The Instigator
Matt532
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
zmikecuber
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

This Argument for the Existence of God Doesn't Work

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
zmikecuber
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/15/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 935 times Debate No: 81019
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

Matt532

Con

The purpose of this debate is for my argument to be critiqued, to see if there are any flaws in it.

Rules (for the voters to look at):

1. Definitions are non-binding, but encouraged (but the meaning in this first post is more-so binding).

2. One side may ask the other about definitions. If the other side fails to give an answer or one that makes any progress, then favor the side asking the question. If the definition-question is frivolous (e.g. define word), then favor the other side. However, the questioner can overcome the frivolous part if the questioner explains clearly enough why he asks if there is a possibility of it being frivolous, or the questioner gives their own guess to the definition (obvious frivolousness on the part of the questioner should favor the other side though).

3. No disparaging (to "regard or represent as being of little worth" (Google Dictionary) ) the other side unless it is used in the context of an argument, and then its use ought to be minimized (The purpose of this is to prevent ranting against the other side; I know that some people are passionate against the Christian God, but I want a more logical, organized debate).

4. I want a more logical, organized debate, so judge the content by how effective the logic is.

5. Excessive emotion (or emotion without developing one's argument, but merely restating it with emotion) shall favor the other side.

6. Rules may be changed if both sides agree, and on which rounds they apply to. The default for which rounds would exclude rules being applied retroactively.

Here is my argument.

(1) Cause-effect exists.

(2) The cause-effect chain (in regards to existence of things) must be finite.

(2a) Argument against the idea that it could be infinite: If one says that it occurs at infinity, I can construct a sequence of increasingly large chains of what the cause-effect chain is not equal too: { (c1), (c1, c2), (c1, c2, c3), "}. Since this goes on to infinity, it has the infinite cause-effect chain. However, this shows that the infinite cause-effect chain is not equal to itself, which is a contradiction of the identity principle.

(2b) The only way I see that one can attack this chain I created is by stopping it at some point. However, if someone stops it at some point, then this means that it would be a finite chain. I could then add one cause to the finite chain and the chain would still be finite, meaning that it couldn't be stopped at that point. Another way of saying this is that if someone stopped my chain at some point, it would be a finite chain, since it is bounded on both ends (start and finish), but that is what I am arguing to begin with, so one can't stop my chain without admitting I am right.

(3) If the cause-effect chain is finite, then it must start somewhere (label it "First Cause").

(4) Now, I can always ask what caused a thing if it came into existence at some point in time (A thing can't cause itself to exist, because it would have to have already existed, but then it couldn't cause its own existence then because it already exists).

(4a) Therefore, the First Cause would have to always have existed (and so it couldn't get it's existence from something else) (the First Cause would also have to be outside time, but this isn't important in the current argument, and I will explain this point if I include it later on, so don't worry about it).

(5) However, the only way that a thing wouldn't get its existence from something else is if it was Existence to begin with.

(5a) It couldn't have the existence outside of itself, else there would be a previous cause for it's existence, since it didn't have the existence (Analogous to someone borrowing a book from someone else who had borrowed the book from the library) (www.peterkreeft.com, looking at the second argument for the Existence of God).

(5b) So, since it must have Existence as an intrinsic, natural property, and since it is the cause of all things, it can itself be called Existence (www.peterkreeft.com, looking at the second argument for the Existence of God).

(6) This Existence is also called "First Cause", which Christians (Catholics at least) claim it to be their God. Other properties can be deduced from this argument later on. The hardest part is successfully getting to this point, I would argue.
zmikecuber

Pro

Thanks to Matt532 for the opportunity to debate this topic once more. I personally am Catholic, and believe in God, and have alot of experience with cosmological arguments. I haven't done this in a while, so I hope I'm not too rusty!

My opponent proposes the following argument. I shall quote his exact words:

(1) Cause-effect exists.
(2) The cause-effect chain (in regards to existence of things) must be finite.
(3) If the cause-effect chain is finite, then it must start somewhere (label it "First Cause").
(4) Now, I can always ask what caused a thing if it came into existence at some point in time (A thing can't cause itself to exist, because it would have to have already existed, but then it couldn't cause its own existence then because it already exists).
(5) However, the only way that a thing wouldn't get its existence from something else is if it was Existence to begin with.
(6) This Existence is also called "First Cause", which Christians (Catholics at least) claim it to be their God.

Premise 1
To begin with, my opponent's first premise is vague. What exactly does he mean? Ok, I'll stop beating around the bush. What the hell does this premise mean? Does he mean that at least one or more cause/effect relationships exist? I don't think that anyone denies that *some* effects have cause, but does this mean all effects have causes? Furthermore, what types of effects? All effects? What classifies something as an "effect"? Can anything be an effect, or is it something inherent to the being itself? Is an effect only an effect inasmuch as it is caused? These questions are impossible to answer, and show how vague this premise really is.


I'll readily admit that some cause/effect relationships exist. For example, if I smash my fist into my computer screen, I'll shatter it. Voila. A cause/effect relationship. However, as it is stated now, it's not very interesting, and does not support my opponent's case. Yes, some cause/effect relationships between two things exist. So what? I shall await further clarification from my opponent on his first premise.

Premise 2
My opponent's argument 2a is fallacious. He claims that he can construct a sequence of the type: ((c1),(c1,c2),(c1,c2,c3),...) et cetera on and on. However, this is more of an argument against the concept of infinity itself. He claims that the infinite chain above must contain the infinite causal chain. However, this is an error in reasoning.

Let us assume that my opponent's infinite causal chain is called "C". So.. C = (c1),(c1,c2),(c1,c2,c3), etc etc. on to infinity.

Now, let us assume that there is some infinite causal chain, A= (c1,c2,c3,c4,... ad infinitum).

Let's convert my opponent's argument into a syllogism:

P1: C is infinite.
P2: A is infinite.
P3: C is not A.
C: Infinity is not infinity.

And since the conclusion breaks the law of identity, P1 or P2 must be false, and infinity must be impossible!

Not so fast. This is is not a valid syllogism. This reasoning is exactly the same:

P1: Socrates is a man.
P2: Aristotle is a man.
P3: Socrates is not Aristotle. (duh, look it up on wikipedia)
C: Man is not man.

And since this conclusion breaks the law of identiy, Socrates and Aristotle must not be men.

As I have shown, my opponent's reasoning process is flawed.

It is perfectly possible for two seperate and distinct things to have the quality of being infinite. Just as it is perfectly possible for two seperate and distinct people to both be men. The problem does not lie in the concept of infinity, nor in the concept of being a man, but rather in my opponent's thinking.

Premise 4
"(A thing can't cause itself to exist, because it would have to have already existed, but then it couldn't cause its own existence then because it already exists)."

This is a bad argument. Nobody is saying that some non-existant thing caused itself to come into existence. Of course this is absurd.


What I would posit, as many other philosophers have, is that something can begin to exist without any cause.

Do not confuse this with "caused by nothing."

The statement:
(i) A is caused by nothing

is NOT equivalent to:

(ii) A is not caused by anything.

