The Instigator
primeministerJoshua812
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
godebate
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

"There is reason to believe a God exists"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,741 times Debate No: 119031
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (36)
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primeministerJoshua812

Pro

Hello. I am Pro and I shall dedicate this first round to an introduction. The existence of God has been the subject of much debate throughout human history debate which increased following the Age of Enlightenment, The adoption of Humanism in Europe and the Scientific Revolution. As a Christian and as a Philosopher like many other Christian Philosophers I believe there indeed is a reason if not many to subscribe to the proposition that states a God or higher being which is sentient does exist. Following my opponent's introduction, I shall lay out my opening arguments.

Thank you and God bless.
godebate

Con

As Con, I will attempt to show why there is not reason to believe that a God exists. As my opponent has agreed, Fundamental to the debate is that God is defined one similar to the God of the Abrahamic religion. This is to say that my opponent must show that there is reason to believe a **sentient** god exists. My opponent need not show that the Christian God exists, But must show that a God exists who is aware of his actions and who is more than just a physical process. We have settled on the definition of god as a "superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes". This may be a maximally great being or may being like Zeus who has weaknesses but still maintains these characteristics.

It is significant to note that the Burden of Proof is on my opponent to show that such a being exists. I do not have to show that it is impossible or for such a being to exist. But that much like fairies, And leprechauns, There exists no evidence nor reason to believe in such a being, And that as such we must default to a state of non-belief. My opening arguments in the following round will therefore be comparatively short as it is incumbent upon my opponent to make a convincing case for belief as opposed to the default of non-belief.

Both my opponent and I have agreed to the following debate structure:

R1: Introduction
R2: Opening Arguments
R3: Rebuttal to R2 Arguments
R4: Rebuttal to R3 Arguments
R5: Final rebuttals and closing arguments

I will not be able to rebut my opponent in the same round he makes them so as to ensure we each have equal space to make our case. Additionally, Round 5 will disallow the introduction of new arguments so we don't make argument that haven't been able to be refuted by our opponent.

I'd like to conclude this round by stating what I intend to gain from this debate. I begin this debate with the belief that I am correct but with the possibility that I may be wrong. And if I am indeed incorrect in my position, I would much prefer to know that I am incorrect. I will read my opponents argument with an open mind, As I hope he will read mine, And look forward to having my views challenged. I thank my opponent for participating in what I am sure will be an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
primeministerJoshua812

Pro

Because Science can only focus on natural processes and Theology merely assumes the existence of a "God" I shall philosophical arguments as my "evidence" for the existence of God. Mind you some of my arguments may infuse science within them but nevertheless, They are ontologically philosophical.

I shall begin with the Moral argument for the existence of God.

The argument goes like this:

P1. Morality is a rational enterprise
P2. Moral Realism is true, Meaning moral facts and duties exist
P3. Moral problems and disagreements among humans are too much for us to assume that moral realism is grounded
in a human source of rationality.
P4. Premises 1, 2, And 3 confirm that Moral realism is grounded in a source of necessity (necessity meaning it must existence)
P5. The source of necessity is what we call God
Con. Therefore, God exists.

I need to only defend the first third premises to make the argument sound.

Is P1 sound? Yes, It is because Morality is deciphered through reason and logic. Just like mathematics and philosophical positions. We know that Morality cannot be based on naturalistic principles because you won't get moral and ethical truths through empirical testings. If someone is about to hurt someone else we cannot know how we ought to act. We can only reason that we do not act in a certain way. Confirming our first Premise. Is the second premise sound? Yes, It is and hears why.

Moral realism is true even if no one believes it just like the laws of logic or the laws of physics. Moral realism is independent of Human Cognition but we can tap into moral realism using our cognition. Doing this will help us better operate in reality. I shall give 5 arguments for Moral Realism

#1 The Argument from Epistemic Realism Philosophy Professor Dr. Terence Cuneo

P1. If Moral facts don't exist, Then epistemic facts don't exist
P2. Epistemic facts do exist
Con #1: Moral facts exist
P3. If moral facts exist, Moral realism is true
Con #2: Moral Realism is true.

The problem identified is thus how can the skeptic uphold epistemic oughts but deny moral oughts when the two are almost identical. Here an example. Let us say were in a debate. In the debate, One should and will assume that the other will uphold epistemic duties such as not misrepresenting statements, Not make logical fallacies, And being honest. The person prescribes epistemic duties and expects for them to be upheld but that is exactly the problem. Why should I uphold these things if they are all relative? The individual argues for epistemic truths while saying they are subjective yet through their demands reaffirms epistemic truths and thus reaffirms moral truths. For example, Affirming intellectual honest affirms moral honesty.

The next argument for Moral Realism is Experience.

It is almost impossible to find an individual who lives out Moral relativism. If it's all subjective then why does it matter when it comes to how we treat people if it doesn't affect you. Why do some moral relativists claim it is wrong to enslave women in other countries when it does directly or indirectly affect them? Do other cultures not have the right to decide what is moral? Yet no one lives like that. If someone says that something is right or wrong it means that they are affirming Moral realism. This shows that all humans subconsciously have come to realize that there is a moral reality independent of our control. The argument from experience can be summed up in three Premises.

P1. If Moral Realism is false people would not live like it is true
P2. People do live like Moral Realism is true
C. Moral Realism is true

Okay so onto the argument from the Problem of Moral Disagreement.

We do not only act as if moral realism is true, But we also converse as if certain moral principles are true. If non-realism is true then we have to accept genital mutilation or the values of the KKK as equal to that of those who oppose such things. In other words, These are non-debatable moral principles. Common sense shows that both cannot be right and wrong but must be one or the other and therefore logical deduction confirms this argument.

On to the argument from Moral progress and Convergence.

This argument can only work with Moral realism. Moral Progress can only happen if there is an objective moral code to follow. Supposed Cultural morality which states that morality is subjective because of the difference in cultural practices on ethical issues (African Tribes killing deformed infants while that would be heavily condemned in the western world. ) but the thing to remember is that supposed difference in cultural practices are nothing more than factual differences and you can consider the example above for an idea.

