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

a simple argument pro God's existence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,126 times Debate No: 55706
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




the law of thermodynamics says energy is always breaking down from higher states. that means, if you take things back further and further in time, something must have caused the highest energy level after the big bang. we could call that unknown, God. a reason why we might call it that, is because the phenomenon violates natural laws as we know it, the law of thermodynamics.

thermodynamics, as we know it, basically negates the idea that there is something in our physical universe that goes on and on back infinitely. there can be no infinite beginning, because there is no infinite end. we see an end point coming. that means there must be a finite beginning.

this acknowledges that there could be other naturalistic explanations. nothing has to be definitively proven for it to be a proof.
and, given what we know, the fact that there is something rather than nothing, combined with the issue with thermodynamics, both seem supernatural, cause they do not accord to our rules as we now them. sure there are many fancy footed lousy ways to 'define' God into existence where it isn't appropriate. but at least here, but definiing it that way at least has some substantiation to it.


Thanks Pro.

Since Pro has not given a clear definition of God, I will provide one which I believe she’ll be happy with.

God: The Sentient Being that caused our Universe.

Pro’s argument

Pro’s main argument is from the second law of thermodynamics, which states entropy tends to increase in an isolated system. I will grant that this shows the universe is finite, however I will show why this doesn’t mean the universe ontologically began which simultaneously provides an argument against the existence of God.

Essentially, in order for the universe to begin, it must at one time not have existed. At a certain point in time must be the first time it exists. This is obvious. Christian Philosopher, William Lane Craig gives a really good explanation on what it means to begin to exist [1]

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact.

Simply being finite is not enough. Different theories of time can accept a finite universe, but reject an ontologically beginning of the universe. They propose the past and future exist. Under this view, the universe could not have began, as T isn’t the first time it exists and it didn’t at one time not exist. It would only have begun in the sense inch one begins on a ruler or New York begins at

its border. They don’t ontologically begin there, as they exist in other places. I argue these theories of time are better than ones that propose only one or two states of time exist.

We can prove this by thinking about the nature of truth. If there is a dog in the yard, what makes that true? It’s true because there is a state of affairs in the physical world where there is a dog in the yard. Truth must describe the real world accurately. What if the dog comes in the house? Then it would be presently true that the dog was once in the yard. However, what would make this true? This presently true statement must be true because there at one time in our world was a dog in the yard. If the past can affect a present truth, then it must still exist to give it its truthmaker. Otherwise there would be nothing that makes that true

There are also true statements about the future. The law of excluded middle says the dog will either stay in the house for the rest of its life or not. One must happen. However, this means there are true statements about the future and thus the future must exist too in order to give it its truthmaker.

Inductively, these theories of time have been confirmed. Particles can be entangled through time [2]. The present can affect the past and the past can be affected by the future, they must all exist.

Time dilation has also been confirmed [3][4]. Clocks moving relative to the Earth slow down relative to our clocks.

It is clear the past, present and future all exist. This means the universe couldn’t have ontologically began and thus, there can be no cause.

Furthermore, even if I assume the universe began, Pro has given us no reason to assume God is the cause. Pro even admits there can be other causes. Since a naturalistic cause would be simpler, it should be favored as the most parsimonious explanation. Why not a cause via simultaneous causation? For example, atoms A, B and C come into existence at the same time. A causes B, B causes C, and C causes A all at the same time. There is a causal explanation for all of them, yet the cause is completely internal.

The resolution is negated.

Back to Pro.





Debate Round No. 1


con basically just argues other possibilities of theories for our beginning that show we dont have to have had a true beginning. this may be true, but the most staightforward argument is that it looks like we did have a first beginning. the big bang started it all. and thermodynaics says there must have been "something" that caused the highest energy levels. again, these are both things that vioalte the laws as we know them. this phenomenon is "god". while merely applying labels doesn't do much, i would even say the 'supernatural' apparency lends itself to more common definitions of God, that in olve things such as sentience. con said he thoughti would agree with that being part of the defintion of GOd, but i would quibble that we shouldnt reduce it to that necessarily, but again the evidences do lend itself to something like that.

