The Instigator
kyleniel
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
GuitarSlinger
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

God isn't needed for the existence of the universe.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+6
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The Voting Period Ends In
153days07hours27minutes13seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,171 times Debate No: 118944
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (106)
Votes (1)

 

kyleniel

Pro

Before there was the universe, There was nothing, Nothing, And only nothing can come from nothing, As logic says. However, In this nothing, There is nothing to support logic, So it is possible for something to come from nothing. It is also possible for the world to come from this nothing. So, There is no need for a deity.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Before there was the universe, There was nothing" - Not so sure you can assert this statement as fact. What I would argue is that something existed, But it did not consist of matter.

I think a better way to state this is "The material universe exists now. However, Before the material universe existed, It did not exist. It came to exist at some point". Would you agree as to a restate of the premise?

Using logic, And observing the world around us, We can observe/deduce the following:

1. Everything that exists, Needed something else to make it exist-- some other "agents" to bring about it's existence. That rock on the road. That tree over there. The car I drive. The computer you use. The cell phone you use. Heck, Even me and you. We did not "pop into existence" -- some other agents were necessary to bring about their existence. None of these things came into existence on their own. We observe this with our senses and science pretty much confirms this.

2. One can pretty much observe this with pretty much everything in the Material universe. You can ask this question pretty much about everything and you arrive at the same conclusion : "______________ needed something else (perhaps multiple things) to bring about it's existence. "

3. If one asks this question repeatedly, One ultimately arrives at the question of "What about matter itself? What brought matter into existence? " (reminds me of Rocky and Bullwinkle-- Wassamatta U. ).

4. Having observed things do not bring themselves into existence (see #1 and #2 above), It stands to reason that "Matter could not have brought itself into existence". Matter could not cause itself to exist-- it would need something that is "not" matter to bring about it's existence. Or, Put another way, Something "outside the material universe" would have been necessary to bring about the existence of Matter. Or put another way, Something "Immaterial" would be necessary to bring about the existence of matter.

So while I agree, "matter" could come from nothing. I would argue, SOMETHING is necessary to bring matter into existence, Since matter could not have come into existence of it's own accord. If it could, This would fly in the face of everything we observe in the material universe, Both with our senses and/or scientifically. This something would have to be immaterial (i. E. Not composed of matter itself).
Debate Round No. 1
kyleniel

Pro

1. Nothing can come from itself, It needs an external cause. So there was nothing. It's fact from its logical consistency.

2. Well, Even if something is necessary, It isn't necessarily a deity. It could be a force.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Rethinking your original post, Your argument is making an assumption that is presumed to be true: the fact that there was "nothing" before the universe came to be. Would you agree that is an assumption, And not necessarily a Truth?

I would rather say, "before the universe came to be, There was something that was NOT the universe". Now, That "something" could be either "nothing", Or it could be "something" else. I simply do not know. But I would not presume to assert as a Truth that there was absolutely nothing. . . . . .

Regarding your two points.

1. "Nothing can come from itself, It needs an external cause. " Logically speaking, This statement doesn't make sense. It, In a sense, Refutes itself. On the one hand you are saying "nothing can come from itself". That statement can actually be reworded to say "nothing can come from nothing" (substituting "itself" with "nothing", Since "itself" refers to "nothing"). But then you go on to say "it needs an external cause". Which means, If it needs an external cause, Then "nothing" can not produce "nothing"-- something other than "nothing" would be needed to produce "nothing".

This 2nd part refutes the first part-- if it needs an external cause, It needs something that is NOT nothing to cause it.

Put simply, That argument goes like this (would you agree that "itself" refers or equates to "nothing" in your statement? ). IN the argument below, "X" = "nothing" and "Y" = "itself".
Consider X and Y
1. X can come from Y, It needs an external cause.
2. X equals Y, Therefore
3. X can come from X, It needs an external cause. <---- this doesn't make sense, For if X could come from X, It would not need an external cause.

2. I will agree with you-- while logic would dictate that the Material universe would need something that is im-material to create it (i. E. Not of the material universe), This doesn't necessarily point to a GOD that created it. Let's just call it, For lack of a better word, An "Entity". Now, We are starting to see some of the characteristics of this "Entity". Or, If you want, We could even call it "Force". We've already arrived at one of the characteristics of this "force' (or entity)
1st Characteristic - Immaterial - this entity can not be composed of Matter for reasons explained above. It would defy logic set forth in the above arguments.

