Instigator
Points: 27

There is no god

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 5 votes the winner is ...
vsp2019
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Twelve hours
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
4,000
Points: 25
Description
We understand how the big bang works. We know that space and time came to be at the beginning of the Universe. Therefore, If there is a god, Then that god did not create the universe because it did not have time to create the universe. We know how planets are formed from stars exploding into supernovae, We understand how light is created from the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms and how these sustain life on Earth(Photosynthesis etc. . . ). Every explanation is completely natural.
There have been plenty of cases(Flat Earth, Creationism, . . . ) where a religious explanation had to be let go for a better scientific one. Yet there has not been a single event in history where we had to let go of a scientific explanation for a better religious explanation.
God has always been used to fill the knowledge gap whenever we did not know something about the universe. "What created the Earth? We don't know therefore God did it" "Oh a supernova created the planets. Well, What created the stars then. We don't know therefore god. Oh the big bang. Well what created the big bang? Dunno so it must be god". Every time a secret of the universe has been uncovered, The answer has never been "God did it" We came to be through the process of evolution, Consciousness/mind is a product of the brain, When we die, Our body decays and we cease to be. No god is required at any step.
This thus leads to two possibilities: Either there is no god or there is a god but that god is useless, It does nothing. At most it might had a part in the starting process of the universe but then did nothing since. It has been so inactive that there is no noticeable difference between that god and a god that does not exist.
So out of these possibilities, The simplest explanation is that there is no god.
Round 1
Published:
My position is this: I have looked at the evidence and have concluded that the simplest explanation is that there is no god. However, new evidence brought forward can change my mind. 


Can you please tell me which god you believe in and why? And can you also provide your best reasons for why believe in that god?
Published:
Clarification of terms:
In the short description of the debate, Pro wrote “I am a strong atheist ,by that I mean, I have looked at the evidence and have concluded that the simplest explanation is that there is no god.”
On the Dawkins scale of atheistic conviction, the term strong atheists has the meaning of “I’m 100% sure that there is no God” [2]

Furthermore, by making the positive claim “There is no God”, Pro takes on a BoP to support this position, whereas Con does not have to prove that a God exists, but merely disprove all arguments that show that God does not exist. Otherwise, Pro would be committing an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy by claiming that God does not exist because it can not be proven that he does exist [3].
 
In relation to Pro’s question in round 1, I’m an agnostic because I think a God is impossible to rule out and that I therefore can not claim to know that no God exists.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since my opponent has not yet made any arguments I will present an argument in favour of the existence of God and am anticipating his opening arguments for his BoP in the next round.
 
Kalam cosmological argument:
P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. (since “ex nihilo nihil fit” Nothing comes from nothing)
P2: The Universe began to exist. (Supported by the big bang theory and Borde, Guth & Vilenkin, 2003, who showed that an inflationary model of the universe can not be past-eternal [4])
C:  The Universe has a cause.
This cause of the universe is what we call God (from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica).
 
Sources:


 


Round 2
Published:
Firstly, I do not use the Dawkins scale. I defined how I used the term "Strong atheist". There are many flaws in the Dawkins Scale which is why I don't use it(1). I defined the label I use for myself. I would request for this definition of said label to be used in this debate. I am not interested in arguing over labels.

Secondly, it is clear to me that you have not read the longer description of the debate. On there I give my reasoning for my conclusion on why there is no god. I will concede that I may not have followed the proper debateart.com etiquette. It is my first time using this platform. Can you please look at it this time? There is not enough space for me to paste it again here but it is fully available in the long description. So please do read it properly this time.

Kalam Cosmological argument

(1)Even if I were to grant to you that the premises are sound, the conclusion only leads to an uncaused cause, not to your god.
"This cause of the universe is what we call God (from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica)."
This is a a non sequitur fallacy(your argument is invalid because the conclusion "the cause...call God" does not follow from the premises). 

