The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
forever2b
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Transcendental Argument for Gods' existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
forever2b
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,486 times Debate No: 14317
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

I will be the Con, and seek to show that the TAG argument is flawed

My opponent will be the Pro, and seek to defend the TAG and show that it is not flawed.

The TAG argument is...........

1) If God doesn't exist, the laws of logic would not exist.
2) The laws of logic do exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.

Definitions

TAG = Transcendental Argument for God

Abstract object - is an object which does not exist at any particular time or place, but rather exists as a type of thing (as an idea, or abstraction)

Laws of logic - (1) the law of contradiction, (2) the law of excluded middle (or third), and (3) the principle of identity

Exist - to have actual being; be

God = God of classical theism, All knowing, All powerful, All Good, Eternal, Un-created, Non-contingent, etc

Opening argument against Tag..........

It is argued in the TAG that the logic laws listed are absolute, that is to say they are true in all possible worlds, and exist regardless if anyone believes in them or not, even in the absence of a physical reality (transcendent), thus making these things we call logical laws existent without anything else needed for their existence, that is too say they exist because they exist.

With this in mind I will attack the first premise of the TAG which states "1) If God doesn't exist, the laws of logic would not exist."

Lets go into a bit more detail on this first premise. By saying "1) If God doesn't exist, the laws of logic would not exist. This premise is saying that its IMPOSSIBLE for the laws of logic to exist absent Gods' existence.

1) If God doesn't exist, the laws of logic would not exist = In the absence of God, the laws of logic would not exist.

This makes the laws of logic contingent on Gods existence.

But notice the contradiction, these logic laws exist because they exist, yet according to the first premise of the TAG they are dependent on God for their existence.

The TAG advocate has 2 options, either claim that the laws of logic are not "absolute", that is to say there are exceptions to the rule, or equate God with the laws of logic, which redefines God as not the classical God of theism, either way the TAG is shown flawed.

I look forward to Pros reply.
forever2b

Pro

Hello, first I would like to thank both the voters and Illegacombatant for reading my argument.

First to clear things up TAG states that
  1. Knowledge is possible (or some other statement pertaining to logic or morality).
  2. If there is no god, knowledge is not possible.
  3. Therefore God exists.
(Source:http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Now I will address the "contradiction" that my opponent laid out.

Quote from my opponent:
"But notice the contradiction, these logic laws exist because they exist, yet according to the first premise of the TAG they are dependent on God for their existence."

TAG states that kowldege is possible* not that it exists** through God, and no where does it say "it exists because it exsists." This would be like saying blue is blue because it is blue. (Please provide more logical reasoning than this.) Rather, it says that since knowledge is possible or can be achievable, and that knowledge comes from God, God exists. Nowhere does it say that if God is not real, logic is not real.

*Possible:something that can be done
**Exist: have being or reality
(source: Google search)

Good luck
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

In light of Pros comments I will use a new argument for TAG
1) Knowledge of logic is only possible if God exists
2) Knowledge of logic is possible
3) Therefore God exists
My objection is still the same, It is argued in the TAG that the logic laws listed are absolute, that is to say they are true in all possible worlds, and exist regardless if anyone believes in them or not, even in the absence of a physical reality (transcendent), thus making these things we call logical laws existent without anything else needed for their existence that is to say they exist necessarily, or as I put it they exist because they exist (even if Pro doesn't like that phrase)
If logic is so absolute as stated in this argument, then God is subject to it, if God is not subject to it, then its not so absolute after all, if logic is different than God, then we have another uncaused eternal something that exists along side God, poly theism anyone ? if logic is the same as God, then God has been redefined.
I look forward to Pros response.

forever2b

Pro

Thank You Illegal combatant for clearing things up.
I will now address the Con's "Contradiction"

"If logic is so absolute as stated in this argument,then God is subject to it, if God is not subject to it, then its not so absolute after all, if logic is different than God, then we have another uncaused eternal something that exists along side God, poly theism anyone ? if logic is the same as God, then God has been redefined."

