Does God Exist?
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 3 votes and with 6 points ahead, the winner is...
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Resolved: It is probable that God exists.
4. Closing arguments/clash
For the purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined broadly as to include the general 4'Os (omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being) who is the source of creation.) That is to say, I am not referring to any specific deity. Hence religious texts and religious doctrines are irrelevant to the debate. .
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.
To say that some entity exists in a possible world is just to say that such an entity possibly exists. It isn’t meant that the entity actually exists somewhere. Look again at my explanation: “To say that God exists in some possible world is just to say that there is a possible description of reality which includes the statement ‘God exists’ as part of that description.” Only if that description is true will the entity, in this case God, actually exist. So (2) is definitionally true.Again, (3) is virtually definitionally true. A maximally great being is one that has, among other properties, necessary existence. So if it exists in one world, it exists in all of them! In that sense, such a being is different than contingent beings, which exist in only some possible worlds. A unicorn, for example, exists in some possible world, but not in all of them, for its existence is possible but not necessary. So your prof is right that there is something special, not about a maximally excellentbeing (which, you’ll recall, is defined to be a being which is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good), but about a maximally great being, which is defined as a being which has maximal excellence in every possible world. If such a being exists in any world, that is to say, if it is possible that such a being exists, then it exists in every possible world, including the actual world.
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. Because time is not going to go backwards, I think I better stop now.
"A duty is something that is owed... But something can be owed only to some person or persons. There can be no such thing as a duty in isolation.... the concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone."
- The world is all that is the case.
- What is the case—a fact—is the existence of states of affairs
- A logical picture of facts is a thought.
- A thought is a proposition with sense.
- A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions. (An elementary proposition is a truth function of itself.)
- The general form of a truth-function is [p,ξ, N (ξ)]
- What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
- Discussions like this perpetuate a false delusion that the question of God's existence is answerable. Delusions interfere with our ability to think and perceive rationally and should therefore be rejected.
- Failing to recognize the possibility of that the question of God's existence is unanswerable contributes to wasted time and effort, as people like my opponent and theist and atheist scholars alike sink their lives into debates like this when their efforts could be more productive elsewhere.
- Debate as an activity should be rooted in sensical topics; debate, as an exercise of rational thought, should celebrate rational, sensical arguments. Topics like this, precisely because they are nonsensical, are problematic.
- Omniscient means "possessed of universal or complete knowledge"
- Omnipresent means "present in all places at all times"
- Omnipotent means "almighty: having absolute power over all"
- Omnibenevolent means "possessing perfect or unlimited goodness."
1. The K
Con brings an interesting K to the argument. I contend that both the Theistic and Atheistic viewpoints make several predictions about how the world should look like. If Atheism is true, then this is what it should look like; and if Theism is true, this is what it should look like. The Atheist view point, for example, would say that evil is incompatible with Theism and the Theist would say, for example, that objective moral facts can only exist in a Theist-centered world.
The first argument I brought up, the ontological argument, is an a priori proof of God's existence while the KCA and moral argument are an a posteriori proof of God's existence.
I propose that we can know God's existence through both pure logic and through empirical evidence.
II. The 4 O's
A. God Cannot be Omniscient
The Ethics of Our Fathers states: "Everything is foreseen, and freewill is given, and with goodness the world is judged. And all is in accordance to the majority of the deed." (1)
The contradiction is only apparent. God does not know our future as future. He knows our future actions in all their actuality/being (including their temporal modes of existence) in their presentiality. In other words, God knows our future actions as I know Socrates is sitting before me. My knowledge of Socrates sitting before me is infallible, and yet Socrates is not determined to be sitting. He is still free to sit or stand.
Free will is granted to all men. If one desires to turn himself to the path of good and be righteous, the choice is his. Should he desire to turn to the path of evil and be wicked, the choice is his.This is [the intent of] the Torah's statement (Genesis 3:22): "Behold, man has become unique as ourselves, knowing good and evil," i.e., the human species became singular in the world with no other species resembling it in the following quality: that man can, on his own initiative, with his knowledge and thought, know good and evil, and do what he desires. There is no one who can prevent him from doing good or bad. Accordingly, [there was a need to drive him from the Garden of Eden,] "lest he stretch out his hand [and take from the tree of life]."Were God to decree that an individual would be righteous or wicked or that there would be a quality which draws a person by his essential nature to any particular path [of behavior], way of thinking, attributes, or deeds, as imagined by many of the fools [who believe] in astrology - how could He command us through [the words of] the prophets: "Do this," "Do not do this," "Improve your behavior," or "Do not follow after your wickedness?"[According to their mistaken conception,] from the beginning of man's creation, it would be decreed upon him, or his nature would draw him, to a particular quality and he could not depart from it.One might ask: Since The Holy One, blessed be He, knows everything that will occur before it comes to pass, does He or does He not know whether a person will be righteous or wicked?If He knows that he will be righteous, [it appears] impossible for him not to be righteous. However, if one would say that despite His knowledge that he would be righteous, it is possible for him to be wicked, then His knowledge would be incomplete.Know that the resolution to this question [can be described as]: "Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea." Many great and fundamental principles and lofty concepts are dependent upon it. However, the statements that I will make must be known and understood [as a basis for the comprehension of this matter].
Human knowledge cannot comprehend this concept in its entirety for just as it is beyond the potential of man to comprehend and conceive the essential nature of the Creator, as [Exodus 33:20] states: "No man will perceive, Me and live," so, too, it is beyond man's potential to comprehend and conceive the Creator's knowledge. This was the intent of the prophet's [Isaiah 55:8] statements: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways, My ways."Accordingly, we do not have the potential to conceive how The Holy One, blessed be He, knows all the creations and their deeds. However, this is known without any doubt: That man's actions are in his [own] hands and The Holy One, blessed be He, does not lead him [in a particular direction] or decree that he do anything.
Con completely misunderstands what we mean when philosophers say that God is Omnipotent. God is bound by his own nature and cannot do the illogical. For example, God cannot make a square triangle because it violates the nature of what a square is. Similarly if we define God as omnibenevolent, it follows that he cannot do evil. Rabbi Mandel sums this up nicely (4):
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.
For con to make this argument he must concede to premise 2 in the moral argument. So what exactly is evil? First we must understand that evil is a necessity of free will. If I can choose only good, then I have no free will.
