A Supernatural Deity Probably Doesn't Exist
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Supernatural - attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature
Deity - a god or goddess
Exist - have objective reality or being.
“...my opponent must demonstrate that for one, anything supernatural exists, and for two, that there is a deity that exists that fits that category.”
“Historically, deities have been proposed as explanations for phenomena... As knowledge expands, gods become obsolete and unneeded... Natural explanations have been the only ones that have given any tangible, useful answers… Over time, deities have fallen away from their roles as plugs for man's ignorance.”
“A positive claim that the "supernatural exists" must be substantiated with some methodology, and evidentiary goalpost… we may dismiss my opponent's stance as mere conjecture in the face of overwhelming inductive evidence to the contrary.”
- The 2nd law of thermodynamics shows that the universe is running out of usable energy due to entropy
- The Friedmann equations, Hubble’s study of red-shift in light between galaxies, and multiple other facts prove empirically that the universe is not only expanding, but also
- The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that the universe began expanding from a finite point in the past[Cosmology for the Curious, pg#330-331]. The BGV Theorem states:
“Any universe that has, on average, been expanding throughout its history, cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past spacetime boundary.”
“With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” -Alexander Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes, pg#176
- Spaceless and timeless (as space and time came into being when the universe began)
- Immaterial (as all matter began to exist when the universe began and/or the cause is, again, spaceless)
- Uncaused (A being that has always existed and never began to exist does not require a cause. The only way to avoid an infinite loop of “what caused the cause?” is with an uncaused cause that never ‘began’.)
- Incredibly powerful and quite possibly capable of defying the laws of nature (Many would say that this cause created energy and matter ex-nihilo, which would violate the laws of nature. It would also have quite possibly begun the expansion of the universe, begun the existence/flow of spacetime, created the laws of nature in the first place, etc…)
- A personal being with free agency (explained below by William Lane Craig here)
““...a personal explanation (divine or otherwise) of some basic result R brought about intentionally by person P where this bringing about of R is a basic action A will cite the intention I of P that R occur and the basic power B that P exercised to bring about R." Notice that it is insufficient for P to have merely the intention and power to bring about R. There must also be a basic action on the part of P, an undertaking or endeavoring or exercise of P's causal powers. Thus, it is insufficient to account for the origin of the universe by citing simply God, His timeless intention to create a world with a beginning, and His power to produce such a result. There must be an exercise of His causal power in order for the universe to be created. That entails, of course, an intrinsic change on God's part which brings Him into time at the moment of creation.” -Must the Beginning of the Universe Have a Personal Cause?: A Rejoinder, William Lane Craig
"Per the resolution, I only need to prove that the counterfactual is more probable than the resolution. I in no way aim to prove either of these things beyond a doubt."
“The fact that some people have used deities as a catch-all for things they didn’t understand or that there are plausible, naturalistic explanations for phenomena isn’t evidence a deity doesn’t exist.”
- Dogs exist.
- Unicorns exist.
"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of it’s beginning.2. The universe began to exist.3. Thus, the universe has a cause of it’s beginning."
"Spaceless and timeless (as space and time came into being when the universe began)Immaterial (as all matter began to exist when the universe began and/or the cause is, again, spaceless)Uncaused (A being that has always existed and never began to exist does not require a cause. The only way to avoid an infinite loop of “what caused the cause?” is with an uncaused cause that never ‘began’.)Incredibly powerful and quite possibly capable of defying the laws of nature (Many would say that this cause created energy and matter ex-nihilo, which would violate the laws of nature. It would also have quite possibly begun the expansion of the universe, begun the existence/flow of spacetime, created the laws of nature in the first place, etc…)A personal being with free agency (explained below by William Lane Craig here"
"Many would say that this cause created energy and matter ex-nihilo..."
- The resolution is “A Supernatural Deity Probably Doesn’t Exist”
- BoP is shared per the description
- The inverse of this is that “A supernatural deity probably exists”
- If I prove the counterfactual to be sufficiently more likely than the resolution, I will have come closer to meeting my BoP and will have won. That goal post is all I aim to reach.
- Every explanation for anything ever hasn’t required quarks
- Thus this is a strong argument that quarks don’t exist.
- The universe had a cause
- The cause must be timeless and spaceless as time and space began at the moment of creation, it must be personal because the impersonal does not give rise to the personal, etc…
- A personal, timeless, spaceless, incredibly powerful cause adequately describes what would be considered a deity.
- All that begins must have a cause of its beginning
- The universe began and thus has a cause
- The cause is timeless and spaceless
- The cause is immensely powerful
- The cause is immaterial
- State causation
- Event causation
- Agent causation
I am not trying to do this. I am not saying “here is this thing, this is why a deity is how it happened.” I am saying “Here is a thing that has happened, and because of what we can extrapolate from the thing (the effect), here are the traits the cause must have and the things the cause must’ve been capable of.” Pro is presenting a disingenuous portrayal.My argument functions no different from saying “My toast is hot because it was in the toaster, thus we can conclude the toaster has to have energy and has to be capable of a transfer of thermal energy.”
(My opponent also mentions that the cause of the universe may not be supernatural, to which I do want to say that the creation of the laws of nature would clearly be considered supernatural, as those are overwhelmingly often considered to be immutable and unchangeable.)
Take quarks as an example. From the perspective of the 1950s-1960s when we didn’t have particle accelerators to observe the behaviour that would result in quarks being proposed as an example for said behaviour, let’s apply my opponent’s logic.Every explanation for anything ever hasn’t required quarksThus this is a strong argument that quarks don’t exist.
This at best proves that we don’t yet have the evidence, not that the evidence didn’t exist. It’s the classic “Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence”, but the fact of the matter is that this isn’t a situation where there is an absence of evidence to begin with.
No. No it isn’t. Plain and simple. Even were my opponent’s claim valid, which it isn’t, as there are convincing arguments that date back thousands of years to show that a supernatural deity is the cause of the universe, morality, consciousness, time and space, etc…, it still isn’t logical.
The universe had a cause
The cause must be timeless and spaceless as time and space began at the moment of creation, it must be personal because the impersonal does not give rise to the personal, etc…
A personal, timeless, spaceless, incredibly powerful cause adequately describes what would be considered a deity.
Furthermore, we can rule out state causation as it also does not work sans time
Things in possible worlds can have the quality that they are in more than one possible world, our own world, or all possible worlds and our own world. As it is the greatest being imaginable, obviously it should have this quality.It seems almost painfully simple and yet it makes sense nonetheless. The greatest possible being that could exist, does exist, as the quality of existence is superior to nonexistence.