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The Alliance of Abraham (Theists Only)

Talib.ul-Ilm
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5/28/2013 10:04:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've created this thread for the specific purpose of helping to educate Jews, Christians and Muslims about the arguments for the existence of God, and provide rebuttals to rebuttals by Atheists or anyone else who disbelieves in the God of Abraham.

This thread is for Theists of Debate.org only, and Atheists are not invited to partake in the thread.

Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the same God of Abraham, however they differ on the nature of God, this thread is not about the nature of God.

The three most powerful arguments for the existence of God is the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument and the Moral Argument.

I thought it would be nice to begin with Cosmological Argument, and list the rebuttals that are commonly brought against it, and then give rebuttals to those rebuttals. So refine and tune-up the arguments as you see fit, until the best is presented, and give rebuttals, and the rebuttals to those rebuttals.

The Cosmological Argument

Whatever began to exist has a cause.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

An infinite regression of causes is impossible.

Therefore there must be an uncaused cause.

That uncaused cause is God.

Where can the argument be refined? I know William Lane Craig has a good Cosmological Argument.

Why must it be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? Why must it be sentient, self-aware?

Why can't it be a natural mechanism?

There are many questions that need to be answered, so that the Cosmological Argument can be refined and tuned-up, so that Theists have a perfect presentation when debating.
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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5/28/2013 10:20:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I thought it would be nice to begin with Cosmological Argument, and list the rebuttals that are commonly brought against it, and then give rebuttals to those rebuttals. So refine and tune-up the arguments as you see fit, until the best is presented, and give rebuttals, and the rebuttals to those rebuttals.




The Cosmological Argument

Whatever began to exist has a cause.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

An infinite regression of causes is impossible.

Therefore there must be an uncaused cause.

That uncaused cause is God.




Where can the argument be refined? I know William Lane Craig has a good Cosmological Argument.

Why must it be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? Why must it be sentient, self-aware?

Why can't it be a natural mechanism?

There are many questions that need to be answered, so that the Cosmological Argument can be refined and tuned-up, so that Theists have a perfect presentation when debating.

The most common rebuttal I hear is that the universe can create itself from nothing. That is a pretty clear logical impossibility, but nobody ever attacks it.

A good counter-argument to that would be that would be to note that, strictly speaking, 'nothing' is not anything at all. It is simply the lack of 'something', and its properties are entirely defined by not being 'something'. To put it another way:

*All that is is 'something', and all that isn't is 'nothing'
*'Something' is defined by the presence of something, while 'nothing' is defined by a lack of 'something'
*Only 'something' can cause any action, while 'nothing' will by nature result in inaction
*The creation of the universe, by any means, is an action

To sum up: Because only 'something' can cause action, something must have caused the first action. That should be an adequate, albeit rather esoteric, explanation of why the universe requires a cause. Once that is proven that 'something' caused the universe to exist, it is easier to get to why God would be that 'something'.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god). Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."
Talib.ul-Ilm
Posts: 203
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5/28/2013 10:31:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:20:10 PM, TN05 wrote:
I thought it would be nice to begin with Cosmological Argument, and list the rebuttals that are commonly brought against it, and then give rebuttals to those rebuttals. So refine and tune-up the arguments as you see fit, until the best is presented, and give rebuttals, and the rebuttals to those rebuttals.




The Cosmological Argument

Whatever began to exist has a cause.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

An infinite regression of causes is impossible.

Therefore there must be an uncaused cause.

That uncaused cause is God.




Where can the argument be refined? I know William Lane Craig has a good Cosmological Argument.

Why must it be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? Why must it be sentient, self-aware?

Why can't it be a natural mechanism?

There are many questions that need to be answered, so that the Cosmological Argument can be refined and tuned-up, so that Theists have a perfect presentation when debating.

The most common rebuttal I hear is that the universe can create itself from nothing. That is a pretty clear logical impossibility, but nobody ever attacks it.

