The Instigator
Merdeci
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TheUnexaminedLife
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is probable that God exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,372 times Debate No: 118556
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)

 

Merdeci

Pro

As Pro, I will affirm the resolution by arguing that it is probable that God exists, Meaning that it is more likely than not that God exist. I would like to note that I will not be arguing for a particular God, Like the Christian, Jewish, Or Islamic God. Rather, I will be arguing for the existence of a maximally great being with great properties. This is what I mean by God. It also means that God is the creator/causer of the universe/existence/reality.

Con will argue that it is more probable that God does not exist. The BOP will be shared.

Round 1: Acceptance only

Round 2: Arguments only

Round 3: Rebuttals to arguments given

Round 4: Defending the arguments given




At last, I would like to recommend you to read my interesting debate with Masterful. Please read the whole debate and vote accordingly if you choose to do so. Thanks.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

I accept the challenge as presented.
Debate Round No. 1
Merdeci

Pro

Thank you for accepting the challenge. I look forward to a fruitful debate.


My case for the existence of God is simple. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore, The universe has a cause. Whatever begins to exist has a cause is a self-evident metaphysical principle: A being cannot come from non-being; something cannot come into existence uncaused from nothing. It is thus absurd to say that the universe should pop into being uncaused out of nothing. [1] There is no disputing the fact that the universe had a beginning. Scientifically, We know from cosmology that the universe had a beginning some 14 billion years ago with a cosmic event commonly known as the "Big Bang". Whatever begins to exist has a cause. Thus, Since the universe began to exist, It has a cause. However, Why should we think that this cause is God?

1. This cause must be unimaginable powerful as it bought the whole universe into existence.

2.
This cause must transcend matter, Time and space because it created/caused matter, Time and space into existence.

3.
This cause must itself be uncaused, Because if the cause of the universe had a cause and that cause had a cause ad infinitum, Then there wouldn’t be a universe to talk about in the first place. Thus, We have to posit an uncaused cause due to the absurdity of an infinite regress, In other words an indefinite chain of causes.

Given the Kalam argument, We can rightly conclude that the cause of the universe is God and thus does exists. The resolution is affirmed.


[1] William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Page 274.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Where science ends, God does not begin. The limits of scientific observability are that its instruments can only track the existence of the universe to a singular event, The Big Bang, Some 13. 8 billion years ago. This proposition does not entail that nothing existed before the Big Bang. It does not posit the existence of any sort of god. It only entails that the beginning of the scientifically observable universe began 13. 8 billion years ago.

Probability usually has a split definition in academic inquiries. Frequentists define it as the statistical likelihood of something happening given how many times it has happened before. Propensity theorists define it as the likelihood of something happening given the disposition and tendencies of the acting object to behave in a certain way given the situation. Christian apologists can only commence to say that god probably caused the universe with the latter sort of claim. God has to be the kind of abstract agency that causes universes. Yet without knowing the conditions of the universe, The situation, Before the Big Bang no probable reasoning can be given about how god created the universe. Nor do we have evidence of other universes, Which would make it more likely that god was that kind of abstract agency that causes universes. Instead, All the apologist can do is posit the disposition of god as an all-powerful, All-knowing, And all-loving being in order to explain the beginning of the universe. They retreat in ascribing to a disposition to a hypothetical being where all the necessary conditions for causing the universe are met. However, These conditions do not have to be ascribed to a god, An agency, Or entity. Why posit the existence of a god instead of just the conditions we deem necessary for the Big Bang to occur (namely a huge quantity of causal power localised into a singularity? ).

There is a complete absence of evidence for god's existence to make a strong inductive claim about god"s existence. The case for god can only commence from a priori argumentation, From logic and not probabilistic reasoning. As soon as an apologist appeals to the latter form of reasoning, They find that the evidence presented allows for a greater number of causes than just the hypothesis that god caused the universe. From the evidence given, It does not follow that god necessarily exists. The existence of god and the attributable of certain qualities of this god is a hypothesis to explain the existence of the universe. What we find from the evidence, However, Is that we can posit several other hypothesised causes of the universe which are just if not even more likely. For instance, We could present the hypothesis that other forms of material and wave-form processes existed prior to the universe but under conditions that scientific instruments cannot observe since the event of the Big Bang was so immense that it destroyed all traces of this prior state. Why aren"t you considering the probability of this being the case? It doesn"t entail positing anything as improbable as a conscious agency prior to the Big Bang. Why not even argue that there are deficiencies in our scientific know-how to explain the Big Bang? Where science ends, God does not begin. The absences in one, Do not entail the presence of the other.