There are no laws of logic anywhere that can make these two statements equivalent. They are simply different statements. I do not propose statement (i) is true. I posit that (ii) is true. Why can't something can begin to exist without any cause at all?

Premise 4a
"(4a) Therefore, the First Cause would have to always have existed"

How on earth does this follow from 4? Why can't something cause something else to begin to exist, and then drop out of existence?


Let's assume that everything that begins to exist has a cause. I have a cause. My parents. They have a cause... Their parents. But do my great grandparents still exist? No, sorry to say, but they don't. Have my parents always existed? Of course not.

Once I have been caused into existence, I can persist in existence without my parents existing. Therefore, assuming everything up to this point is sound reasoning (which it isn't as we've seen), the first cause doesn't have to always have existed. It's perfectly possible for something to come into existence without a cause. It's perfectly possible for something to be brought into existence with a cause, and for that cause to stop existing. It's perfectly possible for something to cause something else into existence and not have always existed.

Conclusion
All I have to do to win this debate is show that the above argument does not work for showing the existence of God. I have done so. I have shown that the reasoning is invalid, and as such, the argument does not succeed and my burden is upheld. Furthermore, my opponent has not attempted to show any of the qualities of God... the most important being intelligence and omniscience. So, it's hard to even call this "first cause" God.

I will stop here. I don't want to make this too long. However, I'd like to commend my opponent on a good effort. Personally, I think that Peter Kreeft's representation of the cosmological argument is absolutely horrible butchery of the Kalam Cosmological argument, and every other cosmological argument on earth thrown together into one, but let's see how my opponent does defending his version of the cosmological argument!
Debate Round No. 1
Matt532

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting, but also for his time in making his arguments, as well as his organization of his arguments.

I will start by commenting on the conclusion.

Conclusion:
I agree that your arguments would win the debate if I do not refute them. I don't want to discuss arguments for the qualities of God now, because (1) they are based off of the current argument for God (#'s 1-6), (2) the argument I have given is already long and complicated, (3) arguments for the qualities of God are simpler, I think, than this argument, on a per quality basis.

I think the cosmological arguments depend on my explanation for (2), meaning (2a) and (2b) (Cosmological arguments meaning based off of time and based off of cause-effect chains).

Premise 5, which you didn't comment on:
You attack Peter Kreeft's representation in the ontological argument, but I only refer to it regarding my (5a) and (5b), neither of which you have gone after at this point.

Premise 1: I think pretty much everyone understands what idea I'm getting at in terms of what does a cause mean and what does an effect mean. What I mean is that most people have an example in their mind of what it means to have a cause and effect, whether it is in history, or in playing billiard balls.

I don't see at this point how having an exact definition will determine whether my argument is wrong or not, unless you give a definition denying something important.

That being said, it doesn't hurt to give a more exact definition. I will try to define cause as a relationship of a thing acting on another thing (basically, given a subject, verb, and object, direct or indirect, the subject is the cause and the object is what is being effected).

Google Dictionary gives these two definitions. Cause is a "person or thing that" acts. Effect is "a change" which occurs from an action.

That being said, you do bring up a good question of whether all effects have causes (and we can look at the vice versa too).

Cause-effect looks vague if someone denies their sense perception regarding this sort of thing.

Can anything be an effect? I would like to think that everything (except God) is an effect of a cause. Why can't I do this at least theoretically? I don't know of any experience to where there is no cause-effect relationship between a thing and any other thing (I will try to look into this more at Premise 4).

Premise 2a:
If the infinite chain I gave is different from the "infinite causal chain", then you will have to distinguish between the two more clearly for me. I see no difference.

Side note: On P3: "C is not A," I just realized you mean logical "not". I would clarify this to say, C has A, but by the definition of things in C, this means A doesn't exist. Since we assumed A existed, a contradiction results.

Include the same clarification with P1.

The problem with this logic is that infinity doesn't behave the same as finite things. Infinity has its own rules in regards to numbers, but also with regards to sets. For example, inf + 1 = inf. inf * 2 = inf. However, this isn't true with finite numbers.

In the same way, you can't say that the reasoning is exactly the same, because the rules aren't exactly the same.

That being said, it would be better if I could be clearer on this. So, I will.

I just noticed that the break in your logic is on P3, when you say "not Aristotle." (I will give logical not's by ~). Properly speaking in logic, ~Aristotle means everyone and everything who isn't Aristotle. That includes Plato. Therefore, Socrates isn't just Socrates, but also Plato, Matt532, zmikecuber, and everyone else, as well as objects like tables, and such, except that this is prevented in P1 so that it only refers to persons.

When one uses a logical not, one uses its complement, meaning everything that it isn't. The way you and we use "not" in common language, in this instance, it means at least one thing that it isn't (When I say peanut butter is not jelly, I'm not saying that peanut butter is ice cream).

So, I use the first meaning, and you use the second meaning.

That being said, I'm still not satisfied with my answer.

Ahh, I just noticed that Socrates would be more than one man, technically. I'm still not satisfied though.

The main problem I see with your syllogism is that Aristotle and Socrates are not all of man, but only share in "man-ness". So, I think your syllogism would be the same as this:

P1: Socrates is ?man A (regardless of what "Socrates" really means (for my purposes), as defined from P3).
P2: Aristotle is man B.
P3: Socrates is not Aristotle.
C: ?man A ~= man B.

With my infinities, however, they are completely overlapping each other. My infinities are identical: (c1, c2, c3, "). Also, I'm not talking about two different things. I'm talking about the same exact chain.

Premise 4:
I'm glad you agree with me on that part.

When I would say "caused by nothing," I really mean "not caused by anything." I don't see exactly how the two are different. I wouldn't say that this thing, "nothing", exists, I agree.

"Why can't something begin to exist without any cause at all?" Well, I would admit that I assumed this to not be true. I will say though, that I don't' know of anything that provably follows this idea.

That being said, I will use Google's definitions to see if I can get somewhere. Google Dictionary defines action as doing something.

To say that a thing's existence was not caused by anything is to say that "nothing was done," or this act was not done by anything. To say that a thing was not done by anything means no act occurred by those things. So, an act must have come up on its own. This means all verbs don't need a subject! (Give me a sentence without any subject that makes sense, meaning, it represents reality) What else does this mean? Well, since there does not exist a thing that does the act, the only thing left is emptiness or nothingness! So, nothing does something. If we define a thing as that which does stuff (such as existing), nothing is something. Then, this contradicts the act not being done by anything, in addition with the idea that nothing isn't something.

To tell me that I can't link "not done by anything" with "done by nothing" seems to deny me from using valid logic just because, which makes no sense. (If you apply ~ to both sides, the ~ gets distributed to the "done" and to the "thing", so "not done by Sam" logically means "done by not Sam", assuming something was done (though not-Sam means that at least one person in the category of "not-Sam" did it).

Premise 4a:
You ignored two words from my premise 4: "in time": "Now, I can always ask what caused a thing if it came into existence at some point in time" (assuming this is true). Therefore, something would have to (logical) not come into existence at some point in time ("logical-not" means all possibilities that a thing isn't). This means that it has always existed in time.

