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The universe needs a creator, therefore God exists - part 2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 843 times Debate No: 104697
Debate Rounds (5)
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This is a continuation of the debate "The universe needs a Creator, therefore God exists". My opponent forfeited after their arguments getting suddenly deleted before posting them, and so I would like, if my opponent sengejuri wishes so too, to keep the debate going.

Below are my R3 arguments, where the debate was left.
"It seems that my opponent is under the misapprehension that I agreed to their first two premises. In fact, I do have some objections on which I shall elaborate below, I just did not mention them in the previous round.

My sources require no subscription, for I have gone through no such process. Perhaps my opponent refers to the two APS journals I cited. In that case, I should mention that what I intended to use as my main source regarding these journals were the abstracts and not the whole articles (for the same reason Pro mentioned), while the latter may be examined for additional information if the reader wishes so.

I agree with the concepts of A and B hypotheses of the nature of time, but I would like to make some clarifications on the latter, while describing my rebuttals. For the reader's convenience, I will quote Pro when referring to a specific argument or claim they made.

"We have zero reason to believe B theory time is true."
Not at all. As I showed, science has proven how time is subjective depending on a variety of factors, drawing the conclusion that time is a property of our universe. To be exact, time is often labeled as an illusion [1]. That is quite a reason to believe in B theory, considering how it contradicts A theory.

"If we truly lived within B Theory time, for example, time travel should be possible. We should be able to easily move from the future to the past at will because moments in time are merely different points in the same "loaf," all just as real as the present. And yet, at this point, it still seems this is an impossible thing to do. We have no evidence to suggest that time travel is real."
Time being a property of the universe does not imply that time travel is possible. In fact, I have no idea about whether it is or not. I will make use of my folder analogy once more; I described time events as reports written in an infinite series of papers in the folder of the universe. Nevertheless, the claim that information is able to somehow transfer to another paper or that a paper can be moved to another location in the folder is an assumption. In order for that to happen, an intelligent being that exists outside of our folder has to do it. But, to the information inside the folder, such as us, that would not be comprehensible, considering the paradoxes Pro mentioned. Therefore, if B theory is true, it can be said to contradict through logic the concept of an extra-universal intelligent being, namely a God, too. But that does not have anything to do with this debate, unless my opponent is able to scientifically and logically prove the existence of God (although I doubt that).
Note that I cannot know if time travel will ever be succeeded. I am unable to predict the future scientific discoveries. But if it does happen, it will prove that time is even more complicated than philosophy and my analogy suggest.

"In B Theory time, we should expect to have just as many future "memories" as past ones. If all points in time - past, present, and future - are equally real and have always existed, then what can explain the fact that we only have memories of past events? The best possible explanation is that the future has not happened yet, which confirms A Theory time."
As mentioned before, time is practically an illusion and a property of the universe. Meaning, while it presumably does not affect the universe as a whole, apparently exists within it. It is just like a fish tank, filled with water; the fact that the fish is able to swim in the inside of it does not necessarily imply that fish can swim out of it too. We, the fish, describe our aquarium according to what we perceive inside it. But it would be wrong to attempt to describe the outside world using what we have experienced within its boundaries.
One may also think of the above as a book. The reader, after finishing the book, can reread it, knowing what is going to happen in the "future", as it is not going to be any different, no matter how many times they read it. In fact, the information is all contained in the book. But I doubt that the characters would be able to realise that their future has "happened" again, namely every time one reads the book, and therefore they would not have any memory of it.

"Furthermore, all of science depends on the reality of A Theory time. Only in A Theory can you have a cause and effect - a present action that impacts a future result. Science is, at bottom, the process of discovering cause and effect with the goal of manipulating future results. In B Theory, there are no causes and effects, things just "are" because moments do not actually pass (hence, how you can have a causeless universe). Science would be destroyed in a B Theory universe, because there would be no need to discover causes and effects if it were possible for things to have no cause. Conversely, what we perceive is exactly the opposite - everything has a cause. Since absolutely everything we experience in our reality came from a cause, it is both reasonable and justified to assume that the universe, therefore, also had a cause. If Con can provide one single example of something that exists without a cause, I will forfeit the debate immediately."
I disagree with the claims made here. What happens within a universe has a cause, for time exists within it. On the other hand, if time does not affect the universe, it does not need to have a cause itself. I will describe the universe with the term theists use to justify religion and describe God; "infinite".
Also, please do not forfeit unless you believe that you cannot defend your thesis in any way. Thank you.

There are reasons to believe in B theory, and thus we cannot reject it yet. Evidence, contrary to Pro's claims, overwhelmingly supports neither theory yet, for that is up to our future arguments to declare, and so I await my opponent's response.

[1] Time
"Why Space and Time might be an illusion"
"Are Space and Time fundamental?" "


Thank you Con.

My opponent claims they actually do have objections to the first two premises (1. something cannot come from nothing, 2. something cannot create itself). Yet, Con still has not addressed them, so those premises remain accepted. Until Con issues rebuttals against the first two, this debate remains focused on the final premise - the universe is finite.