A good counter-argument to that would be that would be to note that, strictly speaking, 'nothing' is not anything at all. It is simply the lack of 'something', and its properties are entirely defined by not being 'something'. To put it another way:

*All that is is 'something', and all that isn't is 'nothing'
*'Something' is defined by the presence of something, while 'nothing' is defined by a lack of 'something'
*Only 'something' can cause any action, while 'nothing' will by nature result in inaction
*The creation of the universe, by any means, is an action

To sum up: Because only 'something' can cause action, something must have caused the first action. That should be an adequate, albeit rather esoteric, explanation of why the universe requires a cause. Once that is proven that 'something' caused the universe to exist, it is easier to get to why God would be that 'something'.

I've never actually heard that argument yet. It's pretty sad that it's used. Good response.
Talib.ul-Ilm
Posts: 203
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5/28/2013 10:33:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god). Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

Yep, there can't be an infinite regress. And I would say that the uncaused cause to cause it all would have to be sentient, personal, in order for it to have caused anything at all from the very beginning.

What would be a rebuttal to a natural mechanism that would cause this instead of God?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/28/2013 11:28:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:33:29 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god). Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

Yep, there can't be an infinite regress. And I would say that the uncaused cause to cause it all would have to be sentient, personal, in order for it to have caused anything at all from the very beginning.

What would be a rebuttal to a natural mechanism that would cause this instead of God?

It all depends on your initial assumption.

If you start off assuming a God who then creates something separate from him ex nihilo, God causes the existence of the universe.

However, if you start by assuming the visible universe is simply an extension of God, it can only have a "first cause" if God has a first cause. Since God does not, the universe does not.

The whole eastern though is fascinating, it has a way of overturning both atheistic and theistic arguments.

For instance, the non-cognitivist argument fails completely because they're essentially outline Hindu belief: God cannot be described accurately using words.

An empiricist might ask for direct evidence of God, but when you get to Hindu (namely: Vedanta) core beliefs, this question is as ridiculous as asking to see the apparatus by which "you" gain sight (whatever in our "soul" that takes light from the eyes and makes "you" experience it).

An theist might claim that if God exists with attributes x, y, and z, and it is different from other Gods. However, in Vedanta, God manifests himself differently to different people. Personal gods can be anything from a local forest god to Christ. The first missionaries though they had converted Vedentans because Vedantans accepted Christianity wholeheartedly, but they later realized they considered Christianity as simply another manifestation of words attempting to describe ineffable phenomenon.

An atheist might claim that scriptures' creation stories do not much each other or the Bang Bang. The Vedantan would claim that is necessarily true, since an "objectively accurate" description of reality can't be done using words since God IS that reality.

Confusing as heck, but once you get it sorted out, it's quite brilliant.
1Devilsadvocate
Posts: 1,518
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5/30/2013 3:47:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 11:28:43 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:33:29 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god). Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

Yep, there can't be an infinite regress. And I would say that the uncaused cause to cause it all would have to be sentient, personal, in order for it to have caused anything at all from the very beginning.

What would be a rebuttal to a natural mechanism that would cause this instead of God?

It all depends on your initial assumption.

If you start off assuming a God who then creates something separate from him ex nihilo, God causes the existence of the universe.

However, if you start by assuming the visible universe is simply an extension of God, it can only have a "first cause" if God has a first cause. Since God does not, the universe does not.

The whole eastern though is fascinating, it has a way of overturning both atheistic and theistic arguments.

For instance, the non-cognitivist argument fails completely because they're essentially outline Hindu belief: God cannot be described accurately using words.

An empiricist might ask for direct evidence of God, but when you get to Hindu (namely: Vedanta) core beliefs, this question is as ridiculous as asking to see the apparatus by which "you" gain sight (whatever in our "soul" that takes light from the eyes and makes "you" experience it).

