The Instigator
Zarroette
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Losing
28 Points

Via Intelligent Design, an infinitely-inteligent, creator god cannot be logically justified

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 16 votes the winner is...
Zarroette
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,105 times Debate No: 55998
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (385)
Votes (16)

 

Zarroette

Pro

Via Intelligent Design, an infinitely-inteligent, creator god cannot be logically justified

Definitions

Intelligent Design: is an argument for the existence of god or, more generally, for an intelligent creator "based on perceived evidence of deliberate design in the natural or physical world".

God: A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe

Omnipotence: Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.

Rules

4 rounds, 10 day voting period, 48 hours to respond and 10k max. word rounds.

Both debaters must use the definitions provided above.

First round is for acceptance only
Second and third rounds are for arguments and counter-arguments as we see fit
Final round is for counter-arguments and concluding (no new arguments)

Debaters in breach of these rules automatically lose 7 points to the other side.

Envisage

Con

Good Luck Zarroette! :-D
Debate Round No. 1
Zarroette

Pro

I thank Envisage for accepting this debate, and I hope that it will be great warm-up for our debate on anti-natalism, which will be conduced on a later date.


Something cannot be so complicated that it had to be designed

Complexity, as a product of understanding, arises when something needs to be complex. For example, a television set is not complicated for any reason other than because it has to be. If that particular television set was not as complicated, then it would either work sub-optimally or not at all. There are certain components in a television set that need to be present, or else it won’t work. Hence, the television set is as complicated as it has to be – it does not make sense to say that something is so complex that it had to be designed.

Things that are unnecessarily complex show a lack of understanding

Comparatively, a television set can be more complicated than it needs to be, but this would indicate a product that lacks understanding. If the television set were to have extra wires that did not impede nor benefit the system, then you could say that the designer of the television set did not fully understand what was required. The goal of intelligence is to strive for working simplicity (i.e. making working things that are as simple as possible), and making things unnecessarily complex does the exact opposite.

To say that the universe is ‘finely tuned’ is to say that the creator god is not omnipotent

If the universe is finely tuned, then it would imply that god doesn’t have any control over aspects of our reality, otherwise he wouldn’t have to tune in the first place. The fact that he can ‘play the universe out of tune’ suggests that he can create a flawed universe, of which he does not want (hence the tuning). This is not to mention how silly it is that god has to make up for his mistakes when he sets the rules in the first place. To say that the universe is finely tuned is to contradict the nature of the creator god.

It is not possible to demonstrate infinite intelligence and infinite power at the same time

In order for god to demonstrate infinite intelligence, he would have to limit himself to a test of some kind. When no limits are available and no goals are known, unintelligent actions are indistinguishable from intelligent ones. So, god must limit himself and set knowable goals in order to show that he is infinitely-intelligent (or else give us some kind of alternative way of measuring intelligence, of which he has yet to give us). However, in limiting himself to testing conditions, he, at the very least, hides his omnipotence – you cannot play a game of chess in order to show how smart you are, without first limiting yourself to the rules.

And thus, it can be written as so:

Demonstrations of omnipotence require the absence of limitations

Demonstrations of intelligence require the presence of limitations

Conclusion

Evidence for god, via complexity, indicates nothing. For humans, Intelligence (limited) and Omnipotence (unlimited) are mutually exclusive, and such a creator god could only ever appear contradictory in our eyes. Via Intelligent Design, an infinitely-inteligent, creator god cannot be logically justified.

References

Arguments taken from the Youtube channel, 'TrenchantAtheist'. https://www.youtube.com...

Envisage

Con

I. Preface

I would like to thank Pro for the open challenge, and for giving me the opportunity to argue from this side of the fence for a change. From the way Pro has defined the resolution I will be concentrating on the Fine Tuning (Intelligent Design of the Universe) Argument rather than Biological Intelligent Design.


The definition of God in question is rather important, since that sets the criteria I need to defend, the God I will be defending has the following attributes (and it consistent with those set by Pro earlier):

Omnipotent - all powerful (not necessarily infinitely powerful)
Omniscient - (infinitely intelligent)
Creator/designer

I will build my case this round and save the majority of my rebuttals for the following round, now without further ado.

II. The Fine Tuning Argument

The fine tuning argument for the universe I regard as one of the best arguments there currently exists for the existence of God, and definitely the strongest scientifically supported one.

So before I present the evidence, I will formalize briefly formalize this argument:

P1) If the universe is finely tuned, then it has a fine tuner
P2) The universe is finely tuned
C1) The universe has a fine tuner
P3) If the universe has a fine tuner, it is all-powerful and all-knowing, and the creator
C2) The universes’ fine tuner is all-powerful, all knowing and the creator (God)

I am certain that Pro will challenge both all three of these premises, of course, however they are very much easily defendable in light of modern physics.

Defence of Premise 2:

To summarise this defence we have:

P1) Either the fundamental constants were set intelligently (fine tuned) or non-intelligently (randomly)
P2) Most likely not non-intelligently (randomly)
C1) Most likely the fundamental constants were set intelligently (finely tuned)
C2) (from C1) The universe is finely tuned

I will defend this premise first, as it is likely to be the most ferociously disputed one, but also fortunately the most empirically supported one. The universe, as is currently known, is extremely well described by quantum mechanics, the standard model, and relativity. These theories so far tell us a great deal about the behaviour of the universe, and accurate models constructed from these, physicists call this ‘working from first principles’. [1]

What has been realized is that ‘working from first principles’ we find the universe hinges on a number of fundamental constants of nature. What is more striking is that variations in these fundamental constants of nature would lead to a completely sterile universe. Not just a sterile universe for life, but also a universe completely devoid of anything interesting to speak whatsoever, including basic chemistry.

