The Instigator
xolah
Pro (for)
The Contender
21MolonLabe
Con (against)

no god of any kind

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 747 times Debate No: 115622
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

xolah

Pro

i strongly believe that there is no god of any kind.

prove me wrong with out using a "holy" book of any kind and please be civilized because i will
21MolonLabe

Con

Observation
Because Pro is taking the positive position that God does not exist, it is incumbent on Pro to provide arguments that God does not exist. It is not enough for Pro to simply refute my arguments. I on the other hand, am taking the positive position that God does exist. Thus the BoP is shared. With that clarification out of the way, let me begin my arguments.

Cosmology

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The Universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the Universe has a cause.

(1) is rooted in the metaphysical Principles of Causation and Sufficient Reason. Everything must have an explanation or a cause, including the universe. Theist and atheist philosophers alike affirm this premise. Even renowned atheist philosopher, David Hume affirms it, “But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that that anything might arise without a cause.[1]” Also, the negation of (1) leads to absurdity. We do not observe things just popping into existence without any cause, and we have no reason to believe that such is possible.

The scientific evidence for (2) is the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem. The BGV theorem states that any universe which has been, on average, expanding throughout its history must have a beginning [2]. The universe is expanding [3]. Thus it has a beginning.

The philosophical evidence for (2) is the properties of infinity. An actual infinite can't be formed by successive addition, which the past has been formed by. So the universe cannot be actually infinite. This is obviously true because there are no 2 finite numbers you can add together to get infinity. Time can only be potentially infinite, but not an actually infinite.

What’s more, you cannot transverse an infinity. Suppose you told someone that you were going to jump into a hole of infinite length. You would never hit the bottom because you would have an infinite amount of length before you got there. The same goes for time. If the past was infinite prior to today, it would take an infinite amount of time to get here. It would never reach today as there would be an endless amount of time to traverse before you reached today.

Thus there is a cause of the universe. It must be timeless and immaterial since both time and material arose with the universe [4]. It must be extremely powerful, if not omnipotent, since it caused a universe with no preexisting material. It must be intelligent since it caused such an ordered universe. It must be a free agent since there were no preexisting conditions to determine how it acted. Since it is free, it must have the capacity to be personal. A timeless, immaterial, extremely powerful (if not omnipotent), intelligent, personal, free agent that caused the universe to exist is the very definition of a theistic God.

Fine Tuning
1) The universe is fine tuned for embodied moral agents.

2) The probability of (1), given a Naturalistic hypothesis is close to 0.

3) The probability of (1), given a Theistic hypothesis is not as close to 0.

4) Therefore, according to the Likelihood Principle, the fine tuning of the universe supports Theism over Naturalism.

There are three categories of evidence for the fine tuning of the universe. The fine tuning of:
(i) The laws of nature.
(ii) The constants of nature.
(iii) The initial conditions of the universe.

The strong nuclear force serves as evidence for the fine tuning of (i). First, it must be strong enough to overcome the electromagnetic force protons and nucleons, otherwise the nuclei in atoms would simply fall apart [5]. Further, its strength must fall off much more rapidly that gravity or electromagnetism. If it fell off at a rate similar to gravity or electromagnetism, it would pull all the protons and neutrons in the entire universe together. In fact given its strength, if it fell of at the same rate of gravity or electromagnetism, the universe would likely just be a black hole [6]. Currently, we have no reason to believe that it has to be expressed this way, or even exist at all.

In defense of (ii) I will use gravity as my example. Gravity is the weakest of the fundamental forces of nature. As notable astrophysicist Martin Rees notes, “In an
imaginary strong gravity world, even insects would need thick legs to support them, and no animals could get much larger [7]." So if the strength of gravity was much stronger, embodied moral agents would not exist.

Perhaps the most astounding evidence for fine tuning comes from (iii), the universe's low entropy. As Roger Penrose famously calculated, the volume of possible universes where the the mass-energy configuration would yield a universe similar to ours is 1 in 10^10^123 [8].

