Instigator / Con
Points: 21

Is Theism a Sound Position?

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
semperfortis
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
20,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 10
Description
*Terms*
-Theism: "the personal cause of our universe attributed with the 4 O's"
-Sound: X would be considered sound if and only if, X has been proven to be logically consistent, objectively true, or at very least most likely to be true given our current understanding of the universe.
*Burden of Proof*
-Shared
-Pro ought to show why theism is sound (meeting the criteria provided)
-Con ought to show why theism is unsound (not meeting the criteria provided)
*Rules*
1. No kritiks
2. No forfeits
3. Obey the debate format
-Failure to adhere to these rules is deemed poor conduct.
*Format*
R1: Con provides opening argument, Pro responds with opening argument and a rebuttal
R2: Clash (rebuttal and defence)
R3: Clash (rebuttal and defence)
R4: Con provides final defence and rebuttal with closing statements, Pro waives the right to defend and rebut but can summarise their arguments.
Round 1
Published:
Preface
I would like to thank Logicae for accepting this debate.  I’ve decided to recycle an argument from one of my previous debates, since it was left untouched and I’m pressed for time.  So, I apologize if that part of my argument seems like a banalized effort.  Anyway, let’s get into the argument!
 
== Negative ==

Preface

C1.Un-caused Universe (UU)
God is defined to be the source of all creation i.e the universe. Hence, I affirm that scientific consensus postulates that the notion of a caused universe is most likely sophistry. Therefore, by extension, the notion of God (the creator of the universe) is most likely sophistry.
 
C1.1 Overview - A-Series vs B-Series of Time
caused universe is fundamentally predicated by Presentism or a framework upholding the A-Series of time. The veracity of the A-Series of time is rooted by the veracity of “tensed facts” . A tensed fact can be described as something that is true given its “temporal perspective” [1].  For example, the statement “today, it is sunny” would be a tensed fact, given that it is has a specific tense.
Indeed, the universe can only be caused if and only if it exists as a tensed fact.   William Craig explains the prerequisites well:
“A. x begins to exist at t if and only if x comes into being at t
B.  x comes into being at t if and only if (i) x exists at t, and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly, (ii) t is either the first time at which x exists or is separated from t’ < t at which x existed by an interval during which x does not exist, and (iii) x’s existing at t is a tensed fact” [2]
 
This idea of “tensed facts” pertains directly to the A-Series of time – the explicit difference between past, present and future.  However, the notion of something existing “tenseless” pertains to the B-Series of time – the explicit parity between past, present and future.  The B-Series of time (as a superset of Eternalism) refutes the notion of causal relationships as it affirms that the past, present and future are equally real and thus facilitates a theory of time which scientifically and logically explains the existence of an uncaused universe.
 
Thus, I will format this as a deductive syllogism.

 
C1.2 UU Deductive Syllogism
P1: If the universe is caused, the A-Theory of time is true
P2: The A-Theory of time is not true
C: The universe is uncaused
 
P1: P --> Q
P2: ¬Q
C:  ¬P
C from P1 and P2, Modus Tollens.
 
C1.2 Premise One
I assume this premise is uncontroversial between my opponent and I. As aforementioned, the notion of a caused universe and the A-Series of time come hand-in-hand, as without the existence of tensed facts there is no distinction between past, present and future.
 
C1.2 Premise Two
Here will be the bulk of my argument.
 
C1.2.1 B-Theory of Time (Eternalism) – The Block Universe
Here I argue that the B-Theory of time is far more likely to be true and that general scientific consensus affirms such in earnest. Eternalism envisions the universe to be tenseless, existing with one time and three spatial dimensions, where there can be no *objective* passing of time [3]. This is dissimilar to Presentism, or the A-Series of time, where it is only the present that is true.  Special Relativity posits that absolute simultaneity is false and that relative simultaneity is true [4]. To give this context, any observer will have a frame of reference. Let’s say events ‘X & Y’ occurs, it is impossible to say, in an absolute sense, that two distinct events occur at the same time if those events are separated in space. A more layman’s example is this,
 
“a car crash in London and another in New York appearing to happen at the same time to an observer on Earth, will appear to have occurred at slightly different times to an observer on an airplane flying between London and New York” [5].
 
This is due to how objects moving at a quicker, but constant velocity relative to another object will experience time more slowly relative to the other object [5]. Hence, what special relativity shows is that observers in different frames of reference have different perceptions of whether or not a pair of events happened at a specific time, with there being no definitive way to prove whose perception has more veracity than the other. This refutes the A-Theory of time, because it shows that there is no *objective present* as each frame of reference perceives the present differently and are all equally correct.
 
This entails Eternalism, as it alludes to the present being *illusory* and entails that the present is actually intangible.
 
 
C1.2.2 Retrocausality
Retrocausality (or backwards causation) is a concept where the ‘effect’ precedes the ‘cause’ [6]. Such a concept would be absurd under the A-Theory of time, since the future would not exist to act as a causal agency. However, there is evidence to suggest that such a concept is prevalent in the quantum world.
 
To preface this claim, research abundantly suggests that there exists a pervasive asymmetry in time and that this time-symmetry extends to the causal dependences at the quantum level [6]. Price (2012) created a viable argument for retrocausality, showing that time-symmetry directly implies retrocausality. Moreover, it is further demonstrated with quantum entanglement, which suggests that entangled particles interact with each other retrocausally when one particle is observed and its wave function collapses.
 
Therefore, the block universe theory is not only congruent with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity but also makes successful predictions in the quantum universe with tremendous accuracy which otherwise would have been deemed absurd under the A-Theory of time.
 
C1.2 ConclusionPremise one is fairly axiomatic so the real debate is decided with premise two, to which I have provided a preponderance of a posteriori evidence for. From the evidence provided, the A-Theory of time is almost certainly false. Hence, it can be concluded that the universe is almost certainly uncaused.
 
 
C1.3 The Universe Lacks a Need for God
This argument is logically presented as such:
 
P1: If God exists, then the universe is caused
P2: The universe is uncaused
C: God does not exist
 
P1: P --> Q
P2: ¬Q
C:  ¬P
C from P1 and P2, Modus Tollens.
 
C1.3 Premise One
This is true per the definition of God in the debate description
 
C1.3 Premise Two
The veracity of this premise is upheld with C1.2.
 
C1.3 Conclusion
Hence, the conclusion logically follows and the resolution is successfully negated.
 
