A perfect god does not exist!
Debate Rounds (3)
Why was god compelled to make man and earth?
Was he somehow not happy before he created these things?
There can be no instability in god as there is in humans.
If god is perfect he needs nothing, he desires nothing, there is nothing he must do or will do.
A perfect god therefore cannot and does not exist.
This is your logical supposition correct? (1)You posit that theists believe that (the Abrahamic) God is perfect, and (2) since perfect things do not need to change (3) then the creation of mankind out of nothing or indeed any change at all creates a logical fallacy. You thereby conclude that (4) God cannot exist.
It is very important to note that a LOCAL CONSTRUCTION must be PERFECT in order to be completely true. All that I as the opposition have to do is point out a logical inconsistency or flaw that renders his construction invalid. I feel that this is important to make note of for those considering this argument from the Yes-no perspective. Voting yes on a flawed logical construction just because you agree with the conclusion and are yourself an atheist doesn't constructively progress discourse on this subject. Therefore you should vote CON if you think I have satisfactorily pointed out a logical fallacy within the PRO's argument. The PRO MUST adequately address each of my contentions or his argument is rendered void and invalid.
Contention 1) The Problem of Perfect.
Perfection exists more as a conceptual absolute idea than as an objective state. Who among us can actually say that we KNOW what "perfection" is or what it looks like? No mortal human can ever be "perfect" just as nothing can "perfectly" achieve a state other than its own status quo. I can say that I am perfect at being myself (because I am myself by definition).
The problem occurs when the PRO tries to establish characteristics of the "perfect" that are incorrect.
The PRO supposes that perfect things by definition cannot change (Because they have reached a state of equilibrium?). The essential question IS: Why can't perfect things change the nature of their environment (of if God is in everything, Himself). It seems that as long as God is consistent with his (Abrahamic religious) attributes then the problem of "change" doesn't pose a logical fallacy at all.
Contention 2) Realizing what Perfect IS
The PRO suggests that since God created the universe- there must have been something in need of change. I challenge the PRO to try to imagine a perfect universe. The PRO or you might answer that a perfect universe is one in which everyone is happy all the time and there is no pain or suffering. The problem with that answer is that we forget that joy and happiness loses all context and meaning without the possibility of pain or suffering. Because we can be sad, we can be happy. Because we are all faced with the inevitability of death- we force ourselves to grow that our lives will have meaning. Everything that grows must eventually die. Even this universe that started from the Big Bang has a beginning and an objective end as entropy takes over or gravity sucks us all back in for another Big Bang. I would contend that this world as it is is perfect and therefore it makes sense for God to have created it if he is perfect as well.
The scriptures teach that god's work is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4). Malachi 3:6 states that he changes not. Matt. 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
You point out my supposed logical inconsistencies by talking about the problem of perfect and realizing what perfect is.
Would you say that god is having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be? Your statement "Who among us can actually say that we KNOW what "perfection" is or what it looks like?" is invalid in regards to the standard of perfection taught in the book supposedly given to us by god. Man can never be perfect in reflection to god. The status quo is dictated by god, not us. The characteristics of perfection are given to mankind throughout the scriptures.
Perfection needs no change, the scriptures teach that god does not change and that god is perfect.
Obviously there was something wrong with what god created because he wipes out mankind with the exception of a few people. Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of.
Contention one is solved by the standard of perfection given through scripture.
Contention two: Something in need of change happens in Gen.6:7
God created imperfect humans and then seems disappointed in what he created. I do not imagine a perfect universe because it is not perfect in the sense that god is portrayed as being perfect in the scriptures.
The CON said "Who among us can actually say that we KNOW what "perfection" is or what it looks like?" and then as he finishes up his statements says " I would contend that this world as it is is perfect and therefore it makes sense for God to have created it if he is perfect as well."
Does the CON believe that god is perfect? Does the CON truly believe that the world is perfect as well?
My syllogism and conclusion stand firm. If god is perfect he needs nothing and requires no change. A perfect god does not exist. If a perfect god did exist then he would have no need to create non perfect humans and then destroy them for for acting in accordance with there nature, to which god gave them in creation.
"Theists have to believe god is perfect." Here we encounter an attempt to frame the argument with absolutes. I for a fact know some theists who don't strictly subscribe to this point of view. The root of the issue, as I have recently discovered upon some research, lies in the nature of biblical translation.
If the PRO wishes to try to point out contradictory biblical passages- it is important to point out that the Bible was not originally written in English but Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Translating the bible into English has the effect of muddling and confusing the original words- giving rise to the possible inconsistencies that the PRO is attempting to point to as concrete contradictions. It is because of this that Theologians study the bible by learning the original languages to gain a fuller understanding.
Lets look at some of the differences. Websters describes "perfect" as: A) being entirely without fault, b) accurate, c) expert, proficient, d) pure, total, and e) mature.
The Hebrew word "Tamin" which is commonly translated to mean "perfect" on the contrary means: "complete or mature or healthy" SOURCE: http://www.crivoice.org...
We can be mature but still have faults and the PRO is incorrect in improperly applying an English definition to what was originally a Hebrew word. The aforementioned source is in and of itself enough to soundly invalidate the PRO's logical construction which must be flawless in order to be successful and affirmed.
It is interesting that the PRO insists on only using passages from the New and Old Testament and completely ignores the Qur'an. If the PRO wants to attempt to disprove the Abrahamic conception of God he should widen his sources. Since I am not a scholar of anything besides rudimentary arabic- I won't expand in that direction for the sake of brevity.
The pro incorrectly anthropomorphizes God here, "God created imperfect humans and then seems disappointed" in a statement that is clearly designed as a supposition rather than a statement of fact. I will have to ask the atheist to please stick to the facts when stating his case.