Maimonades, one of the most influential Jewish philosophers, proposed that there are three types of evil: (1) Evil that we do to ourselves; (2) Evil that we do to others; and (3) Natural evils like hurricanes and earth quakes. The first one
Con's argument assumes an infinite regress, something that is both philosophically and scientifically impossible. There cannot be an infinite regress of physical causes. This is like saying "the world is standing on turtles - all the way down." It's logically and physically impossible. Similarly to say "the universe was created by quantum fluctuations - all the way back." It's impossible.
Second, we know form the KCA that the universe had to have an absolute beginning. If the universe as we know it was infinite in age, as con's argument suggests, then the universe would be out of useable energy and would be in a state of a death heat. Since we are not in that stage right now, we can reasonably conclude the universe is not infinite in age.
1. Perkie Avot 3:15
4. Rambam "Guide to the Perplexed."
- It is not possible that a maximally great being exists.
- If it is not possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in no possible world.
- If a maximally great being exists in no possible world, then it does not exist in the actual world.
- If a maximally great being does not exist in the actual world, then a maximally great being does not exist.
- Therefore, a maximally great being does not exist.
I. Problem of Evil
I have a few responses. First, in order to make this claim, con has to concede that there are objective moral facts in this world. Second, evil is a necessary component of free will. If evil does not exist, then free will cannot exist. If we cannot choose to be evil, then we cannot choose to be good. Thirdly, who is to say that God does not stop certain evils? If God stopped the evil before it occurred, then we obviously do not know about it.
Fourthly, the RAMBAM wrote that there are three types of evil. (1) Evil we do to ourselves. A smoker shouldn't be surprised when they end up with lung cancer and a drunkard shouldn't be surprised when they end up with liver failure. (2) Evil we do to others. Because we have free will and can choose to do evil, we can unfortunately choose to do highly immoral acts like commit genocide. Finally, 3) Natural evils like earthquakes and hurricanes. (1)
Fifthly, RAMBAM postulates that suffering can also be a result of punishment. If God is good then he must punish evil. Suffering and evil cause us to look in ourselves and repent and do good. Just as a parent disciplines a child, God to must discipline man.
Finally, we need to look at the "big picture." There's an interesting story I wish to share (2):
There once was a farmer who owned a horse. And one day the horse ran away. All the people in the town came to console him because of the loss. "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a bad thing and maybe it's not."
A few days later, the horse returned to the farm accompanied by 20 other horses. (Apparently he had found some wild horses and made friends!) All the townspeople came to congratulate him: "Now you have a stable full of horses!" "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a good thing and maybe it's not."
A few days later, the farmer's son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse got wild and threw him off, breaking the son's leg. So all the people in town came to console the farmer because of the accident. "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a bad thing and maybe it's not."
A few days later, the government declared war and instituted a draft of all able-bodied young men. They came to the town and carted off hundreds of young men, except for the farmer's son who had a broken leg. "Now I know," said the farmer, "that it was a good thing my horse ran away."
The point of this story is obvious. Life is a series of events, and until we've reached the end of the series, it's hard to know exactly why things are happening. That's one reason the Torah commands us to give respect to every elderly person – because through the course of life experience, they have seen the jigsaw puzzle pieces fall into place.
Now to defend my case.
I. The Ontological Argument
Con attempts to rebut this argument by attacking P1. Con is effectively arguing that an MGB is an impossible being. I think I satisfactorily rebutted his paradoxes. We will go more in depth on his attack on P1 once he responds.
Con's attempt to parody the argument with the non-existence of God and the Star Wars force fails for both of those reasons.
"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."
The major intuitive support behind premise #1 is that something can’t come from nothing without a supernatural cause. The case of virtual particles “popping into existence” does not overturn this intuition, because these entities do not emerge from “nothing.” They instead emerge from the quantum vacuum, or a field with a very low energy level. Columbia University Philosopher and theoretical physicist David Albert writes,[V]acuum state—no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems—are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff . . . the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those [quantum] fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.Uncaused events in quantum mechanics do not refute the principle that something cannot come from nothing. Furthermore, the reduction of causation in quantum events to unpredictable probabilities does not refute our normal experience that objects simply do not appear without a cause. This leaves us with sufficient evidence to believe that “whatever begins to exist must have a cause for its existence.”
1. Guide to the Perplexed, Chapter 3
3. Yujin Nagasawa; The Ontological Argument and the Devil, The Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 60, Issue 238, 1 January 2010, Pages 72–91, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2008.603.x
Yesterday, it was true that I would write this argument.Today, it is true that I am writing this argument.Tomorrow, it will be true that I have written this argument.To possess complete knowledge, God would need to know all of these truths at once--but each of these truths is contradictory. That "I will write this argument" cannot be true at the same time that it is true that "I am writing this argument," but to a God, who exists in all times at once, all of these truths are true simultaneously. This is quite literally impossible. Either God does not know all three of these truths at once, or he is not temporally universal; either God is not omniscient or he is not omnipresent. If that's correct, then God does not exist.
Firstly, a maximally great being is necessarily perfectly good. If a being is not perfectly good, then there is some imperfection, which is not what God is. Second, if God can give moral commands such as not kill and not to torture babies for fun, it is necessary for God to be perfectly good. It follows that God cannot give evil commands like to commit mass genocide or to torture babies for fun.
Now to rebut con's case.
1. Against the 4 O's
A. God Cannot be Omniscient
Again God’s omniscience is not causative and thus free will can exit. If I have perfect knowledge that my son will choose ice cream over a bowl of cauliflower, it in no way prohibits my son’s ability to choose the former because my knowledge is not causative.
Further, because God is omnipotent, He could therefore choose to refrain from interfering in choices made by others.
B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent
Con simply does not quite understand the issue here. Because God is also transcendence, He also exists outside the space-time framework. In God’s framework, all three truths are true simultaneously because he exists in eternity past, the present, and eternity future.
C. God Cannot be Omnipotent
Once again it’s clear that Con does not understand the philosophical concept of omnipotence. If we define God as perfectly good, it follows that God can do no evil. Does this mean God is not omnipotent? Absolutely not!
It’s impossible for God to create the impossible, like a stone too heavy for him to lift or an invisible pink unicorn.
Simply put: Omnipotence does not mean an absolute power like the Webster dictionary defines it, but rather God has the maximum power that any being could possibly have.
