Instigator / Con
2
1592
rating
14
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78.57%
won
Topic

The Rationality of Faith 2

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Voting points
2
0

With 2 votes and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

bsh1
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Religion
Time for argument
Three days
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Open voting
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One month
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1629
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16
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Description
~ 1,686 / 5,000

--Overview--

This debate will last 4 rounds, with 3 days for each debater to post for each round. There will be 10,000 characters available to each debater for each round. Voting will last for 1 month. You must have an ELO of 1,505 to accept, and I would prefer someone who has completed at least one debate on the site as an opponent. I am taking the Con position.

--Topic--

The most rational response to the question of god's existence is to have faith.

--Definitions--

Rational - in accordance with reason and logic
God - an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being who is the source of all creation
Faith - belief in God

--Rules--

1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate as posted links (not embedded)
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all undefined resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
10. Violation or rejection of any of these rules or of any of the description's set-up (including definitions), merits a loss

--Structure--

R1. Pro's Case; Con's Case
R2. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R3. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R4. Pro generic Rebuttal and Summary; Con generic Rebuttal and Summary

Round 1
Con
I. Overview

When confronted with any question of belief, there are, fundamentally, three possible reactions: belief, disbelief, or suspension of belief. Take, for example, the question of whether alien life exists in the universe. When posed this question, I can either believe that aliens exist, disbelieve that aliens exist, or take no position.

In this debate, in order to successfully negate the resolution, I must argue that either disbelief or suspension of belief are more rational than having faith (belief). I take the position that suspension of belief is the most rational position, but even if one were to take a position, it would be better to disbelieve than to believe.

II. To Pass Over in Silence

Wittgenstein tells us that in order to talk about something in any meaningful sense, we must have some point of reference with which to understand that thing. His argument proceeds in this manner: [1]

  1. The world is all that is the case.
  2. What is the case—a fact—is the existence of states of affairs
  3. A logical picture of facts is a thought.
  4. A thought is a proposition with sense.
  5. A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions. (An elementary proposition is a truth function of itself.)
  6. The general form of a truth-function is [p,ξ, N (ξ)]
  7. What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
The notion of thought as picture is particularly important here. Our thoughts model, mentally, the reality we encounter isomorphically. In order to have rational communication rooted in propositions with sense (thoughts), those propositions must have some reference.

That may sound to you like a lot of philosophical mumbo-jumbo, but if we reason by example, we can concretize what this argument is talking about. Imagine an alien for a moment. Perhaps you see a green biped with an ovular head and bulbous eyes. This though has reference: we have been exposed to things which are green, which are bipedal, which have heads, which have eyes, which are ovular, which have odd proportions. The alien we have imagined is a composite of various references. Now try to imagine an alien without reference, without calling upon anything to which you have been previously exposed. The very task is an impossibility, because we cannot imagine the un-referenceable. It is like trying to paint a picture of the unknown; it cannot be done precisely because it is unknown.

This has a key impact for how we talk about God. God, just by the very breadth of what such a being is alleged to be, is unreferenceable. We talk about God in Christian settings, for example, as a male, as made of three things, as a father; these traits are all references. But these references cannot possibly accurately reflect a being of such uniqueness and expansiveness. We cannot think of God itself, and so we cannot talk rationally about God and its existence or nonexistence. To talk about God is an exercise in nonsense.

III. The Four O's

God is defined, for the purposes of this debate as an "omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being who is the source of all creation." Those Four O's may require additional clarification. According to Merriam-Webster (1-3) and Oxford (4): [2, 3]

  1. Omniscient means "possessed of universal or complete knowledge"
  2. Omnipresent means "present in all places at all times"
  3. Omnipotent means "almighty: having absolute power over all"
  4. Omnibenevolent means "possessing perfect or unlimited goodness."
These terms loosely translate as "all-knowing, all-present, almighty, and all-loving." In order for God to exist, each of these must be true of God. If even one these is not true of God, God as defined does not exist and the Con position must carry the day.

A. God Cannot be Omniscient

Suppose for a moment that I am in the hospital, and I know that I am. What I know is not simply that bsh1 is in the hospital, but that I, myself, am in the hospital. This is an important distinction, because if I am in the hospital for amnesia or some mental defect, it is possible that I might know that bsh1 is in the hospital without knowing that I am in the hospital (because I might not know that bsh1 is me). 

My doctor might know that I know that I am in the hospital, but that is not quite the same realization either. My doctor's knowledge is knowledge of my knowledge, and not my knowledge itself.

Therefore, what I know when I know that I am in the hospital is therefore a first-person fact. It is a fact that comes from my own, individual apprehension of reality that can only be known by me when I apprehend it. For God to be omniscient, he must possess all knowledge, but cannot possess my first-person knowledge without being identical to me, since it is only through my own apprehension of reality that I possess such knowledge.

Granted, this is a somewhat confusing argument. But I think it can be distilled generally, if not precisely, to the following: my perceptions of reality are distinct from (1) reality itself and (2) from other people's knowledge of my perceptions. My perceptions (what I know about reality) is a kind of knowledge that only I can have. For God to have access to this knowledge, God and I must be one in the same. I am not God. Therefore, God cannot have this knowledge.

B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent

Omnipresence means that God is universally temporally present; i.e. that he is present at all places at all times. This means that God possess complete knowledge while also being temporally universal. This is paradoxical. Consider for a moment, each of the following three sentences:

Yesterday, it was true that I would write this argument.
Today, it is true that I am writing this argument.
Tomorrow, it will be true that I have written this argument.

Each of these sentences was true at a certain point in time; outside of that specific point (i.e. yesterday, today, tomorrow, respectively), these sentences are each false. To possess complete knowledge, God would need to know all of these truths at once--but each of these truths is contradictory. That "I will write this argument" cannot be true at the same time that it is true that "I am writing this argument."

Nevertheless, to a God, who exists in all times at once, all of these truths are true simultaneously. In other words, to a God who exists across time, it must be true to him that "I will write this argument" and that "I am writing this argument," and these truths must be true to him at once (i.e. at the same time). This is quite literally impossible. Either God does not know all three of these truths at once, or he is not temporally universal; either God is not omniscient or he is not omnipresent. If that's correct, then God does not exist.

C. God Cannot be Omnipotent

To be almighty is to be able to do anything. If God can do anything, he ought to be able to create a stone so heavy that even he cannot lift it. However, this creates a paradox: if God cannot lift the stone, he is not almighty; if God cannot make the stone, he is not almighty. From this, it becomes clear the God cannot be omnipotent, since omnipotence is logically impossible given the paradox. Ergo, God does not exist.

A similar problem can be raised to pit omniscience against omnipotence. Could God make himself forget something? If he cannot, then he is not omnipotent. If he can, then he is potentially not omniscient. This same kind of argument can be used to pit both omnibenevolence and omnipresence against omnipotence, as we could ask the questions of whether God could make himself be evil/uncaring or whether he could make himself not be somewhere.

D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent

Evil exists in the world today. This strikes me as obvious, esp. when we turn our thoughts to such wantonly despicable acts as genocide or the use of rape as a tool of war. Similarly, we can take it as obvious that there are actions which count as good.

When contemplating the issue of omnibenevolence, it strikes me that benevolence is more than "not doing bad things;" it is in fact also "doing good things." [2] A person who allowed a child to be sadistically tortured or who failed to prevent a genocide would not be a good person. Therefore, to say that God is omnibenevolent is to say that he always does good.

