I definitely should have tried prayer.
I will be very clear.
The proposition is 'There exists a god.' as stated in both opening statements.
St Even was supposed to argue that the proposition is true. He has not. He merely believes the proposition to be true and has attempted to demonstrate how it is possibly true. The claim 'A god possibly exists' is different and if that were the proposition St Even might have proved that it is true. However, in this debate he has not even given sufficient evidence to prove either claim true. My evaluation of what St Even has argued at best, amounts to the following:
The universe began therefore God exists.
I make that claim on the following grounds:
1. St Even makes the following claims:
R1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
R2. The universe began to exist
C. Therefore, the universe had a cause. (R1+R2)>C
I rebutted with the following claims:
Cause and effect is subject to time.
Time began after the universe began.
Cause and effect does not apply to the beginning of the universe, therefore infinite regression, in that instant is entirely possible.
Furthermore, the universe does not need a creator. It is quite possible, as far as we know, for the universe to have created itself.
St Even then replied
I stated that time is the progression of cause to effect. Here, have a shoddy, paint-made diagram. Needless to say that graphics design is not my area.
T=0 is the moment that the universe began to exist, and it is T=0 because before then, no other cause-to-effect has occurred. C0 is the cause of the universe, Concluded from (C) of the argument provided.
In his diagram he suggests T=0. T stands for 'time'; = stands for 'is' (ie 1+1=2 is the same as 1 added to another 1 is 2). He is saying Time is nothing or 'there is no time'. (ie 1-1= 0 or nothing)
Time is a measure and can never equal nothing.
He says he is not arguing from ignorance and he goes on to state to me
In order for your rebuttal to work, you shall have to demonstrate that time is independent of cause to effect.
That is untrue. I have raised the doubt that time started after the universe started. St Even states 'everything that begins to exist has a cause'. I say if that is true then time must have had a cause. Because the cause for time is necessarily before time. Therefore infinite regression is possible because time does not apply to the cause.
I have posed a problem (not my own) and St Even has not even attempted to solve it or explain it. He has just drawn a diagram and stated my rebuttal does not work; when actually his diagram shows my rebuttal not his solution.
He also has not, in any way answered the further claim that the universe created itself. I don't know why he ignored this, but he did.
By ignoring it and not answering my rebuttal I can only assume he can not.
Therefore (R1 + R2) = C not (R1 + R2) > C
The way I have handled this could be seen as a little underhand, but because St Even failed to answer honestly the first time I will not bother to give him another go at it because he would probably do the same thing again.
At present no-one knows what caused the universe to come into being. St Even's claims completely ignore this fact. The universe may be the biggest and most obvious exception to St Even's claim that 'everything has a cause'.
The simple fact is we do not know what caused the universe to begin and people can only speculate on where time can be said to begin.
I do not find St Evens argument convincing. Actually I think it is nonsense. It uses the same logic that people in the dark ages used to falsely claim the sun revolved around the earth and that the world was flat.
Thats right St Even. By making this argument you display the same level of ignorance as a dark age peasant because you obviously believe it. And if you find this irritating maybe you should think twice before you drag someone into a debate. I have always been arguing from history and the dark ages is where arguments like the Kalam Cosmological Argument belong.
I find the Kalam Cosmological Argument flawed in many ways, I have only given some rebuttals here for the purpose of debate (a debate that should end here). But St Even believes it is true. So for the sake of thoroughness I will continue.
St Even claims. The universe was created, therefore there was a creator. That being true the creator must have had the necessary properties to do the creating (It sounds backwards because it is). But St Even has included a property that is not necessary to the creation of the universe. He has made the creator the subject of a non-specific faith. 'Faith' is something humans can have; I guess animals can have faith as well. I know when I have a big bone for my dog and I pretend to throw it the dog has faith that I will actually throw it. He runs after nothing and finds nothing.
Maybe St Even is suggesting that animals can have the correct faith. Maybe he is implying humans are actually no better than an animal. Both possibilities seem to be alternative explanations. No wait - they can not be alternatives because St Even has not given an example (meaning they are both valid).
Sorry, lets be reasonable again (No I still can't get the image of ‘the dog chasing a bone I never threw’ out of my head lmao). Actually I don't even have a dog.
