The Instigator
tfroitz1
Con (against)
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The Contender
chompybeat
Pro (for)
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Existence of god

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 631 times Debate No: 106078
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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tfroitz1

Con

The question at hand is whether god exists. I mean with god the common definition as a omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient being. I am not here to discuss a wave of bible quotations as though they were fact (sadly that happens rather often), but rather to debate on the basis of actual argument.
As in this case the burden of proof lies on the opposite site (you can't proof a negative), I would first be mainly interested to hear the arguments of my contender.

But I won"t just say that absence of evidence is evidence of absence (even though it is). I also want to point to the obvious empirical evidence, which we see in our universe and which doesn't align with the proposition of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient god, which cares about the human race in particular. I obviously know that in theism you can explain all of it away, by proposing why god would make it in this particular away, but so can everyone with every badly defined hypothesis, which theism is. It isn't hard to just say god is "mysterious" and then dismiss the data. This isn't a positive feature of theism, as it makes it unfalsifiable and therefore from the beginning a particularly bad hypothesis.

First the problem of evil. Now I already expect the answer of "free will", which our loving god wanted to provide us with, so that we find him by ourselves (on basis of the worst possible evidence). But this argument doesn't work well with several of gods properties ascribed to him by theist. While omnipotence is in itself logically invalid (can he create a stone so heavy that he can't lift it), especially his omnibenevolence doesn't really show in our observable universe. The problem with the claim, that it is all for "free will" though, contradicts his omniscience, because, while in naturalism a free will most likely isn't possible (and it isn't observed in the brain either), it is absolutely certainly not possible with an omniscient god. To go even further, gods omniscience doesn't even work with his own free will.
Let me explain. If god knows that he or anyone else is going to do something before they actually do it, they can't decide against doing it, because else he wouldn't have been omniscient in the first place. This especially applies to himself, for exactly the same reason. Therefore we can conclude that he either hasn't given us free will, which would raise the question of evil again (concluding he can't be omnibenevolent or omnipotent), or he can't be omniscient. As we conclude we can see, that he can't have any of his full powers, and would therefore raise the question, why we should call such a being god.

Now let"s go to some clear observation of our universe and compare them to the prediction of theism, that god has built the universe for our live. Again you can argue away all of those point by gods mystery, but that isn't an explanation at all.

What would be expect to observe for a universe according to the theistic hypothesis:

God should be obvious or at least give some evidence for his existence which is compelling. This would align with the thought that he wants us to find him free (a freedom which isn't observed) and with his love for us, because he wouldn't want us to go to hell for the unnecessary crime of not believing in him.
I think it is rather obvious, as this debate shows, that this isn't the case.

Humans should be a rather important part of the cosmos and the cosmos should be mostly habitable. This again aligns perfectly with his love for us and also with his wish to bring about exactly us, as claimed by the theist and again it doesn't fit the data at all (we are very insignificant).

Humans and organisms should be designed or at least be build by an absolutely fail proof mechanism, so that humans actually would be certain to arise. This again doesn't fit our observation of the twisted way humans evolved by the process of random mutation and natural selection, which isn't fail proof in any stretch of the imagination.

Live should essentially be just, without random suffering, which would show gods benevolence, but as explained above, is again not observed.

Under theism there should be one religion, which is given to everyone (there is no reason for god to choose one specific peasant tribe), and which has progressive sacred texts with actual information. Again I think it is rather obvious, that our sacred texts are all but progressive and rather mirror the tribal rules from 2000 years ago.

To conclude we would expect under theism that there would be a perfect universe fitted for us, while under naturalism we would expect some kind of a mess.

All together it is strong empirical evidence, which leads to the conclusion, that there is no god.

I am looking forward to the arguments of pro.
chompybeat

Pro

Hello, friend.
1. Omnipotence:
When describing the divine attribute of omnipotence, Christians have generally never meant God can do that which is logically absurd. No, God cannot create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift up as He lacks no power - contradictions are non-existent, as they are literally a self-contradictory combination of words; contradictions are not things, they are mixing words together that would violate the laws of logic (e.g. the law of non-contradiction). I believe it is John Lennox who says, 'Nonsense is nonsense, even to God'. Contradictions (e.g. a squared-circle, married bachelor, or an omnipotent being unable to lift something) are not possible in any worlds under any circumstances. They are what we could categorize as 'illogically impossible'. But of course, there is the other hand: we could state God can create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift, and lift it at the same time because he is God; and if the atheist's response is 'He cannot because that is a contradiction', then no further words are necessary - it is obvious that contradictions are not possible, period, and so they are really us mixing up nonsense in our logically created minds (e.g. claiming there is a 'non-existent - existing' being). We could say some things are at least possible to exist even if they don't (e.g. a teapot orbiting the sun, or unicorns) - but contradictions do not even fall into this category.
2. Omniscience:
I do believe humans have 'free will' in that we can truly be held responsible and accountable for our actions justly by God. Yet, I do not believe humans have libertarian free will, in that I believe God not only knows the future (and since God is timeless and eternal, there is no before nor after for him anyways), but foreordains all that comes to pass. As John Calvin states, how God foreordains everything and how it is still our fault we sin is ultimately beyond the finite creation's comprehension. So on this, I have to answer that my human ignorance cannot understand everything about our infinite Creator; which I am glad I do not understand everything about God, because if we could put God in a box, so to speak, I believe that would be very concerning. If God is the Sovereign, the All-Knowing, and the Creator of the universe, he most definitely is the only being who has free will in the sense of ultimate determinism.
3. Omnibenevolence:
The logical problem of evil basically states:
1. God is all-powerful and all-loving.
2. Suffering and evil exists.
3. Therefore, this God does not exist.
But the atheist is assuming this:
'If God is all-loving and all-knowing, he will of course prefer to create a world without suffering'.
But this assumption is unprovable. If it is even *possible* that God created the world with suffering to bring about an infinitely good ends, as he is omniscient and knows 'the best of all universes' so to speak, then this entire argument cannot be proven. And I believe it is disproven when concerning the Christian God. For Scripture teaches God, being all-knowing, knew what universe would bring his people the most good and him the most glory, and how people could love him without being robots. In his perfect, omniscient, sovereign will, he foreordained the existence of sin, the undeserving grace and mercy He would offer through His Son, the Christ, by His death and resurrection (which we can have forgiveness of sins by putting our faith in Christ Jesus and his saving work [i.e. his death and resurrection to save us]), and that his Son would return to establish the eternal kingdom of God, restore creation, and eliminate evil and suffering. And so, the Author of history (his story) completes his 'book' with the greatest means and ends. Ultimately, your argument is very ironic, as if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist, as morality would be an opinion (i.e. subjectivism).
Also, it is very obvious from the Christian Scriptures that God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Provider of not just his children in Christ, but all humans, and all animals. Every day we live, every breath we breathe, every meal we eat literally comes from God - whether we recognize him as Giver or not. God 'creates' us every moment; that is, he keeps us in existence every millisecond.
Now, I will focus on evidence of God, that you asserted is completely missing. In this round, I will go over them broadly:
1. The immaterial laws of logic, mathematics, and nature are evidence for an immaterial Creator and logical Lawgiver. For the universe is bound to them at all places in all times. For example, contradictions are never possible. But why? The simple answer is they are illogical. But why must a universe that arose purely by natural processes obey these laws under all circumstances? These laws are immaterial, and cannot possibly arise in a naturalistic/materialistic worldview.
2. The fine-tuning of the universe is evidence for God. For generally all scientists would agree with this (e.g. Stephen Hawking: 'The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life'). Consider the law of gravity for example (which this immaterial law itself is unexplainable in a universe where everything is material in the first place): if the gravity constant varied by 1 in 10 to the 60th power (1 followed by 60 zeroes), stars, planets, and life would be impossible to exist. And this is just one example of fine-tuning.
3. Uniformity in nature is evidence for God. For the universe continues to exist in a logical, uniform, orderly, regular way. But why? Why must the universe act so logical and orderly at all times? If the universe arose by natural processes alone, what determined its design it this way?
4. The origin of the universe is evidence for God. Though the atheist typically admits he does not know, the most reasonable explanation, I believe, to have been the cause of the universe (which evidence shows the universe came into existence and therefore has a cause), has to be beyond the caused universe - time, space, and matter; this cause would be uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and unbelievably power - the Creator - God. For this universe's existence is contingent; God *is* existence.
5. The burden of proof lies on the one who believes in abiogenesis - for there is not a shred of evidence that life can come from non-life. Every time we scientifically observe life coming into existence, it came about by pre-existing life. And so, I do believe one who *is* life - i.e., 'necessary life' - created all 'contingent life'.
6. The complexity of life of life is mind-boggling. Even simple organisms - e.g., worms, lightning bugs, tadpoles - have layer upon layer of complexity. But even something as small as a cell is so intricately made and yet has so many functions that all have to work for it be useful; if one of its organelles were useless, the cell itself becomes useless.
7. DNA contains immaterial genetic information. This makes seals seals, and elephants elephants, and humans humans.1. The naturalist must explain how the immaterial can arise from the material. 2. I find something very odd going on here: if we observed Chinese writing - even one symbol - in the sand on the beach, we would automatically assume prior intelligence. But when the naturalist observes DNA, the language of life, which is infinitely more complex than any human-made language, the naturalist proclaims it is by chance and natural processes. We must follow the evidence; many naturalists do not do this, on the contrary, they proclaim everything *has* to have arisen naturally (and so, natural processes becomes their 'god of the gaps', so to speak), and remain faithful to their naturalistic philosophy.
8. If God does exist, absolute moral values exist. We know child rape and murder, torturing animals and humans for pleasure, and using someone else for your own good is wrong. But it is not wrong nor right if there is no transcendent Lawgiver, whom will deliver perfect and ultimate justice upon the human race - his image-bearers. If morality is subjective, the morals are up to the subject (i.e. the human) not the object, and so 'murder' would be one animal killing another (and ultimately a chemical reaction acting on another - both which will cease to exist soon remembering nothing).
9. The ontological argument states simply:
1. It is possible an infinitely great being exists.
2. It exists therefore in some possible world.
3. If it is infinitely great, it must necessarily exist in all possible worlds.
4. It therefore exists in the actual world.
5. This infinitely great being, whom we mere humans generally refer to as 'God', exists.