Yet, God does not always do good. If God truly is almighty, all-present, and all-knowing (that is, God is aware of all evil and able to stop it), then why, if he is also omnibenevolent, does he not prevent acts such as genocide and child torture from taking place? That these things occur is proof that God is indeed not omnibenevolent, because it is not consistent with goodness to stand by and do nothing while an infant is electrocuted, cut by box knives over and over and over again, doused in acid, and then left for dead in the woods. God is not omnibenevolent because it is not consistent with goodness to stand by as millions are hauled off to concentration camps, worked to the point of death, and then gassed as they bathe. No good, all-powerful being would ever let such acts come to pass. Syllogistically:

P1. If an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God exists, then evil does not.
P2. There is evil in the world. 
C. Therefore, such a God does not exist.

IV. Sources


Thank you! Please vote Con!
Pro
Constructive

the cosmological argument.

I’ll unpack this by explaining the Cosmological argument which goes thusly:

P1: everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: the universe began to exist.
C: the universe has a cause.

P1: the statement that everything that begins to exist has a cause is uncontroversial in both science and philosophy. Everything that is brought into being must be predated by something with the causal power to bring it into existence.

P2: the statement that the universe began to exist is an uncontroversial statement amongst cosmologists. We know that the universe did have a beginning roughly 13.8 Billion years ago.

C: since the universe began to exist, and all things that begin to exist have a cause, it logically follows that the universe has a cause.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


P1: the past is finite.
P2: the cause of the universe was the first cause.
P3: the first cause can have no cause before it.
C: the first cause is primordial.


P1: we now know that time is not an abstract concept invented by the human mind, but rather along with space is an actual property of the universe called space-time and thus was brought into being with the universe. Since the universe is finite it follows that the past is finite.

P2: since we know that time was brought into being with the universe, the event that brought time into being would be the first in temporal sequence.

P3: this is relatively self-explanatory. The first cause, by virtue of being the first, can have no cause before it. Thus, the first cause is uncaused.

C: since the first cause was uncaused it follows that it has always existed and was never brought into being. It also follows that since the first cause brought all space, matter, and time into existence that the first cause does not occupy space, exist within time, nor does it have a physical form.


As I continue unpacking the Cosmological argument, I want to note that there is no “God of the Gaps” reasoning going on. I’m not using God to plug up the holes in modern science. Nor am I trying to posit a theistic “science” to compete with secular science. Instead, I am using modern science to demonstrate that contemporary cosmology has rendered the likelihood of God’s existence much higher than it has been in the past. As well as that there is a great deal of concord between modern science and theism.

Many atheists have irresponsibly claimed that physics can explain how the universe could be uncaused and come into being from nothing. But what you will inevitably discover when analyzing those arguments is that they are not referring to true “nothing” but rather to a physical system that undergoes a change in state. If my opponent postulates any such “nothing” then it must be disregarded as scientifically inaccurate as such a system presupposes the existence of space-time.


The only formerly controversial premise of the cosmological argument is 1P2. That the universe began to exist. Modern science has put that controversy to rest.

P1: An infinite past cannot exist
P2: an infinite regression of temporal events necessitates an infinite past
C: an infinite regression of events cannot exist.

P1: to prove that an infinite past cannot exist, I would like to challenge my opponent to count from negative infinity to zero. It can’t be done because you have no place to start. You’re always in some undefined region of infinity. The same holds true for time. If the past was infinite you would never be able to reach any definite point of the timeline.

P2: if the uncaused cause is denied then we end up playing the “then what caused that?” game into eternity. Since these infinite regressions would need to occur in temporal sequence this regression would create an infinite past.

C: since an infinite regression of events creates an infinite past, and an infinite past cannot exist, it follows that an infinite regression of events cannot exist.
As Solomon Fefferman put it: “Science can dispense with the notion of the practical infinite without impairment.” Because it can’t exist in a practical sense.

Moreover in defense of P2: many people trying to avert the inevitable conclusion of the finitude of the past will offer a number of beginningless models that all fail for one reason or another. For example:

  1. Expanding models that run into the problem of singularity theorems.
  2. Asymptotically static models that run into the problem of metastability
  3. And endlessly expanding and contracting models that run into the problem of acausal fine tuning.

Alexander Velenkin noted that none of these models actually produce an uncaused universe and that all of the evidence we have points to the existence of a beginning.

Now, anyone who’s managed to bring themselves to read this far may be asking “ok, what does this have to do with God?” Consider the following: if there is a primordial force why then does the creation of the universe only occur at a finite point? If the uncaused cause is primordial, timeless, and changeless, why did it not bring the universe into existence earlier? Medieval Muslim theologians posited that since the necessary and sufficient conditions for the universe were existent from eternity past if the uncaused cause were unconscious and impersonal, then the effect of the uncaused cause would have also existed from eternity past. Therefore, they argued that the uncaused cause must be personal, endowed with will and capable of creating a spontaneous effect. A man sitting from eternity past is always capable of standing up. An impersonal agent is capable of no such spontaneity.




The Teleological argument





Dr. Roger Penrose once calculated that the odds of a life supporting universe appearing by chance is less than one part in 10^10^123. Now, that number means absolutely nothing to most people because it’s simply too large to fathom. It is many times greater than the number of atoms in the observable universe. In fact, if you were to make the 1 necessary for the number then mark a zero for every proton, neutron, and electron in the observable universe you still wouldn’t even be close. Statisticians consider any event whose likelihood is less than one part in 10^52 to be impossible. To be less than one part in 10^10^123 is one trillion trillion trillion times less likely than that. This too points to the existence of a conscious personal creator. In the end, it requires much more faith to assume that all of the stipulations for a life-supporting universe were met by chance than to accept a creator. Everything from the size of the atom, to the ratio of the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces, needed to be perfectly attuned or else the entire thing falls to pieces.

My opponent mentioned the teleological argument briefly in his constructive and stated that this indirect evidence is incorrect by stating that there are naturalistic explanations that are better than theism. Other than multiverse which I will address later, I’m still waiting to hear what they are.


Even Richard Dawkins, hardly a friend to Theism, noted that the fine-tuning of the universe is not explained by scientific necessity through any known natural law. Furthermore, Oxford University mathematician Dr. Roger Penrose has noted that the fine-tuning of the universe is not plausibly explained by chance.




Rebuttals

Pass over in silence


While I would agree with my opponent that attempting to discern the mind of God is futile, We can certainly have a reference point to understand God as the personal creator of the universe when we look through the lens of quantum mechanics and cosmology. As I said previously, the uncaused cause exists by necessity and is changeless by necessity. The uncaused cause is also personal by necessity because otherwise a changeless uncaused cause would either have created the universe an infinite time ago which we know is impossible, or it would have never created the universe. Only a personal agent is capable of spontaneously creating the universe. Therefore, using only inferences that we have reference points for, we can discern the existence of a personal creator.


the four O's

omniscience: possessing knowledge of how you perceive the world is (1) all that is required for omniscience and (2) doesn't make God you. If I know how you perceive the world, that doesn't necessarily mean that I perceive the world in the same way that you do. It only means that I know how you perceive the world. God's perception of the universe is likely radically different from yours but that doesn't mean that he can't know how you perceive the universe. And it doesn't mean he's you.



Omnipresence. My opponent makes one critical error that derails his understanding of omnipresence. He forgets that the uncaused cause cannot exist within time AT ALL so he observes all of time from outside of time. Also, all of these things being true at once makes perfect sense in the context of special relativity even within the temporal plane. the uncaused cause is unconstrained by the temporal limits that we have.

