The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Something can't come from nothing

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,465 times Debate No: 49244
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (1)




We will be debating here whether it is logical for "something" to come from "nothing". I've heard variations of this argument by the religious hundreds of times, but it usually boils down to the following: we exist, and the universe exists, and nothing can't cause something, therefore something must have created everything, and that something must have been my particular god.

For this debate, we're ignoring the last bit there, where they use this logical leap as proof for one particular god among the thousands that are worshiped by man. Partially because I find that portion of the argument untenable, but also because it's extraneous. We'll leave that for another debate.

The pro position will be to support the idea that "something can't come from nothing, therefore something had to create everything" on a purely logical basis.

The con position will be to prove that this incredibly prevalent argument cannot be valid, again, on a purely logical basis. I will be taking this position.


Structure will be as follows:
Round one:
Acceptance/No arguments
(using this round for presenting an argument will result in a loss)

Round two:
Introductory arguments.

Round three:
Rebuttal to introductory arguments.

Round Four:
Closing arguments - Addressing your opponents argument as they structured it in all previous rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, GenesisProject, for accepting the debate. I look forward to seeing the angle you take on this.

Before I begin, I’m going to lay out some definitions so we can avoid confusion:

Special pleading is a form of spurious argument where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations. Essentially, this involves someone attempting to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception.

Causality is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.

The problem of induction is the philosophical question of whether inductive reasoning leads to knowledge understood in the classic philosophical sense, since it focuses on the lack of justification for either:

  1. Generalizing about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class (for example, the inference that "all swans we have seen are white, and therefore all swans are white", before the discovery of black swans) or
  2. Presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (for example, that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the principle of uniformity of nature.

A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example "All bachelors are unmarried"). Galen Strawson has stated that an a priori argument is one in which "you can see that it is true just lying on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world.

A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example "Some bachelors I have met are very unhappy").

Infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, ... , and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity.

Argument 1:

The idea we’re arguing (something exists, nothing can’t cause something, therefore something caused everything), otherwise known as the cosmological argument, can be expressed as follows:

Proposition 1- Something exists

Proposition 2- Something cannot be caused by nothing

Proposition 3- In accordance with proposition two, something caused proposition 1

  • Proposition 1 is provable interpersonally, for me because I’m able to write this, for you because you’re currently reading it; therefore, proposition one is both logically valid and logically sound.
  • Proposition 2 is not provable, here demonstrated mathematically:

X= “Complex design [or at least the illusion of it] (existence)”
Y= “A creator (something)”

X has always implied Y up to this point, so where Y is absent, X is inherently absent as well.


-Complex design requires a creator in every instance observed thus far, so without a creator, existence could not exist-

This is a formal fallacy, demonstrably so using only a priori justification, hereafter provided:

If the only time I’ve ever cried is when I was depressed, and I’m crying, then by the use of the same logic employed here by the cosmological argument, I must be depressed. To consolidate, other possibilities may exist, but they have never been witnessed, so inherently cannot be true. Any reasonable person can see this outcome is not necessarily correct. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because I haven’t been seen crying for other reasons doesn’t mean it can’t happen. So let’s draw a parallel; tears (existence) are visible, therefore depression (a creator) must be the cause. This statement is obviously inaccurate, and as consequence, so must be the one we argue. It can however be argued that the longer you don’t see something you’re looking for, the less likely it is (if you’re looking in places it should reasonably be), but because this argument hinges upon the absolute statement that something cannot exist without something to create it, such a finding cripples the argument (The problem of induction, #1). Just because no one has ever witnessed something brought into existence by nothing, does not necessarily mean it is impossible. It should also be pointed out that no one has ever witnessed something brought into existence by something either. I could use the exact same structure with exactly the same outcome (a dead end at the same formal fallacy) to make the claim that something cannot be caused by something, only by nothing.

  • Proposition 3 is irrelevant if proposition two isn’t universally applicable.

The bottom line here, I believe, is that the statement we’re arguing is an absolute, and in order for an absolute statement to be logical, absolute evidence is required. I have demonstrated that, in this case, absolute evidence, using posteriori or priori justification, is impossible to achieve. This is the first portion of my argument.