Now to go briefly over some of your futher arguments:
1. I have given evidence for God, his goodness, etc.so feel free to argue against my points for the existence of the Divine.
2. We would expect God to create an unimaginably large universe. God did not create the universe primarily for humans, rather, for him and his glory. Ultimately, this is a God-centered universe - not human. And all the galaxies show us a mere glimpse of the Majesty's glory.
3. If this God through special revelation, chose Israel to be his chosen people whom through the Messiah of the world would come about, I believe we have every reason to believe it. It is not silly if this being tells us why he chose to accomplish his will through certain means. This appears to be a mere assertion with no evidence.
4. A perfect universe? Now you are getting more into theological matters. Sin, human suffering and death, exists because of our rebellion against the eternal Creator. So what should we expect in the universe in Christianity? A universe which is worn down, suffering, and dying, which will be restored by God himself for all eternity.
I have just about ran out of characters.
I am most definitely excited for the discussion.

Brayden
Debate Round No. 1
tfroitz1

Con

Let"s start with a combination of your first argument and your comment concerning omnipotence. Let"s first look at how the "laws of logic" actually come to pass. Thinking organisms such as humans and especially humans, observe their surroundings. As the surroundings (our universe) seems to have a structure which is ordered, the human describes it through which the "laws of nature" are contrived. Throughout time, those have improved through the thinking process of many humans, resulting in modern science and especially in physics, describing the world as based on just four fundamental forces. This description fits well and the result is that laws of logic follow the physical laws in so far as that the physical laws decide what is possible and what isn"t and that the laws of logic give an easy connection between different, by the laws of physics, described things. If you would say that the laws of nature are dismissed at any point, the possibility of the laws of logic wouldn"t be there as well.
Now from here we have to ask ourselves, what the laws of nature actually are. They are information which is in everything we can observe. The information describes the properties of things which result in the interaction of such things according to their inherent informaiton. Now what your arguments boils down to is the question whether information can be created by a naturalistic process. As I will show later as we come to the DNA, it is very much possible to get to information within the universe and therefore as long as we have the information embedded in thing by laws of nature. Whether it is possible to create information prior to our observable universe is pure speculation. If one for example looks at the different models of the multiverse, where we are just a pocket of a for example infinite universe the information that is necessary for our universe to exist, can be derived from the prior one.
It still leaves the question open why there is something (in this case information of an infinite multiverse) rather than nothing. Again we have no possible way of observing nothing and therefore have to be again open for speculation. If there is nothing as well as the something we call universe we first have to look at our universe to see which property inherently changes from being nothing to being something. Our universe as far as we can evaluate it actually is a configuration of nothing. If you consider all mass which is through Einstein"s equation also energy and add it up, also taking dark matter and dark energy into account, the sum approaches zero (we haven"t gotten all of it jet but the trend is clear). Therefore our universe actually is a configuration of nothing. Why then this universe exist rather than any other if they all describe configuration of nothing, is, as modern quantum mechanics tells us, just a matter of probability.
Yes all of this can"t really be proven and is therefore more of a speculation, but the difference to theism is that this speculation aligns with the, to us observable universe in so far as that it explains our observation of the universe. You can say that theism can do the same and as I already said, with a badly defined theory you can explain away everything you want, which you make a good use of in your last four points. You can see what a badly defined hypothesis is, if you look at the things the model predicts. For a good theory it has to predict data, and it has to be even if only in theory be possible to falsify the theory. This is done by science as all I said prior actually even though very well fitting the data and therefore is falsifiable in its basis, isn"t a real hypothesis but rather an off spring of our current understanding, as it can"t be proven on the big scale and therefore can"t be falsified either. The theistic model though is, while also not falsifiable on the big scale, not falsifiable in the basis of data which we have and which it would have to satisfy. It can be seen as everything can be bent just as needed as scientific data keeps emerging. Therefore we can say even though not being sure about the scientific theory that the theistic one absolutely can"t be a good theory.
Now for the argument of omnipotence we have to just see what your description of gods power actually entails. If god can"t break the laws of logic, it also entails that he can"t break the laws of nature either. While it isn"t as obvious, we have seen that the laws of logic are a human perception of the laws of nature in action. In this way for example the resurrection is also logically impossible, because the mere breaking of all the laws of nature (from all the second law of thermodynamics, to the conservation of energy and momentum, which all are based in the four fundamental forces of nature) entails also the breaking of the foundation of the laws of logic, because now if this is possible the observation bringing about the laws of logic have to be suspended at some point, to break the laws of nature (a cause without an effect (increasing entropy has the effect of decay which would be reversed at that point)) and therefore wouldn"t be possible to describe all of our observed universe. So what you say is that if god can"t break the laws of logic, he can"t break the laws of nature either, as they are the foundation of the laws of logic and breaking the laws of nature would necessarily entail a breaking of the laws of logic. Therefore your god can"t do anything outside of the laws of nature inside the universe, as all of this would entail contradictions to the laws of logic.
Your description of omniscience is somewhat vague and a perfect example of such a theistic explanation. You want to have with a freedom of choice connected with gods all knowing nature, and say this is possible, because god is beyond the finite knowledge. This is exactly the same as me saying god is not there and giving the argument that it is beyond our capabilities to argue it, but still say that this argument stand. Free will and freedom of choice are as described above a contradiction with gods all knowing nature. If it is still the case it is again a breaking of the laws of logic (if he knows what you will do and you do something else his knowledge wasn"t perfect) as well as the laws of nature (that in your brain something immaterial causes a material cause, which isn"t possible logically). Now your last part is also not possible, because he himself is subject to the same problem, that if he knows what he will do in advance, he can"t choose to not do it and if he can he isn"t omniscient.
Omnibenevolence you say bases itself on the assumption that a world without suffering is to be preferred. Now the problem with your description is the all loving part. You say that if god knows that this universe ends in perfection and he also knows the best possible universe it is not to be proven that less suffering is good. But if you say that he is all loving and perfectly moral, and you describe this omnibenevolence as allowing us to find him in our own free will, through turning to Jesus, this would entail that for this purpose there could be no better place to allow humans to find him in their free will. This is pretty much obviously not true. This goes along with him choosing just one peasant tribe, which you say again is just preferable for god for no reason, but him wishing to do it. It seems obvious that if he would revealed himself through Jesus in china for example it would have had way more effect on the whole world and way more would have come to him. Also if the scriptures where in any sense obviously divine, it would now lead even more people to him. Also if you say that he created specifically humans for himself it would have helped if their own thinking, which is devised by god, had a means of observing him clearly. It would still be possible to turn against him but not for the unnecessary reason of not observing him. Now your phrase that he keeps us in existence, is again something we have no information about. We just don"t know what existence even exactly is (is anything actually existing or is it just a configuration of nothing) and whether it needs some perfect being to hold it there. Therefore to say that it needs a god can"t be based on anything we know.
Now let"s come shortly to some of the other points. I have already answered the point about the laws, which are just information embedded in the universe and therefore not an immaterial thing but just a property of the thing itself, which answers the third point as well, as the property of something in naturalism determines its action and therefore has the logical consequence of determining what stuff does. The fourth point I have also shortly addressed and shown that in a possible way it is just a question of why nothing has taken the observed configuration, which is as everything in science always a question of probability.
Now as I have referred to it earlier I will now approach biology. You say that abiogenesis is the theory which needs explanation and in general I agree with you on that one, but as seen above the thought that god did it also needs it, because it would again be an intervention by god which would need to suspend the laws of nature and logic, similar to every other way god could intervene. Now to come to the models for abiogenesis which seem to fit well, I directly have to admit that so far it wasn"t possible for scientists to build life. The thing I am not granting you is that this is evidence that it isn"t possible. We now know as you described yourself in the 6. point that life is extremely complex. It is so complex that it building it by our current means would equal a goldsmith making an intricate ring by working with a sledge hammer. Therefore in connection with the long time all of our models would require it isn"t at all surprising that abiogenesis can"t be observed in the laboratory.
Due to a lack of space I will go on later.
chompybeat

