The Instigator
Con (against)
13 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

God Exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,534 times Debate No: 35787
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (47)
Votes (3)




Rules/ Stipulations

God will be defined as a maximally great being (who has necessary existence, if possible). God is also defined as the tri-omni (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent) cause of the universe. This is the classical philosophical definition of God. The burden will be on Pro to demonstrate that it is more plausible that God exists than not. My burden is to show that it is more plausible that God does not exist that does. Basically, the burden of proof is shared. The first round will not be for acceptance, as my opponent will make his/ her opening argument in the first round. However, in round 4, Pro must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."


The Cause of the Universe
The universe has a temporal beginning and therefore has a cause.
• The universe has a positive cosmological constant (2011 Nobel Prize)
• Universes with a positive cosmological constant have a fixed space-time boundary and therefore has a temporal beginning. A multi-verse with at least one universe with positive cosmological constant will also have a fixed space-time boundary (Proof by Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin)
This debate is not whether the universe has a cause but rather the scientific resolution of the nature of that cause.

The Burden
To prove that God is the most probable cause of the universe, the cause of the universe must be shown to be more likely exhibit consciousness than not.
It may not necessarily be personal, spiritual nor benevolent as described by religion but if it created the universe and manifested consciousness, there are no other labels that suit that characteristics other than a God.
I don’t understand the ad-hoc need to satisfy the presupposition of outdated philosophy that God must be omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent. These are inconsequential as measure of probable cause, however, as the source of the potent energy that created and permeated the universe and its laws, and as it is conscious that willed the creation of the universe, it follows necessarily that God exhibits potency, sagacity and benevolence. I will not be elaborating further on this and will instead focus on arguments for the conscious nature of the cause of the universe.

The atheist does not have burden of proof but is expected to provide counter arguments, and not simply weigh-in if the theist’s argument meet their standards.
To counter God as the most probable cause of the universe, my opponent only need to show that the cause can be reasonably be attributed to chance, randomness or any natural stochastic process that are divorced from acts of consciousness or intelligence.

The Futility of Religion
This house believes that the existence of God is a scientific question divorced from human activities and the answer remains true regardless of how religion conducted itself given the ability of humans to enact free will and be able to do both good and evil, including making false and misleading claims in the name of divine authority. Simply taking Religion’s word for it is begging the question.
Contradictions in multiple religions are equivalent to contradictions in implementations of modern-day democracies (including those claimed by China and North Korea) or inconsistencies among interpretations of quantum mechanics, none of which weigh-in on whether John Locke or Neils Bohr actually exists.
To insist that God does not exist because Religion is wrong is equivalent to saying that because species of monkeys are misbehaving, therefore the initial conditions of the big bang are stochastic.

The universe from NOTHING
It is scientifically and academically accepted that the universe came from energy fluctuations in the quantum vacuum, although there are varied theories on the actual mechanisms.
Outside of “scientific consensus” however, some argued that the universe actually came from NOTHING, but in order to come out of NOTHING, you need energy fluctuations in the quantum vacuum.
This is similar to saying that the Boeing 747 came from NOTHING but to come out of NOTHING, you need human beings and raw materials.
This house believes that it is more intellectually correct to simply state the universe came from energy fluctuations in the quantum vacuum, and attempts to re-define energy fluctuations as NOTHING is misdirection.

The Argument - Introduction
The energy in the quantum vacuum which pre-date the big-bang is thermodynamic in nature, and so was never created nor can be destroyed but merely transformed to be the universe that we see today. The nature of energy makes it one of the two non-contingent objects known to science.
As space, matter, and time are emergent from the big bang, the energy that triggered inflation must be time-less, space-less, and “immaterial”.

The Argument – Differential Information Theory
Information theory asks two basic questions –
• In a single attempt, what is the probability that a long random number generator will re-create a complete copy of the Windows operating system?
• If a hard drive is found to contain an operating system, what is the probability that human programmers designed it?
The methods in answering these two questions have deep applications in cryptology, telecommunications, computing, and artificial intelligence largely due to how it can successfully differentiate, measure, and detect intelligent signals from noise.
Examine the hypotethical case of winning a 6-digit lottery with a 1 to 6 million odds, except that it involves a man who continuously won it 70 times in succession. The man was sued in court for rigging (intelligence) the lottery as the chance of all his wins happening is 1 to 10^500. Although there was no direct-evidence, lack of direct-evidence is not deemed as evidence of absence. Instead, we examine via Information Theory if it is reasonable to doubt that all this are due to chance. Note that Information Theory is admissible in court in cases of plagiarism and IP theft.
While it is true that any outcome is possible when repeated several times, the man only had a single opportunity to accomplish his feat the same way that the big bang only happened once.
It is not my intention to give a lecture, but in conclusion, it is REASONABLE beyond doubt that it is more probable that the man rigged the lottery rather than all of it happening purely by chance.