Again if we look at the actual statement, nowhere does it say that logic is abosolute. As a matter of fact it goes on to say that God is absolute not logic. "If there is no god, knowledge is not possible." My opponent in his new statement #1 misinterpreted the actual statement.
"If there is no god, knowledge is not possible." (Actual Statement)
"Knowledge of logic is only possible if God exists" (con's interpretation of the statement)
At a quick glance these two statements seem to match perfectly together however, if we look at the statement closely, Con's interpretation is the inverse of the actual statement. The inverse is only true when the converse of the statement is true. So let's take a look at the converse: "If knowledge is not possible, there is no god" and we know that this is wrong because even if logic does not exist God still exist. Since the converse of the information is false therefore the inverse of the statement is as well, thus making the con's interpretation invalid; The TAG is not saying that logic is absolute and God is subject to it, but actually it is saying God is absolute and logic is "subject" to Him.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

Pro says "Again if we look at the actual statement, nowhere does it say that logic is absolute"

I refer Pro to http://carm.org....

From the Carm website link "Logical absolutes are conceptual by nature, are not dependent on space, time, physical properties, or human nature. They are not the product of the physical universe (space, time, matter), because if the physical universe were to disappear, logical absolutes would still be true"

Clearly the basis of this Tag argument, is that logic is absolute. I have not heard of any TAG argument that claims that logic is not absolute.

Pro says "The TAG is not saying that logic is absolute and God is subject to it, but actually it is saying God is absolute and logic is "subject" to Him"

Nope, if God isn't subject to logic then logic is not absolute.

Also if logic did not apply to God that means God could exist and not exist, and God could be God while at the same time not being God.

If you want to argue the position that logic is not absolute and God is not subject to logic, go for it.
forever2b

Pro

Thank you Illegalcombatant for that lovely website and the explanations. I would also like to thank Meatros for the advice. Now without further to do I will respond to this case.
First I will look at my opponent's strong yet not backed up conjecture: "....if God isn't subject to logic then logic is not absolute."
I would like to ask opponent to prove this to me for I do not believe it to be so. As I will explain later on in my argument, God is the creator of logic, and the creator is not subject to its creation, but the other way around. It seems like my opponent thinks that logic created God, but that is not true. I will explain this later in my argument as well.
Next I will state my opponent's argument and analyze it. Then I will go ahead and state my argument.
My opponent's argument: "..logic laws exist because they exist, yet according to the first premise of the TAG they are dependent on God for their existence."
I would like to ask my opponent that if he does not think that logic depends on God for their existence to show valid proof for this. "logic laws exist because they exist" is not a valid argument. As I stated above this is circular reasoning. If my opponent insists on saying this, then I can also say God exist because He exists, and that would be a valid argument as well.
"If logic is so absolute as stated in this argument, then God is subject to it, if God is not subject to it, then its not so absolute after all,"
Again I would like to ask for proof to this argument. If he cannot provide proof, then this argument is invalid.
" if logic is different than God, then we have another uncaused eternal something that exists along side God, poly theism anyone ? if logic is the same as God, then God has been redefined."
Not necessarily. My opponent is forgetting that the "classic theism" God created everything including time. There are at least 10 dimensions out in the universe (source:http://www.pbs.org...) and time is only 4th dimension. It takes more than just eternity to something a "god". If that was the case then the Universe could be a "god" since it existed since the beginning of time. Eternity is only one of the things needed in order to be a god. Judges, I ask you to look at my opponent's definition of God: "God = God of classical theism, All knowing, All powerful, All Good, Eternal, Un-created, Non-contingent, etc" As you can see my opponent himself laid out the definition of God saying eternity is only one requirement of being a god not the only one. And I do not see a contradiction that if God created logic that logic become a thing like god for God created time itself and all the other nine dimensions.
"...if logic did not apply to God that means God could exist and not exist, and God could be God while at the same time not being God."
While this is true, opponent still uses logic to try to reason why logic could has to apply to God. If logic does not apply to God that means that indeed God could exist and not exist as well as being God and not being God, this does not mean God is still not God and does not exist for "and" means both. Without logic it is fine to contradict each other. In other words the Law of Contradiction does not apply when something is not subject to logic. It is hard to understand because we are now getting away from using logic, and our brain cannot handle illogical things. Anyway my point is that we cannot explain God with logic for He is above logic and is not subjected to it, but we can prove his existence by looking at his work. That is all that the TAG is doing: looking at God's work, which is obviously logic.
With all that said now I will provide my argument as well as reasons why it is true.
First in order to prove the existence of God we look at the properties of logic. Keep in mind though, that this does not apply to God for he is above logic as I have proved above.
1. Logic is Absolute
Law of Identity
Something is what it is and isn't what it is not. This does not prove logic's existence as my opponent has used it because it is a property of logic not a proof of it, but it states that a rock is a rock.
Law of Non-contradiction
Something cannot both be true and false in the realms of logic.
Law of Excluded middle
Something is either true or false, there is no between.
2. Logical absolutes are true statements
That which exist has attributes and a nature.
Something cannot bring itself into existence.
Truth is not self-contradictory.
Therefore logical absolutes are absolutely true.
3.Logical Absolutes form the basis of rational discourse.
If the Logical Absolutes are not absolute, then truth cannot be known.
If the Logical Absolutes are not absolute, then no rational discourse can occur.
If Logical Absolutes are not always true, then it might be true that something can contradict itself, which would make truth unknowable and rational discourse impossible. But, saying that something can contradict itself can't be true.
But since we know things are true (I exist, you are reading this), then we can conclude that logical statements are true. Otherwise, we would not be able to rationally discuss or know truth.
If they are not the basis of rational discourse, then we cannot know truth or error since the laws that govern rationality are not absolute. This would allow people to speak irrationally, i.e., blue sleeps faster than Wednesday.
Logical Absolutes are transcendent.
4. Logical Absolutes are not dependent on space.
They do not stop being true dependent on location.
Logical Absolutes are not dependent on time.
They do not stop being true dependent on time.
Logical Absolutes are not dependent on people.
People's minds are different. What one person considers to be absolute may not be what another considers to be absolute. People often contradict each other. Therefore, Logical Absolutes cannot be the product of human, contradictory minds.
If Logical Absolutes were the product of human minds, they would cease to exist if people ceased to exist, which would mean they would be dependent on human minds. But this cannot be b/c of the previous point.
5.Logical Absolutes are not dependent on the material world.
Logical Absolutes are not found in atoms, motion, heat, under rocks, etc.
Logical Absolutes cannot be photographed, frozen, weighed, or measured.
Logical Absolutes are not the product of the physical universe, since that would mean they were contingent on atoms, motion, heat, etc., and that their nature was dependent on physical existence.
If their nature were dependent upon physical existence, they would cease to exist when the physical universe ceases to exist.
If they were properties of the universe then they could be measured the same way heat, motion, mass, etc., are measured. Since they cannot be measured, they are not properties of the universe.
Therefore, Logical Absolutes are not dependent on the material world.
6. Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature.
1. Logic is a process of the mind. Logical absolutes provide the framework for logical thought processes. Therefore, Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature.
Logical absolutes are either conceptual by nature or they are not.
If they are conceptual by nature, then they are not dependent upon the physical universe for their existence.
If they are conceptual by nature, then they depend on mind for their existence.
7.Thoughts reflect the mind
A person's thoughts reflect what he or she is.
Absolutely perfect thoughts reflect an absolutely perfect mind.
Since the Logical Absolutes are transcendent, absolute, are perfectly consistent, and are independent of the universe, then they reflect a transcendent, absolute, perfect, and independent mind that created them.
We call this transcendent, absolute, perfect, and independent mind God.
Unless my opponent can have a better explanation for logical absolute, this argument remains valid.
(Source: http://carm.org...)
Thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