Pro

1. God is not bound by the laws of nature (e.g. gravity). If God chose to lift my chair under me into the air, he most definitely could. God, by definition, is a logical Creator. He is not a self-contradictory, illogical being. I believe we can put contradictions, for example, in the category 'illogically impossible' - that is, in any possible world, under any circumstances, they cannot happen (e.g. something cannot exist and not exist at the same time; contradictions are logically absurd and the only time they 'exist' is when we jumble words together that are a self-contradictory combination of words). God is and always has been logical, and so his logically working universe reflects his hand in making it (e.g. the laws of logic are universal, logical, and are regular). Now, the laws of nature are the same in this sense, as they continue in an orderly, logical way. However, God is not bound to these laws. For God has always been logical, but nature is not eternal. God created nature, and determined certain laws to exist (e.g. gravity is not eternal, on the contrary God created gravity). So the miracles of God, when God specially intervenes in our world, are not illogically impossible, so to speak, but are logically impossible. That is, rising from the dead is not possible ultimately because God has determined so; our bodies are bound to the laws of nature. If one jumps off a building, indeed he will fall. However, God is not a prisoner to the laws of nature. The Christ did not rise from the dead by natural processes, but by the power and will of God.
2. Also, let us remember that modern science was founded on many Christian thinkers; these scientists *expected* laws to exist in the universe, as they believed in a transcendent Lawgiver. Isaac Newton, for example, when he discovered gravity, did not proclaim 'Gravity exists, therefore God does not', on the contrary, he believed this was evidence of an immaterial Designer who determined the law of gravity to exist in his creation. Newton did not create gravity; he discovered it. Humans merely assign these laws with the label 'law', but these laws would have been in place regardless if we existed (if God determined to not create humans); the question of course is ultimately, why are they here in the first place?
3. Information 'embedded' does not explain why immaterial information exists. Yes, I suppose it is accurate to say DNA has immaterial genetic information 'embedded' in it, but this does not explain how the material can give rise to the immaterial. If we observe a Chinese writing (material), apart from an intelligence that 'input' the information 'within' the symbol, it is mere scribbles. But the symbols have meaning; they have information and actually mean something due to a prior intelligence. DNA has immaterial genetic information 'embedded' in it. This information is what ultimately gives us noses, and hair, and gives basset hounds long ears, or elephants trunks, and skunks the ability to produce odor when it feels threatened. DNA has the information able to gives us such things. The information itself cannot arise by natural, material processes. Like the laws of logic (and nature), the immaterial cannot possibly arise from the material.
4. The multiverse is beyond empirical science, observable science, and pure speculation (there is not a shred of evidence for the multiverse - this 'theory' with no evidence is also often used to explain the fine-tuning). However, even though it is merely an idea, the universe generator that its supporters propose (i.e. what is creating universe after universe) would require fine-tuning itself, and have to be logical and also seem to have some sort of intelligence to bring information that carries meaning into the universe. If one believes in such a generator (which I believe is nonsense, as we would also need to explain what made it so precisely fine-tuned, logical, orderly, and intelligent) it appears they simply have a problem with a Creator.
Also, this would still non explain the existence of immaterial entities, as it is an explanation offered for the materialistic worldview.
5. Our universe is most definitely 'something'. To proclaim the universe is actually nothing, I believe, with respect, is nonsense. Many materialistic physicists try to explain a universe from nothing (e.g. Krauss), but have explained *nothing* (pun intended). The opposite of something is nothing; once we observe something, it is something - not nothing. The human mind cannot comprehend nothing because we always imagine something. If we assume something was prior to the universe (as Krauss does in his book - this is actually the title of his book [i.e., 'Universe from Nothing']), it is not nothing. Krauss in his book offers many explanations for what nothing actually is (e.g. I believe in one example, he mentions atoms existing in some way prior to the universe). The problem is he never answers the question 'How do we get the universe from nothing', as he always presupposes something's existence before the universe (and therefore, obviously tries to explain the cause, which is always something). Stephen Hawking said, 'Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing'. What in heaven's name is he talking about? A brilliant man indeed, but this is nonsense. Gravity is not nothing, and the law of gravity most definitely cannot give rise to something. This is a flat contradiction. And he does not say gravity exists; he says the law exists, and we know laws cannot create anything. Forgive me, but trying to redefine nothing is absolute nonsense. Krauss says, 'Because something is physical, nothing must also be physical, especially if you define it as the absence of something'. What an astonishing claim. Now in the Christian worldview, the problem is solved: there has never actually been nothing, as one who *is* existence necessarily (not contingently) exists: an immaterial Creator.
6. As stated in round one, the probability of the universe coming about in the way it does (i.e., fine-tuned and absolutely perfect for life, concerning the constants [e.g., gravity]) is downright impossible. And so, apart from a Creator, we must speculate apart from scientific evidence and come up with mere ideas of men - such as the multiverse. If we are to remain in the field of empirical science, the universe has to be designed; if one claims it is not designed, they must go beyond evidence and rely purely on speculation - this is not following the evidence where it leads; this is avoiding evidence to conform the evidence we have with a naturalistic philosophy.
7. The laws of logic are not mere ideas of humans. For example, if humans never came into existence, the sun could not exist and not exist at the same time, or Pluto could not be cubed and sphere at the same time because the law of non-contradiction would still have existed (it does not need a human to label it 'law' to exist).
8. I do not believe it is accurate to claim that logic is dependent on nature, on the contrary it is vice-versa. We cannot scientifically prove logic - we presume it. And we assume it exists to observe nature in a (presumably) logical way. God has always been logical, and contradictions, as stated, are not things (if they existed you could even go as far as to assert they existed and did not exist at the same time, or while they were contradictions, they also were not). They are illogically impossible, and are literally us jumbling self-contradictory words together to create nonsense ideas. Nature was created by God and therefore so were her laws. If an omnipotent God desires to bring his Son into the world by means of a Virgin, or split a sea, or raise people from the dead, he most definitely can - these things are logically impossible; they do not violate logic, but naturally they are impossible. But nature and therefore its laws, find their origin in God, and he most definitely is not bound to the space/time universe.
9. I believe if we are to accept the existence of the Christian God, we must be open to us not being able to understand certain of his qualities. His sovereignty is one of them. I do not believe humans have libertarian free will, but at the same time, I believe the Bible also teaches along with this, that humans are truly responsible for their actions. (E.g., God planned the death of his Son, and yet those who murdered him are responsible for their actions). God chooses what will bring his people good, and him the glory, as by his nature, this is his desire. God alone has ultimate determinism.
10. In the Christian worldview, (as you speak to a Christian) God sustains us. Therefore, if we assume his existence, we must also naturally assume we exist and live because of him, as we are utterly dependent on him. And again, I believe this problem of evil is not a problem if it is even possible that God will bring an infinitely good ends by through the pathway of suffering (which he chose). And since he is omniscient, he knows 'the best of possible worlds'; to claim an omniscient God did not know what he was doing is not rational. In the Christian worldview, suffering is not meaningless, but finds purpose in the perfect divine will of God.
11. I believe I addressed most of these final points, but concerning complexity and abiogenesis (and the complexity of DNA), this naturally points to a Creator. The other door is avoiding current evidence and asserting, as Darwin did, it *must* have a naturalistic explanation - which, of course, is not loyal to science, but loyalty to a preexisting philosophy - materialism. When we observe information we always assume intelligence, when we observe life we always assume life, when we observe order we always assume logic; and therefore, to assert that the idea of God is not possible whatsoever and no evidence points toward a Creator is na"ve.