I will defend (2) a few ways. For (i), I will appeal to widely shared intuitions. Science often appeals to intuition to justify the probability of an event. For example, the Theory of Common Ancestry. It is argued that this Theory is probably true given the fossil and genetic evidence available to us. It is not appealing to statistical probability, as this theory is about an event unique to Earth. Rather probability is assigned by looking at all the evidence and judging what kind of world we should expect under a given hypothesis. It is these type of judgements that ground the claim that (i) is surprising given a Naturalistic hypothesis. Naturally, the more widely shared these judgments are by those who are relevantly informed, the more seriously we take them. I would argue that "the chance of this universe being life permitting given Naturalism is low" is a widely shared sentiment as evidenced by the many attempts to account for it. Thus my appeal to intuition is on solid ground.

For (ii) I will appeal to a restricted form of the principle of indifference. This states that when we have no reason to prefer any one value of a variable p over another in some range R, we should assign equal epistemic probabilities to each variable, given that p constitutes a "natural variable." A natural variable is defined as a variable that occurs in the simplest expression of a given scenario. Simple examples of this are rolling dice or flipping a coin. We have no reason to think that the value for the strength of gravity would be expected to be expressed over another value in the comparison range of possible values for its strength. For purposes of this example of fine tuning, the comparison range will be the range of the strengths of the 4 fundamental forces of nature. This range spans about 10^40 [9]. Seeing how large the comparison range is, it is safe to say that the chance of moral agents arising is extremely low.

For (iii) I will again appeal to the principle of indifference. The volume of possible mass-energy configurations, as noted before, is 10^10^123. Since we have no reason to expect the universe's low entropy state, we can safely say that it is improbable that such a universe would arise.

Astrophysicist Geraint F. Lewis provides a good defense of (3).

"Bob has dealt himself five flushes. Jane looks sceptical, but Bob counters: ‘you don’t know me! I’m a free agent; I can do as I please. It is presumptuous to assume that I would cheat.’ But Jane remains sceptical, and for good reason. The probability of five royal flushes is one in a hundred billion billion billion. Thus, Jane needn’t assume that Bob would cheat, or even is likely to cheat. She need only assume that, before they started playing, the probability of Bob cheating isn’t comparable to one in a hundred billion billion billion. Only an extraordinarily strong presumption of Bob’s innocence would counter Jane’s accusation. Similarly, only an extraordinarily strong presumption against the idea that God would want to create a universe with embodied moral agents will affect our conclusions [10]."

Thus thus the fine tuning of the universe favors theism over naturalism.

All my sources will be in the comments.

Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Fiasco 3 years ago
Fiasco
@Masterful,
"1) everything that begins to exist has a cause. Okay, what caused God"

Con scientifically showed that the universe began to exist, in the second paragraph of his argument. Unless the same is shown for God, why should the premise apply to God as well?
Posted by Masterful 3 years ago
Masterful
He attempts to make an argument that the universe is fine tuned then asserts God did the fine tuning. It's all dribble.
Posted by Masterful 3 years ago
Masterful
Lest he does not exist
Posted by Masterful 3 years ago
Masterful
1) everything that begins to exist has a cause. Okay, what caused God?
:):):):):)
Posted by 21MolonLabe 3 years ago
21MolonLabe
Sources for round 1
[1] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

[2] Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin; Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete, (2003).

[3] http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...

[4] http://www.hawking.org.uk...

[5] Collins, Craig & Moreland (eds.),"The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Blackwell. p. 212 (2009)

[6] Ibid

[7] Rees, Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe. Basic Books. p. 30 (2000)

[8] Penrose, The Emperor"s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 339-345 (1983)

[9] http://webhome.phy.duke.edu...

[10] Lewis and Barnes, A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos. Cambridge University Press. p. 341 (2016)
Posted by 21MolonLabe 3 years ago
21MolonLabe
Redbluegreen,

I do agree with you that adaption is inherent in the development of life. However as Rees says, "the strength of gravity would stunt the evolutionary potential on them (planets)." And based on all of our empirical observations, only organisms with brains similar in size and structure to ours have agency. Mere adaption isn't some omnipotent force that can bring about any state of affairs. Adaption does have its limits. So it may not be proven, but the evidence we do have points to embodied moral agents not being able to adapt in a high gravity environment.
Posted by Redbluegreen 3 years ago
Redbluegreen
Con. I agree with most of your statements. However one im not sure you can prove is the assertion that in a strong gravity world with life existing in it, moral agents would not be able to form. If life exists in any form, and if we both agree that adaptation is inherent in the development of life, i would say that to claim that moral agents cannot form from those conditions is speculation and not currently provable. Please correct me if i am wrong
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