Debate Challenge

Drew_theist
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Debate Challenge

This is a re-post of a thread started in Killing them with kindness.

 

The most basic philosophical question that can be asked is why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What (if anything) caused our existence?

The two most basic philosophical beliefs regarding this question are:

1. We are the result of plan and intention by a personal agents(s) who caused us to exist.

2. We are the unintended result of mindless forces that unintentionally caused our existence through blind happenstance.

I'd be happy defend proposition 1 and oppose proposition 2.

Any takers?


MrRage
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Drew_theist wrote: The most

Drew_theist wrote:
The most basic philosophical question that can be asked is why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What (if anything) caused our existence?

Drew_theist wrote:
I have no idea why God exists rather than no God exists nor do I invoke some dubious mental construct that God must exist. I never claimed to know why God exists. I do however have an opinion about why something exists (such as this universe and us) exists just as many atheists and materialists do.

To me, "Why does God exist rather than no God exist?" is much more basic than the same question about the universe. Even if we were to settle the questions you asked in your favor, we'd still be stuck on why God exists rather than God not existing, and you admitted to not knowing the answer. We'd just move the question up to a different level.

The construction Vessel was using isn't so dubious. Vessel's argument reminds me a lot of (but is not the same as) Russell's Paradox. Maybe if you can wrap your head around that one, you can see where Vessel's coming from. I'm not tying to demean you, but some arguments in logic are rather subtle and require some "digestion."


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Drew_theist wrote: I’m

Drew_theist wrote:

I’m not referring to genesis I am referring to Big bang cosmology which still appears to be backed by solid evidence. And BB theory does describe the universe as spontaneously coming into existence

Okay, you're refering to some other creation myth that states the God of the bible created everything.  If you argue there was absolutely nothing then existence came into existence that would place your god in the category of nothing.  I'll agree that your god is as real as an orange turnip growing on the armpit of a gnome.  However the BB theory doesn't state that everything was spontaneously generated out of nothing, it all came from pre-existing matter as I have mentioned before. 

 

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You better re-read some of these posts because I am not the one suggesting that matter and energy always existed. I have been arguing with Vessel against the notion that anything has to exist.

I know you aren't the one who is arguing the accepted scientific position, I never indicated you were.  I'm well aware that you are making unsupported assertions without backing up your claims.  If you did then you'd revolutionize science, but I won't lose any sleep waiting for your position to be supported.

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I think the term supernatural is a moving target. For example 200 years ago, the notion of traveling forward in time would be deemed a supernatural act. Now we know time is relative and if we could travel fast enough, we would move forward in time relative to people not moving fast. 

That said the cause of the universe is supernatural, it was an agent apart from the universe, the laws of nature or time. What we call natural are agents that operate in time within the universe and are bound to the laws of nature. 

Right on cue someone will suggest (minus any evidence such a thing is possible) that maybe the universe came into existence uncaused out of nothing. If so then existence of the universe is itself is a supernatural inexplicable miracle. 

I hope someone offers such a possibility because I love to point out that even though atheists routinely claim they don’t believe in theism because of lack of evidence, lack of evidence never stops them from believing what they want to believe…

That's a nice claim about the creation of the universe to be a supernatural act.  You have anything to back that up with other than another unsupported assertion and wishful thinking? 

Quote:
Are you suggesting the universe sprung into existence from a pre-existing black hole?

I'm not suggesting, I'm simply repeating what the current scientific theory is. Now some might argue with quantum theory about matter spontaneously generating but it may just be more to do with the inability to measure the matter since the research is new and the facilities to study the phenomena very few.

Quote:
The debate isn’t between you and me or the other atheist zealots on this board, its between me and other people who are coming to this board who are not born again atheists and Godaphobes.

I was born an Atheist the first time and I don't fear non-existent gods.  So ignoring your pathetic whine, how about supporting your position rather than just making more excuses and unsupported assertions? 


Drew_theist
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Triften,   Quote: You

Triften,

 

Quote:
You seem to be restating the watchmaker argument. We haven't seen other universes, therefore, making assumptions about how they start (i.e. feeling a creator is necessary) is fallacious.

 

I don’t know that a Creator is necessary just as you don’t know one isn’t. The fact the universe began to exist is evidence in favor of a Creator, not proof of one.

 

Quote:
You are still misunderstanding the very concept of time. If the universe was compressed into a singularity, there is no change as long as it stays that way, therefore there is no "time". Time does not exist in such conditions.

 

So time began to occur, right?

 

Quote:
An infinite chain requires no start.

 

Agreed, that is why I think the cause of our existence whether a personal intelligent agent or impersonal mechanistic forces is an eternally existing uncreated causer of our reality. Such by our reckoning would also be supernatural, after all there can’t be a natural explanation for something that always existed right?

 

Quote:
In truth the reason that something exists can be explained simply as I have already shown.

