A Challenge to Alpha Male
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27-02-2014, 02:22 PM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(27-02-2014 12:11 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  My position is fairly simple. Just as a side note, proving or disproving god isn't the route I want to take here, since I believe either task to be impossible.

1. I am unconvinced by any argument for god's existence.

OK. I find the first cause and design arguments to be compelling. These of course can lead to most any god and do not specifically get you to Christianity (I'm assuming you know I'm a Christian).

Quote:2. I am unconvinced by any argument for the existence of any particular, personal god, as revealed through religion.

3. I am unconvinced of the divinity of any scripture.
I'm a Christian, but as the Bible says I don't have faith the size of a mustard seed, so I don't know if I should be classified as "convinced" or not.
Quote:4. I am unconvinced by arguments from faith, and don't consider them to be even a mildly good way of achieving anything close to knowledge.
Not sure what you mean by an argument from faith - is this the same as an argument from personal experience? If so, I agree. Or mostly agree. My personal experience is very meaningful to me, but I'm not swayed by other people's personal experience. I couldn't be a Christian if I were, as Christianity IMO claims exclusivity, but people of other religions claim personal experiences similar to hose of Christians.

Personally, I credit God with delivering me from drug addiction, and from keeping my marriage together through many difficulties. But I don't expect you or anyone else to accept that.
Quote:5. I consider the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity not only to be false and fraudulent, but immoral and harmful to society as a whole.
False and fraudulent - considering your beginning statement that gods can't be disproved, this language seems overly strong. Your "unconvinced" positions were more in line with your opening.

Immoral - morality is subjective. You can think whatever you want.

Harmful to society as a whole - is this harm gross or net? It's trivial to find examples of harm caused by religion. However, when critics claim that religion is a net harm to society, I take exception, unless they specify that it's merely opinion. There's no way to objectively quantify the benefit and harm from religion. There are just too many factors and no way to get the information. Similarly atheists tend to praise science and technology, but fail to note the harm that those do. Again, there's no way to objectively determine whether there's a net benefit or harm.
Quote:6. I am unconvinced by Creationism or Intelligent Design.
While as noted I find the philosophical argument from design to have merit, I too am unconvinced by creationism and intelligent design - and evolution. I'm unconvinced by origins research in general. I find it interesting and some bits more compelling than others, but none come close to convincing for me.
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27-02-2014, 02:53 PM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
Quote:OK. I find the first cause and design arguments to be compelling. These of course can lead to most any god and do not specifically get you to Christianity (I'm assuming you know I'm a Christian).

This is an excellent place to begin. I promise we will get to the rest of your response to my initial list, but this is an excellent beginning.

I don't find the argument of first cause to be compelling because each cause would itself require a cause. If we can call the "first cause" god, what caused god? If god does not require a cause, how can we know that the universe also does not require a cause? If we can suppose that either god or the universe does not require a cause, than the universe does not require god to exist. Even if we say he does exist, simply for sake of argument, he doesn't appear to perform any function at all that is not already inherent to the universe, so why bother naming him? It appears this sort of god is optional and irrelevant, but not harmful to the believer or anyone else.

Design is far to complex an issue for me to dismiss in one paragraph. Perhaps you can tell me what about design philosophically is compelling to you?

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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27-02-2014, 03:45 PM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(27-02-2014 02:53 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is an excellent place to begin. I promise we will get to the rest of your response to my initial list, but this is an excellent beginning.

I don't find the argument of first cause to be compelling because each cause would itself require a cause. If we can call the "first cause" god, what caused god?
God is uncaused and eternally existent.
Quote:If god does not require a cause, how can we know that the universe also does not require a cause?
Because science claims to know the age of the universe. Something with a beginning has not existed eternally.

Some have tried to get around this by proposing a cyclical universe. A cyclical universe has a big bang, then expansion, then contraction back to a singularity, then another big bang, rinse and repeat. This would allow an eternally existing universe. However, no model has been created which fits with what we know about the universe, such as the rate of expansion.