 
 
C2. Irrationality of preferring Theism over Metaphysical Naturalism or other beliefs of God (Occam’s Razor)
Even if we are to accept that there exists a powerful, timeless, immaterial, conscious entity that “willed” our universe into being, I assert it would be far more rational to deem the amalgamation of properties to be non-Theistic.  For example, Theism (as defined) unwarrantedly adds that this entity is the paragon of its attributes.  For example, instead of the entity being “very powerful” it is “omnipotent” – instead of the entity being “very knowledgeable” it is “omniscient” etc.  Without direct evidence of the epitome of these attributes, why are we to assume the entity possesses them?  It would be more parsimonious to assume that it is “very powerful, knowledgeable etc.” rather than being the upmost of that attribute, purely on the grounds of Occam’s Razor.

Tabula Rasa, believing that our universe as a whole is innately contingent upon divine creation from a wholly intelligent entity, rather than natural processes of emergence would be unparsimonious. It is far more simplistic and parsimonious to have stock in the position of a metaphysical naturalist, rather than a theist when direct evidence of God hasn’t been demonstrated.  

This can be refuted, provided that Pro can affirm that i) God must exist (to prefer Theism to Metaphysical Naturalism) and ii) that God must be a teleiotic rendition of its attributes (to prefer Theism over another belief of God).

 
C3.  Internal Inconsistencies of an Entity with the 4 Os

C3.1 Overview
Here, God will represent the personal entity attributed with the 4 Os: omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence and omnipresence.    Non-cognitivism is normally demonstrated in ethics to show that moral knowledge is impossible to acquire.  It postulates that moral expressions don’t actually predicate any real properties, nor do they have truth conditions [8].  I aim to show that, specifically God’s attributes (the 4 O’s) fail to actually provide any meaningful representation of the concept “God”, nor do they predicate anything truly coherent.
 
C3.2 Syllogism
P1: God is internally consistent if it has a primary property
P2:God does not have a primary property
C:God is internally inconsistent

P1: P --> Q
P2: ¬Q
C:  ¬P
C from P1 and P2, Modus Tollens.
 
C3.2 Premise One

C3.2.1 Primary and Secondary Properties
Normally, concepts (essentially a blueprint) have properties that they instantiate in reality.  For example, the concept of an apple is, typically, a red pome fruit.  Therefore, something is an ‘apple’ in reality, if it is both ‘red’ and is a ‘pome fruit’.  This is similar to classes and instantiation in object oriented programming.
 A concept that has no real properties, is an internally inconsistent concept, for example, something “north of the north pole”, or a “squared circle”.

When we speak of a concept’s properties we tend to divide them into “primary” and “secondary” properties.  A primary property is an objective feature of the world [9].  For example, a primary property of a t-shirt would be that it is made of cotton wool.  Secondary properties are that which are ungrounded and are mindful, for example colour, temperature, mass, smell etc. [9]. 

Secondary properties (also known as B-Properties) supervene on primary properties (also known as A-properties).  For instance, temperature equates to a B-Property supervening on the A-Property that is particle vibration. B-properties change if and only if A-Properties are changed; you increase the vibration of the particles (add energy to the system), the temperature changes.

For us to talk reasonably of an entity, its primary essence ought to be described.  Secondary properties, don’t actually describe anything about an entity’s essence.  For example, to state that x is 100 degrees, the fact that it is 100 degrees doesn’t establish any primary essence of x. However, if x were water, now we have a primary essence, that is a collection of molecularly bonded hydrogen and oxygen atoms that are 100 degrees in temperature.  It is similarly akin to stating that entity x is 100 kilograms, but its mass evinces no reasonable description to what entity x actually is.

Thus, I assert a coherent concept cannot only be comprised of secondary properties.
 

C3.2 Premise Two

C3.2.2 God’s Properties
God’s properties in this Theistic denotation are: “omnipotence”, “omniscience”, “omnipresence”, “omnibenevolence” and “personal cause of our universe”.
I assert that none of these attributes are actually primary.  Omnipotence, is a measurement of “potency” and “ability”, but the primary essence of that attributed with omnipotence is not demonstrated by it.  Omnipotence would be a secondary property to an entity x, but similar to how “100 degrees” isn’t an individual entity in and of itself; it is a secondary property of said entity. The same can be applied to each an every one of God’s properties.
Without a primary property, there is nothing meaningful that can be said about the concept.  Similarly, I can’t talk much of a “squared circle”, because its nature is incomprehensible.  However, a concept like a car would be described as “a metal/plastic mass, suspended by four rubber wheels, with an engine”.  These would be primary properties which could also have secondary properties, like the fact that it could be 1000kg and a red car. 
 
C3.2 Conclusion
Thus, the conclusion logically follows from the premises.
 
 
Conclusion
Thus, the resolution is negated.  I have shown that it is likely the universe is uncaused, it is more preferable to take stock in other positions (in the absence of direct evidence) and the concept of God is incoherent.  All of which convey that Theism is an unsound position.
 
Over to Pro.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_series_and_B_series
[2] Pojman, L (1987) Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, p37 (https://books.google.ie/books?id=1Kctce4XmfEC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=the+universe+existing+as+a+tensed+fact&source=bl&ots=K71-3FFG3w&sig=ACfU3U1wvXfOYM_rBXW67aQFm5H4tJgHzg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm5fOup7DkAhWUonEKHQDSD6cQ6AEwD3oECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=the%20universe%20existing%20as%20a%20tensed%20fact&f=false)
[3] Tim Maudlin (2010), "On the Passing of Time", The Metaphysics Within Physics
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_of_simultaneity
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity
[6] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-retrocausality/
[7] https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html
[8] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-cognitivism/#DetGenDes
[9] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties/#PriVsSecPro
 



Published:
Hello all!
I thank semperfortis for his patience and the opportunity to debate such an important topic.

Definition of Theism: The belief in the creator of the universe. Keep in mind that this creator of the universe bears certain properties, which we will talk about in a moment.The two main contentions I will uphold in this debate are: 

C1 There are no good reasons for Atheism (The belief that God does not exist)
C2 There is good reason for Theism (The belief that God exists)

C1 There are no good reasons for Atheism
To the first contention I will respond to semperfortis’ reasons to why he asserts that God does not exist in my rebuttal after my second contention.

However, the main question to the Atheist is how these complex laws, even the material itself, came to be here?

C2. There is good reason for Theism

The search for the explanation

Before I start, it is important to realize the gravity of the type of argument I will be using. The arguments I will give for Theism are deductive arguments, meaning that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must necessarily follow. These types of arguments then are absolute, which if sound, prove that a creator is necessary. 

