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

There is no external cause of the universe

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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: 8/12/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,284 times Debate No: 36633
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

Sargon

Pro

Ave

Resolution: There is no external cause of the universe

Burden of proof: The winner of the debate will be the person who proves their case beyond a preponderance of the evidence

Definitions:

External cause-- a cause that exists outside of, or transcends, the universe
Universe-- the totality of all the states of the universe

Rules: General expectations of DDO conduct should be followed. The first round is for acceptance.

Vale

Jacob_Apologist

Con

Agreed. Go ahead.
Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Definitions

A half-open state of time can be thought of a line segment with a maximum value, but no minimum value.



A first state of time can be thought of as a line segment with a maximum value and a minimum value.






Entailment Argument


P1: Every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state.
P2: If every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state, then every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state.
P3: If every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state, then there is no state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
P4: An external cause of the universe can only exist if there is a state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
C: By P3 and P4, The universe has no external cause.

Support for the entailment argument

I’ll start with a little lesson about physics. There are two ‘’types’’ of mechanics, classical mechanics and quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics deals with things on the scale of atoms, and quantum mechanics deals with things below the scale of atoms.[1] Classical mechanics is the most important mechanism for this specific argument. The theory of general relativity is part of classical mechanics, and it describes space-time and how gravity functions.

The theory of general relativity is one of the most supported theories in science. The Hafele-Keating experiment demonstrates time dilation, which is a prediction of general relativity.[2] The orbit of Mercury is experimental vindication of the theory of relativity's equations. For many centuries, it was noted that the orbit of Mercury was slightly different from what Newton's equations would predict. Instead of orbiting in a perfect ellipse like other plants, the orbit of Mercury precesses (which means it does not return to the same point after one orbit, but shifts slightly). When Einstein calculated the orbit of Mercury using the equations of general relativity, it predicted the orbit of Mercury with perfect accuracy [3][4]. This is a strong indication that the theory of relativity is true.

Physicists derive equations from relativity called metric tensors (or metrics for short), which describe the geometric and causal structure of space-time[5]. 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 [6]. The FLRW metric describes a universe that is isotropic, homogenous, and expanding. These metrics also state that every state of time is half-open. [7][8]

If every state of time is half-open, then this creates problems for a first state of time. A first state of time has a minimum value and a maximum value However, this contradicts the theory of relativity. The theory of relativity tells us that every state of time must have no minimum value, but a maximum value. Therefore, the theory of relativity tells us that a first state of time does not exist. Not only that, but the existence of a first state of time would actually be impossible!

Now, let’s talk about sufficient causation. In the context of this argument, I use sufficient cause to refer to a condition that, when it has been actualized, will inevitably lead to something else [9]. For example, if people are playing checkers, then there is also a board and pieces in use. The act of playing checkers requires the use of a board and pieces

This is a picture of the universe if every state of time is half-open.



Every end-point (represented by the U shape) sufficiently causes the next end-point, and is sufficiently caused by a prior end-point. If one end-point represents the first hour after the Big Bang, and the next end-point represents the second hour after the Big Bang, then the first hour after the Big Bang sufficiently causes the second hour, because once it has been actualized, it will lead to the second hour. The first premise is warranted, and I believe that the other premises logically follow from its truth.

Big Bang cosmology

The argument I gave is consistent with standard Big Bang cosmology. The universe still had a beginning in the sense that every state of time must be less than 13.9 billion years old, the age of the universe. In algebraic terms, if T represents a state of time, then every T < 13.9 billion years ago. I think this explanation will solve any questions about how my view of the universe is compatible with standard Big Bang cosmology, which has a finitely old universe.

Some may argue that the initial cosmological singularity represents a beginning point. I think this interpretation has many problems. It is better to think of the singularity as a mathematical abstraction rather than a real thing. For example, it's supposed to have infinite temperature, but it's a zero dimensional point. Temperature relates to molecules moving around, like spreading out when heated, or getting closer together when cooled. How can temperature make any sense at a zero-dimensional point, which by definition, has no movement? Dr. Craig also points out that a physical object with no duration and no physical extension hardly qualifies as a physical thing at all! [10]

The entailment argument is immune to arguments against an actual infinite. If you take any state, it will be sufficiently caused by a previous state. This does not require an infinite number of states before it, because you cannot form an actual infinite by successive addition.

