Does God Exist?
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 4 votes and with 7 points ahead, the winner is...
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Thank you for agreeing to debate this topic with me.
Resolved: It is probable that God exists.
1. Opening Arguments
4. Closing arguments/Rebuttals
For the purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined broadly as to include the general attributes (ie: omnipotence, omniscience) commonly associated with Judeo-Christian monotheism. That is to say, I am not referring to any specific deity. Hence religious-specific doctrines such as the incarnation, Sinaic revelation, and the trinity are irrelvant to this debate. "Probable" will be defined as being more likely than not.
The time limit between replies is 72 hours. If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time. If one side explicitly concedes or violates any of these terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other. By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.
The burden of proof is shared. It is incumbent on me to show that God's existence is probable, and it is incumbent on my opponent to show that God's existence is not probable. It is thus not enough to simply refute my arguments. My opponent must also erect his own case against the probability of God's existence.
Something cannot come from nothing. To claim that something can come into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat! But if you deny premise (1'), you’ve got to think that the whole universe just appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. But nobody sincerely believes that things, say, a horse or an Eskimo village, can just pop into being without a cause.something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn’t come into being from nothing. Think about it: why don’t bicycles and Beethoven and root beer just pop into being from nothing? Why is it only universes that can come into being from nothing? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? There can’t be anything about nothingness that favors universes, for nothingness doesn’t have any properties. Nor can anything constrain nothingness, for there isn’t anything to be constrained!Common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1'. The science of cosmogeny is based on the assumption that there are causal conditions for the origin of the unuiverse. So it’s hard to understand how anyone committed to modern science could deny that (1') is more plausibly true than false.
All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology.In the case of the universe, the fact that the microwave background has such an exactly thermal spectrum indicates that it must have been scattered many times. The universe must therefore contain enough matter, to make it opaque in every direction we look, because the microwave background is the same, in every direction we look. Moreover, this opacity must occur a long way away from us, because we can see galaxies and quasars, at great distances. Thus there must be a lot of matter at a great distance from us. The greatest opacity over a broad wave band, for a given density, comes from ionised hydrogen. It then follows that if there is enough matter to make the universe opaque, there is also enough matter to focus our past light cone. One can then apply the theorem of Penrose and myself, to show that time must have a beginning.The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, and we won't return to our youth.
"In the first place it is clear that the equations must be linear on account of the properties of homogeneity which we attribute to space and time."
"no proof of the young woman"s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing...by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you." Deuteronomy 22:13 - 22:21
C2 "Because the universe began to exist, this cause...must exist necessarily...this is exactly what we call God." -Pro
"Whatever begins to exist has a cause. From nothing comes nothing. This is a metaphysical truth and it would be absurd to deny it."
"P1: If objective moral facts exist, then God exists.P2: Objective moral facts existC: Therefore, God exists"
"If atheism and naturalism is true, then all things are morally permissible."
"If the atheist says that evolution can account for morality, then the atheist needs to answer the question when did these moral facts exist. If we could go back in time before this evolution, would it be morally permissible to commit genocide or torture babies for fun?"
As for this round of rebuttals, the KCA is invalid and unsound because of circular reasoning and virtual particle pairing respectively, and the moral argument ignores atheistic objective measures of morality like homeostasis.
Pro, could you explain the mechanism by which god accomplishes this exemption?
If you can't, then how do you know that this exemption has occurred?
"The Big Bang could've occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there," said astrophysicist Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley. "With the laws of physics, you can get universes.""Quantum mechanical fluctuations can produce the cosmos," said panelist Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the non-profit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. "If you would just, in this room, just twist time and space the right way, you might create an entirely new universe. It's not clear you could get into that universe, but you would create it."
Consider now an oak tree. Let’s say we have one oak tree that has strong roots and sinks its roots deep into the ground, and the other has weak roots and doesn’t sink its roots deep into the ground. Which one is the good oak tree? Which one is the bad?