Today I will put forward two deductive arguments:
   (1) The Argument From Contingency 
   (2) The Kalam Cosmological Argument

(1) The Argument From Contingency

P1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
P3. The universe exists.
Conclusion: 
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3).
5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God (from 2, 4).

To Premise One: 

We know that these two categories exist, as we know things like a three sided triangle to be necessary (you can’t have a four sided triangle) and physical things like books, people, planets, etc, to be contingent or requiring a cause for their existence.  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To Premise Two: 

This premise is straightforward. God being defined as the creator, with certain necessary attributes we will examine in the Kalam Cosmological Argument, is the cause our universe requires. Why? Because our universe is contingent or requiring an external cause. Most Atheist argue this point as it is quite obvious where it leads. Ask yourself: What in the universe or about the universe is necessary? You came from somewhere, our planet came from somewhere, our galaxy and the galaxies came from somewhere, etc...all the way to our whole universe. The universe shares these essential contingent properties and thus requires an explanation. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To Premise Three: 

This also should not be a provocative statement. If our universe didn’t exist, then everything, including this debate, would not exist. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To Conclusions:

Since these premises require the cause (God) to explain our universe, the conclusion logically follows that God exists. 




(2) The Kalam Cosmological Argument
 
P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause
P2: The universe began to exist
C: Therefore, The universe has a cause
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Premise 1
 
We know that all physical things began with some sort of cause, as something cannot come from nothing. To claim the opposite would be worse than magic, as with magic, at least you have the magician! Similarly we don’t observe things popping out of nothing. Simply, out of nothing, nothing comes.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
For Premise 2
 
For this premise the universe must have begun a finite time ago and so is not infinite.
 
“Our principal result is that the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought” 
-Mathematician David Hilbert
 
The Infinite Paradox
 
In reality we know absurdities such as an actual infinite cannot exist.
 
For example: For today's debate to come from an infinite past requires an infinite series of yesterday's. This would mean that today's debate would never be able to occur, as today would only be prolonged time and time again by another past event, on to infinity, and never occur. But today did happen (and this debate), thus illustrating this impossibility. 
I recommend you check out the Herbert's hotel paradox as my favorite example of this. (1) (see citation below)
 
Science Confirms
 
So what does this entail? This means the universe is not infinite, but instead had a start. This is also the best explanation in modern science, as NASA details: "Astronomers combine mathematical models with observations to develop workable theories of how the Universe came to be. The mathematical underpinnings of the Big Bang theory include Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity along with standard theories of fundamental particles. "(2) (see citation below)
 
Here is a summary of the Big Bang Theory
 
"The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe." (3) (see citation below)
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Conclusion:
 
So something had to create the universe, but is it God?
 
From the Kalam, we find that this creator must be un-caused, as we have seen there cannot be an infinite chain of past causes and thus a beginning not caused to this chain of finite causes. Changeless and timeless because it created time. Lastly this cause must be immaterial, because this cause created material.
 
 
There are two other important things that also follow from the Kalam: 
 
(1) A Mind:
 
There are only two things that we know to be immaterial candidates for our cause:
 
 1. An un-embodied mind or 2. Abstract objects like numbers. But abstract objects cannot cause anything, so we are left with a mind.
 
(2) Personal Cause: 
 
A personal cause is like our wills, it is the ability of the mind to will something into being.
 
This makes perfect sense, for if the cause was a mechanically operating set, then the cause couldn’t exist without its effect. For example: If there was a permanent mechanical cause that made water freeze (a permanent freezer if you will), then the water could never unfreeze as the cause is forever making it freeze. The only way our cause of the universe could be timeless and for its effect (creating the universe) could begin a finite time ago, is for the cause to be a personal agent that is with the freedom of the will to choose to create the effect. An example of this, a man sitting for eternity can freely choose to stand up at any time. 
 
These conclusive traits highlight what Theists call God, the external transcendent personal cause.
 

A vs B theory of time

Now let me get into some general responses to semperfortis’ case:
semperfortis contends that the universe is without cause. I will refute the argument about time here and respond to the rest in my first rebuttal. 

"The universe uses a b series of time therefore it doesn’t need a cause." (paraphrasing) -semperfortis

There is a major problem with the stance alone. It assumes that an eternal universe doesn’t require a cause, but as the argument from contingency reminds, the universe requires a cause even if it is eternal. 
   Now what about the B-series? It is hard to understand semperfortis’ explanation of the b series, but what I have gathered is that time as we know it does not exist in this world view. A big question needs to be answered: What is time? Time is a measure of change and, importantly, when something changes it is no longer its past self i.e an exploded star, a dead person, debate.org etc…
   Why does this matter? Because if time is the measure of change and the b theory of time states that there is no difference between past, present, and future, then the b theory of “time” is really an assertion against time, as if nothing really changes from the past, then time, a measure of change, does not exist. This is where the absurdity of the b theory of “time” reveals itself. That is why we don’t observe our past continue and our future exist in the present. Semperfortis in essence has to accept, and contradict what we constantly observe, that nothing ever changes in order to justify this position. 

Let’s perform an experiment. If past, present, and future are all the same, then semperfortis can respond to this response in his first speech (in the past) and prove us wrong. 
Now we can certainly see why time must exist (and the A theory of time), because it is how we measure change.

To Truth!

-logicae




Citation:

(1) (Herbert's Hotel)
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=j_q802eboxA

(2) (NASA and Big Bang Theory)
https://science. Nasa. Gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang

(3) (Big Bang Theory)
https://www. Big-bang-theory. Com/



Round 2
Published:
I thank logicae for his response.

== Rebuttals ==

==      Aff        ==
 
1.       The Cosmological Argument

Pro presents the Cosmological Argument as such:

P1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
P3. The universe exists.
Conclusion: 
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3).
5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God (from 2, 4).
 


Premise Two
In the first premise, Pro presents a dichotomy: either something exists in the necessity of its own nature, or as an external cause.  Pro has yet to uphold its veracity beyond a bare assertion. Subsequently, Pro commends that the universe must have an external cause, but his justification can be neatly summed up as a fallacy of composition.  Pro states:

“The universe shares these essential contingent properties and thus requires an explanation.“

It is unwarranted that Pro affirms the universe as a whole is to share the properties of the amalgamation of its parts.  Moreover, if the first premise is true, Pro hasn’t demonstrated that the universe cannot exist by virtue of its own nature. 

Pro states he will justify God’s attributes in the KCA, therefore the veracity of this argument is hinged upon the truth of the KCA.
 