im not following con in how he says we have no beginnng because past present and fugure "all exist". he acts as if it is all one, and thus always was and had no beginning. maybe there is something to this stuff, but if we look at nature for what it is, we see a big bang, and can infer something set the clocks in motion at the highest entropy levels of thermodynamics.

con argues that the cause be something natural. i agree, ockhams razor is best, the simplest solution prefereable. saying God as an omniscent being etc isn't most simple. but if we reduce "god" to just soemthing that doesn't coincide with the rules as we know them, that makes it make sense. it's intitutive too. we see something instead of nothing, and we know that it doesn't follow the rules of thermodynaics. this intution is what many refer to as God. |
not to throw a wrench and get the debate distracted, but it's like when a "miracle" occurs to a believer, and the intiution point says "he prayed. he got better. therefore, praying can make you better". it may not be true, but there's an intutiive thing there is my point.


There’s a minor technical error Pro keeps making. At the start of the universe, the entropy levels would be at its lowest, not highest.

Anyway, onto rebuttals.

Pro’s first paragraph is essentially a restatement of the argument. It’s question begging as she says “the most staightforward argument is that it looks like we did have a first beginning.”, but this ignores that I am arguing against it. You cannot refute my argument by saying you think your argument is more straightforward. Along with saying maybe God shouldn’t be reduced to a sentient being. However, I will still accept the definition of a supernatural cause of the universe.

Pro attempts to refute my argument from temporal ontology by saying she’s not sure how it follows. I have shown how it follows. In order for something to begin to exist, at “t” is the first time it exists. It must be the first time “e” exists. It violates the definition of begin to exist. She admits there may be some substance to this temporal ontology, but “if we look at nature for what it is, we see a big bang, and can infer something set the clocks in motion at the highest entropy levels of thermodynamics.”

This is question begging, as the 2LOT and big bang are compatible with these temporal ontologies and Pro is rejecting the argument like above. She assumes the argument is sound and ignores all arguments against its soundness because the argument seems sound. Again, you cannot rebut my argument by claiming your argument seems sound. It’s essentially a
“your theory doesn’t work under my theory, therefore your theory is wrong” argument. Furthermore, in order to set the clocks in motion, the clocks must have not been in motion at one time. But this was shown to be false. If T=1 is when the clocks were set in motion, the only clocks would be at T=1. This assumes presentism, which has been refuted.

My argument from simultaneous causation is argued to be unlikely because it’s intuitive that the cause is supernatural. This is clearly not as intuitive as my natural cause. Because when do we ever see natural laws violated? It seems more intuitive that the cause follows laws, as we’ve never seen a breach of these. It is much more intuitive to propose a natural cause, as we know the natural exists. At least most agree that the natural exists, but the supernatural is in heavy debate. Pro herself agrees it may not exist. Why add assumptions? We know the natural exists, we see everything follows laws. There is good reason to think it’s a natural cause, it’s both intuitive and parsimonious.

My argument remains standing, Pro has yet to touch on it. Science and philosophy disprove the notion of an ontological beginning and there’s good reasons to think the cause is natural.

Debate Round No. 2


con merely argues that there are other possibilties to our beginning than us having a firm beginning. he says i can't just say the most straight forward notion is that we apparently did have that firm beginning. why can't i make that observation? even the catholic encyclopeia says it, not just me, that if observations are sufficient for a scientist, it should be for a theologian or philsophoer too.
this really gets into proven v. evidence etc. sure,. we only have evidence that there was a definite beginning, and it's not proven, but it's still the most straightforward evidence i see. that there are other possibilities doesn't mean we cant argue we have not proven something. most or a lot theories are considered proven.... until somethign comes along to say it's wrong. that it's possible it may later be wrong doesnt mean we can't call it proven.

i still am having a hard time following his ontology temperal points. i think it isn't just me. "In order for something to begin to exist, at "t" is the first time it exists. It must be the first time "e" exists. It violates the definition of begin to exist." i just can't see how any of this stuff makes any sense. i see he's referencing his past post, but i can't follow that either.
or this. "Furthermore, in order to set the clocks in motion, the clocks must have not been in motion at one time. But this was shown to be false. If T=1 is when the clocks were set in motion, the only clocks would be at T=1. This assumes presentism, which has been refuted." i don't follow the logic, and it has assertions like 'it has been refuted'. but i can't follow how it's been refuted, or really what 'it' is referring to. these are just examples.
i think there's something to it, but it's just not being explained in a very coherent way.