An theist might claim that if God exists with attributes x, y, and z, and it is different from other Gods. However, in Vedanta, God manifests himself differently to different people. Personal gods can be anything from a local forest god to Christ. The first missionaries though they had converted Vedentans because Vedantans accepted Christianity wholeheartedly, but they later realized they considered Christianity as simply another manifestation of words attempting to describe ineffable phenomenon.

An atheist might claim that scriptures' creation stories do not much each other or the Bang Bang. The Vedantan would claim that is necessarily true, since an "objectively accurate" description of reality can't be done using words since God IS that reality.

Confusing as heck, but once you get it sorted out, it's quite brilliant.

I think many, if not most theologians would agree that God cannot be fully described accurately using mere words.
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
"Albert Einstein

http://www.twainquotes.com... , http://thewritecorner.wordpress.com... , http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com...
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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6/1/2013 2:44:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:04:17 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:

The Cosmological Argument

Whatever began to exist has a cause.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

An infinite regression of causes is impossible.

Therefore there must be an uncaused cause.

That uncaused cause is God.




Where can the argument be refined? I know William Lane Craig has a good Cosmological Argument.

Why must it be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? Why must it be sentient, self-aware?

Why can't it be a natural mechanism?

There are many questions that need to be answered, so that the Cosmological Argument can be refined and tuned-up, so that Theists have a perfect presentation when debating.

WLC uses the Teleological argument to support the Cosmological argument.
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SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.


Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god).

Except neither of these things you mention are infinite regresses.

Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."
AlbinoBunny
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6/1/2013 4:49:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 4:43:23 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
Allah is not YHWH.

Supposedly they're all the same deity.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

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AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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6/1/2013 4:50:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.

But what about reality?
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
Sower4GS
Posts: 1,718
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6/1/2013 6:52:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 4:50:25 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.

But what about reality?

You can understand that your whiteship? I need more education :/
Sower4GS
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6/1/2013 6:54:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 6:52:32 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:50:25 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.

But what about reality?

You can understand that your whiteship? I need more education :/
Maybe if I stopped studying Scripture 10 hours a day and got on google more.....no, I need to stay worldly stupid,,uh huh...
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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6/1/2013 6:55:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 6:52:32 PM, Sower4GS wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:50:25 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.

But what about reality?

You can understand that your whiteship? I need more education :/

I can't says whether or not his logic is valid. I was just questioning that when he said the universe began to exist, if he believes reality did, as well.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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6/1/2013 8:58:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.


Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god).

Except neither of these things you mention are infinite regresses.

Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

What evidence is there that the universe was created independent of some other entity? You can't speak of a "first cause" for the universe if the universe is god.

Simply pointing to an event like the "big bang" does nothing other than indicate that previous to a lot of stuff in space, there used to not be a lot of stuff in space. You've said nothing about whether this is the "creation" of the universe or the primary "cause" of the universe.
SovereignDream
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6/3/2013 3:09:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/1/2013 8:58:39 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/1/2013 4:01:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Or rather, this is a good reason to believe that pantheism is false or at least inchoate, as we have an overwhelming of both empirical and non-empirical evidence to the conclusion that the universe began to exist.


Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god).

Except neither of these things you mention are infinite regresses.

Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

What evidence is there that the universe was created independent of some other entity?

What do you mean, exactly?

You can't speak of a "first cause" for the universe if the universe is god.

God, at least as understood coherently by the classical theism tradition, could not, even in principle, have begun to exist. So if we have good empirical and non-empirical evidence that the universe began to exist, then that must means the rejection of all pantheistic claims.

Simply pointing to an event like the "big bang" does nothing other than indicate that previous to a lot of stuff in space, there used to not be a lot of stuff in space.

Or that there wasn't any space.

You've said nothing about whether this is the "creation" of the universe or the primary "cause" of the universe.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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6/3/2013 3:39:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 11:28:43 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:33:29 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:
At 5/28/2013 10:26:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Question: Who says the universe necessarily has a "beginning?" If, for instance, the creator is identified with creation (as is the case in hindu religions), it makes no sense to say there is a first cause of creation for the same reason god is not considered to be "caused."