2.       KCA

Pro presents the argument as such:

P1: If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause
P2: The universe began to exist
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause

 
Semantics
It is important to note, that when we talk of the “universe” we are referring to space-time, matter and energy as a whole.
 
Objections
Un-Caused Universe (UU)
My opening case indirectly refutes the second premise rendering the argument unsound. Hence, while the UU withstands this argument is incoherent.
 
Abductive Observations
The argument as a whole is not rooted in any analytic a priori  explanation. Per the definition of universe I argue that the first premise is only an abductive observation from what we have seen a posteriori.  This intuition is established from the observation that we have observed physical entities to exist contingently (to have a cause for existence). For example, myself as a physical entity required my mother and father to exist -- the existence of a table required a tree. However, all of these, including the table and tree, are all macroscopic entities, which can be broken down into microscopic entities i.e atoms., which in turn would have to be caused to exist by something, per Pro’s logic. I assert that all of these intuitive notions of causal explanations of existence are solely creatio ex materia (matter causing other matter to exist). However, if we were to accept that the universe as a whole exists with a cause of its existence would imply that also space-time and energy have a cause of their existence which is dubious and only an abductive assumption.

Hence, the justification would assume a form as such:

P1: All physical entities (referring to matter) we have observed have a cause for their existence a posteriori
(∀x) (Ex -> Cx) *for all x, if x is a physical entity then x has a cause for its existence)*

P2: The universe is, in part, physical.
(∀x)(Ux -> Ix) *for all x, if x is a universe then x is in part physical*

P3: If something is, in part, physical, then it has a cause of its existence *abductive assumption*
 (∀x) (Ix -> Cx) “ *for all x, if x is in part physical, then x has a cause for its existence* <- not identical to P2.

C: The universe has a cause of its existence
 (Ux -> Cx) *for all x, if x is a universe then x has a cause of its existence*
 
To restate, Pro’s argument references matter specifically; not any other aspect of the universe. To put this into perspective, matter (stars, planets galaxies etc.) accounts for only ~5% of the universe [1].  The rest of the universe is comprised of ~27% dark matter (which isn’t detectable outside of its gravitational influence) and ~68% dark energy [1].  Pro’s abductive assumption is predicated on the behaviour of only 5% of the universe.   

Moreover, since this intuition is rooted in observation the conclusion can be reversed, since we have never *observed* creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing) how can we intuitively assume that the universe was created from nothing when we have not observed anything to be created from nothing? Hence, I can derive a counter argument using the same abductive assumption via synthetic a posteriori observation:
 
P1: If the universe was caused to exist,  creatio ex nihilo is possible
P2:
Creatio ex nihilo is impossible (hasn’t been observed) *abductive assumption*
C: An external cause of the universe is impossible
 
Both are abductive arguments, so which one is more true than the other?
 
 
Actual Infinities
Pro contends that actual infinites cannot exist, therefore the universe cannot exist infinitely.  Despite my opening case indirectly refuting this, I will address it again here specifically.

Pro cites the Hilbert’s Hotel Paradox (HHP).  However, HHP doesn’t prove that ‘actual’ infinites are metaphysically impossible, like a “falsidical paradox”, but rather demonstrates that it is a “verdical paradox” [2].   A verdical paradox only presents a result that appears absurd, but is “demonstrated to be true nonetheless” [3].  Whilst our intuitive faculties deem ‘actual infinity’ to be absurd, it only demonstrates that infinity is an unintuitive concept.  Moreover, actual infinites have been observed to be true, since black holes have infinite density i.e have infinite space-time curvature.
 
The Big Bang Theory
Pro misrepresents what The Big Bang Theory actually postulates.  Whilst Pro’s snippet references the “very beginning of the universe”, this does not represent t = 0.  As stated in my opening case, General Relativity can make successful predictions down to t = ~1x10-30s. What occurred before this is truly unknown. Stephen Hawking describes that if the universe was once a singularity (all matter, space-time and energy contained within a 0-dimensional, infinitesimal point where density and temperature is infinite), then “the state of our universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern our universe will break down… Even the amount of matter can be different… as the Law of Conservation of Matter, will break down at the Big Bang” [4].  Thus, even if we are to accept that the universe had a cause of its existence, why is a Theistic God needed?  If the Law of Conservation of Energy breaks down at a singularity, then it can provide an impersonal cause of the universe.

Thus, Pro posits a false dichotomy, that either a mind, or abstract objects can be the cause.  There is evidently a third option: that the universe did ‘pop into existence’ sans empirical governance.  
 


 
== Defence ==

C1 Uncaused Universe

A-Theory vs B-Theory

Pro rebuts:
“then the B theory of time is really an assertion against time”

The B-Theory of time does not attempt to dismiss ‘time’ as a whole, but rather dismiss a ‘presentist’ view of time.  I apologize if my explanation was difficult to understand, I will try to explain it more clearly.
 
If Presentism were true (that the present is what ‘currently’ exists) then everyone’s present must be the same by definition.  Prima facie, we observe Presentism to be true.  However, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity inherently rebukes Presentism.  This is because Einstein found that objects travelling at high velocities (~0.3c), or entities in a strong gravitational field experience time ‘more slowly’ than observers on Earth.  The movie Interstellar captures this very well. Furthermore, this ‘time dilation’ means that different observers cannot agree on the occurrences of events.  For example, relative to the ISS, we are closer to the centre of Earth’s mass, meaning that we experience a greater gravitational force than those in the ISS.  By extension, this also means that time is ‘experienced’ more quickly by people on the ISS.  The effects of this relativistic time-dilation are so significant that if the clocks utilized by satellites weren’t adjusted accordingly they would be useless, since they run slightly faster than they do here on the surface of Earth [5].  This is why at first glance we observe Presentism to be true, because we all experience a world where we are all in the same gravitational field, and we are at no point travelling near the fractions of the speed of light for time dilation to be noticeable.  Nonetheless, this time dilation occurs and it is this time dilation that affirms the B-Theory of time – if Presentism were true there is an absolute passage of time (absolute simultaneity), but Einstein’s Theory of Relativity posits that time is relative (relative simultaneity).  This is observationally vindicated by the expansion of the universe, as predicted by the description of the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker metric and quantum entanglement (as evidence at the fundamental level).

Thus, we have no reason to reject the B-Theory of time and it is evident that it is the ontology most congruent with natural law.
 


Other Contentions
Pro will address C2 and C3 in the following round.
 
Over to Pro.
 



References
 
 

Published:
Hello again guys. Before I get into this rebuttal I want to thank again semperfortis for hanging on with me in this debate. I have found his argumentation and rhetoric intellectually stimulating. A great break from the normal objections that I see to Theism. 