Now, if time is not infinite (apply premises 2a and 2b to form the argument), then the "First Cause" must have existed outside of time, else it would be as finite as finite time (but if it is finite, then it is limited, which means that there is something to limit it, something which causes this limit, a prior cause).

You are bold in going out of your way to explicitly assert that your arguments are right before I have even given my objections. That is a liability for you.

Now, it is an excellent question to ask whether this First Cause can cease to exist.

Well, I will use Premise 5 and show that God is simple (meaning not composed of parts). I will do this next post (It will be under the label (i) ).
zmikecuber

Pro

The argument and God
I'd first like to note that my opponent's argument, as such, is incomplete. It does not prove God. If it is succesful, it proves that some pure existence caused everything into existence. However, the definition of God is nearly always as a being. Thus, my opponent must show, at the very least, that the first cause is intelligent. The argument, as stated, does not uphold the resolution. I shall await an argument from my opponent to show that the first cause is intelligent, and as such, can rightly be called "God."


Some Clarifitations
I have attacked two major metaphysical assumptions my opponent's argument rests on:


i. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
ii. A causal chain cannot proceed to infinity.

While my opponent's argument has many sub-arguments to defend these premises, it essentially rests upon these two premises.

Premise 1 - Vague Notions of Causality
My opponent clarifies his notion of causality, stating "a relationship of a thing acting on another thing."

He defines cause and effect, stating "Cause is a "person or thing that" acts. Effect is "a change" which occurs from an action."

Later, he argues that whatever comes into existence has a cause of its existence.


I am once again very confused by my opponent's argument. Do all effects have causes? Or is it only something coming into existence that requires a cause?

If my opponent's argument is so vague that it does not even clearly express itself, it cannot get off the ground, and certainly cannot prove the existence of God.

Infinite Causal Chains
I will once again try to understand my opponent's arguments regarding infinite causal chains. Judging by his response, it seems I may have misunderstood him. I would urge my opponent to attempt to present his argument in a more clear and easy-to-understand manner.


Here is the argument my opponent has put forward:

"If one says that it occurs at infinity, I can construct a sequence of increasingly large chains of what the cause-effect chain is not equal too: { (c1), (c1, c2), (c1, c2, c3), "}. Since this goes on to infinity, it has the infinite cause-effect chain. However, this shows that the infinite cause-effect chain is not equal to itself, which is a contradiction of the identity principle."

So to clarify, let's call this sequence of chains C. C = (c1),(c1,c2),(c1,c2,c3),...


So C is infinitly long. Then my opponent states:

"Since this goes on to infinity, it has the infinite cause-effect chain"

I am assuming that my opponent means that some particular causal chain (which is infinite) is also included in C. Call this A.

A = c1,c2,c3,c4, etc.

Obviously, A will be a sub-element of C. My opponent then states

"However, this shows that the infinite cause-effect chain is not equal to itself, which is a contradiction of the identity principle."

Which infinite cause/effect chain is not equal to itself? A or C?


I'm really trying very hard to understand what on earth my opponent is trying to say, but it's really not clear at all.

"I would clarify this to say, C has A, but by the definition of things in C, this means A doesn't exist. Since we assumed A existed, a contradiction results."

I don't see how by the definition of C, A doesn't exist. This simply does not follow. Remember...


C = (c1),(c1,c2),(c1,c2,c3),... ad infinitum

A = c1,c2,c3... ad infinitum

"I just noticed that the break in your logic is on P3, when you say "not Aristotle." (I will give logical not's by ~). Properly speaking in logic, ~Aristotle means everyone and everything who isn't Aristotle. That includes Plato. Therefore, Socrates isn't just Socrates, but also Plato, Matt532, zmikecuber, and everyone else, as well as objects like tables, and such, except that this is prevented in P1 so that it only refers to persons."

However, ~Aristotle does not mean everything other than Aristotle, nor is that what I have said. If I say Socrates is not Aristotle, I am not saying that Socrates is everything other than Aristotle. I am merely saying that Socrates and Aristotle are not the exact same thing.


Therefore, my argument holds. It is an adequete representation of my opponent's reasoning. Here is what my opponent seems to be saying:

P1: C is an infinite thing.
P2: A is an infinite thing.
P3: C is not A.
C: Infinity is not infinity.

However, the only conclusion that follows is that this one particular thing (C), which is infinite, is not the exact same thing as this other thing (A), which is infinite.


In other words, my opponent's argument means absolutely nothing. He has not shown any sort of contradiction of a thing's identity. He has merely created two infinite series, A and C. A is a subset of C. There is no contradiction here.

My opponent finally states

"With my infinities, however, they are completely overlapping each other. My infinities are identical: (c1, c2, c3, "). Also, I'm not talking about two different things. I'm talking about the same exact chain."

But obviously A and C are not the exact same chain. The one is the subset of the other, but they are not the same. Sure, they are both infinite, but they are different infinite things.


Causality
I ask my opponent if something can come into existence without any cause, to which he replies,


"Well, I would admit that I assumed this to not be true. I will say though, that I don't' know of anything that provably follows this idea."

So, as he admits, his argument rests upon the impossibility of something randomly coming into existence. In other words, whatever comes into existence has a cause.


My opponent does not provide any arguments to believe this though. The closest he gets is by saying: "I don't' know of anything that provably follows this idea."

However, the burden is not on me to provide something coming into existence without a cause. The burden is on my opponent. He has not done so.

Furthermore, this flies in the face of Occam's razor. If something comes into existence, and it can be explained without a cause, there is no need for a cause. Perhaps everything that comes into existence has a cause, as well as a guardian angel. Perhaps everything that comes into existence has a cause, a guardian angel, and an inherent moral value. When given absolutely *no* evidence to believe in these extra hypotheses, we should opt for the one that explains the phenomena best, with the fewest hypothesis. And in this case, the idea with the fewest hypothesis is that something can just come into existence... without a cause.

Furthermore, I believe it can be shown that the statements:

i. A is caused by nothing
and
ii. A is not caused by anything

are metaphysically different.

In one case, A DOES have a cause. And this cause is nothing.

In the other case, A does not even have a cause in the first place.


Therefore, they seem metaphysically distinct to me.

My opponent claims:
"not done by Sam" logically means "done by not Sam"

However, they are not the same, metaphysically speaking. In the case of "done by not Sam" there are many not-Sam things that could have done the action. For example, Pete or Sue. However, this is not the case when we speak in terms of "anything" and "nothing."


Conclusion
My opponent's argument is vague, and completely unsupported. My opponent has failed to prove that anything that comes into existence requires a cause, and instead attempts to shift the burden. He has not shown that infinite causal series cannot be infinite. He has not even shown that the argument proves a being.


Therefore, my opponent's argument cannot be considered sound in regards to proving the existence of God.
Debate Round No. 2
Matt532

Con

(i) Can the First Cause cease to exist?

(7) Well, the First Cause has to be infinite, meaning that it isn't limited by something, else the thing that is limiting it would be the First Cause. This is because the limiting thing would have to have existence before it can limit.