A steady state universe could also be eternal, but like the cyclical, it doesn't fit with certain observations.
Quote:If we can suppose that either god or the universe does not require a cause, than the universe does not require god to exist. Even if we say he does exist, simply for sake of argument, he doesn't appear to perform any function at all that is not already inherent to the universe, so why bother naming him? It appears this sort of god is optional and irrelevant, but not harmful to the believer or anyone else.
As noted, we can't suppose that the universe does not require a cause, as it had a beginning. So, I'll hold off on addressing this part for now.
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28-02-2014, 10:32 AM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(27-02-2014 03:45 PM)alpha male Wrote:  God is uncaused and eternally existent.

May I ask how you know that? If we are merely saying so because we need a first cause, couldn't we choose anything, given we know nothing of the first cause?

The first cause argument for god is unique since it doesn't actually argue for any specific deity as taught in modern revealed religion. The god of the first cause is unknown to everyone. The first cause does not argue for intervention in human affairs, communication, miracles, or even creation. Even if the first cause argument is conceded on my side, we are left with a nebulous deistic being, and all our work is yet ahead of us if we intend to make it all the way to Christianity.

Just to clarify, I know you aren't arguing the first cause supports the existence of the Christian god. I didn't meant to imply that.

Quote:Because science claims to know the age of the universe. Something with a beginning has not existed eternally.

Since the age of the universe is measured by the expansion rate and cooling after the big bang, it can only measure time since the big bang. It tells us nothing of how long the universe existed in some form before the big bang, or why it exploded to begin with. Since we have no real means of determining the "beginning" I feel comfortable saying it is possible that the universe could be without a cause.

There is also the trouble of sorting out "when" when it comes to the origins of the universe, since with the universe's existence comes the existence of time. Outside of the universe, there is no such thing. So, without time to measure, is there even a "when"?

It doesn't bother me that humanity does not have the answers to everything related to our origins, because I do not take issue with truthfully admitting I do not know. In my opinion, it is better to say that I do not know, than to invent an explanation and then choose to believe it regardless of what evidence may interrupt the process in the future.

I am not implying that this is your route. I do not yet know. I simply prefer lack of knowledge to fantasy. When I get answers, I prefer them to be as accurate as possible.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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01-03-2014, 06:46 AM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(28-02-2014 10:32 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  May I ask how you know that? If we are merely saying so because we need a first cause, couldn't we choose anything, given we know nothing of the first cause?
The first cause argument takes the existence of the universe and the principal of causality and reaches the logical conclusion that either the universe has existed eternally, or the universe was created by an eternally existing agent. So, no, we can’t choose anything. We logically have an eternally existing agent which can create a universe – i.e. a god of some sort.

Quote:The first cause argument for god is unique since it doesn't actually argue for any specific deity as taught in modern revealed religion. The god of the first cause is unknown to everyone. The first cause does not argue for intervention in human affairs, communication, miracles, or even creation. Even if the first cause argument is conceded on my side, we are left with a nebulous deistic being, and all our work is yet ahead of us if we intend to make it all the way to Christianity.

Just to clarify, I know you aren't arguing the first cause supports the existence of the Christian god. I didn't meant to imply that.
Yes, I noted myself that this argument “can lead to most any god and [does] not specifically get you to Christianity.” We haven’t agreed that we’re trying to make it “all the way to Christianity.”

Quote:
Since the age of the universe is measured by the expansion rate and cooling after the big bang, it can only measure time since the big bang. It tells us nothing of how long the universe existed in some form before the big bang, or why it exploded to begin with. Since we have no real means of determining the "beginning" I feel comfortable saying it is possible that the universe could be without a cause.

There is also the trouble of sorting out "when" when it comes to the origins of the universe, since with the universe's existence comes the existence of time. Outside of the universe, there is no such thing. So, without time to measure, is there even a "when"?
We don’t know what occurred before the big bang, but we can examine the possibilities and see if they point in a uniform direction.

1. The universe didn’t exist in any form before the big bang, or the concept of “before the big bang” is meaningless: This gives us the base case we’ve been discussing, i.e. the universe had a beginning, and the logical implication is that a god of some sort (an eternally existing creative agent) created it.

2. The universe existed eternally as a singularity before the big bang: we would expect that if the universe had existed eternally as a singularity, it would continue as a singularity unless acted on by an outside force. An agent outside the universe which can manipulate the universe is a god of some sort.