D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent
Because free will exists, evil necessarily exists. If God stepped into the picture every time we were going to do something evil or wrong, then we do not have free will either. We can choose to be as great as Avraham Avinu or as wicked as Hitler, yimakh shamo v’zichro.
We may ask God “Why did you allow the holocaust to happen?” God responds by asking us that very same question.
III. Against God's Existence: Creation
This is related to the KCA. If the universe has a cause, then this cause necessarily transcends space-time. If a quantum fluctuation suddenly caused a huge universe to exist, then necessarily (1) the laws of physics transcends space time (proven in the KCA); (2) this quantum fluctuation transcends space-time; and (3) this quantum fluctuation is powerful enough to create a huge universe that will eventually create life. This is pretty close to the definition of God!
Thank you. please vote pro!
This argument preempts all other arguments because precedes the debate itself. Given Pro's drops of large parts of the K, including the voting impacts stemming from the K, a Con vote is required.
I've shown that free will and omniscience cannot coexist. The very fact that Pro fails to dispute that we have free will indicates that God is not omniscient, mandating a Con vote.
Pro dropped this argument entirely (setting aside the illicit new argument). This argument demonstrates that God cannot be both omniscient and omnipresent, requiring a Con vote.
I've shown that God cannot be omnipotent. If this is the case, a Con vote is required.
I've shown that the existence of raw, purposeless evil precludes God from being omnibenevolent. In fact, if God were omnibenevolent, he would would not allow humans to have free will, precluding Pro's objective morals argument. This requires a Con vote.
I've shown that existence came from uncaused quantum fluctuations occurring in a state of nothingness. God is not the creator, and so does not exist.
My counter-syllogism on the ontological argument and Pro's failure to prove God's benevolence are reasons to vote Con.
Vote Con on the weight of offense. I am winning far more major arguments than Pro is winning. Cherry-picking arguments to vote on would be wrong, as any one argument could in theory constitute equal proof against any other. Voters must vote holistically.
Yeah it was a tough debate
I'm inclined to agree, I either would have tied or given him arguments, I didn't read the last two rounds though so I'm not sure
Thanks, though I honestly think @bsh should have won
This was a cool debate
The final fatal blow to Con’s case comes from Con himself. After angrily demanding certain definitions be followed throughout the whole debate, Con finally snaps in the last round and embarks on a babyish gloating fit akin to those usually reserved for a contentious kickball battle at recess in the 3rd grade.
I directly quote:
“…a Con vote is required… mandating a Con vote… requiring a Con vote…a Con vote is required (it was repeated in the last round)…This requires a Con vote… I am winning far more major arguments than Pro is winning…VOTE CON”
This childish conduct is not only sufficient to cost him points on conduct, but if this is the only response Con ever has, to bully voters into voting a particular way by asserting he’s won with definitions he asserts should be followed, it quite substantially demonstrates that he never had a real rebuttal in the first place.
Conduct to Pro for these reasons.
Also, some might find it unfair that this vote is coming in 2 minutes prior to the end of the voting period, but if you’ve got a problem with it, well…
Con began but did not end his argument with sources. What’s strange is that it never made sense what Con’s sources were supposed to accomplish. Con wanted to disprove that the universe was created by god, so in the first round he linked to a BBC article which contains a quote describing that in fact the universe was created, which could still be god, and it mentions nothing negating god’s involvement, which is what Con was attempting with his source, and it read,
"So you can create virtual space-times just as you can create virtual particles."
You see this debate wasn't about how the universe was created, but whether or not god did the creating of the universe. The BBC article Con linked to says nothing about negating god’s involvement with the fluctuations and such, failing to support his argument.
Conversely, when Pro made a claim, he managed to supply a source (and directly and frequently quote from that source) which exactly said the same thing as the claim he was constructing. For example, when Pro states,
“The answer is God. There can be no duty in isolation,” which serves as a proof for omnibenevolence defined broadly as Pro requested it to be defined, he both links to and quotes from a source which says precisely that. As such, his sources clearly served the purpose of substantiating his argument, which cannot be said of the sources provided by Con.
Sources to Pro for these reasons.
So what did Con do after mentioning this to everyone?
Con continued to have this delusional, time-wasting, should-be-rejected, unproductive discussion, antithetically contributing to the very harms he claimed were so “bubble-bursting” to know about when he brought them to our attention, which makes me think that this K isn’t serious.
It’d be like someone explaining why combustible engine emissions will likely contribute to our planet heating up to our sever detriment and then using a Hummer to do doughnuts in the parking lot for an hour only to refrain to a recreational vehicle for a long trip to the gas station.
If we buy Con’s K, then Con should have abstained from debating the rest of the debate, because he ended up feeding the delusion, mitigating the impact of the K, and proving that even Con doesn’t buy or choose to remedy the harms of his own K to the extent that Con even exacerbates those harms.
Pro shows a probable 4 O source of creation because Con did not cast enough doubt on the resolution or Pro’s 3 arguments in favor of the resolution.
Arguments to Pro.
3. The Moral Argument
If Objective moral facts exist, then God exists…Objective moral facts exist…Therefore, God exists.
*Con again leads with “For morality to be objective, it must be such that no rational person, thinking rationally, could reject it,” which overtly ignores Pro’s request in the debate for objective morality to be “the state of being true regardless of human opinion.”
Again, if I have to go against the previous request of the debater to buy Con’s attacks here, I wish to not violate my duty as a voter to honor the request of the debater whose interpretation seems more reasonable, and as such cannot buy Con’s arguments.
I also then must buy that without human opinion god must exist to command objective morals.
4. Con’s Kritik.
Con starts off with saying “Kritiks (Ks) are not prohibited by the rules of this debate.”
Sorry Con, the rules or lack thereof are not binding on voters or debaters…sorry, it’s a site policy, so while the arbitrary rules and definitions you thought you were agreeing to may not mention no Ks, I interpret Pro’s request in the debate to ignore the K as a request for voters to disallow the K.
Furthermore, Pro is reasonable in ignoring the K because Con mitigates it.
Con’s K includes ideas like,
“Discussions like this perpetuate a false delusion…delusions interfere with our ability to think and perceive rationally and should therefore be rejected…contributes to wasted time and effort…efforts could be more productive elsewhere…you should vote Con to reward Con for bursting the bubble of delusion”
Look, I'm getting salty, and I don't want to be salty. I like and respect you.