(8) Now, since the First Cause is initially (for now) infinite, then the First Cause is perfect. However, perfect implies that a thing can't change, because change means that something gets or loses something that it previously had. Therefore, the First Cause can't be limited (or limit itself), because that would mean that it would be imperfect, meaning that it can change to gain something it didn't have.

(9) The First Cause must also be simple, meaning not composed of parts, because if it were composed of parts, then this means that one part has something that the other part doesn't have, which implies change, implying imperfection.

(10) So, since this First Cause cannot change because it is perfect, the First Cause cannot cease to exist (the first thing my opponent wanted me to show).

(11) Since the first cause is simple, if it shows an attribute in any way, then it must be that attribute (and it has to possess it perfectly and infinitely as well).

(12) Well, since we know that a cause must come to a First Cause, we can deduce qualities of a cause that come from its own nature (which it can't give itself) and attribute it to the First Cause ultimately.

(12a) Otherwise, there is an attribute that exists outside of the First Cause, but the definition of the First Cause is that it causes all things that exist, so that attribute must ultimately come from the First Cause, else the First Cause is not Existence (and not perfect).

(13) If we say that humans by nature are good, have an intellect and will, and have power to do things, then these things can be attributed to God in a perfect way. Otherwise, we would have to say that something comes from nothing, but then this goes against the idea of First Cause as Existence (see 12a) (the second thing my opponent wanted me to show).

(13a) If the idea of evolution is true, then one has to keep in mind 12a.

Okay. Notice how much this stuff relies on my first 6 points. My opponent can point out the points in 7-13a where he disagrees, but he doesn't need to comment on the points that we are already arguing about in 1-6 (unless you have some new insight or other good reason to comment). My opponent can point out his points where we disagree on, from 1-6 onto 7-13a.

Now to comment on my opponent's Round 2 response.

Premise 1:
Please tell me clearly what I am vague about, don't just complain and be vague about my vagueness (let me know which questions I missed).

I gave you an argument saying that it isn't possible for effects to not have causes. As a side note, I pointed out that if it did, there would be no subject in that sentence.

I don't think this is a question of vagueness. You understand what I mean by cause and effect. It is more of a question of the theory itself.

Premise 2a:
Alright, so, I start by assuming the opponent's argument, that there is an infinite cause-effect chain, label it A (= {c1, c2, c3"} ).

Then, I can construct a sequence C of increasingly large chains of what the cause-effect chain is not equal to.

You can call it C, but the important thing to note is that C = ~A by definition, as this is what the cause-effect chain isn't entirely made up of.

Then, ~A = { {c1}, {c1, c2}, {c1, c2, c3}, "}. Since this goes on infinitely long, A gets included in ~A, which means that the cause-effect chain is entirely made up of what it can't be entirely made up of. This is a contradiction.

What I meant about the ~Aristotle part is that you're changing the definition of logical ~ if you don't say that Socrates is everything other than Aristotle, meaning that your use of the word "not" is not the correct terminology that I am using, meaning that there is an equivocation in the use of the word "not", which your argument must rectify before it can say that our "not's" are equal. https://www.google.com...

I also didn't say that your argument couldn't hold because of this, but rather that your skills can be refined.

Just because you can't see the contradiction doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Once again, your skills can be refined.

I didn't say A and C are the exact same chain. I said A was in C (so A was in ~A, which leads to a contradiction).

You are right, A and C are different things that are infinitely long, I agree. However, what matters is that I can find a ~A and an A, which are exactly the same chain, except for the fact of whether they exist or not, hence the identity crisis.

Premise 4:
I gave an argument later on in my statement saying that it would be a contradiction to have an effect without a cause.

To the argument that there is an effect without a cause is like trying to prove that there is no teapot in space (in our Solar System). If I can't really disprove it, it doesn't mean it's there. It would be like asking me to disprove leprechauns (this is an atheist's argument against theism that I am using to try to prove theism, lol). That being said, check the previous paragraph first before coming to this one, I wouldn't mind if I proved that "there is no teapot in space."

Occam's razor is an idea to consider, not a rule to always follow. Physics is an excellent example of this, as there are many examples of counter-intuitive ideas http://scienceblogs.com.... For example, when you look at a color like orange, it turns out that you are actually seeing all of the other colors, and that orange gets absorbed in the object, and not reflected back to your eye.

Now, why have Occam's razor? Well, some good reasons are in "https://en.wikipedia.org...'s_razor" (don't forget to add the " 's_razor " to the url, else it will give you a disambiguation page of Occam. You could also just go to that disambiguation page and select the link titled "Occam's razor"). Next, I think Occam's razor is in my favor rather than yours. We know of causes and effects existing. We don't know of any causes and effects that don't exist. Your argument says there is both, while my argument says that there is only the former. By Occam's razor, my side wins with regards to this.

Lastly, having no cause means that there is no explanation possible, that an explanation is denied. However, Occam's razor only applies for actual explanations. Otherwise, we could Occam's razor ourselves into denying meaning to everything (or whatever is convenient for us), as it is the simplest "explanation". But anyway, since we don't use it everywhere given a context, it isn't a rule. It can be a rule regulated by other rules, but one should explain exactly the rules and how it would work.

Thanks for helping my argument by pointing out Occam's razor!

Ok. You're presupposing that nothing exists, but that is a contradiction. Nothing can't cause something, because then nothing is something, by definition of a thing that I gave in my previous argument (But nothing was already defined to not be something).

That is why I am saying that "A is caused by nothing" and "A is not caused by anything" are logically equivalent (in addition to how manipulating statements logically works).

Conclusion:
You have a hard time understanding my arguments but assume that your arguments work. Liability!
zmikecuber

Pro

Is the first cause God?
I have argued that in order for the first cause to be rightly called "God," it must be shown to be intelligent. I shall refute my opponent's argument where he argues for this.


"(7) Well, the First Cause has to be infinite, meaning that it isn't limited by something, else the thing that is limiting it would be the First Cause. This is because the limiting thing would have to have existence before it can limit."

I disagree. Something can constrain something else, yet not be the cause of its existence. For example, if I am constrained by the need for oxygen, it is not the need of oxygen which has caused me to exist.

"Now, since the First Cause is initially (for now) infinite, then the First Cause is perfect. However, perfect implies that a thing can't change, because change means that something gets or loses something that it previously had."

To begin with, I don't see how this follows. Firstly, what is the definition of perfect? The only way my opponent can show something is perfect is if he comes up with some definition of perfection and shows how the first cause must have this. Second of all, perfection does not entail immutability. It's perfectly possible for something to be perfect, and yet to be subject to change. For example, a perfect circle on a graph could be moved from one location to another. The size and radius could be changed. It is undergoing changes, yet remaining a perfect circle.

"(10) So, since this First Cause cannot change because it is perfect, the First Cause cannot cease to exist (the first thing my opponent wanted me to show)."

Once again, this is simply false, since my opponent has not defined change. Change is always from one state to another. For example, an ice cube from solid to liquid state.

However, dropping out of existence does not count as a change. Precisely because the thing is not changing from one state to another.

Ax -- (changes to) --> Ay

However, something cannot "change" to nothing, since there is no ending state for that thing. It's essentially like:

Ax -- (changes to) --> __

Thus, coming in and out of existence are not changes, since change requires an initial and final state of that which changes.