The Argument – A fine-tuned universe
The “hierarchy problem” is one of the most difficult topics in the Standard Model of Physics. It established that the 28 different INDEPENDENT parameters of physics are so fine-tuned that a naturalistic explanation is elusive. The only and last attempt to explain the naturalness of these parameters is Supersymmetry (SUSY). While a topic of rigorous research for the past 3-4 decades, it had failed detection in the Large Hadron Collider and the only parameter space it is permitted are in regions where SUSY become fine-tuned itself. While research still continues, SUSY is no longer considered a valid candidate to explain the fine tuning in physics. There are also examples of fine tuning in cosmology but the hierarchy problem is scientifically and academically acknowledged.
It is now well regarded and accepted that parameters are fine-tuned for the creation of the universe (slight mistuning will create a universe that will annihilate itself immediately). Examples of these fine tunings are in dark energy density, rate of inflationary expansion, relative strengths of the forces, resonant frequency of the atoms, etc, that if the permissible values are spread over the diameter of the universe, and if retuning was done just by over an inch, the universe will either cease to exist or will not be life permitting.
M-String theory aims to provide a complete picture of quantum gravity. The 6-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifold that is a crucial ingredient of M-theory is fined-tuned itself but can be considered successful in quantifying the upper-limit of the parameter-space to define all possible universes – 10^500. Our universe belong to one of these possibilities, but if by chance alone, represent an EXTREME amount of luck required for our universe to be what it today.
In closing, the fine-tuning was manifested during the instant of the big bang, and by virtue of information theory, it is more probable that our universe is a product of design rather than by chance. Design implies intelligence which begets consciousness and as all these are evident in the creation of the universe, it must be a characteristic of the non-contingent energy present in the quantum vacuum.
I leave it to my opponent to present counter-arguments like naturalism and the multiverse
theory so I can rebut appropriately in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1


The Cause Of The Universe

The problem with the predictions of a space-time boundary, is that the boundary predicted is a singularity. A singularity posits temperature, density, and curvature which is n/0. Division by 0 is logically contradictory, and since the singularity necessarily entails n/0, then the singularity at t=0 is logically impossible. If we assume a standard Big Bang model (not a quantum mechanical model), then there is no beginning point of the universe. This is because there is no first decimal after 0, and a state at t=0 of the universe is impossible. Meaning, any state one can point to, is necessarily preceded by other states. Pro has not established that a cause of the universe is needed. Also, if we assume a quantum mechanical model like Alexander Vilenkin's tunnelling model[1], or Stephen Hawking's no-boundary proposal[2], then the universe is explained naturalistically.

The Burden

I actually do have a burden in this debate. Also, pro claims that a universe with consciousness is more plausible given God. I see no reason to accept this, and Pro gave no reason to support this. Even if there was a cause of the universe that lead to life, there is no reason to think that it had to do with any God. Also, benevolence does not follow from anything Pro said here, thus his argument is a non-sequitur.


My opponent assumes there is a cause of the universe. We are left with no reason to believe this, as any state of the universe is preceded by more states necessarily. There could be no singularity at t=0, and there is no first decimal after 0. Also, even if there was something preceding the universe (quantum mechanical models), they involve states describable by the laws of physics; nothing supernatural.

The Futility Of Religion

This has no bearing on the resolution.

The Universe From Nothing

Neither the standard Big Bang model, or quantum mechanical models involve the universe coming from nothing. This whole section is just a red herring.

The Argument - Introduction

My opponent assumes that energy pre-dates the universe. There is no reason to believe this, and it is not commonly accepted like Pro claims. Vilenkin's model of cosmic origins for example, involves the universe coming from a state of 0 energy. Quantum events don't need pre-existing energy. This is my opponent's mistake.

The Argument – Differential Information Theory

Pro presents a false dichotomy:

(i) Intelligence that leads to x
(ii) Chance that leads to x

Pro does not rule out:

(iii) A non-sentient mechanism that leads to x

For example, does gravity keep my butt on the ground by chance? No. By intelligence? No. Gravity is a non-sentient mechanism that leads to that result. Similarly, anything we see today can be explained by naturalistic mechanisms without appealing to pure chance, or God at all. Since this argument is based on a false-dichotomy; it can be dismissed.

The Argument – A Fine-Tuned Universe

Pro mentions how the universe is just right for life. However, there are many explanations which do not involve God. Paul Davies believes that due to time loops, and the quantum "fuzziness" at the beginning of the universe, that humans beings collapsed certain wave-functions to get our fine-tuned physical constants. God wouldn't fine-tune the universe, in a sense, we would using backwards causation to do this by observation of the universe essentially. Now, retro-causality has been confirmed as a real phenomenon in Quantum Mechanics[2]. So, the universe is fine-tuned for life, but not to due to a multiverse, a God outside the universe, or even a God inside the universe. Human beings are enough.

Modal Argument For Atheism

The essential structure of this particular subset of modal arguments that I am going to be putting forward will be a regurgitation of Ryan Stinger's framework:

A. It is possible that p.

B. Necessarily, if it is possible that God exists, then it is necessary that God exists.

C. Necessarily, if God exists, then it is not the case that p.

D. Therefore, it is not possible that God exists. (from A, B, & C)[4]

God is a maximally great, and necessary being which entails that God, if possible, necessarily exists (which requires existence in every possible world). This inference is founded on the modal axiom S5[5], which is a basic axiom in modal logic. Now, in order for a Modal Argument for Atheism to work, the variable p has to be filled with that which will logically entail C is true. I am going to provide a quick list of such things which are prima facie metaphysically possible. It is possible that:

(i) All sentience is physically realized

(ii) The universe was created by a mindless, supernatural mechanism

(iii) Naturalism is true

(iv) There is no omnibenevolence

(v) There is no omnipotence

(vi) There is no omniscience

I could go on...We will call the set of all potential plugs for p, Set E. Each possibility mentioned is just as intuitively warranted as the premise that God is possible, and we can easily think of others then the ones mentioned. Since the claim that "God is possible" is outnumbered, then it is much more likely that God is impossible.

