The Instigator
kyleniel
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
GuitarSlinger
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

God isn't needed for the existence of the universe.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
GuitarSlinger
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 91,204 times Debate No: 118944
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (177)
Votes (7)

 

kyleniel

Pro

Before there was the universe, There was nothing, Nothing, And only nothing can come from nothing, As logic says. However, In this nothing, There is nothing to support logic, So it is possible for something to come from nothing. It is also possible for the world to come from this nothing. So, There is no need for a deity.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Before there was the universe, There was nothing" - Not so sure you can assert this statement as fact. What I would argue is that something existed, But it did not consist of matter.

I think a better way to state this is "The material universe exists now. However, Before the material universe existed, It did not exist. It came to exist at some point". Would you agree as to a restate of the premise?

Using logic, And observing the world around us, We can observe/deduce the following:

1. Everything that exists, Needed something else to make it exist-- some other "agents" to bring about it's existence. That rock on the road. That tree over there. The car I drive. The computer you use. The cell phone you use. Heck, Even me and you. We did not "pop into existence" -- some other agents were necessary to bring about their existence. None of these things came into existence on their own. We observe this with our senses and science pretty much confirms this.

2. One can pretty much observe this with pretty much everything in the Material universe. You can ask this question pretty much about everything and you arrive at the same conclusion : "______________ needed something else (perhaps multiple things) to bring about it's existence. "

3. If one asks this question repeatedly, One ultimately arrives at the question of "What about matter itself? What brought matter into existence? " (reminds me of Rocky and Bullwinkle-- Wassamatta U. ).

4. Having observed things do not bring themselves into existence (see #1 and #2 above), It stands to reason that "Matter could not have brought itself into existence". Matter could not cause itself to exist-- it would need something that is "not" matter to bring about it's existence. Or, Put another way, Something "outside the material universe" would have been necessary to bring about the existence of Matter. Or put another way, Something "Immaterial" would be necessary to bring about the existence of matter.

So while I agree, "matter" could come from nothing. I would argue, SOMETHING is necessary to bring matter into existence, Since matter could not have come into existence of it's own accord. If it could, This would fly in the face of everything we observe in the material universe, Both with our senses and/or scientifically. This something would have to be immaterial (i. E. Not composed of matter itself).
Debate Round No. 1
kyleniel

Pro

1. Nothing can come from itself, It needs an external cause. So there was nothing. It's fact from its logical consistency.

2. Well, Even if something is necessary, It isn't necessarily a deity. It could be a force.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Rethinking your original post, Your argument is making an assumption that is presumed to be true: the fact that there was "nothing" before the universe came to be. Would you agree that is an assumption, And not necessarily a Truth?

I would rather say, "before the universe came to be, There was something that was NOT the universe". Now, That "something" could be either "nothing", Or it could be "something" else. I simply do not know. But I would not presume to assert as a Truth that there was absolutely nothing. . . . . .

Regarding your two points.

1. "Nothing can come from itself, It needs an external cause. " Logically speaking, This statement doesn't make sense. It, In a sense, Refutes itself. On the one hand you are saying "nothing can come from itself". That statement can actually be reworded to say "nothing can come from nothing" (substituting "itself" with "nothing", Since "itself" refers to "nothing"). But then you go on to say "it needs an external cause". Which means, If it needs an external cause, Then "nothing" can not produce "nothing"-- something other than "nothing" would be needed to produce "nothing".

This 2nd part refutes the first part-- if it needs an external cause, It needs something that is NOT nothing to cause it.

Put simply, That argument goes like this (would you agree that "itself" refers or equates to "nothing" in your statement? ). IN the argument below, "X" = "nothing" and "Y" = "itself".
Consider X and Y
1. X can come from Y, It needs an external cause.
2. X equals Y, Therefore
3. X can come from X, It needs an external cause. <---- this doesn't make sense, For if X could come from X, It would not need an external cause.

2. I will agree with you-- while logic would dictate that the Material universe would need something that is im-material to create it (i. E. Not of the material universe), This doesn't necessarily point to a GOD that created it. Let's just call it, For lack of a better word, An "Entity". Now, We are starting to see some of the characteristics of this "Entity". Or, If you want, We could even call it "Force". We've already arrived at one of the characteristics of this "force' (or entity)
1st Characteristic - Immaterial - this entity can not be composed of Matter for reasons explained above. It would defy logic set forth in the above arguments.

Keep in mind, I"m not yet calling this thing a "God", I'm just setting forth a characteristic. . . . . It would be like me saying "Man, I see this big thing in front of me. I don't know what it is, But it is Grey. " It might be too soon for me to call it an elephant, But we know something about this thing before me-- it's grey. As we start to use our reason and intellect, Perhaps this big thing will be revealed to us. Same with God. Let's not call this entity "God" yet-- let's just call it "Entity". And we know it's immaterial (not made of matter).