Argument 2:

Ignoring the fact that the absolute statement made in proposition two is based upon a formal fallacy, consider the implications if it were true; if it actually were provably universally applicable that “something cannot be caused by nothing”. The argument itself (as defined for this debate) expresses the creator of everything as “something”. The implication would therefore be that the something that caused all other somethings to exist must have been created by something; this leads to infinite regress, which is a logical impossibility.

To win this debate, both arguments presented here must be debased, for both are of complete detriment to the pro position.



The debate is : "Something can't come from nothing"
You took the side of "con" which means you are saying that something CAN come from nothing.

It is a fact that something can come from something else. Matter can come from energy and energy can come from matter.

The problem we have is that we don't have a real definition of "nothing". What is a nothing? Nobody has ever had a "nothing" to examine to see if something can come from it.

By taking the "con" side, you are making a claim that something can come from nothing, yet, you don't have a physical way to prove such a claim. It would be impossible for you to meet your burden of proof.

The pro position is that "something can't come from nothing". My burden of proof it to prove that something can't come from nothing.

The Universe started as a singularity. Even though the singularity was smaller than an atom, it would still count as "something". If that's the case, there has never been, in the entire history of time, a "nothing" for something to come out of.
Therefor, logic dictates that something can't come from nothing, since "nothing" is impossible to exist.

Let X=Nothing. Let Y=Something, Let T=Time
Proposition 1: The entire Universe came from Y
Proposition 2: At the moment the Universe expanded, T=0
Proposition 3: Y existed when T=0
Proposition 4: Y can never be created or destroyed
Proposition 5: T=infinite
Proposition 6: X and Y can not co-exist at the same time
Proposition 7: If T=infinite and Y=can not be created or destroyed (Y is a constant), Y will always exist.
Proposition 8: If Y has always existed and will always exist, X has never existed.
Proposition 9: If Y will aways exist, X can never exist
Proposition 10: If X can never exist, X can't exist
Proposition 11: If X can't exist, there is no such thing as X.
Proposition 12: If X doesn't exist, Y can't come from X.

Conclusion: Y can't come from X (Something can't come from nothing.)
Debate Round No. 2



You did not read the rules prescribed for this debate, as is obvious by the fact that you seem to think the burden of proof lies with me. My position was to disprove the verity of your position, as represented by the statement “The con position will be to prove that this incredibly prevalent argument cannot be valid, again, on a purely logical basis. I will be taking this position.” That is to say, I’m in no way obligated [by the rules of this debate] to prove something can come from nothing. I’m obligated to prove the cosmological argument illogical. The burden of proof lies with you. You are to defend the position, I am to attack it. You accepted the debate on this premise. If you were unclear on the resolution provided, you should have questioned it in the comments, not wasted an entire round attacking something irrelevant.

I reread the content of the resolution, and I do not believe I was ambiguous in the format of this debate. Your misunderstanding is yours to bear. I have presented my arguments against the cosmological argument, and you have wasted one of the rounds you could have spent attempting to debase those arguments. Because my initial arguments remain intact, and in fact, completely unaddressed, I see no reason to present further material.

All I can do at this point is recommend you reread the resolution before posting another argument.



The Cosmological argument is about cause and in what caused the Big Bang to happen.
The debate is about "Something can't come from nothing" which is a different topic.

I took on the burden of proof to show it's impossible for something to come from nothing.
For example, a seed comes from a tree, not from thin air.

You should have named the debate "You can't have a result without a cause".
Like a marble won't roll unless something pushes it.

Cause and effect is not the same as getting something from nothing.

Cause and effect requires something to act upon something else. There is no "nothing" involved.

If this debate was about the Cosmological Argument, you had no business using the word "nothing" to describe it in the headline.

You used "Something can't come from nothing" (marbles don't appear from thin air) as the headline description and then used "cause and effect" (marbles don't move unless something causes them to move) Cosmological Argument in the body description. Bait and switch.

So, either you go by the original headline "Something can't come from nothing" (which I proved)
or you forfeit. Bait and switch is just not fair.
Debate Round No. 3


The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe.