In Round 2, Con wrote, "No scientist ever claimed that the universe had a finite beginning based on evidence or observation." This is demonstrably false. Here are just two examples:

the 2003 theorem developed by cosmologist and professor of evolutionary science Alexander Vilenkin mathematically proves that the universe, quote, "cannot have an eternal past" and therefore must have had a finite beginning [1].

The renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has also confirmed, "All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago." [2].

Once again, the only way for the universe to conceivably exist without a cause is if B Theory time rules supreme. Con thinks we have reason to believe it does, so let's explore -

Relativity - Con cites the changing nature of time under special and general relativity as evidence that time is merely a property of the universe. Under this theory, the universe is not 3-dimensional but 4-dimensional, with spacetime serving as the 4th dimension. In such a reality, Con is right to conclude that the passage of time is merely an illusion of human consciousness, and time does not really pass at all but rather exists as a dimension, like our hypothetical loaf of bread.

Here's what we know - relativity is true. The changing nature of time relative to frames of reference has been confirmed again and again through experiment. But that's not where the questions stop. There are 2 possible interpretations of what we observe:

1) Einsteinian/Minkowskian - there is no absolute space or time because there are no favored frames of reference. Objects exist in 4 dimensions tenselessly within spacetime. The passage of time is merely an illusion of human consciousness.

2) Lorentzian - Objects still exist in 3 dimensions. The changes in time and space we observe in relativity experiments (time dilation and length contraction) are effects on our measuring instruments, but do not necessarily reflect absolute reality. Although our instruments detect changes in space and time, it is still possible for there to be an underlying absolute (called the "aether") time that is currently undetectable (similar to the proposed existence of dark matter as a yet undetectable thing that explains the universe's gravity).

Experimentally, the two interpretations are indistinguishable from each other, because Hendrik Lorentz's equations are mathematically equivalent to Einstein's. In other words, one could employ either theory's equations and arrive at the same results [3]. Lorentz himself admitted this when he wrote, "One thus comes to the same results as when one in agreement with Einstein and Minkowski denies the existence of the aether and the true time and treats all coordinate systems as equivalent. Which of the two modes of thought one may agree with is best left to the individual." [4]

So, we have two theories that are mathematically equivalent, display equal predictive power, and provide possible explanations of reality. Do we have reason to accept one over the other?

The answer is yes. Although the Einsteinian/Minkowskian interpretation has enjoyed wide popularity since 1905, recent trends have started favoring Lorentzian models in light of new discoveries.

1. Recent findings could suggest there in fact is an absolute frame of reference, or aether. One possibility is the microwave background radiation referenced by Con in Round 2. The cosmic microwave background radiation fills all of space and is isotropic for any observer at rest with respect to the expansion of space. It is therefore a sort of aether, serving to distinguish physically a fundamental universal reference frame. Tests have detected earth's motion relative to the radiation background - Smoot, Gorenstein, and Muller discovered that the earth is moving relative to the radiation background with a velocity of 390 60 km/sec in the direction of the constellation Leo [5]. Another candidate is the quantum mechanical vacuum, which is a sea of particles forming by fluctuations of the energy field and returning almost immediately to it that underlies all physical reality. The quantum realm supplies a modern equivalent of the aether in various ways.

2. Einstein's theory is brilliant, but not necessarily correct. The fact that time passes differently in different inertial frames does not at all discount the existence of an "ultimate" frame. In fact, many mathematicians and physicists have exposed problems in many of Einstein's relativity explanations, such as the famous "Train Thought Experiment." [7]. For example, the entire Train Experiment is contingent on assuming an ultimate reference frame when setting the stage by saying "two lightening bolts strike a train at the same time..." In addition, the different observations from the two observers are not necessarily both equally correct. The observer on the train, despite observing one bolt before the other, can calculate the distance he travelled between the two strikes with the speed of light to discover that the bolts, in fact, did strike simultaneously and his reference frame is mistaken.

3. The Lorentzian model is more consistent with what we observe and experience. Indeed, references to time become meaningless and thus debate becomes futile if Einstein/Minkowski are correct. For example, it would be nonsensical to say "the universe is 15 billion year old" or to carbon date a fossil to discover how old it is. Marking anniversaries, celebrating birthdays - all meaningless because the passage of time is merely an illusion. This is simply not how we experience reality, and it would require an extraordinary amount of evidence to overturn our universal intuition. But we don't need an extraordinary amount of evidence to reconcile our experience with the nature of time if we accept the Lorentzian model. Occam's Razor therefore demands we do exactly that, unless Con can provide overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

== Rebuttals ==

Con denies that B Theory time implies that time travel is possible. This is mistaken. Once again, if B Theory time is true, that means the past is an actual, real place, just as real as the present. If this is true, it means it must be, in theory, accessible. If the past is not accessible, that would mean the present somehow holds some trump status over the past, which means all moments in time are not, in fact, equally real and therefore B Theory is wrong. Using the folder analogy, Con says an intelligent being outside the folder is required to make time travel possible, but that misses the point. The mere existence of the papers in B Theory suggest that the past is a real, actual place. As such, it would be possible to go there, even if the technology currently doesn't exist. It's similar to Europeans having no idea North America existed until they developed the appropriate ship technology in 1492 - even though North America was co-existing with it the entire time. This HAS to be the case in B Theory time - all papers are equally real and simultaneously existing. But that is metaphysically impossible, as I mentioned in previously, because it cannot be possible for you to be able to go into the past and kill yourself. Only in A Theory time is the past gone forever and inaccessible, and this is what corresponds closest to reality.