- The Modal Argument For Atheism establishes the probable non-existence of God

Problem Of Evil

I am going to present William Rowe's version [6] of the Argument from Evil. Here are two scenarios which the argument involves:

(E1) Lightning strikes a tree in a forest, causing a forest fire. A fawn is caught in this fire, and suffers intense agony for an extended period of time before finally dying.

(E2) A five year old girl is, by her mother's boyfriend, severely beaten, raped and strangled to death.

The argument is as follows:

(P) No good state of affairs that we know of is such that God, by bringing it about, is morally justified in permitting E1 and E2.

Therefore, probably:

(Q) No good state of affairs is such that God, by bringing it about, is morally justified in permitting E1 and E2.

Therefore, probably:

(R) God does not exist

The inference from Q to R should be rather obvious as these things in question are self-evidently permitted if God exists (which the Problem of Evil establishes is a contradiction). The inference from P to Q is justified based on the principle of induction [7]; it is clearly prima facie warranted. It is safe to say that P is actually true because we have no good reason why God allows these instances to occur. To say God has morally sufficient reasons we just may not know about delves into radical epistemological skepticism. If we were consistent with the logic, then if I set up a bomb to blow up in an elementary school then skepticism would be warranted with regards to whether I was evil or not. It would have to be more reasonable to assume that I had morally sufficient reasons than the notion I did something evil according to this response to the Problem of Evil. If the Theist claims that is "different" without valid reasoning, then we are dealing with a classic case of special pleading.

Also remember that one does not necessarily have to assume these acts of suffering are genuinely evil given Atheism. All we have to do is assume that these acts would be evil if God exists to show the contradiction in the idea of God. Pro has given us no good reasons to doubt Atheistic moral philosophy as well, so his "Good and Evil" section undermines the Problem of Evil in no way.

- The Problem of Evil establishes the probable non-existence of God.


None of Pro's arguments, argued for the God defined in the debate outline. Thus, even if he succeeds; he fails. I met my burden of proof.




Arguments from Evil

Evil is not inconsistent with the existence of God the same way that Cold and Darkness are not inconsistent with the existence of Light and Heat. Evil are mostly manifestations of our unreserved ability to act on our thoughts.

Requiring God to eliminate evil requires it to inhibit our intellectual faculties and prevent us from exhibiting every manner of action, including those of evil. God in doing simply dissolves into a dictator and a master puppet, and contradict the very nature of creation.

Take the example of a clock, which is made to serve a purpose, to run without constant intervention. In a similar fashion, the universe has its own set of independent laws so as to operate on its own.

To require God to interfere and remove evil in all manner of human thought and action is similar to a clock engineer interfering with the clock every second. He might as well throw his invention and be his own clock. It defeats the purpose of creation.

Evil is never inconsistent with the nature of God since God has to allow Evil as part of the “virtue” of granting free will.

Even Religion, despite their inconsistencies, did not claim in anyway that God committed to the universe to be one Big McHappy Place. On the contrary, in Christianity for example, God became human to suffer at the hands of Evil men to show his solidarity with the rest of humanity.

The con similar to many Atheists simply demands that if God exists, Evil and Suffering should not. This is ignoring the fact that no Religion or Philosophy ever made such claim in history.

Omnis are desirable but never a pre-requisite

The motion of this debate is to argue that God is the more probable cause for the existence of the universe. The common labels of omnipotence, omniscience and omni-benevolence are unique only to Abrahamic Religions and are not shared universally. But presupposing the existence of God based on ad-hoc claims by any specific Religion is simply begging the question.

The baggaged claims made by various Religion and Schools of Thought (especially antiquated ones) should not be determinant of God’s existence, the same way that the DEMOCRATIC Republic of Korea (or North Korea) should not be used as measure of the virtues of Democracy.

Omnis are desirable traits but as this house has shown, are not necessary pre-conditions for the existence of God. The ability to create a universe and exhibit consciousness already suffice and more than meet the scientific standards that Atheists always demand for.

Atheists demand scientific explanations so I find it bewildering that I am required to comply with unscientific claims (omnis) which are also never universally accepted.

Instead of making extraneous demands derived from outdated Philosophy, the con must provide arguments why the traits that he desire are necessary components to show probable cause.

Avoid omnis but prove it anyway

The existence of God can be demonstrated simply by showing that the cause of the universe’s existence exhibited consciousness.

But there is the danger that even if cause and consciousness have already been shown, the Atheist will find reason to deny God’s existence because of ones failure to meet the ad-hoc demands for omnis.

But God do exhibit these properties!

The ability to create the universe or multiverse is proof of extreme potency.

The ability to create the laws that came with the universe shows vast omniscience.

And the fact that the creation of the universe is a willful decision by a conscious being that also granted free will is an extreme act of benevolence.

Positive Cosmological Constant and a Fixed space-time boundary

This is not an argument. This is a statement of known fact.

However, fixed space-time boundary does not automatically imply a singularity.

It equally applies to other theories (Hawking Hartle Close space-time loops, or Cyclical universes) that seek to explain a physical mechanism for inflation, big bang, or start of the universe.

The implication that there is a temporal beginning is unavoidable as steady-space or infinite space without beginning is inconsistent with the thermodynamic properties of inflation (dark energy) were a positive cosmological constant persists.

Non-contigency of the Energy at the Quantum Vacuum

The CON suggests that there are possibly multiple states which preceded the creation of the universe, and the big bang is not necessary the beginning.

This is false since energy is thermodynamic. It cannot be created, nor can it be destroyed. It is its own beginning and its own end.
To suggest that there were earlier states is to say that something preceded or created the energy in the quantum vacuum.