Can we agree to disagree and just leave it at that (as regards this conversation, at least)?
Ram, those were bogus arguments based on Virt totally misunderstanding the argument. The K says that "God is unreferenceable and therefore unknowable," while Virt's response is basically: "we can use referential knowledge to know God." Virt's response is the argumentative equivalent of two ships passing in the night. He never once disputes that God is unreferenceable, but instead appeals to referential knowledge to know God. That's totally illogical, because it fails to address the PRIOR objection that God is unreferenceable. Virt needed to establish God's referenceability BEFORE he could claim that pure logic and emipirical evidence could produce knowledge of God, since both such methods rely on God's referenceability.
As I said in the debate: "Pro fails to address the substance of the K, which is that: 'God, just by the very breadth of what such a being would be, is unreferenceable...We cannot think of God itself, and so we cannot talk sensically about God and its existence or nonexistence.' Not once does Pro offer us a non-referential way to conceive of God, nor does he argue that it is possible to do so." The fact that Virt drops the K in his subsequent remarks concedes to the fact that he failed to address it's substantive.
So, sure, he made an "argument" if by "argument" you mean a non-responsive bare assertion. He did not make an argument in the sense I mean it, which is "a substantive and topical reply which refutes the argument actually being made."
I mean, I'd still like you're vote even if you disregard the K, I would just urge you not to.
“Since Vert makes no arguments against the K”...
Virt, debate round 2.
“1. The K
Con brings an interesting K to the argument. I contend that both the Theistic and Atheistic viewpoints make several predictions about how the world should look like. If Atheism is true, then this is what it should look like; and if Theism is true, this is what it should look like. The Atheist view point, for example, would say that evil is incompatible with Theism and the Theist would say, for example, that objective moral facts can only exist in a Theist-centered world.
The first argument I brought up, the ontological argument, is an a priori proof of God's existence while the KCA and moral argument are an a posteriori proof of God's existence.
I propose that we can know God's existence through both pure logic and through empirical evidence. ”
"debaters should be held accountable only for the arguments that they do make."
I'd say that qualifies as a norm. And I mean a norm on DebateArt and in American high school debate.
Like I said, I'll respond to the rest of this stuff later.
I don't think that's the norm. The norm varies wildly by debating genre, and so there is no norm for "debate" as a whole.
Ultimately, debaters should be held accountable only for the arguments that they do make. Since Virt made no arguments against the K, dismissing the K would be rewarding a debater for saying nothing, which is kind of perverse. Since one debater puts work into an argument (it wasn't just a shell; I took time to develop and defend it), it would be categorically unfair to reward the other debater for doing literally nothing to rebut it. That's like failing a student who took the test while passing a student who skipped school.
Judge intervention is justified when one side acts unethically or unfairly, but nothing about the K was unethical or unfair, as Virt could have made any number of responses to it--including theory arguments. That he chose to make no response whatsoever is his own fault, and should count against him.
That's the standard norm, which is why I'm declining to vote on this debate.
Like, I get the dislike of pre-fiat Ks, but this K was pretty handleable. Virt did not even try to handle it. Is judge intervention justified when a debater doesn't make any arguments against it? Virt could have easily run some theory argument against it or called abuse, but he chose not to and instead dropped the whole thing. I don't think debaters should be awarded for doing nothing.
I don't think I'm gonna vote on this debate, mainly because my RFD -- and my philosophy of judging -- would discount the pre-fiat K entirely and I believe that judge intervention is justified in the case of pre-fiat Ks (I don't have general opposition to pre-fiat Ks, but I'm only willing to vote on them on certain resolutions where I think the K is justified, and I think pre-fiat Ks have a higher standard of proof and need to be much more thoroughly explained, particularly with the alt). I assume that's not conducive to the DART format of debate. I'll throw in an RFD at some point -- I think bsh1 won nonetheless, based on my flow, though I'll have to look at that again and might change my mind -- but I will refrain from voting for this reason. I'm happy to discuss my general skepticism of pre-fiat Ks on seemingly balanced, debatable topics at a time when I'm less busy. Edit for clarity: I don't automatically discount all pre-fiat Ks on seemingly balanced/debatable topics, I meant I'd have discounted *this* K because it doesn't meet the higher burden of proof I'm looking for in pre-fiat Ks on such topics.
>Reported vote: jamesgilbert // Moderator action: Removed<
3 points to Pro (arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented good arguments like the ontological and kalaam argument and con did not do enough to negate
[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter merely *mentions* two arguments that Pro makes, without explaining why those arguments were compelling to Pro or why the refutations that Con made throughout the entire round weren't enough to take these two arguments down, apart from the generic justification of "[C]on did not do enough to negate." (2) The voter does not bring up a single aspect of Con's offense, thus neglecting the entirety of Con's case.
Thanks for the vote.
Thanks for your vote. I still strongly object to it, and believe that your methodology is flawed in a way which is unfair. But I do not believe you, as a person, voted with bias. I continue to believe you are a top tier user.
After a review of objections, I am re-writing this as a superseding RFD, I’m removing all elements of my previous RFD intended for constructive feedback - as it seems that they’re not being views as such - and clarifying the argument based on some specific misunderstandings raised. I feel this reworded RfD better covers my intent - and specifically addresses my reasoning on points raised by con in the comments.
Firstly, I’m going to spell out an important point.
I do not favour any particular debater, topic or ideology when it comes to voting: and I don’t think anyone can accuse me of adding personal bias or my opinion on contentions into my votes. I will vote against my principle and beliefs - and regularly so - as I feel the better arguments should win.
My RFDs are often excessive and lengthy - especially for close debates - as it’s important for both sides to see my reasoning is transparent.
The major bone of contention I’ve had with several debaters is concerning “drops”. Bsh1 and some others feel that as a voter, I should come down hard on drops: specially they had specific ideas of how I should weight them, and how I should consider them.
I will be explicit that I do not agree: Dropped arguments DO matter and are factored into all my decisions, but my weighting and interpretation of them depend on specific context, and specific facts.
Specifically, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt on merit rather than technicality.
If I feel that one side has argued a particular point, but has not responded to a specific individual issue inline - I will err on the side of merit - the fact that the side argued the point is more important than the technical way they have argued the point.
Likewise, if an argument is prima facia absurd - and is dropped, I will factor this in (as it should not have been dropped), and consider it unrefuted, but will weigh the argument on merit, not on technicality.