Conclusion

There is no external cause of the universe because of the general theory of relativity. This is consistent with Big Bang cosmology.

Vale


References


1: http://en.wikipedia.org...
2: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...;
3: A Universe From Nothing
4: http://en.wikipedia.org...
5: http://en.wikipedia.org...;

6: http://en.wikipedia.org...
7: http://plato.stanford.edu...
8: I consulted DDO user nordmarj, who has a master's degree in Astronomy and Physics, and he told me this was a correct statement.
9: http://www.nku.edu...
10: Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, pg 227


Jacob_Apologist

Con

P1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2. The explanation of the universe is either in its necessity or an external cause.
P3. The universe is not eternal or necessary; therefore it has an external cause.

The Origin of the Universe

Does it exist due to necessity and it eternally exists or it is contingent and finite? Typically devout atheists have always believed that the universe exists eternally due to necessity of its own nature, and even today various dogmatic new-atheist physicists are hell bent in denying the finite origin of the universe by all possible dishonest means.

This stand-off persisted unaltered until 1917, the year in which Albert Einstein made a cosmological application of his newly discovered General Theory of Relativity. To his chagrin, he found that GTR would not permit a static model of the universe unless he introduced into his gravitational field equations a certain "fudge factor" L in order to counterbalance the gravitational effect of matter. Einstein's universe was balanced on a razor's edge, however, and the least perturbation would cause the universe either to implode or to expand. By taking this feature of Einstein's model seriously, Alexander Friedman and Georges Lemaitre were able to formulate independently in the 1920s solutions to the field equations which predicted an expanding universe.

The monumental significance of the Friedman-Lemaitre model lay in its historization of the universe. As one commentator has remarked, up to this time the idea of the expansion of the universe "was absolutely beyond comprehension. Throughout all of human history the universe was regarded as fixed and immutable and the idea that it might actually be changing was inconceivable." But if the Friedman-Lemaitre model were correct, the universe could no longer be adequately treated as a static entity existing, in effect, timelessly. Rather the universe has a history, and time will not be matter of indifference for our investigation of the cosmos. In 1929 Edwin Hubble's measurements of the red-shift in the optical spectra of light from distant galaxies, which was taken to indicate a universal recessional motion of the light sources in the line of sight, provided a dramatic verification of the Friedman-Lemaitre model. Incredibly, what Hubble had discovered was the isotropic expansion of the universe predicted by Friedman and Lemaitre. It marked a veritable turning point in the history of science. "Of all the great predictions that science has ever made over the centuries," exclaims John Wheeler, "was there ever one greater than this, to predict, and predict correctly, and predict against all expectation a phenomenon so fantastic as the expansion of the universe?"
Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

The universe is not eternal

The philosophical conclusions against past eternal universe through impossibility of infinity has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. We now have pretty strong evidence that the universe is not eternal in the past but had an absolute beginning a finite time ago. In 2003 Arvin Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary. What makes their proof so powerful is that it holds regardless of the physical description of the very early universe. Because we can’t yet provide a physical description of the first split-second of the universe, this brief moment has been fertile ground for speculations. But the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem is independent of any physical description of that moment. Their theorem implies that the quantum vacuum state out of which our universe may have evolved—which some scientific popularizations have misleadingly and inaccurately referred to as “nothing”—cannot be eternal in the past but must have had a beginning. Even if our universe is just a tiny part of a much grander “multiverse” composed of many universes, their theorem requires that the multiverse itself must have a beginning.
Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

It seems Pro already agrees that actual infinity is impossible, however he thinks the cosmological singularity is controversial and problematic. This is not true. See the interesting discussion by Barrow and Tipler [1988], pp. 31-34, in which they explain that since we have no tested theory of quantum gravitation to supersede General Relativity nor any observational evidence for the existence of matter fields which violate the strong or weak energy conditions, the initial cosmological singularity has not been eliminated. In fact, they point out that the finiteness of the action in Friedman models is due to the cosmological singularities. "Thus in general there is a trade-off between space-time singularities: a singularity in the action is avoided only at the price of a singularity in curvature invariants, and vice versa. In cosmology some sort of singularity seems inevitable" (pp. 32-33).