So the premises for the argument is

P1. If Moral Realism is false, Moral progress and convergence would not be possible
P2. Moral progress and convergence is possible
C. Moral Realism true.

The final argument I will present is the argument for Intuition.

Moral facts are self-evident. How do we know? If a child is tortured no sensible person will look at that and say that is just how others see the world and we should move on. No, We would demand that such must be stopped and justice must be done. Why because Morality is objective and real as well as self-evident and intuitive and is our starting point. The burden lies on the skeptic to show our intuitions are wrong, Not the moral realist.

So what about P3. Is it sound? Yes, It is we cannot be the source of moral knowledge because we are not perfect beings and Hitler is a great example. We also do not know fully about moral facts. We fail to perform moral duties. We are also contingent beings. For example, We discovered the laws of logic and mathematics but we did not make them. 2+2=4 even if no human exists. P3 follows logically from P1 and 2. Because we are contingent and fail to follow moral laws. Logical deduction shows us that P1 and 2 confirm that morality must be grounded in a necessary and rational source. The source must also be sentient. P4 is therefore confirmed. So the basis for morality must be A conscious rational necessary entity who would serve as the foundation for morality and whom we would like to for moral guidance. Logical deduction leads us to P5. If Moral Realism is true then the source for Morality is God simply using logical deduction we can confirm this. So what about the Conclusion is it sound? Yes, The Ontology of Moral Realism (Ontology being the metaphysical study of the nature of being) grounds morality in a conscious rational necessary entity to whom the title of God is given.

My next argument is Alvin Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument.

Alvin Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument:

P1. It is possible that God exists.
P2. If it is possible that God exists, Then God exists in some possible worlds.
P3. If God exists in some possible worlds, Then God exists in all possible worlds.
P4. If God exists in all possible worlds, Then God exists in the actual world.
P5. If God exists in the actual world, Then God exists.

So first some definitions. A "possible world" means any hypothetical situation within reality. God is defined as a "necessary being" a being that must exist in all possible worlds and if you need an example here are some: Numbers, Shapes and Definitions and Facts of Reality. For example, The number 2 must exist in all possible worlds and a square must have 4 sides in all possible words. A square can't have three sides because that would be a triangle, Not a square. God might also be referred to as a Maximally Great Being (MGB) as God in the definition of this argument would have the maximal "dosage of "greater making properties" such as Omniscience and Omnipotence and no lesser-making properties such as corruption. Does the feel convincing? No, At least not to me but when you boil it down to the facts it is a logically coherent argument. The only way to debunk this argument is to debunk P1. I will address the most common objection to P1 pf this argument. It is called the Omnipotence Paradox you may have heard of it.

It is usually presented like this. Can God create a stone he can't lift? If he can't he is not all-powerful if he can then he is still not all-powerful because he wouldn't be able to move the stone. Therefore the idea of God as defined in the argument is impossible. Impossible in this argument is defined as a being that cannot exist in any possible world. The problem with the paradox is that it presents a definition of omnipotence that is logically absurd. The people who propagate this argument define omnipotence as being able to do the logically impossible which is not consistent with the definition of omnipotence. This question is based on gibberish such as asking whether an omnipotent being can create a square circle or tell you the shape of purple. The questions and the arguments derived from them are all logically incoherent. Now you might ask why can't God do everything is he not ALL-POWERFUL? Well, You must understand that logic derives from order without order nothing makes sense including existence. In other words, You cannot use logical absurdities to disprove God because if logically absurdities were in a world with God then essentially nothing can exist. Inclusion the paradox is not a valid argument. There are of course other objections to this argument (Logical Problem of suffering and evil, Reverse ontological argument etc) but I won't address them right know as I have other arguments to present.

To my disappointment because of the lack of space I was not able to present other arguments such as any cosmological arguments. I do however believe that I have satisfied the burden of proof and look forward to a response from my opponents.

Thank you and God bless.
godebate

Con

As stated in my introduction, Fundamental to this debate is that God is sentient. He cannot simply be a physical process or an ethereal realm from which we determine the cause of the universe or humanity originated. He must be shown to be aware of his actions and to act them out intentionally.


Lack of Evidence

It is my contention that such a being simply has no basis in evidence. While the God debated is often the one of the Abrahamic religions, It is important to note that a variety of gods have been independently conceived of by many cultures throughout human history. From the vain and arrogant Greek Gods to the aggressive Mayan Gods to the God of the Abrahamic religions, The conception of a superior being governing humanity appears to be a popular idea to humans of all kind. Yet common to these notions of God is the lack of any evidence for their existence.

Not an iota of scientific evidence has gone towards showing the existence of any sentient God, Whether it be Greek, Mayan, Abrahamic, Or any other conception of a sentient God. Nothing observable, Or deduced, Or inferred has ever lended itself to the existence of God. While my opponent is free to contest this, I think it much more likely that he will agree - that God cannot be shown to exist through the scientific method applied to the natural world. As such, If the existence of a sentient God is to be shown, It must be through philosophical argumentation, Which brings me to my following point.

Lack of Rigorous Argumentation

As mentioned in my introduction, The Burden of Proof is on my opponent to argue why God exists. Until he is able to do so, We must default to a state of non-belief. As I cannot prove a negative, My own argumentation here will be rather short. However I will mention precisely what my opponent must show in order to fulfill his Burden of Proof.

My opponent cannot simply show for example that the universe needs a creator (which, On a side note, It does not appear to, But my objections are irrelevant), As a creator need not be sentient. He cannot simply show that the existence of human consciousness requires a god which, Aside from using the God of the Gaps fallacy, Does not show that the creator must be sentient. He must show that there is a greater probability that a being who is not only supernatural but aware of his actions exists.

My opponent has attempted to do so in this round and I am eager to show the flaws in his arguments. Importantly, As my opponent has the Burden of Proof, I only need to show how he is incorrect in order to prove my position. Suffice to say, I think the next few rounds will involve the meat of our arguments and will show to a much greater degree why there is no reason to believe a sentient God exists.