Brayden
Debate Round No. 2
tfroitz1

Con

I will first finish off the point concerning biology which will I think answer some of the problems you see. DNA is a kind of information but to call it immaterial is somewhat misleading. DNA in itself is a material and as with all other information the DNA is just the carrier of the information. I can"t see any example where there is information without a material carrier holding it (also consciousness isn"t immaterial as it is dependent upon brains). Now the question is in the case of DNA whether information can be created by natural means. And the clear answer to that is yes. Let"s look at an example. If you take glass and throw it on the floor it will crash into many pieces which scatter over the floor. What is build is actually information. If one would look at each piece of the glass and where it has landed you can calculate from there many things reaching from the properties of the glass itself to the height from which it fell. This is information and it is build by natural means. The same happens actually in DNA. All the time there are mistakes in the replication there is some new information created.
The question is now whether the DNA resembles more a Chinese symbol or a natural process of information creation. It seems to be pretty obvious concerning the gigantic amount of information in DNA and the obvious evolutionary history it went through from very small DNAs in early single celled life to our human DNA today, that the building of the information is at least throughout the evolution itself a natural process without intelligence. The start in an abiogenesis is, as already stated, so far not observed, but that again doesn"t even in the slightest point in the direction of an intelligent design. Evolution is a process taking enormous amounts of time and as I have already said, all our current hypothesis concerning the beginning of life, whether by self replicating RNA or a combination of those with enzymes (which by the way seem to be able to self assemble too, because of the properties of the amino acids), take way more time than we can test or even have been testing for. Therefore no scientist is actually surprised that we didn"t build life so far, as also all our knowledge shows that it only happen very few times. Therefore to say either that DNA and its information or the lack of life synthesized in the laboratory show the need of a creator god is not scientifically honest.
Coming back to the question about the laws of logic as well as nature. Without a physical surrounding the laws of logic firstly have nothing to apply on and they also can"t be taken as applying for sure anywhere but in the context of our laws of nature. You can say in one way that the laws of logic are a necessary ground for the laws of nature but in a different view point, we can only have our laws of logic under some specific laws of nature. The laws of nature as they are the information embedded in all physical things are one possible set off rules which are working with the laws of logic. The laws of logic therefore are also implied by the laws of nature in a interdependent relation where with different laws of nature, logic wouldn"t work (as we build the laws of logic also in context of the observation of our nature which seemingly fitted the description by the logical laws) and with a different kind of logic the laws of nature as we know them right now would be impossible too. If we now look especially at miracles we see always a suspension of the laws of nature. This result in contradictions as for example it would result in causes with no effect as well as material effects with an immaterial cause which as the laws of causation are building upon the laws of logic also infringes on them. Also if you say that the world is looked at as though it were logical such things would imply that our scientific description of our nature wouldn"t work either. Therefore god suspending any of those laws would give rise to a good amount of contradiction in all our observation.
The question why our universe works by with natural and logical laws is another important one. You again as with the thought of morality just set god as the reason for the laws of nature and logic, which would work (in theory not observation). The thing is that if you take the laws of nature as starting point (they can be build without intelligence as I show later) they will build automatically a logical universe as we can see that the laws of nature actually comply with the laws of logic and wouldn"t allow for an illogical universe. How the connection works that our laws of nature only comply with a logical universe, is in our current point impossible to answer as the implications of the laws of nature are to complex to extrapolate from them reasonable and to mark the observed connection. The connection could therefore be both chance or to necessity (the laws of nature being possible just in that way). To take a supernatural explaination though possible would still have to be grounded in clear evidence as it else would be a circular reasoning.
Now whether science is founded by people expecting supernatural design isn"t of any importance. Where the laws can come from can actually be explained by the multiverse hypothesis in a purely natural way. The multiverse as I have already explained is a theory which is seemingly not directly testable by our means. It is important to not forget on your part that god too is just such an untestable hypothesis. It isn"t even that, because, in contrast to the multiverse ,which is build on our observed data inside the universe as a kind of necessary thing once you look at the laws of nature and take them seriously, the god hypothesis is not based on our observation in the universe but just a pure believe. We can therefore say that the theistic hypothesis, even if the naturalistic one isn"t provable (at least not direct), is clearly not aligning with our current data and is therefore not a good hypothesis (yes again you can explain data away but I have addressed that already).
As you say it is also the answer to the fine tuning. Contrary to your statement, there is no reason to believe that the multiverse needs so many different attributes (especially not intelligent (I don"t even know how a multiverse is supposed to be intelligent). It needs some basic rules with which universes are build (which we with inflation have a model for) and those are surprisingly easy. Additionally to say that our universe even is fine tuned I find an astonishing claim especially if saying it is fine tunes for us. The universe shows no sign of being designed for life as it is in the vast majority uninhabitable. The claim that just those constants would give raise to life as we know it I agree with but this doesn"t say that other life would be impossible (for that claim you need to show what is actually needed for life). Even if accepting fine tuning it wouldn"t at all entail a designing god, because in theism life isn"t purely natural and therefore god should be able to make life with all different masses of the electron etc. Only in naturalism you expect that there is some necessary condition to build life.
Concerning the properties of nothing you seemingly haven"t gotten my point. What I am saying is that if you look at our universe and see what it is actually made of, you will see that it is always made of two separated parts which together always give if added zero. If we look to energy which as I explained is actually our entire universe, we see that there actually isn"t any. Therefore to say that we are a configuration of nothing is absolutely reasonable to say. Whether the human brain can think of it as reasonable is again an absolute non sequitur as our brains have not at all the purpose to think about it. Then again you describe the laws of nature as an immaterial thing, while they are closer to information embedded in physical things (again I haven"t ever seen immaterial information). IF you as Dr. Kraus say take nothing as physical it is well possible to have the information of the laws of nature or as described earlier give rise to them in the act of coming to a specific configuration of nothing in for example an infinite multiverse.
If we now come to the question whether it is reasonable to not know certain things about god, I have to say that it is really an extraordinary piece of special pleading. If you are persistent about gods logic it actually is impossible to have free will and also have an omniscient being. The two stand in a direct contradiction and therefore you would have to except either lacking omniscience or face the problem of evil in the world. In this case again there is actually a major problem. If we postulate a all loving god and one that cares especially about humans, we would expect to see either a perfect world or a world which is perfect to bring people to god. The problem is that we don"t observe either possibility (that it isn"t the best is pretty obvious and therefore contradicts omniscience as you quite rightly stated) as even if there where one way of bringing one person more to him, (and there as earlier stated clearly is) this brings about a contradiction and shows that our universe doesn"t go along with a all loving and all knowing god.
To say that it needs a god to sustain our existence is again just a mere claim where I also can"t see any reason for why it would be needed to have such a sustaining source (why must existence be sustained)
To conclude you can say that, in light of not needing god for either the complexity of life, or the building of information and also the impossibility to combine of omniscience and free will, or a suspend of the laws of nature without breaking the laws of logic, there is no need for a god, nor any evidence pointing in that direction, making a god not reasonable.
To the ontological argument and the argument concerning morality I hope to come to the next time.
chompybeat

