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Are There Good Arguments to Support Atheism?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,933 times Debate No: 30331
Debate Rounds (3)
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Typically, there can be 2 meanings of the word “atheism”. One meaning is simply an absence of belief in a God/Gods. When an atheist of this sort debates a theist, it is usually over a topic such as “Does God Exist”, and because the affirmative position has the burden of proof, the atheist can simply sit and wait on the theist’s arguments and then attempt to refute them. The second common definition of atheism is the belief that there is in fact no God. This however, is a truth claim which requires evidence and argument. What I am asking my opponent to do in this debate is to argue for this second definition of atheism, and allow me to respond to his arguments as I see fit.

I will however lay out a few preemptive arguments since I’m going first. There are 3 worldviews that lie at the foundation of all religions and philosophies: theism, pantheism, and naturalism. While atheism is not a religion (and perhaps not even a philosophy) it is usually assigned to the naturalist worldview. That is why in my opening statement I have elected to attack the coherence of naturalism, to undermine atheism by arguing against the worldview to which it typically belongs.


Naturalism []:

a. The view of the world that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual.

b. the belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all teleological explanations are therefore without value.

  1. Reason
    1. For an assertion to be capable of truth or falsehood, it must come from a rational source.
    2. No merely physical material or combination of physical materials constitutes a rational source.
    3. Therefore, no assertion that is true or false can come from a merely physical source.
    4. The assertions of human minds are capable of truth or falsehood.

Therefore, human minds are not a merely physical source.

  1. Logic
    1. There are certain laws of logic, and valid argument forms which govern all rational thought and discourse.
    2. Such laws are not physical, nor dependent on time. Rather, they are immaterial, conceptual processes of the mind.
    3. These laws are objectively true, and unchanging, and therefore are not contingent upon human minds.

Therefore (even if human minds are purely physical), they have their basis in a reality independent from the material universe.

PS: The fact that the laws of logic are conceptual, yet not dependent on human minds, implies a non-human mind outside the physical universe to serve as their ontological foundation.

  1. Mathematics
    1. The laws of mathematics exist.
    2. These laws are not physical.
    3. They are universal and unchanging, and therefore not dependent on human minds.

Therefore (even if human minds are purely physical), they have their basis in a reality independent from the physical universe.

PS: Once again, because these laws are concepts, but are independent of human minds, they imply a non-human mind outside the physical universe.

  1. Intentionality
    1. If Naturalism is true, the brain can have no intentional states.
    2. Therefore, one cannot think “about” anything. This is because on Naturalism, the mind is entirely physical, and our thoughts are derived solely from brain states; physical states of the brain itself. But the piece of matter which is one’s brain cannot have a physical state which is “about” anything.
    3. But people can think about things. They can focus their minds on things in the physical world, or think about non-physical concepts, such as the truth of Naturalism.

Therefore, Naturalism is not true.

  1. Meaning
    1. If Naturalism is true, the brain cannot truly record information as sentences in any language. (A physical brain-state cannot process information in a certain language)
    2. Therefore, no sentence has any meaning. (They do not actually represent information)
    3. Premise 2 has meaning.

Therefore, Naturalism is not true.

  1. Truth
    1. Assertions devoid of meaning can be neither true nor false.
    2. If Naturalism is true, no sentences have meaning.
    3. Therefore, if Naturalism is true, there are no true sentences.
    4. Premise 3 is true

Therefore, Naturalism is not true.

  1. Freedom
    1. If Naturalism is true, one cannot do anything freely. This is because Naturalism implies Determinism. Because only physical things exist, every moment during a person’s life is simply a physical state. For each of these states, there is only one possible subsequent state, as necessitated by causal laws discovered to hold at various levels of description, atomic, chemical, and biological.
  1. One is free to agree or disagree with Premise 1.

Therefore, Naturalism is not true.