Omnipotence: I would normally offer the counter paradox to this question but don't have the characters. Le'ts just say that God COULD make such a stone but then he wouldn't be omnipotent anymore so he doesn't make the stone. that would be like killing yourself to prove you're alive. He COULD make himself forget something but then he wouldn't be omniscient anymore. So he doesn't.


Omnibenevolence: I'll explain why evil is actually a proof for God next round. Consider Chaos theory. Allowing evil to happen now may lead to a greater good later I'll explain more next time.










Round 2
Con
Thanks to Patmos for his reply. I will defend my case and then refute his.

== Con's Case ==

I. Overview

This is dropped, so please extend the topicality of my advocacy.

II. To Pass Over in Silence

Pro suggests that god is referenceable. But to reference god is to be able to fix an understanding of what god is in one's mind, and that is simply not possible. Whatever image we conjure or propose, it will invariably be insufficient to capture a being of god's expansiveness and uniqueness. We cannot claim to picture, without flattering ourselves, a boundless entity such as god, one which Pro says exists outside time itself. We cannot, as Pro admits, fathom its mind, nor can we begin to imagine what it might look like, if it looks like anything at all. And, if it is merely a mind or will, then has Pro not already conceded the point? Pro claims that there are ways to know god through references, but has yet to explain his point in any depth. I continue to await a fulsome explanation from Pro on this point.

III. The Four O's

The clarifying definitions I offered were dropped. Extend them.

A. God Cannot be Omniscient

Pro's reply here is to asserting that god is omniscient if it is like the doctor who, in my example, has knowledge of my knowledge. Importantly, "knowledge of my knowledge" is not the same as "my knowledge" itself. It is the difference between secondhand and firsthand knowledge. Recall that "omniscience" is defined as "possessed of all knowledge." If god is only possessed of secondhand knowledge, it is not possessed of firsthand knowledge, and is not omniscient. Therefore, if god is like the doctor, god is not omniscient. Or--as I said earlier--for god to have access to firsthand knowledge, god and I must be one in the same. I am not god. Therefore, god is not omniscient.

B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent

Pro's reply here is that god is atemporal (i.e. existing outside time). First, if god is wholly atemporal, then god cannot be omnipresent, as to be everywhere at all times requires that god be submerged in the timeline. Second, if god is atemporal, it may be able to know that I wrote this argument at 1:09pm, EST, on 6/21/19, but that is not the same as knowing that I am writing this argument now. To know that I am writing it now, god must be submersed in the timeline. Third, an atemporal being might be said to know temporally indexed facts, but not to know them at a specific time. Such a being would know that "yesterday, it was true that I would write this argument," but would know this fact not at any particular time. This is a logical impossibility because truths like this are necessarily referential, meaning that only a being in time could know them.

C. God Cannot be Omnipotent

Pro's reply here is that god could make such a rock, but would then terminate his own omnipotence. Pro's response undermines his own argument. If god's power is terminable, then it is not almighty. Unlimited power (in a cosmic, rather than Sith sense) cannot be terminated elsewise it has limits. The purpose of the rock paradox is to demonstrate the fact that truly absolute power cannot be curtailed or be curtailable, lest it cease then to be absolute. Pro does nothing to actually address that core message of the paradox, but instead seems to commit the same fallacy of thought that the paradox exposes.

D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent

I await my opponent's reply to this argument. In the meantime, extend it.

== Pro's Case ==

I. Cosmological Argument

A. Overview

The cosmological argument can only prove the existence of a primordial "uncaused cause." An uncaused cause is not the same thing as god, at least as god was defined for this debate. An uncaused cause need not be omnibenevolent, omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscient, nor indeed all of these things at once. We could imagine such an uncaused cause being a single spark of cosmic energy which exploded and died upon creating the universe or a kind of will-less essence whose roiling miasma formed existence as we know it. Whatever the uncaused cause actually is, it does not necessarily meet the definition of god that Pro is tasked with defending in this round. For Pro to gain offense off of this argument, Pro must show how this uncaused cause is necessarily omnibenevolent, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

B. The Core Point

For the sake of brevity, I will refer to the following argument as the "core point" of the argument. This is merely a term of convenience, so that I need not constantly restate which syllogism I am referring to.

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The Universe began to exist.
C: Therefore, the Universe has a cause.

First, in addition to telling us that everything which began to exist has a cause, experience also tells us that everything which exists has a cause. Making this change, one can devolve the core point into an infinite regress. This reinforces the fact, which is already evident Pro's argumentation, that if an infinite regress is possible, the cosmological argument collapses.

P1. Everything that exists has a cause.
P2. The Universe exists.
C1. Therefore, the Universe has a cause.
P3. The cause of the Universe exists (or existed)
C2. Therefore, the cause of the Universe has a cause (from P1 and P3)

Second, if anything exists which is uncaused, it is not the case that "everything that begins to exist has a cause." Since syllogisms rely on the truth of their premises to draw their conclusions, if I can find even one example of some uncaused event, I can negate the entire logical chain. With quantum events, causal structures are indefinite, meaning that there is no distinct cause and outcome. [1] "[Apologist William Lane] Craig responds that...quantum events are not completely devoid of causal conditions. Even if one grants that the causal conditions are not jointly sufficient to determine the event, at least some necessary conditions are involved in the quantum event...Morriston is rightly puzzled by this reply, for, he asks, what: 'makes a cause out of a bunch of merely necessary conditions. Apparently not that they are jointly sufficient to produce the effect.'" [2] In other words, that there are conditions in which quantum events take place, that does not make those condition causative.

B. An Infinite Past

Pro challenges me to "to count from negative infinity to zero. It can’t be done because you have no place to start...If the past was infinite you would never be able to reach any definite point of the timeline." I have three responses.

First, Pro's argument has it's roots in Zeno's paradox, which proceeds in this manner: to move from points A to B, Achilles "must traverse half the distance from A to B. To get from the midpoint of AB to B Achilles must traverse half this distance, and so on and so forth. However many times he performs one of these 'traversing' tasks there is another one left for him to do before he arrives at B. Thus it follows...that motion is impossible." [3] Yet, motion is not impossible, despite the infinite number of steps that must be theoretically traversed in order to move from points A to B. If we can overcome an infinity to move from one fixed point to another physically, I see no reason why we could not do so temporally.

Second, "if time is past-infinite, then all points in time exist, which means our point in time exists...Just as there is no difficulty in seeing that the number 'minus five' exists even when there are infinitely many numbers before it on the numberline, so there is no difficulty in seeing that the time 'now' exists even when there are infinitely many seconds before it." [4]

Third, if time began with the Big Bang, we can have a finite past without necessarily establishing the existence of a god.

II. Teleological Argument

First, Pro's argument here is that god somehow exists because life exists. God, in Pro's argument, is the explanation for life's existence, yet life's existence is the explanation for god. This commits a circular fallacy of reasoning.

Second, since we do not know the process(es) by which abiogenesis actually occurs, any attempt to define its probability is doomed to futility. [5] We do not even know what conditions are necessary for life (or even what forms of life are possible). It is simply not plausible to think that we can, with any accuracy, guess abiogenesis' probaility.

Third, given an infinite number of universes, which physicists tell us there are, it is inevitable that one or more would accommodate life. [6] Moreover, why should we expect life-friendly conditions to be unlikely or rare? This begs the question. There does not appear to be any reason offered by Pro to believe that universes supporting the potential for life are somehow less likely than the alternative.