The fine balance that the universe is in, and the fact that there is no reason whatsoever to suspect the universe couldn’t have been anything different (i.e. these fundamental constants set to some other values) leads us to the conclusion that the universe necessarily must have been tuned to allow for the conditions that life arose from.[2] Note that this does not necessarily mean life (much less Earthbound life) objectively was the goal of this tuning, as it would likely have been an outcome of any tuning made to create an ‘interesting universe’, for whatever reason.

These ‘first principles’ reduce down to several fundamental constants of nature. The ones I will be discussing are the speed of light, the cosmological constant, the Newtonion gravitation constant and the strong nuclear force, there are more but it is unnecessary to discuss them.

The strong nuclear force is known to have a tolerance of just 0.5% in either direction.[3] Increasing the strength of the strong nuclear force would lead to all the hydrogen formed in the big bang to form diprotons, which would make nuclear fusion nigh impossible within stars, and also removes the most useful and abundant element, Hydrogen, from the list of available elements. Reducing the strong nuclear force would make essentially every single element above hydrogen unstable, and thus we would be left in a universe filled with nothing but hydrogen (no chemistry, no life, nothing interesting).

The cosmological constant is known to be very finely tuned also, increasing it would have led to the universe expanding at far too great a rate for galaxies and stars to form.[4] A lower value would have led to the universe collapsing into a black hole before the party started. No chemistry, no life, nothing interesting.

Similarly for the gravitational constant, increasing it would lead to knock on effects, such as the universe collapsing to become a black hole, and far too short lived stars to sustain evolution. Too low a gravitational constant would lead to the universe diffusing into a cloud of hydrogen and helium. [4]

Of course we don’t know the entire search-space of how much these fundamental constants could have potentially varied by, but it is quite clearly a far stretch to imagine that all these constants would have hit their current values that allow for anything interesting to occur in our universe whatsoever, randomly.

With an intelligent agency to do the fine tuning, this problem immediately disappears. Since the intelligent agency can adjust the variables, and an agency, or being, with sufficient intelligence and power to do so would be able to accomplish this.

Defence of Premise 1:

I do not see Pro contesting this premise, if the constants were deliberately finely tuned then it clearly follows that a conscious entity finely tuned it. If she does I would be most intrigued into how she would go about doing so.

Defence of Premise 3

These cosmological constants are tied into the very clockwork of how our universe operates. It goes without saying that any being that is capable of manipulating these is a being that is all-powerful. As that being is capable of doing essentially anything and everything with our universe. It’s like a person who can change the rules of a chess game, the shape of the board, and how the pieces move while the game is being played. Clearly the person doing such has abilities and power that no thing confined within the rules is comparable to, much less above.

Moreover, for this being to perform this extent of fine tuning, they must be able to foresee billions of years of stellar & universal evolution, and understand the very fundamental fabric of the universe itself. Which is knowledge that many scientists and philosophers resign to never being able to know for themselves, thus fulfilling that this being must be omniscient.

III. Rebuttals:

Complexity:
Pro's argument against complexity is not relevent yet to this debate, and I would agree that the level of complexity has no bearing on whether or not it is designed.


Fine tuning & an Omnipotent God:

I would beg to differ on her point regarding the incompatibility of omnipotence and being capable fine tuning. As I mentioned with my chess analogy, being capable of setting out the whole game, and the rules it abides by, very much fulfils the required definition of omnipotent. Moreover even if Pro's argument was valid, it only shows god is performing at a certain 'power level'. Someone who is capable of lifting 100 kgs can also lift 10 kgs, there is no contradiction here. As for why, I don't see a reason why I need to supply it, but just to throw one out there, it may well be logically impossible to create a universe where it was not finely tuned to accomplish the results that god wanted. We just don't know.

IV. Conclusion:

I have given two routes to demonstrate the resolution false, and at worst, unsound. The resolution is negated, back to Pro!

V. References:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] J.D.Barrow, F.J.Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle , Oxford University Press, 1986.
Debate Round No. 2
Zarroette

Pro

I thank Envisage for his arguments.


II. The Fine Tuning Argument


P3) If the universe has a fine tuner, it is all-powerful and all-knowing, and the creator

In the interest of saving time, I’m going straight for the throat. The fundamental problem, the one in which I instigated this debate upon, lies within this 3rd premise. This 3rd premise cannot be shown true, as the resolution specifies. Allow me to clarify:

The resolution reads, “Via Intelligent Design, an infinitely-intelligent, creator god cannot be logically justified”. We’re not debating as to whether one could exist, rather we’re debating as to whether one can be logically justified.

Justify: “to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right” [3].

If I were to say that, for example, a murder was justified, I would have to give significant reason as to why. If I were to say that the murder was justified, and that the reason was that it could have been ‘right’ (i.e. morally permissible), then I have not logically justified this murder.

An omnipotent, omniscient god could exist, but…

As it stands, it is possible that an omnipotent, omniscient god exists, it’s just that we are incapable of logically justifying him via Intelligent Design. You cannot look at something and determine whether it is intelligent or not. The standard in which humans gauge intelligence is a test, and in order to sit a test, one must limit his/herself to the testing conditions. So, when god would show his omniscience, he cannot, at the same time, demonstrate omnipotence. Yet this is precisely the contradiction that is required for any Intelligent Design argument! Let me make some distinctions clear:

  1. 1. It is possible that an omnipotent, omniscient god exists
  2. 2. It is not possible for god to demonstrate such attributes at the same time
  3. 3. Hence, via Intelligent Design (i.e. via one instance of god’s power, which is the creation of everything), it is not possible to logically justify an omniscient, omnipotent god

It’s possible that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. It’s possible that Santa Claus exists. However, that does not mean that the existence of these entities are logically justifiable.