  1. Cognitive Faculties (Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism)
    1. Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot fully trust our own senses, because natural selection is only concerned with the preservation of traits that assist in survival. (Richard Dawkins states this in “The God Delusion”)
    2. Holding true beliefs does not necessarily correlate positively to survival, and in fact the opposite is sometimes true. Some people think that belief in God was invented by people because it helped them to survive. Likewise, it is often argued that mild paranoia helps one to survive better than an accurate assessment of their environment. "The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style representing the world is advantageous so long as it…enhances the organism’s chance for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.” –Patricia S. Churchland (Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience)

Therefore, if Naturalism is true, one would be unjustified in trusting their belief in the truth of Naturalism.

PS: Theists do not have this issue; for a theist would believe that God has created mankind with the ability to experience the world around them as it truly is.



My Arguments

Argument 1: Non Cognitivism

The Argument from Non Cognitivism is formed like this, [1]

1. There are three attributes of existants which concern us particularly, these being:
A. Primary Attributes
B. Secondary Attributes
C. Relational Attributes.
2. B as well as C are dependent upon and must be related to an existant"s A in order to be considered meaningful.
3. The term "God" lacks a positively identified A.
4. Because of this, the term "God" holds no justified A, B, or C. (From 2)
5. However, an attribute-less term (a term lacking A, B, and C) is meaningless.
6. Therefore, the term "God" is meaningless. (From 3, 4, 5)
7. Therefore, the god-concept is invalid.

Primary vs Secondary

Primary Attributes: or fundamental character of a thing, may be defined as the basic nature a particular thing is composed of. What a thing is, specifically, that it may do particular things or affect those around it in a particular way. The following two types of attributes provided below can only be applied to a thing if they can be related to an existant's primary attribute and the primary attribute is positively identified

Secondary Attributes: the character traits or abilities a particular thing may enact or possess. examples: being generous, kind, powerful, wise. [2]

Argument 2: Reasonable Non-belief

Theodore Drange formed the argument like this

1.God is omniscient.
2.God is omnipotent.
3.God wants everyone to believe in him.
4.Since God is omniscient, he knows exactly what demonstration would convince any given person that he exists.
5.Since God is omnipotent, he is capable of performing this demonstration.
6.Since God wants everyone to believe in him, he wants to perform this demonstration.
7.However, atheists manifestly exist.
8.Therefore, the god described by the first three conditions does not exist.

Also formed

1.God either does or does not reveal his existence
2.If God does not reveal his existence, there is no reason for belief
3.If God does reveal his existence, there is no reason for belief, only knowledge
4.The problem of vagueness indicates that there is an unclear ground for belief.

Using Bay's Theorem with this argument we can actually show there's only a 0.0005% chance God exists even with 50 good responses. [3]

Con's Case

Con presents arguments against naturalism and only 1 argument that's really arguing for the existence of God. Naturalism is the most common world view of atheists, but atheism and naturalism are not the same thing. There's atheists who are not naturalists, however I will defend naturalism in this debate.

1. Reason

Con states

For an assertion to be capable of truth or falsehood, it must come from a rational source.

However, didn't our rationality actually come from an irrational source? The definition of rational is just in accordance with reason and logic [4], so we'll use the definition of reason.


3. the mental powers concerned with forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences [5]

We all came from something that doesn't reason. A sperm cell. Can a sperm cell do any of these? So, this premise is flawed and rationality can come from irrationality.

No merely physical material or combination of physical materials constitutes a rational source.

Why couldn't material things arranged in a way that rationality would come to be?

Computers can actually use reason. In fact, computers have reasoned better than humans before, in the case of the four color problem [6]. Isn't this just irrational physical material doing rational things?

The premises are wrong, therefore the conclusion is invalid.

2. Logic (TAG)

The laws of logic are not contingent on our minds. They're contingent on existence itself, these laws are descriptions of this existence, and conceptual by nature. I will edit a bit from Matt Slick to show how

"Existence's attributes are consistent with the first Law of logic, the Law of Identity, which states that something is what it is: A = A. Since existence exists (Existence = Existence), then its attributes, which are dependent and necessarily a part of existence, also exist. It must also be unchanging, as if existence changed, it would be non existence. By way of analogy, I am six feet tall. My height (or whatever height I might be) is an attribute of my existence as a full grown man, and it cannot be separated from what I am. Of course height can be altered, but "height" cannot be removed from my physical existence. It is a part of my existence." [7]

I would also like to ask Con some questions.

