have shown in black and white that his arguments are illogical and that he contradicts himself repeatedly. I have exposed his attempt to use fancy numbers to pull the wool over our eyes. I have pointed out that he attempts to use science to support his arguments whilst at the same time attempting to discredit science. I have demonstrated that he does not stick to his own definitions. His references are not credible. Finally, I complied with all of Pro’s requests, even when they were unreasonable. In this final round I had to resort to spoon-feeding him.

I presented one simple initial argument and Pro was not able to refute it because he was not able to invoke God without adding an unnecessary extra step. Furthermore, I provided concrete examples of scientific theories, based on empirical observations, which strongly suggest the universe can and probably will be explained without invoking God. I provided only reliable references.

Thank you to my opponent for creating this debate (no pun intended), and to all the readers who make it to the end and vote accordingly.



[1] http://www.thiruvarunai.com...

[2] http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
Same. My feelings toward you were never ill, as you provided me with a mentally challenging and stimulating experience. For me, this isn't about winning or losing since didn't expect to get many votes coming in. I wanted to dive right in and take on the mental challenge, and you provided it to me.
Posted by Blob 4 years ago
Blob
Whether or not your level of sensitivity is rational may not just be a matter of opinion. If something is rational, it must be logical. Logic is not just a matter of opinion.

Anyway, the offer for the debate is open anytime.

I have no hard feelings, and I hope you end up finding whatever it is that you are looking for, whether it be on this site, or another.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
Whether or not my level of sensitivity is rational is just a matter of opinion and cannot be based on facts. I am not going to get into a popularity contest over who has the better purely subjective opinion because, again, I did not get onto this site in the first place expecting that. I really am not sure about my future participating of debates since I really don't know what I am going to get anymore, especially after reading other debates that did get personal from other people.

For the kind of thing that potentially deals with that, I'll stick t forums, because at least in a forum I ave more flexibility and can discuss something with multiple people without feeling compelled to address that sort of thing if I don't want to.
Posted by Blob 4 years ago
Blob
As I said, it is debatable as to whether your level of sensitivity is justifiable. If it is not justifiable, then your fear of having your personal beliefs attacked in future debates is an irrational fear. Thus, the only way to know whether or not your fear is rational is to enter into a debate about it.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
grr hoping a place where people WON'T resort to character attacks!
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
I am sensitive to it because the very reason I am here in the first place is for a fair medium where people will resort to character attacks and belittling one another. I was excited to debate here prior o this because, in my research of this site prior to signup, it seemed like there were many healthy debates and that personal attacks were discouraged.

Now, because I had to respond to personal attacks, I'm scared to start or take part in future debates outside of the forums in fear that I will have to trudge through such remarks and make an extra effort to argue around them and focusing on the point I am trying to make.

Writing this stuff is an investment of a couple of hours of my time in the effort and interest of being thorough. Damn straight I care. I take great care to not be offensive and to simply provide content that we can all enjoy, especially for those who want to read it and reference it in the future rather than something that just pertains to you me such as a slanderous remark.

Yeah, I could resort to personally attacking you, your sources, your beliefs, but if I were going to do that, I would go to a dirty site like 4chan, and not a site designed o debate in a civilized, structured manner. I thought of this site, and still do, as better than the sort of junk that is thrown around on the Internet, blogs, YouTube, troll sites, and the like.
Posted by Blob 4 years ago
Blob
and "OK" would be defined as "not upsetting to anyone who is not overly sensitive".
Posted by Blob 4 years ago
Blob
"short" would have been the word instead of "little".

I don't "blame" you, but I do think you are overly sensitive.

I have absolutely no problem with you attacking my personal beliefs. I do not feel one smidgen of resentment toward you if you call me an idiot for being an atheist, or if you call all atheists idiots. Krauss spent an hour justifying his statements about creationists. If you wanted to do the same, then fine. Even if you didn't want to provide justification, I still would not care, since declining to provide justification would make you look worse than me. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I am willing to have another debate with you where the resolution is as follows:

"It is OK to attack another person's personal beliefs."

I would be willing to let you define "attack", so long I am allowed to define "personal belief".

I would only be willing to do this debate if we have more than 24 hours to post (this was a bit too much of a blitz for my schedule).

If you agree, I will set up the debate.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
idiots was meant to be "atheists" and that's not sarcasm, but I was going to put something different in quotations "(.e. idiots who don't know what they're talking about.)
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
I called it "little" as light humor to its length. I don't typically watch hour long youtube videos. Of course, I didn't mind. I personally liked the amount of content Krauss provided. Physics is a passon of mine.

The only demeaning thing I said about Krauss was complaining about having to watch the video, but can you blame me when he attacks my beliefs and I have to listen to it? If I provided you with a source that called idiots "baffoons who don't know what they're talking about" to give an example, then I'm sure you would feel the same way.

Nobody likes to have what they believe personally attacked, especially made into light humor .
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
cbrhawk1BlobTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by Mrparkers 4 years ago
Mrparkers
cbrhawk1BlobTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to meet his burden of proof. Con did a good job demonstrating that Pro's arguments were illogical, and aside from simply repeating what he said in the second round, Pro failed to support these arguments. Good debate.