So we can take God as being of a non-specific faith; and say ok its faith in general. Well, we must assume that all faiths that believe in a creator are true and correct - more or less. Surely, if a given faith believes in a creator along the lines of the argument St Even has given and holds to be true, then they too are true. The only way to avoid this is to bring up some additional criteria which would also not be necessary to the creation of the universe or the existence of God and therefore not valid. In other words, St Even's argument must be attributable to all faiths that believe the universe was created by an omnipotent, omniscient, transcendent (non-contingent) and non-physical entity.
So why have the faith part at all? It is not necessary to the creation of the universe, yet it is included in St Evens definition of the god. Why? Because without it there can only be an idea of God in our heads. Without a transfer of information from God to mankind we can make no distinction between god and the idea of god. This goes for everybody. If one can not discern that god has actually transferred info from it to one then one merely has the idea of god. This is what I have previously brought up in a different way.
To fix this problem with his argument St Even has insinuated the necessary components into the debate under cover of rebuttals and at times just blatant side points that were irrelevant to my rebuttals.
He claims people naturally seek out a higher being and he also claims that Jesus Christ was one person who did have a connection to the god. It would also follow that there is likely to be many other people with such a link throughout history maybe even today. St Even has not shown sufficient grounds for the former claim because he made it as a rebuttal not as his own claim. I challenged it by stating that people must seek truth first, if they do not then any conclusion they reach will not be truth: meaning truth is a prerequisite for knowledge of god. Since he did not put his claim in the right context he could not make it stick. In the context I have put it the sense can be more easily recognised. (Context is my friend, but it should not have been my job to do this. St Even should have been more honest or aware of his full argument).
In regards to the later claim that St Even insinuated in his cowardly way I do not really need to answer it because he has only used it to rebut a part of my argument that never needed rebutting. But to dispel all doubt I must meet it because it is at the heart of his argument, he just does not admit it.
He has however mentioned other religions such as Wicca and Islam. As I have reasoned above if religions share the same belief that the universe was created by the god they must be true within St Even’s argument (When he goes on about mutual exclusivity and such he is not taking my rebuttal seriously).
Nor is he taking his own argument seriously. He has not acknowledged that his argument also applies to Moses and many Greek heroes, every Pharaoh of ancient Egypt every Pope in history, many Kings and Queens of England, Joan of Arch and every other raving lunatic in the history of mankind including every homeless guy on the street corner pronouncing the end is near. Yes everyone who claims they have communication with the god who created the universe. But still there is no way to verify their claims. Except maybe by including suicide cults. I am willing to bet a large amount of money at least one religious leader in the history of mankind claimed that the creator god had told him the world would end and he suicided because of it, yet the world did not end.
Jesus Christ is an exception to this general trend, not the norm. And as St Even has defined his argument in general terms I can rightly exclude Jesus Christ but I will bring it up further on because it is an anomaly and St Even would probably use it as it does fall within his necessary claims but it can be explained well enough without the existence of God.
My response is that it does not matter how many people believe it, the truth of the claim still needs to be verified. And that would be St Even’s job not mine. I have demonstrated that it is in the personal interest of a believer to argue the claim with a non-believer. I think it is reasonable to deduce from my current situation that it would always be in the proponents interest to make the claim ‘god exists’. St Even claims it is not always the case and has given the example of early Christians and Muslims who suffered for their beliefs. Unfortunately, he has missed some vital points. Firstly he has confused proponents and leaders with followers. It may not be in the interests of people joining the group but it would be in the interests of those making the claim; because if they convince a person to join they gain security with numbers. ‘People are a companies best asset’ so they say. Also under those faiths converts are promised heaven after death. What more self interest can there be? (once more not taking the rebuttal seriously)
Self interest always affects the reliability of a claim and must be balanced with evidence. Hence we have a legal system. This is also a problem for those people who supposedly witnessed the reanimation of Jesus Christ.
Not only that either. If, despite all the problems with lack of reliability, lack of verifiable evidence and lack of truth one still believes ‘there exists a God’ and holds it to be true. One must consider the moral implications; the major implication being the God is responsible for immoral acts by those that receive its communication. Cause and effect again. Moreover, as I have claimed the mere belief in God is detrimental to one’s education and therefore life opportunities. So if it were true that a god exists it does not stand to reason that it would have a moral point of view.