Pro

Surely you do not believe the information itself is material? The information is encoded digitally in DNA (which is why it can be carried - I suppose you could compare it to a computer). We observe that digital information always comes from an intelligent source. Dr. Stephen Meyer explains this quite well in this short video - I would like your thoughts on it, of course (it's just over 3 minutes long): https://www.youtube.com...
I am not arguing information is not carried by a material carrier - it is; however, this does not explain the immaterial information the material carrier is carrying. I am not convinced of your shattered glass analogy; the shattered glass will not be carrying digital information that could create something new. We can observe the double helix of DNA (as we observe the shattered glass), but this is observing its structure and the way it is built (e.g., measuring the height of something) - not the information being carried. As an article from 'LiveScience' explains: 'Similar to the way the order of letters in the alphabet can be used to form a word, the order of nitrogen bases in a DNA sequence forms"genes, which in the language of the cell, tells cells how to make proteins'. Most biologists (perhaps generally all) would agree that DNA appears to be an information and language system. Information is being transmitted (from DNA, to RNA, to protein), translated, and 'read'. The DNA molecule carries the same kind of 'functional' information that characterizes writings, or computer codes. Richard Dawkins said, 'the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like'. And Bill Gates, creator of Windows, said, 'DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we've ever created'. To form new animals from pre-existing life (and ultimately, non-life [abiogenesis] in neo-Darwinism), new information must arise. The mechanism of natural selection / random mutations that is spoken about by Darwinians does not offer any rational explanation for how information could arise randomly. The fossil record does not offer rescue for the Darwinians neither, as we observe in the Cambrian explosion, with new life forms suddenly appearing with no pre-existing ancestors; concerning genetics, this is not what should be predicted in naturalistic evolution, as natural selection and random mutations are to act gradually on organisms. Mutations generally cause harm, and to claim they (along with natural selection) can produce brand new life forms is a huge stretch from what we observe in modern science. You seem to be using your presupposition as an argument: 'It seems to be pretty obvious concerning the gigantic amount of information in DNA and the obvious evolutionary history it went through. . .'. What is so obvious about it? Most evolutionary biologists do not fear to admit that the origin of genetic information and the production of mass amounts of it to create new life forms on earth causes them struggle. This is also similar to cellular complexity: cells use miniature circuits and motors, encoded language and even help repair the DNA molecule. Biochemist Franklin Harold proclaimed that neo-Darwinainism has failed to offer explanations for cellular systems - most explanations are pure speculation. If we follow the evidence, I believe the most reasonable conclusion is an intelligence behind such complexities (cells, DNA and information, etc.). We also come to another problem when explaining the origin of DNA, RNA, etc. For you need DNA you make RNA, and you need RNA to make proteins, and you also need protein to make DNA. There are, I believe, too many problems with a purely naturalistic explanation for life and its complexities, and often to much speculation rather than empirical evidence. And the burden of proof, concerning such things as 'abiogenesis', I believe breaks the back of naturalistic/materialistic philosophy due to how much we have discovered in modern science (in genetics, paleontology, origin of life, etc.). The most reasonable explanation for what we have spoken about above I believe leads to a Creator; it is not scientifically honest to assert everything *must* have a materialistic/naturalistic explanation - this is not science, this is just trying to remain loyal to a philosophy of naturalism.

2. I believe it is rational to assume the laws of logic are for everywhere (and at all times). If not, uniformity in nature is not true, and we then doubt if science is even possible.
I would like a specific example of how they are dependent on one another. I"m not dismissing this notion, but it would be easier to see what you are getting at with an example. Ultimately, I still believe it is obvious that the laws of logic are the ultimate foundation. For example, Newton discovered the law of gravity with science, but he *had* to presume the laws of logic to do so. Science cannot prove logic, rather it assumes it. However, I still do not believe you have addressed why any of these laws exist; you suggest we have described them (which I agree) but it doesn"t explain their origin in a universe where everything that exists must be physical.
And also please further explain how God performing miracles is a contradictions (e.g., "causes without effect"). It appears to me that miracles (I.e., the ones God performs in Scripture) always have causes (God"s will) and effects (the miracle happens). They do not violate the laws of logic. Walking on water is not a contradiction (it doesn"t violate the law of identity, or law of non-contradiction); of course, it cannot happen naturally due to the laws of nature (which we have logic as a foundation for; we must have the laws of logic as a presupposition to discover and believe in the laws of nature - like gravity), but it is not logically absurd (I.e., it is not illogically impossible, but logically - impossible). The laws of logic are not defied when we observe a miracle. (The Christ could not be turning water into wine and turning it into Coca Cola at the same time, for example).
Perhaps I misunderstood, but are you asserting that if we believe the world works logically, then scientific descriptions of nature could be false? How so? We must presume logic before we begin observing nature.
3. I believe the laws of logic and nature are evidence for an immaterial logical Creator and Lawgiver (as they are immaterial and logical and "omnipresent" - I.e, the work everywhere). If the universe came into existence naturally, what is preventing it from coming into existence illogically? For there are no rules for it before it comes into existence. There is nothing transcendent determining it should function properly. And this doesn"t explain how they can arise if they are not material (which is opposed to a materialistic worldview). You believe they are here by chance of neciesstiy (or suggest it, at least); this still does not explain how they are even possible in a naturalistic worldview; they are not composed of matter, do not take up space, and are not forces nor energy - they just exist, and the universe obeys them. They cannot come about by physical processes. I believe we are being rational for presuming logic; yet it is impossible to offer a foundation for them (and therefore truly trust their reliability) if we try to explain their origin from material, natural processes alone (as they contradict a materialistic worldview). The only way we can trust their reliability to the utmost is if we have a logical Lawgiver as a foundation for them. Why does the Christian accept the existence of the immaterial laws of logic? Because we have a logical Designer as our foundation for the existence of all of reality (that is secondary; God is prime reality).
4. Concerning the multiverse:
No, we cannot physically observe God because he is immaterial (he is not made of matter, rather he made matter). But when the universe appears designed (e.g. the fine-tuning of the law of gravity I mentioned earlier), we are still in the boundaries of *empirical evidence* and using the evidence we have (that is, we have evidence of one universe and evidence of fine-tuning), it is reasonable to accept the existence of a Designer. Right now, we have no scientific reason for believing in the multiverse, and we have scientific reasons to believe in this universe, and scientific reasons for believing in fine-tuning (we"ve observed it), and so, we have scientific reasons for believing in a Creator. We do not have scientific reasons for believing in the multiverse. The only reason we should try to believe in it is if we are denying current evidence and trying to explain it with a naturalistic "god of the gaps"; again, this is not loyalty to observable science, on the contrary, it is loyalty to methodological, philosophical materialism.
A Creator does align with current data, as we observe immaterial laws of logic and nature, fine-tuning, complex life, etc. we have no scientific reason to believe such things can arise by purely natural processes, and such a worldview often boils down to pure speculation (e.g. multiverse).
Proponents of the multiverse believe in something that is generating/creating these universes; I stated that this "generator" would have to be fine-tuned and logical, to make such universes.
When you speak of nothing, you do not appear to be speaking of actually nothing - I.e., the abscence of something. And you state, "If we look to energy which I explained is our entire universe, we see that there actually isn"t any". Do you believe energy ultimately exists, or not? Surely it cannot be both. But I still do not accept you are speaking of actual nothing - abscence of something - rather, you speculate what could have given rise to the universe. And do you believe the laws of nature are embedded in physical things? What do you mean? I"m not convinced information would be an accurate synonym.
I"ll have to continue in the next round. . .
Debate Round No. 3
tfroitz1