Fourth, there does not seem to be a reason why god must be the fine-tuner. Perhaps our universe exists in some alien matrix, much like the car battery in "The Ricks Must be Crazy." If you don't get the reference, that's fine; the point is: it is not at all clear that this argument is evidence for god specifically.

Fifth, "if fine-tuning is the 'evidence' we are trying to explain, and our background knowledge contains the proposition that we exist, alongside the weak anthropic principle which states that all of the conditions necessary for our existence must be so because we exist, then it logically follows that there is a 100% chance we will observe fine-tuning even if there is not a god." [7]

Finally, this argument fails to establish the existence of god as defined. Even if god is the fine-tuner, why does that mean it meets the 4 O's?
Thank you! Please vote Con!
Pro
Note: if there is a definition or observation that I don't disagree with I won't waste characters addressing it.

pass over in silence

The main problem with this argument as I pointed out in my last post, is that the quantum mechanics of cosmology clearly points to a personal creator. Think about it this way. If the uncaused cause necessitated by physics is an impersonal force then one of two things would have happened. Since nothing existed alongside the uncaused cause before the advent of the universe, either the conditions necessary for the creation of the universe would have been met from eternity past and the universe would be primordial alongside the uncaused cause (which we know is impossible for a number of reasons {second law of thermodynamics, infinite regression, problems with an infinite timeline creating temporal paradoxes}) or the conditions were NEVER met and the universe would not exist. Which it obviously does. I, therefore, conclude that the uncaused cause MUST have been a personal creator endowed with will and with the capacity to act spontaneously. My opponents argument only works if we address this issue in a vacuum where we only have the concept of God and nothing else. But we have more information upon which to base our beliefs. Merely not fully understanding a thing does nothing to detract from the likelihood of the existence of the thing as long as we have more evidence to support the existence of the thing.


omniscience

No, God is not like the doctor. Because the doctor does not have knowledge of your knowledge. He does not KNOW that you know you're in the hospital. He suspects that you do but he does not know it. Even if he does know it he only knows it because you told him. Therein lies the critical difference. Omniscience is not a trait of perception. In order to be omniscient God does not need to perceive the world as you do, he merely needs to KNOW how you perceive the world without anyone telling him. A simple definition of omniscience is "to know everything" to be perfect in knowledge. nothing in that definition necessitates that the omniscient entity shares your perception, merely that it knows of your perception.

Omniscience and omnipresence

Now we're talking about quantum temporal dynamics and special relativity. This is a very complicated and at times confusing topic. God being atemporal means that he exists at every point on the timeline and can interact with the temporal world at all times and places. But it's even more than that. the uncaused cause must not only be timeless but also immaterial and spaceless. It does not occupy space nor is it made of matter. No one argues that God literally occupies all space at once, because that would be impossible as God is spaceless. Merely that the influence of God is unconstrained by time, space, and material limitations. One could say that Space-Time is omnipresent. It exists at all places and times much in the same way that God does. In a very immaterial sense of the word. Whole volume sets of books have been written on this topic and I admittedly cannot do it justice here. Simply put, viewing this question through the lens of our own temporal universe misses the actual question. This should really be addressed as a question of special relativity as it relates to an atemporal body observing time as an outsider and thus able to interact with all points on a timeline at once. God is not spatially or temporally located anywhere he has no body he is a being of pure mind. He transcends space and time as the creator of both space and time. (all right. enough headache inducing talk. hopefully we're on to something a bit more "down to earth")


Circular God Counter Paradox

The CGCP Response with Explanation:
God, being omnipotent, space-savvy and ubiquitous, would have himself exist simultaneously on Plane (A) and Plane (B). After fashioning a rock with a weight sufficient to exceed his ability to lift, the rock is positioned on Plane (B) where we find God attempting to lift the rock. On Plane (A) we have God physically lifting Plane (B), which already holds both God and the very heavy rock and all done so at the exact same moment. See figure (a). ...So the answer is “Yes!” God can create a rock so heavy that he couldn’t lift it while simultaneously maintaining omnipotence.
Reasoning:
The original paradoxical question hasn’t really been answered or solved as no paradoxical question can be answered or solved by design. What has happened is that the entire premise of “questionable omnipotence” found within the original paradoxical question has been resolved by way of a counter-paradox. The original paradoxical question no longer possesses any power... It has been neutralized.
The “Circular God Counter-Paradox” response to the “Paradox of the Stone” can be infinitely expanded to help in the understanding of omnipotence. This also counters any attempts at regression should the “Paradox of the Stone” be modified to ask, “Can God create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it ...and the plane that it is on?”

Paradoxical questions cannot be answered or solved. They can only be resolved by developing a specific counter-paradox response. A suitable counter-paradox must have the ability to nullify the original Stone Paradox by way of a paradox of equal power.



omnibenevolence

This point after careful logical consideration does one of two things. Either it nullifies itself or it supports my position. Consider Chaos theory (a butterfly flaps its wings in Europe which causes air displacement that eventually becomes a hurricane in America) A singular act of evil now may lead to a greater good later that seems to be disconnected from the initial act of evil. In order for God to be omnibenevolent, then he must have a benevolent reason for allowing evil. But as temporally limited beings we do not have access to the full picture meaning the question can never be satisfactorily answered by either side rendering this point null. Moreover, the atheist needs to logically prove that necessarily if God is all good then he would create a world without evil. (Noting that this would strip you of your capacity to commit evil acts and therefore your free will.) Is it all Good to create a world of slaves? of drones? I think not.

Secondly, What do you mean by evil? do you mean something you don't like? is evil subjective (and therefore functionally nonexistent) or do you have some objective standard by which you define evil? Simply put, objective morality (and thus morality itself in a greater sense) cannot exist without an objective moral arbiter. If anything is always wrong 100% of the time then you must also posit the existence of an objective moral lawgiver. Otherwise, morality doesn't actually exist and only exists as a subjective standard for each individual person to consider for themselves. 


Defending my case.

necessities of God

If I created the universe then I by necessity had the power to determine everything about it. That shows that I am, Af far as the universe is concerned, omnipotent. omnipresence: as a spaceless being that had to power to bring about the advent of all space-time I by necessity have be ability to influence all of space at any point it time because I brought it all into being. Omniscience: If I created the universe then I by necessity know everything there is to know about it. being able to view all of space and time I also know what's going on at all points of space and time. Omnibenevolence: a null line of argument as no definitive arguments can be made pro or con and the atheist can never prove that it follows logically that being all good means making a world without evil.

Altering the Cosmological argument

Right. As it turns out if you drastically alter the cosmological argument you can make it invalid. But you don't get to do that. All you've done is break the universe without providing any explanation or rebuttal against the premises of the argument. Not good enough.

everything that begins to exist has a cause.

The uncaused cause is primordial and mus be for the universe to not break. The uncaused cause never began to exist and therefore does not need a cause. to deny this places the timeline in an impossible state of infinite regression. A group of conditions being met constitutes a cause.

zenos paradox.

these two concepts have no link. Because zeno's paradox deals with finitude. We would play the "half this distance" game until we get to planck length 1.6 x10^-35 which because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is the smallest possible length allowed by quantum mechanics. then Achilles starts walking. negative infinity is not comparable.


just a point in infinity

No. Because of the second law of thermodynamics. We would have already arrived at the heat death of the universe if that were true.

Big bang as finitude.

No. Because that causes infinite regression. "then what caused the Big Bang" etc.

You're grinding against all known science with this "past is infinite" argument

circular reasoning.