 

I’m done with your dogmatic belief something always had to exist. You’ve had your chance to present evidence such is true and all you could offer were other unsupported assertions and your own personal incredulity. I can’t tell you to move on but I can tell you I am moving on.

 

Quote:
It seems that you have been forced to admit that you can't even answer your own question as to why there is something instead of nothing:

 

I never intimated I had an answer. It is still a legitimate question your dogmatic beliefs not withstanding.

 

Quote:
How did this god, that you imagine, supposedly create the universe? By what means? Did he have to create a top hat first to pull it out of, or did he just wave his supernatural hand and go abra cadabra?

 

How did your impersonal mechanistic forces supposedly create a universe? I have no idea how God or impersonal forces cause a universe to exist. Nonetheless I believe the cause was intelligent as opposed to mindless forces and that is the debate I am attempting to engage in.

 

Quote:
All I need is for you to explain how exactly god turned nothing into the universe, or whatever it was he turned into the universe, and then we will have a good start.

 

Why? Do you require a mechanistic explanation of how the universe came to exist in order to believe it was caused to exist by mindless impersonal forces? If not then why should you require an explanation of how intelligent forces caused it?

 

Mr.Rage

Quote:
To me, "Why does God exist rather than no God exist?" is much more basic than the same question about the universe. Even if we were to settle the questions you asked in your favor, we'd still be stuck on why God exists rather than God not existing, and you admitted to not knowing the answer. We'd just move the question up to a different level.

 

Good point, I think our existence is mysterious at best. If so how can anyone claim with any degree of certainty a Creator wasn’t involved as you people do on a good atheist day wearing your no god badges?

 

D-Cube,

 

Quote:
Okay, you're refering to some other creation myth that states the God of the bible created everything.

 

No I’m not, I never said I was a Christian or believed in the bible. I’m a theist.

 

Quote:
However the BB theory doesn't state that everything was spontaneously generated out of nothing, it all came from pre-existing matter as I have mentioned before.

 

On what basis would you call the stuff a singularity is made of matter? It operates outside the boundaries of time and scientists say the laws of physics (nature) break down or are not applicable to the singularity. Lastly, there is no model of what would cause the singularity to morph into a universe.

 

Quote:
That's a nice claim about the creation of the universe to be a supernatural act. You have anything to back that up with other than another unsupported assertion and wishful thinking?

 

What ‘natural’ model do you propose?

 

Quote:
I'm not suggesting, I'm simply repeating what the current scientific theory is. Now some might argue with quantum theory about matter spontaneously generating but it may just be more to do with the inability to measure the matter since the research is new and the facilities to study the phenomena very few.

 

You are repeating scientific speculation at best and you offer such because it dovetails with your belief in a mindless mechanistic cause of the universe which doesn’t require evidence of its validity, a standard you hold for theism but waive in the case of your own beliefs.

 

Quote:
So ignoring your pathetic whine, how about supporting your position rather than just making more excuses and unsupported assertions?

 

I am supporting my position and I am throwing down the gauntlet.

 

1. We are the result of plan and intention by personal agents(s) who caused us to exist.

2. We are the unintended result of mindless forces that unintentionally caused our existence.

I'd be happy defend proposition 1 and oppose proposition 2.


Are you ready to step up to the plate?


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Quote: I’m done with


Quote:
I’m done with your dogmatic belief something always had to exist. You’ve had your chance to present evidence such is true and all you could offer were other unsupported assertions and your own personal incredulity. I can’t tell you to move on but I can tell you I am moving on.

Do you understand the definition of the term dogmatic? If you would please illustrate  how anything I have said is dogmatic it would be appreciated. If not it will simply be another one of your numerous unsupported assertions. Typical. 

 

Quote:
I never intimated I had an answer. It is still a legitimate question your dogmatic beliefs not withstanding.

It is no more a legitimate question than why nothing instead of something? In fact I see no way in which 'why something instead of nothing' can be considered a legitimate question. It assumes the possibility of something we have no reason to believe possible. 

 

Quote:
How did your impersonal mechanistic forces supposedly create a universe? I have no idea how God or impersonal forces cause a universe to exist. Nonetheless I believe the cause was intelligent as opposed to mindless forces and that is the debate I am attempting to engage in.

There are several possibilities as to how impersonal forces could cause a universe to exist as Todangst has been kind enough to point out to you. Even those, however, are by no means a necessity as there is no reason to think a cause is necessary at all.

Now, all I'm asking for is for you to offer one possibility as to how a god turns nothing into something. You seem to think, without any reason, that the fact there is something instead of nothing requires that there be a cause by which this something exists. You then formulate this intelligent force to fit the role of this cause that you unnecessarily require. But then you are unable to explain how that force has anything to do with what you create him to do. And I will go ahead and assume, as I am positive it is the case, that you can't say one thing about what this entity consists of either.