Infinite regress is the only logical answer (God existed forever/nothing caused god). Westerners simply have a distaste for it and thus dismiss it casually as a "conclusion you don't want to reach."

Yep, there can't be an infinite regress. And I would say that the uncaused cause to cause it all would have to be sentient, personal, in order for it to have caused anything at all from the very beginning.

What would be a rebuttal to a natural mechanism that would cause this instead of God?

It all depends on your initial assumption.

If you start off assuming a God who then creates something separate from him ex nihilo, God causes the existence of the universe.

However, if you start by assuming the visible universe is simply an extension of God, it can only have a "first cause" if God has a first cause. Since God does not, the universe does not.

The whole eastern though is fascinating, it has a way of overturning both atheistic and theistic arguments.

For instance, the non-cognitivist argument fails completely because they're essentially outline Hindu belief: God cannot be described accurately using words.

An empiricist might ask for direct evidence of God, but when you get to Hindu (namely: Vedanta) core beliefs, this question is as ridiculous as asking to see the apparatus by which "you" gain sight (whatever in our "soul" that takes light from the eyes and makes "you" experience it).

An theist might claim that if God exists with attributes x, y, and z, and it is different from other Gods. However, in Vedanta, God manifests himself differently to different people. Personal gods can be anything from a local forest god to Christ. The first missionaries though they had converted Vedentans because Vedantans accepted Christianity wholeheartedly, but they later realized they considered Christianity as simply another manifestation of words attempting to describe ineffable phenomenon.

An atheist might claim that scriptures' creation stories do not much each other or the Bang Bang. The Vedantan would claim that is necessarily true, since an "objectively accurate" description of reality can't be done using words since God IS that reality.

Confusing as heck, but once you get it sorted out, it's quite brilliant.

I'm not sure if this is confined to eastern religions. God is known as "I AM" in much of the old Testament. Admittedly the Bible doesn't get into the metaphysical implications of this much compared to eastern religions.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
drafterman
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6/3/2013 3:56:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:04:17 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:
I've created this thread for the specific purpose of helping to educate Jews, Christians and Muslims about the arguments for the existence of God, and provide rebuttals to rebuttals by Atheists or anyone else who disbelieves in the God of Abraham.

Then why aren't we allowed in the thread? Or is this like you being God-like: having proof but trying to hide it?
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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9/2/2013 3:53:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 10:04:17 PM, Talib.ul-Ilm wrote:
I've created this thread for the specific purpose of helping to educate Jews, Christians and Muslims about the arguments for the existence of God, and provide rebuttals to rebuttals by Atheists or anyone else who disbelieves in the God of Abraham.

This thread is for Theists of Debate.org only, and Atheists are not invited to partake in the thread.

Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the same God of Abraham, however they differ on the nature of God, this thread is not about the nature of God.

The three most powerful arguments for the existence of God is the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument and the Moral Argument.

I thought it would be nice to begin with Cosmological Argument, and list the rebuttals that are commonly brought against it, and then give rebuttals to those rebuttals. So refine and tune-up the arguments as you see fit, until the best is presented, and give rebuttals, and the rebuttals to those rebuttals.




The Cosmological Argument

Whatever began to exist has a cause.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

An infinite regression of causes is impossible.

Therefore there must be an uncaused cause.

That uncaused cause is God.




Where can the argument be refined? I know William Lane Craig has a good Cosmological Argument.

Why must it be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? Why must it be sentient, self-aware?

Why can't it be a natural mechanism?

There are many questions that need to be answered, so that the Cosmological Argument can be refined and tuned-up, so that Theists have a perfect presentation when debating.

When you ask our Creator the right questions, then I'll answer them for you. But until then, good luck with asking the wrong questions.