It is possible for God to be unchanging- and the world he created according to Abrahamic religious doctrine to be in an almost constant flux because God and the world/universe are SEPARATE things even though God exists throughout the world/universe.
The argument that the PRO suggests is very similar to the "Problem of Evil" analysis that Peter Kreeft explores in his lecture series "The Modern Scholar, Faith and Reason." I would advise anyone curious in this subject to look into the audiobook: http://www.amazon.com...
There is no conflict with the word "perfect". Below I have given a definition from a Hebrew Lexicon and the other from a standard dictionary found online.
If needed I can substitute complete for perfect, although it will not make any difference. The argument still stands.
to complete, perfect, make complete, make perfect (Qal) to perfect
SOURCE: Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon
a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless
b : satisfying all requirements : accurate
c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept
d : faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect
e : legally valid
: expert, proficient
a : pure, total
b : lacking in no essential detail : complete
c obsolete : sane
d : absolute, unequivocal
e : of an extreme kind : unmitigated
Back to the argument:
If God is complete (perfect) then he has always been complete (perfect).
If something is perfect (complete), nothing imperfect (incomplete) can come from it. God must be imperfect (incomplete) to have created mankind imperfect (incomplete).
A perfect (complete) God who creates imperfect (incomplete) humans is not possible.
Theists that believe in an imperfect god are a minority. Certainly one cannot keep up with the multiple factions within theistic religions based on their separatist views of dogma. A majority of theists believe in a perfect god, so I will not argue whether some do or don't.
Con has stated this: "It is possible for God to be unchanging- and the world he created according to Abrahamic religious doctrine to be in an almost constant flux because God and the world/universe are SEPARATE things even though God exists throughout the world/universe."
How can god be separate from the world/universe and still exists throughout it? The logic behind this statement is faulty. If he created it, he is part of it. If he is changing things then it is not perfect (complete). God made an imperfect (incomplete) world, which makes him imperfect (incomplete) as well.
My argument still stands: A perfect god cannot and does not exist.
The argument from evil is another debate so lets stay on topic.
I would also like to remind any voters that in order for the PRO to have "won" this argument, you must percieve that his logical construction is flawless and there is no way that there can even be a CHANCE (however infintessimal that may be) that a God can exist (according to Abrahamic traditions and scriptures). Merely concluding with the PRO that it is "highly unlikely" that God can exist is still a LOSS for the PRO since a logical construction must be absolutely and infallably logically correct to be proven. This is the standard for logical proofs.
1. The PRO's Incorrect Usage and Application of the Term "Perfect"
Rather than confronting of even attempting to dispute the correctness of the source which I have presented before (REPRINTED HERE: http://www.crivoice.org... ), the PRO has ignored it and presented his own counter-factual source which he claims proves that "perfect" and "tamin" are COMPLETELY interchangable. The problem occurs when one applies a common definition of perfect: "without flaw" to the original word which it did NOT have.
Here is a Hebrew Lexicon that defines Tamin, notice that the "without fault" are not included anywhere in the definition even though the word "perfect" is. (SOURCE: http://www.biblestudytools.com... ) Perfect has many meanings as the PRO has pointed out and "without fault" is the one that MUST be true in order for this logical syllogism to be complete. However, just because "perfect" is listed as a synonym does NOT mean that all of the meanings of perfect can be applied to the original hebrew word.
For example, at Thesuarus.com (SOURCE: http://thesaurus.com... ) the word "fair" is said to be a synonym of the word "clean" but that does not mean that all of the definitions of the word clean can also be applied to the word "fair." It would be confusing and improper to say, "I got my truck fair by going through the car-wash."
2. The PRO's logical construction depends on the hebrew word for Perfect to mean "flawless" because only in that context does his argument have a semblance of correctness. Here are some questions that could be posed though which effectively poke holes in his construction.
A. If the word perfect can correctly be taken to mean "without flaw," what does the bible mean when it says that Noah was "perfect?" (Gen. 6:9). Surely Noah could not have been without fault since he previously sinned by drinking heavily. THEREFORE it is incorrect to conclude that Noah was without any faults ever and that the word "perfect" in its english translation can be taken to mean "without flaw."
B. Why does a God who is "flaw-less" logically have to create a world that is also as flawless as himself? As I've stated before- the translations clearly do not indicate that the world is "flawless" because that is not a definition that can be attributed to them.
3. One could argue that God DID create a world without flaw, in the Garden of Eden. The PRO in this case would be incorrectly applying a description of the Garden of Eden to the modern world.
So lets look over the syllogism that the PRO has presented one last time and point out the flaws in its construction:
The PRO asserts that:
A) The Abrahamic God is perfect and without flaw.
B) God was compelled to make the heavens and the earth (incorrect anthropomorphization of God which attributes un-verifiable feelings when there is no evidence of any)
C) Therefore God was unhappy prior to this creation
This is also a great example of a non-sequitur argument. Why is the creation of a world by a perfect being evidence that said being is not perfect? The answer is that there is no evidence.
What evidence is there that the creation of said world is evidence that said being was unhappy? No evidence.
Furthermore, (and cruically) why can't a being that is flawless be unhappy? Where is the definition for this? Nowhere.
What definition says that a being that is flawless can also not be un-happy? Nowhere.
IN CONCLUSION. If ANY SINGLE ONE of my points cannot be effectively parried by the PROs case- the logical syllogism of the PRO is INCOMPLETE and UNPROVEN.
I would like to thank the PRO for his time and energy and eagerly look forward to debating with him again on this topic or something similar.
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