I fail to see the relevance of Con's attempted rebuttal to my claim that in B Theory time, we should have future "memories" in addition to past ones. Con says that it's like characters in a familiar book - even though the reader knows what's going to happen, the characters don't. I don't see the connection. If we exist timelessly, as would be the case in B Theory, then there is no reason why we should not know the future. My future is just as real as my past, and I remember my past very well. What property of B Theory time allows timeless beings to only perceive past events but not future ones? It is an absurdity. In addition, the book analogy fails because it depends on an actual passage of time - the reader is reading the book from beginning to end by turning one page at a time. The turning of pages represents the passage of moments, and it must actually happen in order to read the book, which confirms A Theory.

Finally, Con again seems to misunderstand B Theory time by saying "What happens within the universe has a cause, for time exists within it." But that's the whole point, in B Theory, time DOESN'T exist - spacetime exists. Things cannot have a cause in B Theory because a cause is, by definition, temporal. A cause must occur BEFORE a result. But in B Theory time, there is no concept of "before." Before implies the passage of time, whish is merely an illusion in B Theory. The only thing that exists in B Theory is sequence (i.e., your birth is always earlier than your death). But sequences do not produce causes - the sun appearing in the east earlier than it appears in the west does not CAUSE the sun to set. So I maintain - in B Theory, there are no causes or effects, and science is destroyed.

Remember - we must determine what is MOST LIKELY to be true in this debate. I submit A Theory.

[5] Ibid., 29.
[6] Ibid.
Debate Round No. 1


Indeed, I stated that I would explain how I disagree with the premises, but, as I wrote in a comment in both our debates, I did not have enough time to do so. I will do that later, for personal reasons.

I did claim that "No scientist ever claimed that the universe had a finite beginning based on evidence or observation". My opponent presented two quotes of the scientists Stephen Hawking and Alexander Vilenkin.
Hawking states that "Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them." But that does not imply that all begun with the big bang. As far as I am aware, it is yet unknown to us whether and what was there before the big bang. But I request I am to elaborate more on the two essays in my third round, as I begun with studying Vilenkin's thesis and I am not yet finished with examining it.

My opponent proposes the idea of the ether. If by any chance they have in mind the luminiferous ether, it must be noted that the latter's hypothesis has already been disproved by the Michelson and Morley experiment, which was yet another experiment in favour of relativity. [1]. But in case that the two are not related, I will continue with the concept that by "ether" we shall refer to, as Pro puts it in words, an underlying absolute time that is currently undetectable.
Lorentz, according to my opponent's arguments, justifies their position by saying that there is a possibility that our measurement instruments' discoveries do not reflect absolute reality. If that's indeed the case, the conversation is pointless, as it may as well result in philosophical questions ranging from "do our instrumental observations reflect reality?" to the infamous "is your red the same as my red?". These are obviously queries that science yet cannot answer, as instrumental observation and observation in general are the ones examined here and therefore cannot be used as implements for us. Of course, in order to progress, we have to start from somewhere, and so we have (reluctantly) accepted that our reds are all the same. But why should we accept that our instrumental observations reflect reality? Simply because there is no reason that it is not so. Lorentz assuming that so that it fits his philosophy is just like, quoting Frank Wilczek on the string theory, throwing darts on the wall and then painting a target around them. Of course I cannot prove that I am correct, but, as Pro made sure to show before closing their arguments, this is a case of probability.
My opponent addressed the train thought experiment as a "problem" of relativity. But. on the contrary, this very experiment is the one that lead Einstein to his conclusion of time dilation and space contraction. If it is conducted by taking the rules relativity postulates into account, there will be no "problem". Or rather, it is more accurate to say that the experiment can be used as an explanation of special relativity. As for the twin/clock paradoxes, to which my opponent may later refer, I will cite an explanation here: [2]
Pro used the existence of the CMBR and the quantum realm as a potential ether. That may be so, but ascribing the CMBR the ether property of an absolute time that Lorentz proposed is going too far. I am not aware of any evidence that suggests that.
Pro also states that the Lorentzian model is more consistent with observation, despite the fact that it ignores the time dilation and space contraction relativity proposes, using the, I would go as far as to use the term, excuse that instrumental observation does not accurately reflect reality. Furthermore, the whole point of this debate is practically whether time is an illusion or not, and therefore my point can not simply be bypassed by saying that empirical evidence does not agree with it.
Pro claims that if the universe exists out of the illusion of time the past and future should be accessible. I have clarified that, since we live inside the mentioned universe, we cannot escape its properties' influences while still being inside it. At least, that is the way I perceive it.
What I tried to point out with my book analogy is that, even though there is a fixed past and future, the characters are neither aware of it nor do can they access it and alter their decisions. The same goes for the total of the universe, the book, and us, the characters.
I do not misunderstand that everything that happens within the universe has a cause, and I agree with it. But time being a fixed quantity is not necessary for that to be true, as all which we know has happened within the universe, and time is a property of the universe itself. But if we could observe from the "outside", it could be said that all within would be as visible as the contents of a shelf laid down in a table (metaphorically, of course). Right now, the argument, I have in favour of my thesis is that of relativity, on which I elaborated while replying to my opponent.
Thank you.