Pro says in his P3 “If every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state, then there is no state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe”.

It seems that this premise commits a logical fallacy, which is the fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition is the fallacy of equating the property of a part of a thing to the whole thing. It is saying that because a thing’s parts have a certain property, therefore the whole thing has that property. For example, if would be like saying that because every little part of an elephant is light in weight, therefore the whole elephant is light in weight. That is obviously a fallacy. Every little piece of an elephant that you might pick might be light in weight, but that doesn’t imply that the elephant as a whole is light in weight. The fallacy of composition is ascribing the property of a part to the whole.

In fact his first premise also begs the question, it is circular reasoning "Every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state".

This premise somehow indirectly assumes the universe to be past eternal. The actual principle of sufficient causation is “Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.” Every state of the universe is not caused by a previous state, in fact prior to the initial condition, the universe did not even exist altogether. The quantum fluctuation or empty space was not past eternal but had an absolute beginning.

Well, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem requires it. Vilenkin says,

“A remarkable thing about this theorem is its sweeping generality. . . . We did not even assume that gravity is described by Einstein’s equations. . . . The only assumption we made was that the expansion rate of the universe never gets below some nonzero value. . . . This assumption should certainly be satisfied in the inflating false vacuum. The conclusion is that past-eternal inflation without a beginning is impossible.”

What the quantum vacuum is is a roiling sea of energy. It is not nothing. As Dr. Krauss himself has said, “By ‘nothing,’ I don’t mean nothing. . . . Nothing isn’t nothing anymore in physics.” Empty space is not empty. “Nothing is really a bubbling, boiling brew of virtual particles.”

There’s no classical time and space in the point from which the universe originates, but it is still something, and Vilenkin, who also has a quantum tunneling model, recognizes this. Vilenkin says the initial state from which the universe evolves is not nothing: “I understand that a universe of zero radius is not necessarily the same thing as no universe at all.” There’s a three-geometry that evolves through quantum tunneling into our space time; it’s not nothing. James Sinclair, a cosmologist, says, “This approach still does not solve the problem of creation. Rather it has moved the question back one step to the initial, tiny, closed, and meta-stable universe. This universe state can have existed for only a finite time. Where did it come from?” Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

In conclusion, the universe has to have an external cause of its existence. It cannot create itself, as it would be logical absurdity. We have good grounds to believe finite beginning of the universe from mathematical, philosophical and scientific evidences. Thus it is far more reasonable to believe there is an external cause of the universe.
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Entailment argument

Con does not respond to the fact that FLRW metrics prove that every state of time is half-open. This is empirical evidence for the first premise of my argument that has not been refuted. Until Con addresses this evidence, he concedes the point, and the first premise by implication.

Con's argument about how the theory of relativity shows the universe to be expanding is a red herring. My argument is not incompatible with Big Bang cosmology or the theory of relativity. I typed an entire paragraph explaining how my argument was consistent with a universe that is 13.9 billion years old and expanding. The universe still had a beginning in the sense that every state of time must be less than 13.9 billion years old, the age of the universe. In algebraic terms, if T represents a state of time, then every T < 13.9 billion years ago. Con glossed over this and doesn't make any effort to answer it.

I gave two arguments against a physical interpretation of the initial cosmological singularity. The first argument was that it's supposed to have zero-dimensions, but infinite temperature, which are physically incompatible. The second argument was from Dr. Craig which says that an object with no physical extension or temporal duration is hardly a physical thing at all. Con does not answer either of these arguments. Instead, he quotes from Barrow and Tipler saying that quantum mechanics can't eliminate the singularity. This statement needs some scientific context. Many physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, think that quantum mechanics eliminates the need for a singularity. Con's objection would only work if I had said that quantum mechanics makes the singularity unnecessary. However, I obviously didn't say anything even close to that. My arguments were against a physical interpretation of the singularity. Con's argument is a response to something I never said.

Con spends many paragraphs (well, not really, as he copy and pasted his arguments) talking about why the universe can't be past-eternal. This is irrelevant to the truth of the argument I presented, as I demonstrated in the second paragraph of this round. My argument is decidedly not inconsistent with Big Bang cosmology and a finitely old universe.