Keep in mind, I"m not yet calling this thing a "God", I'm just setting forth a characteristic. . . . . It would be like me saying "Man, I see this big thing in front of me. I don't know what it is, But it is Grey. " It might be too soon for me to call it an elephant, But we know something about this thing before me-- it's grey. As we start to use our reason and intellect, Perhaps this big thing will be revealed to us. Same with God. Let's not call this entity "God" yet-- let's just call it "Entity". And we know it's immaterial (not made of matter).

As a corollary to the first characteristic, A by-product of this would be this "Entity" is would not be detectable or measurable by science (as we know it). Why not? Well, Put simply, "science" measures/observes the physical material universe around us. So this Entity, As explained earlier, Would have to be "outside the physical universe". This thing. . . This entity. . . This force has no physical dimensions that could be observed (remember, It's outside the physical material universe).
Debate Round No. 2
kyleniel

Pro

What I meant was no object can come from itself.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Exactly. So, To re-state-- it has been observed that every object/creature/thing in the material universe can not create itself, Or bring itself into existence. An external cause is necessary. If one keeps asking this question of everything in the universe, One ultimately arrives at the question of "What about matter itself. How did matter come into existence. "

It follows that in order for "matter" to come into existence, Something outside of "matter" (i. E. Not made of "matter") would be necessary to create "matter".
Debate Round No. 3
kyleniel

Pro

Well, That still doesn't refute my point that it isn't necessarily a god.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Excellent observation. I think before we continue, We should probably do something we should've done in the beginning, Before we started, And that is, Agree to what a "deity" is.

*** So, May I ask you, How would you define "deity" (or if you prefer, How would you describe "deity"). ***

I ask this because I want to make sure we start off right. I want to make sure you're not expecting a "deity" to be something or do something that just isn't logical. I've had arguments where folks had the position to something akin to this: "A god (deity) should be able to make a triangle with only 2 sides ". Then, When I argue that isn't possible because it isn't logical, They counter with, With arms folded and a victorious smile on their face, "See! God doesn't exist. If an all-powerful God exists, He should be able to do ANYTHING. "

Please don"t' spend time dissecting my example above- I hope you get my point. I would just prefer we start off right and see what we both expect a "Deity" to be.

The other thing I suspect is that this discussion might take more than 5 rounds-- 50K characters is not a lot of space to discuss/debate something like "God" (Aquinas et al have written VOLUMES on the topic). Nonetheless, I"ll do my best.

Now. Back to your most recent argument. While I didn't refute your point that a "deity" isn't necessary, I think what I did argue or explain is that "some thing" is necessary to create the material universe, And that this "thing" could not be part of the material universe-- it had to be "outside" of the material universe, Not made of matter, And thus immaterial. So, This "thing" that created the material needs to be "immaterial". Would you agree?

The path I"m taking is a different path--- I'm trying to reveal characteristics of "what" created the universe. An analogy would be this: I can do my best to reveal to you the characteristics of this object in front of us. I can tell you it's large, It's grey, It has big ears and big legs, It's noisy, It's smelly, And it has a trunk. At the end of the day, If you don't believe it's an elephant, Not sure there's much more I can do, Especially if in the very beginning we agree that an "elephant" has these characteristics. At the end of the discussion you can argue, "well, If it"s an elephant, Why are there peanuts here? If this was in fact an elephant, The peanuts wouldn"t be here, Since elephants eat peanuts". Or you might say, "Nope -- an elephant is supposed to have a large horn in the middle of it's head. " I might argue that say "Hey now, You're changing your idea of what an elephant is. " I'll still challenge/debate, But I might question some things. I"m willing to debate (argue) subsequent points after debating / arguing the preliminary points.

One final point, As we debate, I'd like to address issues singularly, And not open up and try to address all issues/questions that may come up later. Let's discuss and put to rest a point, And then move on to the next. A simple analogy would be you and I are driving with a truck load of merchandise, And we come to a huge chasm/canyon in the road. You may argue we need a bridge to get everything across, I may say "No, Not necessarily. We don't HAVE to have a bridge to get everything across". You may counter with "Well, How do WE get across? How do we get all our merchandise across? Etc etc". Let's first settle the question IS a bridge the only means of getting across? Let's not try and address all subsequent questions that arise, Unless we absolutely have to. You get my point?
Debate Round No. 4
GuitarSlinger

Con

GuitarSlinger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
106 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 17 hours ago
GuitarSlinger
@StardustyPsyche

Um, You made the move. You were that made the point that material isn't created it, It's transformed (changed). The argument for change/motion

The first cause argument does indeed point to an Uncaused Cause, Not to an infinite number of gods that require a cause.

A boxcar Z on a train track only moves because Boxcar Y moves it. Boxcar Y only moves because Boxcar X moves it, And so on and so on. You need to have something start the moving (change) don't you? An infinite number of moving boxcars seems unreasonable to me. Something is needed to start/cause the moving (i. E. A locomotive).