i can appreciate that he argues that the most intituive response is that there are natural explanations for this stuff. perhaps. but it still on its face has no explanation and are pretty major 'apparent violations' of laws a we know them. this is different than 'what caused the tides' or tons of other things that people have always attributed to God until later information came along. those are similar enough to make a point, but they are inherently different. something from nothing, and not following thermodynaics are apparent violations, not just things that aren't understood, per se.


Pro states she can claim it’s the most straightforward position. I already explained why this was wrong. It assumes the conclusion. You’re trying to rebut my arguments by claiming it’s simply the most straightforward position, when my arguments attack that claim. Appealing to the Catholic encyclopedia is an appeal to authority. Pro then talks about evidence vs proof. However, this goes into principles of parsimony and intuition, which falls back on our previous discussion.

Pro talks about not following how the logic follows from my argument from temporal ontology. She says she thinks it isn’t just her, but that the logic really doesn’t follow. I believe I have demonstrated that it does. Let me explain it again. In order for something to begin to exist, it must not already exist. This is obvious. That temporal state in which it exists must begin. There must only be the present, not the future or the past. Otherwise some object would exist, even if it doesn’t exist presently. This means at the present isn’t the first time it begins to exist. It would have already existed ontologically even before that moment. I have demonstrated that the past and future exist. So, when we think back to the start of the universe, even at T=0, there would still be true facts and existing things in the future , so T=1 must still exist. It doesn’t exist presently at T=0, but it still exists. This means T=1 didn’t ontologically begin, as it still would exist at T=0.

This all follows. My argument remains standing, as all Pro did was claim it doesn’t follow, even with further explanation, she just restated it doesn’t follow. Pro claims I asserted presentism has been refuted. This clearly isn’t the case, as I presented comprehensive evidence from science and philosophy disproving presentism.

In the last section, Pro essentially argues that we do see violations of natural law. She says the principle of something coming from nothing and the 2LOT are violated. However, this has not been demonstrated. Simultaneous causation offers an explanation for the universe, but doesn’t claim something came from nothing. The 2LOT isn’t violated either, as the second law states entropy increases in an isolated system. Pro just showed how the start of the universe must have the lowest entropy states. This doesn’t mean that entropy increased in an isolated system. Pro has not shown any violations of nature.

Natural causes are more parsimonious and intuitive. There is no good argument for there being any type of violations of natural law. My argument from the best temporal ontology remains standing. It has not been challenged outside of asking how it follows, which I explained how it does.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bladerunner060 7 years ago

Pro had presumptive BoP.

I knew it wasn't going to go well for her when she said in R2 of Con's argument that "this may be true". She didn't seem to understand the points that Con was making. She also, though, had presumptive BoP. Con didn't actually need to create a constructive--Pro failed to give an argument for god's existence from the argument she presented.

She also tried to argue that God didn't have to be sentient--I found that to be a pretty weak attempt at redefinitioning, and I was suprised that Con gave it a pass, but I suppose he thought his argument strong enough to weather even the non-definition ("something supernatural", I guess?) that Pro provided. And considering that Pro seems not to have understood it well enough to attempt a thorough rebuttal, that seems to be true.

In the end, Con provided a time framework that went unrebutted. And Con pointed out that natural explanations are more parsimonious, depsite Pro's mere assertions to the contrary. Pro's argument, meanwhile, did not directly support a "god" notion, and I feel as though the lack of coherent definition from Pro really hurt her ability to even support her case.

Arguments to Con. I'll give sourcing to Con, too, for sourcing the technical arguments, though it's a narrow thing, and almost wasn't worth scoring. As to S&G, Pro's was clearly lacking in contrast to Con. The formatting is not as clear, there are multiple sentences that don't even start with capital letters, etc. Conduct was equal enough. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.

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