So you postulate an unknown entity to account for an uneccessary cause by unknown means and you call this evidence of the unknown entities existence. Doh! Wow, I am in awe of your rationality.

It is obvious that you have nothing but fantasy to offer.  

 

Quote:
Why? Do you require a mechanistic explanation of how the universe came to exist in order to believe it was caused to exist by mindless impersonal forces? If not then why should you require an explanation of how intelligent forces caused it?

I do not believe it was created by mindless impersonal forces so I don't need a mechanistic explanation. You, however, believe that intelligent entity caused it so you should have an explanation of how that is possible, what that entity acutally is, and why that  entity is necessary. Otherwise, it is in fact a completely irrational proposition.

As I said, you have nothing to offer. You are wanting to have a debate but the fact is you don't even have an actual position. You only have a position based the the statement "I understand nothing about the existence of the universe, therefor God."

 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Drew_Theist, wake me up when

Drew_Theist, wake me up when you plan on entering the debate.


Drew_theist
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Vessel,   Quote: There

Vessel,

 

Quote:
There are several possibilities as to how impersonal forces could cause a universe to exist as Todangst has been kind enough to point out to you. Even those, however, are by no means a necessity as there is no reason to think a cause is necessary at all.

 

The mere existence of a possibility of an impersonal cause is not a substitute for evidence. You don’t deny it’s possible a transcendent personal agent caused the universe to exist, right? Unlike you I don’t categorically deny the possibility the universe and our existence was caused by mindless impersonal forces. I think otherwise do to the reasons I’ve stated so far and other reasons and evidence I will submit.

 

Furthermore unlike you I don’t deny the possibility the universe came into existence uncaused. What I don’t see is evidence or reason to think that is true and a lot of evidence that is disconfirmatory of that belief.

 

Quote:
You seem to think, without any reason, that the fact there is something instead of nothing requires that there be a cause by which this something exists.

 

Your mistaken, I think there was a personal intelligent cause of the universe due to the fact something exists rather than nothing among other reasons I will submit. I have to do this in a spoon feed manner.

 

Quote:
You then formulate this intelligent force to fit the role of this cause that you unnecessarily require.

 

I don’t require a cause but I think a cause very likely considering the preponderance of evidence that events have causes.

 

Don’t just offer the possibility the universe had no cause…support such a contention with evidence like you demand of me or is that just a one way street on the atheist highway?

 

Quote:
But then you are unable to explain how that force has anything to do with what you create him to do.

 

That’s correct. I have no idea how nuclear power plants are constructed either but I have ample reason to believe it was an intelligent cause.

 

Quote:
And I will go ahead and assume, as I am positive it is the case, that you can't say one thing about what this entity consists of either.

 

No, nor did I claim to have such knowledge. Do you have any knowledge how a universe comes into existence uncaused out of nothing?

 

Quote:
So you postulate an unknown entity to account for an uneccessary cause by unknown means and you call this evidence of the unknown entities existence.

 

I believe the entity often referred to as God is intelligent and personal. Do you have evidence a cause is unnecessary or is that just another axiomatic dogmatic fundamentalist belief we have to accept because it comports with your worldview?

 

Quote:
I do not believe it was created by mindless impersonal forces so I don't need a mechanistic explanation.

 

Oh? Then what do you believe?

 

Quote:
You, however, believe that intelligent entity caused it so you should have an explanation of how that is possible, what that entity acutally is, and why that entity is necessary. Otherwise, it is in fact a completely irrational proposition.

 

No I don’t. I only need provide evidence it was more likely an intelligent personal cause than a mindless impersonal cause to make my case.


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Quote: The mere existence


Quote:
The mere existence of a possibility of an impersonal cause is not a substitute for evidence.

It is exactly what you will use for evidence of your ghosty friend.  

Quote:
You don’t deny it’s possible a transcendent personal agent caused the universe to exist, right?

It is possible a transcendent personal agent caused the universe to exist, yes. Is that supposed to be a point towards something? An almost infinite amount of things are possible. The fact that we have never seen evidence to suggest that there exists a transcendent personal agent is good reason, however, to not hold a belief that such an agent caused the universe. It is irrational to believe such a thing. The existence of the universe is in itself not evidence for this intelligence. 

Quote:
Unlike you I don’t categorically deny the possibility the universe and our existence was caused by mindless impersonal forces. I think otherwise do to the reasons I’ve stated so far and other reasons and evidence I will submit.

I don't categorically deny that possibility either. Where have I done such a thing? Oh, I see, you were simply asserting that in an unsupported manner. 

So far, you have not provided any reasons. You have said you have no idea why there is something instead of nothing and that  you don't have any idea how an intelligent personal agent can cause a universe and that you don't know what an intelligent personal creator actually is. Yet, you somehow think the existence of a universe is evidence of this intelligent personal creator. If you have evidence, out with it.