Debate Round No. 2
primeministerJoshua812

Pro

My opponent seems to suggest (at least in his first premise) that because of the lack of empirical evidence for God measured by the scientific method we should adopt a position of disbelief. Knowing in advance of this idea is the reason why I specifically said that I would present philosophical arguments as my "evidence" (all arguments for God are philosophical in nature). However, This seems to present a bad idea that many secularists and skeptics have adopted and it is simply that if Science has no say on it then don't believe of course this idea has taken up space in the mental state of humanity at the dawn of Age of Enlightenment, The adoption of Humanism in Europe, European Imperialism and the Scientific Revolution. However, If we are going to reject something because we can't use the scientific method on it then allow me to give you a list of concepts that we also would have to reject:

1. Logical and mathematical truths (which are presupposed by science)
2. Metaphysical truths (like the past was not created 5 minutes ago with an appearance of age)
3. Ethical truths
4. Aesthetic truths
5. Science itself (since science is based on assumptions that can"t be proven)
6. The existence of the universe (why is there a universe at all? )
7. The beginning of the universe (assuming it had one)
8. The existence of scientific laws
9. The existence of conscious minds
10. The fine-tuning of the physical constants
11. Love, Meaning, Purpose
12. Most of the things that happen in our lives such as why a person lives in a certain place, Works in a particular job or marries a particular person.

In order to deal with my opponent's argumentation on sentient beings and the Universe, I will present the Cosmic Conscious Argument for God's Existence:

First some pre premise assumptions. The Universe is emergent and Consciousness is fundamental. Here are the premises:

P1. Contingent minds either have a personal explanation or a natural explanation
P2. Quantum Mechanics and other fields of science imply the natural universe is emergent from consciousness
C1. The Natural Universe cannot be the explanation of contingent minds
P3. The explanation of the existence of a conscious mind is personal
P4. The personal source is what proponents of this argument call "God"
C2. Therefore God exists

Is P1 sound I believe it is. Consciousness is fundamental and cannot be reduced to smaller parts like chemical processes in the brain. Add to the fact that we as a species both in of ourselves and as a collective group came into existence a finite time ago. This implies we as in our sentient minds came from a personal source which is sentient in of itself. The Personalism being because we are Personal beings and the fundamental state of consciousness means that source is personal. So P1 is sound.

What about P2. Okay so because this would be a debate in of itself and would be a lecture subject I will try to sum it up. Physicists at most of them now believe that Space-Time as a reality is not fundamental but that it can be broken down into mathematical information from which such reality emerges. This is called the Holographic Principle. The theory, In short, Suggests that the 3D reality can be seen in 2D information. In short, Our "reality" is basically an illusion of sorts. Like so our minds are illusional products of perception that emerge from a fundamental consciousness (matter is a product of the mind) So Yes P2 is sound.

C1, Therefore, Is sound. Why you may ask while I will sum it up. If the Universe is emergent then everything natural is most likely emergent from mind or consciousness. Therefore consciousness cannot be an emergent feature of the natural universe and neither can its explanation. C1 is sound

P3 follows logically from P1 and 2. P4 follows logically as well and therefore C2 is sound.

The being as I have demonstrated is both conscious and to the degree of establishment supernatural. My Burden of Proof is fulfilled.

Thank you and God bless.
godebate

Con

In this round, I only need to oppose the argumentation of my opponent in order to support my position. As he maintains the Burden of Proof, If I can successfully show the flaws in his reasoning, Then I am able to show that by default, There exists no reason to believe in God. I'll begin with the ontological argument because the moral argument is slightly more nuanced so I would like like to end with it.

Ontological Argument

As stated by my opponent, The premises involved here are:

P1. It is possible that God exists.
P2. If it is possible that God exists, Then God exists in some possible worlds.
P3. If God exists in some possible worlds, Then God exists in all possible worlds.
P4. If God exists in all possible worlds, Then God exists in the actual world.
P5. If God exists in the actual world, Then God exists.

My opponent then goes on to state that P1 is the only premise that is worth arguing over. However, I completely grant him premise 1. It is indeed possible that God exists as long as that God is within the realm of logical thinking (he cannot create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it for example).

However, Premise 3 has numerous flaws which devastate the argument. And if sentience is a prerequisite quality of God, Which indeed it is in this debate, Then a further fallacy exists.

Existence is greater than Non-Existence

Premise 3 states that if God exists in some possible world then god must exist in all possible worlds. This is because God is a maximally great being, And it is greater for something to exist than to not exist. This may sound agreeable, But actually has no logical backing.

We may very well subjectively agree that existence is better than non-existence. But the operative word there is subjective. We cannot inherently and objectively show that existence adds value to a concept such as a maximally great being. Existence as a perfection is simply something that sounds nice to humans.

To show the absurdity of this, Imagine the following thought experiment. If all humans thought that it is greater for something to be big than it is to be small, Then God would also be as big as possible as it is greater for something to be big, And god is maximally great. If then humanity changes its mind a century later and we all now agree that it is better for something to be small, Then smallness would be greater, And god, A maximally great being, Would be as small as possible. Evidently, Using qualities ranked by humans as the basis for a definition of God is logically incoherent and incredibly fallacious.

Existence as a Predicate

One of the famous objections to the Ontological argument, By Immanuel Kant: it states that "existence is not a predicate".

A predicate is simply a defining characteristic of something or it is something that is said of something else. For example, Something said about Frankenstein's monster (who I'll call Frankenstein to annoy the pedants) is that he has a rectangular head. So a rectangular head is a predicate of Frankenstein. But I cannot define Frankenstein as existing as the actual existence of something isn’t how we describe its concept, And must be verified through other means.

As a further example pointed out by the University of Colorado[1], Imagine the concept of an existing unicorn, Where it existence is a predicate of the concept. By definition, It must exist. However, Clearly an existing unicorn does not exist, So it would be fallacious to add existence as part of the concept without further experimentation proving its existence.

Begging the Question

By stating that god is a "necessary being", My opponent commits a fallacy known as begging the question. Begging the question occurs when the premises of an argument assume the conclusion to be true in order to prove the conclusion. [2]

My opponent makes god a necessary being in order to show that he exists in all world. However, By doing so, He insinuates that god necessarily has to exist. By doing so, He defines God as existing, So that he can prove that God exists. Therefore he begs the question and is in a logically circular loop. God's existence cannot be made as part of the definition as God, And he therefore does not have to exist in all possible worlds and does not have to exist in our world.