A fine-tuning, omniscient, omnipotent god


Next, it’s possible that a fine-tuner of the universe exists. Since the verb to ‘tune’implies that there must be something/someone doing the tuning [1].

verb

: to make small changes to (something) in order to make it work better

What is not possible, is that this fine-tuner could be an omniscient, omnipotent god. How could an omnipotent god create everything, and then feel the need to tune it, if he knows everything and would not make the mistake in the first place? Conversely, if there was no problem, then there would be no tuning, as to tune something requires it to be ‘out of tune’ beforehand. Do you see the problem with this? God seeing that his creation requires tuning shows that god has created everything in a way he didn’t want, hence he must tune it to the way he wants.

Let me repeat that: god seeing that his creation requires tuning shows that god has created everything in a way he didn’t want. In my opponent arguing that ‘god’s creation’ was finely tuned, he is essentially arguing that god cannot be shown omnipotent and omniscient!

In other words, would a being that is omnipotent and omniscient have to amend something? Again, tuning implies that something has been done in a way which is not wanted. So, get this, a being which knows everything, AND is omnipotent, has created everything in a way which he did not want. He knew that what he was doing was not what he wanted, yet he created it anyway! Does this not sound ridiculous to you? Does this not seemingly defy his own supposed nature?


Defence of Premise 3


“These cosmological constants are tied into the very clockwork of how our universe operates. It goes without saying that any being that is capable of manipulating these is a being that is all-powerful.”

This does not go without saying. If god is only capable of manipulating these “cosmological constants”, in other words: playing by the rules in which he created, then he isn’t demonstrating omnipotence.

“It’s like a person who can change the rules of a chess game, the shape of the board, and how the pieces move while the game is being played. Clearly the person doing such has abilities and power that no thing confined within the rules is comparable to, much less above.”

This is an isolated demonstration of omnipotence. The resolution requires simultaneous demonstrations of omnipotence and omniscience. In this example, we would need to know why changing aspects of the chessboard showed intelligence. However, in having this demonstration of intelligence, my opponent would not be able to work around the fact that in having a goal in which to show intelligence, god would have to limit himself to that goal.

“for this being to perform this extent of fine tuning, they must be able to foresee billions of years of stellar & universal evolution, and understand the very fundamental fabric of the universe itself.”

The implications of what my opponent wrote here are riddled with contradictions. It’s funny how god must be able to “foresee billions of years of stellar & universal evolution”, or else thing won’t go according to plan, despite god also being omniscient and omnipotent. It’s funny how god has to understand the very fundamental fabric of the universe that he created, or else he won’t be able to fine-tune correctly for the mistakes that he made, despite also being omnipotent and omniscient, which would suggest that he would be able to avoid these mistakes in the first place.

“Which is knowledge that many scientists and philosophers resign to never being able to know for themselves, thus fulfilling that this being must be omniscient.”

This is a slippery slope fallacy [2]. My opponent makes the woeful argument that because scientists and philosophers do not know (others are limited), that whatever knows must be omniscient (extreme). It looks like this:

  1. 1. My dog is faster than all the other dogs in the neighbourhood (others are limited)
  2. 2. Therefore, my dog is the fastest to have ever existed (extreme)

It is possible that god could be smarter than those people in knowing things they do not, yet also non-omniscient. My opponent’s example here does not demonstrate omniscience.

III. Rebuttals:

Complexity:

“Pro's argument against complexity is not relevent yet to this debate”

Not true. Things that created with unnecessary complexity demonstrate a level of lacking in intelligence. To argue that ‘creation’ was so complex that it had to be designed, which is essentially the Intelligent Design argument, defies how humans test for intelligence.

Fine tuning & an Omnipotent God:


“Moreover even if Pro's argument was valid, it only shows god is performing at a certain 'power level'. Someone who is capable of lifting 100 kgs can also lift 10 kgs, there is no contradiction here.”

If god is meant to demonstrate his omnipotence via the creation of everything, yet in doing so is limiting himself, then he has not shown that his omnipotent. This is not to say that he is not omnipotent, rather that he has not demonstrated omnipotence.

“As for why, I don't see a reason why I need to supply it, but just to throw one out there, it may well be logically impossible to create a universe where it was not finely tuned to accomplish the results that god wanted. We just don't know.”

It may well be the case that it was logically impossible to create a universe where it was not finely tuned. However, in saying that “we just don’t know”, my opponent concedes that he’s missing all two of the components required for an Intelligent Design argument:

  1. 1. Demonstration of omnipotence
  2. 2. Demonstration of omniscience

Without my opponent being able to give reasons as to why god chose a certain design, there is no demonstration of omniscience (because we don’t know what the goal was and if it was achieved in the best way possible), and there is no demonstration of omnipotence (because we don’t know if god was without limits in designing it the way he did).

Where exactly I stand

It is fundamentally impossible to argue via Intelligent Design that an omniscient, omnipotent god exists. You can prove that the universe was finely tuned. You can give strong evidence for the existence of a god. You can argue that the Intelligent Design could work if god wasn’t omnipotent. But if you put them all together, and try to argue with them simultaneously, you can do nothing but contradict yourself. Again:

Demonstrations of intelligence requires the presence of limits

Demonstrations of omnipotence requires the absence of limits

The resolution is affirmed.

References

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[2] http://www.nizkor.org...

[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...

Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

I. Preface

To Pro's credit, I am very pleasantly surprised by the strength of her rebuttals, however this debate is now dangerously bordering on a battle of semantics, as I will show. Pro's case seems to centre around whether or not even given the evidence of universal fine tuning if an omnipotent and omniscient God is logically justified, or necessary given the facts.

I don't intend to quite play by Pro's rules, as they largely seem to be besides the point. But nether the less I do intend to show that the God demonstrated by fine tuning does logically justify an omniscient and omnipotent one.

II. The Justification for God

Pro has so far dropped my points up to the first conclusion of 'the universe has a fine tuner'. So let's restate the argument:

P1) The universe has a fine tuner
P2) If the universe has a fine tuner then it is all-powerful and all knowing, and the creator
C) The fine tuner is all-powerful, all-knowing, and the creator (God)

IIA. Finely-'tuned':

First I must get some semantics out of the way, since half of Pro's rebuttals hinge upon them. The the term 'fine-tuning' is used in apologetics and cosmology, it is in always used in reference to their current values. The dials are obviously set to the ones we can empirically measure today, but that doesn't at all mean they were ever originally anything but their current values. So to state something is 'finely-tuned' simply means that any small deviation in where these values are set from their *present* values would lead to fatal consequences for the universe.

Moreover virtually all of the natural laws are scaled by using these fundamental constants as 'multipliers' to get a real-world value. One such example of a natural law is Newton's law of gravitation, which obeys the following formula:

F = G m1m2/r2

This 'G' value, the Newtonian constant of gravitation, could have been set to anything, we don't know it's limits. But that doesn't mean it ever was set to anything when the infrastructure of the universe which allowed for this law to occur in the first place. It wouldn't have even been set to zero, it's just a non-existent value.

Therefore, Pro's objection that tuning is an example of 'improving' an existing creation, or that God was 'not happy' with his original creation are completely off the mark, quite simply. There was never anything to improve in the first place, as the tune is a 'factory setting'.

Moreover this was be empirically demonstrated to be the case, as we have ample evidence of the remarkable stability of these fundamental constants, we simply see no evidence of God 'changing his mind' throughout the creation or evolution of the universe.[2]

III. Fine Tuning & Displays of Omnipotence & Omniscience:

Now to refute Pro's other objections regarding the inability of God to show both omnipotence and omniscience at the time of creation. There is at least one way that these attributes can both be demonstrated (and thus fulfilling premise 3).

First consider that the Big Bang, or time or creation is the point in physics where all of our natural laws break down.[1] That is these natural laws by which everything abides by, including the fundamental constants that were 'finely-tuned' were themselves brought into existence, and very arguably simultaneously, in the same event as the 'fine-tuning' of these cosmological constants.

If I would draw an analogy, this example would be a demonstration that a harp was manufactured in one go, with it's strings already tuned and ready to play.

With that piece of evidence in play, then it becomes very straightforward to draw the conclusion that whatever did the fine tuning of these cosmological constants also did the creation of the system by which these cosmological constants tune in the first place. I'm fact such a conclusion is heavily favoured by Occum's Razor in that it makes fewer assumptions.

There simply is no evidence if any additional 'tuning' after the original conditions were set, as the universe has been remarkable uniform and stable.

So, clearly we have a very sting demonstration of omnipotence, since God clearly changes and manipulates the rules by which the game plays, which is a level beyond which anything bound by the game is capable of doing. Indeed Pro conceded this much in the previous round.

Pro's beef in this case is whether or not this can be a demonstration of omniscience, and her argument against such largely leans on her prior objection that fine tuning allegedly improves a sub-optimal system, which I have already refuted. In fact her general argument that a 'demonstration of omniscience necessitates the presence of limits' seems patently absurd, and has only seen pragmatic support, rather than logical inductive or deductive support by Pro, and went largely bald asserted.

Via. The fine tuning argument one can go a very long way towards demonstrating that at the very least an immeasurably intelligent/knowledgable being was responsible, which when coupled with omnipotence gives a very strong case for accepting omnipotence is omnipotence and creation are already supported propositions.

To refer back to my harp analogy, God both designed the harp, and tuned it before attempting to play anything on it, BUT God also knew exactly what song he wanted to play with this harp ahead of time. In order for the song to play properly, then virtually all of the notes that are played in the song must be near-perfectly in pitch in order to deliver the desirable result. Therefore God needs to know exactly how to tune the harp, how to design the harp, and very accurately what the song will sound like after a large number of notes have already been played ahead of time in order to be successful.

This is very much relevant to our universe, because as I have already argued, any slight variation in either the fundamental constants the universe is tuned to. Or the laws themselves (such as us living in a four-dimensional instead of three dimensional universe) would over time lead to larger and larger deviation in the conditions that allow for life. Imagine that you are aiming for a very small, very precise target over a mile away with your sniper rifle, you will find that in order to have a chance of hitting this target the bullet that is fired must stay very true to the ideal course, or follow this path very precisely in order to have any chance of hitting it's target.

Lawrence Krauss famously talks about a similar situation in the expansion of the universe, where the universe is almost perfectly flat, or actually IS perfectly flat.[3] Any tiny deviation from the almost perfect flatness would have been greatest exaggerated over time, and the universe would experience increasingly exaggerated effects of the sub-perfect curved universe.

How this ties back to omniscience is that the being that created the universe needed to know exactly what the consequences were for setting the dials of creation to their currently set values before attempting to do so lest he create a sterile universe. Virtually every minor matter collision, star birth, planetary accretion and chemical event would need to be foreseen in order to choose a situation suited for life. This easily required an unimaginably intelligent being, and makes for a strong case of an omniscient one.