It has nothing to do with cause and effect, except for perhaps the fact that it has the word cause in it. It deals with the argument that “nothing can’t create something, therefore SOMETHING had to CAUSE everything. This was correctly portrayed in the resolution when I said that pro would be arguing “the idea that “something can't come from nothing, therefore something had to create everything”” It’s very straightforward, really. I’ve never seen an argument deviate so far from its resolution. As consequence of this, I have been denied the opportunity to have my actual argument questioned because you were unable to address a single topic actually relevant to the discussion.

Let me lay this out simply:

You were to argue something HAD to cause everything that exists, which was demonstrated before you accepted the debate in the following sentence: “something can’t come from nothing, therefore something HAD to CAUSE everything.” –resolution

You instead argued for a theory that most scientists think probably explains how the universe began. Not how it was CAUSED. HOW IT BEGAN. There is a difference. You said it in your own argument; our universe has never in its history been “nothing”; the universe has always contained matter and space, right down to when it was a singularity… What does that mean? It means when the universe was a singularity, SOMETHING existed. Your argument, as defined in the resolution, is “to support the idea that SOMETHING can’t come from NOTHING, therefore SOMETHING HAD TO CREAT EVERYTHING.” If the singularity was something, as you say it was, then you’d still have to argue that SOMETHING CAUSED that singularity to exist at all. You have failed to comprehend your own argument to such an astounding degree that we were unable to broach at any point what was actually supposed to be on debate. You accepted the argument that something CREATED everything, CAUSING EVERYTHING to exist. Perhaps you didn’t realize that matter qualified as something. Honestly, I’m so confused by your complete lack of adherence to the debates resolution that I just can’t be sure.. I ask that voters to into consideration the fact that GenesisProject failed to adhere to the debate resolution for any of the rounds. I only say this because he has now wasted all of my turns in the debate forcing me to address his complete lack of understanding, and this leaves him with one last round that I will be unable to respond to. This means if he manages to finally make an argument relevant to the debate, I’ll be unable to respond as should have been my right. Even if his fourth round argument seems to debase my arguments, I won’t be given the chance to defend them, and that is a chance that, in accordance with the structure of this debate, I should have had. Thank you.



You claimed I "based most of my debate upon the title rather than what was actually in the resolution."

The title is supposed to match the resolution. That's why there's a title. What you did was a cheat and a lie.

You think that was clever, I'm sure. Scammers aren't clever.

You're a BS artist, nothing more.

I hope you're proud of yourself.
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BananaPhilosopher 7 years ago
For this exact purpose, I wasn't entirely truthful about the account being canceled. He deactivated his account. Had he not done so, it would have been canceled, that much is true, but he canceled before they had that chance. Had you tried to log in, it would have reactivated the account. You said you noticed it was deactivated, THEN tried to figure out what was going on. The only way you would've found out it was deactivated was logging into the account, thereby reactivating it. That leaves two options: either you are genesis project, and you're using another account, which is against site rules. Or, you actually are the parent, and you created a new account to attack me, making it seem like others disagreed with the outcome as well. Which, as it would happen, is also against site rules, obviously.. What matters is this; no matter which way this goes, I've followed site rules, you haven't. Continue harassing me, vote on any of my debates, or comment on them, and I'll report this information to the site admin.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
If you must know, you were debating with my son. I let him use my account so I can monitor everything he does. When I noticed my account was closed I went and found out what was going on.
There is absolutely no excuse for what you did.

I feel strongly about it because it was my son on the receiving end of your wrath. I'm proud of him for standing up to you. Up to the point where he was telling others you were a scam artist , he was acting more mature than you.

I stand by every word that I said about you and the voter.

I'm done arguing with you, since you have no shame or remorse.

I'll just have to accept the fact that there are people like you who exist in this world.