Your analogy about God changing the universe has an error in my opinion. You start off by saying "supposing the universe was motionless and changing"

Are you implying that the universe was this static motionless thing, And then God set it into motion. Much like a bunch of dominoes laid out in a gym, And then God flicks the first domino and sets off a chain of falling dominos that continues to this day?

While I agree, That the first domino (the first change) needs to happen, But why does it imply that God too is also changing?

You propose 3 problems ( don't see these as "problems", I think you mean to say, This leaves us with 3 possible conclusions)

1) God has always been changin
2) God changed itself
3) There was an infinite regression of gods changing gods

Why do you exclude the 4th below? :

4) There is an caused cause that initiates the change
Posted by StardustyPsyche 20 hours ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
"F)If there is nothing outside the material universe, Then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe. "
Now you have moved to a first cause for change argument.

Previously you were making (false) claims about observations in the present, Conflating the reorganization of material with material being observed to come in and out of existence.

The speculation of god solves nothing in the first cause argument. If all changes require and antecedent changer then god would need and antecedent changer. Your assertion of a god as a first cause simply leads to an infinite regression of gods changing gods, Thus solving nothing.

Just supposing the universe was motionless and unchanging. Then god imparted the first change which resulted in a series changes that continues to this day. That is a change for god. First god did not impart change to the universe, Then god did impart change to the universe.

So we are left with all the same problems:
God has always been changing
or
God changed itself
or
There was an infinite regression of gods changing gods

The speculation of god solves nothing. The problem of first cause remains an unsolved riddle for all human beings. No human being has solved this problem and published the solution into general circulation.

I am not here to tell you I have solved this riddle. I am here to tell you that you have not solved this riddle and nobody has solved this riddle.

Theists who speculate a god and imagine that somehow solves the riddle are merely making an idle speculation and then turning off their own thought process with some version of "goddunnit".

A continued examination of the assertion of god doing it quickly reveals that all the same problems arise and that the speculation of god actually solves nothing.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 21 hours ago
GuitarSlinger
@stardustypsyche

Let"s look at your idea of change.
A) When matter changes, It is going from one state to another.
B)When something comes to be in a certain state (like water to snow, An acorn to a mighty oak tree), That state cannot bring itself into being.
C)The thing changing cannot have (the state) what it will have after the change (otherwise it wouldn"t be changing). The result of change cannot really exist before the change. The shifting (changing) thing starts with just the possibility to change, But if that possibility will be to be made real, It has to be acted on by other matters outside. Otherwise it cannot change.
D)As an aside, Self-moving things, Like animal bodies, Are moved by desire or will"something other than mere molecules. And when individual or the creature dies, The molecules stay, Because the want or will isn"t any longer present to transfer it but the body moves.
E)The universe is the sum total of all these moving (changing) things, However many there are. The whole universe is in the process for change. But we"ve seen that an outside force is required by change in any being (C). Therefore, There"s some force outside (in addition to) the universe, Some real being transcendent to the universe.
F)If there is nothing outside the material universe, Then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 21 hours ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
" The claim that "matter" is eternal flies in the face of what we observe all around us. We see things coming in and out of existence all the time (changing as StarPSyche points out). "
Conflation between an organization of material and the constituent material.

All organized collections of material change in their organization. No new material is created and no existent material is lost from existence. The observed total amount of material in existence has never been observed to change, At all.

"We see things coming in and out of existence all the time"
Material is never observed to come into existence.
Material is never observed to go out of existence.
Material is observed to exist.

The conclusion based on the evidence of all observation is obvious:
Material has always existed.
Material will always exist.

What we "see all the time" is merely reorganization of the same amount of material into ever changing "things", Never with any change in the total amount of material in existence. Thus, The only logical conclusion based on observation is that material is eternal.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 21 hours ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger

SP"What is a "thing"? It is a recognizable collection of material. All macro objects are collections of constituent material. "
" What's your point? Your basically saying in fancy way "Things are made of matter".
No, I explained the point, Apparently that explanation was not sufficient.

" I simply said things can not change themselves. "
Which is a mistake, As I have demonstrated and is apparent by simple observation, But you still do not understand.

"A cloud is a thing. It's a collection of matter, Is it not? So let's stick with your cloud analogy, In particular your snow cloud. Your analogy ignores science. The cloud does indeed need "outside" in order for water to change into snow-- it needs the right temperature. It needs the right pressure. With the help of this outside stuff (temperature, Pressure) the water molecules will not change into snow. "
The point of defining a boundary is to define a set of conditions within a space at a particular time.