The really important takeaway, though, is this:
I am not looking at arguments, deciding I don’t like them: and voting against them. I am not taking positions, or peoples deciding I don’t like them, and voting against them. I try and keep consistent from debate to debate. I often change my mind multiple times through reading a debate, and often do vote in a different way to how I started.
I feel BSHs main complaint, relating to drops is because he disagrees with my voting methodology: that I should be more like a high profile collegiate debate judges in terms of the vagaries of voting technicality. That’s his opinion, and possibly fair: though this is online debate, and I’m not a trained judge, so the best you’re going to be able to hope for is that I’m fair.
The critical thing here, is that I’m voting for virts arguments - not for virt. Bsh is absolutely correct that I am favouring virts arguments - and I am doing so because my weighting and methodology make me feel his arguments had more merit - and I will stick by that every time.
The critical point is that while you may disagree with my methodology - it’s not a biased methodology - it can help you as much as harm you, and what I award to pro today I award to con tomorrow.
In the context of an online debate forum - while you may baulk at my methodology not being identical to some bespectacled technical pedant - which I will defend - I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.
So let’s summarize:
Pros made 3 arguments, I considered one refuted, one weak, but accepted and one particularly strong and accepted. Con made a multitude of individually smaller and logically weaker arguments none of which were as logically tight as the strongest argument made by pro. A Kritik was presented, which I felt was logically refuted by pro.
As a result, it is necessary I award arguments to pro on the balance.
1.) The Ontological Argument:
Pros formulation was good, there was a good justification of possibility, but the overall defense of 1st and 3rd premise as
A whole was minimal. This lowered the overall weight of this argument.
I am excluding the 1st and 3rd parts of Cons rebuttal from my assessment as I feel these are already covered in other arguments (4Os and possible paradox) - though I will reference the impact these have on OA later as the two are linked.
The second point that the argument begs the question due to it assuming that God is possible, is rejected as a rebuttal for two reasons - A: If I accept cons statements as true, pro is only maybe wrong and thus not refuted. B: pros defense on the grounds of possibility by referencing any possible world helps establish that possibility; both in his original argument and his rebuttal where he produced a logical formulation of why God is possible - the latter of which I felt was an excellent exchange on pros part. (Note: in my previous RFD I mixed up pro/con - which I do FAR too often and possible confused con)
On the force analogy - I side with pros rebuttal that it’s not structurally parallel (which was mentioned explicitly)- I felt Con needs to establish how an omnipresent force can meet the criteria of the MGB of God required for the OA which pro points out wouldn’t help - as such an example would itself be God.
In this final rebuttal, con asserts that logic and maths are contingent, not necessary. And then asks the question of whether these two things are necessary and then questions whether anything is necessary. The formulation suffers the same issue as the second point, that even if I accept this argument as true - it doesn’t refute the premise - only shows it’s possibly wrong.
As I feel pros argument about possibility tries to cover this necessity portion again, and because even were I to assume both points 2 and 5 were true: they only show Pros argument is maybe false not is false - I feel none of the points raised here by con are sufficient to refute the OA as a while - though I consider pros formulation rather weak.
In terms of drops. Con claimed pro dropped two points: I don’t consider cons 3rd point dropped, as i consider this covered by the paradox counter argument pro made. The 5th point I do not consider dropped either as I think it’s wrapped up (though poorly), by pros subsequent rebuttal.
As a result, while weak, this argument goes to pro - just.
Pro formulated the KCA very, very well here. Pros set up and structure made his argument incredibly strong.
Cons response was two fold: first was a reformulation of the logic to indicate the universes cause has a cause. I did not find this compelling due to the issue of infinite regress pointed out by pro - he argues that it seem logical or philosophically impossible that there can somehow be no stop of causes and I find this more compelling than pros statement that it is possible.
Secondly was the quantum theory argument, this is good in its own right - but falls short of being compelling for similar reasons: where did those rules come from? Pro pointed this out.
The inductive proof as Con mentions in his third point falls afoul of this same fundamental issue as the other two.
Pros case is very convincing to me, and all revolves around his argument that infinite regress and causation that con wasn’t able to touch. Con did assert that an infinite regress should be considered possible, whereas pro argued that it should not be considered possible - and I considered the latter more reasonable weighing the two arguments. As a result, cons rebuttal on these points are not sufficient, and pro carries the argument. Not only that, I felt the formulation of the argument and defense was particularly strong.
Drops. Con claimed that he had proven that infinite regress was impossible and pro had dropped this. In my view, pros previous argument concerning infinite regress clearly addresses this point - though neither side goes into too much detail of proof - pro certainly did not provide a justification to accept infinite regresses are possible as he claims.
As a result, pro wins this point, given the formulation and defence, I rank this particularly strongly.
3.) The moral argument.
I felt this was the weakest of all three of pros argument. The form was good, but pro neglects to really justify his reasoning for why everyone agreeing on right and wrong necessarily requires God.
In the first argument - con confuses the logical with the moral - it is logical to maximize wellbeing for everyone - but morality is as much about feelings. However, pro didn’t notice it this, nor truly addressed this part of the argument.
I especially felt pro mostly refuted his own position - building up his view of objective morality saying its something everyone could agree with - then specifically giving an example of humans disagreeing on moral matters; plus dropping a few sub points sealed this one.
I consider this point refuted by con.
Con mentions the free will/omniscient issue. If I accept this argument as true, it doesn’t disprove God, only free will and pros morality argument.
As such if I accept this entire point as true - it doesn’t refute the contention of the debate.
Despite cons objections, pro does not appear to hinge the existence of God off free will - and the arguments he made based on free will were considered in cons favour already.
Note: After multiple reviews, pros argument about free will has REALLY grown on me as I understood it more. I don’t think it’s fair to materially alter my vote at this point, but felt it worth mentioning.
Con doesn’t explain this well, and despite multiple reads it was completely non-obvious what con meant. I don’t feel con really presented what the real paradox was, or justifies it to me as a voter.
While this could well be me being dumb, I can’t ask for clarification, and I’m going to be just as dumb reviewing pros arguments too: so I cannot consider this point.
6.) omnipotent paradox.
Con points out the true definition of omnipotence is paradoxical - pro agrees but clarifies “what is meant” philosophically by omnipotence. He definition in round 3 (not in the final round 5 - as claimed in cons comment objection.)