Con

1. Information itself is the pattern physical things have, as I have tried to demonstrate with the analogy of the broken glass carrying its information in the way its particles are assembled. Also every other information such as the computer code fundamentally is a physical pattern whether it is the pattern of matter or just the magnetic bits on a hard drive. Again I can"t see any immaterial information. Every information lies in the pattern of our physical world and therefore there is no need to explain what immaterial information is (show me an example of immaterial (non physical) information. Computer code is actually a good example for information, which is given in the pattern of physical quantities (human language ultimately too). It is first translated in a binary system, which are then later represented by electric currents in the processor. DNA as well as all other genetic material works similarly. The ability to produce life is absolutely bound to the structure of it, from the necessity of copying it, to the later building of peptides in the ribosomes using RNA as its template. That it builds life is only due to the pattern of the bases, but it only works because to physical things (in this case the tRNA) later matching the pattern.
Stephen Meyer, whom you quote, really isn"t in the picture of the actual problems which arise if you look at how life has formed. The two central questions are how the molecule carrying genetic information arose and was packaged in a vesicle and then how it replicates for Darwinian evolution. As soon as you have that, the additional information we see today is build by evolution (yes it builds information through the random and later sorted change and addition of DNA through replication). There are many possible scientific models giving the possibility for such primitive cells with most likely RNA as its genetic information to arise. They reach from clay surfaces or ice crystals as catalysts to the possibility of self assembled enzymes helping, followed by an easy mechanism building up the vesicles (I won"t go into detail but send some material in to comments). The following begin of self replication, while still very much open for debate, could be explained by inorganically catalysed self assembly, or through partial self replication catalysed by the RNA itself (while not settled it seems very much possible and to say otherwise invokes a god of the gaps) (all of this is not speculation but scientific work). The starting information for evolution can be attained, as I have described that information can (and does) arise and also is actually a physical feature, by physical processes (no not all information comes from intelligence as you can see everywhere in our universe).
Now to clear up some other points. The problem of needing DNA then RNA for enzymes is resolved by the RNA world hypothesis. I can just reiterate that the time needed (about a billion years since the first evidence of microbial life) is so huge that it isn"t surprising we can"t make life in the laboratory (the parts and good amounts of the self assembly we actually can). The Cambrian explosion didn"t build new life forms as they still used the same triplet code for transcription of DNA and also had similar genomes to the other organisms at that time, allowing us to give an ancestors to all of them. All our evidence shows us a clear chain of fossils and also a clear order in the DNA allowing for a tree of life.
As we have now established that we can explain both beginning and later rise in complexity of life by just referring to nature (and yes we aren"t finished with working everything out but nothing suggests that it needs a divine force), I believe that it is absolutely right to say that a divine creator is not necessary (yes in theory something above the natural is possible but needs as any other theory to evidence!!!). The lack of evidence for god in this case is the clear opposite to even more abstract theories relying more on indirect evidence.

2. I see no evidence or reason to believe that the laws of logic are everywhere. Everywhere we can see it seems to be the case. What I am positing is that the laws of logic are an emergent property which comes about from again the pattern our physical laws build into our universe. We see it everywhere because everything governed by our physical laws also has to be governed by the laws of logic. We presume the laws of logic, because we are in a universe which obeys laws of physics which then have in the pattern they create logic embedded. All the contradictions you bring up, like the water not being wine and cola at the same time are implied in the laws of nature, as they show us that the structure that makes one thing wine and the other cola, is not possible at the same time. This isn"t impossible because some immaterial thing governs it to be, but because the laws of physics don"t permit ultimately energy to have two structures at once.
Now why god performing miracles goes along with the breaking of the laws of logic lies very much embedded in this point. If we have a uniform universe, which works by the laws of physics, which are embedded in the structure and pattern of physical things themselves and form the emergent property of logic, the breaking of the underlying laws also infringes on the emergent property. If god breaks conservation of energy or momentum or something like that he destroys the uniformity of the universe aligning with the physical laws. Therefore we would at some point look at our physical laws and see that they were broken. At that point we also break the implications of the emergent property, logic. I see that my example didn"t demonstrate my point very well
To conclude I am not stating that our physical universe doesn"t work by logical laws, as they are the emergent property of the physical laws. If you doubt that I would like to see any evidence that logic is transcending physical laws, or that logical laws describe something this isn"t just as well implied in the breaking of the natural laws (not being two things is implied in the combination of the allowed patterns in nature combined with the necessity for time to change to another and also more complex problems arising in human thought can be broken down to that). Even if our thoughts build something from the laws of logic which isn"t physical there is no reason to belief that therefore logic has to be the governing base as there can be just as well be things imagined which are not inside the physical universe but would abide by them. It would just be a thought experiment with no basis in reality.

3. I as I have described see no reason to think that the laws of logic are either immaterial (they again are patterns of our physical universe) or in any way distinct from our laws of nature, being rather a spin off on them. Now I can"t say that all possible universes have to abide by logic, because I have no idea of what their physical laws are, but if those are similar in shape to our own we can expect it. Again the establishment of the laws of nature can be accounted for and the emergent logical laws can therefore be explained too. I think I have explained far enough how the laws of both nature and logic can be seen in the way physical properties and physical things are arranged and therefore there is not at all a contradiction to the materialistic worldview. If you though state that they are immaterial and influence the physical reality (which in itself contradicts the laws of causation) I would hope for some evidence of this extraordinary claim. Where is anything actually breaking the laws of nature to abide by a immaterial something called logic (or god). We can say scientifically that everywhere we have looked within the laws of nature the physical properties also implied the laws of logic. While this doesn"t allow open extrapolation, it is the only thing we can observe and while other things may sound nice to have, there is no reason to believe we are allowed to believe more as you think to be necessary.

4. Now I already have to object the notion that our universe seems to be fine tuned. If you mean it is fine tuned for us in an intelligent way, which is what is needed to pose a god caring for us and not just a multiverse giving the same result, I can"t actually see what you mean. Yes while there are some constants that are very narrow, there are some such as the starting entropy which just way over tuned (those which aren"t exact enough we obviously don"t experience as they don"t allow for us). It seems to be a according way better with a worldview that postulates a more random beginning of our universe. As those processes can well lead to patterns carrying information there is no reason that such patterns, which the fine tuning of some things obviously is, can"t possibly arise by natural processes as I have described above.
Now very important is the fact that we can"t observe god and we can"t observe the multiverse either. Fine tuning of the kind that actually exists is working with both hypothesis but as I have shown works better with a less ordered process like the multiverse (and yes you can just explain it away with saying e.g. that god is an artist wanting to do it but it isn"t at all useful). Besides this we have all our natural laws, from time lacking the symmetry of a infinite future and a finite beginning or the problem of low entropy, which a multiverse explains. I will also give some sources on what the multiverse theory is actually based upon, as it isn"t just speculation contrary to a god.