I think we need to go into a bit more detail on what is meant , when something is said to be "absolute". Something is absolute when their are no exceptions to it. For instance if I said all T shirts are blue, but their existed just one T shirt that was red, then this would mean that T shirts being blue is NOT absolute, as their is an exception.

Now Pro says that logic is NOT absolute, in this case, the exception being God. Pro then bases their argument on this premise, so imagine my confusion when after Pro had talked about how logic doesn't apply to God, Pro near the end of their argument goes on too say ......."With all that said now I will provide my argument as well as reasons why it is true.
First in order to prove the existence of God we look at the properties of logic. Keep in mind though, that this does not apply to God for he is above logic as I have proved above.
1. Logic is Absolute"

So which is it ? is logic absolute or isn't it ?

Pro raises an objection where they said "I would like to ask my opponent that if he does not think that logic depends on God for their existence to show valid proof for this. "logic laws exist because they exist" is not a valid argument. As I stated above this is circular reasoning. If my opponent insists on saying this, then I can also say God exist because He exists, and that would be a valid argument as well."

Actually you can't say that, you just stated that something existing, because it exists is is not a valid argument. If you had NOT raised this objection, you could of argued that, hey you believe that logic is self existent, well I believe that God is self existent, trouble is you already claimed that something being self existent should be rejected as invalid.

So which is it, is something existing because it exists, should be regarded as invalid or not ?