(2) "The Universe began to exist. (Supported by ... past-eternal [4]) "
 
The big bang did happen but we know that no god created it, As I explained in my opening statement. I will paste it here again: "We understand how the big bang works. We know that space and time came to be at the beginning of the Universe(aka Time did not exist before the big bang). Therefore, if there is a god, then that god did not create the universe because it did not have time to create the universe. " I am paraphrasing Stephen Hawking, a famous cosmologist(an actual expert on the big bang. In fact his work on Singularity along with Sir Roger Penrose actually led to our final understanding of the big bang). (2)

(3) "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" and "The Universe has a cause"
This is the fallacy of composition(when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole. For example: "This tire is made of rubber, Therefore the vehicle to which it is a part is also made of rubber. ") Just because everything in the Universe has a cause, It does not mean that the Universe also must have a cause. TO BE CLEAR: I am not saying that there is no cause behind the Universe rather I am pointing out that you fail to make the case that the Universe does indeed have a cause. That which can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

(4) "Whatever begins to exist has a cause"
If I grant you that "whatever being to exist has a cause", then it follows that the creator of the Universe must have a cause too. So what created the creator? And what created the Creator of the creator?" The usual response would be something along the lines of:"Well God is eternal and has no beginning.Thus it has no cause"

Well, this is an extraordinary claim and the burden of proof is on you to prove that(Prove that there is a God and one that is eternal). The Kalam cannot prove that at all). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you can prove that, I would suggest that you write a paper and get it peer reviewed. This will bring you fame and a lot of money. It will debunk the biggest discoveries about the big bang). Good luck doing that. 



Source:
(2) Read the first chapter in Stephen Hawking's book "Brief answers to the Big Questions" I summarised the argument here but Hawking goes in a much deeper  explanation.
Additional reading on cosmology:
"A brief history of time" by Stephen Hawking
"The Greatest Story ever told so far" by Lawrence Krauss
I am not a physicist so I cannot educate you but they can


Published:
While according to the DART code of conduct, everything that is placed outside the debate rounds is irrelevant to the debate, I will address your arguments nonetheless. It would be better if you placed them in the main body of the debate next time, especially when there is a very strict character limit for both debaters.

Pro started with an argument that God could not have created the universe:

“We understand how the big bang works. We know that space and time came to be at the beginning of the Universe. Therefore, If there is a god, Then that god did not create the universe because it did not have time to create the universe.”

However, this argument only argues that a God that is limited by the physical time-space laws did not create the universe, furthermore, it assumes that physical laws had any relevance at the moment the universe began to exist, which is not at all obvious since we do not know what was possible pre-Bang [1]. Furthermore, this argument does nothing whatever to disprove a God that is not bound by the physical laws but able to do everything that is logically possible (i.e. omniscient).


Pro goes on to argue (I will not cite the whole argument due to the character limit) that “No God is required at any step” because the God of the gaps argument has been used in the past and has been replaced by scientific explanations in some cases. Pro thus concludes:
“This thus leads to two possibilities: Either there is no god or there is a god but that god is useless, It does nothing.”
This argument again does not show that an omnipotent God does not exist at all, merely that some explanations have been replaced in the past. Furthermore, Pro claims that if a God existed he would be “useless” as “it does nothing”. However, if there were a creator of the universe, he would have done arguably the greatest thing ever, create the universe, quite the opposite of “nothing”. Furthermore, God is cited by many people to give them hope [2], act as the basis of their morality [3] and the majority (53%) of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives [4], which makes God seem useful, rather than useless. Additionally, God could still have guided evolution, as some believe [5] and played a part in Jesus’ resurrection, miracles, etc., the fact that some explanations have been replaced does not conclusively show that all similar explanations for other phenomena are therefore incorrect.
 

Conclusion:
Neither Pro’s first, nor his second argument show that an omnipotent creator God does not exist, as his first argument only relates to a time-bound God and assumes the state of the physical laws pre-Bang and the second argument is a non-sequitur that neither addresses the existence of a time-bound nor an eternal omnipotent creator God.

 
I will address my opponent’s criticisms of the Kalam in the next round as the character limit does not permit a rebuttal in this round.
 

Sources:




Round 3
Published:
CON argues that God is not bounded by  the physical time-space laws. This makes no sense. Whenever someone says, something is real, they have a physically measurable way of demonstrating that thing. If I say, this basketball is real. I can hold it in my hands, I can send you a photo of it etc... When it comes to more complicated matters like black holes, worm holes etc, we have mathematical equations and models that directly explain observations we make. There are physical(bounded by space and time) ways to demonstrate these things we describe as "real/exists/etc". 