NON-CONTINGENCY is implied in thermodynamics and it is impossible that anything CREATED or PRECEEDED energy. Even if a different form of energy preceded it, it is still energy.

As the energy also manifested intelligence, it must therefore be conscious and viable candidate for a physical manifestation of God

Futility of Religion

The CON required that God must be defined in a specific way (omnis) which is unique to a certain Religion.

As I have stated, this is irrelevant. A scientific explanation will suffice, and resorting back to claims of Religion does not

Universe from NOTHING

If not NOTHING, it came from SOMETHING.

If the CON agrees the universe came from SOMETHING, he must provide counter-examples of what those are if he doesn’t agree that
consciousness is responsible. And if he invokes chance, he should show why the universe is what it is today despite the fact the odds are against it.

Differential Information Theory

The laws of the universe (including gravity) is derived from the physical properties of the universe.

The CON simply presupposes that the laws already exist by themselves without providing reason as to how they arise.

The universe could either came from design or chance. And Information Theory has shown that invoking chance requires that we show how the universe have life permitting properties (or even exist at all) if the probability of such laws existing is EXTREMELY low.

M-theory provided a lowest boundary of 1 to 10^500 which is equivalent to winning a 1-to-6million lottery 70 times in succession.

It is MORE PROBABLE that the lottery was rigged the same way that it is MORE PROBABLE that the laws of the universe were designed rather than occurring by chance alone.

Retro-causality and Wave function collapse

This is merely one of the many interpretations of quantum mechanics and there was never consensus on why one interpretation should be favoured over another.

Erwin Schroedinger warned people about this when he explained that Wave Function is nothing but a mere mathematical tool the same way that Matrix Mathematics is a tool. Using matrix mathematics does not imply that we live in the matrix.

And as Roger Penrose has argued, quantum gravity by itself and not consciousness can cause wave function to collapse.

But by convenience, I will simply agree with the CON that consciousness is responsible except to say that temporally and physically it is more logical that it is NOT human since energy in the quantum vacuum is space-less as it pre-dates space-time.

Atheistic Naturalism is inconsistent with the scientific method

Naturalism asserts that regardless of any future observation or experiment, we will never observe anything extra-ordinary that will conflict with our predisposition of what is “Natural”.

This is in obvious conflict with the Scientific method where one is not to presuppose discovery.

Naturalism continue to ignore that every NEW scientific discovery in the past introduced new paradigms of thought that completely challenged and disposed our very notion of what is nature. Particle-Wave Duality, Space-time, Quantum
Entanglement, Higgs Mechanism, Computing, Artificial Intelligence.

Scientists are famous for saying that life may exist in conditions that we least expect.

The same can be said about consciousness, which if compared to chance, provide a more compelling explanation to the cause of universe.
Debate Round No. 2


Problem Of Evil

The argument is not that evil and God are incompatible, but that there is evil that is probably not necessary for a logically compensating good. There does seem to be evil and suffering that is gratuitous. This is self-evidently incompatible with with the very conceived nature of God as fundamentally omnibenevolent.

"On the face of it, the idea that God may well permit gratuitous evil is absurd. After all, if God can get what He wants without permitting some particular horror (or anything comparably bad), why on earth would He permit it?" - Daniel Howard-Snyder (Christian Philosopher)[1]

Additionally, Evil is on the very opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to good. An all good God would certainly want a minimization of it.

Now, Pro mentions free-will, but that only addresses evil caused by agents, not natural evils. Regardless, as Quentin Smith notes, there are three types of freedom[2]:

(i) Internal Freedom
(ii) External Freedom
(iii) Logical Freedom

God would have (i) and (ii) with respects to evil but not (iii) as God is all good by definition. This would mean that God is internally free and externally free to commit evil, but not logically free. However, Pro would certainly not assert that God is a robot just because he is not logically free to commit evil. Therefore, there is no reason to make that claim with regards to humans if we were not logically free to commit evil. We wouldn't even need to posses omnibenevolent either. In fact, it is logically necessary that if God exists, humans could not commit evil. Since God would be logically determined for good, and he embodies the highest intrinsic worth, then it is false that it is intrinsically better to be logically free with respect to a morally good life than logically determined. If God creates beings with the highest intrinsic worth for creatures, which an omnibenevolent God would do, then evil should not exist as this is possible. Evil exists.

Pro's objections to the Probelm of Evil fail, and the Problem of Evil stands.

Omnis Are Desirable But Never A Pre-Requisite

There are two huge problems with this section:

(1) The debate outline specifically defines God as tri-omni

(2) A tri-omni God cashes out from the concept of a maximally great being

If Pro did not like my definition of God, he should not have accepted this debate. Also, since God, in philosophy, is commonly defined as a maximally great, and a necessary being, then a tri-omni God follows from this. The reason is because tri-omni attributes are great making properties. My opponent claims that this conception of God is outdated philosophy, yet the definition I prescribed in this debate is still the most commonly used. I think Pro is sadly mistaken.

Avoid Omnis But Prove It Anyway

Firstly, my opponent has not demonstrated that any consciousness was the cause of the universe. If one reviews my last round, they will see that Pro has not even established a cause of the universe in the first place. Now, Pro claims:

"The ability to create the universe or multiverse is proof of extreme potency.
The ability to create the laws that came with the universe shows vast omniscience." - Pro

Pro needs to make clear what he means by "extreme potency", as that is very vague terminology. Also, omniscience does not follow from "laws that came with the universe". The laws simply describe the universe mathematically.