Next, my opponent tries to show that since the first cause causes us to have intellect, it must also have intellect itself.

However, this is a mistake in reasoning. Something does not have to formally have something else in order to give it.

Take heat for example. We can start a piece of paper on fire by another fire. Or, we can start it on fire by producing heat from friction.

The analogy should be obvious. The first cause can contain intelligence in the same way that rubbing our hands together produces heat. It can very well contain the ability to cause intelligence, yet not be intelligent itself.

Infinity
I thank my opponent for clarifying his infinity argument. Unfortunately, it still is a poorly constructed argument and fails.


I think he sums up his argument nicely when he says:

"A (= {c1, c2, c3"} ).

Then, I can construct a sequence C of increasingly large chains of what the cause-effect chain is not equal to.

You can call it C, but the important thing to note is that C = ~A by definition, as this is what the cause-effect chain isn't entirely made up of.

Then, ~A = { {c1}, {c1, c2}, {c1, c2, c3}, "}. Since this goes on infinitely long, A gets included in ~A, which means that the cause-effect chain is entirely made up of what it can't be entirely made up of. This is a contradiction."

Essentially what my opponent is saying is that since C is not A, and C contains A, then A is not A. And this is a contradiction. Thus, infinity must be impossible.

However, this is just bad reasoning. Let me try and formalize this argument and show why.

A = {c1, c2, c3"}
C = { {c1}, {c1, c2}, {c1, c2, c3}, "}

P1: A is an element of C.
P2: C is not A (by definition).
C: A is not A.

However, I can make the following argument which is exactly the same:

P1: A brain is an element of Socrates.
P2: Socrates is not a brain.
C: Socrates is not Socrates.

We can easily see why this argument does not work. In premise 2, all we mean by "is not" is "is not identical to." I am composed of many parts. I am not identical to any of these parts. However, there is no contradiction here. Likewise, there is no contradiction in this case as well. C may be composed of many parts which are or are not identical to A. It may be composed of many parts which are not identical to itself. There is no contradiction here whatsoever.

My opponent makes this mistake quite clear when he says "I didn't say A and C are the exact same chain. I said A was in C (so A was in ~A, which leads to a contradiction)."

Emphasis is mine.

And as I have shown, there are many examples of something being in something else where the two things are not identical. I am not identical to a head. So I can say I am a not-head. However, I am composed of a head. So a head is in a not head!

This is essentially what my opponent is arguing... and it is just a bad argument.

Causality
My opponent shifts the burden and tries to say that I ought to prove acauality is real. However, he is the one making the claim. I am not making the claim that things pop into existence without a cause. I am merely pointing out that we have not ruled out this possibility. On the other hand, my opponent would have us believe that everything which begins to exist has a cause. I see no reason to believe this is the case.


I am not proposing that things are caused by nothing... I am proposing that they aren't caused by anything. That there is absolutely no explanation for why some things happen rather than another. Why does the universe have to be explainable? Why can't the universe just have popped into existence, and exist, and that's it?

I shall present a dilemma which I believe refutes this cosmological argument:

P1: Either everything has a cause or some things do not have a cause
P2: If everything has a cause, then there is no first cause.
P3: If some things do not have a cause, then it could possibly be the universe, and the first cause has not been proven.
C: In either case, the first cause cannot be proven.

Conclusion
I believe I have mounted objections to my opponent's argument which refute it, and show that it certainly does not work. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Matt532

Con

(7) "Something can constrain something else, yet not be the cause of its existence."
Well, we aren't applying it to just anything, but specifically the First Cause. So, is this possible with the First Cause? Well, except for the principle of non-contradiction, anything that would constrain the First Cause would have to be created by the first cause. However, if there is a constraint that is created, then it can be added or removed. But you are talking about constraints that prevent something from being infinite.

Now, if there are constraints that make something finite, those constraints must exist. However, those constraints must have a cause. Therefore, all constraints must originate from the First Cause (with the exception of the principle of non-contradiction).

Perfection- that which nothing more cannot be added onto in order to make better.

This idea you gave is good to look at. (Approx. quote) "Perfection doesn't mean immutable. Something could be perfect, yet could change. For example, a perfect circle can be moved from place A to B or have its size and radius changed."

That sounds like you know what the definition of perfect is (so why don't you just help me out and you give a definition of perfect before I do?).

Now, when you say a perfect thing can change and still be perfect, you failed to take note that you were changing things that had nothing to do with the perfection of that thing. However, with the First Cause, if it is perfect in every way, then you can't change it at all without it losing its perfection. The First Cause is perfect in every way because it is the source of everything that exists (and so nothing more that exists (and there is nothing that doesn't exist) can be added onto it).

Also, I don't know how you can make the First Cause imperfect, as the only way to limit it is through things which don't exist, but the problem is that those things which don't exist, don't exist! We can only use things that exist to limit other things that exist!

(10) Ax -- (changes to) --> 0! Problem Solved! Nothing = 0!

Man, you want me to define things that people are familiar with. That's not bad, but you do it before I do. Good, you did do that. I agree that change implies going from one state to another. Oh wait! That sounds like the informal definition of change that I gave previously, which states that "you go from something you don't have to something you do have!" I should include that vice versa applies as well. Oh you.

"Something doesn't have to formally have something else in order to give it." For example, what about heat from friction?

My response? E = mc^2. That's right. Energy = Mass times a constant, squared. Therefore, mass formally is energy (a multiple of mass). Friction deals with mass and molecules, and results in energy in the form of heat (One can look at https://www.quora.com... for a possible explanation on friction).

As a side note, make sure to take potential energy into account.

Also, your argument once again presupposes that something can come from nothing, but you haven't talked about my Round 2 proof.

Also, I would argue that I do have to formally have something else in order to give it. I can't give a library book that I borrowed if I don't have it with me. If I were to give something of a different form, like a rock, they wouldn't say, "Well thank you! I can't wait to read it!" You can play the name game, and call a watch a pizza all you want, but that doesn't make the watch edible. The form needs to be there.

Premise 2a:
The " is meant to be . . ., but " means that the symbol wasn't recognized.

I meant for A to be {c1, c2, c3, . . .}
Then, define C to be what is ~A.
Then, C = { {c1}, {c1, c2}, {c1, c2, c3}, . . . }.

Actually, I just realized that C isn't ~A, but a proper subset of ~A. For example, C doesn't have c2 (= c[2]), or c[a] or c[b], or a whole bunch of other chains. It just has one particular chain.

So, I would refine one of the previous sentences to be: "Then, define C to contain elements which are only in ~A."

P1: A exists.
P2: C is an orderly chain consisting of elements that is in ~A, constructed by the following: a subsequence of length n that is in C has n subelements which correspond to the n most recent causes timewise in terms of A.
P3: A is an element of C (by construction of C).
P4: Therefore, A both can't exist (by P2 and P3) and does exist (by P1).