To keep this debate fresh and objective it is important to remember that we are looking for the truth. It is good to find common ground and admit mistakes. Hopefully we can step ourselves closer to the truth. 

Here is what my rebuttal will look like: 

Rebuttle

Responding to semperfortis's final contentions:

Final response to first speech:
-Retrocausality
-The Universe Lacks a Need for God
-Occam’s Razor
-Syllogism
-God’s Properties
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-Response to Rebuttle of Argument From Contingency
-Response to Rebuttle of Kalam Cosmological Argument
-Creation hasn't been observed
-Response to Rebuttle of Infinite Paradox
-Response to Rebuttle of Big Bang Theory 
-We don't know
-Why God?
-Universe from nothing
-Response to A vs B series of time

Retrocausality
 
“To preface this claim, research abundantly suggests that there exists a pervasive asymmetry in time and that this time-symmetry extends to the causal dependences at the quantum level [6]. Price (2012) created a viable argument for retrocausality, showing that time-symmetry directly implies retrocausality. Moreover, it is further demonstrated with quantum entanglement, which suggests that entangled particles interact with each other retrocausally when one particle is observed and its wave function collapses.” -semperfortis

There are three prevalent problems I find with this argument: 
Response = R:
R:

  1. I do not think it proves that a past act could be influenced by the present. The example given about particles collapsing when viewed does not prove a present action changing the past.  
  2. It is a part to whole fallacy. Even if we were to assume it is true, this does not prove the principle that the universe created itself, which is what I think this argument is attempting to justify.
  3. This creates a paradox. If the past is influenced by the present, then there really is not a past, as it is still in existence being operated on by the present. I explained in my opening why this idea of no past and present is absurd, saying that it flies in the face of everything that we constantly observe. Thus, we cannot accept such a contradiction as a theory of reality.  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Universe Lacks a Need for God -semperfortis

R: I do not see how you defend this statement. You point back to your claim of an eternal universe, but this does not take away the universe’s contingency. Aristotle’s argument from contingency does not require time and thus accounts for an eternal universe. 
 
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Occam’s Razor
“Even if we are to accept that there exists a powerful, timeless, immaterial, conscious entity that “willed” our universe into being, I assert it would be far more rational to deem the amalgamation of properties to be non-Theistic.” -semperfortis

R: This is more a mitigation than an argument. The Atheist would be in quite an awkward situation to acknowledge “a powerful, timeless, immaterial, conscious entity that “willed” our universe into being”. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Theism (as defined) unwarrantedly adds that this entity is the paragon of its attributes.  For example, instead of the entity being “very powerful” it is “omnipotent” – instead of the entity being “very knowledgeable” it is “omniscient” etc.  Without direct evidence of the epitome of these attributes” -semperfortis

R: These types of responses ignore the arguments for God’s existence. Omnipotence, for example, is the logical conclusion for the power required to cause everything (The power to create everything means you must be all powerful). 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“It is far more simplistic and parsimonious to have stock in the position of a metaphysical naturalist, rather than a theist when direct evidence of God hasn’t been demonstrated.“ -semperfortis

R: Assertion, please refer back to the deductive arguments presented.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Syllogism
P1: God is internally consistent if it has a primary property
P2:God does not have a primary property
C:God is internally inconsistent
God’s Properties

R: God is primary because all other things came from him. The primary cause of all other causes. You cannot compare things unless you have a primary standard and so I think this argument is really a proof for God. For example, when you say: “It is similarly akin to stating that entity x is 100 kilograms”, you assume that God is comparable to creation, not only does God not have physical properties like kilograms, but those kilograms must be explained by him. That is his essential property for this debate. Once more both sides are looking to prove or disprove God’s existence.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Response to The Argument From Contingency rebuttle:

Premise 1

“In the first premise, Pro presents a dichotomy: either something exists in the necessity of its own nature, or as an external cause.  Pro has yet to uphold its veracity beyond a bare assertion.” -semperfortis

R: This is a silly remark, as suggesting that there is something beyond a married and unmarried bachelor. Why do you want proof for this truism? Do you think there is something more?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Subsequently, Pro commends that the universe must have an external cause, but his justification can be neatly summed up as a fallacy of composition.” 
-semperfortis
 
R: The fallacy of composition does not always apply such as in the universes' case. For example: If we have a square canvas painted red and it was sectioned off into 16 squares, we could rightfully say that each of those squares were red and also that all of them combined makes the whole canvas red. The universe is the same way. All matter/time/space requires explanation as each square in the canvas is red. You wouldn’t ever say that a person/thing/place came from nowhere, you would say instead it had a cause (it is red). The universe being just one big thing in space and time has the same requirements for a cause as anything does (it is the red canvas).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Moreover, if the first premise is true, Pro hasn’t demonstrated that the universe cannot exist by virtue of its own nature.” -semperfortis 
R: That is the idea of contingency, which was demonstrated, that it is not explained by itself. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Premise 2 and 3 do not seem to be a point of contention by semperfortis
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

Response to Kalam Cosmological Argument rebuttle: 
 
“It is important to note, that when we talk of the “universe” we are referring to space-time, matter and energy as a whole.” -semperfortis 
R: Agreed, but it is also important to note that we measure time and space by the matter that occupies and changes in it.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Premise 1
 
“My opening case indirectly refutes the second premise rendering the argument unsound. Hence, while the UU withstands this argument is incoherent.”
-semperfortis
 
R: Yes, but my response showed not only that you missed the contingency argument, but that eternalism and the B theory of time do not make sense. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Premise 2
 
“Pro’s argument references matter specifically; not any other aspect of the universe. To put this into perspective, matter (stars, planets galaxies etc.) accounts for only ~5% of the universe [1].  The rest of the universe is comprised of ~27% dark matter (which isn’t detectable outside of its gravitational influence) and ~68% dark energy [1].  Pro’s abductive assumption is predicated on the behaviour of only 5% of the universe.“ -semperfortis

R: What is dark energy and dark matter then? If they are something then they fall under matter, if they are not something then they don’t exist. You assume that I only talk about what we can see, but the Kalam takes the universe as a whole into account. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Creation hasn't been observed
“Creatio ex nihilo is impossible (hasn’t been observed) *abductive assumption*” -semperfortis