To nothing, I say that our thought concept of existence doesn"t fit with the overall view of the things that seemingly exist. As I have described above, there isn"t actually anything in total as all properties cancel each other. Therefore all that exist is a conformation or separation of nothing.
chompybeat

Pro

1. Addressing information in DNA, it has to be carried by it, of course. But the information cannot be entirely synonymous with what we physically observe. We must address why the DNA and its structure is capable of creating new organisms. Why does the DNA have the capability of giving us curly hair, for example. This is what we mean by 'information'. Of course we can't see it; but the DNA carries 'meaning', so to speak, that is able to produce distinguishable traits (skin tone, eye color, height etc. - but the structure [I.e, the physical structure - what we observe] itself does not explain why it has such an ability). And so, when we observe 'meaning', or 'information' assigned to something, we generally assume intelligence. This DNA has amazing capabilities, and sure we can explain how it works and how it is even able to produce how we look, but its physical form does not explain why it carries that capability, meaning/information, in the first place. The best we can do if want to explain DNA's origin naturally is offer an hypothesis explaining how it was physically formed, but this still does not explain why the DNA should be able to carry meaning, translate it, transport, etc. So sure, we can talk about the pattern of the bases, but why does such a pattern contain meaning (information)? Now, I understand that for the evolutionary process to produce new organisms, random mutations must create new novel proteins. But molecular biologists have argued (since the 20th century [the 1960s]) that producing new functional genes (brand new genetic information) through random mutations is very, very improbable. And this is very related to what I was referring to in the Cambrian explosion. The geologic fossil record contains the origin of major innovations in organisms' forms and functions, but definitely appear to be discontinuous at face value; like the Cambrian explosion, creatures suddenly appear, with no previous creatures before them having little, or no similarity to them whatsoever. This is definitely not what Darwin expected (he seemed to think the problem would possibly be solve in the future, with more fossil findings, as he lived in the 19th century, but with more discoveries it has only made it more difficult on Darwinians). So could the neo-Darwinian explanation of random mutation and natural selection offer an adequate explanation for the quick appearances of animals in the fossil record? I'll get to this.
But as for storing information physically, I do agree with you. (I'm sure you know it is stored digitally in the form of a four-character digital code.) These precisely sequenced nucleotide bases contain, store, and transmit the building instructions, that build the important protein molecules that cells need. And to build new animals, from prior amimals, we're going to need the generation of *new information*. For brand new life-forms to come into being, we of course require new cell types, and organs, and so forth. But this also requires special proteins; And building the proteins will requires new information on DNA. So the Cambrian explosion is both an appearance of new forms of life, and an explosion of biological information. So again, how did this biological information come about?
You seemed to state that when DNA came about, the information was there (as though its form itself can produce information). But DNA does contain the instructions for building new life. DNA has a 'genetic program' that specifies the features of an organism. They are written in the linear sequences of the bases. And Darwinians today believe that DNA sequences mutate into new sequences. This does assume that DNA contains a program for embryo development: dna makes rna and rna makes proteins and then that makes us. But we do need to understand that DNA do not completely specify RNAs, of course much less proteins. And the arrangement of proteins in a cell requires information that precedes their development and is specified independently of DNA. I do not believe DNA can contain a program for embryo development and random mutations in DNA cannot provide the materials for life-forms' body/form evolution. Mutations act on information, but do not produce information as you stated. Rearranging genes will not give rise to hair, arms, fingers, etc. 'Tweaking' the genome through duplication and mutation is not going to give rise to a brand new genome with new information. Mutations can produce beneficial outcomes, but this isn't going to add new information. Mutations/duplications have never been observed to add new information, only act on preexisting information. Beneficial mutations observed by us humans have been reshuffling and sometimes deletions of information, but does not create it.
And then you began by describing speculative explanations for, as you addressed, 'physical features, by physical processes'. But again, I believe it is faulty to equate the building instructions that make organisms with the physical structure itself. The Darwinian, at best can describe the origin of physical structures of DNA (which you did in the prior round), but it does not help explain the origin of the instructions, and why DNA has the 'power' to give seals whiskers, e.g..
You also didn't seem to address how we could solve the vicious circle of DNA, RNA, and proteins. As you need DNA to make RNA, and also need RNA to make proteins, and you need proteins to make DNA.
Then you asserted that the Cambrian explosion was not really an explosion at all (concerning new life-forms). But I heavily disagree! Life forms often suddenly disappear and are then replaced with new animals. As addressed, the organisms had little to no similarity to previous creatures. Sure there will always be similarity in DNA, but this is based primarily on presuppositions. (For example, we could expect a common Designer to build creatures in a similar way, for they live on a similar planet [the same planet - Earth], and we could expect him to have a 'blueprint' for life, so to speak). Paleontologists have searched for expected precursors to many major groups of organisms, but they have not found a pattern of gradual change that Charles Darwin was waiting for. We have instead found explosions of novel biological form.We find distinctive, complex anatomical features. The aggressive (and I would say arguably the world's most famous present atheist) biologist Richard Dawkins himself admitted, "It's as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history". But he goes on to say that admitting that a Creator made them would be a 'god of the gaps'. But this again, as I have stated, is just him remaining loyal to his materialistic philosophy - not following evidence. But I do agree they were not 'planted there'; on the contrary, they were suddenly made.
We have not found a clear tree of life in genetics nor paleontology. As the journal"New Scientist"put it, "different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories".
And going back to abiogenesis, I definitely do not believe accepting a divine Author of life is a 'god of the gaps'. It is extremely difficult for evolutionists to explain the origin of life from a primordial soup in earth's early hostile environment. Evolutionary biologist, Massimo Pigliucci, has proclaimed, "we really don"t have a clue how life originated on Earth by natural means'.
All of above mentioned is evidence for a divine Creator - a lot of it. We should not be looking for physical evidence for an immaterial, transcendent Creator (comparable for us looking for a physical arm of an angel, or having a huge finger write on the moon 'You have a Maker'). But we look at his supposed creation. And if we throw speculation out the window and look at present, empirical evidence, I hold it points a Designer (complexity of life, fine-tuning of universe, laws of logic, etc.).
I think you misunderstand what laws of logic are. The laws of logic are conceptual; they exist in the mind. The laws of physics may be conceptual as statements, but they describe actual physical behavior in our world that we observe. Logical absolutes cannot be observed. When we observe anything (even the laws of nature) we are assigning logical absolutes to the observations we make; that is, we assign something conceptual* to our observation of reality. We must presume logic; even if we are trying to prove the laws of logic exist we must assume their existence in the first place (which is circular). (And so, science cannot prove logic - it presumes it.) The laws of logic are generally referred to as the law of identity, law of non-contradiction, and law of excluded middle. So these laws are eternal (e.g., God is eternally omniscient or not; there is no 'middle ground' [I'm using the law of excluded middle, which says that something has to be either true or false). But on the contrary, nature is not eternal; God created nature. So when Christ walked on water, laws of logic were not broken (e.g., he either walked on water or he did not; or he wasn't waling on water while at the same time not, etc.). The laws of logic, which are eternal, were *not* broken, and so, even the laws of nature are dependent on the laws of logic.
And the laws of logic are again immaterial; we cannot bump our head on the law of non-contradiction, for example.
I'll have to continue on the multiverse (and basically all of your fourth point in the final round; but since this is your last time responding, I want to make known that I am excited for our last round, and I thank you for the respectful discussion. It has been a pleasure.
Debate Round No. 4
tfroitz1

Con

Lets again start with the information in DNA. There seem to be some misconceptions about the way DNA actually works. You write about the question of why it has the "capability" to result in certain traits, which you say are achieved through a meaning in DNA. There is no such mysterious thing in the way DNA builds certain traits, but rather a purely physical mechanism. DNA is a template which is transcribed into mRNA and later translated into polypeptide chains. This translation is possible through its structure, which is, in the triplet codons (it is a three character code), which stand for a specific amino acid, like a lock for the needed tRNA key to fit. This is a purely natural process determining the protein exactly after the template of the DNA. All the traits you are talking about come about by the actions of the proteins. From curly hair to the color of our eye and everything our brain allows us to think is dependent on the proteins. Therefore there is no mysterious meaning which has to be build but just a transcription into proteins to determine traits which are later selected by natural selection. To another paragraph of yours I can just say that yes the only thing determining RNA and protein is the DNA from which they are copied or transcribed. There is nothing else and I would like to know either what you think there is besides that and the biologist who says such a thing. We see therefore in every new born child that just the DNA through the transcription of DNA (yes after a plan determining later also the arrangement, but this plan is also on the DNA and is enforced by proteins) produces a new organism with all the complexity. Whether you belief it or not we have not just some evidence but can follow through the development and can trace it back to the proteins and DNA already for a good amount of it (it again isn"t easy). To comprehend, the DNA has the capability to produce the traits just by its structure and by the way it is read. It has no hidden meaning aside from the capability to be read.