As a corollary to the first characteristic, A by-product of this would be this "Entity" is would not be detectable or measurable by science (as we know it). Why not? Well, Put simply, "science" measures/observes the physical material universe around us. So this Entity, As explained earlier, Would have to be "outside the physical universe". This thing. . . This entity. . . This force has no physical dimensions that could be observed (remember, It's outside the physical material universe).
Debate Round No. 2
kyleniel

Pro

What I meant was no object can come from itself.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Exactly. So, To re-state-- it has been observed that every object/creature/thing in the material universe can not create itself, Or bring itself into existence. An external cause is necessary. If one keeps asking this question of everything in the universe, One ultimately arrives at the question of "What about matter itself. How did matter come into existence. "

It follows that in order for "matter" to come into existence, Something outside of "matter" (i. E. Not made of "matter") would be necessary to create "matter".
Debate Round No. 3
kyleniel

Pro

Well, That still doesn't refute my point that it isn't necessarily a god.
GuitarSlinger

Con

Excellent observation. I think before we continue, We should probably do something we should've done in the beginning, Before we started, And that is, Agree to what a "deity" is.

*** So, May I ask you, How would you define "deity" (or if you prefer, How would you describe "deity"). ***

I ask this because I want to make sure we start off right. I want to make sure you're not expecting a "deity" to be something or do something that just isn't logical. I've had arguments where folks had the position to something akin to this: "A god (deity) should be able to make a triangle with only 2 sides ". Then, When I argue that isn't possible because it isn't logical, They counter with, With arms folded and a victorious smile on their face, "See! God doesn't exist. If an all-powerful God exists, He should be able to do ANYTHING. "

Please don"t' spend time dissecting my example above- I hope you get my point. I would just prefer we start off right and see what we both expect a "Deity" to be.

The other thing I suspect is that this discussion might take more than 5 rounds-- 50K characters is not a lot of space to discuss/debate something like "God" (Aquinas et al have written VOLUMES on the topic). Nonetheless, I"ll do my best.

Now. Back to your most recent argument. While I didn't refute your point that a "deity" isn't necessary, I think what I did argue or explain is that "some thing" is necessary to create the material universe, And that this "thing" could not be part of the material universe-- it had to be "outside" of the material universe, Not made of matter, And thus immaterial. So, This "thing" that created the material needs to be "immaterial". Would you agree?

The path I"m taking is a different path--- I'm trying to reveal characteristics of "what" created the universe. An analogy would be this: I can do my best to reveal to you the characteristics of this object in front of us. I can tell you it's large, It's grey, It has big ears and big legs, It's noisy, It's smelly, And it has a trunk. At the end of the day, If you don't believe it's an elephant, Not sure there's much more I can do, Especially if in the very beginning we agree that an "elephant" has these characteristics. At the end of the discussion you can argue, "well, If it"s an elephant, Why are there peanuts here? If this was in fact an elephant, The peanuts wouldn"t be here, Since elephants eat peanuts". Or you might say, "Nope -- an elephant is supposed to have a large horn in the middle of it's head. " I might argue that say "Hey now, You're changing your idea of what an elephant is. " I'll still challenge/debate, But I might question some things. I"m willing to debate (argue) subsequent points after debating / arguing the preliminary points.

One final point, As we debate, I'd like to address issues singularly, And not open up and try to address all issues/questions that may come up later. Let's discuss and put to rest a point, And then move on to the next. A simple analogy would be you and I are driving with a truck load of merchandise, And we come to a huge chasm/canyon in the road. You may argue we need a bridge to get everything across, I may say "No, Not necessarily. We don't HAVE to have a bridge to get everything across". You may counter with "Well, How do WE get across? How do we get all our merchandise across? Etc etc". Let's first settle the question IS a bridge the only means of getting across? Let's not try and address all subsequent questions that arise, Unless we absolutely have to. You get my point?
Debate Round No. 4
GuitarSlinger

Con

GuitarSlinger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
177 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 81 through 90 records.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
yea but the amorphous clouds, Crystals et al do not change on their own. . . They need outside forces (agents), Do they not? You said it yourself. . . Change happens with the mutual interaction of the constituents. . . . So without the other constituent (the outside agent), The change wouldn't happen. Am I correct?
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger

"I disagree. What we are living in is not the Big Bang itself, But the results of the Big Bang. The big bang isn't happening right now. . . . "
That has been a prevailing view for a long time, That the universe is sort of like a fragmentation bomb, The explosion happened long ago, The pieces are still flying apart from each other. It was thought that if we could measure the Hubble constant we could determine if the universe would asymptotically approach some positive expansion rate (open), Or asymptotically approach zero expansion (flat), Or reverse into contraction (closed).