You've overcomplicated the argument. the argument is simply: life exists. Life shouldn't exist. God is the most likely explanation. No circular reasoning there.

abiogenesis

we're talking about the universe here and the conditions for life. Not the advent of evolution. We do know the conditions necessary for all known life. saying that there could be other forms of life therefore my argument is invalid is argumentum ad ignorantiam


multiverse

For now let's just say that no, physicists do not tell us there are multiple universes. That is an area of HUGE controversy in the scientific community.

matrix

you'll need proof for that before it's a valid argument. just saying it could be true is not sufficient and constitutes argumentum ad ignorantiam.

confirmation bias in fine tuning

I need more characters for this.
Round 3
Con
Thanks to Patmos for his reply. I will defend my case and then refute his.

== Con's Case ==

I. To Pass Over in Silence

Pro's argument is that he can identify clues which point to the existence of a god. Namely, Pro asserts that because there must be a cause of the universe or a fine-tuner of some sort, that there must be a god. Pro's argument fatally misunderstands my argument. What Pro is doing is using human vocabulary to conceptualize that which is beyond all efforts to understand. God, if it exists, is necessarily a being so vast, deep, and multi-dimensional that we cannot possible seek to describe it with any language whatsoever. We cannot describe it as a "being," "cause," or "fine-tuner," because these words express fundamentally human understandings and ideas which are too limited to apply to such a transcendent entity. My argument is that god is so far beyond our understanding that any attempt to talk about god is futile. Words--any words--cannot sensically be used to describe it.

II. The Four O's

A. God Cannot be Omniscient

Pro says that the doctor cannot possibly know with certainty, but that misses the point entirely and overlooks how hypotheticals work. The point of the example is that even if we could know with certainty ("KNOW"), knowledge of knowledge is still not complete knowledge. Remember: omnscience means "possessed of universal or complete knowledge." If god only possesses secondhand knowledge, it is not possessed of firsthand knowledge. But, if god possess firsthand knowledge, it must be identical to me. This places Pro in a devastating double-bind. Either god is not omniscient, or god is me and I am god. Either way, Pro loses the debate.

B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent

First, Pro drops the three specific arguments I made here. Extend those arguments. Particularly, "god is wholly atemporal, then god cannot be omnipresent, as to be everywhere at all times requires that god be submerged in the timeline."

Second, Pro writes: "God being atemporal means that he exists at every point on the timeline and can interact with the temporal world at all times and places...God is not spatially or temporally located anywhere." For god to "exist" at every point on the timeline without being temporally located at any specific place, it must, logically, be temporally located everywhere. Pro basically concedes the point that god is "everywhere at all times."

Third, if god is everywhere at all times, my argument stands as originally articulated. If god is everywhere, at all times, then all three of my sample sentences must be true to god at once, but since that is logically impossible, so too is god.

C. God Cannot be Omnipotent

First, Pro's reply here is a shifting the goal posts fallacy. His new argument does not resemble his previous argument at all. Plus, his new response is in outright contradiction with his previous position. Pro previously contended that "God COULD make such a stone but then he wouldn't be omnipotent anymore." Now Pro is claiming that god could make such a stone without losing his omnipotence. Pro's waffling is fundamentally incoherent and each of his positions cancel each other out.

Second, imagine that someone produces a stone which I cannot lift and places it inside a bag. If I am then asked to lift the bag, it is not logical to assume that I will be able to. Similarly, if there is a rock so heavy that god cannot lift it, placing it in/on a plane will merely make the plane unliftable.

Third, Pro's response opens up another paradox, namely, can god create a plane which is (a) too heavy for it to lift and (b) cannot be placed on/in another plane. If god is omnipotent, it ought to be able to create such a plane, but if god could, then god would cease to be omnipotent.

D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent

First, an evil done for the greater good is still an evil. One who is perfectly good would be constitutionally incapable of allowing evil to be committed. We need only consider that fact that since an omnibenevolent god could have created a world without any evil at all, it is impossible to fathom how it could have created this world instead. Pro's preemptive response here is that such a perfectly moral world would, ironically, immorally render us drones. But it does not seem that the loss of free will is entailed by a perfectly moral world; rather, it seems that such a world would allow for choices to be made, so long as those choices were morally permissible.

Second, Pro tries to claim that evil acts often generate more good. This argument is only a refutation of my point if Pro can demonstrate that all evil acts always generate net good. Since it is conceptually possible that this is not the case, and it is conceptually possible that it is, there is no more reason to accept Pro's argument than to reject it, rendering it null/moot.

Third, for a moral rule/value to be objective, it must be such that no rational person, thinking rationally and in the abstract, could reject it. Such a system is not contingent on opinion because any rational actor ought to embrace it in the abstract. It is also universal to the extent that it applies to all rational agents. While then, no moral system currently extant is perfectly objective, it is possible to arrive at some objective rules (like rules against sadistic infanticide) without needing a deity to produce them. At the very least, a non-deistic, objective moral code is conceptually possible.

== Pro's Case ==

I. Cosmological Argument

A. Overview

Pro attempts to show how an "uncaused cause" meets the definition of god agree on in this debate. I will refute each of Pro's attempts in turn. First, Pro argues that because god created the universe, god is omnipotent. But that doesn't follow. A super-powerful, not omnipotent being may have been capable of creating the universe without being omnipotent. Second, Pro simply begs the question with omnipresent, arguing, essentially, that god is omnipresent because god is omnipresent. Third, Pro says that if god created the universe, it must know everything about it. But that doesn't follow either. Parents may have created their children, but that doesn't mean that parents know everything about their children. Fourth, Pro says he cannot demonstrate omnibenevolence. If this is the case, he cannot meet his BOP.

B. The Argument

First, my counter-syllogism is no less valid than my opponents and thus cancels it out. Based on induction, it is equally true to say that "that which began to exist has a cause" as it is to say "that which exists has a cause." My syllogism is only less valid's if it is metaphysically impossible, which Pro must then demonstrate to negate my argument.

Second, Pro effectively drops my argument that quantum events are uncaused, choosing only to repeat his original argument as if no rebuttal had ever been offered. Extend my argument. And, to my prior argument, I'll add this: radioactive decay is another example of an uncaused event. Indeed, "spontaneous disintegration of radioactive nuclei is stochastic and might be uncaused." [5]

Third, Pro says time cannot be infinite because we would have reached the "heat death of the universe." I have two responses. (A) Pro does not explain or warrant his argument at all. It is his burden to produce that reasoning in the debate itself (and not assume that it is self-evident). (B) Universes can go through multiple inflationary periods in terms of energy, so there is not necessarily any fixed, heat death moment. [1]

II. Teleological Argument

First, Pro basically summarizes his argument by saying that "life exists, so god exists." Okay, but that's still circular. God, in Pro's argument, is the explanation for life's existence, yet life's existence is the explanation for god.

Second, we know that life can emerge in conditions we would typically regard as life-prohibiting. Scientists have indicated that silicon- or boron-based life and even cryolife are all possible. [2, 3] We need only look to the extremofiles found here on Earth to see concrete evidence of life forming in conditions which are opposite of ideal. [4] If life can emerge outside those parameters we normally identify (and if, in fact, there are no conditions in which we can definitively rule out life emerging), then it becomes impossible to argue that, due to narrow parameters for life emerging, our universe is finely tuned.