[1] Michelson - Morley
[2] Twin and clock paradox


Since my opponent has said they wish to respond later to the other premises and the claim that "No scientist ever claimed that the universe had a finite beginning" I will leave those alone for now and will wait for their more detailed response.

== Response ==

1) Ether/Aether. In response to my point on Lorentzian time, Con says the Michelson Morley Experiment disproved the ether. Not exactly. The Michelson-Morley failed to detect an ether, leading them to conclude it doesn't exist. Since 1887 (when M-M was performed), we have discovered many things that explain the famous result. This is where Con's appeal to Relativity Theory again backfires. In addition to time dilation, Relativity proves the effect of Length Contraction on rigid bodies in motion [1]. This is a very complex concept, but, simply put, when measuring the speed of light (c) with the equation c=distance/time, time dilation alone is not enough to explain the constancy of "c." Therefore, distance, or length, must also change. This phenomenon is called Length Contraction [2]. This is a huge factor that happened in the M-M experiment, unbeknownst to Mr. Michelson - the length of the arms on the interferometer they used shrank in the direction of its motion and therefore failed to detect Earth's absolute motion. This principle is used today in the LIGO observatory to detect gravitational waves on their modern, very large interferometer [3].

So, contrary to Con's accusation that appealing to distortions on our measuring instruments is "pointless," it is actually a well accepted scientific reality. It doesn't mean science is pointless - in most cases the distortions are so minuscule that they are irrelevant, and we can accept with high confidence what they say. But when we are measuring things of an extreme nature, like the speed of light for example, these distortions become significant and greatly effect experimental outcomes. Lorentz did not assume this to "fit his philosophy" as Con claims. Rather, Lorentz proved it happens because the equations don't make sense without it, and the LIGO observatory works because it's true [4].

2) Train thought experiment - Con didn't really address my specific refutations of the train thought experiment but instead doubled down and merely assured us there was "no problem." So I will repeat my points here and invite Con to respond: The experiment begins with the very thing Einstein is trying to disprove - an ultimate frame of reference. When explaining the experiment, the narrator begins with "two lightening bolts strike both ends of a moving train at the same time..." Right here the narrator has confirmed absolute reality for us - two bolts did, in fact, strike at the same time. Then he goes on to explain why the person on the train observes it differently, but it matters not. The observer on the train is mistaken because the narrator has already confirmed for us that the bolts struck at the same time. In fact, this is the only way the experiment works - if the bolts actually do strike at the same time in reality. Second, the observer on the train can use math to calculate when the bolts actually struck by timing when he observed each flash and calculating how far the train travelled in between each flash. The calculations will show that his eyes are tricking him and that the bolts did, in fact, strike simultaneously. This is further proof that there likely is an ultimate frame of reference against which all things move.

3) "The whole point of this debate is practically whether time is an illusion or not, and therefore my point can not simply be bypassed by saying that empirical evidence does not agree with it." Really? I think Con is committing a bit of Special Pleading here. When detailing their point that we accept all reds are the same, Con justifies this by saying "there is no reason that it is not so." But now Con rejects me doing the same thing in relation to how we view time. In this debate, I concede it is POSSIBLE for the passage of time to be a mere illusion, just like it is possible we all live in the Matrix. But there is no reason to believe this is so. We have no reason to believe that we are all fooled and that the birthdays and anniversaries we celebrate do not actually mark the passage of time. We perceive very distinctly that time does indeed pass, and Con needs to present more than a mere possibility for us to reject such a universal maxim.

4) Finally, based on their rebuttals I still do not think Con grasps the full implications of B-Theory time. If B Theory time is true, there would be NO causes, as cause is temporal and time does not actually exist in B-Theory. Therefore, Con has misspoken when they wrote in Round 1 that "What happens within a universe has a cause, for time exists within it." Thus, Con has failed to adequately address my point that science is destroyed in B-Theory time and this debate is therefore pointless.

Unless Con can provide better evidence, I maintain the A-Theory time is vastly more probable than B-Theory time, and therefore the universe needs a cause.

Debate Round No. 2


1. My opponent's first two premises:
1) Something cannot create itself. This is self-evident, because something cannot create itself if it already existed in the first place.
2) Nothing cannot create something. Let's be clear on what we mean by "nothing." It means quite literally "no-thing." No matter, no energy, no space, no natural laws, no properties. Therefore, logic and all scientific observation confirms that nothing cannot create something, because out of nothing, nothing comes.