Pro's arguments here were based on bare assertions and non-sequiturs, and can be dismissed for those reasons.

Positive Cosmological Constant And A Fixed Space-Time Boundary

My opponent is correct that a space-time boundary need not include a singularity. However, one would need a quantum mechanical model for that; which most commonly involves the universe coming into being naturalistically. Also, my opponent is incorrect that it applies to the Hawking-Hartle state, as that is obviously a no-boundary proposal, which, in its revised state, falls fully in line with the existence of a positive cosmological constant[3].

Even if space-time and matter began to exist, Vilenkin's model of cosmic origins involves the universe coming into being as a quantum tunnelling event from a 0 energy state describable by physics; no supernatural aspects required.

Differential Information Theory

I showed in my last round why his argument here is invalid as it is based on a false-dichotomy. Intelligent design, or strict chance are not the only options. A non-sentient mechanism which leads to a certain result seems just as plausible as intelligent design; no God needed. Pro's argument is logically fallacious, and can be discarded.

Retro-Causality And Wave Function Collapse

If one wants to deny retro-causality, then they would have to adhere to a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics. However, local non-realism is confirmed by violation of Bell's inequalities[4], and non-local non-realism is demonstrated by violations of Leggett's inequalities, and the before-before experiment[5]. Information travelling back in time has been scientifically verified. Observation could collapse past histories to be bio-friendly. This is especially plausible due to the fuzziness of the early universe. Paul Davies' idea adheres to Occam's Razor the most, as it does not need to appeal to anything outside the universe.

Atheistic Naturalism As Inconsistent With The Scientific Method

Pro claims:

"Naturalism asserts that regardless of any future observation or experiment, we will never observe anything extra-ordinary that will conflict with our predisposition of what is 'Natural'." - Pro

Naturalism asserts no such thing. Quantum Mechanics is extra-ordinary for example, as it violates classical physics and our predisposition of what is natural. However, it is now included in our picture of nature. If a new discovery is made, there is no reason to think that it could not be included into a naturalistic picture. There is nothing which commits the naturalist to the notion that new extra-ordinary things cannot be inputted into a naturalistic framework. Therefore, Pro's claim that Atheistic Naturalism is inconsistent with the scientific method is misguided. One has to do some serious straw-manning to achieve such a result.

The Modal Argument For Atheism

As per the rules, God is defined as a maximally great being. Necessary existence is self-evidently embodied together with maximal greatness. This means, that if God is even possible, then he has to exist necessarily. This is founded on modal axiom S5 which basically states that if possibly necessarily f, then necessarily f.

I provided a modal template from Ryan Stringer in my last round that looked like this:

A. It is possible that p.

B. Necessarily, if it is possible that f (a necessary being exists), then it is necessary that f (a necessary being exists).

C. Necessarily, if God exists, then it is not the case that p.

D. Therefore, it is not possible that God exists. (from A, B, & C)

I gave examples of multiple plugs for p, and almost an infinite amount can be thought up of. Since there is only one plug for f with regards to the Modal Ontological Argument for Theism, then the Modal Argument for Atheism is inherently more plausible by sheer numbers alone:

[I]t is more plausible that at least one of the modal arguments for atheism is sound and that the modal ontological argument is unsound than that all of the modal arguments for atheism are unsound and that the modal ontological argument is sound." - Ryan Stringer

Pro did not even touch this argument. It stands.


Pro failed to meet his burden; I met mine. The resolution has been negated.


[1] Howard-Snyder, Daniel, and Frances Howard-Snyder. 1999. American Philosophical Quarterly36: 115-29.



Problem of Evil

It begs repeating that there was never a religion or philosophy that made the claim that God prohibits Evil and Suffering.

In Christianity, God permitted Evil and especially upon his own Son (extreme example of Gratuitous Evil) to show his solidarity with man.

Like the Evil in Christ’s Crucifixion, Evil is permitted because there are morally-sufficient and redeeming reasons. At an age of moral decadence, Christ’s death paved way for moral redemption thru examples of his life and ministry.

In Abrahamic religions, Evil are essential parts of moral growth of beings that exhibit free will. It is both the act of choosing Good (instead of Evil by agency), and doing Good (in-spite of natural Evil) which are decried as the epitome of Morality. The act of making these choices and the moral growth that comes with it cannot be realized if Evil in all of its forms do not exist.

In most religions, happiness is not to be expected on Earthly life. It is a mere transitory state where God tests and hones humanity’s moral growth. This is best achieved with all forms of Evil rather than its subset. It is more benevolent for a God to fashion humanity to evolve with firm and complete moral ascendancy rather than blissful puppets with empty souls.

Problem of Objective Evil

The problem of OBJECTIVE Evil presupposes the existence of the OBJECTIVE Good.

Of course, SUBJECTIVE good and evil exists like how Nazis considered it good to annihilate inferior races, for pedophiles to consider abuse of children as good for their sexual education, and for naturalist to argue that morality evolved socio-biologically such that what is considered good and evil subjectively changes if we evolved differently.

However, the lack of substance of subjectivity is exactly why the problem of Evil is treated objectively.

But Objective Good and Moral Values (Objectively morally TRUE regardless of the existence of the universe) can only come from God.

So to say that Objective Evil is a problem, relative to what Objective Good exactly?

Quentin Smith’s Logical Freedom exists and does not contradict God’s nature

One is FREE is act against logic. We call them irrational, and likely because of lack of wisdom or intellect.

Like humans, God has the ability to make choices except always makes the best and most logical ones since it has unbounded wisdom and intellect.