Con makes a strange and ultimately comical argument. He says that I've misunderstood the 'principle of sufficient causation'. My opening statement says nothing about the principle of sufficient causation, which is a made-up principle that's not found anywhere in philosophy, or my opening statement. He then tells me the real definition of it. He says that the principle of sufficient causation states "“Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause." The philosophically trained reader would recognize this as the Leibnizian principle of sufficient reason, not the principle of sufficient causation, which doesn't even exist!

Con argues that P3 of the argument commits a logical fallacy, the fallacy of composition. This is when you reason that because something is true of all of the parts, it must be true of the whole. Con doesn't give any reasoning for why P3 commits this fallacy. He tells us what the fallacy is, but he doesn't tell us what it is about P3 that commits that fallacy.

The statement 'every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state' means that any state will sufficiently caused by a previous state. From this statement, you can deduce that there is no state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state, because if there were, it would violate the rule. (This rule is true because FLRW prove them, which was not answered to by Con). It is a deduction from a fact about the universe. It is not reasoning from parts of something to the whole of something. I did not say 'There is no state of the universe that is not caused by a previous state, therefore it is true to say that every state of the universe is caused by a previous state'. It's the other way around, making my argument a logically valid deduction, not a logical fallacy.

He also accuses the first premise of 'begging the question' and amounting to nothing but the fallacy of 'circular reasoning'. This claim is incoherent. Fallacies like begging the question and reasoning in circles apply to a whole argument. There is no such thing as a premise that begs the question, only an argument that begs the question. Con also doesn't give us any reasons to think that the first premise begs the question. What, are we supposed to take his word for it? I don't think so.

Con concludes by saying that it's absurd for the universe to have created itself. Nobody, literally nobody in this debate, thinks that the universe caused itself. My argument's causation is [...X--->Y--->Z...]. It is not A--->A.

It's clear that Con has failed to make any substantial criticisms of the entailment argument. Con's long (and plagiarized) argument about the history of relativity is wholly consistent with the entailment argument. Con responds to a straw man argument when he talks about quantum mechanics being applied to the singularity, as I never tried to suggest such a thing. He also construes the argument as saying that the universe is past-eternal, when I put a lot of effort into my opening statement to explain why my argument is consistent with a universe that is not past-eternal. The fallacies he lobs against my premises are bare assertions, and he never shows why the premises commit those errors of reasoning.

Plagiarism by Con

Virtually every statement made by Con was plagiarized from William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith website. I understand that there were links which said 'Read more:', and then a URL, but that wasn't Con trying to cite his sources. That's a built-in feature with Dr. Craig's website. If you copy and paste anything from his website, that will come with it. You can try it yourself if you don't believe me.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab lists the instances where credit and documentation is needed [1]. This list includes 'Words or ideas presented in a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, Web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium.' (Italics mine) It also includes instances when you 'Copy the exact words or a unique phrase'. It's clear that Con had an obligation to give credit, as his source falls under 'Web page' and 'Copy[ing] the exact words or a unique phrase'.

They also define plagiarism: 'There are some actions that can almost unquestionably be labeled plagiarism. Some of these include buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper (including, of course, copying an entire paper or article from the Web); hiring someone to write your paper for you; and copying large sections of text from a source without quotation marks or proper citation.' (Bold is not mine.)

According to the rules of giving credit, Con had an obligation to give credit to Dr. Craig and ReasonableFaith for copying and pasting their material. Con copied and pasted large sections of text from ReasonableFaith without using quotation marks or proper citation. There is no effort made to distinguish between what he was saying and what Dr. Craig wrote. The arguments he wrote himself are written in the same font and style as the words he copy and pasted from Dr. Craig. This is what Purdue University's Online Writing Workshop considers an action that can 'unquestionably be labeled [as] plagiarism'.

I'll conclude this round with some of the most egregious examples of Con's plagiarism, but due to the fact that 95% of his last round was plagiarism, I won't be able to fully expose it.