Your next point is also not accurate. It isn"t necessary to produce a brand new protein and even less to produce a whole lot of new genetic information. What is needed is a mutation producing a slight change having an impact on the work of the later protein (one base can be enough). Then it gets selected for or against and again the next mutation gives such a change. It is a process where novel proteins not just jump out of organism mutating a brand new protein but through gradual change. Especially not, if you say, that for new species we require radical changes in everything from "new proteins" to "new organs". Here we need again some (but less then one might think (chimpanzees have 98% of the same genetic code as we have)) mutations which can amount from just one base up to a mistake in the splitting giving another number of chromosomes. New information is build by mutation resulting in an impact on proteins and then the traits which are selected. This works from a self replicating starter genetic molecule up to the complex organisms we are (later). And so yes traits can be build over time with the process of mutation and natural selection up to every trait an organism possesses.

If we look now at the Cambrian explosion we see a realm in contemporary biology with much controversy. It is the case that we have no contingent fossil record, which isn"t surprising, concerning it was about 550 million years ago (we haven"t that much for the other periods). While it is from what we know a big change of appearance and traits in many branches of life, it still isn"t pointing to a creation of totally new organisms. We can see this in the genome, where we see that there are relationships between the different branches, which allow us to bring them into tree of life on basis of genetic heredity (that this tree actually represents relationships isn"t a presupposition but according with evolution and it is attested for (all cases where we have enough fossils to make a claim about the tree by fossils, it fits with the DNA)). While it is a fast phase there is still nothing just appearing but rather big changes which are based in the change of DNA. To say that a designer would also make them the same is again an assumption which is purely on faith and not falsifiable (therefore it is useless). Now the rapid pace by which it went, can be explained by different approaches (we can"t be sure to find the definite first impulse, but we are pretty sure about a good some of them (it most likely were many things starting it)). It is accepted that it was a major event giving rise to a big evolutionary pressure which than in turn accelerates the evolution (another theory is punctuated equilibrium by Steven J. Gould which would explain it too). Some of those important events seem to be the first eyes having huge impact for the predator bringing the pray under extreme evolutionary pressure which results in the first shells etc. and the rise in oxygen levels in the see through photosynthetic bacteria allowing to build bigger organisms. It is hard to say and still open for debate in biology, because it is a rapid phase and is greatly influenced by many factors. If we comprehend that, we can see that the species weren"t made new as they have obvious genetic relations and to say that it is not clearly explained and to invoke a creator for that is indeed just a god of the gaps argument, as we do have other attested theories which, while not perfect, show promising signs.

If we now come to the problem how the first self replicating genetic material was build in order to kick start the evolutionary process which gives rise to the needed information (as I have explained it can and does as the only thing needed is the building of physical structures which entail information (the information is the physical pattern as it is also the thing affecting later)). I have addressed why the problem of DNA than RNA and then Protein which is later needed doesn"t apply, but I will do it again. What you need is one entity that both saves the information (as in DNA) and one that catalyses reactions (as protein) and this molecule is found in RNA (we know that it has both of the properties), as well as other such nucleic acids (we see the catalytic property especially well in the ribosome building proteins which is in all active parts comprised of RNA). The problems you often seem to see is that it seems to be impossible that something as complex as a modern cell is build by chance, but this is not what anyone thinks. The first cells where just a vesicle with a genetic molecule in it which replicates and also splits the cell. We know that the vesicles can self assemble just right (I can only again say that Jack Szostaks lectures on that are very good), and while the self replicating genetic molecule wasn"t achieved so far it seems to be possible in some way (it is not that easy, but we can self replicate already much and there are also other mechanisms discussed). The building of such a protocell is not easy but it seems likely that the needed genetic molecule could by chance assemble (it wouldn"t be to complex and we know that they self assemble e.g.: on clay). Therefore it is just not true to say we have no idea, but rather that we have many parts figured out but there are still some left (where we are pretty much confident that we will find something), so that we will have at last a way life could have started on the early earth (we don"t know what it actually was but if we have one it shows that a creator is absolutely unnecessary).

We can see it in the laboratory and in experiments and therefore, while we don"t know whether it was this way we will know that it is possible in some ways and this is not pure speculation but hard science (all science precedes in this way to validate its hypothesis (most theories are build upon later test in the lab and not in the first hand account)). As we have best reason to think that there is no need for a creator and we have no reason to think he is needed (you still have to demonstrate how he has done it and show the evidence of it in order to make it even a scientific theory), it is obvious that a god isn"t a useful theory.

Let us now come to the laws of logic. While conceptual they are still a product of our laws of nature. Yes our laws of nature are just a description of the pattern our universe works by. It therefore describes all the things inside it (fully if we presume to find them all). If we look at our universe (with our minds as you say) they describe it and search for a concept aligning with the laws of nature as those are at the base. Now the mind builds a concept of the pattern it observes by which it seems to abide which then builds the laws of logic. All our thinking perception is therefore just possible with the laws of logic, because they are the emergent property of the laws of nature (or the pattern they describe). There is no case where our physical universe abiding by the laws of logic is doing anything not according with the laws of nature and the other way around. I see again no reason that the laws of logic have some kind of transcendent or eternal character aside from saying that a universe aligning with the laws of nature will also align with the laws of logic. In this concept we have even if not necessarily easy to detect then also a breaking of the laws of logic accompanying the infringe of the laws of nature (I am not absolutely sure that works). To comprehend I can say that I see no reason to believe that the laws of logic are immaterial as again they are a certain pattern of physical properties, which I have to stress in light of our whole debate and also my previous point.

As I as always lack the needed space to go into the other promised arguments such as morality (they would need their own debate), I also want to thank you for an interesting debate.
chompybeat

Pro

as much as I would like to continue, I am too busy at the moment and I am afraid I will not be able to complete this round. I do apologize, but I"m sure you understand, and genuinely wish I could respond. But I definitely did not want to forfeit, for as long as this has been going. But again, I thank you for the debate.

Brayden
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by tfroitz1 9 months ago
tfroitz1
I have just found another good comprehension on the origins life (it is not intended to even insinuate you being a creationist but rather is just somewhat shorter):

https://youtu.be...
Posted by tfroitz1 9 months ago
tfroitz1
I again didn"t really finish but I will go on in the next one. This is also the reason for why I haven"t described and presented all the things in the following videos as about each would need another debate.

For the beginning of life I either would recommend Jack Szostak"s three lectures on the works of his group.

https://www.youtube.com...

or here: https://origins.harvard.edu...

As this is really long (but very interesting) I have found another one explaining it well:

http://www.sciencemag.org...

I am sorry that it is so long, but Sean Carroll"s group I think explains very well:

https://www.youtube.com...

I hope it explains enough.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
Christians use the most unreliable way of knowing, faith, the one way of knowing that can't be changed through thought and experience.
I find it very hard to except a concept of a loving god that would burn me forever for not believing, when believing is not a choice, even though Christians keep viewing faith as an absolutely free choice in a list of only one possible worldview.
Posted by tfroitz1 9 months ago
tfroitz1
I will take the risk, of not going to you crazy imaginary friend, god, but to hell. Someone as ignorant as you believing it does exist, is the best evidence of the contrary.

PS: writing capital letters is still not making something true!!!
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 9 months ago
FollowerofChrist1955
Does God exist! Yes
can you find Him if you don't look? NO
Can you find him asking everybody else? NO
Are you serious about finding him by not actually looking? NO
Are you going to Hell if you don't look? YES
Are you going to Hell, if you don't believe in Him?YES
Does whether you believe or not impact going to Hell? NO
Can you believe or not believe and still go to Hell?YES
Is tfroitz1 if he died today, going to Hell?YES

Can you say you want to know but reject Gods word? YES
Will you ever FIND HIM? NO
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
To say "gods do not exist" is a statement of knowledge, and the simple intellectually honesty answer is "we do not know". You do not use or need knowledge, proof or evidence for gods.
Any gods existence is based on belief, emotion and certainty of faith, all are metaphysical claims that rest beyond rational investigation.
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