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Arguments from change for God's existence. Part 1

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,069 times Debate No: 117667
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (65)
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I am going to go on a marathon debate presenting and defending Dr. Peter Kreeft twenty arguments for God's existence. This debate will be devoted to the first two otherwise known as the argument from change and the argument from Efficient Causality.

#1: The Argument from Change

The material world we know is a world of change. This young woman came to be 5'2", But she was not always that height. The great oak tree before us grew from the tiniest acorn. Now when something comes to be in a certain state, Such as mature size, That state cannot bring itself into being. For until it comes to be, It does not exist, And if it does not yet exist, It cannot cause anything. As for the thing that changes, Although it can be what it will become, It is not yet what it will become. It actually exists right now in this state (an acorn); it will actually exist in that state (large oak tree). But it is not actually in that state now. It only has the potentiality for that state. Now a question: To explain the change, Can we consider the changing thing alone, Or must other things also be involved? Obviously, Other things must be involved. Nothing can give itself what it does not have, And the changing thing cannot have now, Already, What it will come to have then. The result of change cannot actually exist before the change. The changing thing begins with only the potential to change, But it needs to be acted on by other things outside if that potential is to be made actual. Otherwise, It cannot change. Nothing changes itself. Apparently, Self-moving things, Like animal bodies, Are moved by desire or will"something other than mere molecules. And when the animal or human dies, The molecules remain, But the body no longer moves because the desire or will is no longer present to move it. Now a further question: Are the other things outside the changing thing also changing? Are its movers also moving? If so, All of them stand in need right now of being acted on by other things, Or else they cannot change. No matter how many things there are in the series, Each one needs something outside itself to actualize its potentiality for change. The universe is the sum total of all these moving things, However many there are. The whole universe is in the process of change. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. Therefore, There is some force outside (in addition to) the universe, Some real being transcendent to the universe. This is one of the things meant by "God. " Briefly, If there is nothing outside the material universe, Then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe. But the universe is the sum total of all matter, Space and time. These three things depend on each other. Therefore this being outside the universe is outside matter, Space and time. It is not a changing thing; it is the unchanging Source of change.

#2: The Argument from Efficient Causality

We notice that some things cause other things to be (to begin to be, To continue to be, Or both). For example, A man playing the piano is causing the music that we hear. If he stops, So does the music. Now ask yourself: Are all things caused to exist by other things right now? Suppose they are. That is, Suppose there is no Uncaused Being, No God. Then nothing could exist right now. For remember, On the no-God hypothesis, All things need a present cause outside of themselves in order to exist. So right now, All things, Including all those things which are causing things to be, Need a cause. They can give being only so long as they are given being. Everything that exists, Therefore, On this hypothesis, Stands in need of being caused to exist. But caused by what? Beyond everything that is, There can only be nothing. But that is absurd: all of reality dependent"but dependent on nothing! The hypothesis that all being is caused, That there is no Uncaused Being, Is absurd. So there must be something uncaused, Something on which all things that need an efficient cause of being are dependent. Existence is like a gift given from cause to effect. If there is no one who has the gift, The gift cannot be passed down the chain of receivers, However long or short the chain may be. If everyone has to borrow a certain book, But no one actually has it, Then no one will ever get it. If there is no God who has existence by his own eternal nature, Then the gift of existence cannot be passed down the chain of creatures and we can never get it. But we do get it; we exist. Therefore there must exist a God: an Uncaused Being who does not have to receive existence like us"and like every other link in the chain of receivers. Question 1: Why do we need an uncaused cause? Why could there not simply be an endless series of things mutually keeping each other in being? Reply: This is an attractive hypothesis. Think of a single drunk. He could probably not stand up alone. But a group of drunks, All of them mutually supporting each other, Might stand. They might even make their way along the street. But notice: Given so many drunks, And given the steady ground beneath them, We can understand how their stumblings might cancel each other out, And how the group of them could remain (relatively) upright. We could not understand their remaining upright if the ground did not support them"if, For example, They were all suspended several feet above it. And of course, If there were no actual drunks, There would be nothing to understand. This brings us to our argument. Things have got to exist in order to be mutually dependent; they cannot depend upon each other for their entire being, For then they would have to be, Simultaneously, Cause and effect of each other. A causes B, B causes C, And C causes A. That is absurd. The argument is trying to show why a world of caused causes can be given"or can be there"at all. And it simply points out: If this thing can exist only because something else is giving it existence, Then there must exist something whose being is not a gift. Otherwise, Everything would need at the same time to be given being, But nothing (in addition to "everything") could exist to give it. And that means nothing would actually be. Question 2: Why not have an endless series of caused causes stretching back into the past? Then everything would be made actual and would actually be"even though their causes might no longer exist. Reply: First, If the Kalam argument (argument 6) is right, There could not exist an endless series of causes stretching back into the past. But suppose that such a series could exist. The argument is not concerned about the past and would work whether the past is finite or infinite. It is concerned with what exists right now. Even as you read this, You are dependent on other things; you could not, Right now, Exist without them. Suppose there are seven such things. If these seven things did not exist, Neither would you. Now suppose that all seven of them depend for their existence right now on still other things. Without these, The seven you now depend on would not exist"and neither would you. Imagine that the entire universe consists of you and the seven sustaining you. If there is nothing besides that universe of changing, Dependent things, Then the universe"and you as part of it"could not be. For everything that is would right now need to be given being but there would be nothing capable of giving it. And yet you are and it is. So there must, In that case, Exist something besides the universe of dependent things"something not dependent as they are. And if it must exist in that case, It must exist in this one. In our world there are surely more than seven things that need, Right now, To be given being. But that need is not diminished by there being more than seven. As we imagine more and more of them"even an infinite number, If that were possible"we are simply expanding the set of beings that stand in need. And this need"for being, For existence"cannot be met from within the imagined set. But obviously, It has been met, Since contingent beings exist. Therefore there is a source of being on which our material universe right now depends.