However, if we go with the way CON is defining God, there is no way of measuring that. This is known as the unfalsifiability fallacy(Defining God in such a way that it is impossible to show it does not exist). (1)
This exact same argument that CON used can be used for this example:

There is a giant eternal unicorn that exists. However, it does not exist in the Universe. Just like CON's God, it exists outside the physical time-space laws. Prove that this Unicorn does not exist. It is impossible for you to do it. However, as I am the one who brought the Unicorn argument forward, the burden of proof(2) is on me to prove its existence. Similarly, if CON argues that there is a God that exists, the burden of proof is on CON to prove that there is a God that exists and that that God exists outside of space and time. I have no idea how anyone can prove that anything exists outside of space and time. Doing so, CON is sure to receive money and fame since they will then debunk the fundamental laws of physics.

When we say something exists, it is implied that we mean it exists within space and time. It makes no sense for something to exist outside of it. 
If we define God as existing outside of space and time, how can we demonstrate it? We only have tools available within space and time. We know of nothing that exists outside such parameters. If your God exists outside the laws of physics, then it is physically impossible for your god to exist. 

"This argument again does not show that an omnipotent God does not exist at all"

This is a strawman fallacy(2) as CON misrepresents my position and argues against this misrepresentation. I said that I have concluded that the simplest explanation is that there is no god but I could be proven wrong. I see no reason to believe in a god and I see reasons to believe there is no god. Therefore, I believe there is no god. It is impossible to know for a fact that there is no god for one simple reason: There are millions of definitions that people have made up for the god they believe in. For me to prove that there is no god, I will have to refute every single one of them here.


"Furthermore, God ... incorrect."  

This here is an appeal to popularity)(4). A simpler way of phrasing it would be "All these people agree with me therefore I must be right". Many people believe the Earth is flat, yet that does not make it true.  I can use that argument back on CON. You believe in a God that exists beyond space and time. however, millions of people (like many hindus and many christians/etc...) believe in a god that exists within space and time. Therefore, you must be wrong. This is why the appeal to popularity is a bad argument. The truth value of a claim is unaffected by how many people believe in it.

To conclude, CON misrepresented my position(and argued against this misrepresentation) and defined a god whose existence can neither be proven true nor false. Let us watch him now prove his unfalsifiable god. 

 
Sources:
Published:
“I am not a physicist so I cannot educate you but they can”
“I would suggest that you write a paper and get it peer reviewed… Good luck doing that.”
Let’s try to keep this debate good-natured instead of making condescending comments and attacking the other person’s character.
 

Defense of Kalam: (rebuttal of Pro's defense next round due to the strict character limit and Pro's arguments being in the description rather than the debate)
 
(1)    “Even if I were to grant to you that the premises are sound, the conclusion only leads to an uncaused cause, not to your fod… This is a non-sequitur fallacy.”
This is incorrect as I clearly wrote that this uncaused cause is what we call God: "This cause of the universe is what we call God (from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica)." Pro is correct that this does not lead to the conclusion that any specific God exists, however it supports Aristotle’s Prime Mover/Aquinas’ uncaused cause. Pro’s claim that it is a non-sequitur is therefore incorrect as the uncaused cause (from the conclusion) is what is referred to as God (Aristotle’s PM/Aquinas’ uncaused cause) and is necessarily time-less and space-less as there was no space and we now know that time is inseparably linked to space [1].
 
(2)    “The big bang did happen but we know that no god created it…  if there is a god, then that god did not create the universe because it did not have time to create the universe.”
This relies on the assumption that God is bound by the physical laws again. This is an unwarranted assumption since because it is not logically impossible for a being to be independent of the physical laws, we can not conclude that such a God is impossible. To claim that “we know” is to claim that we can be sure that no God created the universe, which is not supported by Pro’s argument as it only refers to Gods that are limited by the physical laws, while ignoring the conceptions of God as an omnipotent being.
 
(3)    Fallacy of composition “Just because everything in the Universe has a cause, It does not mean that the Universe also must have a cause.”
My opponent is attacking a strawman. I have never claimed that because everything in the universe has a cause, therefore the universe has a cause. The word “fallacy” implies invalid reasoning, the Kalam is, however, valid as if the premises are true, the conclusion necessarily follows and it argues that because the universe had a beginning, it must have a cause. The argument does not claim that because everything in the universe had a cause, the universe must have a cause. If the premises are accepted, the conclusion follows, therefore the argument does not commit a fallacy of composition (or any other fallacy, since the argument is valid).
 