I am going to elaborate on both premises, though in a peculiar way. If my opponent sees that what I explain does not contradict their premises or is irrelevant, they may consider it a separate argument.
I would like to introduce the multiverse and eternal inflation - "bubble universes". I noticed that Alexander Vilenkin mentioned how eternal inflation is "impossible" in the essay Pro cited, but I found his explanation inadequate, as the more sophisticated answer was in books he used as sources which, for apparent reasons, I cannot access through the essay. The idea in general suggests the creation of innumerable universes in a multiverse that "contains" them. That happens because of a process called quantum fluctuation, namely:
"A quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of empty space, as allowed by the uncertainty principle. The uncertainty principle states that for a pair of conjugate variables such as position/momentum or energy/time, it is impossible to have a precisely determined value of each member of the pair at the same time. For example, a particle pair can pop out of the vacuum during a very short time interval." [1] This meaning that particles are, in fact, able to pop out of nothing ("nothing" is kind of a tricky word to use here, as it may violate my opponent's definition [2]). Continuous - or rather, indefinate - fluctuations in the sea of inflation, when falling to lower energy states in certain areas, stabilise and form universes [3]. Below a brief explanation is seen in a diagram:


For more information, I cited four talks of the theoritical physicist Lawrence Krauss, which I strongly reccomend to the reader in order to avoid misinterpretations and obtain a better view on the matter, as well as an article that elaborates on the reasons we have to believe in a multiverse. [4,5] One of the most basic of the aforementioned is what is known as the cold spot. It is an wide area in the map of the CMBR that shows a temperature lower than expected, as the name suggests, which is mostly believed to have been a result of the collision of two universes, one of which being ours, during the proccess of inflation [6].

2. Luminiferous ether
After Pro's advocation, I will accept the Michelson and Morley experiment as insufficient to dismiss the ether hypothesis. I would like to make some clarifications on what is called "luminiferous ether" and its properties. "In the late 19th century, luminiferous aether, aether, or ether, meaning light-bearing aether, was the postulated medium for the propagation of light. It was invoked to explain the ability of the apparently wave-based light to propagate through empty space, something that waves should not be able to do. The assumption of a spatial plenum of luminiferous aether, rather than a spatial vacuum, provided the theoretical medium that was required by wave theories of light." [7] The M-M experiment disproved the concept of the ether being in motion, but the LET (Lorentz Ether Theory) proposed an ether that is motionless and undetectable. As the LET goes on not disproved and making accurate predictions equal to those of relativity, everything seems fine. Why prefer relativity instead of the Lorentz ether theory? Exactly because Lorentz deems it undetectable, while providing the same results as relativity [8]. I will remind my opponent the same argument they used against the B theory of time, namely Occam's razor. Certainly, something that is claimed to exist but cannot even be detected and yet is said to provide the same results as an already existing and explainable theory is not even considered science, but philosophy.
Pro in R1 and R2 stated that "The changes in time and space we observe in relativity experiments (time dilation and length contraction) are effects on our measuring instruments, but do not necessarily reflect absolute reality" and "Lorentz did not assume this to 'fit his philosophy' as Con claims. Rather, Lorentz proved it happens because the equations don't make sense without it, and the LIGO observatory works because it's true". On the one hand, the claim that time dilation and length contraction are distortions to our observational instruments, while on the other they refer to time dilation and length contraction as causing the distortions in our measurements, the latter they justify with the phenomena's application into experiments, such as those in LIGO, to which of course I agree. The problem is, the first claim contradicts the second, as in the one case they mention unexplainable distortions on our istruments causing us to believe in time dilation and length contraction but do not reflect reality, and in the second one they correctly say that time dilation and length contraction are actual effects that are fundamental to science. Well, it's no wonder that lead me to assume that Lorentz thought of it so that it "fits his philosophy". Either way, my response lies in the previous paragraph.

3. Train thought experiment
What I attempted to show in R2 is that the experiment itself is conducted in away that explains the nature of the lenght contraction and time dilation phenomena, while proving that there is no absolute frame of reference. Or, more accurately, since we know relativity is true, through this experiment we can prove the occurence of lenght contraction and time dilation and the lack of an absolute refernce frame. I do not see what paradox is my opponent trying to point out against relativity.

4. B time theory and causes
Exactly the opposite, I stick to my statement that "What happens within a universe has a cause, for time exists within it". But my opponent seems to not understand it. I will present it in logical sequences:
i. In order for actions to have causes, the causes have to happen before the actions.
ii. Causes need time to exist.
iii. B theory of time postulates that time exists only within the universe, being a property of it.
iv. Causes, which we have experienced inside the universe, imply that time exists within the universe. We have no experience of causes outside of the universe.
v. Causes existing do not contradict the B theory of time.

5. Hawking and Vilenkin
i. Though quite interesting, Hawking's essay does not explain if the universe is finite and why, but bypasses the topic saying that it is not possible to know what was before the big bang with our current scientific knowledge.
ii. Vilenkin, on the other hand, does a good job on explaining why he believes that the universe does have a cause, but, when saying evidence or observation, I meant factual proof. This being impossible lead me to say that no scientist had ever done it. Perhaps I misphrased it, but it is irrelevant to our debate anyway.