I was surprised that Con took the approach of denying that God is subject to logic, cause what ever problems you think you avoid by denying that logic is absolute and is not applicable to God, you just create even bigger problems by denying, as Pro says "While this is true, opponent still uses logic to try to reason why logic could has to apply to God. If logic does not apply to God that means that indeed God could exist and not exist as well as being God and not being God, this does not mean God is still not God and does not exist for "and" means both. Without logic it is fine to contradict each other. In other words the Law of Contradiction does not apply when something is not subject to logic"

According to Pros principles, it is quite correct to say that God does not exist......but does exist.........but doesn't. Pro must agree that this statement "God does not exist" is true, even if some one agrees that God exists, that person can then claim that God doesn't exist, and the obvious contradiction of God existing and God not existing does not apply, cause God is not subject to logic, so I say again, according to PROS argument, God does not exist.........funny I thought TAG was meant to prove that God does exist ?

It should be fun watching Pro dig them self out of the hole they have made, I look forward to Pros response.
forever2b

Pro

I thank the con for the response, however he misses the point that I am laying out. It seems that we are not on the same page, so in order to clear that up I will clear up what my opponent sees as "contradictions" and then go from there.
First my opponent take on a definition of "Absolute" however he fails to site a source, so lets look at the official definitions.
"Absolute:
1. Loosed from any limitation or condition; uncontrolled; unrestricted; unconditional; as, absolute authority, monarchy, sovereignty, an absolute promise or command; absolute power; an absolute monarch.
2. Complete in itself; perfect; consummate; faultless; as, absolute perfection; absolute beauty.
So absolute she seems, And in herself complete. --Milton.
3. Viewed apart from modifying influences or without comparison with other objects; actual; real; -- opposed to {relative} and {comparative}; as, absolute motion; absolute time or space.
Note: Absolute rights and duties are such as pertain to man in a state of nature as contradistinguished from relative rights and duties, or such as pertain to him in his social relations."
(source:http://define.com...)
As you can see, there are multiple definitions of Absolute not just the one definition that the con has put out. In the TAG argument logic is absolute, but only in this absolute universe.
"So which is it ? is logic absolute or isn't it ?"
According to my definitions logic is absolute. However using con's definition I will say no, logic is not absolute it only ends at the absolute or unrestricted universe, and it only needs to go that far to prove TAG's argument because TAG stays up to our universe only not anywhere above. For all we know there could be other universes and other logics for those universes, that does not mean for their universe that logic is not absolute.

"Actually you can't say that, you just stated that something existing, because it exists is is not a valid argument. If you had NOT raised this objection, you could of argued that, hey you believe that logic is self existent, well I believe that God is self existent, trouble is you already claimed that something being self existent should be rejected as invalid."
I never said "that".
If I am understanding correctly, it seems that my opponent has foolishly assumed that I said "since you said logic exist because they exist, I can say God exists because he exists" but that is not true. I ask that my opponent to look at my statement more carefully. There is an "If" in front of the statement making it conditional so if he goes on with his conjecture and say logic exist b/c they exist then I can say God exists b/c he exists. Also I had asked my opponent to prove that logic exist b/c they exist, but it seems that he agrees with me that "logic cannot simply exist on its own; it needs a creator" since he said strongly in his statement that I cannot use my conjecture which was a mimic of his.

"According to Pros principles, it is quite correct to say that God does not exist......but does exist.........but doesn't. Pro must agree that this statement "God does not exist" is true, even if some one agrees that God exists, that person can then claim that God doesn't exist, and the obvious contradiction of God existing and God not existing does not apply, cause God is not subject to logic, so I say again, according to PROS argument, God does not exist.........funny I thought TAG was meant to prove that God does exist ?"
So which is it, is something existing because it exists, should be regarded as invalid or not ?
Again let's look at my statement from the top. Absolute logic stops at our absolute universe, therefore something is what it is and not what it is not is valid if that is what my opponent means, but "something existing because it exists" was never valid in the first place. Remember that my opponent himself have said strongly that this is not true otherwise my statement God exists because he exists would also be valid, thus ending the case.

"According to Pros principles, it is quite correct to say that God does not exist......but does exist.........but doesn't. Pro must agree that this statement "God does not exist" is true, even if some one agrees that God exists, that person can then claim that God doesn't exist, and the obvious contradiction of God existing and God not existing does not apply, cause God is not subject to logic, so I say again, according to PROS argument, God does not exist.........funny I thought TAG was meant to prove that God does exist ?"
But at the same time my opponent must agree that my statement "God exist" is true or it could be something in between therefore making these two statements false. My point was that we cannot prove God's existence just by looking at God alone, we have to look at His creation: logic.