Here, even if one accepts Pro's bald assertion that demonstrations of omniscience requires the presence of limits is circumvented by the display of omniscience being a part of the creation OF those limits.

It is actually quite amusing that Pro firstly incorrectly uses the slippery slope fallacy, and secondly also provides another excellent analogy to demonstrate this case even further.

Let's say for example in 1 billion years I want the message "Murder" to be read out to whatever civilisation exists at that time. The only way this message is presentable though is by copying the previous message, which is copied from the message before, which is copied from the message before, etc.

What you will quickly find is that ANY tiny imperfection in the replication of the message "Murder" in each replication cycle would eventually lead to the degradation of the message and hence loss of the information that is to be conveyed. Similarly with the universe and life, any small deviation from the current optimal conditions would yield fatal consequences, and thus knowledge of the target, and foresight of billions of years of cosmic evolution is required to be successful.

IV. Conclusion:

I have amply demonstrated the resolution to be 1. Unsound and 2. False. Pro needs to bring significantly stronger justification for her argument against omniscience than she has already to demonstrate her case. She simply has not done so, despite her heroic attempts to demonstrate as much.

V. References:
1. http://www.hawking.org.uk...
2. http://www.iflscience.com...
3. "A Universe from Nothing" - Lawrence Krauss
Debate Round No. 3
Zarroette

Pro

I thank Envisage for what was literally ‘last-minute’ heroics in producing a response. Since this will be my last contribution to this debate, I also wish to thank him for providing much more of an opposition than I originally wanted.


IIA. Finely-'tuned':


My opponent basically argues that ‘intricately designed = finely tuned’. By definition, this is false, as tuning cannot take place if there is nothing ‘out of tune’ (as I’ve previously shown). If god has made everything as he wanted, then no tuning ever took place (which my opponent agrees with, anyway). But this really doesn’t matter. I’m going to argue against the meaning my opponent has provided, instead of wasting time with silly semantic games.

I originally let everything until: P1) ‘The universe has a fine-tuner’ slide because it was logically consistent. Now that P1) means: ‘the universe has a designer who makes complex things which require such precision should they be constructed minutely differently, they would fall apart’. So, the meaning is slightly different, and despite me addressing this meaning elsewhere, I’ll do it again to summarise.

Again, as he’s done numerous times before, my opponent presents an argument that falls into the necessary paradox of the Intelligent Design argument: demonstrations of omnipotence and omniscience cannot occur simultaneously, yet this is precisely what anyone arguing for Intelligent Design has to overcome in order to make this argument. In arguing that the universe is designed in such a ‘finely-tuned’ way (as he puts it), such that any small change will send things into chaos, and that this is a demonstration of omniscience (i.e. god is limiting itself to creating a ‘finely-tuned’ system to show intelligence), omnipotence cannot be shown at the same time.


III. Fine Tuning & Displays of Omnipotence & Omniscience:

“There is at least one way that these attributes can both be demonstrated (and thus fulfilling premise 3).”

The underlying problem with my opponent’s argument in this section is that it is an argument from final consequence, which is a logical fallacy. He argues that:

  1. 1. The universe is complex and looks like it was designed
  2. 2. The only thing that could possibly design such a universe is an omnipotent, omniscient god
  3. C. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient god exists


Another example to demonstrate the idea:

  1. 1. My house is on fire
  2. 2. I saw someone with matches outside my house earlier
  3. C. Therefore, the person with the matches lit my house on fire


The problem with both is that whilst there is perceivable evidence that points towards the cause, it doesn’t prove it. A lightning strike could’ve lit my house on fire, for example.

Similarly, my opponent’s argument is reliant on the hope that an omniscient, omnipotent god is the only thing that could provide an explanation for such an occurrence. However, it is possible that (just a couple of examples):

  1. 1. an omnipotent god and an omniscient god exist, and came together to create such a universe.
  2. 2. god is intelligent and capable enough to make the universe, but not omnipotent.
  3. 3. through no guidance, the universe came into existence with a burst of energy, and through evolution without a god, moved through different stages.
  4. 4. an omnipotent, unintelligent god brought the universe into existence without thought, and it just so happened to turn out like this.


As I’ve suggested, there are numerous other ways in which the creation of the universe could be explained. This is why the argument from final consequence is a fallacy.

Of course, all of this is to ignore the fact that via Intelligent Design, omnipotence and omniscience cannot be demonstrated at the same time.


Appeal to Occam’s Razor

“I'm fact such a conclusion [an omnipotent, omniscient god having to exist because of the universe’s existence most likely being spontaneous] is heavily favoured by Occum's Razor in that it makes fewer assumptions.”

It doesn’t even matter if it makes the fewest assumptions. It’s egregiously defunct with a logical fallacy and an inherent paradox – Occum’s Razor only applies to things that are logical.


A couple of Misc. arguments

“So, clearly we have a very sting demonstration of omnipotence, since God clearly changes and manipulates the rules by which the game plays, which is a level beyond which anything bound by the game is capable of doing.”

This could be a demonstration of great power, rather than omnipotence. It’s possible that god is not bound by the rules he creates, yet god is bound by other rules that exist outside his creation.


“Pro's beef in this case is whether or not this can be a demonstration of omniscience, and her argument against such largely leans on her prior objection that fine tuning allegedly improves a sub-optimal system, which I have already refuted.

No, it doesn’t “largely” lean on that. It largely relies on the omniscient-omnipotence paradox. The fine tuning “beef”, now that we understand that you don’t understand what ‘tuning’ means, is actually an entirely different “beef” to the one you’re suggesting.