Con refuted the idea of paradoxical omnipotence as he defines it, but as pro presents a reasonable philosophical definition I view pros argument on the meaning of omnipotence more relevant, and feel that as a result, cons paradox argument does not hold water.
Con raises the standard problem of evil. This is a good attack against the existence of a loving God. I felt that the argument lacked depth - that the framing appeared to indicate that god shouldn’t allow any evil at all - which appeared to be overly simplistic in the face of pros more nuanced analysis of evil as a necessity.
I didn’t feel that Pro defended this well, but he did erode the point with the necessity of evil, he does not justify the extent of evil in order to throw out this argument.
In the comments, con objected to this, indicating that he had refuted free will: I simply didn’t mention the free will portion here as Con already won the point, and I felt it redundant.
As a result, cons basic argument on this position leads me to award this point to him, but the framing of the argument was weak.
Con argues that something can come from nothing. Because this was really mostly covered and argued as part of the KCA relating to causes, origins and the laws of physics, I won’t consider this separately. I feel this has already been covered by pros defence of the KCA.
9.) OA revisited.
So after revisiting the 4o argument - Con really established 1 weak point out of many. The KCA and paradox counter is stronger than this 1 weakly established point, so I can’t consider point 1 or 3 established for the OA. Thus the OA stands
10.) The kritik.
The Kritik is that we have no frame of reference for God, so arguing about his existence or not is largely irrational and a debate on the topic is largely nonsensical.
Pros response is pretty devastating upon first read - atheism and theisms positions are specific and in cases predictive and thus it is possible to draw conclusions about God when the claims are specific.
Con objects to this; as he feels that pro did not do a good enough job to rebut that god is unreferencable. In my view - pro gave a good argument that God is demonstrable through comparing the universe to claims - which indicates that God is either referencable or he isn’t but it doesn’t matter in the context of this debate. Con made no real counter to this, and I think in the context of what pro said, the kritik isn’t valid on its face as pro has either refuted the kritik or refuted the harms with this position.
As a result, I do not consider this portion or the harms specifically “dropped” - as I think this is covered by pros counter.
This was most contentious as I feel con mostly misunderstood the nature of my position: I felt pro could have done more, and acknowledged more in his rebuttal - however I also felt his argument wiped out cons kritik completely.
The merits warrant the invalidation of the kritik, but if viewed on the grounds of style and formality it is fractionally less clear. For the purposes of transparency and feedback - I highlighted this in my previous RfD, and chaos ensued.
I will probably keep doing this - but will be much more clear to avoid confusion.
So: summarizing this all, pro proved God existed weakly with the OA, and strongly with the KCA. Con only weakly (in my view) disproved god with the problem of evil. Matching these both up, pro has to be awarded arguments.
bump. Would love a few votes
I will be voting on this, I'm reviewing it.
I was not objecting to your vote as a moderator, but as a debater. Your vote would likely pass standards, but Tej would probably be the judge of that.
That said, your error lies here: "I don’t consider argumenfs that are dropped to be truth." By taking that position, you actively disadvantage the debater benefiting from the drop, and instead benefit the dropper. By not weighing drops more heavily than contested arguments, you do the same. That's unfair.
But, as I said, I don't want to debate it further. I think your vote is incredibly poorly and I object to it in the strongest possible terms, but I am not going to comment further.
My lack of reply, is actually because I’m putting together a more formal reply.
I disagree with much of your Opinion, but feel you deserve a full response. I appreciate also that your head moderator, so think I feel I have to explain the issues I find with your interpretation in more depth, because as it stands, I feel your response makes it harder for any other moderator to not reject my vote as stands without a clear and as concise as possible explanation from me.
I want to get to the point where you may not accept my conclusion, but you don’t think it’s unfair.
My primary issue here, is that it’s not possible for me to determine whether argument A beats argument B without using my opinion; nor is it possible to determine where the sum of those arguments is more importantly to the contention than the opponents with my opinion either. Indeed, if I take your side based on criteria not in the CoC, not outlined in the debate nor agreed with your opponent - that would be based on my opinion too.
The burden you’re demanding, is such that as a precedent it would allow moderators to remove ANY vote from anyone made on any debate.l, as the burden is impossible to meet.
I don’t consider argumenfs that are dropped to be truth, I don’t consider all the arguments you say to be dropped to be dropped (and I will get to both of those).
At the end of the day, I must use my opinion and my reasoning when assessing your arguments. I must be complete, I must transparently justify what that reasoning is and why, I must not use any external facts, nor rely on my personal opinion when it comes to whether I like your argument or not, I like the position or not, or if I like you or not. I must be logical and reasonable - but I am forced to used my opinion.
While you may not like my conclusion - and I will go into more detail - I do not believe you can fault me on any of the grounds above.
Your lack of reply indicates to me that I may have been a bit heavy-handed. I don't want to argue this further, and I urge you to vote however you feel best. I will just say, as a final note, that I strongly object to your RFD as it now stands. But, it is for you to decide how you will vote. I think that debaters have a right to challenge voter's RFDs, but only up to a point. I've reached that point, and so I'll hand the decision over to you now.
Your failure is one of weighing, but it is also one which involves a misunderstanding of how drops work. Drops make the argument ABSOLUTE TRUTH in the debate, whether or not you find the argument convincing. You can't weigh a drop against a contested argument for which you think is stronger--the drop ALWAYS wins. You can only weigh drops against a contested arguments in terms of impacts, but since this is not a debate which involves impacts, that kind of weighing cannot take place here.
I think I am winning in two ways. Off the K, which was dropped as were its impacts, making both the drop and the impacts ABSOLUTE TRUTH in the debate. Since the impact that was dropped was that "Con wins," is it ABSOLUTE TRUTH in the debate that Con wins.
I am also winning from an offense perspective, if for some inexplicable reason you did not vote Con off the first way I am winning. Because you fail to factor in Pro's wholesale drops of arguments throughout the debate--not just on the K--and because you insert your own views into the debate--not just on the K--you are misjudging who is winning most of the arguments throughout the debate itself, which is skewing your judgement. I am pretty clearly winning most of the arguments in the debate.
Okay, so the issue is not that my analysis of the kritik is unfair or incorrect, or my comparative weighting is unfair or unreasonable, but that you feel I have failed to consider that pros dropping the K argument conceded the debate. And in so doing, I have unfairly used my opinion to circumvent basic debate rules where a dropped point is a concession?