3. An objection to 2 is that the natural laws are thought to have come into existence just after the big bang. Since they weren’t in effect at or before the big bang, we can’t reasonably conclude that an eternally existing singularity could not change form apart from manipulation by an outside agent. However, if the singularity can exist eternally and then change form on its own, it is itself an eternally existing agent which can create a universe – i.e. a god of some sort. This scenario could lead to pantheism as well as deism.

So, each scenario leads to some sort of god. Atheism hasn’t been tenable since confirmation of the big bang.
Quote:It doesn't bother me that humanity does not have the answers to everything related to our origins, because I do not take issue with truthfully admitting I do not know. In my opinion, it is better to say that I do not know, than to invent an explanation and then choose to believe it regardless of what evidence may interrupt the process in the future.

I am not implying that this is your route. I do not yet know. I simply prefer lack of knowledge to fantasy. When I get answers, I prefer them to be as accurate as possible.
Are you saying that I’ve invoked fantasy in this analysis, or just making an aside – or making a disingenuous spin?
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04-03-2014, 01:20 PM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(01-03-2014 06:46 AM)alpha male Wrote:  The first cause argument takes the existence of the universe and the principal of causality and reaches the logical conclusion that either the universe has existed eternally, or the universe was created by an eternally existing agent. So, no, we can’t choose anything. We logically have an eternally existing agent which can create a universe – i.e. a god of some sort.

Of course, that leaves out the possibility that their could be an infinite regress of causes. I don't feel that we can be confidant in selecting a possibility, when there are several others and we don't have any other information to help make that selection.

I could be utterly convinced by your argument, assume that the universe was created by an eternally existing agent, and then come to find out that the universe has existed eternally all along. I prefer admitting that I shouldn't come to any conclusion without evidence.

Quote:We haven’t agreed that we’re trying to make it “all the way to Christianity.”

Unless I am mistaken, you are a Christian, are you not? Are you sure you wouldn't eventually like to argue for the Christian deity?

Quote:We don’t know what occurred before the big bang, but we can examine the possibilities and see if they point in a uniform direction.

1. The universe didn’t exist in any form before the big bang, or the concept of “before the big bang” is meaningless: This gives us the base case we’ve been discussing, i.e. the universe had a beginning, and the logical implication is that a god of some sort (an eternally existing creative agent) created it.

I don't find your implication of a god logical by any means. I find it possible, but ultimately irrelevant. Given the complexity of the universe, it is logical to assume such complexity is necessary in the creator. If the creator is likewise complex, he also requires a complex creator. This can continue forever, or we can once again say "he exists eternally" which flies directly in the face of the causality we needed to assert god to begin with. Around and around we go.

Quote: An agent outside the universe which can manipulate the universe is a god of some sort.

I don't agree with your assumption that given an "outside agent" it must be god. I don't see any evidence that would exclude an unintelligent force, or an object, or a gigantic elephant for that matter. All causality requires is there be a cause, not that it be "god". I can replace it with Santa Clause for all the good it would do me.

Quote:So, each scenario leads to some sort of god. Atheism hasn't been tenable since confirmation of the big bang.

Atheism, as I am sure you know well, is not a doctrine. It is always tenable, because it is a position of doubt and skepticism. Since when is unbelief, for lack of convincing argument or evidence, not the safest position?

Obviously I don't agree with your conclusions about causality, but never mind that. Let's imagine for a moment that you are completely right. I assert that given an "outside agent" or "god" that exists eternally and created the universe, we gain absolutely nothing practically or philosophically. There is no difference in the result here and now, which is that we live in a universe and we have to get on with our lives. This "god" doesn't intervene or reveal anything to us. This "god" is in no way specified. This "god" has no context of any importance in our lives. Believing in this deist god doesn't rule out evolution as fact. We lose nothing by way of disbelief.

Quote: Are you saying that I’ve invoked fantasy in this analysis, or just making an aside – or making a disingenuous spin?