Sentience is better than non-sentience

Even if the above objections did not exist, My opponent still assumes God to be sentient. I imagine he would state that sentience is greater than non-sentience and God is maximally great so he must be sentient. But much like existence, This is an arbitrary human made conclusion from which we cannot conclude that God has simply because he is "maximally great".

These are the bevy of fallacies and flaws in the Ontological argument and even if one were to hold, The ontological argument would be disproven. However, With all these fallacies, The Ontological argument can definitively be said not to prove the existence of a sentient God.

Moral Argument

My opponent gives the following premises to morally prove why God exists

P1. Morality is a rational enterprise
P2. Moral Realism is true, Meaning moral facts and duties exist
P3. Moral problems and disagreements among humans are too much for us to assume that moral realism is grounded
in a human source of rationality.
P4. Premises 1, 2, And 3 confirm that Moral realism is grounded in a source of necessity (necessity meaning it must existence)
P5. The source of necessity is what we call God
Con. Therefore, God exists.

My issues surround Premise 2, Where he argues that moral realism (or objective morality) exists. There also exist issues around Premise 3 if Premise 2 is granted, But I don't have the space for both so I'll only address Premise 2 and address Premise 3 in the following round. My opponent gives 5 arguments for why an objective morality exists and I'll go through each one to show why it's fallacious.

Intuition

My opponent argues that objective morality is true simply because certain things are intuitively abhorrent to all of humanity. Not only is this false, It's a non-sequitur. Yes certain things seem intuitively true. How in anyway does that mean something is objectively true? It may seem intuitive to a caveman society that the Earth is flat. But in what way does that prove that the Earth is objectively flat? One simply doesn't lend itself to the other.

Moreover he assumes that some things are universally abhorred by all humans throughout history. This simply isn't the case. Throughout Mary I's reign, Protestants were burned at the stake by other humans who thought it just. Our intuition is clearly incredibly subjective, So how can we use subjective intuition in order to prove objective truth? It simply doesn't follow.

Experience

My issues with experience surround my opponents first premise:

P1. If Moral Realism is false people would not live like it is true

Much like intuition, This is a non-sequitur. It is not stated how acting as if something is true makes it objectively true. And indeed, The opposite is true. Many people may live as if something is true without that thing being true in the first place. For example, If all human beings acted as if you needed to wait an hour after eating to swim, It would still be false. It just doesn’t follow that many or all human beings acting some way makes something objectively true.

Moral Disagreement and Moral Progress

My opponent states that there is no basis for moral disagreement if moral objectivity is true. That the actions of Hitler cannot be said to be objectively immoral if moral objectivity is untrue. Moreover we cannot think to have made moral progress from our forefathers if morality is not objective.

This without a doubt presents a real problem in our ethical thinking. However, It is ultimately irrelevant. We cannot say something is objectively true because we find the conclusion of the opposite to be unsavoury.

If I would prefer to believe that I am actually a demigod who just hasn't realised his powers yet, It doesn't change the fact that it is objectively untrue. We cannot say that objective morality is true just because we find its conclusion convenient. That is antithetical to logical thinking.

I would also like to say that a lack of objective morality need not mean we default to chaos. Perhaps we should all strive to be as comfortable as possible and let our morality derive from that. Perhaps we should agree to some axioms and go from there. This is all irrelevant to the debate, But it is important to note that a lack of objective morality is simply the start of the conversation, Not its end.

Epistemic Fact

My issues around my opponent's argument for epistemic fact and moral oughts are similar to my issues around moral disagreement. As an example for the existence of moral duty, He states:

"In the debate, One should and will assume that the other will uphold epistemic duties such as not misrepresenting statements, Not make logical fallacies, And being honest. The person prescribes epistemic duties and expects for them to be upheld but that is exactly the problem. Why should I uphold these things if they are all relative? "

Indeed, Why we should uphold these duties if it is all relative is an incredibly interesting question. And one debated by philosophers throughout history. But it is ultimately irrelevant. Saying that having these moral oughts is preferable to not having them does not make it true, However much we may wish it.

Conclusions

As shown, My opponents moral and ontological arguments have serious flaws in the way of proving a sentient god. Lacking that, There exists no reason to believe a God exists.

Sources

1. http://rintintin. Colorado. Edu/~vancecd/phil1020/AgainstOnto. Pdf

2. https://www. Txstate. Edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Begging-the-Question. Html
Debate Round No. 3
primeministerJoshua812

Pro

So before I address my opponent's statements I shall like to point out that he didn't even engage in commentary on my cosmic consciousness argument.

On the Ontological argument: The reason I say that P1 is the only premise worth tangling with is that the only to debunk this argument is to show that a Maximally Great Being can't exist. This is attempt is most commonly tried with the omnipotence paradox the paradox I addressed.

Okay so first my colleague seems to have a problem with Existence an objection I assume is taken from the writings of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. The Ontological argument does not assume existence as a property and thus any objections based on existence are absolutely irrelevant to the discussion. Now for anyone who truly understands the ontological argument you would know that only P1 needs to be defended because if P1 is sound then that means that every other Premise follows logically from the first in other words defend P1 and modal logic will handle the rest hence the Modal Ontological argument.

Onto Question begging. I disagree that I begged the question. Here is why. Okay, So the first problem with the argument is that we are confusing de Dictor and De Re. Di Dicto refers to the necessity of a statement while De Re refers to the necessity of a thing. The MOA uses a De Re for what you have accused me of doing to be rational P1 would have half to go like this P1: It is possible that it is necessary that God exists which is not what I argue. Instead, I argue that necessity is a property of a Maximally Great Being as a being that is impossible would be irrelevant to the discussion.