This is where you go wrong: "With this Kritik, I am injecting my opinion - NOT to determine the winner of that argument, but to determine whether this Kritik is more important in the context of this debate than the remainder of all the other arguments."
If the debaters TELL you how you should weigh that, then you have to accept that OVER you personal opinions because the goal is to minimize subjectivity. Since Pro DROPPED that the K REQUIRED a CON WIN, you as the voter have no room in which to insert your opinion. If an impact is conceded, the impact must be taken as truth as well. Since Con DROPPED the impact that the "K = Con wins," that is TRUTH for the debate.
If pro makes argument A, and con refutes with B
The con makes argument C and pro refutes with D
As a voter I have to:
Inject my opinion as to whether B refutes A
Inject my opinion as to whether D refutes C
Inject my opinion as to whether A matter more than C.
It is literally impossible not to inject your opinion into the debate when assessing rebuttals, and importance of different arguments. I have to assess pro va con on each argument, then compare each argument in the debate as a whole. That’s the whole point of voting.
With this Kritik, I am injecting my opinion - NOT to determine the winner of that argument, but to determine whether this Kritik is more important in the context of this debate than the remainder of all the other arguments. The same way I have to do so for any other argument.
I’d be expected to inject my personal opinion to determine whether Pro refuting A is more important that Con refuting C - and I have done that in the same way for the kritik as for any other argument.
The issue is not the way I’m weighting arguments - which is the only way it’s really possible to weight argument A against argument C - it’s that I’m not awarding all the points due to one kritik.
If the kritik you made was a regular argument and I weighted it against the others - pro would still win.
You’re telling me it’s unfair to award points to pro for having better arguments because I should inject my personal opinion that a technicality should count for more than all the remaining arguments.
I absolutely have inject my opinion either way - and I happened to choose the one that more fairly and reasonably reflected the individual that had the better arguments on balance.
That is EXTREMELY UNFAIR and UNREASONABLE because it is basically you picking a winner based on your arbitrary whims. Only what was said counts, not your own opinions of the merits of what was said. If I was debating you and you expressed your opinions, I could've rebutted them or explained why they were mistaken or wrong. But, when a voter uses their opinions to decide a winner, the debater doesn't get the opportunity to address those opinions in the debate, and so they get screwed by the voter who is critiquing them for apparent weaknesses that the debater never got the chance to defend or dispel.
I think I am winning most argument in the debate, because Pro just drops or misunderstands most of my arguments entirely. And those arguments Pro does offer are massively underexplained and poorly weighted.
That said, the K should trump everything in the debate, because as I said in the debate, it is a prior question to the debate. The debate cannot take place meaningfully if the K is not resolved. Pro, by dropping the K, drops the implication that the K effectively makes everything else meaningless. Once the K is won, nothing else matters because it's all literal nonsense (which is the point of the K). To the extent you agree that the K is dropped, it is hard to understand how you grant Pro the win, because nothing Pro said "mattered" or "made sense" in light of the truth of the K. Again, once something is dropped, it is treated as truth within the debate for reasons of fairness.
You're assessment of the K as poor is YOUR OWN and not supported AT ALL by what happened in the debate. You can't just pretend something exists because you don't like it--which is exactly what you're doing. You have to judge what transpired in the debate WITHOUT inserting your own opinions of the merits of the arguments into the debate. This gets to the discussion I had with Guitar earlier in this comment sections. What you're doing is essentially saying "f*ck what happened in the debate, I think this argument is trash even though Pro never showed it to be trash, so I am just gonna pretend like it doesn't exist." But that's not fair to me, because I, as a debater, don't get to defend my K against YOUR opinions; I only get the chance to defend it against what Pro says, and Pro said NOTHING.
As voting requires me to take a position on whether A refutes B, how strong A is, how strong B is. And on balance whether all A is worth more than all Bs, it requires people to “inject their opinion”, weighting, and who wins B or A in a particular argument is also fairly subjective and is downt to the person injected opinions. Writing down why I weighted it the way I did is every bit as down to my personal opinion as every other person weighting on anyone argument in anyone else’s debate. I feel my opinion is justified and have written many pages of RFd to that effect, but it is all my opinion.
The issue here, is that you feel that if you had won the kritik you should win the debate. I think that’s a fair question. while your opponent didn’t refute the kritik, I have to assess the weight of the Kritik. Is the kritik strong enough to award you all the points? Should it override everything said? Should I ignore everything else pro said and just pretend he said nothing else? That call would be injecting my personal opinion either way I made the decision.
As a facetious example, if your kritik had said “ducks are yellow, con wins”, and pro didn’t refute it, should I be compelled to asside the win regardless of all other arguments even though kritik didn’t invalidate the premise? I have to inject my opinion somewhere, if I had awarded it to you, or would have been injecting my personal opinion that your argument was sufficient enough to override all the other arguments.
On its face, I thought the Kritik was poor (obviously not ducks are yellow poor, but poor), and I had a choice of whether I should override what I felt was a reasonable win by pro on all other arguments, because there wasn’t a substantial enough rebuttal of a poor kritik.
Respectfully, I don’t think so.
Of course this, like every other portion of every other vote, is down to my opinion - but I don’t think it’s either unfair or unreasonable to have come down that way.
Yeah, I'm not going to raise too many objection to the omniscience-omnipresent thing. I think I clearly explained it, but I can see where you're coming from.
Given that, and given that in my RFD, I’ve tried to justify why I think that: and hence I don’t think it’s unfair to award points the other way.
For the omnipresent-omniscience issue, I almost added a comment requesting clarification on this. I’m going to legit admit I didn’t understand the argument, and didn’t feel it was clear what you were saying. While I don’t think I’m stupid by any means, but I could find a way to ask the question that wouldn’t give you the opportunity to affect my decision outside the context of the debate. Given that I rarely have issues with understanding, I chalked this one up to a lack of clarity. If there were fewer points, I would have asked for clarification to ensure it wasn’t me being stupid (which has happened).
After reading your reply here, I actually think it was fair - I don’t think it was particularly well explained, and thus I can’t judge the argument appropriately in context.
I was actually trying to be fair: I didn’t think it was fair to give you a chance to clairify a point in comments that wasn’t well explained in the debate for the purposes of altering my vote. This is a particularly gray area: and one I am happy to discuss for future debates.