ReasonableFaith: "This stand-off persisted unaltered until 1917, the year in which Albert Einstein made a cosmological application of his newly discovered General Theory of Relativity.6 To his chagrin, he found that GTR would not permit a static model of the universe unless he introduced into his gravitational field equations a certain "fudge factor" L in order to counterbalance the gravitational effect of matter. Einstein's universe was balanced on a razor's edge, however, and the least perturbation would cause the universe either to implode or to expand. By taking this feature of Einstein's model seriously, Alexander Friedman and Georges Lemaitre were able to formulate independently in the 1920s solutions to the field equations which predicted an expanding universe."

Con: "This stand-off persisted unaltered until 1917, the year in which Albert Einstein made a cosmological application of his newly discovered General Theory of Relativity. To his chagrin, he found that GTR would not permit a static model of the universe unless he introduced into his gravitational field equations a certain "fudge factor" L in order to counterbalance the gravitational effect of matter. Einstein's universe was balanced on a razor's edge, however, and the least perturbation would cause the universe either to implode or to expand. By taking this feature of Einstein's model seriously, Alexander Friedman and Georges Lemaitre were able to formulate independently in the 1920s solutions to the field equations which predicted an expanding universe."

RF: The philosophical conclusions against past eternal universe through impossibility of infinity has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. We now have pretty strong evidence that the universe is not eternal in the past but had an absolute beginning a finite time ago.

Con: "This philosophical conclusion has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. We now have pretty strong evidence that the universe is not eternal in the past but had an absolute beginning a finite time ago."

Con's plagiarism is obvious.

Vale

References
Jacob_Apologist

Con

From Pro's P4 it is clear that by “previous state” he means “previous state of the universe”. Thus if we are to elaborate his premises to make them clearer, it would go like following:

P 1: Every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state [of universe].
P 2: If every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state [of universe], then every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state [of universe].
P 3: If every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state, then there is no state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
P 4: An external cause of the universe can only exist if there is a state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
C: By P3 and P4, The universe has no external cause.

It cannot go unnoticed for anyone reading this argument that it is mere tautology. It literally means that the universe has been a chain of infinite regress of these states, thus it is eternal and infinite. Therefore it concludes there is no external cause of the universe but it is eternal and self-existing out of the necessity of its nature.

He albeit thinks that his argument accepts the finite beginning of the universe which is possible only if he is assuming the initial state of universe prior to absolute or physical birth of spacetime to be static and infinite. I have explained that the state of universe prior to expansion was not infinite but that too had an absolute finite beginning. Pro says that he disagrees with physical interpretation of singularity theorem but it is irrelevant. Since he accepts the finite beginning of space and time (T < 13.9 bn years), and claim that there the universe always existed in some state. It follows that in some point of state the universe began to expand with spacetime and matter. Spacetime had a finite beginning but the universe did not.

If he however argues inconsistently that time had an absolute beginning but still due to every state of time being half open, it is somehow always half-open having no first state, therefore the state of universe has no first state. It is not true,

Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems "led to the abandonment of attempts (mainly by the Russians) to argue that there was a previous contracting phase and a non-singular bounce into expansion. Instead almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang. (Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.)

It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

"Whatever Friedmann's solutions have to say about the future of the universe, their most unexpected and intriguing aspect is the presence of the initial singularity—the big bang, where the mathematics of general relativity breaks down. At the singularity, matter is compressed to infinite density, and the solutions cannot be extended to earlier times. Thus, taken literally, the big bang should be interpreted as the beginning of the universe" - Alex Vilenkin, "Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes", page 24

We can see from evidence. Singularity theorem is not depended upon general relativity. I am sure Pro assumes the initial condition of the universe which had zero-dimension and infinite density to be static and eternal. That is what the quantum vacuum state from which the universe evolved in its physical shape and form. I quoted earlier that the Alex Borde Guth theorem could not possibly be eternal and static but that too had a boundary. Scientists agree that the initial condition prior to time Planck is non-physical, that does not mean it was static and eternal, self-existent and necessary.

If one believes that the universe suddenly popped into being from the quantum vacuum state, which literally means in other words that the universe created itself. From where did the vacuum state universe came into being? Did it create itself or exists necessarily.

His argument seems to presuppose eternal self-existent uncaused universe which affirms the premise that every state of universe is caused by previous state. Thus he may agree to the finite beginning of physical state but begs the question how come the non-physical quantum vacuum state have been eternal and infinite? Only then the universe would have no external cause.