Third, Pro just makes a bare assertion here about the multiverse. It is Pro's burden to warrant his own argument inside the debate itself. Without a warrant, his argument cannot be considered valid. I offered a source for my argument, and so, as things stand, my argument has to outweigh Pro's. But, even setting the multiverse argument aside, Pro drops an important secondary argument I made here, namely that "why should we expect life-friendly conditions to be unlikely or rare? This begs the question." Extend that Pro's whole argument is question-begging.

Fourth, Pro seems to concede that it could be true we're in the matrix. Pro says that I need to offer proof of some matrix-creator, but I only need to show plausibility, not proof. The fact that Pro's argument can be plausibly explained without an appeal to god means that this argument is not evidence for god specifically.

Fifth/Sixth, Pro drops my fifth and sixth responses to his fine-tuning argument. Extend these points.

Seventh, "[o]ur judgements about what counts as a sign of intelligent design must be based...on our knowledge of human intelligence. The more our hypotheses of intelligent designers depart from the human case, the more in the dark we are as to what the ground rules are for inferring intelligent design." [6]

== Sources ==


Thank you! Please vote Con!
Pro
To pass over in silence

Let me try to illustrate my point with an analogy. A man who has been blind from birth has no reference point to understand the color blue. I can't put the color blue into words to explain it to the blind man. Does that mean that the color blue doesn't exist for the blind man? No, of course not. It just means that he can't understand it. If we are "blind" to God then we are in a similar situation. It doesn't mean that God doesn't exist; rather it means that we cannot understand the nature of God. When confronted with the evidence inherent in the state of the early universe I believe it is more than plausible that there does exist a sapient creator whether or not I can fully describe it.


omniscience

I actually just got done reading a book that addresses this issue in a way I hadn't considered before. The author argued that omniscience extends to all propositional knowledge (meaning that the omniscient being knows all facts and doesn't believe any false facts.) but that omniscience doesn't extend to non-propositional knowledge. Because if non-propositional knowledge is defined into omniscience, then you run into the problem you've identified. that the omniscient being would believe that it is Ronald Reagan. Or Bsh1. Or Patmos. Also, if non-propositional knowledge is included then God would have knowledge of what it's like to be a sinner. Which he, in keeping with theology, doesn't have. Moreover, to have all non-propositional knowledge, to believe that you are Ronald Reagan, would be a cognitive imperfection. Meaning that your knowledge is imperfect. Now omniscience is traditionally defined as having perfect knowledge. This definition excludes non-propositional knowledge.


omniscience and omnipresence

I don't blame you for being confused over this one. It's is a rather strange concept. But to be omnipresent and atemporal really means that you're nowhere. And through being nowhere can view and influence everywhere whilst occupying no specific place. Effectively being everywhere but being physically nowhere. It can be hard to grasp this concept from a physical and temporal viewpoint. But consider the question as to how a being without a physical body can occupy any point at all? it can't. Therefore, necessarily God does not occupy any physical location but it is also necessary that the uncaused cause be able to influence the physical world in its entirety in order to bring it about at the beginning of the universe.

omnipotence


The original argument I made was a placeholder. It was fully inadequate to address the paradox but I needed to address it in round so as to not drop the point entirely. The only way to defeat a paradox is to offer a counter paradox to cancel out the first.

It doesn't really make sense that a disembodies mind would be constrained by such things as weight in the first place. Therefore, there must be some other property of this rock that makes it impossible to lift. If God is lifting the entire plane of being, then he's not technically attempting to lift the rock but is still doing so. That's why this is a counter paradox. Say that there is a rock that for some reason you can't lift. and you put it in a bag. Then you lift the bag. You haven't lifted the rock per se but you have raised the position of the rock.

Creating another plane

Look, we can play the paradox game if you want. But it's really a null point. I've had debates where this happens. You offer a paradox, I offer a counter paradox then we play this game forever. It's boring and it goes nowhere. Every paradox regarding omnipotence has a counter paradox. to defeat this one I'd start talking about quantum superposition allowing God to both lift and not lift the plane at the same time or one of many other methods of defeating such a paradox.


omnibenevolence

allowing evil to happen with morally sufficient reasons is within the confines of omnibenevolence. In an imperfect world, evil is inevitable and if it can be directed and used for the greater good then that would be omnibenevolent.

free will

If I'm only allowed to make God-Approved decisions, then I don't really have free will. My behavior is restricted and compelled. What happens if I try to make a non-God-approved decision? Am I stopped? Killed? Coerced?


moot point

I actually agree entirely. That's why I don't like to argue omnibenevolence. It always ends with us just staring at each other unable to accept or reject either of our arguments.

objective morality

My opponent claims that moral law against things like infanticide are objective because no rational person to object to not murdering children. There are some civilizations that would like to speak to you. Such as:

1. the Aztecs
2. the Inca
3. the Maya
4. the Moche
5. Pre-Islamic Arabia
6. Pre-Biblical Palestine
7. Carthage
8. Phoenicia
9. Timoto-Cuica
10. the Minoans.


Were all of these civilizations full of irrational people? They all believed that infanticide was acceptable. Why are they wrong and why are we right? You're projecting your own opinion on what constitutes a rational moral philosophy onto the universe. You can't arrive at moral law from pure reason. Because it's always possible to reason differently. Moreover, the inherent value of human life that we in our culture take for granted is not universal. Many Asian cultures do not have this same concept. Even Russians to an extent have been influenced by that trend. Hence the Asian-Russian tactic of sending countless men to die as a war tactic. Kamikaze pilots or using Russian soldiers to soak up German bullets at the battle of Stalingrad in order to exhaust German supplies are excellent examples. You can't reason your way to the inherent value of human life. If it is evolutionarily or societally expedient to wipe out a segment of the population in a scientific materialist "moral" system there is no reason why you shouldn't do so. This philosophy is what undergirded the eugenics movements of the 20th century. Even Britain has begun moving in that direction today as they adopt a more secular view of morality. British courts very nearly allowed the forced abortion of the child of a mentally handicapped woman just a few days ago.


the Cosmological argument

If God created the universe, then he had the power to define every property of the universe. Which means that necessarily he is omnipotent within the universe. I couldn't begin to describe what omnipotence outside of the universe would look like. Since there's nothing I guess that would mean creating universes. Which also follows. I did not beg the question in regard to omnipresence. I argued that because by necessity the uncaused cause is spaceless and by necessity brought space into being that the uncaused cause would be by necessity able to view and influence all of space at once making the uncaused cause omnipresent. Parents may bring their children into being, but they do not DESIGN their children. If parents got to their children from designing their first cell then your argument would hold water. But they don't, so it doesn't. God designed the universe and as such knows everything propositional fact about it. You have agreed that omnibenevolence is a null point. It can't be argued as there is no way of knowing if God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil. I say yes, you say no, and there's no way to know who's right. This is the exact reason why omnibenevolence isn't often argued at the top level of these debates.
con's counter syllogism.

If everything that exists has a cause then you place the timeline in a state of infinite regression. It is a scientific fact that the uncaused cause exists. Otherwise, the universe would have reached maximum entropy by now. If the uncaused cause exists, under your syllogism it has a cause. Which places the timeline into a state of impossible infinite regression. Thus, your syllogism is invalid.

quantum indeterminacy

not all physicists agree that subatomic events are uncaused…. Indeed, most of the available interpretations of the mathematical formulation of [Quantum Mechanics] are fully deterministic. (Craig and Sinclair 2009: 183)
For another, a difference exists between predictability and causality. It is true that, given Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty, we cannot precisely predict individual subatomic events. What is debated is whether this inability to predict is due to the absence of sufficient causal conditions, or whether it is merely a result of the fact that any attempt to precisely measure these events alters their status. The very introduction of the observer into the arena so affects what is observed that it gives the appearance that effects occur without sufficient or determinative causes. But we have no way of knowing what is happening without introducing observers into the situation and the changes they bring. In the above example, we simply are unable to discern the intermediate states of the electron’s existence apart from introducing conditions of observation. When Heisenberg’s indeterminacy is understood not as describing the events themselves but rather our knowledge of the events, the Causal Principle still holds.

circular reasoning


There is a difference between explanation and analysis of probability.