 
(4)    “If I grant you that "whatever being to exist has a cause", then it follows that the creator of the Universe must have a cause too… the burden of proof is on you to prove that(Prove that there is a god and one that is eternal)”
The BoP is not on me to show that a God exists since I did not make the positive assertion that he does exist. The BoP is on Pro since Pro’s position is “There is no God” and he has the obligation to prove his assertion. Pro is trying to shift the burden of proof by committing an argumentum ad ignorantiam (there is no proof for God, therefore God does not exist…). This is logically fallacious. Pro has a BoP to fulfil, whereas I as Con have not made any assertions and just have to show that it does not follow that no God exists from Pro’s arguments.
 
Furthermore, if God did not begin to exist (which is implied by “eternal”), then God would not require a cause according to the Kalam. It is an argument for Aquinas’ uncaused cause (which he wrote is what he understands to be God in the Summa Theologica), which is timeless by definition as there was no time before the universe (and with it spacetime) existed.
 
 
 
Sources:
[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime
 





Round 4
Published:
I am not a physicist, your contribution (that there are things that exist outside space and time), if they were true, would refute most of cosmology. If you are right, you deserve fame and money. So go write that paper and get it peer reviewed. Hopefully by next year, I'll see your name being mentioned in the news. I'll keep an eye out.

My opponent seems to master the art of commiting strawman fallacies. Right from the get go, his rebuttal of my rebuttal to the Kalam is this:

"This ... space "

Firstly, the Kalam only aims to show that there is an uncaused cause(as I said earlier). As I mentioned earlier as well, your conclusion("This cause of the universe is what we call God") does not follow from the premises. Hence you committed the Non sequitur fallacy(your argument is invalid). I wish you would be honest in representing my argument. Right now, I am only repeating myself since you refuted arguments I never made. Read the last two sentences that CON wrote. Those are obfuscating language(or a "word salad" in lay terms).

CON wrote a lot and cited famous names so we think CON is smart. However, this whole diatribe can be summarised as follows: "PRO is right that the Kalam only aims to prove an uncaused cause. However, this big guy said something about a Prime Mover(another term for uncaused cause) and that is called God. " See? According to CON, Kalam's uncaused cause = Aquinas' Prime Mover = God. I can agree that the uncaused cause and the prime mover are very similar. Kalam is an argument that stemmed from Aquinas' unmoved mover. They are different but the arguments follow the same structure.

However, how does Prime Mover/Uncaused Cause = God? CON does not make that link. An uncaused cause/unmoved mover can be energy, fairies living beyond space and time/etc... With a good imagination, countless examples can be found that could potentially be uncaused causes/prime movers. He avoided responding to my argument and repeated what we already said but he used complicated language to sound smart. 

A proper analogy to that would be a kid in high school has to write an essay of 1000 words. The kid is lazy therefore he uses a lot of words to explain little so he catches up on the word limit. 

"This relies on the ... omnipotent being."

This is getting tiring but CON does not stop misrepresenting me or simply ignoring my earlier rebuttals. I already said that it makes no sense to say that something exists outside of space and time(outside the physical laws). If something exists outside the laws of physics, then it is physically impossible for that thing to exist. 

"My opponent is attacking ... cause."
 
It seems clear that CON does not understand the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I would suggest listening to the theologian William Lane Craig on how that argument works ". You don't understand the premises of your own argument. I cannot educate you on theology. Go do your research. I don't have enough characters left to explain such entry level philosophy. It would take me 400 more characters to explain the Kalam to you. I have other arguments to respond to. 

The last two paragraphs deserve to be read multiple times. CON misused the Kalam to provide evidence for a god. I pointed out that the conclusion did not follow from the premises(Kalam only proved uncaused cause) and that CON still needed to demonstrate that their conclusion does not follow. CON clearly does not understand the burden of proof. I will try and explain that. 
The Kalam aims to provide evidence for a god. Therefore CON, you are making a case for a god. You have a burden of proof
I said "I believe there is no god" so I have a burden of proof too. Hence why I made this long paragraph at the beginning.

We BOTH have a burden of proof. 

To conclude, CON failed to refute my arguments, made many strawman fallacies and failed to understand their own arguments. 

The Universe is amazing on its own, we don't need to add fairy tales to enliven it. 