Furthermore, If we are to ascribe sentience and consciousness to god, The ability to act and create the universe as a rational agency, This complicates cosmogenic theories and makes the Big Bang even more improbable. It would posit that the conditions were in place prior to the Big Bang for a conscious agency to emerge. This would require a ridiculously detailed equation. God"s existence makes the Big Bang"s occurrence even more improbable and such by Occam"s razor, Should be excluded as a hypothesis for its lack of explanatory power. It is a retreat from serious thought. It is easier to imagine a man-like entity causing the universe than it is to imagine the maths of such an event occurring by physical causes.

Given the definition of probability in particular, Your resolution is negated. There is absolutely no probabilistic reasoning that can prove the existence of god. Such reasoning can posit the existence of a plurality of causes which, Whilst they do not exclude god, Do no epistemological work in verifying god's existence.
Debate Round No. 2
Merdeci

Pro

Con said that my proposition does not entail that nothing existed before the Big Bang. I'm not assuming that nothing existed before the big bang. I'm arguing that God existed before the big bang as he is the creator/causer of it.



Agency


Con argues that the cause of the universe does not have to be an agent, Or personal. This is mistaken. This cause must be personal, An impersonal cause cannot give rise to a temporal effect. As William Lane Craig rightly states, "For the effect of the universe to begin in time the cause must be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time. " [1]

By personal I mean something with rationality, Self-consciousness etc, the usual qualities associated with being a person.



Occam razor


Occam's razor Logic fails by the very fact that if a more “complex” argument does a better job at explaining something and accords better to reason, Then it should be judged the better argument. So this is really just a bad excuse for not dealing with the actual argument and evidence at hand.



-----------------


in my second round, I gave valid reasons as to why the cause of the universe is God. Con has mostly argued that there are other possibilities for the cause of the universe, However Con doesn't give any valid reasons for these other hypothetical possibilities being the cause of the universe.


The resolution remains affirmed. It is probable that God exists.



[1] William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, Page 145.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

-----------------
CONFUSIONS
-----------------
Just to dispel any confusions before your last rebuttal, I was not arguing that your position entails that nothing existed before the Big Bang. I was arguing that it unnecessarily posits the existence of a conscious being when the evidence suggests several other equally if not more probable causes of the Big Bang. Nor was I arguing Occam's Razor in isolation: I was arguing that the Catholic God's existence before the Big Bang is less likely than just positing the conditions necessary for bringing the Big Bang into occurrence which do not include such qualities as being omniscient and omnibenevolent (etc. ). Since you didn't respond to these arguments, I just thought I would bring them to your attention again.
----------------
REBUTTALS
----------------
I'll keep it brief. The existence of physical causes, That is to say energy and processes, Did not begin 13. 8 billion years ago (even if such causes operated under different regularities of behaviour before the Big Bang). What began 13. 8 billion years ago was the scientifically observable universe. You wrongly confuse epistemology with ontology, Knowledge with being. Just because scientific instruments are not able to ascertain data about existence prior to the Big Bang, Does not mean that there was not existence prior to the Big Bang. You want to call this existent, God. That is one hypothesis, Yes, But is less probable than other explanatory hypotheses (like the one I have given above) since it entails positing the existence of unnecessary complexity in order to explain the same event other hypotheses do (i. E. That there is a God with agency and personal qualities which are, For some reason, Strangely akin to the human qualities which would emerge 13. 8 billion years after the Big Bang).

Therefore, Since the proposition is: "It is probable that God exists", I can confidently say that such a proposition is false when discussing the cosmological argument. I can make this determination by appealing to simple maths and logic: the more conditions X has, The less likely it is that it is going to be. God has more conditions than other hypotheses explaining the Big Bang. Therefore, It is less likely that God exists compared to these other hypotheses. Such conditions, As I have mentioned, Being the qualities you attribute to God unnecessary for causing the Big Bang. If you strip all these qualities away, You have Deism. Yet Deism still posits the existence of some kind of entity, Some kind of unnecessary condition, Which too can be excluded as less probable than the other explanatory hypotheses science presents. Your proposition is negated.