Just to let you know there is a difference between question-begging and circular reasoning and the to don't necessarily go hand in hand. CR happens when a premise, Either implicit or explicit, Is equivalent to the conclusion. In other words, P1 has the same truth conditions as the Conclusion the MOA would avoid this by the fact that it states a possibility and through deductive logic asserts certainty. Though the MOA used here is meant to inform and when a syllogism is used to inform circular reasoning is allowed. This happens in Science with Theories. For a Scientific theory to be "confirmed" the theory must have the same truth condition of the data empirically collected. An argument begs the question of it only relies on information from a single premise in order to prove a conclusion in the case of the MOA that is P1. When the argument is meant to inform then begging the question is also valid.

Okay, So onto Sentience as with all philosophical arguments and definitions there are two types of criteria for definition making logically coherence and practically in a "possible word" a God that is sentient would fulfill the criteria much more than a good that is not sentient. There was no arbitrary decision making but instead, A reasoned set of criteria was made.

The Ontological argument is, In my opinion, The best argument for the existence of "God" there are indeed many more objections but until they are brought up they will not be addressed here.

Onto the Moral argument:

There is a reason why I defend P2 the most because this is controversial and so I am glad that I will be able to expound on the defence. I am interested in my opponent's objections to P3 as I thought such a Premise was virtually undebatable.

Okay so into intuition. I shall like to address my opponent's last paragraph before I address the first. My argument from moral progress and convergence covers this but basically, The difference in cultural attitudes to one another such as the burning of Protestants under Mary I's reign is made by factual errors one group holds about another not necessarily more differences. This supposed subjectivity of intuition is removed and becomes more objective by removal of factual errors. Allow me to give you an example at one point in my life I would have believed that conversion therapy for homosexuals was a morally virtuous thing but that is because I had the mindset which stated that homosexuality was a choice instead of an inborn natural like heterosexuality once I and other people like me removed from ourselves this intellectual burden our views on homosexual therapy become objectively similar or same to that of those who had opposed it from the beginning.

Further on this point is the mix of intuition and epistemic particularism. You see the burden of proof is actually on you to mount a case that our intuition cannot be treated as objective until you do objectivity is a default position just like we don't assume skepticism about the physical world unless we are given reason to. It is possible that you are a butterfly dreaming you are a human but until a case, Is made that you are you can stick with saying you are a human. Possibility is not probability. Any sort of factual error such as a caveman thinking the earth is flat doesn't mean intuition is subjective is just means that are intuition is constantly evolving as we become more aware of the world we are in. The same idea applies to the argument from experience.

I don't see that objection in my opponent's commentary. We decide right and wrong from rationality and our responses to actions against us. This has nothing to with belief but reasoned out theories about the past and the present and our ethical framework. Comfortability is not a good way to determine morality because comfort is subject. Though I agree the conversation is not over in the world of a subjective moral framework.

My point in the Epistemic fact like Intellectual honesty is virtually similar to moral facts like Moral Honesty and to uphold one upholds the other as they go hand in hand one cannot be objective and the other subjective.

My arguments still stand and there is still reason to believe in the existence of a God.

Thank you and God bless.

Sources: https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=zjkgD4w9w1k
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=ixqsZP7QP_o
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=FC94N-mZnrM
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=RQPRqHZRP68
godebate

Con

In this round I'll address my opponents round 3 arguments but before I do that I want to address the topic of burden of proof. I've stated my position on this in the comments of this debate but would like to do so formally.

Burden of Proof

My opponent, I believe to his credit, Hasn't actually disagreed with me on this but nonetheless it's important to state. My fundamental position is that belief requires a reason, And that without a reason there exists no logical coherence to a belief.

I do not, And indeed cannot show that it is impossible that a god exists. I'm simply arguing that there isn't a convincing reason for god to exist. Even if you believe in God because of faith and trust, You can still agree that there isn't sufficient reasoning to prove his existence. Indeed my position doesn't mean you have to believe in God or not.

The only relevant question here is are my opponents reasoning sufficiently coherent or are they flawed? If they are coherent, Then there is reason to believe a sentient God exists and my opponent is correct. If they are not, Then there is no reason to believe a sentient god and I am correct. This is the only matter that is being debated here.

Applicability of Science

My opponent here states:

"My opponent [me] seems to suggest (at least in his first premise) that because of the lack of empirical evidence for God measured by the scientific method we should adopt a position of disbelief. . . However, This seems to present a bad idea that many secularists and skeptics have adopted and it is simply that if Science has no say on it then don't believe"

Here he commits a strawman fallacy[1]. A strawman fallacy is committed when someone misrepresents an argument so as to make it easier to object to.

My opponent seems to object to the argument that if the scientific method does not determine it to be true then it must not be true. However, Not only is that a misrepresentation of the argument I did make, It states something that I explicitly said the opposite of.

In my second round I said verbatim that:

"If the existence of a sentient God is to be shown, It must be through philosophical argumentation"

So when my opponent argues that just because the scientific method doesn't lend itself to the existence of God, God may still exist, He is simply rebutting an argument I didn't make.

Cosmic Consciousness

My opponent states the following 2 premises in order to prove that the existence of the cosmos implies the sentience of a creator.

P1. Contingent minds either have a personal explanation or a natural explanation

P2. Quantum Mechanics and other fields of science imply the natural universe is emergent from consciousness

Both Premise 1 and Premise 2 have some serious flaws which definitively disprove this argument.

Premise 1: Personal or Natural Explanation

The premise as stated doesn’t have any flaws. The source of a conscious/contingent mind must, In a binary way, Come from either a natural or personal source. However, My opponent’s support of P1 seems to ignore the natural portion of the premise and focus on the personal source. In support, My opponent states:


“Consciousness is fundamental and cannot be reduced to smaller parts like chemical processes in the brain. Add to the fact that we as a species both in of ourselves and as a collective group came into existence a finite time ago. This implies we as in our sentient minds came from a personal source which is sentient in of itself. The Personalism being because we are Personal beings and the fundamental state of consciousness means that source is personal. So P1 is sound. ”



Frankly, My opponent claims knowledge on the nature of consciousness which we haven’t yet discovered. He states that consciousness is something fundamental which cannot be reduced into smaller parts as a pre-premise assumption. However, He gives no support for this statement. Indeed, He cannot give support for this statement because the nature of consciousness does not currently have research which supports the view that it is something fundamental.