Your problem in your P1 is that it fails to connect the P1 you gave me, A and C, with brain and Socrates.
You would have to say P1 (based off of the P2 you gave me of "C is not A (by definition)) is this: A brain is an element in ~Socrates (or a brain is not an element in Socrates). But you probably meant to say that a brain is an element in Socrates. Therefore, your P1 would be obviously false if it were to line up with the P1 you gave me: "A is an element of C". However, you have yet to show me how the P1 (with the P2 definition you gave me) you gave me is false.

So, your logic is confusing when you link it to my logic here, because Socrates is ~something, and ~Socrates is something, the way your argument is set up.

Your P2: In the P2 of "C is ~A (by definition), I realized that the way I said this isn't accurate. So, let's change it to, "C only has certain, specific elements of ~A."

Now, given that, your P2 is obviously not true (with my use of logical not), but you haven't shown me why the P2 you gave me isn't true. (Keep in mind that I could define C to be ~A, and then just have some proper subset D of C as part of my proof, so I would have two steps, but you can't define C to be ~A in your argument without committing a fallacy, meaning you can't copy the first step I did here). I think you once again commit an equivocation fallacy. Socrates isn't everything that isn't a brain. Socrates isn't a spleen. Now, just because I'm not trying to prove yet that this makes your argument not work doesn't mean you don't have to resolve this problem. That being said, fallacies prevent proofs.

You failed to learn about my logical ~. You can't say you are a ~head, because you aren't a pancreas.

Premise 4:
That's fine if you want me to show that acausality can't be real (except for the First Cause).

You still haven't commented on my proof from Round 2 against the idea that a thing can pop into existence without a cause, which does rule out this possibility if the proof is true.

Now, it is good to ask how the First Cause wasn't caused by anything. Well, other than by logical necessity from premises 2, 2a, and 2b (since the causal-chain and time are both finite, which can be shown by these premises), and by definition of First Cause as Existence, the question needs a reason for it to be asked, such as something coming to existence in time. However, the First Cause has no beginning, from the proof I gave in Round 2, else nothing caused something to exist, which caused everything else to exist. Note that this is different from saying that Existence was shared or given to something that previously didn't exist.

You fail to see that nothing is a contraction of not-anything.

For the fact that there is no explanation for why some things happen, see my proof from Round 2, but also the fact that just because we don't know of a cause doesn't mean there isn't one.

Why does the universe have to be explainable? See my Round 2 argument.

The universe doesn't just pop into existence on its own because that would be like saying it caused itself to exist, which you and I argued was absurd. It isn't from nothing by my Round 2 argument.

For your dilemma, you fail to include the situation that one thing doesn't have a cause.

If there were more uncaused things, they would identical to the First Cause, because they are infinite, and boundless, and therefore indistinguishable, because if one has something the other doesn't, then they are bounded.

What happened to Occam's Razor? If you're wrong, admit it. Be polite.
zmikecuber

Pro

Constraints
My opponent states:
"Well, except for the principle of non-contradiction, anything that would constrain the First Cause would have to be created by the first cause. However, if there is a constraint that is created, then it can be added or removed. But you are talking about constraints that prevent something from being infinite."


However, the first cause could be constrained by its own essence. For example, an apple is constrained to act in a certain way and to have certain tendencies (such as rotting), by virtue of it being an apple. Why can't the first cause by the same way? Furthermore, how does it follow that something without constraints would be perfect? Wouldn't it rather follow that the first cause is utterly incoherent, since it isn't constrained by anything, even logic?

Therefore, it is nonsensical to say that the first cause is "unconstrained" when my opponent has not defined what it means to be constrained, and how this applies to perfection.

Perfection
My opponent's argument regarding perfection fails due to a fallacy of equivocation.


He claims "The First Cause is perfect in every way because it is the source of everything that exists (and so nothing more that exists (and there is nothing that doesn't exist) can be added onto it)."

However, when perfection is defined as this, it cannot be shown to cause the thing to be immutable. Furthermore, under this definition, the first cause would be the universe. Is it not "more perfect" to be everything? Is it not more perfect to be greater? If the first cause is not the universe, then there is a potential the first cause has: to be the universe. However, if the first cause is everything, then it is ultimately the cause of itself, which my opponent has claimed to be impossible.

This is a dilemma, and neither horn of the argument work for my opponnent.

The definition of perfection I believe is better is that which fulfills its natural ends to the highest degree. However, this assumes essences. Thus, a knife which cuts perfectly is a perfect knife. A knife which cuts very poorly is an imperfect knife.

Change/Existence
I do not see how my opponent has responded to this argument. His response obviously does not work, since it ignores what I have said. I have argued that when a thing changes, it changes from one state to another. In the case of ice, it melts and the molecular structure changes and it becomes a liquid.


My opponent states:

"Ax -- (changes to) --> 0! Problem Solved! Nothing = 0!"

However, this is not a change, since something cannot change into nothing.

Intelligence and the first cause
My opponent has claimed that since we are intelligent beings, and the first cause caused us, that it must therefore be intelligent itself.


I'm sorry, but E=mc^2 does not prove this. My opponent is obfuscating the issue and conflating physics with the philosophical principle I have called into question.

Let me give you an example. I knock a paint bucket over. It spills and paints the floor red. Does this mean that I must have been red to begin with? Of course not.

Further, let's say that an unintelligent process randomly creates a computer. Did the unintelligent process have to BE a computer in order to make one? Obviously not. Take natural selection for example.

It should be noted that I am using real world examples to prove a philosophical point. I am not reducing a philosophical point to physical principles as my opponent has done. E = mc^2 is a physical principle. Not a philosophical one.

Actual Infinity
My opponent provides this "syllogism":


P1: A exists.
P2: C is an orderly chain consisting of elements that is in ~A, constructed by the following: a subsequence of length n that is in C has n subelements which correspond to the n most recent causes timewise in terms of A.
P3: A is an element of C (by construction of C).
P4: Therefore, A both can't exist (by P2 and P3) and does exist (by P1).

However, this is simply not valid. It does not even have a conclusion. He labels the conclusion as a premise.

Therefore, I will ask my opponent.... is this a good representation of his argument? Because the argument he provided above is extremely unclear and poorly worded.

A = {c1, c2, c3"}
C = { {c1}, {c1, c2}, {c1, c2, c3}, "}

P1: A is an element of C.
P2: C is not A (by definition).
C: A is not A.

I want him to verify that this is a good representation of his argument. I understand that his argument says that since C is not A, but A is inside of C, then there is an A inside of a not A, which is impossible, since that means A both is and isn't. So I ask my opponent: Is this what you are saying?

Causality
My opponent claims that he proved causality in round 2. I've read and reread that argument several times, and I can't find any proof anywhere. The closest my opponent gets to proving causality is when he says


"To say that a thing was not done by anything means no act occurred by those things. So, an act must have come up on its own. This means all verbs don't need a subject...since there does not exist a thing that does the act, the only thing left is emptiness or nothingness! So, nothing does something. If we define a thing as that which does stuff (such as existing), nothing is something. Then, this contradicts the act not being done by anything, in addition with the idea that nothing isn't something."

The first part regarding verbs and subjects is merely a nice rhetorical sound. To say X popped into existence without cause is perfectly fine. We're not just saying "existing" and leaving it at that. Rather, we are making an observation about what just happened.