William Lane Craig, Apart from being a theologian with a God to prove (i. E. A verification bias), Presented your argument 40 years ago. If you read the wider literature, You will find that it is not a position held in academic esteem. It is pop-philosophy playing on Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason and then making the category mistake of applying it to the universe. Just because events and things in the universe appear caused, Does not entail that the whole universe was. Or, To translate this into the pop-philosophy: what a fallacy of composition!

So, To deal with your points in succession:
1) I agree, Whatever preceded the Big Bang must have been sufficiently powerful enough to cause it. This power defies the capabilities of my imagination at least.
2) begs the question: it presupposes that matter, Time, And space did not exist before the Big Bang because scientific instruments can not observe them. I challenge this and say that physical causes did exist before the Big Bang and that the Big Bang only brought scientifically observable information into existence.
3) Why say that an uncaused causer caused the caused when you can say the caused is uncaused? Or, More simply, Why not state that the existence of physical causes and processes did not begin. Isn't this simpler than saying that the existence of a completely mysterious agency did not begin and then, Also, Caused the universe and all of its processes? It is completely unnecessary and adds nothing in terms of further explanatory power.

That was less brief than I intended.
Debate Round No. 3
Merdeci

Pro

Thank you for your response and for this debate.



Absolute Causality and Causes of The Big Bang

Con said that the evidence suggests several other equally if not more probable causes of the Big Bang. Firstly, Con has presented no evidences or reasons for these other causes being more probable. None whatsoever. He merely claims it. I didn't find any evidences presented in his two rounds of argumentation. Thus, I have very little to work with here. Indeed, Con can present some reasons or evidences for these causes but Con should have done this in his third or second round so I could have a chance to respond to them. As this is my final round, I am not able to respond to whatever 'evidences' Con gives. This would not be fair. Con had two opportunities to justify his claim, He did not.

Secondly, Even if granted this doesn't disprove the existence of God. I
n terms of absolute causality claiming that the big bang was caused by x y or z arises the question what caused those. Indeed, There has to exist an uncaused being which caused all other causes because as I said in my second round, if the cause of the universe had a cause and that cause had a cause ad infinitum, Then there wouldn't’t be a universe to talk about in the first place. Thus, We have to posit an uncaused cause due to the absurdity of an infinite regress, In other words an indefinite chain of causes.

Con agrees that the cause must be sufficiently powerful enough to cause it. I said that the cause must also be personal because a impersonal cause cannot give rise to a temporal effect. Con did not respond to this. Again, Con may choose to respond to it now in his final round, But this should be done in his previous round. To respond to it in his final round is unfair as I have no chance to respond back. I said that the cause must be personal in my previous round, If Con had an objection against that then he should have objected in that very same round aka the third round. Con has not.



Occam Razor

Con argued that God has more conditions than other hypotheses explaining the Big Bang. Therefore, It is less likely that God exists compared to these other hypotheses.

Again, Con has not even presented these other hypotheses and have given no reasons as to why we should believe they are more probable to be the cause of the universe, Therefore Con has given me nothing to work with. Once again, It would be unfair and not right if Con did present those hypotheses in his final round. He should have done this in his previous two rounds when he had the chance so I could give my objections to it. Not in the final round when I cannot even respond to it in the first place.

Moreover, It does not follow that it is less likely that God exists just because God has more conditions than other hypotheses explaining the Big Bang. It may very well be the case that God has more conditions than other hypotheses but still the cause of the universe. Indeed, I would argue that God is most sensible explanation for the cause of the universe as I have shown in my second round.


Other Points


Con said: it presupposes that matter, Time, And space did not exist before the Big Bang because scientific instruments can not observe them.

A: It is very unlikely that they existed before the big bang. Even if they did, That arises the question what caused them in the first place. As I have shown, No matter how many causes came prior to the big bang, There has to be an uncaused causer which caused all other causes. This cause must also be personal, Transcend matter, Time and space because it caused them into existence. And it has to be extremely powerful as Con has agreed with. This sounds very much like God to me.