R: Agreed, but many things have not been observed and are true( take the earth's creation, you coming from your mother etc...). This reasoning simply does not hold up. We couldn’t observe many things including a round earth for centuries, but that obviously didn't disprove it existed. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infinite Paradox 
“Pro cites the Hilbert’s Hotel Paradox (HHP).  However, HHP doesn’t prove that ‘actual’ infinites are metaphysically impossible” -semperfortis 
R: If by showing that the infinite is a contradiction to our physical reality, then you seem to be mistaken. Hilbert’s Hotel illustrates the impossibility of the infinite by its contradictions to elementary mathematical truths of our reality. What do you not understand about contradictions? A contradiction is something that does not fit reality, such as a married bachelor. Infinite time, as I showed in my opening, cannot explain our past, as what we are doing now would only be infinitely delayed by an infinite amount of time and so never happen. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
The Big Bang Theory
“As stated in my opening case, General Relativity can make successful predictions down to t = ~1x10-30s." -semperfortis 
R: The problem with your representation of the theory of relativity in this debate is that you refuse to understand what “relative” means. Relative to what? This is where your position begins to break down, as now we understand that time is relative to a beginning: 1x10-30s relative to the beginning of the universe. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We don't know

“What occurred before this is truly unknown.” -semperfortis 
R: This is a misrepresentation of the big bang theory, as I clearly laid out, the big bang theory necessitates that the universe came from nothing. This is why we have the question of the origin of the universe. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why God?
 
“Thus, even if we are to accept that the universe had a cause of its existence, why is a Theistic God needed?  If the Law of Conservation of Energy breaks down at a singularity, then it can provide an impersonal cause of the universe.” -semperfortis 
R: Two things: 
  1. Semantics. “Theistic God”-Theism implies a creator of the universe. All other “gods” from pagan mythologies you may be implying are material and do not follow from deductive reasoning. 
  2. I can’t see where you are going with this broken down law causing order thing. The problem here is that the big bang theory goes further saying that the universe didn’t exist before this singularity. That is why we need a cause. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Universe From Nothing

“There is evidently a third option: that the universe did ‘pop into existence’ sans empirical governance.” -semperfortis 
R: This is why I talked about this in my opening. By saying that the universe came from nothing you are justifying that physical objects can pop into existence from nothing. I hope we can see past this, as what we observe clearly dissuades us from justifying magic.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
A-Theory vs B-Theory
 
“The B-Theory of time does not attempt to dismiss ‘time’ as a whole, but rather dismiss a ‘presentist’ view of time. I apologize if my explanation was difficult to understand, I will try to explain it more clearly. If Presentism were true (that the present is what ‘currently’ exists) then everyone’s present must be the same by definition.” -semperfortis 
R: No, by no means. All present means is that things have changed from the past. The theory of relativity again must assume that there is a present and that what we view is relative to that present. To say that time is slower in the ISS is to say that the ISS is seeing things change at a quicker rate (fast orbiting of the earth), but that does not in any way prove the B theory of time. Like I presented in my first response to the B theory, you must get rid of change in order to justify getting rid of present and thus get rid of time.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
To Truth!
-logicae


 
 












Round 3
Published:
Many thanks to Logicae for his response. 
 
== Defence ==

C1 Uncaused Universe

Retrocausality
I will address Pro’s three listed contentions:
1.       “I do not think it proves that a past act could be influenced by the present. The example given about particles collapsing when viewed does not prove a present action changing the past”
 
RE: From the evidence gathered from the double-slit experiment, it would actually be a future event preceding a present action.  This is demonstrated from the results in Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiment [1].  To understand why a retrocausal interpretation of the results is most prevalent is because of the uncanny nature of wave-particle duality.   A common view of light is that it is an electromagnetic wave, however it has been extensively demonstrated that light oddly behaves like particles.  For those who are unfamiliar with the inherent craziness of the experiment, here is a YouTube video I have found that describes it well (C.F [2]).  One can interpret the results of this experiment to be an example of retrocausality (what Wheeler himself would postulate) or can attempt to reject the retrocausal implications (e.g Bohmian mechanics, that use time-symmetric dynamics).  However, it would be Con’s onus to attempt to show that Bohmian mechanics can attempt to describe the uncanny nature of wave-particle duality, given that it cannot do so without “violating time-symmetry in some way” [3] and in light of all the experimental vindication from special relativity which would render the transmission of information greater than the speed of light impossible.  

As such I extend the observations postulated by Price and the rigorously tested phenomenon that is quantum entanglement; since it is more plausible that entangled particles assume their quantum states retrocausally, rather than instantaneous transmission of information (which would violate special relativity).
 

2.       “It is a part to whole fallacy. Even if we were to assume it is true, this does not prove the principle that the universe created itself, which is what I think this argument is attempting to justify.”
 
RE: The intent of this argument was to further demonstrate how a Presentist view of time is incorrect.  If Presentism were true, it would be impossible for a future event to have any causal efficacy since it hasn’t happened yet.  This is why Einstein’s interpretation of time is more plausible since it alludes to the current present to be illusory and that the past, present and future are equally real.
 

3.       “This creates a paradox. If the past is influenced by the present, then there really is not a past, as it is still in existence being operated on by the present. I explained in my opening why this idea of no past and present is absurd, saying that it flies in the face of everything that we constantly observe. Thus, we cannot accept such a contradiction as a theory of reality. “
 
RE: If we were to reject theories based on what we experience as individuals on a daily basis there would really be no strides or advances in theoretical physics.  The paradox is completely avoided given Einstein’s block theory of time.  Common-sense intuitions and perceptions about our universe have continuously been proven to be baseless.  The only “reality” that is being contradicted is the common-sense reality of Presentism.  I have agreed that Presentism seems correct at first glance, since it is what we experience.  However, if we were to travel greater than 0.3c we wouldn’t experience a Presentist ontology of time; we would experience time-dilation and other inferences of special relativity.  Clearly, Pro cannot dismiss the empirical data brought forward by quantum mechanics and relativity based on what we experience in our day-to-day lives.
 
The Universe Lacks a Need for God
Pro states:

“I do not see how you defend this statement. You point back to your claim of an eternal universe, but this does not take away the universe’s contingency. Aristotle’s argument from contingency does not require time and thus accounts for an eternal universe. “

An eternal universe cannot have a cause by definition.  I am unsure why Pro phrases this as if my argument rejects the existence of time as a whole. I am also puzzled what Pro means by “Aristotle’s argument from contingency does not require time” – without time efficient causation is an absurdity.    
 