 

Quote:
Furthermore unlike you I don’t deny the possibility the universe came into existence uncaused. What I don’t see is evidence or reason to think that is true and a lot of evidence that is disconfirmatory of that belief.

I don't deny the possibility the universe exists uncaused. Again you claim that I have said something I have not. The problem is that you can't use the term 'came into existence' here as that would imply that there was nothing existing before this occured and nothing can not exist nor can 'before this occured' in this scenario.

 

Quote:
Your mistaken, I think there was a personal intelligent cause of the universe due to the fact something exists rather than nothing among other reasons I will submit. I have to do this in a spoon feed manner.

So, even though you have no good reason to think that the fact that something exists as opposed to there being nothing (the possibility of which is still unsupported) needs or has an explanation, as evidenced by the fact that you offer no reason why your intelligent personal agent exists, you find the fact something does exist as opposed to nothing to be evidence of something. Stellar! You, my friend, should get an award. 

Now if you have any real evidence out with it already. 


Quote:
I don’t require a cause but I think a cause very likely considering the preponderance of evidence that events have causes.

What event are you referring to?  

 

Quote:
Don’t just offer the possibility the universe had no cause…support such a contention with evidence like you demand of me or is that just a one way street on the atheist highway?

I don't need evidence the universe had no cause. I have not proposed that to be true.

Quote:
That’s correct. I have no idea how nuclear power plants are constructed either but I have ample reason to believe it was an intelligent cause.

No, but you already know the intelligent cause that created the nuclear power plant exists, goofy. You are not using the existence of the nuclear power plant as an argument to support the existence of an otherwise unevidenced intelligence that created it as you try to do with the universe. If you were, I would expect you to be able to show how this intelligence would be able to create a nuclear power plant from whatever materials were available to it. Come on, please think before replying with unrelated analogies. You are just spouting theist soundbites.

 

Quote:
No, nor did I claim to have such knowledge. Do you have any knowledge how a universe comes into existence uncaused out of nothing?

No, but I don't need to. I'm not trying to use the existence of the universe as evidence of a nothing nor have I claimed the universe came into existence uncaused out of nothing. You have claimed that a personal intelligence created the universe and you are trying to use the universe as evidence of the personal intelligence's existence, therefor you should be able to show how these two things are related.

 

Quote:
I believe the entity often referred to as God is intelligent and personal. Do you have evidence a cause is unnecessary or is that just another axiomatic dogmatic fundamentalist belief we have to accept because it comports with your worldview?

I don't say a cause is unnecessary. I simply say it has not been shown to be necessary, and being as that it is not necessary the fact that the universe exists is not evidence of anything aside for the fact that something exists. 

And I'm neither dogmatic nor a fundamentalist. Those are just more unsupported assertions. It seems to be all you are capable of.

 

Quote:
Oh? Then what do you believe?

I believe there is not nearly enough evidence at this time to determine why the universe exists. For what good reason would I believe anything further? I certainly am not going to make up a personal intelligence for which there is no evidence to account for the fact that I don't know why the universe exists or if it need sa reason or cause to exist at all. 

 

Quote:
No I don’t. I only need provide evidence it was more likely an intelligent personal cause than a mindless impersonal cause to make my case.

In order to be able to provide any evidence of anything you need to be able to show why we should consider the universe to be evidence of anything. So far you have done nothing but create an imaginary need and fill it with your predetermined cause. As I said, you really have no argument. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


triften
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Drew_theist

Drew_theist wrote:

Triften,

 

Quote:
You seem to be restating the watchmaker argument. We haven't seen other universes, therefore, making assumptions about how they start (i.e. feeling a creator is necessary) is fallacious.

 

I don’t know that a Creator is necessary just as you don’t know one isn’t. The fact the universe began to exist is evidence in favor of a Creator, not proof of one.

I'm disagreeing with your assertion that it would be evidence of a creator.

 

 

Drew_theist wrote:

Quote:
You are still misunderstanding the very concept of time. If the universe was compressed into a singularity, there is no change as long as it stays that way, therefore there is no "time". Time does not exist in such conditions.

 

So time began to occur, right?

That's how it appears to be and the universe would have existed for all of it. 

 

Drew_theist wrote:

 

Quote:
An infinite chain requires no start.

 

Agreed, that is why I think the cause of our existence whether a personal intelligent agent or impersonal mechanistic forces is an eternally existing uncreated causer of our reality. Such by our reckoning would also be supernatural, after all there can’t be a natural explanation for something that always existed right?

 

Is "supernatural" merely something we can't explain? In the same way that lightning was considered supernatural?

Why can't there be a natural explanation for it?

-Triften 


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So the idiot is a nazi. I

So the idiot is a nazi. I don't find that suprising in the least.