And in fact, Preliminary research points to the opposite position. A study from Harvard Medical School states that the responsibility of consciousness can be broken down into portions of the network of the brain[2], Which find that rostral dorsolateral pontine tegmentum portion of the brainstem is linked to awareness and therefore consciousness. And further research may very well find the electrochemical processes responsible for consciousness. To treat consciousness as an ethereal realm unconnected to biological processes is not only an assertion without evidence, But contrary to current research.



Now my opponent also says in the next premise that the natural world is emergent from a consciousness and so a natural source is a personal source, Which I’ll soon address. But to say that consciousness is fundamental is simply not shown to be correct. Therefore, To say that this insinuates that there is a personal source of our consciousness is also incorrect.

Premise 2: Quantum Mechanics Implication that Universe derived from Consciousness

To be completely honest, And with respect, My opponent completely misrepresents current research in physics during his argument concerning quantum mechanics and a consciousness derived-universe. He states in support of premise 2:

“Physicists at most of them now believe that Space-Time as a reality is not fundamental but that it can be broken down into mathematical information from which such reality emerges. This is called the Holographic Principle. ”

While my opponent claims that most physicists believe that we live in a manner as espoused in the holographic principle, He provides no evidence of this. And in fact, He cannot, As the opposite is true. The holographic principle is an incredibly theoretical mathematical tool which makes certain mathematical equations useful in our 3D world.

The holographic principle is based off the behaviour of information travelling into a black hole. In an incredibly high-level explanation black holes radiate energy from their event horizon (what can be thought of as the edge of the black hole, Where everything including light is unable to escape), This would mean black holes shrink over time and therefore would delete the information of anything that passed into them. However, Further research found that the “hidden information” or entropy of a black hole is equivalent to the surface area of the event horizon. Therefore the actions inside the black hole can be said to simply resemble the 2D mathematics of the surface of its even horizon hologrammed in a 3D way. This is often how the holographic principle is described.

Now it is important to note that the above high-level description I gave of the holographic principle is an incredible simplification of some incredibly difficult physics. I’ll delve into its complexities in a moment, And why it isn’t literally true, But significantly, Even if the simplification of the holographic principle were literally true, It still wouldn’t support the idea that the entire universe is emergent from a conscious mind.

Essentially, Even if it were true that holographic universes were possible, There’s no evidence that we are in a holographic universe. It is similar to the idea that we are in a simulation. That is to say that just because it may exist in principle, It does not mean it does exist and indeed may be untestable.

Moreover, The holographic principle is fundamentally just a mathematical tool. Whether we exist in 3D space or are actually 2D math being projected isn’t actually that useful because in every way these are equivalent. But what imagining the cosmos as 2D mathematics does is simplify some calculations which can be predictive of our 3D world. To quote astrophysicist Dr. Paul Matt Sutter:

“Really what it [the holographic principle] is, It’s a convenient mathematical tool, Because some questions in physics are difficult … and solving it in our full 3 dimensions is really hard but it might be, Again might be, Easier to solve the problems on the 2 dimensional surface rather than the 3 dimensional volume and so it’s not really that the universe is 2 dimensional and we’re living in a 3 dimensional projection of it, It’s just that there’s some convenient mathematical translations that we can take advantage of to make our mathematical lives easier so predictions can be made of how the universe works” [3]

That is the heart of the holographic principle. So for my opponent to say the following is incredibly misleading:

“Like so our minds are illusional products of perception that emerge from a fundamental consciousness”

The holographic principle does not prove that space-time is emergent from the consciousness of a being which fell into a black hole and it does not prove that the natural world is somehow sourced from a personal consciousness. It is a mathematical tool that even now has tenuous connections to reality as implied by Dr. Sutter stating “might be, again might be, Easier to solve the problems on the 2 dimensional surface”.

The second premise of my opponent is thus incredibly faulty and therefore to say that the universe we live in is sourced by a sentient god is not proven.


Conclusion

My opponents rebuttal of my scientific argument was a strawman fallacy therefore ought to be completely ignored. My opponent has serious flaws in the first, But primarily the second, Premises of his cosmic conscious argument which abuse the current understanding of physics to fit his arguments. My opponent therefore has yet to prove that there exists a reason that a sentient god exists.


I would finally like to remind both my opponent and voters that the following round may not include new arguments. Both he and I can rebut and refer to our own and the other’s arguments but cannot make new arguments.


Sources


1. http://www. Softschools. Com/examples/fallacies/straw_man_examples/496/
2. https://hms. Harvard. Edu/news/how-do-you-know-you-know
3. https://bit. Ly/2PScVXy
Debate Round No. 4
primeministerJoshua812

Pro

Because I never disagreed with my opponent on who has the burden of proof I will ignore this first statement on the matter.

My opponent brings up the issue of the applicability of Science to the existence of God. I addressed this the way I did because I had already stated that there is no "scientific evidence" for God but my opponent decided to bring this up again as if he was making an argument and so just to put it out there I addressed it like he was saying there is no evidence from science, Therefore, Do not believe. My apologies though if I made a fallacy.

Onto a defence of the Cosmic Consciousness Argument. P1. I did say it was an assumption and here is why I said it. We have evidence in Physics that matter "acts" differently when we observe it or in the physics, Term makes a measurement. Measurements are made human observers. In other words, Nothing is "certain" unless a conscious being makes a measurement and thus without consciousness, You technically can't have existence and thus consciousness is fundamental (Schr"dinger cat in a box experiment). Now the physicist Eugene Wigner took this a step further and said that you being consciousness cannot confirm your existence and so you need another conscious being to do that and so a chain is started that goes unto you reach cosmic consciousness. A Consciousness which is ethereal that envelopes the universe and which looks at us and can confirm the state of our finite existence. This is why I made the assumption. Indeed our brain is needed for us to be conscious in this world but that does not mean that in of itself it can be reduced to smaller parts. Therefore P1 is still sound.