6. Empirical evidence and relativity
My opponent fails to spot the difference between the significance of empirical evidence of the reds being all the same and of the B theory of time. Firstly, there is the philosophical question of "is your red the same as my red?", impying that we can never be sure that we all perceive the same reality or that we cannot even know if we perceive reality in the first place. This problem is bypassed due to the fact that if we do not accept what we observe to be the same and true we can never progress scientifically, while there is no evidence that suggests it in the first place. Namely, we need to rely on empirical evidence. In the second case, however, although I do claim that time is an illusion and thus empirical evidence of our everyday life cannot dismiss it, I do support the theory through relativity, which has proven that both space and time are subjective and not absolute (see space - time fluctuations and gravitational waves, "ripples" in the fabric of spacetime [9,10]), contradicting what A theory postulates. That is currently in favour of B theory, which my opponent has not been able to refute yet.

[1] Quantum fluctuations, Wikipedia
[2] Nothing
[3] Eternal inflation - bubble universes
[4] Lawrence Krauss' talks on a universe from nothing and more...

(please ignore any religious implications and/or comments made. Though a renowned scientist, Krauss is also one of the most active against religion atheists)
[5] Multiverse
[6] Cold spot


== Response ==

Con's rebuttals against the first two premises don't hold water.

The multiverse theory and quantum vacuum fluctuation does not demonstrate that something can come from nothing or that something can create itself. The quantum vacuum is not truly "nothing" - it is a quantum vacuum, still containing space and energy. Lawrence Krauss himself, whom Con cites, says that "Nothing isn"t nothing anymore . . . nothing is really a boiling, bubbling, brew of virtual particles that are popping in and out of existence in a time scale so short you can"t see them." [1]

As for the multiverse, this merely pushes the question back - for we now must ask "ok, what caused the multiverse?" We have already established that it is impossible to traverse an infinite series of past events, so there could not be innumerable universes in the past - there still had to be a first one.

Ether: My opponent says they now accept that the M-M experiment does not disprove aether, and that Lorentz Ether Theory is possible, which I am happy to see. But Con shifts to Occam's Razor, claiming that it favors Einstein/Minkowskian Relativity and spacetime. But this just isn't so. BOTH possibilities are currently undetectable and theoretical. Yes, the aether is as yet undetectable (like Dark Matter), but so is spacetime! Einstein merely predicts that the 4th dimension of spacetime exists in order to explain his equations, but we have never detected spacetime any more than we have detected aether. That is why I still believe Occam's Razor favors Lorentz and A Theory - because we can either choose to accept that time really does pass as we universally perceive it, or we can choose to accept that we are all fooled and time is an illusion. The simpler explanation, by far, is the first one.

Con seems confused on my point about time dilation and length contraction. I am not trying to argue whether they are real or mere distortions, I am saying it doesn't matter. Length contraction and time dilation can still occur even if there is an ultimate frame of reference, or ultimate time. The two can co-exist, and I believe they do. It's like when you see a far off ship that looks tiny - the ship is not actually small in reality, even though that is the perception your instruments (eyes) give you. There is still an ultimate frame that can decide that the ship is actually very large, even though you can perceive it.

Train experiment - if Con cannot still see the paradox, I cannot think of a better way to say it. To summarize again - the whole thought experiment only works if the bolts ACTUALLY strike the train at the same time - thus confirming an ultimate frame of reference. Because the narrator told us the bolts did, indeed, strike at the same time, the observer on the train is mistaken.

B Theory - again, I don't know why Con keeps saying time exists within the universe in B Theory. Time does not exist in B Theory, period. Not inside the universe, not outside the universe. Time is an illusion. Spacetime exists in B Theory, and spacetime does not allow for causes.

Finally, Con writes - "if we do not accept what we observe to be the same and true we can never progress scientifically, while there is no evidence that suggests it in the first place. Namely, we need to rely on empirical evidence." I completely agree. This is why I think A Theory time is far more likely. We rely on empirical evidence, and empirical evidence universally confirms that time actually does pass and is not an illusion. Yes, we know relativity is true, but the questions don't stop there. Relativity does not mean that an ultimate frame of reference can't exist. Einstein is content to stop short and say "everything is relative, time is an illusion" but that very simply doesn't make sense. We have no more reason to believe time is fake than we have to believe we live in the Matrix. Is it possible? Technically, yes. But is it likely? No.

Debate Round No. 3


1. Nothing
I am aware of what Pro pointed out, which I already specified in the previous round. If my opponent thinks that my use of "nothing" violates their definition of "nothing", they may consider it an argument not related to their two premises.

2. Multiverse
Correct me if I am wrong, but the title of the debate is "The universe needs a creator, therefore God exists". Accepting the multiverse as a potential cause of the universe is enough to support Con's thesis, as the "the universe needs a creator" premise is falsified and therefore cannot lead to the "God exists" conclusion. The case could be that God created the multiverse, but that again does not lead us to the conclusion that God exists via the "the universe needs a creator" premise. Perhaps my opponent did not phrase themselves correctly.
But, in order to not let my opponent down by resting assured on my current debate advantage, I shall not stop here.
"We have already established that it is impossible to traverse an infinite series of past events, so there could not be innumerable universes in the past - there still had to be a first one."
Not at all. Infinite past universes are too a possibility, hypothesizing that our universe was created by the multiverse, which was created by a multi-multiverse, created by a multi-multimultiverse and so on. The B theory of time, if true, favours this claim. But that's for us to see below.