Published:
“CON argues that God is not bounded by the physical time-space laws. This makes no sense.”
This argument presents the physical laws as entirely binding and necessarily correct. This is flawed for several reasons: (1) Our “physical laws” are just explanations of why the universe works as it does, therefore our explanations may be mistaken in some regards. There are however examples of physical laws being broken [1]. Therefore, presenting the discovered physical laws as entirely binding is flawed, they are descriptions of natural phenomena [2] and hence a non-physical & timeless God (which is exactly what the Kalam describes: an uncaused cause that is neither time-bound nor space-bound) can not be excluded by invoking physical laws.
“This is known as the unfalsifiability fallacy (Defining God in such a way that it is impossible to show it does not exist).”
The word “fallacy” refers to invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning [3], the source that Pro cites for this assertion does not include the word “fallacy” in reference to unfalsifiability. Furthermore, just because something can not be proven to be right or wrong, does not mean that it is definitely wrong. In the 19th century, we were unable to verify or falsify claims about the texture of the moon, nonetheless not all claims about the moon were incorrect. In the same way just because we may currently be unable to verify or falsify the existence of God (although there are several arguments such as the problem from evil which attempts to prove that no God exists; Pro has however presented no such argument), does not mean that God does not exist; that would be an argumentum ad ignorantiam.

If your God exists outside the laws of physics, then it is physically impossible for your god to exist.”
This is what all of Pro’s arguments boil down to: God is physically impossible, therefore God does not exist. This line of argument does, however, provide no reason to believe that an omnipotent being (i.e. a being that can do everything that is logically possible) does not exist. If an omnipotent being exists it would be possible for this being to break all physical laws, since it is not bound by them, only by the laws of logic.
"All these people agree with me therefore I must be right"
Pro claims that I have argued that because many people believe in God, therefore God must exist. I have done no such thing. I have responded to Pro’s claims in round 2 that if God existed he would be “useless” and “it does nothing” and showed that the mere existence of a God would be useful as his omnibenevolent nature would provide a basis for objective morality which many people base their morality on. My argument was simply that the existence of God would be useful because many people base their morality on him, I have made no assertion whatever that this shows that God exists, merely that if he exists he would be useful.
 
Closing statement:
Aside from Pro’s condescending comments, his only two arguments against the existence of God were based on the physical impossibility of God. The physical impossibility of God does however fail to prove that God does not exist since God is only bound by logical possibility, not by physical possibility. Furthermore, Pro failed to refute the conception of God as the uncaused cause (which Aristotle and Aquinas argued for, although only Aquinas referred to this as God), which is supported by the Kalam cosmological argument, which supports a time-less (as there was no time prior to the universe) and space-less (ditto) uncaused cause.Pro, therefore, failed to fulfil his BoP (since he has taken the Pro position and made the assertion "there is no god") and I have made an argument for the uncaused cause conception of God, which falsifies his position and his shifting of the BoP is unsuccessful as it would be an argumentum ad ignorantiam to argue that because there is no proof for something it does not exist (e.g. we assumed that black swans do not exist... until we discovered them in Oceania).


