A “Twitter debate” is necessarily limited in scope. One can only type so many words before he runs out of space; thus, this is the reason for the brevity of remarks.
This opening post generated a reply from icarus62 (This is how he is identified on Twitter; his twitter description reads: Interested in science, low impact living, growing food, natural building. Vegan, atheist, naturist. Cycle 3,000 miles/yr. He/him. English.)
RT: his opening reply to my post consisted of this link. I opened it and replied with the following:
RT: It's too bad he did not follow his own rules when he was challenged to an oral debate on the existence of God by Thomas B. Warren (google him) in 1980, affirming the proposition, "I know God does not exist." He does now.
icarus62: No. 1 in Carl Sagan's 'cognitive tools' is: "Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the 'facts'" There is no independent confirmation that any gods really exist, so why (apart from emotional reasons) would it make sense to believe it?
RT: I assume, with your reply, you're an atheist. Set forth a deductive argument with the conclusion, "Therefore, I know God does not exit."
icarus62: I don't think that's something that can be proven. If you suggest that something (a deity) exists outside the universe and not subject to its laws etc., then I don't see how you could use logic to prove it doesn't exist... but there's no rational reason to believe in it either.
RT: Then, you're agnostic. You would be mistaken on this. That which came into existence must have a cause. The material universe came into existence. Therefore, the material universe must have a cause. This cause is necessarily outside the universe.
icarus62: "That which came into existence must have a cause." Why? How do you know? What does 'came into existence' mean? Is it possible to have a state in which nothing exists? Is it possible to get 'something from nothing'? I don't think this is as straightforward as you suggest.
RT: It's more than straightforward. A state of nothingness is only in relation to a material universe (so-called big bang). [in answer to] Your last question: Something exist, thus something brought it into existence. Something does not come from nothing. Logical and physical impossibility.
icarus62: "Something does not come from nothing. Logical and physical impossibility" By that reasoning, everything that exists now can never have come from nothing, and must have always existed.
RT: You did not pay attention to what I wrote earlier, which is directly connected to my previous post. “That which came into existence must have a cause. The material universe came into existence. Therefore, the material universe must have a cause.”
icarus62: So why doesn't "The material universe came into existence" contradict "Something does not come from nothing"?
RT: In this question, you’re implying it does. You’re going to have to show from the law of contradiction how the two propositions are in contradiction to one another.
icarus62: You seem to be saying "the universe came into existence from nothing" and "it's impossible for something to come into existence from nothing". Pretty sure there's a contradiction there, and that's before we get to whether you have any basis for suggesting it came into existence.
RT: I said nothing of the sort. Read through everything I posted and see where I said, "the universe came into existence from nothing". It is most certainly true that the material universe is something, this something came into existence, and this “coming into existence” must have a cause.
icarus62: I'm not trying to catch you out, but I don't see how the universe "coming into existence" is any different from coming into existence from nothing. There was nothing, then there was a universe. That's what you're saying, isn't it?
RT: Yes, that is what I am saying, but the source of the material realm is not “nothing” but something. The “big bang” of the material universe illustrates “coming into existence.” There are only two options: 1) came from nothing; 2) came from something.
icarus62: We don't know that the big bang was the universe coming into existence. The only thing science can tell us is that the universe, about 14 billion years ago, was very hot and very dense. Beyond that we don't know what happened, or what came 'before' (if there was a 'before').
RT: Oh, yes we do. The number you used illustrates a point of origin. Thus, it’s not eternal, it came into existence. Science is not on your side in this regard.
I thought he would reply to this, but he never did. In presenting this short dialogue for the bulletin, it’s important to be reminded that you can be confident there are rational reasons for believing (strongly) in God’s existence. There is no need to fear a challenge from those who do not believe.