Yes. You insist on "the god hypothesis" when there are many other alternatives that are apparent from your arguments. Your position seems fantastical to me. You obviously prefer the first cause to be "god". Given that you are a Christian, you look suspiciously as though you are beginning with god as a goal, and then looking for logical means of proving it.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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08-03-2014, 05:51 AM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
First cause
Quote:I don't agree with your assumption that given an "outside agent" it must be god. I don't see any evidence that would exclude an unintelligent force, or an object, or a gigantic elephant for that matter.

It’s not an assumption. A natural object, being or force cannot be an outside agent by definition of singularity. I thought that was apparent but I suppose I should have noted it. All matter, energy, and space are within the singularity. An outside agent is necessarily supernatural, as the singularity is the entire universe.

Quote:All causality requires is there be a cause, not that it be "god". I can replace it with Santa Clause for all the good it would do me.

If Santa Clause exists apart from the singularity and can create or manipulate it, then Santa Clause is a god of some sort.

Quote:Of course, that leaves out the possibility that their could be an infinite regress of causes.

So far the only causes that are logically possible are gods of some sort. With an infinite regress of gods, you still have a god as the creator and/or manipulator of the singularity. If you have an infinite regress of something other than gods in mind, you need to make that argument.

Quote:Your position seems fantastical to me.
What definition of fantasy are you using?

General Debating Issues
Quote:I don't feel that we can be confidant in selecting a possibility, when there are several others and we don't have any other information to help make that selection.

I could be utterly convinced by your argument, assume that the universe was created by an eternally existing agent, and then come to find out that the universe has existed eternally all along. I prefer admitting that I shouldn't come to any conclusion without evidence.

You challenged me to a debate. A debate necessarily entails uncertainty. Topics likely to be debated between a theist and atheist have been debated for millennia by smarter people than us without resolution. It’s disingenuous for you to now claim that certainty is important.

If you require certainty, you may as well quit the debate, as you’re unlikely to get it. You knew or should have known that coming in.

If you continue, you should retract this position, as I’ll probably be able to use it against you later.

Quote:You obviously prefer the first cause to be "god". Given that you are a Christian, you look suspiciously as though you are beginning with god as a goal, and then looking for logical means of proving it.

Wow, that’s quite the NSS (No Shit, Sherlock) observation. Yes, I’m a theist and I’m arguing in favor of god. You’re an atheist and are arguing against gods. That’s not suspicious, it’s completely expected.

Relevance to daily life
Quote:Obviously I don't agree with your conclusions about causality, but never mind that. Let's imagine for a moment that you are completely right. I assert that given an "outside agent" or "god" that exists eternally and created the universe, we gain absolutely nothing practically or philosophically. There is no difference in the result here and now, which is that we live in a universe and we have to get on with our lives. This "god" doesn't intervene or reveal anything to us. This "god" is in no way specified. This "god" has no context of any importance in our lives. Believing in this deist god doesn't rule out evolution as fact. We lose nothing by way of disbelief.

Yes, many philosophical topics lack relevance to daily life. People still take positions on them and debate them.

Relevance to Christianity
Quote:Unless I am mistaken, you are a Christian, are you not? Are you sure you wouldn't eventually like to argue for the Christian deity?

No, I’m not sure of all things I would eventually like to do. For purposes of the first cause argument, I don’t need to be.

Complexity
Quote:Given the complexity of the universe, it is logical to assume such complexity is necessary in the creator. If the creator is likewise complex, he also requires a complex creator. This can continue forever, or we can once again say "he exists eternally" which flies directly in the face of the causality we needed to assert god to begin with. Around and around we go.

Complexity is not a part of my argument.
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10-03-2014, 12:32 AM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(08-03-2014 05:51 AM)alpha male Wrote:  It’s not an assumption. A natural object, being or force cannot be an outside agent by definition of singularity. I thought that was apparent but I suppose I should have noted it. All matter, energy, and space are within the singularity. An outside agent is necessarily supernatural, as the singularity is the entire universe.

I hold to my argument that you are making an unfounded assumption. You presuppose that there is anything "outside" of this "singularity". You presuppose the entire supernatural realm, and most especially its "creator".

Quote:All matter, energy, and space are within the singularity

That doesn't leave you anything. Fortunately, there don't appear to be any rules against making the rest up.