It turns out, That with better measurements and taking the age of the objects into consideration (as opposed to only their distances) we now see that none of those are the case, Rather, The expansion rate is increasing.

So, Rather than thinking of the universe beginning as a fixed amount of material that was subjected to an instantaneous application of force at the big bang which would necessarily be slowing its rate of expansion due to mutual gravitation, The picture that has emerged is of a universe that began as a mutual expansion, Inflated as a mutual expansion, And continues to increase its rate of expansion.

Thus, The big bang is an ongoing process that we are in the midst of.

"Things don't change themselves. . . . "
False premise.
Amorphous clouds of gas and dust become solar systems by mutual forces.
Crystal grow by mutual forces.
Change occurs by mutual interaction of constituents.

It is ancient thinking to suppose the wind blows because of a wind god, Or the sun shines because of a sun god, Or disease happens because of evil spirits or the universe began because of a universe god.

Ancient people ascribed agency to explain the unknown, Falsely, Just as you are today with respect to your imagined universe creating agent, More's the pity.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
"GuitarSlinger "
"Not so. God would not need a Creator. "
Ad hoc.
Special pleading.
The term "immaterial" is incoherent. What is god made of if not material? Absolutely nothing at all? Then god does not exist. If god material can be eternal then material can be eternal, And thus there is no need for a god in the first place. Again, The speculation of god solves no logical or physical problem.

1. Consider Y
2. Consider Z
3. Y can not create itself
4. Y needs Z to create it.
Ad infinitum. . .
Your argument solves nothing and only introduces an infinite regression of gods creating gods.

"Then it would imply Y is not matter"
Y must be material or else Y does not exist. In what sense can a thing exist that is not material or a process of material? How can a thing be a thing at all if it is no thing, Literally, Nothing?

If god is nothing then god does not exist. If god is not nothing then god is not no thing and god is therefore a thing. A thing, You speculate, That has properties, But properties of what? How can no material have any properties at all?

The very word "immaterial" is simply incoherent babble.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
"Would you say the same thing as dreams, Ideas, And concepts? We have no observation of these. "
Ideas are a process of existent material, The brain. Does fire exist? No, Not as a static material object. Fire is a process of material, As are dreams, Ideas, And concepts.

"Would you say those are also just speculation of the imagination? "
I know my own dreams, Ideas, And concepts are really my ideas dreams and concepts because I am self aware. My self awareness by itself demonstrates nothing about reality outside my dreams, Ideas, And concepts, Which potentially might be, And for all of us from time to time certainly are, Illusory speculations with no realization outside of our imaginations.

You may dream of god, You may have an idea of god, And you may have a concept of god, And those ideas really are your ideas, Those dreams really are your dreams, Those concepts really are your concepts, But none of them have any demonstrated realization outside of the functional processes of your brain.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
@StardustPsyche

**We have direct observation of the material and no observation of god. Eternal material is the evidenced conclusion. God is mere speculation of the imagination. **

Would you say the same thing as dreams, Ideas, And concepts? We have no observation of these. Folks like to say we observe brainwaves, But that is not observing "idea" itself, Simply it's effect or cause. And yet, Would you say those are also just speculation of the imagination?
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
@StardustPsyche

**"Well, What created 'matter'"? :
Asked and answered. Further, What created god? If god exists and god requires no creator then an existent thing can be eternal absent a creator, Thus material can exist eternally absent a creator. **

Not so. God would not need a Creator. What I was referring to is Matter.

1. Consider X
2. Consider Y
3. X can not create itself (my premise being what we observe in the physical material universe tells us matter can not create itself).
4. X needs Y to create it.

I would agree that Y would also need a creator if it is of the same substance/nature/essence as X (i. E. Matter). But if X (matter) needs Y to create it, Then it would imply Y is not matter. So you can't necessarily say Y needs a creator. Which is basically saying non-material (immaterial, Things not made of matter) require a creator. I would then challenge you to back up the claim, Either with evidence or logic.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
@StardustPsyche

I disagree. What we are living in is not the Big Bang itself, But the results of the Big Bang. The big bang isn't happening right now. . . .

Ok. Call it what you want. Everything that is being transformed (changed) requires an outside agent to transform it (change it). Things don't change themselves. . . .

It's not incoherent. It's common sense based on what we observe. My gut tells me you agree that things "die". . . "decay". . . . Perhaps you simply want to go with your phrase "transformed? ".
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
"Item #1 - Who is saying (matter/energy) can not be created or destroyed? "
Straw man. I stated a conditional. I stated the evidence of observation. I did not make a positive assertion of the negative case.

No scientifically verified observation of matter/energy being created or destroyed has ever been published. You may speculate otherwise if you wish.