If God didn't exist, would logical absolutes exist?

If God didn't exist, what would exist?

The mathematics argument is refuted by above, as math is also contingent on things to compare and define numbers.

3. Intentionality, Meaning and Truth

Con needs to justify premise 1 in all these.

I see no reason why a naturalistic mind can't have intentionality or have meaning.

4. Freedom

Not having free will says nothing of the truthfulness of the world view. The debate is can we actually control the atomic, chemical, and biological states of the brain? We've controlled many things atomic and chemical in the past, such as particle accelerations and mixing substances. So why not in our minds? I'm unsure if we have free will or not, but regardless it doesn't disprove naturalism or prove God. Since there's many deterministic sects of Christianity and Islam and there"s the problem of God's foreknowledge vs free will. I don't see how the argument is relevant.

5. Evolutionary argument against naturalism.

We're sentient now! If our beliefs were reliable we wouldn't need science, we don't just live in a vacuum, we can now test our beliefs to see if they're true. If I'm unsure about a belief, I can make predictions and potential falsifications of it.

The argument seems to apply to theism too. We have conflicting beliefs and they can't both be true. If evolution says our minds are wrong and beliefs are reliable, then the argument is self refuting. If evolution allows for an unreliable thought processes and theism doesn't, then the argument is self refuting, since all beliefs must be reliable. If theism does allow for it, then Con is just committing a tu quoque and he has the same problem.

[2] Ibid
Debate Round No. 1



I: Non-Cognitivism

Premise 3

Is false.



  1. 1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

A: God can be defined with several primary attributes




Necessarily Existent

Cause of all existence

Premise 4

If you wish to describe a specific concept of God, more attributes can be added.

Premise 5

Not necessarily true. Doesn’t the term “nothing” still have meaning, while it certainly has no attributes?

Premises 6 and 7

False; demonstrated by above.

II: Reasonable Nonbelief

First, note that this is NOT an argument for atheism. This is an argument against a particular concept of God. (Essentially the Christian one)

However, I will nonetheless address it.

Premise 3

Not necessarily true.

A: Quality Over Quantity

It could also be the case that God wants to produce the best possible believers, not the most possible believers. Now certainly, he would still desire that the greatest possible number of “Greatest possible believers”. However, there is no way to prove that God could create a world where all people were “Greatest possible believers.”

+Free Will: It could be argued that a greatest possible believer is one who comes to know God by his own free will, with limited knowledge at his disposal, rather than by some sort of demonstration which would automatically result in his belief, because this kind of belief would have more meaning to God. God cannot FORCE people to believe FREELY.

+Un-provable Assumption: How could it be demonstrated that each and every person on earth COULD be convinced (without being forced to at least) of God’s existence by a demonstration? It seems reasonable to think that some people would maintain nonbelief or skepticism regardless of what kind of demonstration they were shown.

Premise 4

God cannot know of a demonstration that will convince someone if such a demonstration does not exist. What God would know in such a case, is that an individual is incapable of being convinced by a demonstration, and he would not provide one.

Premise 5

Omnipotence does not allow God to do what is logically impossible. If it is not possible for an individual to be convinced by a demonstration, then God cannot perform a demonstration which will convince said individual.

Premise 6

A: Does not follow logically from 3, 4, and 5 (even if they are accepted)

+I can WANT to do well on a test, and I can know exactly how to accomplish it. For instance I can know of a way to cheat on the test which will not be discovered and will guarantee an A. But this does not mean that I WANT to cheat on the test, b/c I have an overriding desire to maintain academic honesty.