Quote:If Santa Clause exists apart from the singularity and can create or manipulate it, then Santa Clause is a god of some sort.

That "if" at the beginning ought to be at font size 50, all the better to emphasize just how crazy it is just to assume that there exists anything outside of the singularity. I typed it in bold, but it isn't enough.

I think it says everything about your position that I can assert the existence of a Santa Claus god, and it fits the evidence just as well as any other. I may as well imagine the giant floating penis god who inseminated the world into existence. That at least would provide me with juvenile entertainment.

Quote:With an infinite regress of gods, you still have a god as the creator and/or manipulator of the singularity. If you have an infinite regress of something other than gods in mind, you need to make that argument.

I think it perfectly possible that the universe has always existed. We simply don't know that it required a cause at all, and that is enough for me to exclude the first cause entirely, let alone god.

Quote:What definition of fantasy are you using?

I think you are making god up. I think it is an idea made up in your head. I couldn't possibly be plainer.

Quote:You challenged me to a debate. A debate necessarily entails uncertainty. Topics likely to be debated between a theist and atheist have been debated for millennia by smarter people than us without resolution. It’s disingenuous for you to now claim that certainty is important.

If you require certainty, you may as well quit the debate, as you’re unlikely to get it. You knew or should have known that coming in.

If you continue, you should retract this position, as I’ll probably be able to use it against you later.

If you had read, listened to, or watched any of the debates that have been "going on for millennia", you would already know that Atheism is entirely a position of uncertainty, especially when it comes to what no honest person can possibly be certain of. It is worth the time and effort to demand evidence for a proposition so important, and the religious have failed to supply a single convincing argument or piece of evidence.

I am surprised to find you ignorant of such a basic point. Certainty, after all, is the crux of the matter. As with any other subject, people can be brought from ignorance and skepticism to understanding by means of evidence and convincing logic. This is the route of all fact based concepts. It is only when discussing religion and god that all that is required for certainty of facts, is faith. Let faith and facts fight as many rounds as you like, in the end it will be even more obvious just how uncertain and insecure you, and every other believer, really is. I am not surprised at all that you don't like it, since demanding evidence from the god hypothesis may as well be a cancer to it. If god was a successful proposition backed by evidence, those smarter people than us, that you mentioned before, would have already concluded this debate. As of now we have "I don't know everything", and "god did everything". It is your certainty that will be used against you in this debate, not my abstinence from magical non-explanations.

Quote:Wow, that’s quite the NSS (No Shit, Sherlock) observation. Yes, I’m a theist and I’m arguing in favor of god. You’re an atheist and are arguing against gods. That’s not suspicious, it’s completely expected.

Is it also a NSS observation to point out an NSS observation? I do enjoy irony.

Obviously you don't grasp just how much of a leap you have really made. I am accusing you of beginning with "I think god's exists because Christianity says so" and then making your way from there to logical arguments on behalf of god's supposed existence. Anyone using the scientific method would have done the reverse, beginning with the question, not the conclusion. It is easy to see the process when you talk about the first cause, since it is the guiding force of your assumption of "outside the singularity". If you didn't need a peg to put god into, we wouldn't need an "outside". As it turns out, we need neither to explain anything.

Quote:Yes, many philosophical topics lack relevance to daily life. People still take positions on them and debate them.

Your philosophical topic in particular lacks relevance to this debate, given that even a victory on the point of the first cause, gives us no understanding of the first cause. Oh, except that it's "god", because you say so. People may debate irrelevant topics, but people with convincing arguments generally don't.

Quote:Complexity is not a part of my argument.

I don't particularly care if it is part of your argument or not. It is part of mine. I think raising the issue of complexity is not only obvious and necessary, but an excellent means of exploring your circular reasoning. I said it as perfectly as I ever will right here.

Quote:Given the complexity of the universe, it is logical to assume such complexity is necessary in the creator. If the creator is likewise complex, he also requires a complex creator. This can continue forever, or we can once again say "he exists eternally" which flies directly in the face of the causality we needed to assert god to begin with. Around and around we go.