Furthermore, it seems at least metaphysically possible for something to pop into existence without a cause. There is no explicit contradiction in this happening - we can easily imagine it - and I don't think there is anything implicitly metaphysically impossible about it.

As far as applying logical not, it does not work. My opponent says "not done by anything" is the same as "done by nothing." However, if we can move nots around, then we would get incoherencies.

For example, take the sentence:

No dog ate that bone.

If we move the "no" to qualify the "bone" we get...

A dog ate that non-bone.

However, this is absurd. We simply cannot move qualifiers around like that. I ask my opponent for a credible source that claims you can logically do that.

My opponent also claims

"The universe doesn't just pop into existence on its own because that would be like saying it caused itself to exist, which you and I argued was absurd. It isn't from nothing by my Round 2 argument."

It seems possible for the universe to have always existed in some form. Why is that such an incoherency? Then it doesn't need to cause itself to exist. Of course, it could act on itself, as one part acts on another part, but it's not causing itself into existence.


I have to stop here, since I'm running out of characters.

Conclusion
My opponent's argument is jumbled, weak, and just doesn't add up. He has trouble explaining what he means, and as such I believe he has lost the debate on that grounds alone. It is his duty to present a clear argument and show why it is true. I do not think he has done that. Furthermore, even if his argument succeeds, it does not prove God, nor does it prove an intelligent being. Therefore, the resolution is confirmed. This argument does not prove the existence of God.
Debate Round No. 4
Matt532

Con

1. Constraints

Yeah, the First Cause is constrained by its own essence. It's essence = existence. However, this Existence doesn't include holes, gaps, or imperfections (I define evil as a privation, a hole). The First Cause does have certain tendencies.

I mean constrain from outside the First Cause, not within the essence. That's why I said the principle of non-contradiction, to not contradict the essence.

By (7)-(13a), this proves that it isn't utterly incoherent if true. Also, the First Cause becomes coherent if we understand better the definition of existence, as well as what this existence is not. A hole exists in the sense that it is related to what does exist.

The principle of non-contradiction is a logical principle, so it is constrained by logic. I define constrain to be a limit.

P1: Proof of no exterior constraints: If God is perfect in every way (by P2, later on), then there are no exterior constraints.

2. Perfection
You misuse the term equivocation when you probably meant to say univocation. (See comments, (*1))

Does perfect imply immutable? It does because perfection is the highest state, a maximum, a supremum, which can't be changed with respect to what is claimed to be perfect without it becoming imperfect. This is because perfect refers to a quality on a spectrum like numbers. In Math, with the function: y = sin(x), there are infinitely many x's that you can give me that give the highest value for y of 1. If two things are perfect in an aspect, they differ in what isn't defined as perfect. To say there are two perfects or maximums of one line or dimension sounds like a contradiction. +2 and -2 aren't both maximums in the set {-2, -1, 0, 1, 2}.

Does immutable imply perfect? Maybe.

The First Cause is perfect in terms of its qualities.

P2: Proof of perfection: If God is Existence, meaning God has power over everything that exists, then God, by definition, is the source of all things, and therefore has the highest perfection of all things. Those things that God created must share in that perfect in some way, as otherwise, something comes from nothing, contradicting my R2 proof.

P3: Proof of immutability: Perfection in all things implies immutability. So, by P2, God is immutable.

You bring up a very interesting point in bringing up Pantheism.

P4: I have a definite attack on Pantheism. Later on in this round, I give an argument for finite-time. If that is the case, then God didn't always exist, and so what caused the Universe, and God to begin to exist? Something doesn't come from nothing, and shown in my R2 proof (I discuss what you said about this proof later on).

(*2)
I agree with your definition of perfection you give here.

3. Change/Existence

You commit the inductive fallacy here. You are saying that since it is not noticed here, you then conclude that it is impossible. However, there is death, where a living thing ceases to biologically function! There is a part of it that changes to nothing. Not only that, but that part is essential to it. Also, the only way to change an essence of a thing is to destroy that essence, which occurs. For the thing to cease to exist in terms of matter disappearing, well, that's a different thing.

P5: However, this whole thing started when you said in R3: "However, dropping out of existence doesn't count as a change." This means IF something ceased to exist, not, "Is it possible for a thing to cease to exist entirely, for all its parts?" Well, I claim that your quote is a contradiction. If one does (logical) not change, then one stays the same. However, one then has to say that a thing existing and the thing not existing are completely the same thing, which is a contradiction.

Your saying that "something can't change into nothing" is clearly a failed attempt at obfuscation, and you are either a fool or seriously ignorant in your misleading on multiple occasions.

4. Intelligence and the First Cause

You clearly are misleading again right here. I never said E=mc^2 proved my claim, but that it disproves your rebuttal to my claim.

I'm not reducing a philosophical point to a physical principle, but am saying that your physical example contradicts a physical principle, and is therefore not a valid example of reality.

Removing physics from physical things is like removing philosophy from wisdom (philosophy means love of wisdom), so I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't want to claim that my answer steps on a Nobel Prize Winning Physicist and all those thereafter who agree with him, unless you're ready to go there.

For the paint bucket, it wasn't an intrinsic property from you. However, we can ask what caused the paint bucket to exist, since it didn't cause itself to exist. We can keep asking this until we get to the first cause.

You raise a good question concerning unintelligent processing creating something intelligent. That doesn't disprove a First Cause being unintelligent, it just means that it is possible though unlikely for a random thing to produce something that has an orderly form. I can shuffle cards, but there is still the possibility that I get all the cards in order from Ace to King, suits in their order. That doesn't disprove a First Cause or intelligibility, but is merely a notable result of randomness.

P6: The First Cause causes us to have an intellect, and so it must also have intellect. Once again, my R2 proof (*3) says that we can't have something from nothing. Therefore, an intellect must come from somewhere. Since all things must have a First Cause (since something can't be caused from nothing by R2 proof and by a finite-causal chain from my (2, 2a, 2b) in R1), we get our intelligence, as well as our personhood from the First Cause.

(*3)

Now, if the power is potentially there for a being to become intelligent and personal, then this power must come from somewhere, and since something can't come from nothing, it has to come from a First Cause that is Intelligence and is Personhood, since the First Cause must be simple.

However, in order to give something potential, one has to have that property, in order for that potential to become actual. A potential thing can only become actual by an act. Potency can't cause potency to become act. So, the First Cause must be Act and only Act, as potency implies imperfection and change.

5. Actual Infinity

So you couldn't see that your C is my P4? Just change my P4 to C, I meant it to be C. I think you can see it, you're just whining about syntax errors.

My P2 is in math terms, which is hard for non-math people to understand, so I should change it.
P2: ~A exists.
(Replace C with H, to not confuse it with conclusion)
P3: H is an orderly chain, consisting only of elements in ~A, that is infinitely long.
P4: A is an element of H (by construction of H).

Your representation of A and H should be changed to reflect what I said in R4 about it (the syntax).

Your premises don't represent my argument fully, mainly P2, but they also miss my other premises.

I am saying that A both exists and doesn't exist, which is a contradiction.

6. Causality

So you found my R2 proof.