He attacks my phrasing of the principle of sufficient reasoning as I called it sufficient causation to use his own formulation of his premises instead of “sufficient reason”, which is quite irrelevant. He has also made a great deal of attacking the way I cited or quoted the source, accusing me of plagiarism, despite my citing the link. That is unnecessary red herring. I have quoted the Reasonable Faith website in order that all would freely read the sources and study themselves if they want to check the quoted sources. It would also help the readers gain some insight for the topics. Let me ignore all those red herring allegations which are made to distract from his refuted argument.

The reason why the argument of Pro is circular is because he simply misunderstands or outright denies the principle of sufficient reason or cause. He denies the universe has external explanation, yet he refuses to give any reason why it just exists for the necessity of its own nature. The truth about the cause of universe can be stated this way:

P1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2. The explanation of the universe is either in its necessity or an external cause.
P3. The universe is not eternal or necessary; therefore it has an external cause.

I have shown the explanation of universe is not in the necessity of its own nature. It is not eternal but contingent. The standard Big Bang model does not assume a static quantum vacuum state prior to the physical spacetime inflationary state; that is confirmed by modern cosmology evidence especially from Borde Guth Theorem. It follows logically that the universe has an external cause. We have positive reasons for believing the universe is not eternal but have a boundary and finite beginning. We have no good reasons to believe that it is eternal or existing out of its own necessity. In fact all Pro has done is to obfuscate the initial conditional and physical inflationary condition without any single positive evidence in support of the necessity of the nature of universe. Until he does that, I think we have great reasons to believe
Debate Round No. 3
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Entailment argument

For the second time, Con does not respond to the fact that FLRW metrics prove that every state of time is half-open. This is empirical evidence for the first premise of my argument that has not been refuted. Until Con addresses this evidence, he concedes the point, and the first premise by implication.

It's apparent that Con has never read A Brief History of Time, because he says that Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems prove a singularity exists. Hawking withdrew these theorems twenty-five years ago! What Hawking actually says in his book is that 'there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe'. [1]

My arguments weren't even against a mathematical singularity. I'm perfectly fine with a mathematical singularity. My problem was with a physical interpretation of the singularity. I gave two arguments against a physical interpretation. None of these two arguments have been answered by Con, despite the fact that he had two rounds to do so.

Con asserts that the argument is a tautology. He never proves why the logic it tautological, so this is just a bare assertion. I'll provide an argument against this claim as I wait for Con to provide reasoning: The truth of the first premise seems to entail the conclusion. They are not the same thing logically. There is difference between logical entailment and logical equivalence. Therefore, the argument is not a tautology.

Con tries to prove that my argument is circular reasoning, but none of his reasons have anything to do with that fallacy. I provided an argument in my last round to show that the argument is deductive, not circular. This wasn't answered.

Con resorts to straw manning the entailment argument extensively. I have already explained how my argument is consistent with Big Bang cosmology, which says that the universe is finitely old. My argument does not say that the universe is eternal and infinite, as Con writes.

Con continues to use the straw man about past-eternal universes. My argument does not depend on the universe being past-eternal, as I showed in my last round and opening statement. Con doesn't respond to any of that reasoning. He just keeps saying 'the universe cannot be past-eternal'.

It's strange that Con won't stop talking about quantum vacuums. What does my argument have to do with quantum vacuums? Arguments like "If one believes that the universe suddenly popped into being from the quantum vacuum state, which literally means in other words that the universe created itself. From where did the vacuum state universe came into being? Did it create itself or exists necessarily." and "Thus he may agree to the finite beginning of physical state but begs the question how come the non-physical quantum vacuum state have been eternal and infinite?" have nothing to do with my argument at all.

Furthermore, this entire paragraph is an argument against a straw man: "We can see from evidence. Singularity theorem is not depended upon general relativity. I am sure Pro assumes the initial condition of the universe which had zero-dimension and infinite density to be static and eternal. That is what the quantum vacuum state from which the universe evolved in its physical shape and form. I quoted earlier that the Alex Borde Guth theorem could not possibly be eternal and static but that too had a boundary. Scientists agree that the initial condition prior to time Planck is non-physical, that does not mean it was static and eternal, self-existent and necessary."