B: Knowledge vs. Love
+God could have such an overriding desire. FE: He could desire not simply that people KNOW him, but that people LOVE him. One who has read the Bible will be aware that it tells us even the demons believe the Gospel message to be true. People coming to love God (freely at least) is not something that could be accomplished by any demonstration. Such a demonstration could bring people to know that he exists, but that would not necessarily mean they loved him. They could hate him, or be indifferent to his existence. Nonbelief could well be preferable in God’s eyes to these alternatives, so that, revealing the truth of his existence to all could not necessarily have a positive consequence in God’s estimation.

Conclusion: This argument makes too many assumptions about God which cannot be substantiated and could very well be false. All but the first two premises fail.


I offered arguments against naturalism simply because I did not know what else to do with my first round. I did not want to offer arguments for God’s existence (although I may do so shortly) b/c the BoP is not mine in this debate. I instead attacked Naturalism, I suppose b/c most atheists are naturalists and atheism is a necessary component of Naturalism.

I: Reason
Pro states: “We all came from something that doesn't reason. A sperm cell. Can a sperm cell do any of these? So, this premise is flawed and rationality can come from irrationality.”
A: And the sperm cell came from something that reasons, which made the decision to mate with something else that reasons. Ultimately, our rationality was derived from rationality.

Pro states: “Why couldn't material things arranged in a way that rationality would come to be?”

A: B/c they still wouldn’t be capable of reasoning. You could throw Scrabble tiles together that form a meaningful sentence, but that doesn’t make the Scrabble tiles capable of reasoning. Reason is a mental ability.

With regard to the color problem, while the computers provided mathematical assistance, the mathematicians were still the one’s making the judgments, inferences, and conclusions.

II: Logic

Pro states: “The laws of logic are not contingent on our minds. They're contingent on existence itself”

A: If the universe did not exist would it be valid to say it both existed and did not exist? (Law of non-contradiction)


Pro’s Non-Cognitivism argument stated that God had no attributes. By establishing arguments for God, we can define some of his attributes.

“First Cause”

1: Things move from potentiality to actuality.

2: Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

3: Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

4: Therefore nothing can move itself.

5: Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

6: The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other

Creator of the Universe

1: Whatever begins to exist has an efficient cause

A: Out of nothing, nothing comes.

+For something to come into being, it must first have the potential to do so. Since nothingness lacks even potentiality (It has 0 properties), something cannot come from nothing.

B: If this were not the case, we should see examples of it in nature.

2: The universe began to exist

A: Infinite regress of past events is logically impossible.

B: BBT points to a finite beginning of the Universe.

C: Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem proves that a Universe in an average state of expansion must have had a finite beginning.

3: Therefore, the universe has an efficient cause

4: A cause of the universe would be immensely powerful, timeless, causeless, immaterial, and personal.

A: To cause the Universe requires immense causal power.

B: Time came into existence w/ the Universe; therefore its cause would transcend time.

C: Same logic as above for space and matter.

D: There are only natural and personal causes. A cause of the Universe could not be natural b/c:

+Natural cause presupposes the laws of nature, which did not exist before the origin of the Universe.

+A timeless, yet natural cause could not bring about a temporal effect. For the effect would be a necessary result of the cause and could not have had a finite beginning.

Therefore, God exists.

Basis for Morality

1: Without god, objective moral values could not exist.

A: If moral values were objective, they would be universal and not dependent on whether anyone agrees with them in order to be valid. They would then transcend humanity and require an ontological foundation in a non-human mind.

B: On atheism, moral values are the result of natural selection; right and wrong are what NS makes us THINK they are.

2: Objective moral values do exist.

A: We have a priori knowledge of moral truths.

+Ex: Raping women for fun is morally wrong OBJECTIVELY.

B: Moral Dilemmas: Two or more objective values in conflict.

+Ex: One knows it’s wrong to kill, but must kill a man to stop him from raping his wife. (Saving his wife is a good moral act) Thus moral hierarchies are established.

C: People who deny objective morality appeal to it daily. (Complaining about wrongs done to them, referring to “good” and “evil” etc.