C2. Occam’s Razor
If there were a cause of the universe, I have argued that it would be illogical to assume the cause to possess the 4 O’s. Pro replies that this would put an Atheist in an “awkward position”.  I concur, but  we are not discussing Atheism; the intent of this argument was to demonstrate that the absence of direct evidence of the Theistic position would mean that a multiplicity of other possibilities are more likely.  I noted the difference between “very powerful”  and “omnipotence” and “very knowledgeable” and omniscience” to demonstrate that the Theistic position adds many unwarranted properties and attributes to the “first-cause”.  Pro answers that omnipotence could be a necessary attribute if we are to consider our universe as “everything”,  but other properties like omnibenevolence cannot so easily be answered – why need the cause be “all good”?  This argument wouldn’t be so pernickety, but there are other beliefs similar to Theism that do not have these specific details, so it is important for Pro to demonstrate why Theism should be considered sound relative to similar beliefs.
 
As such, Pro has not demonstrated that the cause be omniscient, omnibenevolent nor omnipresent.   I have already called into question what morality (‘all-goodness’) has to do with being the cause of our universe.  Moreover, even if there were a first cause, it is illogical to assume it is ‘all-knowing’. I can program the mechanics for a card game, of which each player has a deck of 30 cards – if I were to use a function that generates random numbers (to randomly shuffle the deck of cards), despite the fact that I created the rules, the interface, the cards themselves, I am unaware of what card will be drawn next.  Likewise, even if our universe were caused, it is egregious to assume it to be omniscient.

 
C3. Internal Inconsistencies of an Entity with the 4 Os
Pro asserts that “being the first cause” is a primary property.  I question how this alludes to any primary essence of the entity.  It is absurd to consider ‘causal efficacy’ as a primary property, because it offers no fundamental description of what the concept of the entity is.  I could state that “asdfkjkjasdfkj” is an entity that created the universe, it is omnipotent, omniscient etc. but this yields absolutely no information about what the entity is.  

Many things have causal efficacy – even I, myself have causal efficacy, however this fact alone entails no essence of who I actually am; it would more accurately evince the attribute of ‘power’ which has already been demonstrated to be a secondary property.

Without a primary property, no secondary property can be meaningfully attributed to it. For example, if we are to observe a “red” car, the colour “red” by itself would entail no primary essence of an entity.  “Red” would only have meaning when applied as a relational property to the “car”, because we understand the primary nature of the car: its material, its shape and figure etc… Since we understand the primary nature of a car, we can meaningfully apply secondary attributes to it, like colour, smell, mass etc.  “God” as described by Pro is “primary”, because of its relation and impact of everything else in the universe.  To consider this attribute as primary is absurd; the primary nature of an “apple” is not contingent on the essence of what a “car” or a “chair” is.  As such, “God” remains a frivolous concept.
 
 
== Rebuttals ==
 
1.        Cosmological Argument from Contingency

Regarding the initial statement in premise one, I was confused whether or not Pro was referring to modal necessity/contingency – nonetheless I accept the first premise.

Fallacy of Composition
Pro’s analogy of the red canvas fails insofar as the universe is not simply the collection of all that is contingent (for example space and time).  It is akin to only observing a small portion of the canvas to be red and assuming that the entire canvas is red.  Moreover, Pro incorrectly states that the universe is “one big thing in space and time”, since space-time is also a part of the universe. 
 
Existing by Necessity of its own Nature
Pro’s response to why the universe cannot exist by virtue of its own nature is because “contingency cannot be explained by itself”.  However, the Hume-Edwards principle invalidates this statement – it postulates that if every element in a collection has a causal explanation, then the aggregate of all the elements in the collection has thereby been explained [5].  As such, this nullifies the need of a “first cause”.
 
 
2.       KCA

Dark Matter/Energy etc.

Pro states:

“What is dark energy and dark matter then? If they are something then they fall under matter, if they are not something then they don’t exist. You assume that I only talk about what we can see, but the Kalam takes the universe as a whole into account. “

They are not considered matter as they are not comprised of the fundamental particles in the standard model. Even though dark matter is a ‘type’ of matter it is egregious to classify it with regular baryonic matter since its properties are unknown. Moreover, I argue the KCA does not “take the universe as a whole into account” since it is predicated on intuition derived from our experiences with normal matter.  As such, it would be required that Pro ought to demonstrate that the second premise extends to more than just normal matter.
 
 
Creatio Ex Nihilio
The intent of my counter argument showing that creation ex nihilio has not been observed was to show that an abductive assumption could be used to show that the creation of the universe out of nothing would be impossible (thus demonstrating an eternal universe).  Therefore, we would have Pro’s abductive assumption (that everything must have a cause for its existence), which shows that the universe must have a cause for existing, and my abductive assumption in juxtaposition.  This was my attempt to show that abductive assumptions tend to be ineffective forms of argumentation, since here we have two plausible arguments affirming opposite conclusions.  As such, Pro has not demonstrated why his abductive assumption is to supersede mine.

Moreover, Pro’s response to this argument can easily be reversed and neatly demonstrates the problem with abductive argumentation – he states:
many things have not been observed and are true( take the earth's creation, you coming from your mother etc...). This reasoning simply does not hold up. We couldn’t observe many things including a round earth for centuries, but that obviously didn't disprove it existed. “
As such, the same can be said about contingency, therefore nullifying the second premise.
 
 
Actual InfinitiesI feel as if Pro didn’t address the majority of my explanation.  I had sourced that the HHP is a “verdical paradox” which only presents a result that “seems” absurd but is true nonetheless.  Pro ought to refute the distinction between a “verdical” and a “falsidical” paradox for his counter-argument to have any efficacy.
 

The Big Bang Theory
The “beginning of the universe”  that Pro refers to is inconceivable and there really is no true moment that was t=0.  As aforementioned, the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) metric is an exact solution of Einstein’s field equation and describes the nature of our universe.  This can be an effective tool up until ~ a Planck second.  Before this point is when the laws of physics began to break down, our empirical measurements and laws of physics simply do not exist as they would now. Before this point, the universe would be a homogenous, isotropic state of quantum foam with infinite density and temperature.  Pro unwarrantedly adds that the universe came from nothing – what existed before this brief moment after t=0 is incomprehensible as no physical equation, measurement or speculation can make predictions of universe of this state.
 

Universe from Nothing
“I can’t see where you are going with this broken down law causing order thing. The problem here is that the big bang theory goes further saying that the universe didn’t exist before this singularity. That is why we need a cause.”

I was asserting that because the law of conservation of mass/energy broke down it could provide an impersonal cause of the universe.  For example, the reason we do not see pandas, chairs and broccoli spontaneously appear from nothing is because we live in a universe where there are laws prohibiting such events.  As Stephen Hawking noted, natural law including conservation of energy and mass broke down – simply what governs our universe now didn’t always exist.  At that point the universe could have literally ‘popped’ out of nowhere as there were no existence of natural law to adhere to.
 