Now I will refine my argument and then reason with con's argument (if I have enough room)
My argument is the same as above (TAG) and it does not mater whether or not logic is absolute, so long as logic is absolute in the absolute universe. Also, we cannot prove God's existence just by looking at God so we have to look at his creation: logic to know that he exists. This does not bind God to logic, if so I ask my opponent to provide the proof, which brings me to my next point: my opponent has not proved any of his points yet. If a debater cannot back up his/her statements with proofs, then the statement is invalid, so I ask my opponent to please prove all of his statements with valid reasons. Lastly (this is the most important one) my opponent still has not given a better reason as to why this absolute transcendental logic exists; He only has been pointing at the first part of the seven part thesis of TAG. Furthermore he as blown off his first reason that "logic exists because it exists" and agrees with me that this is invalid.
I look forward to your response.

Finally a Little Bone to Pick with my Opponent's last comment
"It should be fun watching Pro dig them self out of the hole they have made,"
Illegalcombatant, keep this comment to yourself. No one wants to hear insults nevertheless get insulted. Though we are sitting back at our computers manners apply online as offline. Whether this is true or not, it is very rude to expose that to your opponent. And also saying it will be fun to watch me struggle? (Are you a sadist?) You lose with grace and win with grace as well. Even if you are not Christian, in society we have morals, so please treat others as you want to be treated. Thank You.
Debate Round No. 4
Illegalcombatant

Con

Illegalcombatant forfeited this round.
forever2b

Pro

This is the last round of the long debate. I would like to thank all of you who kept up with this argument till the end. My opponent tells me that he was five minutes overdue in his argument, so I will not make new argument but just conclude. However, seeing that we have three days to make an argument, I should get the point in conduct because we were given equal time and yet my opponent failed to post all of his argument as to me who did.

Conclusion: Whether or not my opponent was delayed or not, my opponent fails to give a better reason for why such an absolute transcendent logic in our universe exists. He wanted to argue that logic exists because it exists, but that does not work for it is just like saying God exists because he exists. My opponent made good statements, but failed to back them up with proof, therefore making the statements invalid. From the start I defended my statements and backed them up with multiple sources. My opponent sourced only one site for this whole debate but I sourced four. Furthermore, I had the better argument and have pointed out that the TAG arguments is not flawed. Judges, I ask you to vote for Pro. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by forever2b 5 years ago
forever2b
I'll just conclude :)
Posted by forever2b 5 years ago
forever2b
It's okay, I'll take that into account and not make new arguments :)
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Oh wow, I had just finished making my argument, pressed send, and time had expired, that so blows. I mean I was like 5 mins over the time limit.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Hey meat, at the start of this debate, the "God" defined was that of classical theism.

"God = God of classical theism, All knowing, All powerful, All Good, Eternal, Un-created, Non-contingent, etc"
Posted by forever2b 5 years ago
forever2b
Thanks for the tip Meatros. I'll keep that in mind while I wrap things up. Please stay in tune till the end :)
Posted by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
"Pro" (Forever2b), I would *NOT* argue that logic is not absolute. If you do, you've pretty much conceded the debate. While I think it is quite obvious that logic depends on language and that it does not transcend language, for the TAG to work you have to put forth the idea that logic is absolute and that God somehow accounts for this.

To tell the truth, Illegal is probably going to eviscerate you either way, but at least if you argue that logic is absolute you can obfuscate a bit...
Posted by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
Seems to me that the TAG is an abductive argument. In other words, the argument is not deductive. Why?

Let's take a look:
1. Knowledge is possible
2. If there is no god, knowledge is not possible.
3. Therefore God exists.

With 2, it seems that "God" is a stand in for 'all Gods', meaning that the argument could be framed:

1. Knowledge is possible
2. If there is no Allah, knowledge is not possible.
3. Therefore Allah exists.

Or

1. Knowledge is possible
2. If there is no Ahura Mazda, knowledge is not possible.
3. Therefore Ahura Mazda exists.

Or

1. Knowledge is possible
2. If there is no Thor, knowledge is not possible.
3. Therefore Thor exists.

Or

1. Knowledge is possible
2. If there is no Zeus, knowledge is not possible.
3. Therefore Zeus exists.

See what I mean?

Further, if knowledge/morality/logic is dependent on "God", then that means that it could be different. If God's character was different, then knowledge/morality/logic would be different....
Posted by forever2b 5 years ago
forever2b
More about the Converse, Inverse thing in case you guys were wondering, go here http://hotmath.com....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Illegalcombatantforever2bTied
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