Therefore, God exists.



1. Non-Cognitivism.

It doesn’t seem Con read my definitions of primary and secondary. All of his definitions are secondary, they’re all just character traits or abilities. has an analogy to show why these definitions are flawed.

“Firstly, if one were to say that, “The dress is beautiful”, and I were to respond by asking, “What is a dress?”—it would hardly be a help to me for that individual to respond, “It has a nice design and is comfortable”. While it being comfortable and being designed attractively may play a factor in its being called beautiful, my question has not been answered. I have not asked for further secondary characteristics of the dress, but rather what the dress is itself that it has the capacity to be called “beautiful”.

Similarly, when the Strong-Atheist inquires, “What is God?”—the theist’s reiterating of the various capacities and secondary character traits found in scriptural texts and elsewhere is insufficient. The question inquires specifically into what “God” is, rather than what “God” can do, likes to do, or has done.” [1]

Supreme Being

Secondary, it’s defining a dress as the supreme possession.


That’s very vague, as there’s many definitions of “absolute” [2]. Con needs to specify


Secondary character trait.


Secondary, I didn't ask how long it's been around.

Necessarily Existent

You can't just define something as existing. It's still a secondary. Like saying a dress is that which exists.

Cause of everything

Secondary, I didn't ask what God did.

Premise 5

Nothing does have an attribute of “no thing", also we don't really have a concept of “nothing" in the first place, so it's a bad analogy.

Certainly we would need a meaningful definition of something to have a concept of it. As if I said a “Plorif” exist, can you really have a concept of that since it’s meaningless?

2. Reasonable Non-Belief.

The first form of the argument may not be an argument for atheism, but the second form is, which is why I included it.

Quality Over Quantity?

Then, those that don’t get a revelation have no reason for belief. Isn’t a teaching of Christianity is that we’re all sinners? It’s a cruel way and is basically the strongest survive. What exactly constitutes a “best possible believer”, men with a lot of money could defiantly be. Billionaire unbelievers like Bill Gates could do immense work for the Lord, if only the believed. A best believer could be a young person, since their energy and time, but studies show young people are becoming less religious [3]

Free Will

Con argues that free will could prevent God from showing us he exists, There's many problems with this. We don’t regard giving someone evidence or making someone aware of something a violation of free will. In the bible God gives people evidence all the time through miracles and this seems to not interfere with free will. This objection suggests God wants people to believe in him without good evidence, but there's no good reason for him to want this.

Unprovable Assumption:

This seems to undermine God. It’s easy, write something like “Jesus saves” huge on the moon. Even if it’s in Greek, it could be translated. Make it so the bible is indestructible. There’s so many ways.

Premise 4

Why are you limiting God to your mind? You said God couldn‘t know of one, but how would you know that? If the evidence is clear there’s no possible way someone can deny it. Such as evidence of a round Earth.

Premise 5

Who decides what’s logically possible? When does possible end and impossible begin?

Premise 6

This would only work if it’s malicious for God to revel himself. It would actually be malicious if he didn’t.

Knowledge vs. Love

Wouldn’t it be more likely to love God if you had the knowledge he existed? It would be the case with me. I wouldn’t want God angry at me if I knew he existed.

1. Reason

Con’s premise was

For an assertion to be capable of truth or falsehood, it must come from a rational source.

This is saying, an assertion must be from a mind, not that rationality can produce other rational beings. Regardless, you still must concede we were once irrational, then became rational. Look at animals, most mate by instinct. Instinct isn't reason, it doesn’t make you form judgment, inferences, or conclusions.

Why can't material things arrange in a way that rationality would exist

Con really gives a non-answer. It’s the equivalent of saying “because it can’t”. Con gives an example with scrabble tiles, but it seems like a composition fallacy “Because scrabble tiles can’t reason every other physical thing can’t”. Con has provided no good reason to believe this.