Obviously, the former is the good oak tree, since it does what an oak tree is supposed to do given its nature—that is to say, it achieves the ends its nature directs it toward (e.g., sinking deep roots into the ground, taking in nutrition, and growing). Notice once again nature determines what is a good or bad instance of a thing.
The oak tree’s nature also helps us determine what is good and bad for the tree. If we were to spray the tree with poison, would the oak tree achieve its natural ends of sinking roots deep into the ground, taking in nutrition, and growing? Of course not! Therefore, we can say that poison is bad for the tree given its nature. And notice that what is bad for the tree is independent of what you are I think; it is an objective fact.
The same reasoning applies to human beings. Human beings have a nature or essence with various capacities and ends the fulfillment of which is good and the frustration of which is bad, as a matter of objective fact.
As we see, there are many things God cannot do, many "limitations" He cannot bring upon Himself. But this is because these "limitations" are not really limitations at all, but rather the necessary result of being unlimited.In other words, the resolution of the omnipotence paradox is that God's inability to make Himself finite is not a lack or flaw on His part at all. This limitation is not testimony to His imperfection. On the contrary, it is actually the ultimate expression of His perfection."
The greatness of an infinite, unlimited being is that He can never lose His unlimited nature. God can never go against logic and make a round triangle, expend too much energy and become tired, nor compromise His perfect memory and forget things. God can never become bound by finite terms. It is an error to view this inability as a limitation that reflects a weakness on God's part. It is really the exact opposite. What makes God so infinitely powerful is that He cannot do the things we mortals can do.85 It is only because of our finitude – our natural weakness and restrictions – that we experience limitations such as sickness, depression, immortality, or the inability to lift a heavy rock. For the Infinite One, however, His all-powerful nature simply does not allow for such weaknesses.
"Con argues that the argument inherently separates things into the category of things that begins to exist and things that does not begin to exist. This is a gross misunderstanding of the argument!"
"Con completely drops the argument that the universe is finite."
"God, however, is infinite (per the definition). Because God is infinite, He did not have to be created (1)."
"Whatever created the Universe must be, by logical definition, exist outside the realm of creation (transcendent). This cause also had to be infinite and causeless because of the very fact that God is infinite."
"Do you agree that an infinite regress is impossible? If so, you must accept that there is a first cause."
"these fluctuations are causally conditioned in that they depend on the existence of a pre-existing quantum vacuum."
"So we see here that the laws of physics pre-dates the universe."
"Con concedes several major points: (1) that objective moral facts exist; (2) that these facts can be known through reason and logic; and (3) these laws are rooted in natural law."
"why should we act morally from an atheistic point of view? As I pointed out in the first round:"
"These commands must come from a competent law giver for these objective commands to be binding on all of humans throughout all of time."
"Why should humans act morally?"
"What should be/are the consequences for acting immorally?"
"As we see, there are many things God cannot do, many "limitations..."
1. God cannot create a square triangle.2. God cannot sin.3. There are things He cannot bring upon Himself.4. God's inability to make Himself finite.5. He can never lose His unlimited nature.6. God can never go against logic.7. God can never expend too much energy.8. God can never become tired.9. God can never forget things.10. He cannot do the things we mortals can do.
"As we see, there are many "limitations" He cannot bring upon Himself. These "limitations" are not really limitations at all, but rather the necessary result of being unlimited. This limitation is actually the ultimate expression of His perfection."
Pro responds:"Easy. How does one distinguish an inventor and an invention?"
"The answer to this question is that the Creator is an infinite and eternal being and the creation is finite in nature."
'In my survey of the abortion debate, the question of whether a zygote, embryo or fetus is alive is one of the most crucial. Frequently those who are pro-life argue, as Rubio did, that science is clear on this issue. Human life begins at conception. The pro-choice folks then question this and say there is debate about it. Although I am pro-choice, there should be no debate about this issue. The facts are clear and with the appropriate definition of terms we can unequivocally conclude that human life begins at conception."
It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo sapiens’. Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being; and the same is true of the most profoundly and irreparably intellectually disabled human being, even of an infant who is born anencephalic - literally, without a brain.
Thanks for the debate Pro; it's been real.