The choice not be irrational does not decree that one has no freedom.

Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omni-benevolence

These traits are exclusive only to Abrahamic dogma. For example, Shiva is not benevolent.

CON insists that the omni-traits are commonly used in the philosophy of God but this only reflects his biased disposition that Western philosophy is universal.

Philosophy in support of the omni-dogma is borne from Western Christian traditions. In Christianity however, omni-traits are matters of faith first (based on interpretations of the Bible) before they became philosophy.

The proof that God exhibit these traits are provided anyway although this house continue to argue that they are not pre-requisites for God since cause and consciousness already suffice.

  • Creation of universe and multiverse shows
    extreme potency (potential to realize reality. What could be more omnipotent?)
  • Creating the universe and its laws (including
    physical and moral laws) shows omniscience, or great understanding of those laws
  • Creation as willed by Conscious Desire and virtue
    of Granting of free will are proof of extreme benevolence

Naturalism and Unscientific
Modal Arguments for Atheism do not disprove God

This house argues and it still stands that the quantum-vacuum energy that caused the universe to exist also exhibited intelligence and consciousness.

As the cause is conscious, it fits the bill as the physical manifestation of God, and no other labels are best suited.

Energy and Consciousness are natural phenomena, and the existence of God therefore is not unnatural.

Naturalism only disproves the supernatural claims of Religion.

However, God is not dependent on the prejudicial and inconsistent claims of Religion. If God exists, it would have existed “at least 14 billion years ago” and obviously pre-date any civilization and religion.

Misbehaving monkeys that evolved 50,000 years ago have no bearing on the nature of the energy in the quantum vacuum.

Modal Arguments for Atheism which, instead of being rooted on Science, are rooted on the alleged spiritual and philosophical dispositions of misbehaving monkeys (which CON calls as plugs for the modal possibility, p) are intellectually incompetent. Other plugs provided by CON are not compelling -

(i) All sentience is physically realized but God
thru energy fluctuations in the quantum vacuum shows that God has a physical

(ii) The universe was created by a mindless supernatural mechanism but Energy and Consciousness are not supernatural

(iii) Naturalism is true so does a cause of the universe that exhibit consciousness, which is natural

(iv) There are no omnis the same way there are no omnis outside of Western philosophy

Retro-causality and Wave Function Collapse

Non-Local realism is a technical term in quantum mechanics to mean that there are no local hidden variables that control the probabilistic nature of quantum particles. They are simply inherently probabilistic without underlying or hidden classical mechanisms.

The CON like others make the layman assumption that “non-local realism” implies non-reality. This is laughable since Non-local realism do imply realism due to locally hidden classical variables.

De-coherence and Information Theory, and not outdated philosophy, are the de-facto scientific approach to quantum mechanics.

Positive Cosmological Constant and the Fixed Space-time boundary

Due to the positive cosmological constant, the temporal beginning of the universe is true regardless of the quantum mechanical model, including the Hawking-Hartle model.

The Hawking-Hartle theory was first conceived (3 decades ago) without knowledge of that fact (positive), but was revised to account for actual observation.

What Hawking deemed as no-boundary is a superficial term to refer to negative imaginary time. This is separate from Relativistic space-time, which has a boundary as consequence of a positive cosmological constant. Even if negative imaginary time preceded space-time, it cannot precede the NON-CONTINGENT
quantum energy which exhibited consciousness.

Quantum mechanical models only describe the nature of the energy at quantum state, and the Hierarchy Problem continues to show that quantum objects exhibit properties of fine tuning.

Information Theory and Other causes for the universe

CON made the claim that there are other possible causes for the universe but never elaborated on them. CON hides the fact that the only alternative to a natural conscious cause of the universe are natural stochastic or random processes, which he renamed as non-sentient mechanism leading to a CERTAIN outcome.

He contends that there is fuzziness in the early universe but fuzziness do not lead to CERTAIN outcomes, they lead to fuzzy outcomes.

It is true that fuzziness exists, but so does the extreme fine tuning (which CON continues to sidestep) despite the probabilistic nature of the universe.

CON is not so different from the man who won the 1-to-6 million lottery 70 times, except he argues in court for fuzziness and not reasonable doubt.

Differential Information Theory simply asserts that it is more probable that the lottery was rigged, the same way that intelligence and consciousness are more probable causes of the universe rather than chance.

This is not God of gaps. This is not driven by lack of knowledge but deep understanding of the Hierarchy Problems and Differential and Quantum Information Theories both leading to the conclusion that intelligent signals are present (instead of noise).

Due to limited space, all sources will be listed on the final round.

Debate Round No. 3


The Problem Of Evil

If God is omnibenevolent, then he must stop gratuitous suffering. This is because if God does not have morally sufficient reasons for permitting some sort of horrible act, but allows it anyway, then this being would be self-evidently morally inferior to a being who did not allow the atrocious act. Meaning, that if this act took place and was gratuitous; God does not exist.

Now, my opponent gives examples, like Christ's death, to show that God has morally sufficient reasons to allow things like this (they would lead to more good in the long run). The problem is that God is defined as omnipotent. This means that if God exists, he can do anything logically or metaphysically possible. Prima facie, there is nothing logically or metaphysically impossible with the idea of God injecting the world with the same amount of goodness if Christ did not have to suffer and die. This means that Christ's death would still be considered gratuitous suffering.