I would interested to hear why you think that a complex being does not require a complex designer, just as the universe does.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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14-03-2014, 05:37 AM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(10-03-2014 12:32 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I hold to my argument that you are making an unfounded assumption. You presuppose that there is anything "outside" of this "singularity". You presuppose the entire supernatural realm, and most especially its "creator".

Incorrect. You’re taking a page from the RobbyPants school of debate. I take the time to make a logical argument, than you pretend I just assumed it. I gave the reasoning. I’ll repeat it:

1. An eternally existing singularity would logically continue to exist as a singularity unless acted upon.

2. Something that acts upon the singularity is outside the singularity.

3. As the singularity is the entire natural universe, something outside the singularity is supernatural.

4. As this something outside the universe acts, it is an agent.

5. “A god of some sort” is a reasonable description of a supernatural agent able to create and/or manipulate (depending on the particular scenario) the universe.

Challenge the points. Don’t act like I’m making assumptions when I’m not.

Quote:I think it says everything about your position that I can assert the existence of a Santa Claus god, and it fits the evidence just as well as any other. I may as well imagine the giant floating penis god who inseminated the world into existence. That at least would provide me with juvenile entertainment.

What it says is what I noted from the beginning: “These of course can lead to most any god and do not specifically get you to Christianity.” You said, “Just to clarify, I know you aren't arguing the first cause supports the existence of the Christian god.” Why are you now trying to make an issue out of something that was stipulated from the beginning?

Quote:
I think it perfectly possible that the universe has always existed.

You can think what you like, but your position is irrational. Something cannot both be eternal and have a known age.
Quote:We simply don't know that it required a cause at all, and that is enough for me to exclude the first cause entirely, let alone god.

How do we know that something requires a cause? This sounds ad hoc but I’ll wait for your criteria.

Quote:I think you are making god up. I think it is an idea made up in your head. I couldn't possibly be plainer.

Why is an idea made up in someone’s head necessarily fantasy? This also sounds ad hoc, but again I’ll wait for your explanation.

Quote:
If you had read, listened to, or watched any of the debates that have been "going on for millennia", you would already know that Atheism is entirely a position of uncertainty, especially when it comes to what no honest person can possibly be certain of. It is worth the time and effort to demand evidence for a proposition so important, and the religious have failed to supply a single convincing argument or piece of evidence.

I am surprised to find you ignorant of such a basic point. Certainty, after all, is the crux of the matter. As with any other subject, people can be brought from ignorance and skepticism to understanding by means of evidence and convincing logic. This is the route of all fact based concepts. It is only when discussing religion and god that all that is required for certainty of facts, is faith. Let faith and facts fight as many rounds as you like, in the end it will be even more obvious just how uncertain and insecure you, and every other believer, really is. I am not surprised at all that you don't like it, since demanding evidence from the god hypothesis may as well be a cancer to it. If god was a successful proposition backed by evidence, those smarter people than us, that you mentioned before, would have already concluded this debate. As of now we have "I don't know everything", and "god did everything". It is your certainty that will be used against you in this debate, not my abstinence from magical non-explanations.

You’re arguing a straw man, as I haven’t expressed certainty. As I said, “We don’t know what occurred before the big bang, but we can examine the possibilities and see if they point in a uniform direction.”

I’m addressing uncertainty. You’re hiding behind it.

Quote:Obviously you don't grasp just how much of a leap you have really made. I am accusing you of beginning with "I think god's exists because Christianity says so" and then making your way from there to logical arguments on behalf of god's supposed existence. Anyone using the scientific method would have done the reverse, beginning with the question, not the conclusion. It is easy to see the process when you talk about the first cause, since it is the guiding force of your assumption of "outside the singularity". If you didn't need a peg to put god into, we wouldn't need an "outside". As it turns out, we need neither to explain anything.

We need an explanation for why an eternally existing singularity would explode about 14 billion years ago. I’ve given possibilities. You’ve given nothing, except to note repeatedly that you’re OK with not knowing. Why did you bother challenging me to a debate?

Quote: Your philosophical topic in particular lacks relevance to this debate, given that even a victory on the point of the first cause, gives us no understanding of the first cause. Oh, except that it's "god", because you say so. People may debate irrelevant topics, but people with convincing arguments generally don't.