"Our own experience tells us that material things can not exist forever. "
Conflation, Between a "thing" meaning an identified organized collection of material, As opposed to the material that "thing" is composed of. All observed organizations of material come and go. No material is ever observed to be created or destroyed in these continual re-arrangements.

" if it's made of matter, It needed something else to create it. "
False premise. Material organizes itself without the need for an outside organizer. For example, A snowflake. Do you suppose god creates each and every one by his will? Amorphous water molecules in the atmosphere organize themselves into intricate structures absent a creator.

"Well, What created 'matter'"? :
Asked and answered. Further, What created god? If god exists and god requires no creator then an existent thing can be eternal absent a creator, Thus material can exist eternally absent a creator.

We have direct observation of the material and no observation of god. Eternal material is the evidenced conclusion. God is mere speculation of the imagination.

" logic tells us 'matter' could not have existed forever, Because we see material things needing to be created. "
Conflation between collections of organized material and their constituent material, Again, See above.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
@GuitarSlinger
"If there is a God, Then it means what we do here on Earth (our actions) does have meaning, "
Non-sequitur. Even if the speculation of a god that created our existence were true that would say nothing about our having ultimate meaning since such a god might have a purposeless, Unconscious, Or accidental power of creation, Such as the apprentice of the sorcerer is portrayed to have had.

"The "big bang", As understood by scientists, Is not a "thing" we live in"
Yes it is, The expansion of our our big bang continues at an increasing rate and we are a part of it.

" If we observe pretty much everything around us being created, And dying, Then it's reasonable to deduce that the universe (and the matter it contains) had to have had a creation point. "
False premise. We never observe any material around us being created or destroyed, Only transformed.

"1. To think that the universe had a creation point, Which is supported by observable evidene that says everything around us needs something else created? "
False premise. We never see any material created.

"We do not observe anything around us having had existed forever"
Incoherent. How could one ever observe anything forever? How long do you expect to live? Forever perhaps?

We never observe material created. We never observe material destroyed. We observe material. The only evidence based conclusion is that material has always existed and will always exist. Alternatives are unevidenced speculation.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
A@StardustPsyche

Item #1 - Who is saying (matter/energy) can not be created or destroyed? Humans? Science? The laws of thermodynamics state this, Correct? In fact, Science does not state that matter/energy has always existed-- I've yet to see a science say definitively that this has been proven. And yet, Our own experience tells us that material things can not exist forever. I believe you just stumbled on another attribute of this "creator"-- whatever created matter must exist outside (not bound) by the laws of thermodynamics as we know it.

2. I never said "all existent entities require a creator", What I say is "all existent entities MADE OF MATTER require a creator. " So, My statement still stands: if it's made of matter, It needed something else to create it. Your argument is basically saying the same thing I needed: IF X exists, Then X needed Y to created it. And Y needed Z, And so on and so on, Ad infinitum. But my argument is, This applies for objects made of matter. That is why I'm saying, You can keep asking this question forever, You ultimately arrive at the question, "Well, What created 'matter'"?
a) It follows that what created 'matter' could not be composed of 'matter'
- logic tells us 'matter' could not have existed forever, Because we see material things needing to be created.
- logic tells us that 'matter' could not have created itself, Because this goes against what we observe all around us.

My assertion is that X (matter) needed a creator Y which is not made of matter. If the creator Y is made of matter, Then it too would need a creator Z. If this creator Z is made of matter, It too would need a creator Z1, Etc. Etc. What I'm asserting is that creator Y is NOT made of matter. This aligns logically with what we observe around us with all of creation (material things).
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 3 years ago
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Have to award con the points for debating. Con gets conduct as pro forfeited (understandably but still).
Vote Placed by Debaticus 3 years ago
Debaticus
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Litterally 1 word arguments from the instigator
Vote Placed by dinachen 3 years ago
dinachen
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree more with GuitarSlinger, cause it wouldn't make sense for the universe to just appear for no reason.
Vote Placed by eXclusua 3 years ago
eXclusua
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: As a subject, I agree that God is not need for the existence of the universe. However, my votes were based upon who had better arguments and logical tangents of thoughts that supported an opposing point of view - this was definitely GuitarSlinger
Vote Placed by Juris 3 years ago
Juris
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am an atheist but i judge objectively. PRO made absolutely no effort to argue. Con's arguments aren't convincing but at least he put an effort. A poor argument is better than no argument at all. I am not trying to insult anyone here though.
Vote Placed by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con made the better arguments.
Vote Placed by DebaterDracon 3 years ago
DebaterDracon
kylenielGuitarSlingerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Literally next to zero input from kyleniel. They provided points and then gave next to no effort in replying to the counter arguments provided by GuitarSlinger.

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