May our paths never cross again.
Posted by BananaPhilosopher 7 years ago
That and the fact that you're both 49 year old males with the exact same writing style. Not to mention that this debate is a week old, and you somehow managed to sift through hundreds of debates and comment on this one before you did anything else anywhere. You only feel strongly about this because it was you.
Just further proof for future readers.
Posted by BananaPhilosopher 7 years ago
I said I appreciated the feedback, and I'd act differently in the future, and you continued to insult me and the voters. I'm nearly positive this account was you anyway. Your account was created almost as soon as the other was no longer active, and within four hours of starting, you had blocked me, and attacked myself and the voters, exactly as genesis had been doing.
That being said, your concern is duly noted, and discarded. Thank you for the feedback, and as ever, happy debating.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
I'm only responding to you, BananaPhilosopher, because I have strong feelings about this. You were obviously dealing with an immature child based on his or her emotional outbursts. The way you handled the situation was, indeed, mean and uncalled for. Whether you were in the right or not doesn't even matter at this point. You were both wrong. You did not have an accurate heading and he/she didn't read the resolution carefully. He/she was justified and mature in asking you to cancel the debate.

Instead of doing that, you continued to push this child's buttons in order to get an emotional response. You did this over and over to the point where he/she no longer has an account. Your motivation for this could be nothing more than schadenfreude.

I have every reason to believe that if you had children of your own, you would act in the same manor when it came to petty disputes. Pushing a child's buttons over and over for the joy of seeing the resulting emotional outbursts is seriously disturbing behavior. You do it to the extreme past the breaking point.

I feel extremely sorry for whoever this child was that encountered you. Had you acted mature and cancelled the debate, you both would have gone on your way and this child would still have their DDO account. The emotional scars you caused will probably stay with that child for a long time. That's why I made the assertion that you shouldn't have children and I stand by that assertion based on the evidence.
Just because you are "right", doesn't give you the moral authority to repeatedly provoke a child's emotions for the pleasure of getting an outburst from it. It's clear that you enjoy watching temper tantrums and causing them for your enjoyment.
Please get help for that.

Also, shame the person who actually voted on this debate, adding insult to injury. You should have ignored this debate and moved on.

If anybody deserves to have their accounts cancelled, it's you two.

Don't try to respond. I won't read
Posted by BananaPhilosopher 7 years ago
He didn't cancel his account. It got canceled because he was harassing me in my other debates, telling people I was a scam artist. I followed the rules of the site. That's the bottom line here.
And your concern is duly noted. It should be pointed out, however, that your assertion that I shouldn't have children because you don't like my debating style doesn't quite qualify as mature either.
Nonetheless, I appreciate the feedback. I felt it was within my rights to continue the debate since it was outlined correctly in the resolution. That being said, in the future I will offer in such a situation the option to withdraw. I can assure, sadism was in no way involved.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
It's obvious GenesisProject isn't mature, but BananaPhilosopher isn't taking the high road, either.

BananaPhilosopher, you messed up. I don't know if you did it on purpose or not, but I understand why GenesisProject is frustrated. You could have just been fair and cancelled the debate, when he realized he was on the wrong side of the argument. Instead, I see you're just egging him on to frustrate him more and more. You get pleasure out of that, or why else would you do it.
That's not mature, either. That's just sadistic.

Now I see he cancelled his doubt out of frustration. I don't think that's good for this website.
Seriously, BananaPhilosopher, don't have kids.
Posted by GenesisProject 7 years ago
Don't dictate to me what I should do. You're the criminal here.
Posted by BananaPhilosopher 7 years ago
Be mature, if you'd please. You can't threaten people to prevent them from voting for me. Considering the cerebral nature of (most of) those who frequent this site, I assure you it will win you no sympathizers. Nor will deciding for them whether the debate was a scam. It's no better than deciding for them that you're the winner. Let the voting take place, and if you lose, have no hard feelings. I'll do the same if the opposite happens.
Posted by GenesisProject 7 years ago
Anyone who votes for con is just promoting cheating on this website and will be on my block list.

Don't vote at all on this scam "debate".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kleptin 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a simple debate to decide. Spelling and Grammar were the same for both. Only Con used legitimate sources. Arguments go to Con because Pro failed to read the introductory post properly and not only accepted the debate, but also accepted verbally in the first round. I understand it was a bit confusing, but you must still READ THE FIRST ROUND. Interpret the resolution thusly: 'Something can't come from nothing' Pro or Con is either for or against the legitimacy of this argument. Even IF you get caught by this, the right thing to do is to continue debating anyway. At least *TRY*, don't just give up like Pro did!

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