When you look at the source, it does say the computers did make the judgments and conclusions.
“ ...Appel and Haken used a special-purpose computer program to confirm that each of these maps had this property. Additionally, any map (regardless of whether it is a counterexample or not) must have a portion that looks like one of these 1,936 maps.” [4]

It’s clear the computer had to make a judgment.

2. Logic (TAG)

I never said anything about the universe. There could’ve been some type of existence before the universe, since if not, it would imply that existence would’ve once been non-existence, a contradiction.

However, let’s say God doesn’t exist. Since God didn’t exist, the logical laws didn’t exist.

If God did not exist would it be valid to say nothing could both exist and not exist? Could this nothing then fade into something, which the logical absolutes would arrive? So according to your own logic, God can not exist and the absolutes can come about, or the absolutes exist regardless of any type of deity.

“First Cause arguments”

I will address only the Kalam, for lack of space and since they’re basically the same. The Non-Cognitivism doesn’t say God has no attributes, that’s a strawman. It says God has no primary attributes.

1. Whatever begins to exist has an efficient cause

Quantum fluctuations under our understanding of physics appear to be uncaused. Premise 1 is flawed. [5]

Out of nothing, nothing comes.

Earlier you stated God can only do that which is logically possible. Yet he created the universe from nothing, right? So if it’s logically impossible, then God can’t do it either, if it’s logically possible, then you killed your argument.

Even though the Kalam is invalid on P1, I don’t really care, the argument is irrelevant unless it proves the cause was God. That’s what Con tries to prove in premise 4.

"cause requires immense causal power.”

You just cited the big bang as evidence that the universe began to exist, but the big bang says the universe started very small. That’s not too powerful. Would you claim the cause of a castle needs to have immense power? No, we know some castles that were built by one person [6]. It needs very little power if it’s done little by little. So there’s no reason to assume the cause has immense power.

Timeless and Spaceless.

Why would time and space be a prerequisite for something to exist? Since God has these properties, yet Con believes he exists. So why not something else other than God?


This assumes the only matter that existed ever is in our universe, however we’re unsure what was before the bang [7] -other than time via the laws of relativity-. So “immaterial” isn’t justified.

Natural cause presupposes the laws of nature, which did not exist.

First off, you just killed premise 1. If no laws existed, then neither did the law of causality.
Second, our current laws may have been non existent, but there could’ve been some other laws.

A timeless..natural cause could not bring..a temporal effect.. the effect would be a necessary result of the cause

A timeless natural cause wouldn’t be a result of the cause, because the universe has time.

I see no reason to assume the cause is God.


I can't expand on this because of space, but I would like you to answer the Euthyphro dilemma.

"Is what is good commanded by God because it is good, or is it good because it is commanded by God?"