The problem is that Pro did not really say ANYTHING about the K itself. You're essentially writing off entirely an argument that was never rebutted at all. It's one thing to have a philosophical object to a K, it's another to disregard an argument which Pro did not make any effort to rebut. It's not a technicality; it's lazy debating from Pro. You cannot refuse to count the K without admitting that you are doing ONLY because you don't want to count it, and not for any reasons related to the debate, and that's troubling. I made a good faith effort to make arguments, and one of those was the K. It was not as if I just dropped it there as some cheap out to win the debate; I clearly put effort into debating and justifying it. For you to toss it out wholesale in light of Pro not addressing it's substance AT ALL is deeply problematic and offensive to the effort I invested in it. Pro could have easily said that K's were nonsensical, that the K backfired on me, or any number of any other things, but he didn't. You should not, as a judge, be rewarding Pro for SAYING NOTHING, which is what you're doing here.
That arguments were dropped means that they weren't rebutted, so you make a false claim when you say: "While it’s true that pro did drop a number of points, I felt that many of these were already refuted." What you're basically saying is that there were certain arguments you found stronger for REASONS NOT GIVEN IN THE DEBATE, and you are choosing to prioritize those reasons over the drops (which must be treated as true FOR FAIRNESS'S SAKE, not merely as a technicality).
By injecting your own arguments into the debate, you are doing more than analyzing. You are in fact making Pro's arguments for him.
I'd appreciate it if you address each drop in turn and how that impacted you evaluation of each argument.
So for the Kritik - while you have shared BoP, for the Kritik that’s all on you, while I feel pro didn’t fully counter everything you said, my analysis of your argument was such that I didn’t feel it was compelling enough or substantial enough to give you the argument points. I don’t think it’s either fair or appropriate to hinge a debate win on some technicality when two sides both present a reasonable argument in good faith.
While I will definitely agree that there are some technicalities upon which I could have awarded you points: I think I’m the context of the debate, I’m trying to assess the arguments to determine who presented their case the best - who made the best arguments. While it’s true that pro did drop a number of points, I felt that many of these were already refuted; it was somewhat mitigated by the volume of arguments (16 individual points or rebuttals if not more), or were rebuttals to arguments I didn’t feel were particularly compelling.
In this respect as a voter, it’s hard to know what to do. I could either award you a win on the basis of a perceived technicality - or award the win to pro because I felt on balance the argument presented was better on the whole. I generally try and err on the latter side , as I feel it fairer for everyone. I’m the case of the dropped rounds and the Kritik, for these reasons I felt it wasn’t sufficient to award you the points.
This is my feeling in general - I won’t make pros arguments for him, or yours for you: but I very much will use my own analysis, interpretation, and opinion on determining how much weight to give your arguments. This is mainly so that I can generate a transparent and consistent set of reasons why one sides arguments are “better” than the other.
The summar of my RFD is really that there were a series of small arguments that were either largely (in my opinion) inconsequential, with one well argued, and quite solid argument that I feel was not addressed.
On the omnipresent-omniscient issue, I would urge you to revisit and closely read the following: "Truths are often indexical, meaning that they are indexed or linked to certain temporal states. It is 'now' the case that I am writing this argument, so the fact 'I am writing this argument' is only true 'now.' The fact is indexed to the temporal state of 'now,' and will cease to be true when 'now' is over and was not true before 'now' began."
I then wrote: "It is not possible to know indexical truths as facts when their indices are in conflict. It is not possible to know as fact that 'I have written this argument,' *at the same time as* you know that 'I am writing this argument,' as these facts contradict."
In other words, it cannot NOW be the case that "I am writing X" and that "I have written X" because the latter can only be true after "now" has passed. But, for God, is always NOW the case that I am writing, I have written, and I will write X.
I cannot say, "I have written X at the same time I will write X." That is logically nonsensical, but that is the case for God.
The explanation of the infinite regress argument is incorrect. I wrote: "Even if it were infinitely regressive (it's not), why is that impossible? With a question as complex as existence itself, how can we presume to apply our limited understanding to it? Because Pro's comment here is non-responsive, this argument provides sufficient cause to vote Con--God is not the creator of existence." Pro DROPPED this point several times in the debate, and never once responded to it, making it true within the debate itself. This means, that we must take infinite regression to be theoretically possible within the debate. At that point, Pro's objection to my counter-syllogism (which was that it resulted in an impossible infinite regression) is defeated, and my counter-syllogism's plausibility is reaffirmed.
On the force, you write: "it wasn’t intuitive how it applied, and your application of omnipresence vs a maximally great being wasn’t clear to me from your argument." The problem--as I noted several times--was that God was NOT DEFINED as a maximally great being. Recall what I said here: "Moreover, it seems that the property which would allow God to be in all possible universes is omnipresence, since we have not defined God as 'maximally great.'" In other words, the only one of the 4 properties which constitute God that could affirm the ontological argument is omnipresence, which is a trait the force shares, meaning that the ontological argument could prove the existence of the force.
Just as a couple of low hanging fruit points: in terms of omnipotence - I was treating pros counter in round two on omnipotence as the definition, his final round appeared more of a clarification.
On the grounds of infinite regress - you provided a syllogism that an infinite regress could be possible, pros primary contention was that it wasn’t. In terms of the infinite regression (and I touched upon the same thing in the OA). The problem with the KCA as pro phrased it, is that it’s a pretty convincing appeal to common sense - that it’s impossible from a philosophical point of view, I consider cons response in round 2 in the creation portion of his debate to mostly establish that (that’s why I wrapped the creation part into the KCA), I thought I had pointed out my thinking on the infinite regress side from both sides in my RfD. So in that respect I felt that pro gave enough reason to come down on his side for the purposes of the infinite regress as a result.
With the force, I simply mistyped - I meant omnipresent. With the force, here’s my issue with the argument and what I was trying to convey. When I read your argument on the force, it felt - excuse the pun - forced, it wasn’t intuitive how it applied, and your application of omnipresence vs a maximally great being wasn’t clear to me from your argument. As a result, and as pro pointed this out - though I’m giving you my take on that argument, I felt that pro gave me more of a reason, and an understandable reason to discount it than your argument in support.
But, however you vote, I do appreciate that you took the time to read the debate and to make an effort to vote well.