Sources in the comments









Added:
--> @PsychometricBrain
The vote was not moderated. The handle sign was ticked after the period closed. I am aware of the dubiousness of the vote, and it should not happen again.
#43
Added:
--> @Virtuoso, @bsh1
I noticed it as well but didn't feel like stirring up shit over something I could well be wrong about. However, I reported Raaron's vote well before the debate ended (at least 16 hours, I believe) and there is no comment from a mod saying that the vote was found sufficient although it has the "reports have been handled" tick. I would appreciate you guys checking that vote again.
Contender
#42
Added:
--> @Ragnar
I'm glad you feel the same way Ragnar.
Contender
#41
Added:
--> @Virtuoso, @bsh1
I know it's too late now, but I believe raaron's vote falls well short of the voting standards. It looks to me like a profile potentially made just to cast a vote on this debate.
#40
Added:
--> @bsh1
I'm new here, so I don't really know the rules, so thank you for telling me.
#39
Added:
--> @b9_ntt
I know you stand by your vote and that's good for you. I'm glad you feel that way. Based on that last comment of yours, I doubt you yourself know any of these things. Have a good day :)
Instigator
#38
Added:
--> @vsp2019
You did more than to criticize bad arguments. Criticizing your opponent's language is fair game; imputing a dishonorable motive to it is not. Imputing a motive is not a fact. You misunderstood the Kalam argument more than CON, and he called you on it. You said "Fallacy of composition. Just because everything in the Universe has a cause, It does not mean that the Universe also must have a cause.” The argument was that the universe has a cause because it began to exist. You also accused CON of an "appeal to popularity" when he was simply giving reasons why your statement that god would be useless was incorrect. There is much more that influenced my vote, along those same lines. I stand by my vote.
#37
Added:
--> @b9_ntt
Okay, so? That is not against the rules to criticise bad arguments. I provided evidence when saying my opponent used complicated language to sound smart and clarified what they said for the audience. My opponent misunderstood the first premise of their own argument, which is why i said that they don't understand said premise. You may think it's disrespectful but those are facts. And there is nothing wrong with stating facts and I should not have been penalised for doing so. As they often say "facts don't care about your feelings". Still, its your right to give a bad vote and I respect that. I just think that you misrepresented me with what you said in your vote since I made no ad hominem fallacies and its not deserving of a penalty to get heated. Anyway you made your vote already and I dont have to like it. Have a good day buddy
Instigator
#36
Added:
--> @vsp2019
Maybe I should have said that you were disrespectful to your opponent then. You used sarcasm several times. You also accused CON of using complicated language in order to sound smart. How could you know that? Then, the final insult: "You don't understand the premises of your own argument. I cannot educate you on theology. Go do your research. I don't have enough characters left to explain such entry level philosophy. It would take me 400 more characters to explain the Kalam to you. I have other arguments to respond to." Definitely disrespectful.
#35
Added:
--> @b9_ntt
I don't think you know what an ad hominem fallacy is.
An ad hom happens when I don't refute their argument because of a third unrelated characteristic. An eg would be saying something along the lines of: "You are wrong because you suck". Just being critical of someone being dishonest is not an ad hom
Instigator
#34
Added:
--> @Club
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: Club // Mod action: Removed
>Points Awarded: 3 points to Pro for arguments
>Reason for Decision: Con failed to state many arguments that could've possible helped him.
>Reason for Mod Action: The voter fails to sufficiently justify the argument points they award. To award argument points, the voter must (1) survey the main arguments and counterarguments in the debate, (2) weigh those arguments and counterarguments against each other, and (3) explain, based on the weighing process, how they reached their decision. The voter completes none of these steps, when, in fact, they needed to complete each of them. The voter can cast a sufficient vote by completing each of these three steps. The voter can access site voting policy here: https://www.debateart.com/rules
************************************************************************
#33
Added:
--> @Club
Which arguments were you hoping for?
Contender
#32
Added:
Holy @&>/, an amature debate on this topic which entertained me.
I'll vote when on a proper terminal later. But credit to both for the back and forth on fallacies, use of sources (I disagree with posting any in the comments, but if doing so I suggest giving a link to the comment # containing them), and general consistency.
#31
Added:
--> @Our_Boat_is_Right
I'd appreciate a vote from you since your DDO record is impressive and you seem interested in this topic
Contender
#30
Added:
--> @Chitty-Chitty
A voting competition is about to start in the Forum. Sign up for that and wait till tomorrow until you recast your vote to gain bonus points in the event ;)
Contender
#29
#5
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Starting off glossing over the initial confusion, the main contention pro attempts to show is that the best explanation for the universe is that there is no God.
Con offers the KCA in support of God, it was brief, but well formed.
Pros response was kinda four fold. That an uncaused first cause isn’t necessarily God, That the universe can’t have been created as time came into existence at that point, so there was no before. That it’s not known whether everything that began to exist requires a cause as this is just our observation of our world. The final response from pro is basically stating that the KCA is special pleading.