Debate Round No. 2


Because I"m having to rush this last argument I am going to drop the discussion over my arguments for God and against Naturalism, seeing as these are not quite relevant to the topic anyways. I will focus only on Pro"s arguments.
Non Cognitivism
First, I believe I understand what Pro is asking for by "primary attributes" by reading his example with the dress.
When asked the question "what IS God?" I would define God as an un-embodied mind.
Secondly, he asks what I meant by "absolute". I would use this Wikipedia definition: "The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence"
I also find this business of trying to say the concept of God is "meaningless" a bit strange. Even if people were uncertain of what exactly God IS (whether he is an embodied mind, or a physical human like entity for instance) the concept of a being who is for instance (naming a few properties commonly attributed to God) eternal, the cause of all things, and the foundation for moral values is certainly not a concept devoid of meaning. Furthermore if this were the case, I do not think it would imply the conclusion that God does not exist. For instance if one were to say "I think there is a pet called a dog who is loyal, playful, likes humans, likes to be petted, and is easily domesticated" if another person were to ask: "Yes, but what IS a dog?" if the other party were unable to correctly define a Dog as a mammal with four legs, this would not merit the conclusion that such a pet, who is loyal, playful, likes humans, likes to be petted, and is easily domesticated does not exist. But as I stated I would define God as an un-embodied mind.
Once again, I would not consider the first formulation of the argument to be an argument for atheism, and even if the second formulation (which I didn"t originally see, which is why I did not address it) were valid, the conclusion it would merit is that there is no good reasons for belief, not that God does not exist.
That being said:
First formulation:
Free Will
What I meant by my free will objection was that if God were to reveal himself to people in such a way that they had no choice but to believe in him, or if he were to force everyone to have an inherent belief in him, this would be taking away their free will. And as I stated, it is reasonable to think that God would prefer believers to come to know him by their own will, or that they come to believe despite the fact that God"s existence might not be 100% proven to them. (Requires more faith)
Improvable Assumption
Pro"s example is not valid. Even if "Jesus Saves" were written on the moon, there would still possibly be people who thought it was some type of hoax, or would come up with reasons why it was not a convincing demonstration. As I said, no matter what kind of demonstration God performed, people could still explain it away in a thousand different ways if they were unwilling to believe. Even if God took human form and appeared directly before a person, that person would still be free to believe that they were under some kind of hallucination, for instance.
Premise 4 objection
What I meant by my premise for objection is that, if a demonstration did not exist that would convince a non-believer, and then God could not know of such a demonstration, because it doesn"t exist. Also Pro"s example here is not valid. He says if the evidence is clear then it is undeniable, such as the evidence for a round earth. What is Pro to make of the flat-earth society then?
Premise 5 objection
All I meant here was that if a demonstration that would convince a person did not exist, then God could not perform it.
Premise 6 Objection
This does not only work if it was malicious for God not to reveal himself. All that is needed is an overriding desire which keeps God from wanting to perform the "demonstration" asked for in Pro"s argument.
Knowledge vs. Love: It might be more likely for people to love God if they knew him, but how can this be demonstrated? Furthermore, it is certain that some people would know God, yet not love him. They could hate him and despise the fact that he exists, or they could be indifferent to his existence. These possibilities may be, in God"s mind, worse than non-belief. Therefore this could be an overriding desire that keeps God from revealing 100% proof of his existence.
In conclusion, lack of 100%, in the form of a demonstration or otherwise, of God"s existence does not merit the conclusion that he does not exist.


Non Cognitivism

Con says God is a mind, but is this really a primary attribute? Let's look at the definitions of "mind" defines mind as

1. (in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind. [1]

These are all clearly secondary attributes and don't give us a meaningful definition of "God". I can't have a positive belief in a God until a meaningful definition exists. We can only say "God" doesn't exist, referring to the word "God" (as the concept "God" has no meaning). It's just a meaningless sound. His definition of absolute is also secondary.

Con tries to prove we can't say something doesn't exist based off a meaningless definition. This objection is only viable if you assume there's a meaningful concept of "God". His analogy with the dog is false. Parts of his definition include

*Easily domesticated

These actually fall under vague primary attributes. The bold emphasizes the primary attributes.

any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately. [2]

Petted is based off pet and is usually done to an animal.

to convert (animals, plants, etc.) to domestic uses; tame .[3]

any vertebrate of the class Mammalia, having the body more or less covered with hair, nourishing the young with milk from the mammary glands, and, with the exception of the egg-laying monotremes, giving birth to live young. [4]

So of course we can't say this "dog" doesn't exist, because it has the primary attributes of an animal, specifically a mammal.

The only secondary attributes are loyal, playful, and likes humans. With only these attributes a meaningful concept of "dog" doesn't exist. To claim we can have a concept of something without primary attributes is at odds with basic linguistics.

Isn't it interesting Con couldn't parody the argument without primary attributes, which wasn't supposed to be given.


Con claims the second formulation doesn't prove that God doesn't exist. However if God actually wants to be known, then it does prove he doesn't exist. If God is the cause of all things we would expect some kind of evidence, if no evidence is found and no reason for belief is given, then yes it does prove God"s non-existence.

Con dropped his quality over quantity objection.