It’s not a god because I say so, it’s a god because it logically is a supernatural agent with power over the universe, and most people would consider that to be a god of some sort.
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14-03-2014, 12:29 PM
RE: A Challenge to Alpha Male
(14-03-2014 05:37 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Incorrect. You’re taking a page from the RobbyPants school of debate. I take the time to make a logical argument, than you pretend I just assumed it. I gave the reasoning. I’ll repeat it:

1. An eternally existing singularity would logically continue to exist as a singularity unless acted upon.

2. Something that acts upon the singularity is outside the singularity.

3. As the singularity is the entire natural universe, something outside the singularity is supernatural.

4. As this something outside the universe acts, it is an agent.

5. “A god of some sort” is a reasonable description of a supernatural agent able to create and/or manipulate (depending on the particular scenario) the universe.

Challenge the points. Don’t act like I’m making assumptions when I’m not.

1. I am not convinced that your "eternally existing singularity" as the model of the universe is accurate. This model is the result of Relativity. Modern Quantum Gravitational Theory, on the other hand, posits that singularities do not exist in cosmology, thus the universe would have had to exist before the point at which we thought it was a singularity. We do not know that the universe ever "began" no more than we know when that might have happened. Even if we could determine the beginning of the big bang, we may yet discover that it is merely one in a infinite series of explosions and contractions that naturally occur.

2. I am not convinced that the supernatural explanation explains more than it brings into question. Is it not logical to ask, what acts upon god to make him an agent capable of acting upon the universe? For that matter, what brought him into existence? If you say that the singularity must be acted upon, than I say that you ought to follow that logic where it may lead with god. If we apply your conclusion of god, than god would require another god. This would continue infinitely. If you say that god has existed eternally, I want to know why the need for a cause doesn't apply to him, and how you could possibly claim to know that.

3. In the same way that god is invoked to explain unknown earth related matters, I think the same is being done here. The first cause argument is one giant plug for "the god of the gaps". We know something about the universe, the big bang, and how it all works. We have no information about god and could never honestly claim to have it. He is only plugged into the equation in an attempt to explain what we do not understand about the origins of the universe. Just like germ theory, and gravitational pull, if I wait long enough for science to learn, we may yet discover the real answers. Until then, saying "god did it" is just fucking lazy and I won't be having it, not for a second.

4. I am unconvinced by your claim to not have made any assumptions. Here is my list.

1. The assumption that science knows for certain, absolutely, that a singularity is the correct model of the universe.
2. The assumption that the singularity, or the universe, cannot act upon itself.
3. The assumption that anything can exists outside of the natural universe.

Quote:What it says is what I noted from the beginning: “These of course can lead to most any god and do not specifically get you to Christianity.” You said, “Just to clarify, I know you aren't arguing the first cause supports the existence of the Christian god.” Why are you now trying to make an issue out of something that was stipulated from the beginning?


Excellent point. You are right. We have already discussed that and I will let it go.

Quote: Something cannot both be eternal and have a known age.

It can when the "known age" does not measure time spent existing, only time from an explosion.

Quote:You’re arguing a straw man, as I haven’t expressed certainty. As I said, “We don’t know what occurred before the big bang, but we can examine the possibilities and see if they point in a uniform direction.” I’m addressing uncertainty. You’re hiding behind it.

I have examined the possibilities, and they do not point in a uniform direction. You have to take a flying leap of faith to make it work with god. Uncertainty is good when the alternative is making up an explanation.

Quote:We need an explanation for why an eternally existing singularity would explode about 14 billion years ago. I’ve given possibilities. You’ve given nothing, except to note repeatedly that you’re OK with not knowing. Why did you bother challenging me to a debate?

I am not a scientist, so I won't be making any pronouncements about why I know for sure how a singularity could explode 14 billion years ago. I will however be waiting patiently for actual scientists to come to a scientific consensus. I will also be busily refuting anyone who says that they know how it all happened "because god". I just won't be having arrogance like that, not at all. I don't know, and neither do you, or any other person for that matter. I have given some possibilities above, and the supernatural is noticeably absent among them.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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