You talk as if you disproved my proof did before you even give your reasoning. That doesn't give a good impression. However, I just realized that it did it in this paragraph before revision.

As for your attempt in terms of the logical not, you fail to recognize that the not doesn't move from the subject to the object, but to the verb. "Any single dog did not eat that bone" is the same as "No dog ate that bone."

"Nothing was done" -> Anything/a single thing was not done (done is the verb).

When you say "A is caused by nothing", I can rephrase it to be, "nothing causes A", do the operation, "Anything does not cause A", then put it back into its original way, "A is not caused by anything."

Same with: "A bone was not eaten by the dog" -> "No bone was eaten by the dog."

(*4)

7. Conclusion
(*5)
zmikecuber

Pro

I don't have time to post my arguments for this final round, since I got very busy with school recently. However, I'd like to sum up a few things:

Occam's Razor: I don't know enough about Occam's razor to argue this point. I did not respond to it because I didn't have space, and didn't see it as important as other points of contention.

Infinity: I believe that, while my opponent's argument is vague, I have gotten a decent grasp on it, and have mounted an adequete rebuttal.

Causality: Once again, I think my opponent's argumen here is vague, difficult to understand, and as such, cannot be considered a strong argument.

I'd like to thank Matt for the opportunity to debate this topic. I've had a good time. However, I'd like to point out that his argument is extremely vague and very unclear. I've asked several of my friends who are more well-versed in philosophy than me to read it, and just tell me if they understood what the argument was, and both of them said they had no idea what the argument said. So, in a friendly spirit, I'd reccommend that my opponent try and make the argument more clear next time. He seems to be knowledgeable on the subject, yet as the argument is currently stated it suffers from lack of clarity, which in turn makes the argument weak.

I also notice a note of frustration in my opponent's voice. Since my opponent seems frustrated with me, has used the comments to exceed the character limits, and I haven't had the time to post my arguments for this round, I ask that the voters ignore round 5.

I believe this is reasonable, since both my opponent and I have shown some not-so-good conduct.

Nonetheless, I believe that in the course of the first four rounds I have shown that the argument is vague and ambiguous, has several holes in it, and does not prove the existence of God.

Thank you!
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zmikecuber 1 year ago
zmikecuber
Thanks for the vote, Cobalt.
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
Note to Judges:
If my opponent writes in the comment section in terms of arguing, then you may choose to either include or not include the comments section in your judging. If only one side has part of their arguments in the comments section, then do not judge that unless the other side allows it.
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
(*1) Equivocation vs. Univocation
"My opponent's argument regarding perfection fails due to a fallacy of equivocation. " However, when perfection is defined as this, it cannot be shown to cause the thing to be immutable."

I am not equivocating perfect with unchangeable. This is a misuse of the term equivocation, it seems. Equivocation occurs with things that have many different levels of meaning, like life and love, as there are many types of them. In order to equivocate, one must use the same word or phrase to have two different meanings given the context in order for it to be true, giving the impression hat there is a substantial link in each, when the only true link is nominally, in name only.

What you wanted to say was that I was univocating: perfect = unchangeable, so a difference nominally, as the exact opposite of equivocation, with an equality/link in name only, not substance/essence.

(*2) Other Arguments against Pantheism
Here are some other arguments against Pantheism.

One argument I heard was that the universe is one, but we are all different. So, how can the universe be one, when there is fighting and disagreement amongst people?

Also, if Pantheism were true, then by my previous argument, all things would have to be infinite, perfect, simple, and so on, but that's not the case (at minimum the perfect part).

Also, God couldn't be perfect if God was composed of parts, like matter is, because parts have the ability to get what it doesn't have, namely, what is in the other part. That being said, this has to be distinguished from God having the power to do stuff with the matter, without actually being the matter, which is intrinsically limited by its nature.
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
(*3) The R2 Proof
"" I will use Google's definitions to see if I can get somewhere. Google Dictionary defines action as doing something.

To say that a thing's existence was not caused by anything is to say that "nothing was done," or this act was not done by anything. To say that a thing was not done by anything means no act occurred by those things. So, an act must have come up on its own. This means all verbs don't need a subject! (Give me a sentence without any subject that makes sense, meaning, it represents reality) What else does this mean? Well, since there does not exist a thing that does the act, the only thing left is emptiness or nothingness! So, nothing does something. If we define a thing as that which does stuff (such as existing), nothing is something. Then, this contradicts the act not being done by anything, in addition with the idea that nothing isn't something."

(*4) Logical Not Notes
With the logical not, it matters what universal set U a person uses. For example, if someone asks, "Did the dog eat the bone?", U = {bone}, so saying no or "the dog did not eat the bone" doesn't mean that a dog eats a piano, because it's not in U. Now, if someone were to ask, "Did the dog eat the bone, the cat food, and my sandwich," (U = {bone, cat food, sandwich}) and someone answered, "The dog did not eat the bone," then one may logically infer that the person is saying that the dog ate the cat food and sandwich.

It is a good question to ask whether the universe could have always existed (aka infinite time). My proof is of the same form as my proof against an infinite causal chain. The chain I construct in this case consists of time intervals of 1 second.
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
(*5) Conclusion
It is both our duties to present a clear argument and show whether it is true or false and why.

With Occam's razor, even though you seem to admit defeat, you seem to be trying to get points from it by not saying anything in the hopes that other people won't notice. Being able to publicly admit weaknesses is a strength and virtue that not many have.

Now, you have given me good, even great questions. However, you have failed to convince me of your arguments, and your continuous arrogance (in a couple of places) and misleading of the facts (in only a few places, more so referring to the later rounds, but one place is too much) have given me the conclusion that you don't want the truth, but rather that you put yourself over the truth, over and against the reader's sake, and that is a sad thing. You even admit "it is his duty to present a clear argument and show why it is true" so you seem to intentionally make things confusing, even if it's obvious. This is beyond asking questions and disproving proofs.

I do thank you for accepting the challenge and devoting the time you have, but I must say that if I were in a panel voting for whether you are a good philosopher, I would vote "nay", but if it were on understanding philosophical ideas, I would vote "yea".

If you see that my argument refutes yours, think about whether your rebuttal makes sense or not with the big picture, before you give your argument, Ok? It makes you look like a fool, otherwise. Now, this last thing is just for those small parts of your argument that I am referring to two paragraphs above. Please just stop the baloney and be honest in those few places I mentioned. Ok?
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
Tejretics, which side do you want to debate?
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
I'd be down for debating this.
Posted by Matt532 1 year ago
Matt532
Yes, thank you for your help. My argument could probably be clearer, as well as look at the important objections that I didn't think about.
Posted by zmikecuber 1 year ago
zmikecuber
Thanks for clarifying the infinity argument! I understand what you are saying much better now.
Posted by zmikecuber 1 year ago
zmikecuber
Eh screw it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cobalt 1 year ago
Cobalt
Matt532zmikecuberTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD Here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QkRNTopaJP57WQ5GxS2qoT-GL__ishILpDrgMkm_Vw8/edit?usp=sharing TL;DR: Con lost because Pro exploited the weakness in the claim that the First Cause must be the Christian God.