3. Luminiferous ether
My opponent claims that the effects of relativity are as undetectable as the ether proposed by LET (Lorentz Ether Theory) is. The problem here is, while relativity is deemed as a physics law, the ether is supposed to be something actually existing in space. We cannot yet "detect" gravity (quantum theory of gravity is not included) or thermodynamics, but we accept them as laws. On the other hand, an ether, namely a supposed medium through which light propagates (as the name "luminiferous" suggests), if existing, should be something observable by some means, as is usual matter, the medium through which sound waves travel. Since Lorentz himself states that we cannot observe the ether, though not having disproved it, we choose the laws of relativity.
My opponent relates the ether to dark matter and spacetime, but there is a significant difference between the three. Firstly, we have dark matter and dark energy, which are hypothetical but immense amounts of matter and energy needed to be detected so that our known reality agrees with observation. There can well be other factors that have contorted our conclusions, but, as long as no other hypotheses are proposed and rid us of the need of dark matter and dark energy, the aforementioned will remain the prevailing hypotheses, though quite noticeably not a factual theory until proven true. Secondly, there is the hypothetical ether. Though, when proposed, it was quite a rational and successful explanation for the nature of light, relativity has made it unnecessary. Relativity's equations lead us to the same results as LET's, but without requiring an ether, while sufficiently explaining gravity, something that, as far as I am aware, LET and the various ether hypotheses have not yet achieved [1]. Then, we have spacetime. The difference between the ether and spacetime, the fourth dimension, is that, while the ether is deemed undetectable for unknown reasons when it is supposed to be actually material, spacetime is a dimension, which we can, contrary to Pro's claims, observe in cases such as the effects of matter (see the gravitational effects of massive bodies, which cannot be explained by Newtonian physics).
To summarise, what I wanted to show above is that Lorentz's ether is an unnecessary attempt to explain several things, such as the nature of light, which have been more adequately explained by relativity, without the need of an undetectable ether, or rather a fixed reference frame. If, though, my opponent disagrees, I would like them to explain what makes LET more preferable to relativity and how does the ether expound gravity, agreeing with observation, in cases such as those of gravitational waves [2] or distortions of space and time. If the ether is proven to not overwhelm relativity, the latter will be accepted as the prevailing theory.
I would also like to ask, even if we accept a fixed reference frame, how would it suggest what Pro addressed in R1 an underlying, absolute "ether" time? In brief, due to the numerous variations of the ether hypothesis, I request my opponent fully analyzes their concept of the ether.

3. Ultimate reference frame and train experiment
My opponent claims that the lightning bolts do strike simultaneously. How can they be sure about that? This is merely what one would see when outside of the train, where the narrator too is apparently located. On the other hand, someone who is on the train would clearly see one lightning striking before the other. Why prefer one reference frame and name it absolute? This is only a preoccupied viewpoint stemming from our everyday experience, which we have acquired living on a certain reference frame. Both observers are equally right, for they just are located in a different frame of reference.

4. I still do not understand why does Pro insist that we should not be able to perceive causes if the B theory of time is true. Everything we have perceived has happened within our universe, with time being a property of which. I will explain myself differently; with time being an illusion which is perceived in the universe, causes are too an illusion. Since we perceive time, we perceive causes. I do not understand how does that, as Pro stated, "demolish" science. "Cause" is merely a word we use to describe our experience based on the illusion of time. Instead of Cause => Result, without the illusion of time, we have State 1 <=> State 2. But since we do perceive time, it is impossible for us to fathom Result => Cause, or rather, State 2 <=> State 1.

5. Relativity and B theory of time
According to the train experiment, relativity does show that there is no absolute reference frame. Furthermore, length contraction and time dilation are too inconsistent with the A theory of time. Therefore, I do not see how does empirical evidence favour A theory without ignoring the above effects. B theory, on the contrary, is able to allow for the aforementioned, and therefore is more likely than the A theory.

[1] Mechanical explanations of gravitation, Wikipedia
[2] Gravitational waves, LIGO


== Response ==

"Nothing" - Let us agree that Con's use of "nothing" is not compatible with the two premises, and this issue is moot.

Multiverse - Con seems to think that a multiverse would falsify the claim "the universe needs a creator." Not at all. As I said last round, a multiverse merely pushes the question back - we must now ask what caused the universe that caused our universe. Since the hypothesis does not specify WHICH universe we are discussing, assuming a multiverse, then we can easily apply "the universe" to mean "the first universe in the multiverse." A multiverse does not allow Con to escape the First Cause question.