“In fact her general argument that a 'demonstration of omniscience necessitates the presence of limits' seems patently absurd, and has only seen pragmatic support, rather than logical inductive or deductive support by Pro, and went largely bald asserted.”

On the contrary, it’s the fact that anyone making an Intelligent Design argument feels it sufficient an argument, so my counter-response only has to rebut what argument has been given. My opponent is attempting to move the goal-posts (logical fallacy) to set my BoP for any argument against a far less specific god and argument (i.e. not specifically Intelligent Design), when the resolution specifically indicates an omniscient, omnipotent god via Intelligent Design.


Harp Analogy


My opponent’s harp analogy has the fatal problem all his other arguments do. In showing how the universe needs to be this way, it has to be ‘finely-tuned’, you’re implying that god cannot change anything without it all falling apart, hence indicating his lack of omnipotence.

Readers, you should find it no less than exceedingly ironic that the one thing my opponent thinks most proves that god is omnipotent, actually indicates that god is anything but.

“Therefore God needs to know exactly how to tune the harp…”

If god needs to know how to tune a harp in order to use it properly, then he isn’t demonstrating that he is omnipotent. If he is indicating that he is bound by his own rules, then he isn’t demonstrating omnipotence.

“This is very much relevant to our universe, because as I have already argued, any slight variation in either the fundamental constants the universe is tuned to. Or the laws themselves … would over time lead to larger and larger deviation in the conditions that allow for life.”

So god can’t create a universe that is differently ‘tuned’, yet still works, is the implication here. Regardless, there is no demonstration of omnipotence.

“Virtually every minor matter collision, star birth, planetary accretion and chemical event would need to be foreseen in order to choose a situation suited for life.”

Again, god needs to foresee this, or else everything wouldn’t work – god appears to be bound by his own rules.

“This easily required an unimaginably intelligent being, and makes for a strong case of an omniscient one.”

It could have, and it’s possible that one did. But you’ve proven, by your own implications, that the god in question cannot be omnipotent too.



My non-omniscience analogy (the dog one)


“It is actually quite amusing that Pro firstly incorrectly uses the slippery slope fallacy, and secondly also provides another excellent analogy to demonstrate this case even further.”

I take the fact that you didn’t even explain either of these assertions suggests that you don’t have a counter-argument. Thus far, my analogy stands and is conceded by my opponent.



“Similarly with the universe and life, any small deviation from the current optimal conditions would yield fatal consequences, and thus knowledge of the target, and foresight of billions of years of cosmic evolution is required to be successful.”

This isn’t even remotely relevant to my analogy. Anyway, so it seems that god needs certain things, or else his universe won’t work. In other words, again, he appears to be non-omnipotent.

Conclusion

I think that I’ve addressed all of my opponent’s main idea which were relevant to this debate. However, the fundamental reason why the Intelligent Design argument cannot be logically justified is that:


Demonstrations of intelligence requires the presence of limits

Demonstrations of omnipotence requires the absence of limits

It is not that another type of God cannot exist. It is not that there isn’t another compelling argument for God. It is not even that an omnipotent, omniscient god cannot exist. It is, however, that via Intelligent Design, an omnipotent, omniscient god cannot be logically justified, which you’ll find the resolution to be. My opponent has tried numerous arguments throughout this debate. However, I guarantee you that all of them have failed to simultaneously show that via Intelligent Design, god is both omnipotent and omniscient at the same time. There is no escaping it; it is the necessary paradox of the Intelligent Design argument.

Hopefully, I’ve shown you this inherent paradox, and now you too can make this argument against Intelligent Design. Let’s move the theology debate away from internally defunct arguments like Intelligent Design, because there’s a chance that there is a god, and we should be focusing on debating better arguments.

The resolution is absolutely affirmed.

Envisage

Con

I. Preface

I would like to thank Zarroette for this debate. It was a different type of debate to what I was expecting but it was very much enjoyable nonetheless.

This debate has come down to solving a rather straightforward 'paradox', which I believe I quite comprehensively refuted last round but I will tidy up my case to make it that much clearer. Simply put, the paradox is irrelevant to my argument, and by itself doesn't affirm Pro's resolution the way she would like it to.

II. Straw Men

First I need to take out some words that Pro has (annoyingly) put in my mouth for me.

My opponent has made numerous attacks my alleged use of 'complexity' in this debate, and I just performed a Ctrl-F on the page for the word "complex", and found 15 hits, 12 are my opponents, 3 are mine, and all 3 of those were in my opening argument stating it is irrelevant to my argument. So why on earth has Pro insisted in attacking arguments I haven't made?

That being the case I would like to ask voters to disregard her following statements:

"I let P1) "The universe has a fine-tuner" slide because it was logically consistent. Now that P1) means: "the universe has a designer who makes complex things which require such precision should they be constructed minutely differently, they would fall apart"."

And.

"He argues that:

1. The universe is complex and looks like it was designed
2. The only thing that could possibly design such a universe is an omnipotent, omniscient god
C. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient god exists"

Just not cool, Pro.

"My opponent basically argues that "intricately designed = finely tuned"

Please find exactly where I ever made this argument. I only ever referred to the fundamental constants of nature for the purposes of fine tuning, and I have reiterated this statement in multiple ways.

"So god can"t create a universe that is differently "tuned", yet still works, is the implication here. Regardless, there is no demonstration of omnipotence."

I never made that assertion, I only made the assertion that the number of scenarios where the universe is 'out of tune' vastly (by several orders of magnitude) outnumbers the number of scenarios in which it is 'in tune'. There may well be other ways to tune the dials, but given that each dial is very sensitively tuned, then turning more than one is going to be even more capricious.