These are two wonderful arguments for God and I await my opponent's objections to them. Blessings.


Man created Gods.
Gods did not create Man.
It's pretty obvious if you care to think about it logically.

Matter exists and we do not know why. Gods are but one theory.

Pro uses a lot of words to say very little. Basically what they are saying is events cannot occur by themselves, They require an external influence such as a god to facilitate the event. But surely god's must also be subject to the same principle.
As ever in theoretical creationism the buck never quite stops or starts at the beginning, We are always left dangling on an extravagant, Magical assumption.
Nonetheless, What Pro refers to as change is not actually change, But alteration. Altered states of matter, Caused by processes of growth and development and eventual decay.

The Argument from Efficient Causality:
Basically, Once again Pro is using a lot of words to reiterate the same argument as before. That is, Events cannot happen unless a God makes them happen.
A valid theory maybe, But a theory that always fails to start at the beginning. Gods start at one and the beginning is at zero,
therefore to prove the existence of gods, It must first be explained what occurred between zero and one.

This is a very simple argument which Pro will no doubt overburden with far to many unnecessary words and repetition.
To really and seriously move forward with this type of argument. Pro must first explain how a god can magically exist without causality.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate. To be honest I was actually going to debate the Case for the Soul but instead, I choose the twenty arguments for the existence of God. God created man and man made "Gods" to try and represent their creator.

If I am correct you are asking me how do we know there is an uncaused mover who we call God? I will keep it short. The evidence suggests that space-time and matter began in an explosion called the Big Bang and the Laws of thermodynamics shows us that the Universe is running out of reusable energy this implies a being outside of space-time caused the universe and this being is God.


Theory is as theory does. That is to say theory, Is suggestive and not proof of anything.
Theories that are based on assumption only and are accepted on faith only, Without any real evidence are basically fantasy.
Nonetheless a rational thinker also has to admit, That scepticism is also not proof of anything and will therefore never dismiss the God theory out of hand.
Though the audacity of the implication proposed in round 2, From a sceptics point of view is simply a huge leap of faith too far and cannot be regarded as credible theory and has to be regarded as an incredible assumption.

The reality of space and time as far as I the sceptic am concerned is still very much up for discussion, But that is another debate. But based upon Pro's presentation of the big bang and space-time and universal implications I think it fair to ask some very simple and obvious questions.