Cons response is effectively to try and argue that pro has an exceptional burden of proof, where he has to show that God is impossible; the framing of the debate is that “no god is the most likely scenario”. Con points out a set of speculative properties of God being outside the laws of physics. Con points out that despite pros contention - that God does have specific uses.
Pro replies that con is defining God in a way that is unfalsifiable. Pro also points out that pro is attempting to misconstrue the argument. Con also argues that pro is arguing from popularity concerning the reasons why God is useful.
On the three issues of Kalam. Con defends by saying that an uncaused first cause is what God is. It’s hard for me to judge this without a definition of God. I am staggered by the number of times debaters on both sides don’t define terms!
The second point was arguing that God exists outside the laws of physics - which isn’t so much of a defense given the issue of the resolution above.
The third issue I think con confuses - pro is using that things require a cause and the universe may not as an attack on the first premise. Con appears to be arguing the logic applies to the argument as a whole.
Finally con again argues that pro has the burden of proof for the claim.
In the final round, pro argues that the uncaused first cause isn’t God, and the link between God and the cause isn’t established by Kalam.
This is mostly rehashed by both sides in the final round.
Reviewing everything, in the context of the debate as framed in the description and opening round: this debate isn’t about proof or disproof - but of plausibility and as a best explanation.
In this vein, pro outlines a set of good reasons why God not existing is the best explanation. Cons inability to explain how the KCA linked to a being (commonly understood as God for me - as god wasn’t defined), and his repeated reliance on claiming pro hasn’t disprove God makes me feel that pro established his burden.
Arguments to pro.
Conduct: in the last few rounds, pro became increasingly petulant. This includes:
“My opponent seems to master the art of commiting strawman fallacies.”
“I wish you would be honest in representing my argument.”
“Those are obfuscating language(or a "word salad" in lay terms).”
Pro was respectful throughout, and I felt pro crossed the line with his language in the final round.
Conduct to con.
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
(1) In the first round, CON made a strawman by pretending PRO uses the Dawkins scale even though PRO defined their terms. PRO explained it to CON but CON kept using the wrong definition that PRO said he does not use.
CON also failed to understand PRO's rebuttal of the Kalam and CON kept misrepresenting PRO's rebuttal. PRO properly refuted the Kalam and CON kept going in circles which slowed the conversation down
CON lied by pretending PRO was not respecting the rules while PRO has not done that.
(2) Both sides were heated towards each other(Which is fine in a debate) PRO was misrepresented against from the get go and that can justify PRO's response. CON could have easily responded to the long description but decided to slow the conversation down by not responding and instead just giving the Kalam and accusing PRO of not meeting their BoP.
Tie for the other two since both used similar sources(logicallyfallacious website and non academic websites) and neither made gross grammatical mistakes.
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
REBUTTAL TO PRO
CON, R2: Pro started with an argument that God could not have created the universe.
PRO, R2: We understand how the big bang works. We know that space and time came to be at the beginning of the Universe. Therefore, If there is a god, Then that god did not create the universe because it did not have time to create the universe.
CON, R2: ... this argument only argues that a God that is limited by the physical time-space laws did not create the universe, furthermore, it assumes that physical laws had any relevance at the moment the universe began to exist, which is not at all obvious since we do not know what was possible pre-Bang. ... this argument does nothing whatever to disprove a God that is not bound by the physical laws but able to do everything that is logically possible (i.e. omniscient). ... it is not logically impossible for a being to be independent of the physical laws, we can not conclude that such a God is impossible. [I totally agree with CON here.]
PRO, R3: Con argues that God is not bounded by the physical time-space laws. Whenever someone says, something is real, they have a physically measurable way of demonstrating that thing. ... However, if we go with the way Con is defining God, there is no way of measuring that. This is known as the unfalsifiability fallacy (Defining God in such a way that it is impossible to show it does not exist).
... Con ... defined a god whose existence can neither be proven true nor false. I said that I have concluded that the simplest explanation is that there is no god but I could be proven wrong. It is impossible to know for a fact that there is no god for one simple reason: There are millions of definitions that people have made up for the god they believe in. For me to prove that there is no god, I will have to refute every single one of them here.
When we say something exists, it is implied that we mean it exists within space and time. If we define God as existing outside of space and time, how can we demonstrate it? We only have tools available within space and time. We know of nothing that exists outside such parameters. If your God exists outside the laws of physics, then it is physically impossible for your god to exist. [I agree with CON.]
CON’S ARGUMENT
CON, R1: I will present an argument in favour of the existence of God ....
Kalam cosmological argument:
P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. (since Nothing comes from nothing)
P2: The Universe began to exist. (Supported by the big bang theory and Borde, Guth & Vilenkin, 2003, who showed that an inflationary model of the universe can not be past-eternal [4])
C: The Universe has a cause.
This cause of the universe is what we call God (from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica).