My opponent mentions free-will again, but since God is defined as omnibenevolent, then by definition, he is not logically free to commit an evil act even if he is free internally, or externally. It is possible to have this logical determination for good acts without the need for omnibenevolence. This means, it is possible for God to have made us logically determined for good, and still have free will. This means, that the ability to do evil is not necessary for free will. No omnibenevolent God would give humans logical freedom for evil, when God is the perfect example of how it is more morally valuable to have a logical determination for good. However, we do have the freedom to do evil. Thus, God probably does not exist.

Problem Of Objective Evil

Firstly, the Problem of Evil can be run even if one assumes that rape is only wrong if Theism were true. Rape would be wrong if Theism were true, and the Problem of Evil shows a contradiction in the idea of God. It is not necessary to assume morality is actually objective to run the argument. Also, Pro says that objective morals can only come from God. No argument was given to support this. Thus, It remains a bare assertion:

"There is no obvious contradiction between a strong commitment to moral realism and disbelief in God. That atheism and moral realism are in tension is a philosophical position that must be argued for." - Jason Thibodeau[1]

Pro never defended his crucial points.

Quentin Smith’s Logical Freedom Exists And Does Not Contradict God’s Nature

One cannot choose to do something that violate the laws of logic, not even an omnipotent being. One can think of a scenario that is illogical, or contradict themselves semantically, but nobody can actualize a contradictory situation ontologically; which is where the meat in Smith's argument lies. Pro completely missed the mark. Additionally, my opponent conflates logic with rationality.

Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnibenevolence

The rules of this debate specifically define God as a tri-omni, maximally great being. To appeal to a different conception of God, Pro is actually blatantly violating the debate rules. Therefore, this whole subset of Pro's argumentation is trivial with regards to the context of this exchange.

Naturalism And Unscientific Modal Arguments For Atheism Do Not Disprove God

Pro has to assume there was a cause of the universe in the fist place to make his claim that God was the cause; which was not accomplished in earlier rounds. Also, he just asserts the cause has to be conscious with no explanation. Regardless, there does not have to be any pre-existing energy that causes the universe.

The universe most likely has a total energy sum of zero and many calculations demonstrate this [2]. This view is held because the negative energy of gravitational attraction and the negative energy stored in space, exactly offset the positive energy in the universe to equal zero. This is hypothesis is no fiction either; as negative energy has even been experimentally verified between Casimir plates [3]. If there was no universe there was be a sum of zero energy; we we have the same sum with a universe. This means that no additional energy is required for a universe. This makes this argument from Pro about needed pre-existing energy rather trivial.

Pro also tries to diminish the Modal Ontological Argument but falls flat. He claims:

"(i) All sentience is physically realized but God thru energy fluctuations in the quantum vacuum shows that God has a physical manifestation."

The above fails, as the physical world is logically contingent. God, by definition, is a logically necessary being. Thus, the idea of God being physical is a contradiction according to the definition outlined.

"(ii) The universe was created by a mindless supernatural mechanism but Energy and Consciousness are not supernatural"

If the universe was created by a mindless mechanism, that would mean it wasn't created by God. Atheists also accept that energy and consciousness are not supernatural, so this plug is futile.

"(iii) Naturalism is true so does a cause of the universe that exhibit consciousness, which is natural"

Even if the universe did exhibit consciousness, that wouldn't mean the being was maximally great or tri-omni. Pro keeps on forgetting the definition relevant to this debate.

"(iv) There are no omnis the same way there are no omnis outside of Western philosophy"

The above actually helps my case, because if there are no tri-omnis, then God cannot exist by definition!

Pro had no fruitful objection to the Modal Ontological Argument for Atheism; thus it stands.

Retro-Causality And Wave Function Collapse

My opponent has a habit of completely ignoring my arguments, and made absolutely no sense. I already debunked this whole section from Pro. A realist interpretation simply means that wave-function collapse is not real, and that the certain states of a particle are already determined regardless of observation (a deterministic view). However, like I said in my last round, local and non-local realism have been debunked by Bell's inequalities, leggett's inequalities, and the before-before experiment (Pro never responded to that). Deterministic views are simply not feasible in light of these discoveries in quantum mechanics. This means, that retro-causality is indeed a scientific fact. Paul Davies' account for the fine-tuned universe has not been scratched by Pro.

Positive Cosmological Constant And The Fixed Space-Time Boundary

Stephen Hawking's no-boundary proposal is indeed compatible with a positive cosmological constant after revision, as I stated in my last round, and Pro seems to concede. Then, in a bizarre attempt to undermine imaginary time, he claims that it cannot precede this pre-existing energy and consciousness. But he never demonstrated this energy or consciousness in the first place.

Information Theory And Other Causes For The Universe

Pro claims that I side-stepped the fine-tuning argument, but I did not. I appealed to Paul Davies' theory which is based on scientific fact. An observation at t2, can collapse a wave-function at t1. There is no limit to how far back in time this can go. Our observations could collapse wave-functions of the past into a bio-friendly history. Nothing rules this out, and it has more explanatory rigor than the God hypothesis. It does not have to appeal to anything outside the universe, or appeal to another entity unnecessarily.


None of Pro's arguments succeeded. Even if they did, God as defined has still not been established. All of mine remain unscathed; the resolution has been negated.



In the next round, Pro must only put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."


"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

In a plea for fairness, the instigator made the request that I don't put my sources in the final round like what I indicated in my closing statement in Round 3.

I have little interest in technicality or in winning. For those who may be interested in my sources, I made them available in the comments but I plea to the voters/adjudicators to considet that I failed to include my sources within the debate rounds.