III. Fine Tuner:

Pro has dropped pretty much all my justifications for there being a fine tuner (C1 from the original argument in my opening), she has dropped all the arguments I have made that there must be a fine tuner, who purposefully tuned the universe to allow for "interesting stuff", especially life, to form. This already satisfies the 'God' and 'Creator' components of the resolution as already argued, which Pro seems to have let pass unchecked.

Please note Pro's original definition of Intelligent Design:
"Intelligent Design: is an argument for the existence of god or, more generally, for an intelligent creator "based on perceived evidence of deliberate design in the natural or physical world"

My argument pretty much falls smack within the definition of intelligent design set by Pro, so her arguments regarding irrelevancy are rather off the mark. GIVEN that we know the universe is finely tuned, and given that we know the universe was finely tuned along with the creation of the laws that were finely fined at the Big Bang, then these arguments tie together like a web. Pro has dropped my arguments for this much, that this creation was simultaneous and the best explanation for such is a singular creator, or designer/tuner.

Such a hypothesis is also greatly supported by Occum's Razor which Pro spoke about but never addressed.

IV. "Tuning":

It doesn't matter if I called it the fine "fudging" argument, or the divine "knob twiddling" argument, the semantics of the word tuning are largely irrelevant to this debate and Pro's attack on it have served as nothing but a big fat distraction.

I have explained the process that occurs in detail, and all that really matters is that a transcendent conscious entity must have performed the "tuning", or whatever you would like to call it.

Also note yet another one of Pro's strawmen:

"My opponent"s harp analogy has the fatal problem all his other arguments do. In showing how the universe needs to be this way, it has to be "finely-tuned", you"re implying that god cannot change anything without it all falling apart, hence indicating his lack of omnipotence."

Please note that I never asserted the universe could not be any other way without it 'falling apart' (I never even made the statement it would "fall apart" either, which seems to be yet another strawman), there may well be other "solutions" that would yield comparable results, but the number of positive solutions vastly outweigh the negative solutions given the natural laws, and therefore most require purposeful tuning.

VI. Logical Form & "Paradox"

The deliberate design of the natural world is exactly what I spent most my opening round defending, and the logical form of the second part of the argument is logically valid (modus ponens, affirming the antecedent), so Pro needed to dispute the premises to avoid the inescapable conclusion:

P2) If the universe has a fine tuner then it is all-powerful and all knowing, and the creator
P1) The universe has a fine tuner
C) The fine tuner is all-powerful, all-knowing, and the creator (God)

Symbolic form:

P2) If P then Q
P1) P
C) Q

Pro attempts to attack the form of this by stating it is an "argument from final consequence", well I am not sure what this fallacy is formally, since it doesn't appear in philosophical journals. Instead it appears that Pro is asserting that I am actually making an affirming the consequent argument, which seems to be in rough agreement with the blog pages where I could find this fallacy.[1] Which is as follows:

P2) If there is an all-powerful and all knowing, creator then the universe has a fine tuner
P1) The universe has a fine tuner
C) The fine tuner is all-powerful, all-knowing, and the creator (God)

Symbolic Form:

P2) If P then Q
P1) Q
C) P

Which of course fails because there may be other candidates for other fine-tuners. But everything I have argued so far in defence of the original premise 3 (and premise 2 in the simplified argument) argues that the fine tuner necessarily must be both omnipotent and omniscient. Pro's burning house example isn't even written out correctly, but if it can be shown that the *only* possible source of fire in this case was indeed the person with the matches, then the argument can be made in modus ponens form similar to I have, and be valid by replacing premise 2 with:

"If the house is on fire, then the person holding the matches did it"

Obviously in this specific case it would be a very tough premise to defend, since there are many possible sources of house fire in reality. The same however does not apply to the fine tuner & creator of the universe. The fact she has not addressed the argument as I have presented it in my opening renders most her objections above irrelevant.

First, let me try and condense my arguments and show they do not run into Pro's alleged 'paradox'.

1. The origin of the universe, where the fine tuning also occurred, simultaneously involved both the creation of the natural laws and 'tuning' of the fundamental constants that these laws ('first principles') work via.

2. The creation and manipulation of the natural laws is clearly a demonstration of omnipotence, as the creator transcends the framework our universe operates within. He changes/creates the rules of the game, which is something with no amount of power within our universe will ever be capable of, since they are bound within the laws of the universe.

3. The manipulation of the natural laws and the fundamental constants are both demonstrations of omnipotence and omniscience. Since setting the 'tune' (fundamental constants) of the universe is again transcendent of what anything bound by those natural laws & constants is and ever will be capable of. It is a demonstration of omniscience because it requires foresight across billions of years across the entire universe to see if the constants set will be the correct ones. This also transcends the universe, and whilst this prima facie is an omniscient-tier as it is impossible to know everything in the universe whilst being confined within the universe.

Now with this in hand let's return to Pro's central thesis:

1. Demonstrations of intelligence requires the presence of limits

2. Demonstrations of omnipotence requires the absence of limits

I never agreed with either of these premises, and I had argued that Pro has only provided pragmatic support for them. But regardless, the thesis I have pushed both creates & manipulates the limits in a way where foresight that equates to omniscience is required. To state that God must be limiting himself, in these cases seems rather non-sensical, and as I already argued it doesn't necessarily matter what God's motive, or plan is, so long as the end result *necessarily* requires a god with the attributes as defined in the resolution.

Therefore, all four of Pro's alternative suggestions fail due to reasons already given. I have already established that omnipotence, omniscience are necessary given there is a conscious fine tuner. And a conscious fine tuner I already showed is most likely in my opening.