PRO, R2: Even if I were to grant to you that the premises are sound, the conclusion only leads to an uncaused cause, not to your god.
CON, R3: Pro is correct that this does not lead to the conclusion that any specific God exists ....
[I agree with PRO. CON should have made the connection between the Kalam arg. & the god CON is arguing for more explicit.]
PRO, R2: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause” and “The Universe has a cause”
This is the fallacy of composition.... Just because everything in the Universe has a cause, It does not mean that the Universe also must have a cause.
CON, R3: My opponent is attacking a strawman. [Kalam] argues that because the universe had a beginning, it must have a cause. The argument does not claim that because everything in the universe had a cause, the universe must have a cause. If the premises are accepted, the conclusion follows ....
PRO, R2: I am not saying that there is no cause behind the Universe rather I am pointing out that you fail to make the case that the Universe does indeed have a cause. [I agree with CON.]
PRO, R2: If I grant you that "whatever being [sic] to exist has a cause", then it follows that the creator of the Universe must have a cause too. So what created the creator?
CON, R3: ... if God did not begin to exist (which is implied by “eternal”), then God would not require a cause according to the Kalam.
I also agree with CON on the burden of proof dispute: PRO said, “There is no god.” CON did not have to prove a god exists, CON had only to refute PRO’s arguments. There wasn’t space here for me to elaborate on that.
PRO accused CON of appealing to popularity for one of his arguments. I agree with CON's response that that was not what he was doing. Not enough space to expand on this one either,.
NOTE: I awarded a conduct point to CON, because PRO made several ad hominem comments.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Argument point:
Round 1 Pro began with a claim and an imperative
1. The evidence says the simplest explanation is no God.
2. I would like you to tell me which god you believe in.
Only the first statement is relevant to BoP. The second one is more of a suggestion of how Con might try to refute the first claim, so it's arbitrary.
Pro did not make any attempt to provide support or elaboration of his claim.
Con's opening was a counter argument stating that Pro had committed an argument from ignorance fallacy and then presented the positive claim that it is impossible to disprove the existence of a god. Con makes no direct attempt to support this claim, but rather presents an amended version of the Kalaam that had the god assumption added in the conclusion by definition.
Con wrote the amendment clearly enough where I could intuitively connect the dots, but semantically speaking, the structure was invalid. Con should have use extra premises two draw the god by definition conclusion after presenting the Kalam in order to create proper logical entailment. This somewhat hindered my ability to accurately interpret the data.
Round 2
Pro uses the long description in an attempt to justify his R1. In my opinion, it would have been more productive to put the main premises in the opening argument for better clarity. Pro's long description defines the argument, but does not provide the evidence for his claim.
Most of Pro's rebuttals revolved around claim that the premises were not sound because they made extraordinary claims, but Pro did not explain why this was the case.
One key point Pro made was that The Kalam only points to an uncaused cause and not god specifically. This was important because Con had not properly connected the god assumption as I pointed out before.
Con makes some good counterpoints, but misses the mark as a whole, Con claims that god isn't proven of not being outside of time and space, but provides us no reason as to why this is problematic or even possible. This bordered on incoherence.
Con falsely claims that he need only rebut arguments that Pro makes, this is not the case, Con must make relevant positive claims that are defeaters to Pro's claim, otherwise, Con can never score better than a tie.
Following Rounds.
At Round 3, the arguments starting to circle the drain. No new points were introduced and Neither side attempted to elaborate or amend their initial arguments.
This one is tough to call because I'm not sure either side met their burden. In the end, I am forced to side with Con because There was sufficient reason to show that Con could call the source of universe God regardless of what it was. This may be defining God into existence, but Pro's topic and opening statement invited the opponent to define god and Pro presented the argument as being all inclusive (saying there's not evidence for any God) So Con ultimately defeated Pro's position. Just barely though.
All other points tied.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con failed to state something that does not abide by physical laws which could have improved his case by providing an explanation of how nothing can come from nothing but that detail was not given. Even though the charcter limit was at 4k. Con only used 1942 characters in Round 1 which was more than enough to provide an explanation for his point of view. There was an instance where Con did state that the physical laws can be broken but did not say how this can mean God. Pro is correct when he said "how does Prime Mover/Uncaused Cause = God? CON does not make that link.". This problem was not addressed. The burden was higher on Con but Pro is right in stating that the link was not found in Con's argument. Pro made this point " then it is physically impossible for that thing to exist." which was not rebutted sufficiently by Con. The problem was that Con needed to find something that is not bound by the physical laws. Con did but did not state how God can be found in it.
Sure this debate could have had more characters but Con did accept the debate I am sure knowing full well the 4k character limit. Pro was not as Con was saying his conduct was which is why it is at a tie.
Everything else is also a tie.