Next, Con says that we can traverse an infinite series of events by saying "the multiverse, which was created by a multi-multiverse, created by a multi-multimultiverse and so on." This is an obvious tautology of the "turtles all the way down" variety. Saying the multiverse was created by a multiverse is simply going in a circle. This reality is only possible in B Theory time, which is seemingly what this whole debate boils down to. I will continue to maintain that A Theory time is more likely to be true than B Theory time, which I will get to later.

Luminiferous ether - I am not advocating for a luminiferous ether in the original sense, apologies if I did not make that clear. That was certainly discarded after the M-M experiment. But let us both agree that we are talking in a theoretical realm here - neither of us can provide solid proof for one side or the other. That is why I appeal to which explanation is most likely to be true, and requires less extravagant postulating. What I am advocating is an aether in the sense of a yet undetectable, ultimate time or reference frame. Such an aether would preserve the reality of time as opposed to dismissing it as an illusion of human consciousness. Con says Relativity makes an aether unnecessary, but I think it is quite the other way around. I think Einstein stops too short - we observe time dilation, and therefore Einstein declares "time is not real." Contrarily, on the Lorentzian model, we observe time dilation, and say "something isn't right here, we must still be missing something." As I said, this is exactly what has happened with the widely accepted Dark Matter hypothesis. Instead of concluding "gravity must not be real" they said "we must be missing something" - hence the undetectable, unobserved Dark Matter. So when we're talking time, I believe it is infinitely more likely to assume we are missing something than to say time isn't real. Con protests that the Lorentz's aether is an "unnecessary attempt to explain several things" but I counter that Einstein makes no attempt to explain anything at all - he merely says it doesn't exist.

The bottom line: General and Special relativity and spacetime DO explain what we observe in reality. But Lorentzian Ether Theory EQUALLY explains it - so much so that the two theories are mathematically indistinguishable. So the question we must ask is this - is it more likely that time is an illusion, or that time is real? I do not believe we have sufficient evidence to suggest that time is an illusion, and therefore I favor Lorentz.

Train experiment - I wonder if Con even fully read my explanation on this. Both observers are demonstrably NOT equally right. The observer on the train can time when he saw each flash, measure the distance the train travelled between those flashes, and calculate using the equation c=d/t that the bolts did, in fact, strike at the same time (t) and conclude his observation is mistaken. Math proves that both observers are not right.

As far as causes and the illusion of time, at this point we are merely repeating ourselves, only louder and more strenuously. I will conclude with this - extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that, contrary to universal observation and perception, time is an illusion is quite extraordinary, and I see no extraordinary evidence to support it any more than I see evidence to believe we all live in the Matrix. A Theory time is the status quo, and I have not seen enough evidence to overturn it in this debate.

== Conclusion ==

It is far more likely that the universe had a finite beginning for the following reasons:

- The Vilenkin Theorem proves, mathematically, that the universe must have a finite beginning.
- Our consciousness is not consistent with a B Theory model. We have many past memories, but cannot see the future. This is impossible if the past and future are equally real, as they are under B Theory.
- Time travel is logically impossible.
- Our consciousness universally detects that time actually does pass. We are thankful for a headache that goes away, because the pain is now in the past and thus no longer real. This would not be the case in B Theory, since the past is equally real and thus, our headache would still exist.
- If we cannot trust that our own consciousness accurately detects reality, then we cannot trust any scientific discovery. Am I real? Do the people around me actually exist? Is this the matrix? Is Earth's gravity really pulling me toward it? Do you and I see different reds? These conclusions are absurd, and we have no evidence for them. We must trust our consciousness to make any scientific progress, and our consciousness tells us that time actually passes.

Note - thanks for a fun debate, and well done! This will be my final round, I'm going out of town for the rest of the week so if you respond to this round (which you are welcome to do), I will not be able to respond. Good job and thanks again.
Debate Round No. 4


Due to an issue of this website, I was unable to access the debate yesterday and today until midday (speaking in regards to the time of my country, Greece, namely GMT+2). As a result, having planned to compose my reply yesterday, since I had insufficient time to do so today, I became unable to respond properly. After personally coming in contact with my opponent, sengejuri, I decided to give this round to my opponent for further arguments and instigate a part 3 of this debate. It should be noted that my opponent informed me that they too might not be able to make a round 5 argument in time, but I shall give them the opportunity.
I await my opponent's reply on my part 3 suggestion, through their next debate round, a comment or a private message.
As the debate is not finished yet (and in case my opponent does make use of the next round), please do not vote. If everything proceeds properly, please do so in the part 3 of this debate. Thank you.


No time to respond
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by KostasT.1526 2 years ago
I have watched such videos, including the suggested one, all of which failing to explain how exactly did scientists "prove" the existence of God. These videos are apparent misinterpretations of the sayings of various scientists, along with the theists' desperate wish to demonstrate that their God exists and lack of understanding of the terms "proof" and "evidence".
Posted by Mr_Dab05 2 years ago
watch that
Posted by sengejuri 2 years ago
Sounds good
Posted by KostasT.1526 2 years ago
Note that, as I said in the previous debate too, I was in a hurry when writing my R3 (R1 now) arguments and I did not have the time to explain my stance concerning the other two premises you made, although I said I would do so. I will in the next round.
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