Okay. So my opponent goes on a rant describing the Holographic principle in layman's language which is okay but he says there is no evidence that the theory is true. Now I don't know what year my opponent's sources were made but empirical evidence for the holographic principle came into light in 2017. So what the study did is that it tested the principle against cosmological observations of the early universe and found that the principle is compatible with data found in the cosmic microwave background radiation. By looking at irregularities in the background radiation a team of scientists found the following:

-Simple equations of quantum field theory could explain almost all cosmological observations.
-Is marginally a better fit than the standard model (where the QFT becomes nonperturbative)
-Can potentially explain apparent anomalies

This means that evidence found in the cosmic microwave background radiation infers 3D reality is an emergent informational construct. Observable evidence infers reality, As we experience it, Is not fundamental but emerges from the Quantum Realm. If that is not enough a study also published in 2017 found that Quantum entanglement an evitable feature of reality. Quantum entanglement happens when two particles interact in a way that their quantum state or wave function cannot be described independently without the other (Joint Superposition). However, If you separate the particles by a great distance a change to one instantly affects that other. This was demonstrated in several experiments in 1982. The Entanglement study saying "We show that any theory with a classical limit must contain entangled states, Thus establishing entanglement as an inevitable feature of any theory superseding classical theory. " Simply put any theory which tries to describe reality must have within itself Quantum Entanglement. You see the information between the two particles engaging in Joint Superposition does not change no matter the distance between the two particles which means that space-time is not fundamental for the underlying world of quantum mechanics. Space is just an illusion that particles are separated not a fundamental in reality.

Add Einstein's theories of General and Special Relativity which show that Space and Time are one and thus if Space is not fundamental neither is time this was empirically supported from in an experiment in 2013 which uses the Wheeler -DeWitt equation to calculate the wave function of universe noted that the time factor was dropped out and thus time is also emergent from the quantum realm and is simply an emergent illusion we experience in the classical world.

Furthermore, A 2015 study shows that the wavefunction should directly correspond to this reality. In other words, The wavefunction is a part of nature and is not just a mathematical tool used which represents our lack of knowledge of the system. The study shows that the wavefunction which is a mathematical probability of multiple possible states in Hibert space does correspond with the fundamental nature of reality. Space-Time is nothing more than a mental construct emerging from the wavefunction in Hilbert space. You see what we think is objectively real is nothing more than emergent constructs of underlying mathematical informational processes. Further confirmation of this was found in 2007 by Brian Whitworth who examined specific features of our universe compared to a virtual world and found that 11 key features are better explained in a virtual reality than an objective one with fundamental space-time. Features such as maximum speed, The big bang, Quantum transition and wavefunction collapse.

So how does this relate to a fundamental consciousness? The same mathematical underlying found in the wave function is parallel in mental thought processes. Quantum Superposition is vaguely similar to how we operate mentally. For example, We often hold conflating positions before making a decision in the same way a wavefunction holds multiple states before final collapse into a definite outcome. We can bounce around different ideas in our head similarly to quantum tunnelling.

Physicist Diederik Aerts in 2009 published a study which he states are cognitive processes can be "readily modelled using the mathematical formalism of Quantum Mechanics". Our mental processes can be modelled on what we described as Hibert space in quantum processes. The same processes from which Space-Time emerges. A number of papers further support this which has been called Quantum Mind Theory. Some papers argue that information processing exists in brain microtubules and tubulin protein molecules self-assemble via quantum tunnelling. We even have evidence that suggests that Quantum vibrations come from microtubules. It appears that microtubules are fundamental information processing devices in Biology. More and more evidence keeps coming up saying that there are Quantum processes in the Brain. Aligning with Quantum Cognition which states that the inner mind should be modelled with the properties of Quantum Mechanics. Just like Space-Time arises from the wave function in Hilbert space the same way our experience of reality arises from the mind.

So what does all the evidence lead to? It leads to the personal source I talked about in the CCA. Space-Time emerges from a shared inter mental world governed by a universal mind, The physical universe we experience is emergent from a necessary mind as defined in the ontological argument as for where materialism and realism break down, Idealism rises up. Matter is not fundamental and the mind emergent but the other way around. The Philosophy of Mind and the Quantum Physics and Biology have spoken and given all the data we just discussed Space-Time is emergent from consciousness. We are not the accidents of the blind workings of matter but instead matter is the product of the mind. The Finite mind comes from a Sentient necessary mind. P1 and P2 of the CCA are saved and given a greater defence.

Here is my Conclusion. I have presented three arguments for the existence of a Sentient necessary mind with my greatest being the Cosmic Consciousness Argument (CCA). I have shown why Consciousness is fundamental, Why objective morality exists and why that is based in a sentient necessary mind and how that all leads to a fulfilment of my opponent's two challenges. The first to give a reason as to why one should believe in the existence of a God and second why that God is a sentient necessary mind. My opponent's accusations that I misunderstand modern physics is misleading and an Ad hominem attack I thank my opponent for this debate and wish them well as they give the final word.

Thank you and God bless.

Sources:

https://aip. Scitation. Org. . .
http://iopscience. Iop. Org. . .
https://www. Ncbi. Nlm. Nih. Gov. . .
https://www. Ncbi. Nlm. Nih. Gov. . .
https://www. Nature. Com. . .
https://www. Sciencedirect. Com. . .
https://www. Sciencedirect. Com. . .
https://arxiv. Org. . .
https://www. Nature. Com. . .
https://arxiv. Org. . .
https://journals. Aps. Org. . .
https://journals. Aps. Org. . .
https://journals. Aps. Org. . .
godebate

Con

My opponent and I chose to extend the debate into another debate. I'll wait until the first round of that debate to respond to R4 and R5 and then we can respond to each other immediately. So he can respond to my round and I can respond to his response in the same round until the last round so we have an equivalent response space.

The rules will be clarified in the next debate if this isn't clear. I'll be sure to post the link to that debate in the comments of this one.
Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by godebate 3 years ago
godebate
@Guitarslinger

Obviously, I cannot be certain that the evidence is not out there. But I can't believe in something on the offchance that the evidence is out there and I haven't seen it. The evidence for the lochness monster may be out there, Right in front of me, But until I've seen it I can't believe in it.