Furthermore, This does not disprove the existence of God. Even if Con is able to show that something else than God caused the universe, He still has to face the problem of what caused that. Ultimately, He has to agree that an uncaused causer exists given the absurdity of an infinite regress. Con did not respond to this when he had the chance. Con had two rounds to respond to this and did not. It is absurd to ignore this till your last round when I cannot even respond. It follows that Con's objections therefore, Given the fact that he had two rounds of opportunities to object, Should be dismissed if given by Con.

Con said: Why say that an uncaused causer caused the caused when you can say the caused is uncaused? Or, More simply, Why not state that the existence of physical causes and processes did not begin.

A: The uncaused did cause the caused but the caused itself obviously cannot be uncaused. I did not say that the caused is uncaused, This is a straw man attack.

Why not state that the existence of physical causes and processes did not begin? Because we know that they did begin without a single shadow of doubt.

Con said: Just because events and things in the universe appear caused, Does not entail that the whole universe was.

A: The argument is that whatever begins to exist must have a cause. We know that the universe began to exist, Therefore it must have cause. This is true for anything with a beginning.



Summary

Con doesn't seem to dispute the fact that the universe had a beginning and therefore must have a cause. As I said in my third round, Con has mostly argued that there are other possibilities for the cause of the universe. However Con doesn't give any valid reasons for these other hypothetical possibilities being the cause of the universe. Con continued not giving any reasons or evidences for his proposition. Con has not even presented these hypotheses and nor has he given any evidences or reasons for us to judge if they are justified or true. Again, It is very unfair if Con did this in his final round because I would have no chance to respond to it. Con had two rounds to support his claim and did not do so at all. The voters should note this.


The resolution has been affirmed. I urge the readers to vote accordingly.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

So let's imagine a vegan girl. She works for Greenpeace and gardens. Out of the set of all existing girls, The likelihood that she is vegan is 0. 04%, That she works for Greenpeace 0. 001%, And that she gardens 0. 25%.
The likelihood that this girl exists is then 0. 04 x 0. 001 x 0. 25, Which the Google calculator tells me is: 0. 00001%.

Now let's imagine the cause of the Big Bang. It had to be sufficiently powerful to effect it. This is all I have claimed it must be.
PRO claims certain other things are necessary of this cause. For them it has to have agency, It has to transcend matter, Time, And space. It has to be uncaused. Each of these add another condition to our calculation. We would have to times the probability of each together to come to our final percentage of how like this cause -- god -- is. By necessity, It is going to be less probable that just posing that this cause was just sufficiently powerful enough to effect it.

PRO then must claim that each of these conditions were necessary for the Big Bang to occur.
1) The cause has to have agency.
Here, They have misconstrued Lane Craig's argument. He was answering the question: if God is external, How could he cause a temporal event? His answer was that God could voluntarily act and produce a temporal event. So, Using this argument to try and prove that the cause of the Big Bang had agency is definitely question begging; it already presupposes that God exists. Furthermore, Temporal processes not only can, But do happen without agency. Agency does not cause time. Time passes regardless of it.

2) PRO claims that this cause must transcend time, Matter, And space.
I argued that such claims are beyond scientific observability. The universe did not begin 13. 8 billion years ago: the observable universe did. What preceded it still existed and may have behaved differently than the particles and waves in our universe that usually behave under natural laws. I do not understand how if these causes were spatio-temporal that this would prevent them from effecting the Big Bang. Therefore, These three conditions are unnecessary for the Big Bang to occur. We don't need them.

3) PRO claims that the cause must be uncaused.
This is a category mistake; just because everything in the universe is caused, Does not necessitate that the entire universe is caused. PRO said I was presenting a straw man argument in claiming that posing an uncaused causer is more complex and less probable than posing that the universe itself was uncaused. They not only do not understand what a straw man argument is then, But what the scientific data about the Big Bang presents. It makes no claims about what preceded the Big Bang. It only claims that the beginning of the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE began. This does not entail that the UNIVERSE BEGAN. The cause of the Big Bang could simply be that sufficiently powerful thing or process we discussed earlier. The mediation of an uncaused entity is not required.