To clarify, my argument is that the universe had no beginning state (a state of the universe that was preceded by no other state), but it still had a beginning in the sense that every state existed at a time less than 13.9 billion years ago.

Con also drops several lines of argument. He quoted from Barrow and Tipler to show that quantum mechanics doesn't eliminate the singularity. I pointed out that my argument was against a physical interpretation of the singularity, not the singularity, and that I wasn't trying to eliminate the singularity based on quantum mechanics. He completely ignored this in the last round.

Con accused my argument of committing the fallacy of composition. I spent my last round explaining why my argument does not commit this fallacy. Con drops this in the last round.

Con argued that the universe causing itself was absurd. I pointed out that the causation I'm talking about looks like [...X--->Y--->Z...]. It is not A--->A. Con drops this in the last round.

Plagiarism


I'm sorry if this is harsh, but Con is outright lying. He wrote that he cited the link, when he did no such thing. He didn't cite the link, ReasonableFaith did as an anti-plagiarism measure. DDO user bladerunner060 explains:

"THAT SAID, something about the way that "citation" was done pinged at me wrong, so I did a little experiment.

The information is pulled from reasonablefaith, which is coded as HTML5 (you can tell because of the pink highlighting of text...boilerplate FTW).

And when you paste from there?

It appends a "Read more: URL" to the end.

So now this person didn't even cite, no, the website did it for him as a way to PREVENT plagiarists like him. I wonder whether he even noticed." [2]

I even preemptively answered this in the last round: "Virtually every statement made by Con was plagiarized from William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith website. I understand that there were links which said 'Read more:', and then a URL, but that wasn't Con trying to cite his sources. That's a built-in feature with Dr. Craig's website. If you copy and paste anything from his website, that will come with it. You can try it yourself if you don't believe me."

Even if Con provided links (he didn't), that does not mean he didn't plagiarize. As the Purdue University Online Writing Lab says: 'There are some actions that can almost unquestionably be labeled plagiarism. Some of these includebuying, stealing, or borrowing a paper (including, of course, copying an entire paper or article from the Web); hiring someone to write your paper for you; and copying large sections of text from a source without quotation marks or proper citation.'

Read that closely. 'Copying large sections of text from a source without quotation marks or proper citation''. Con clearly failed to do this, so it's plagiarism no matter what he says.

Con has extensively plagiarized from ReasonableFaith.org, and then lied about to try and cover his tracks. Plagiarism is one the worst things you can do in life, and on a debate website like this. This is for your ideas, and your arguments. I didn't come here to debate with copy and pasted text. If Con wants any type of future on this website, he should apologize and promise to never to do this again. Until then, I'll be sure to warn anyone who debates him about this episode.

Voters should give, at the very least, conduct points against Con. If I were a voter, I would give seven points against Con, and happily.

Vale

References
1: A Brief History of Time, pg 53
2: http://www.debate.org...

Jacob_Apologist

Con

It is disappointing that despite my proving the implications of Pro’s argument he stresses and reiterates that he affirms the finite beginning of the universe. Yet he maintains that every state of universe was caused by a previous state of universe (for eternity), he again clarifies:

“To clarify, my argument is that the universe had no beginning state (a state of the universe that was preceded by no other state), but it still had a beginning in the sense that every state existed at a time less than 13.9 billion years ago.”

Anyone reading the above quote would understand that it is nothing but a meaningless and contradictory statement. And this is the only reason that I had to fill in the gaps and insert assumptions in order to make them meaningful. It is either a case that he is confused about his own argument, or that he is deliberately being irrational. You cannot claim that every state of universe was preceded by another state of universe, simultaneously claiming it had an absolute beginning. He asserts “the universe had no beginning state” which literally means he believes the universe is beginning-less (and apparently endless). Yet he claims that it had a beginning “in the sense” that every state is a finite period old. I had to assume that he means to refer the space time state of the universe after start of the expansion to be finite; and he considers the initial quantum vacuum prior to be eternal, or beginning-less.

He repeats that I don’t respond to the FLRW metric that says every state of time is half-open. It was irrelevant because that had nothing to do with supporting his argument; since he acknowledges the finite beginning of time along with the birth of universe. It is clear he maintains and defends an argument which is either very confused or dishonest.