Since you are struggling with those examples I will give you some that might be easier for you to understand.
The sun.
The solar system.
A radioactive atom.

Given that we observe the sun it is a "thing". The sun is "itself" The sun is surrounded by (almost) empty space. Even if somehow all the universe could be emptied of all other matter the sun would still be the sun. Yet the sun is continually changing by its internal motions, Its prominences, And by radiating away energy and ejecting mass.

The sun changes itself.

Similarly, The solar system. If all other matter were removed from the universe. The solar system would continue to change itself just as it is right now.

A radioactive atom will decay on its own, Thus change itself, Even if it were a lone atom in space, It will change itself.

Collections of material change themselves due to the forces of interaction between the constituent material.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 1 day ago
GuitarSlinger
@kitkat517

I'd go a step further and say not that it's almost impossible, But that it IS impossible to find the vocabulary to express the idea of God.

But your paragraph, I believe, Has some glaring errors, Or at least presumptions, In my opinion.

- you state "eternal matter". It is my opinion/belief that matter is not eternal. If matter creates energy, Then what created matter? The claim that "matter" is eternal flies in the face of what we observe all around us. We see things coming in and out of existence all the time (changing as StarPSyche points out).
Posted by GuitarSlinger 1 day ago
GuitarSlinger
@StardustPsyche

"What is a "thing"? It is a recognizable collection of material. All macro objects are collections of constituent material. "

Um yea. I get that. That's basic science. What's your point? Your basically saying in fancy way "Things are made of matter". What does that have to do with what I wrote? I simply said things can not change themselves.

A cloud is a thing. It's a collection of matter, Is it not? So let's stick with your cloud analogy, In particular your snow cloud. Your analogy ignores science. The cloud does indeed need "outside" in order for water to change into snow-- it needs the right temperature. It needs the right pressure. With the help of this outside stuff (temperature, Pressure) the water molecules will not change into snow.

Sorry your analogy simply doesn't work. It doesn't, Dare I say it, "hold water" (I can hear my daughter groaning at another "dad pun" lol).
Posted by katkat517 1 day ago
katkat517
The religious ideas which have formed our culture train us to think in a certain way. It becomes almost impossible to find the vocabulary (since religion has formed our languages as well) to express the idea of an all-potent, All-pervasive eternal matter which is ever-changing AND did not require a creator. It is almost impossible even to imagine such a thing in a culture created by religion. Matter creates energy, Not the other way around. You have a human body. Not until the tiny basis of that embryo is made of matter can the energy to pump the embryo heart exert itself. The energy of the human brain (firing synapses and all) is created from the matter of the human brain.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 2 days ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
"Things don't change themselves. . . . "
"yea but the amorphous clouds, Crystals et al do not change on their own. . . They need outside forces (agents), "
What is a "thing"? It is a recognizable collection of material. All macro objects are collections of constituent material.

You say an amorphous cloud does not change itself. What is a cloud? We analyze a cloud by considering a boundary around a collection of material such that material outside of the boundary is ignored in order to make the analysis tractable.

Consider an interstellar cloud of gas and dust, That is the "thing". The cloud is the "itself". The cloud changes due to the mutual attraction of the material within the cloud, Thus the cloud changes itself. The cloud collapses, Forms a star and planets and all the activity of a solar system by itself. The cloud changed itself from an amorphous collection of material into a highly organized solar system absent any need for an outside agent.

A snow cloud changes itself from an amorphous collection of water molecules in suspension and in solution with atmospheric gases, Into highly organized crystals we simply call snow. The cloud is the "itself" so again, A thing, The cloud, Changed itself absent any outside agency.

Physical interactions of material are sufficient to account for the changes we observe all around us. Humans traditionally ascribed agency to change because we evolved in ancient times to ascribe the rustling of a bush to the agency of an animal, The growing of a plant to the agency of the sun, , The blowing of the wind to the agency of spirits.

That was ancient thinking. We have now, If one has the benefit of a modern education, Eliminated the pantheon of gods as agents of change and account for the changes we observe as interacting material. The only place left for god is in the ever receding corner of scientific unknowns.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 2 days ago
GuitarSlinger
yea but the amorphous clouds, Crystals et al do not change on their own. . . They need outside forces (agents), Do they not? You said it yourself. . . Change happens with the mutual interaction of the constituents. . . . So without the other constituent (the outside agent), The change wouldn't happen. Am I correct?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by DebaterDracon 1 week ago
DebaterDracon
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Literally next to zero input from kyleniel. They provided points and then gave next to no effort in replying to the counter arguments provided by GuitarSlinger.