A-Theory vs B-Theory
Pro states:

“No, by no means. All present means is that things have changed from the past. The theory of relativity again must assume that there is a present and that what we view is relative to that present. To say that time is slower in the ISS is to say that the ISS is seeing things change at a quicker rate (fast orbiting of the earth), but that does not in any way prove the B theory of time. Like I presented in my first response to the B theory, you must get rid of change in order to justify getting rid of present and thus get rid of time.”
 
A Presentist view is that the present is all that currently exists, as the future has not happened yet and the past has already happened.  It is a truism that General Relativity presupposed the B-Theory of time.  There are multiple sources that affirm this, for example

“Block time is all of time – the past, present and future – existing in a four-dimensional block of spacetime known as a block universe. If we live in a block universe, our perception of time as only ever moving forward at a steady rate is just an illusion…block time is a direct result of one of the most successful theories of physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity" [6]

Time dilation *directly* affirms the B-Theory of time, it is akin to arguing that an apple falling from a tree is not evidence of gravity.  As such, the B-Theory of time is still most likely.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References

Forfeited
Round 4
Published:
Unfortunately Pro has forfeited the previous round. Nonetheless, I would like to thank him for a thought provoking debate. This will be my last debate for the forseeable future (perhaps forever) on this site, since I unfortunately no longer have the time to dedicate to this hobby.  This truly is a great platform with great, intellectual people. I wish you all the best. sf.
Forfeited
No comments yet
#3
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Great debate! Pity it didn’t go the distance.
1.) Con - The universe wasn’t caused. - there for no need for God.
This argument is basically that the universe only has a cause if the A theory of time is true (there is a material difference between past and present - evidenced by tensed facts) . This was quite a complex topic to wrap your head around, but actually pretty compelling; con shows (imo) that the a theory of time can’t be true - and refutes causation per that syllogism. Con appears to be arguing a boundless universe; that there is no point in time where the universe isn’t in existent - thus the existence is not tensed.
Pros rebuttal didn’t scratch the surface here; merely arguing that the pro is claiming an absence of change - which isn’t the case. I feel con didn’t do himself any favours though as I feel his explanation was a bit on the complex side. There was back and forth, but nothing pro seemed to offer that dealt with the apparent lack of tensed facts.
Retrocausality was an interesting issue raised by con; arguing that B theory of time theoretically allows events in the future to affect the past. I don’t feel this point was particular compelling - it was a possibility but not one I feel was well enough established to affect the debate.
2.) Occams Razor.
Con argues the premise of parsimony; that if an entity was less than the utmost of key properties, it would be parsimonious; as would the premise of emergence rather than divine creation - the first point was elaborated, but I was hoping for more as to why emergence was more parsimonious.
Pro mostly dismissed Occam’s razor; imo pro has to show that his example is more parsimonious, instead pro appeared to dodge the point.
3.) secondary properties are inconsistent.
Con argues that God as an entity can’t exist as the properties posited are all secondary (like temperature).
I don’t think this is a great argument, as I don’t think that there is any statement that these properties are the only properties. It’s not well refuted by pro who mostly hand waved; so I would consider refuted, but imo it didn’t have warrant.
4.) Argument from contingency.
Pro argues that the universe must have a cause as things within it all have a cause. Con points out that this falls foul of the fallacy of composition; that pro is assuming that the nature of the universe must be the same as the objects within it. There is some back and forth, with an example of a red carpet - which I felt con based away well.
This was enough imo, to invalidate pros argument: note, I didn’t really assess the dichotomy argument con made as even if I assume he’s wrong, the main argument still holds.
5.) KCA
Boiler plate KCA, it’s similar to other examples so won’t waste ink.
- Con argues actual infinities exist, that the issue is that infinite’s seems unintuitive rather than illogical.
- That pro assumes everything requires a cause based on observation - yet pro assumes that things can be created ex-nillio despite the lack of observation.
Imo this ties in with cons statement of fallacy of composition. The Big Bang theory portion of this also appears closely related to B theory of time (no point of creation).
In all these cases con has the edge, or wins all 5 points. Thus arguments to con.
Conduct to con for the forfeits.
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
50% forfeit by pro
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Gist:
It felt like pro (the contender) copy/pasted his case from elsewhere, without proper modification to meet con’s points. This was made very evident when he got caught making points that were pre-refuted without bothering to defend why they would be valid in light of the existing case against them... Needless to say, if an argument is invalid, it cannot be sound.
1. Cosmological Argument
This boiled down to pro asserting something, and con accusing it of being a fallacy of composition, which pro tries to defend with an analogy of if we observe part of something being red we should assume the whole thing is red... Which upholds that the fallacy of composition has been committed, doubling down on it does not change it away from being a fallacy; and thus invalid.
This ends up pointing to contention 2 for proof...
2. KCA
Pro makes this, even when con had pre-refuted it during his opening. He pulls it back to contention 1, when contention 2 was needed to uphold contention 1.
There’s a lot more depth, such as explanations of dark matter, Hilbert’s Hotel and how it does or does not uphold this contention, but pro chooses to drop it all.
3. Uncaused Universe
This section is very lengthy, and mostly dropped even from the start (awhile before the forfeitures)... A highlight from this broad area was pro complaining that he simply did not understand how a causeless universe would not require a cause.
4. Occam’s Razor
This was con hammering away at the four O’s, and ended with con pointing out that pro refused to offer evidence; but instead commits steadfast to special pleading. Given that the resolution is about soundless not just logical validity, pro could have lost the whole case on this.
5. Internal Inconsistencies
Very informative section, which teaches us all about how we misdescribe things by calling them by their secondary instead of primary attributes. Pro fails to understand this section, saying because he says God has secondary properties that those are the primary properties... Con makes short work of this blunder with a car not being defined by being red analogy (tying back to an analogy from pro previously).
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Arguments: con
See above review of key points. I could list the various times pro treated his case as a truism, but to what point; he needed to uphold that something was a sound theory, but failed to even show that it was valid.
Sources: con
Twenty vs. zero. Pro's attempts at using sources, were badly broken links, which made it feel like he copy/pasted his early arguments from elsewhere, rather than properly responding to cons points.
Con’s explanation of the Hilbert’s Hotel and how it’s not a real paradox but an intuitive trick, was a strong note, as it was highly effective use of sources to outright flip part of pro’s case; which pro then chose to wholly drop.
Conduct: con
Multiple forfeitures.