VII. Conclusion:

I have shown that Pro's case is based on unsound premises, which even if true do not demonstrate the resolution true.

Therefore, I pass with confidence onto the voters, that I have not only demonstrated the resolution unsound, but also false, where the fine tuning argument, in light of modern cosmology, leads inescapably to the conclusion of an di-omni creator god.

I again thank Zarroette for her participation, and best of luck in the voting!

VIII. References:

1. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
385 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
How can it possible rest in peace, given the end it met?
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
Poor debate, it just won't be left to die....
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
Lol. I still don't see how Zarroette can honestly think she won this.
What the scores would have been with...

Elo limit (3000) voting
6 - 16
Winner: Envisage

Elo limit (2500) voting
10 - 16
Winner: Envisage

Judge Voting, Select Winner
7 - 21
Winner: Envisage
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
While Envisage is by far the best at this, I could debate you on this, Zarroette.
Posted by Zarroette 1 year ago
Zarroette
Thank you for necro-posting, tej. The ego boost of winning well and truly outweighs the minor spelling error.
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
Wtf tej.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
*intelligent
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Pro has a cute nose
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
No need to challenge you. You are already challenged enough, as evidenced here. I would hate to take advantage of your disability.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I notice you blatantly dodged my point, I guess I was correct :-)
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
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Reasons for voting decision: I think it is fairly clear what Con was arguing. The musician tunes their instrument before they play it; God is not necessarily improving things as they go along. Pro took the phrase "fine-tuning" far too literally, misunderstanding its core meaning. Moreover, the limits argument assumes pragmatic constraints which simply wouldn't apply to God. If God can demonstrate power by rising above the rules, while being infinitly intelligent. And who says that God has to demonstrate anything--one can be intelligent without needing to demonstrate it via tests. Essentially, I buy into Con's logic when he states: "demonstrations of omniscience requires the presence of limits is circumvented by the display of omniscience being a part of the creation OF those limits." Nevertheless, I found the limits argument to be Pro's strongest, most compelling potential point. This was a truly excellent debate--and I really want to congratulate both participants. I just don't believe Pro met the BOP. Good job!
Vote Placed by Rayze 2 years ago
Rayze
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Reasons for voting decision: Since I am unfamiliar with the concept of intelligent design, I can not identify the perceived errors on intelligent design in their amazing arguments. Both sides used extremely convincing arguments in support of their contentions, but ultimately I feel that pro was more convincing since she sufficiently defended the resolution from Con's onslaught. Both sides were courteous, and used reliable sources, (Wikipedia has in recent years become more reliable as a source to understand the gist of the subject).
Vote Placed by GOP 2 years ago
GOP
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't have the time to vote for convincing arguments right now, but I can clearly see that Envisage used more reliable sources. His sources (they came from reputable places like the Oxford University Press) were more science based.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
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Reasons for voting decision: I didn't know if "justified" meant "proven" or just "shown beyond reasonable doubt" until Pro used the murder case analogy. This was actually a key factor for my choice to give the debate to Con since I think Con showed God's existence beyond *reasonable* doubt, but more-so the fact that Con had more convincing arguments in terms of quantity; Pro showed a misunderstanding of fallacies and abused semantics over the term "fine-tuning". Con wins source points for backing up his "fine-tuning" claims while Pro mischaracterized the "fine-tuning" concept without using sources to back her up. I counted 6 S&G violations from Con in contrast to only 1 from Pro so Pro gets S&G points. Wylted, I resent the accusation of applying reliable source points as a form of "strategic voting."
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
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Reasons for voting decision: To begin, I have to say that I was screaming at my laptop while reading this debate as I saw errors in both arguments. However, I think that Pro's arguments hold and were not defeated by Con. Even if we consider Con slightly modifying the omnipotence definition we are faced with the same paradoxes, yet if we maintain the original definition then these paradoxes become even larger. As such I am awarding Pro argument points. Now to the bad point, as Con pointed out Pro did take some arguments out of context and as such I am awarding Con conduct point. As while multiple things Pro wrote could be deduced from Cons arguments. The fact is that Con did not say these things mans we should not deduce as in philosophy we can always deduce something else counter to the logical deductions.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD.... https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I2hGS66U37YdMpLoAzf2vcytjLN_vwygf84CQeXp648/edit?usp=sharing TL;DR version is in the comments
Vote Placed by Tyler5362 2 years ago
Tyler5362
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro is who I agreed with before the debate and ended up agreeing with after. Pro had a respectful argument with Con in my eyes. Grammar & Spelling were great on both sides but Pro made better use of her words. Convincing arguments will have to go with Pro as Pro used basic logic to support them and it was mere common sense. I won't award sources to con as Con used wikipedia. HUGE red flag when coming to sources. My Vote goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by Empiren 2 years ago
Empiren
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Reasons for voting decision: Reasons are in the comments, but the TL:DR is: Con made too many assumptions without properly explaining the logic or factual basis of said assumptions*(which are also false). Conduct was for the false cry against pro for using the Strawman fallacy and asking for the audience to ignore statements because of that. That and the statement "just not cool pro" on top of that was a definite -1 for me.
Vote Placed by WilliamsP 2 years ago
WilliamsP
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was good on both sides. Spelling and grammar was great. Pro made the more convincing arguments because Con failed to provide evidence that a creator god is realistic and logical. He could not make the necessary link between this god and Intelligent Design. Pro effectively argued against this link between the two. Reliable sources are tied because both used plenty. Con used more, but Pro had enough. - If this RFD is in any way flawed, please notify me. I will make the necessary additions or modifcations. I have limited time, so my RFD may not be the best.