Debate Round No. 4
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
If there was no energy, the energy sum would be 0. If we have a universe, the positive and negative balance out to give us a sum of 0. Zero sum can refer to BOTH no energy, and a universe with has a positive energy that balances out with the negative. This means,.it doesn't matter whether we have a universe or not, the sum remains the exact same. This means, no laws of conservation are broken.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
"Zero sum is not the same as No energy"

If there is a state of no energy, and you were asked to sum it up, what would it be? 0. You are missing the point. It doesn't matter whether we have a universe or not, the energy sum remains the

"Zero sum simply refers to the balance between positive and negative energy."

Once more, you are ignoring the point! If there is no energy, the sum would be the same as if there is a universe! 0. Thus, no additional energy is needed to get the universe going.

"The energy (positive, negative, balanced) exists and it created the universe. "

The universe could have came from no energy at all. You are making up this imaginary energy that had to start the universe haha
Posted by DT 5 years ago
Well, let me be quick on this one ;)

Zero sum is not the same as No energy.

Zero sum simply refers to the balance between positive and negative energy.
The balance does not mean "no energy" the same way that balance between cash and debt does not mean there is no cash.

The energy (positive, negative, balanced) exists and it created the universe. My argument is simply to show the nature of that energy - it is thermodynamic (can not be created) and it manifested consciousness.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
If there was no universe, and no energy, what would the net energy be? Zero. We have a universe, and what is the net energy? Zero. It never changes, with or without the universe. The conservation of energy would not be harmed. I did not say that anything about "nothing", why do you keep talking about "nothing"? Haha
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
"Just a parting response - the zero-sum was in reference to positive and negative energy cancelling each other, the same way cash and debt cancels each other. But it does not mean NO energy or NO cash nor debt. Energy can transform including to "positive or negative" but it does not preclude that it does not exist."

I did not say energy did not exist. I said that there could be no energy prior to the universe, then the universe can pop into existence, and that wouldn't change the net energy. It would always be zero.
Posted by DT 5 years ago

Just a parting response - the zero-sum was in reference to positive and negative energy cancelling each other, the same way cash and debt cancels each other. But it does not mean NO energy or NO cash nor debt. Energy can transform including to "positive or negative" but it does not preclude that it does not exist.

The fact that one uses the term "zero sum" is indication that SOMETHING was being summed.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
Would someone please counter that last vote bomb? He gave no reason at all why he gave me arguments. A 4 point counter would suffice as he had a good reason to give me the source vote, but if you feel a full 6 counter is justified, then I won't be upset about it.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
"it is nevertheless irrelevant as to whether God really exists or not."

It's relevant as far as the God I defined goes.

"Zero-sum is not NOTHING"

Nobody said a zero sum of energy was "nothing". That is a straw-man. Who said a zero sum energy was nothing? It's not. I made that point to show that no pre-existing energy was needed like you claimed. The universe could spring up from no energy at all.
Posted by DT 5 years ago
Based on the comments and votes, it becomes evident why I made arguments for the following in the first round -

* Futility of Religion
* Universe is NOT from NOTHING

The notions of omni- and maximally great God is based on Western Christian Traditions, is purely a religious claim and is not shared universally. However, since the debate is "God Exists" and not "Christian God Exists", I made it an effort to show the futility of the claims of Religion.

And since I am the first speaker, I merely exercised my privelege to refine the motion, and show that geography-based philosophical understones are never sufficient to address this issue, it is nevertheless irrelevant as to whether God really exists or not.

There were last-minute arguments (zero-sum energy) from the CON which I didn't had the opportunity to address as it was already the last round. But it touches on the very premise of whether the universe came from nothing.

Zero-sum is not NOTHING the same way that cash and debt may cancel each other and show ZERO in the balance sheet, it does not in anyway say that there was NO cash and debt. ZERO SUM may look like NOTHINGNESS, but one can not deny that there was SOMETHING (cash and debt).
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
Sorry for the rant, but I honestly feel Fornier is not justified in his vote.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Themoderate 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro, use sources in your debates.
Vote Placed by Sargon 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It was difficult to judge who won because the debaters discussed a lot of technical and sophisticated points. However, it does seem like Pro frequently moved away from god as defined in R1, and wanted to debate his own interpretation of what god is. Feel free to have your own definition of god, but don't accept a specific framework and then do something different. For example, R1 defines god as personal (which means conscious, and an omniscient being has to be conscious) and omnibenevolent, yet Pro says in the next round that god need not be personal or benevolent. Furthermore, Pro spent time on concepts that had nothing to do with the debate, like 'The Futility of Religion" and 'The Universe From Nothing'. Con used a plentiful amount of sources, some of which had debatable quality, but Pro used a total of zero sources. Con also showed the relevance of his (sketchy) sources to his argument. Arguments and sources to Con.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was tough on the reader. I felt like Con relied a bit too much on "I already debunked that so I'm not going to say more." Sometimes it was appropriate, but sometimes I felt as though Pro had given an rebuttal that Con just didn't want to bother with. Pro had his moments of just dismissing Con as well, which is why I was torn. I was not deterred by Con's claim that Pro broke the rules in his dismissal of the omnis because Pro gave good argumentation why they were irrelevant to his case and then later even threw Con a bone by showing how his view of God still met the traditional view of the omnis. On balance, Pro edged out in better argumentation. However, he had no sources, so that goes to Con. I am on the fence on conduct because Con seemed to add new argumentation in his final round when he brought up 0-sum energy. I would have liked to see that in an earlier round so I could have seen Pro's rebuttal.