So, Let's assign arbitrary probability claims to all our conditions. Let's say that the first condition is true. The Big Bang had to be caused by something powerful enough to cause it. In probability, This can be represented as 1. For the other conditions let us assign them with a 0. 2% likelihood. 1 is more probable than 1 x 0. 2 x 0. 2 x 0. 2. This equals 0. 008. The proposition that "It is probable that God exists" is shown less likely using simple logic and mathematics.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
Yes. People cause gods. That is what we know.
Posted by mosc 3 years ago
mosc
The attempt to rationally prove or disprove the Gods - utterly absurd. Man lacks the mental development to grasp the Gods. Things like the beginning of time - lies outside the comprehension of human understanding. Anybody can speculate. Speculation like "Big Bang" -- bottom line its just a theory. Perhaps one Universe has sex with another Universe and produces a baby Universe. The latter speculation Man can no more prove than we can the former speculation.

Hence the first cause - Action/Consequence argument falls flat. Ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle argued in their 'vain' speculations, That the Universe existed for eternity. That it had no beginning. Bunk upon the philosophical speculations made by long since dead primitive Greeks.

Gods people worship. How one people worship their God(s), A different people develops a completely different set of customs and traditions how they worship their God(s). The worship of a God(s) defines faith. Its a common practice that people ascribe to their chief God things like:

1. This cause must be unimaginable powerful as it bought the whole universe into existence, If not omnipotent.

2. This cause must be timeless, Spaceless and immaterial, Because time, Space and matter began at the "Big Bang" (or at the moment the universe came into being).

3. This cause must transcend both matter and time because it created matter and time.

4. Because it is not in time, This cause must therefore be changeless.

Blah blah blah. This speculation proves nothing. What proves the existence of God(s)? The faith which a people worship these God(s). For the people who worship a God(s), Their worship serves as proof that their God(s) live and rule their lives.

An outsider who lacks faith, By definition equally proves that these God(s) do not exist. The proof for this 'fact'. . . That God(s) this outsider does not worship and therefore - at least for him - that God(s) do not exist.
Posted by Merdeci 3 years ago
Merdeci
Doesn't surprise me, This site is full of mistakes and errors. Not only that, The overall interest in this site is minimal. Debate. Org gets worse and worse as time goes. And it seems like the people behind this site are lazy incompetent humans who have little interest to fix their site. Debate. Org is not the same anymore.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 3 years ago
TheUnexaminedLife
how strange! I posted Round 4 yesterday and got an email that this debate had gone into the Voting Period: today it is gone!
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
Well you did not understand any of cons arguments. You could just have jumped to:
"We can rightly conclude that the cause of the universe is God and thus does exists. ( con can not prove that the god you imagine does not exist). The resolution is affirmed. ". ( con can not prove that the god you imagine does not exist)
you seem to forget that "god" is your creation / imagination and caused by you in the first place. . . So you can conclude that you created a god.
( con can not prove that the god you imagine/create/cause does not exist).
Posted by Merdeci 3 years ago
Merdeci
Masterful has clearly showed that he doesn't understand the Kalam argument in the slightest. Go back to searching 'The Kalam argument refuted' on Google. Our debate was already polluted with insanity, Please don't pollute this one too.
Posted by Block19 3 years ago
Block19
Yeah i think pro has a very flawed and human view of existence.
Posted by Masterful 3 years ago
Masterful
@Canis
@Merdeci

Whatever begins to exist has a cause, Europe began to exist, Therefore it had a cause. Why should we think that this cause is God?

[1] This cause must be unimaginable powerful as it bought the whole of Europe into existence.
[2] This cause must transcend Europe, Because it created/caused Europe into existence.
[3] This cause must itself be uncaused, Because if the cause of Europe had a cause and that cause had a cause ad infinitum, Then there wouldn"t be Europe to talk about in the first place. Thus, We have to posit an uncaused cause due to the absurdity of an infinite regress, In other words an indefinite chain of causes.

Given the Europe argument, We can rightly conclude that the cause of the Europe is God and thus does exists.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
No Europe would not need a god to exist. The univers was already created by pro.
Posted by Masterful 3 years ago
Masterful
"The universe began to exist therefore God" by this logic,
The sun began to exist therefore God. Europe began to exist therefore God.
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