Finally we return to Gerald Gardner, the creator of Wicca who described their god as a 'Prime Mover' which is easily comparable with St Even's description of God. Prime, meaning first, Prime Mover meaning first mover before cause. Gerald Gardener's God is the same God St Even holds to be true. St Even himself has acknowledged that it is a loose religion with no moral standpoint. So how does St Even exclude Wicca from his argument without applying an additional criteria to the god’s general faith base? Simple he just says Wicca is not true. But if he claims that he also implies other religions might not be true, theoretically he implies all religions that believe a god exists which created the universe might not be true.
The example of Wicca does more than contradict St Even’s Claims about objective morality. It exposes the nonsense way his argument works in reality. If he could he might claim I am using the straw man of religion to argue against the existence of god. But it is not a straw man it is a necessary part of his argument he just does not admit it or realise it. Without divine intervention my argument succeeds 100%, he needs it to make the idea of god the possibility of god. And he needs much more to make the possibility of god’s existence actual truth.
At best St Even’s argument amounts to; the universe exists therefore it had a creator. At worst it is merely a belief such as 'someone told me god exists I can not deny it therefore god exists.' Both are childish and ignore the wealth of knowledge mankind has accumulated. If psychologists are correct people do this simply because they hold onto the belief that god controls everything and therefore feel they do not need to know anything they just need to be good and they will go to heaven. Or perhaps they feel that if they hold this belief they will eventually attain a life partner which they will not have to compete for.
What is clear is that the belief ‘God exists’ alters peoples understanding of themselves and the world around them. They can never see the evidence that God does not exist because they already believe God created all the evidence and it is they that are wrong, not God. Nonsense. God does not exist.
So we come to Jesus Christ.
From all I have said about suicide cults and false religions it is no leap to suggest that people can be fooled easily. I myself have seen magic shows where a person is placed in a coffin-like box and then box and person is sawed in half by the magician. The two halves are separated and then joined back together by the magician and the person emerges unscathed. Logically the person should be dead but they are not. People can be fooled – fact.
So it is possible that Jesus Christ fooled many people into thinking he had died and came back to life. Why would he do that? There are plenty of possible reasons.
1. He did not actually receive communication from god or any other divine intervention he was simply crazy like those suicide cultists.
2. He was a Jew and wanted to correct the wrongs he saw in the Jewish faith.
3. He thought he would go to heaven like many martyrs around today.
4. He was blackmailed or otherwise coerced.
There are four possible reasons, he only needed one.
All saviours (Jesus Christ is just one) believe in god and have sufficient grounds to believe that their lies ultimately have a good cause therefore what they are doing is right even if it is a lie. St Even has said as much himself about lies.
The negative argument – The proposition is false.
God is an idea made by mankind. I know this because a man gave me the idea. I am now arguing with another person called St Even who is also human. Despite his yearnings for godliness. The problem for this argument is the begining. How did the idea come about? To answer I must use a similar method to St Even, deduction. Unfortunately for St Even he did not point this out. In its entirety (I have not made the full argument) it can explain everything about the idea of God. It leaves the pro side to demonstrate how devine intervention happens. St Even has not done that either. But he needed to for the reasons above, and because the idea of god is much older than the Cosmological argument and the morality argument. Those are really just rebuttals in the scheme of things, they are deductive arguments formed from the idea of god, they are not devine intervention.
I have argued for social construction but it is far from pure sociology it comes from a number of sources including history, psychology, epistemology, law, logic, science, demography, anthropology and education. As it has been said before; ‘I stand on the shoulders of giants’. I don’t care that my arguments are not my own I have pointed it out all the way through.
All I myself have added is that the belief ‘god exists’ is detrimental to one’s education because it hampers the acquisition of knowledge. This is drawn from psychology, epistemology, education theory and supported by history and science in the form of archeology.
If one holds the beliefs ‘God is unknowable’ (which is not a stretch from St Even’s definition of god) and ‘God made everything’ they easily synthesise into the belief ‘Everything is unknowable’
Take it or leave it. I know this to be true.
I can not prove ‘god does not exist’ I can only raise sufficient doubt and theoretical problems for St Even’s argument to fail. I have done that. I will note once more for the record St Even has not proved god exists. He has made a successful argument that god might exist with some unbelievable conditions. Nothing more, nothing less. He has not shown how his argument is any differnt from my idea of god.