Instigator / Pro

Prove to me God exists


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 1 vote and with 7 points ahead, the winner is...

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Contender / Con

God is a widely believed theory across the world but why believe in it?

Round 1
I will let con go first as they are trying to prove a point that I will be deconstructing.
Introduction & Model
I thank Ace for allowing me to start off this debate and I will begin by clarifying a few things.

Debate Format
As Ace waived the first round (this really should have been 3 rounds at minimum), although it was not specified in the rules that I must do so, I will refrain from putting constructive arguments or anything other than rebuttals and defence in my second round speech for the sake of fairness. I would waive the round entirely, but I need to get at least some amount of refutations in. I will try to ensure my second round speech does not exceed 4000-5000 characters.

I will treat the resolution "prove to me a deity exists" as if it were "A deity does not exist," since the former is not a resolution.

My burden of proof will be met if I have presented reasons that a deity of any kind exists which are both sufficient and greater than the reasons my opponent presents for the contrary. My opponent's burden can not be met by arguing for agnosticism, they must present reasons that show a deity doesn't/can't exist or else they cannot bring the debate in their favour.

"A deity" - A free-agent that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and is typically (but not necessarily) thought of as being both personal and all-good.
"Omnipotence" - Either a) infinite power insofar as is logically possible (ex: not including the unstoppable force meets immovable object paradox), or b) infinite power including the ability to do things that are logically impossible (i.e. even if it doesn't make sense that a deity can create a rock they cannot lift, it doesn't matter because an omnipotent being is capable of doing things that are logically impossible.

There is no consensus on if either the a or b definition for omnipotence is correct. My arguments will be applicable for both definitions.

Constructive Arguments
In my speech, I will present two main arguments that support the existence of an omnipotent being. Those arguments are:

1. Kalam Cosmological Argument
The Kalam is a deductive argument. i.e. if the premises are true, the conclusion unavoidably follows. A deductive argument is like so:

If X is true, then Y is true.
X is true,
therefore Y is true.

The Kalam states:

"All that begins to exist must have a cause for its beginning.
The universe began to exist,
therefore the universe has a cause of its beginning."

The law of cause and effect proves the first premise. I'm certain my opponent would find it a tall task to prove that effects can occur without causes.

The second premise has multiple proofs:
  • The 2nd law of thermodynamics shows that the universe is running out of usable energy due to entropy. If the universe was infinite, the universe would have run out of usable energy an infinity ago.
  • The Friedmann Equations and the Hubble's study of red-shift between galaxies prove empirically that the universe is expanding.
  • The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem proves that the universe began expanding from a finite point in the past[Cosmology for the Curious, pg#330-331]. The theorem states: “Any universe that has, on average, been expanding throughout its history, cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary.

    Alexander Vilenkin and Audrey Mithani also argue that alternative models to the big bang do not escape the implications of the theorem. To quote Vilenkin:
“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

The third premise follows unavoidably. If the universe began to exist, it has a cause. Because of the nature of the universe and the big bang, the fact the universe has a caused beginning makes it possible to extrapolate certain attributes of said cause:
  1. The cause must be timeless and spaceless since time and space did not exist sans creation.
  2. The cause must be incredibly powerful to bring about the big bang and set in motion the laws and constants of the universe.
  3. The cause is uncaused as something that has never begun to exist can't have a cause for its existence as a cause must precede its effect, which is impossible because there is never a moment that it hasn't existed.
  4. The cause is immaterial as no matter existed sans creation.
  5. The cause has free-agency. This is due to time only beginning to exist at the moment of creation. There are three types of causes: State causation, event causation, and agent causation. State causation occurs due to the nature/conditions of the state, event causation occurs due to an event (ex: a rock striking a window causes the window to break), and agent causation occurs as a result of a free-agent.

    We can rule out event causation because an event implies that it occurs at a moment in time (which is impossible sans time). We can rule out state causation because the cause must be timeless and sufficient for its effect. If a timeless cause is sufficient for its effect, all conditions for the cause to bring about its effect are met (and they must be, as there cannot be a point the conditions are not met and another point where they are met due to being timeless), and the cause has existed eternally before its effect, the effect (which is the universe in this context) should also be timeless and eternal, and yet it isn't. It doesn't make any sense for the conditions to bring about the big bang to have existed eternally prior to the big bang and for there to still yet be a point where the big bang did not occur and a point where the big bang did occur, yet that's what we see with the big bang. This is avoided with agent causation.

    Agent causation can choose to bring about or not bring about an effect without changing the cause despite the fact the cause's conditions are met. A timeless being can choose not to stand in spite of the fact they are fully capable of standing up at any point, and if they should so choose to stand, nothing about the cause of them standing nor their ability to stand has changed.

    In summation, event causation is impossible because there cannot be events without time. State causation is impossible because it wouldn't make any sense for the cause to be sufficient and eternal and yet there is a point it does not bring about its effect/the effect is not also eternal. Agent causation is the only possible way that the cause of the big bang could be eternal sufficient for its effect without bringing about the effect/without the effect being eternal as well.
These five extrapolations sufficiently prove that said cause has all the attributes that describe a deity.

2. Teleological Argument
There are many constants in the universe that have values that are specifically conducive to human life in a way that would not be expected if the universe and these constants were what they are due to chance or physical necessity, proving that the universe and its constants were intelligently designed. Some examples of these constants:

  1. Higgs Vacuum Expectation Value
  2. Mass of quarks
  3. Mass of  electrons and neutrinos
  4. Electromagnetism coupling constant
  5. Strong nuclear force coupling constant
  6. Cosmological constant
  7. Scalar fluctuation amplitude Q
  8. Dark matter mass per photon
  9. Entropy of the universe
These constants, among many others, have values that are within an exceedingly narrow, life-permitting range. If any of these values were slightly different, life as we know it would not be possible.

  • If the gravitational constant  was increased or decreased by (10^-60)%, the universe would either have expanded too rapidly for stars to form or would have collapsed back in on itself before stars could form.
  • If the cosmological constant  were increased or decreased by (10^-120)%, the same as above would occur.
  • If strong nuclear force were increased or decreased by 0.5%, electromagnetic force were increased or decreased by 4% , the half-life of Beryllium was minutely greater or lesser, the excited state of carbon were 0.1MeV higher or lower, the excited state of oxygen were infinitesimally higher or lower, among other factors, then the triple-alpha process in which stars convert helium to carbon (a necessary component to life), would either be impossible, not fuse enough carbon for life, or  use up too much carbon for life to exist. If ANY of these values were changedin a minute way, a necessary component of life would not be possible[Uzan, Jean-Philippe (April 2003). "The fundamental constants and their variation: observational and theoretical status". Reviews of Modern Physics. 75 (2): 403–455].
These constants are highly unlikely to be due to chance due to the sheer amount of constants and the incredibly slim margin that they each must fall into. If these constants were due to necessity, that would mean that a life-prohibiting universe is impossible, but there's no reason to believe that since the constants' values are not governed by the laws of nature. There is no reason that they must be the way they are, but they must all be within this remarkably slim range for SOME reason. If it is not due to necessity or chance, in combo with the Kalam, this proves it must be due to intelligent design.

"The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." -Stephen Hawking

"If anyone claims to not be surprised by the special features the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features are surprising and unlikely." - David Deutsch, physicist at Oxford

"Wherever physicists look. they see examples of fine tuning." - Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, professor of astrophysics and cosmology at Cambridge

I have provided two convincing arguments providing good reason to believe the existence of a deity due to the fine-tuning of the universe and the necessary attributes of the cause of the big bang. Vote con.

Round 2