In the timeless, Space-less, Matter-less pre big bang state.

Where would a god have existed?

What would a god be composed of?

And of course, There still remains the unanswerable question.

How was something created out of nothing?

And this final question applies just as much to a god as it does to the matter of the universe.
Debate Round No. 2


Your first two paragraphs to me with all due courtesy were simply ramblings. I will answer your questions

1st: God as most Christians including myself believe is omniscient so he would exist everywhere and anywhere.

2nd: The God presented in the cosmological and similar first cause arguments argue for a being who is not made of the matter that our universe is made up of and thus is not bent to the will of the Laws of Physics and Chemistry.

3rd: The many cosmological arguments and First cause arguments argue for a being who is necessity meaning that such being did not need to be created. The Scientific evidence we have on the Universe shows that the Universe is Contingent and not Necessary and thus could not be eternal or cause itself.


As I suggested at the beginning of round 2.
Huge leaps of faith, Totally lacking in logic and without evidence. Are complete fantasy or incredible assumptions.

Which is exactly what you proposed in your response to my questions.

Based on this level of criteria, Anyone and everyone can quite legitimately, Make up their own god. So from now onwards I am going to worship Bob. A bloke that is everywhere but does not actually exist.

Dead easy, And you have absolutely no way of refuting the notion that is Bob. Because you do not consider logic or evidence to be necessary.

So now there are at least two omniscient gods out there somewhere, Let's hope they get along with each other.

Oh! And I think I will write a book and call it the Bobble. Which of course, Will be undeniable and irrefutable proof of Bob.

This may seem a very childish and stupid argument. But it is actually no different in any way to your explanation and your proof of your god.
Debate Round No. 3



First I do present "proof" what I am trying to do is to present arguments that make it more probable than improbable that Theism is truer than Atheism. Second, You need to refute my arguments and you haven't so done so or end this "debate".


1) I just don't see any other arguments that need refuting.
You basically suggest that because things happen, It must be your god making these things happen, Or it is probably your god that is making these things happen. I say no! It is more likely that it is Bob making these things happen. The fact that neither of us can disprove the existence of each others god, Doesn't automatically infer that there is a high probability that one or other or both of our gods have to be real. Such a notion is totally illogical and non-sensical.

2) Something is either true or not true. Theism and Atheism are merely opposite approaches to a theoretical concept.
I am neither Atheist or Theist in my views, I am a sceptic who is not prepared to accept out of hand a fantastic, Incredible, Illogical, Magical assumption.

3) I sense frustration in your final comment. I would suggest that this not frustration caused by my logical argument, But frustration caused by the impotence of your own illogical argument.

Ontological arguments or Cosmological arguments or Teleological arguments or whatever you wish to call them, Are no more than word based methods of confusing and duping gullible people into accepting and believing magical nonsense based notions without question.

As I previously stated. All creation theories are subject to and fail at point zero. The point at which something must seemingly, Magically appear out of nothing.
The something from nothing principle.
If you can explain this principle to me, Then I will start to take your theist point of view more seriously.

And it's absolutely no good whatsoever to try and say that a god must exist because some clever wordy people said that god has to exist and therefore it does not need to be proven that a god exists.

Because that is simply bunkum.
Debate Round No. 4


Hi. Like I said I am not presenting proof for my God. I am instead presenting arguments that make it more probable than improbable that a being exists and we would call that being God. If you want to get to the Christian God than one must debate the Case for Christ.

I accept your skepticism but it would be nice if you defended it.

My "frustration" is caused by a lack of debunking of my arguments and more simple babblings of man. One day I intend to debate the Ontological, Cosmological and Teleological arguments and if I do then please join me in that debate.

The Cosmological and Teleological arguments are simple. At one point there was nothing of the contingent universe and then there was because the contingent universe can't create itself and is not eternal its origin lay beyond its borders. Because there is no such thing as a necessary substance a being must have created the universe. That being is called God.


And what created God?

For if a god can exist without creation.

Then anything can exist without creation.

And I babble in Pro's ears and Pro babbles in mine.