And I haven't been running from the evidence that God might exist. Quite the contrary, I ask believers in God to give me evidence and involve myself in debates like these to try and get the evidence that God exists. I haven't yet received convincing evidence and therefore I remain in disbelief. If you would like to offer me evidence, I'll gladly see it. I want as much information as possible and if you have something that proves that God exists (and I imagine that Christianity is the religion that accurately describes God's intention), Then it would be, Frankly, Irresponsible of you to keep it from me.

In the mean time though, I'd ask you what evidence convinced you that God exists? Further, What evidence convinces you that Christianity is, Out of the myriad religions out there, The correct one. Finally, If you were brought up in a religious setting, I'd ask if you think you'd still be religious if you were brought up in an atheistic setting.

Merry Christmas.
Posted by godebate 3 years ago
godebate
If there's anyone still looking at this, I became incredibly busy and have been unable to continue the debate at this moment. I have told my opponent as such. I will likely continue to be busy until mid-February.

I have told my opponent that I have every intention of continuing the debate at that time and hope he will be willing. If I don't show up at that time, You may assume he has won by default. Thanks and Merry Christmas.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
@godebate

What if the evidence is right in front of you, But you just don't see it? HOw are you SOOOOOOOOO sure that you would see the evidence?
Posted by godebate 3 years ago
godebate
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. "

You'll find no disagreement with me there. My position has never been God cannot exist. It is only that I require evidence of God in order to believe in him. And answering your question, There's myriad pieces of evidence that would convince me God exists. Obviously direct observation that's backed up by my peers would be incredibly convincing, But so would any of the philosophical arguments that my opponent is trying to make provided I thought they were logically coherent.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this debate was to see if any of the philosophical arguments from the other side were convincing, And therefore whether or not I should believe in God. That hasn't yet happened but my opponent and I decided to extend the debate so we'll see where this cosmic consciousness argument goes. My bigger issue is that people will accept a level of evidence for God that they wouldn't accept for anything else. There's no evidence of unicorns, But there's also no evidence of absence of unicorns. Nonetheless, I don't believe in unicorns. I just want that same logic applied to god.

The example you stated of having some expectation of action from God and then not having that action fulfilled (and therefore concluding that God doesn't exist) both isn't an argument I was making and, IMO, A generalization of atheists and atheist belief.

I'm not accusing you of believing this, But there seems to be a notion out there that all/many atheists were slighted by god somehow and their disbelief stems from a hate for God. Personally, I have no expectation or anger for God. Indeed I'd prefer he exist because I live an incredible life and I would like to direct that gratitude at something. I just don't have evidence of his existence, And so I don't believe in him. I don't expect anything of him in the same way I don't expect anything from Zeus or from Cupid.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Just because one doesn't have proof, That doesn't necessarily PROVE it doesn't exist. Think about it. What does it say-- it simply says, At most, You don't have evidence.

There's nothing wrong with Not believing in something without evidence. But it really depends on what kind of evidence one expects and where one is looking for the evidence.

Many people expect God to provide evidence to MEET their satisfaction, As if God is some genie arising out of a bottle. And when they are not presented with evidence that meets their demands, They fold their arms in assumed victory and huff "See, That PROVES God doesn't exist. "

Growing up I used to put all sorts of demands on this whole God thing:

"God, If you really existed, You'd help me pass science class"
"God, If you really existed, You'd convince Suzi to go out with me. "
"God, If you really existed, You'd take away my mom's cancer"

Growing older, The demands didn't stop, They just changed:

"God, If you really existed you'd help me land that job or get that promotion. "
"God, If you really existed, You'd help me retire early. "

The question I have is, What evidence are you expecting to see that would convince you that God exists?
Posted by Just-Call-Me-PK 3 years ago
Just-Call-Me-PK
Which equally means choosing to not not cross.
Posted by Just-Call-Me-PK 3 years ago
Just-Call-Me-PK
Even if your only reason is that you have yet to hear any convincing evidence, It does not follow that there is none, So therefore jumping to non belief is unreasonable without sound reasons of its own. When you walk over a bridge do you question if the bridge will collapse? No, You have faith that it won't. If there exists reasons that a bridge may not collapse and reasons that a bridge may collapse then why do we choose to cross?
Posted by Just-Call-Me-PK 3 years ago
Just-Call-Me-PK
Yes but instead of continually rejecting reasons that we have established may actually be sound, You should be at least questioning the fact there is no evidence or valid reasons against Gods existence. You have to acknowledge at least hypothetically though that God exists.

"Whether or not I myself believe in God because of a lack of reasoning is not really that relevant to my position in the debate. "

Debate title "There is reason to believe a God exists"
So it follows that your position is, There is no reason to believe a God exists. You must provide reasons for this position.
Posted by godebate 3 years ago
godebate
I said this in my round, But belief in God is sort of a tangential point here. You can believe in god or not. My only position is that there isn't reason to believe a God exists. If you believe in God because of faith or a connection to god or something, Then you can still believe in God. All I'm saying is I've asked my opponent to list reasons why god exists and I don't think they're good reasons. That's all.

Whether or not I myself believe in God because of a lack of reasoning is not really that relevant to my position in the debate.
Posted by Just-Call-Me-PK 3 years ago
Just-Call-Me-PK
Again you misunderstand, I never said agnostic IS the default position and i never said leprechauns cannot exist. I said leprechauns DO NOT exist and provided some evidence why they do not exist, Something you cannot reciprocate regarding God. Even the problem of evil is probably the most common and strongest piece of 'evidence' used against the existence of God, Which has been refuted, Therefore making it reasonable to believe God exists. Disagreeing with reasons doesn't make you right and therefore makes it unreasonable to jump to disbelief without reason or evidence. Ok so your saying Agnosticism is your default, Obviously you would agree everyone has there own thoughts/beliefs/opinions etc. . ? Well i totally understand that you do not know if God exists because the arguments and evidence hasn't convinced you. I on the other hand automatically believe in God simply by observing the world around me, Interactions, Miracles, Faith and so on, So i ask again, Surely in order for me to believe God doesn't exist you would need to provide me with a reason? You are talking about logic, Surely that fits into that category? Obviously something with logical thinking cannot be shown to not exist as that statement assumes such a being does exist. If God does not exist then he is not a being with logical thinking and can thereby be disproved by your reasoning, Im simply asking for that reasoning.
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