Free Will

Con ignores me here. I know what he meant by his free will objection and I never asked him to clarify. Giving evidence of something isn't violating free will. If oxygen is proven to exist is this violating free will?

Improvable Assumption

Con claims the "Jesus saves" written on the moon could be said to be hoaxed. It's unlikely. I'm not talking about small writing. I'm talking big! So big for the whole world to see. It would be in ancient paintings and writings, satellites would confirm it, all would see it. None could call it a hoax. Con ignored my indestructible Bible example.

Premise 4

Most flat Earthers don't have an understanding of geology. If God gave us an understanding of the world, the evidence would be undeniable. I also did give a demonstration.

Premise 5

I did give a demonstration. Your response just stems of the assumption that a demonstration doesn't exist.

Premise 6, Knowledge V. Love

Again, if God doesn't reveal himself, there's no good reason for belief. This desire makes no sense. If people hated God, they end up in the same way as people who don't believe in him, so it makes no sense to say hating may be worse in God"s mind. If you have knowledge of God this would be a gateway to love. Many would come to love God if they only had the knowledge. Con wants to argue that love prevents God from revealing himself, however this is backwards. If God truly had the desire for love he would reveal himself for the most possible chance of love back. To not reveal himself and not give an atheist proper grounds for belief wouldn't be an act of love at all.


*Con dropped most of his arguments mid debate and conceded that most were irrelevant.
*Con couldn't provide a meaningful definition of God and couldn't parody the argument without giving primary attributes. This argument does show that "God" doesn't exist, referring to the word "God" (as the concept "God" has no meaning).
*Con ignores my objection to his free will response and my objection to his Premise 5 response.

Thanks Con, let the voting begin.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
Atheists have voted for theists before. You're just assuming a proiri they wouldn't, then coming to the conclusion that there's an atheist slant. That's circular reasoning.
Posted by Maryland_Kid 4 years ago
Do you think that the atheists would vote for a theist? Do you think that the numbers of atheists outweigh the theists? Put those two together and you'll see why I arrived at my conclusion.
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
So? That still doesn't prove a slant. From what I've seen, if the theists doesn't like the performance of another theist, they just don't vote.
Posted by Maryland_Kid 4 years ago
All were atheists except one which was unsure.
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
You can hardly show it is slanted presently by a debate 7 months ago. Also, Con dropped almost all of his arguments in round 2 and in round 3 he dropped all of his arguments. How would voting for me be slanted?
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
What do you mean?
Posted by Maryland_Kid 4 years ago
If this doesn't say that there's a slant against theists, I don't know what does.
Posted by StephenWicker 4 years ago
I apologize for some spelling/grammar mistakes in my last argument. Also I just barely submitted it on time, the text from MS Word did not translate very well, and I had no time to clean it up.

I also had no time to express my thanks to Pro for participating, and making this a pretty solid debate thus far.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by darris321 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources clearly goes to Pro. The arguments Pro gave often went uncontested and always went unrefuted. Pro got spelling and grammar because Con often seemed to throw punctuation around all willy-nilly.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: stronger logic for pro. Apparently, there is more of an argument for atheism then refuting 'non-atheism'.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is pretty cut and dry. Pro supported the resolution by providing good arguments to support atheism which CON failed to answer.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm not entirely convinced by the non-cognitive argument, but none of Con's attempts to refute it were convincing. First, he provided a set of attributes that were non-primary. Second, he defined God as an "unembodied mind", which Pro showed also showed was non-primary. Third, he parodied the argument by attempting to show other meaningful definitions contain no primary attributes. This seems the most intuitive way to attack it. Unfortunately, his parody included a couple primary attributes. Thus, the example worked against him in showing that primary attributes were needed to define that thing. Pro's argument stands. Con explicitely dropped his own arguments in round 3, calling them irrelevant, so I did not consider them in detail. Pro's Non-Belief argument only argued against some forms of god(s)--ones that wanted people to believe they exist and to follow their laws. It doesn't fully support atheism. Still, he only needed to win one affirmative argument. He accomplished that.