Life prohibiting

Within a universe yes you're right. But in regard to a whole universe not so much. Things like the size of the atom or the electromagnetic force are still believed to be critically important to all forms of life.

multiverse

multiverse violates the laws of quantum mechanics by removing quantum information from the parent universe. Which is impossible.


Matrix doesn't actually answer the argument only pushes it back a world. You have to answer all of the same questions about the programmer's universe.

fine tuning

just because we have to see fine-tuning doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Round 4
Con
Thanks to Patmos for the debate. I will defend my case, refute his, and conclude with voting issues.

== Overview ==

First, do not allow Patmos to make any new arguments or arguments against dropped points in his next posting. Not only is making such arguments against the rules of the debate, but it would be unfair to me, as I would have no chance to respond.

Second, Pro continues to problematically shift the goalposts. First, it is unfair to me because (a) it prevents me from developing and sustaining an argumentative narrative against his points and (b) it invalidates my argumentative wins to the extent that each time I convincingly refute an argument of Pro's, Pro can just offer some totally new point an emerge unscathed. Pro's advocacy becomes so slippery that it evades any response. Second, it destabilizes Pro's advocacy because (a) his advocacy becomes unclear and (b) his advocacy becomes incoherent, to the extent that his positions contradict. He cannot simply pretend that he did not make his original arguments. Anywhere Pro shifts the goalposts, Pro's arguments should be rejected.

Third, recall that if even one of the 4 O's is not true of God, God as defined does not exist and Con wins.

== Con's Case ==

I. To Pass Over in Silence

If I am a blind man and was never told about color, I could not imagine it or think of it. Only because I am told about it (and thus given reference) can I think about it at all. So, Pro's counter-example is non-responsive to my argument.

II. The Four O's

A. God Cannot be Omniscient

First, Pro shifts the goalposts. His original argument was that god was not like the doctor. Now, Pro's argument is about non-propositional knowledge. This goalpost shifting is especially troublesome this late in the debate. Because this round is or summary and rebuttal, I have even fewer characters to devote to responding to late arguments. Also, this is my one and only chance to respond to Pro's argument, but he'll get two rounds (3&4) to talk about it, which is unfairly skewed.

Second, Pro still refers to non-propositional information as "knowledge" (e.g. "if non-propositional knowledge is defined into omniscience"). This is crucial, because per my definition of omniscience, which Pro dropped, omniscience means "possessed of universal or complete knowledge." Since Pro concedes that non-propositional information is knowledge, god must know non-propositional knowledge or god is not possessed of complete knowledge. By conceding that god cannot know non-propositional knowledge, Pro has conceded that god is not omniscient.

Third, the realization that "I am in the hospital" may be a realization, but it can also be expressed as a proposition. Propositional knowledge is knowing-that, and it is the case that I know that I am in the hospital. Therefore, Pro's objection does not apply to my original argument.

Finally, if god lacks knowledge of what it is like to be a sinner, how can god justly pass judgement upon us? We take as fundamental the importance of empathy--the ability to put oneself in the shoes of the Other--in coming to understand (and thus fairly and comprehensively evaluate) the character and deeds of others. If god cannot know what it is like to be a sinner, god lacks the necessary qualities to judge us, which would constitute a defect in god. Plus, if god cannot empathize with us, he is not omnipotent either (it's something he cannot do).

B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent

Pro says that "to be omnipresent and atemporal really means that you're nowhere." Omnipresence means, per the definition Pro dropped, "present in all places at all times." Extend my definition of omnipresence because it (a) was dropped and (b) comes from a credible dictionary. God cannot be present in all places if god is nowhere; that is a contradiction in terms. Pro says that god is omnipresent because god "can view and influence everywhere." But "viewing" is not the same as being "present." I can "view" Earth without being "present" on Earth. For god to be "present," god must be temporally located everywhere. By conceding that god cannot be present everywhere, Pro has conceded that god is not omnipresent. Also, Pro, by focusing on physical locality, drops my argument that god must be submerged in the timeline.
 
C. God Cannot be Omnipotent

First, Pro essentially admits that he shifted the goalposts. Cross-apply my overview and reject Pro's argument.

Second, Pro's reply is not actually responsive to my argument about bags. Pro writes: "You haven't lifted the rock per se but you have raised the position of the rock." However, that moving the bag is not the exact same thing as moving the rock does not refute the fact that "if there is a rock so heavy that god cannot lift it, placing it in/on a plane will merely make the plane unliftable." Extend my argument.

Third, Pro does not offer a response to my two-part paradox, namely: "can god create a plane which is (a) too heavy for it to lift and (b) cannot be placed on/in another plane." My two-part paradox overcomes the root of Pro's counter-paradox (namely, the use of planes). Pro says that he could offer something about superposition or another paradox as a rebuttal, but, in fact, he offers neither, and so Pro has no substantive response to my point. Extend my argument as dropped.

D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent

First, Pro claims that omnibenevolence allows for evil if that evil is for the greater good. Yet, perfect goodness is incompatible with any evil, since allowing any evil would be an imperfection in goodness. Pro also disputes that free will would exist in a perfectly moral world. Sure, there are some choices we could not make (like murder), but there are many choices we could make (like whether to be a painter or a philosopher). In such a world, the limited loss of free will is offset by the massive gains in morality.

Second, there is an important distinction Pro's missing. Pro's rebuttal that "evil = net good" is moot because Pro cannot show that it is always the case; on that we agree. My original argument that "any evil = no omnibenevolence" is not moot, because it may nonetheless be the case that any evil negates god's omnibenevolence. So, Pro is only agreeing to the mootness of his argument, not to the mootness of mine.

Third, on objective morals, Pro's thinking is, in principle, wrong, because he ignores nuances in motivation. For instance, I argue that "sadistic infanticide" is objectively immoral. None of the cultures Pro has put forward engaged in sadistic infanticide, as the chief object of their infanticide was not sexual gratification via torture and murder. The Aztecs and Mayans, for instance, appeared to believe that the infanticides were necessary to placate the gods, and was thus for the greater good.

== Pro's Case ==

I. Cosmological Argument

A. Overview

Pro says that because god had the power to define every property of the universe, god is omnipotent. That doesn't follow because (a) a super-powerful, non-omnipotent being could have done the same and (b) creation does not imply ongoing control. Pro also says that parents don't design children, but designer children are only a short time away technologically. Soon, parents will be able to design and create their children, but that does not mean they will be able to know their children's thoughts and feelings or know every scar or anatomical change their kids might pick up during the course of their lives. Creation does not imply perfect knowledge. And remember: Pro said he cannot demonstrate omnibenevolence. Thus, Pro cannot demonstrate god's omnipotence, omniscience, or omnibenevolence.