And people have always babbled and people will continue to babble until such times as they can babble no more.

And Pro's will probably never prove the existence of a God.

And Con's will probably never prove that a God does not exist.

And I wish Pro all the best for the future.
Debate Round No. 5
65 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 51 through 60 records.
Posted by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
also josh, You dont seems to understand what the big bang means. The big bang doesn't say that the universe was created from nothing. It is a prediction that since everything in the universe is accelerating away from each other, Its reasonable to assume that they started to expand at one point in the past and the point from which they started expanding is the big bang.
Posted by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
there are a tons of religious text that predicts the end of the world. I think Vanga predicted the end of the world too. Perhaps we should turn to her as god.
Posted by primeministerJoshua812 3 years ago
Just occurred to me that most cosmologists would dismiss Oscillating models for the universe. The Big Bounce which is what we are talking about here does not get rid of God or the cosmological arguments. If the Big Bounce theory is correct it also seems to confirm what will happen in the end times as described in the book of revelation where this world will be destroyed and a new one created. The laws of Thermodynamics and the Big Bounce still give us a contingent universe which goes into a big crunch only to come back in a big bounce.

Since you might be tried by Philosophers and their cosmological argument. I have included a video made by Dr. Hugh Ross an Astrophysicist on whether there is evidence of the Big Bang: http://reasons. Org/explore/publications/rtb-101/read/rtb-101/2012/01/13/is-there-evidence-for-the-big-bang

I've also included a short article on the subject. Https://www. Big-bang-theory. Com/
Posted by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
1. "Most of the evidence does lead to a beginning of the universe"=== most? Youre not a cosmologist. What do you mean by most? Plus what evidence? You provided one theory. Thats not "most"?

2. Yea, In the paragraph, He did say that one of the implication being the contraction phase of the universe. So space-time contracts and thus the universe as we know it today did not exist eternally but there was a phase where it contracted. So the universe can just be the uncaused being, Oscillating between contraction and expansion.
Posted by primeministerJoshua812 3 years ago
Most of the evidence does lead to a beginning of the universe and in turn points to the end of the universe.
Posted by primeministerJoshua812 3 years ago
I will concede that because in Science nothing is 100% true there could be some possibility that the Big Bang was not the beginning of the Universe. Also, Stephen Hawking did not come up with the Big Bang that was Georges Henri Joseph "douard Lema"tre. However, I think you quoted the last guy. Stephen Hawking's last paragraph actually said this.

"The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, The universe, And time itself, Had a beginning in the Big Bang, About 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, Would have been a singularity, At which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, The way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, If the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, Space-time is finite in extent, But doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, The contracting phase, Will not have the opposite arrow of time, To the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, And we won't return to our youth. Because time is not going to go backwards, I think I better stop now. "
Posted by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
http://www. Hawking. Org. Uk/the-origin-of-the-universe. Html

read the last paragraph. Stephen hawking (who came up with big bang) himself admitted that we DONT know whether the universe had a beginning or not. He's open to the possibility that the universe oscillates between expanding and collapsing. The big bang could have been the result after the universe expanded to its maximum capacity and then starts to collapse. I dont claim this is the right answer. We dont know the right answer yet. Generations of cosmologists who devoted their entire life into studying these questions cannot yet come up with a definitive answer and you, Alone, Using old-fashioned aristotelian physics analysis claim to have THE answer. Dont you think thats abit arrogant?
Posted by primeministerJoshua812 3 years ago
Modern Big Bang Cosmology.
Posted by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
what evidence?
Posted by primeministerJoshua812 3 years ago

Hello, My troll. How about you actually refute my arguments. Oh, Wait you can't!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Vote Placed by felixmendelssohn 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is what i mean by theism do not make prediction, and when they do, the predictions are unverifiable. I think religion serves its purpose as a source of comfortness for people. i dont like it when religion goes out of its way and start to make "scientific" claims. I can claim that there's an undetectable ghost that's causing you headache rn and people would think im bs-ing. you see, you claim god is undetectable, by the definition, there's no way to substantiate these claims already. also , WHY IS THERE GOD RATHER THAN NOTHING?

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