Does the universe have no external cause?

I don’t want to repeat my argument in conclusion; it has been proven continuously that the universe could only be without an external caused only if it was self-existent, eternally (without beginning) and out of the necessity of its own nature. We have seen ample evidences from philosophy and science, that the universe is not eternal, self-existent and necessary, but contingent and began a finite period of time ago. It follows logically that the universe had an external cause, since there was a moment when there was no universe at all.

All Pro has done is to attack red herrings and ad hominem by accusing my arguments of plagiarism, which was desperate attempt of distraction from truth. I again ignore those red herring attempts. Let me again remind all to go study this article from which I largely quoted to have a thorough and detailed analysis of cosmology. http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Readers judge the evidences and reasoning, ask yourself “does the universe have no external cause but exists necessarily and eternally”, be open and honest to this question without letting your presuppositions come against your quest for the truth. Then you will definitely be intrigued to search deeper questions like why the universe exists at all!

The universe has indeed an external cause of its existence and it points out to a profound objective meaning and purpose behind its existence. Don’t forget to vote for the reasonable side.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
In round three, Con is still plagiarizing.

: Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems "led to the abandonment of attempts (mainly by the Russians) to argue that there was a previous contracting phase and a non-singular bounce into expansion. Instead almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang. (Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.)
:
: It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

How hard would it have been to put quote marks around the quoted parts, and to honestly cite the web pages where Con really got these quotes rather than pretend to have gotten them from the original sources?
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Con, you have to make your own argument to win a debate. If you just plagiarize and reference WLC's arguments, you can't possibly claim to have debated better than Pro. You haven't debated at all. Pro didn't sign up to debate WLC; he was supposed to get to debate you.

As it is, you have dropped all arguments, forfeiting the debate.

You best move now is to ask whether Pro will let you call this debate a tie and start from scratch in your own words in a new debate.
Posted by AtypicalOpinion 4 years ago
AtypicalOpinion
"Universe" Needs to be more clearly defined.
Posted by dannyc 4 years ago
dannyc
All you need to prove is the uncertainity of assertions beyong our reasoning is meaningless.
Posted by ooberman 4 years ago
ooberman
I think many debates suffer from that problem, but that doesn't mean the debates are meaningless. But, truly anyone who wins the debate, wins a hollow victory. I suppose in that way it's meaningless, but exploring the options might be interesting. Of course, it seems as if it will immediately reduce to the actual science of the Big Bang, quantum theory and other things that are simply unknown.
Truly, the metaphysical questions are the least interesting because one can imagine whatever they want and claim evidence abounds for their pet hypothesis. Metaphysically the question is meaningless (as are most metaphysics), scientifically and philosophically there are interesting questions. This just doesn't seem to be the best place to find knowledgeable people on the subject.
Posted by dlgodbout 4 years ago
dlgodbout
This debate is pointless because, no claims can actually be tested and proven.
Posted by ooberman 4 years ago
ooberman
How is "universe" defined in this debate? The physical, observable, testable universe or the philosophical universe?
Posted by PonticComet 4 years ago
PonticComet
Do not let the account fool you this is my second account since I am not allowed to use my Facebook one.
Posted by PonticComet 4 years ago
PonticComet
I would be willing to argue whether or not we should believe in an external force :D Since this is Metaphysics.
Posted by Bullish 4 years ago
Bullish
I'm not sure how one can logically, honestly, and confidently provide any kind of explanation for the existence of the universe.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
SargonJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con plagiarized, so he ought to lose the debate on that alone. But I think he lost on the merits as well. He did not appear to understand Pro's argument, so he just blindly threw out the names of fallacies without explaining how Pro committed them. Pro was very thorough in pointing out all of Con's mistakes and defending his argument from Con's attempts to refute it. This was a very one-sided debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
SargonJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: CONDUCT: I did not believe pro relating to how bad it was, but I confirmed that those links are automatically put in by that website. SOURCES: I consider the source which cost con conduct, to be effectively flipped.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
SargonJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
SargonJacob_ApologistTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit for plagiarism. Jacob, if you don't think this is fair, you can click on "Report this Vote" to ask for review.