B. The Argument

First, Pro has not demonstrated that my counter-syllogism is metaphysically impossible. Thus, per inductive reasoning, it is equally valid to and cancels out Pro's syllogism. Second, Pro chooses to talk a lot about quantum events, but drops the radioactive decay argument. Extend that radioactive decay is uncaused. This renders the first premise of Pro's syllogism false by showing that events can be uncaused. Third, Pro drops that the "heath death" argument is (a) unwarranted and (b) false. This is key, because the heat death argument was Pro's only remaining one against an infinite past. Extend that the "heat death argument" fails.

II. Teleological Argument

I'm going to skip some numbers.

Second, Pro gives two criteria he says are "believed" to be crucial for life. This doesn't undermine my core point: namely, that because life can exist in a huge range of conditions, it begs the question to assume that life was improbable in this universe.

Third, I did a Ctrl+F search for "quantum information" in Pro's sources and found nothing. With scant explanation in the round, and sources which are not enumerated (such that I cannot know if any/which of his sources support Pro's claim), Pro's claim remains uncorroborated. Any corroboration (or clarification) would come too late for me to respond to. Pro's argument must be dismissed.

Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh, these points get dropped without any substantive reply. Extend them.

== Voting Issues ==

1. Pro does not meet his burden

Even if Pro wins his arguments, those arguments do not show that god meets all of the criteria set out in the debate's definition. Nor does Pro offer a satisfactory explanation as to why god, if it exists, necessarily meets those criteria.
2. Pro has no offense

Pro dropped all or part of each of my three refutations of the Cosmological Argument. To point out one: if Pro cannot show that an infinite past is impossible (since he loses the heat death point), my counter-syllogism cancels out Pro's. Pro also dropped three responses to his fine-tuning argument which expose it as illogically antropocentric and rooted in confirmation bias.
3. Con has offense

I am winning my arguments across the board, though I need only win one to negate God as defined.
Thank you! Please Vote Con!
Pro
Making new arguments

I second this. No new arguments. Unless of course, it is necessary to answer an argument. I can't be compelled to drop an argument because the necessary response is new.



passing over in silence

This argument ignores the point of my counter-argument. Even if the blind man is never told about color and thus can never conceive of the idea color still exists. Even if all humans were blind, color would still exist. Just because we cannot fully understand something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Looking at the evidence inherent in the universe it is necessitated that a personal creator does exist.

omniscience

Yeah, I agree that my entire perception of omniscience underwent a rather rapid shift in these last few weeks. I get how that could seem like a problem to you. 

A better definition of omniscience is possessing perfect knowledge. If you possess ALL knowledge including non-propositional knowledge then that means that you know false things. Your knowledge becomes imperfect. 

Knowing that I am in the hospital is propositional because it relates to me. Knowing that Bsh1 is in the hospital is also propositional. Therefore, if God were in the hospital he would know. And if you were in the hospital then God would know. But God would not believe that he is Bsh1 in the hospital because that rests on non-propositional knowledge.

I don't know what it's like to murder someone. Yet if I were a judge or a member of a jury I could still pass judgment on a murderer. God can know that sin is wrong and he can know that I am a sinner and proceed to pass judgment.


omniscient and omnipresent

You're still operating in a very physical sense. None of what we're talking about is physical. God is PHYSICALLY nowhere. Because God doesn't have a physical form. He is metaphysically everywhere. It's a lot like the Force from Star Wars really. the Force is not in any physical place yet it "binds the galaxy together." Like I've said before, This question you're asking about the possibility of both of these things is only true as it relates to a physical and temporal being. God is neither.


omnipotence

With this low character count and us going over every minute detail every round, you're going to end up with placeholder arguments from time to time. I can't unpack every argument to it's fullest in every round.

My opponents next argument ignores my point on how using weight as the restricting factor makes no metaphysical sense. That refutes the "making the plane unliftable" argument. As long as you aren't interacting with the rock the metaphysical restriction is circumvented.

Again, I can't unpack every argument to its entirety. I barely have enough characters as it is. If I tried to explain quantum superposition I would need twice as many characters. My point was that there is no paradox regarding omnipotence that can't be defeated with a counter-paradox.

perfect goodness is incompatible with any evil.

No, it isn't. Perfect goodness is incompatible with any POINTLESS evil. An evil that is allowed to happen with a morally sufficient reason is compatible with being morally perfect.

Con has dropped my point on free will. Extend it.

Both of our arguments are moot. If it were up to me we would have shut down this line of argumentation a long time ago. You have misunderstood what it means to be morally perfect. Whether or not God is morally perfect depends on whether or not he has sufficient moral reasons for allowing evil. We, in our limited perception, are in no position to say with any degree of confidence if that's true or not. It's important to note that the resolution is not "God exists" but "is it rational to believe God exists?" I can rationally believe that there are morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil.

In pre-biblical Palestine for example, Children were killed simply because they were annoying. That fits the criteria of pointless, and I would say sadistic killing as it was performed solely for gratification. Note that con totally drops my point about how con is projecting his own opinions onto objectivity.



the cosmological argument.

If you can define every property of the universe then you're automatically omnipotent. Seeing as there was literal nothing before the universe (plus the uncaused cause) there was nothing else to influence. Definitionally that makes God omnipotent.

designer children

Now, you know that's not even remotely the same thing. Choosing to inject certain traits on a macro is not the same as building a child from the ground up. building cell parts, programmer RNA transcriptase, defining the rate of cell division, even defining how the thought process works, etc. picking up little scars and then God having knowledge of it would be solved by being spaceless. You're back to thinking physically.

In a formal debate, omnibenevolence would be chucked out. I can place a well-reasoned argument for it, you can provide a well-reasoned argument against it. and neither can be accepted or rejected. It's null. Dead. It doesn't count for or against anyone. 



syllogism

Your syllogism is invalid because it's impossible. In order for your syllogism to be even metaphysically valid, it needs to be grounded in reality. yours is not. Mine is.

heat death.

I've already well proven that Heat death is a thing and have sourced the existence of entropy. This argument by con amounts to denying the truth of the second law of thermodynamics which is a well established scientific fact. Also, Con still hasn't managed to count from negative infinity to zero. which means that the past cannot be infinite. The finitude of the past is also a well established scientific fact.


life can exist in many conditions.

Again, that's true on a local level. It is not true for universal constants like the size of the atom or the ratio between the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. Silicon, boron, or cryo based life are all subject to these constants.

This doesn't really fit anywhere else so I'll point out here that radioactive decay fits under the category of "subatomic activity" which was addressed in my last post.

My sources make longer arguments with fancier terms which amount to "quantum information" I simplified the argument for your convenience as I assumed you're not a student of quantum mechanics. It's all there.


If I'm understanding his argument properly then I addressed the points he said was dropped by pointing out that just because we might have confirmation bias in fine-tuning doesn't mean that all of our math and science that points to it are wrong.

-Voting issues-
1. my burden is fulfilled.
I have shown that it is rational to believe in god thus affirming the resolution. I have shown that quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics point to the existence of the uncaused cause which because of the nature of Nothing must be a personal creator. Con's argument amounts to denying thermodynamics and postulating a physically impossible syllogism to counter my more rational syllogism.

2. Science supports my position


As stated previously, I have utilized almost exclusively scientific means to forward my position. Con has denied the physical laws of the universe. statistics also supports my position. In an ignored point, Dr. Roger Penrose a famed mathematician from Oxford University calculated that the odds of a life-friendly universe appearing by chance are less than one part in 10^10^123 which makes our universe one trillion trillion trillion times beneath the threshold to be considered statistically impossible. Con ignored this.

Thank you! please vote pro.

http://tinyurl.com/nnt42fw  -previously used proof for entropy.