The Instigator
Tatarize
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
SolaGratia
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

Arguing for the existence of God is akin to arguing that two and two make five.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,084 times Debate No: 2876
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (12)

 

Tatarize

Pro

For the sake of argument by God I mean a mainstream accepted Abrahamic deity.

I contend that there is a fairly similar nature between arguing in one of the two main staples of this site: the God debate and the math debate. I freely admit that on the quality and substance of the debate they are fairly distinct, however on the logic and unreasonable nature of the conclusion they have a strong kinship. This is the point I'm arguing.

In the math debate one is asked to argue for a conclusion 'five' whereas there are strong arguments conclusion 'four'. This is similar to arguing for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good deity who wants to and is able to destroy all evil and suffering and yet evil exists. Sure, you could posit something like Free Will and God cannot violate Free Will. However, there is much suffering which doesn't result from decisions made by people like those of natural disasters but also this is middle knowledge theodicy is a bit like trying to add one into the equation to make it fit. Likewise the tactic of making a pretty long argument to try and hide the fact that they divided by zero and store the mistake in this undefined error is similar to many theodicy.

The kinship on the logic and reasonable nature shared by the two debates is overwhelmingly evident by the trouncing the con makes over the pro at every turn. The debates are usually evident by the second round that con is utterly destroying the arguments made by pro. Typically the arguments of pro so weak as to warrant an eyeroll and hardly require the con to come along and trounce it.

On the substance there is a difference. On the strength, logic, and reasonable aspect they are two peas in a pod. You could line up the experts on mathematics or theology on one side and some 14-year old with a basic grasp of the arguments on the other and the kid would easily trounce anybody advocating for an unreasonable conclusion like two plus two equals five or that God exists.
SolaGratia

Con

Good evening, Tatarize. Thank you for posing this debate. I will relish the challenge.

Tatarize, there is a simple incongruity between the two things you are attempting to make equal: one is disprovable, the other is not. In our three dimensions and in our limited minds, it is easily that two and two does not make five. We can collect all the data relevant to this question, and we can conclude from it. In fact, every human with a sound mind (and quite a few without) can comprehend this concept. It is as simple as night and day.

Within the scope of human reason, there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of God. To prove that God exists, we would need all available data. We do not have it, and even if we did, the data about every atom in the galaxy would be too much to comprehend, much less form an argument from it. Provided we could, I believe it would show the existence of God somehow. I have no idea how. You believe it would not. We have no way of proving this.

That is within a reason wider than our own. However, even within human reason, the incongruity is apparent. Simply, no one on earth believes that two and two make five. However, billions of people believe in the existence of a god, or gods. Moreover, they regard this as the logical, reasonable conclusion. If human reason is the ultimate standard, then, God is irrevocably proved.

You say that a 14-year old with a basic grasp of argument could easily win an argument with a pack of theologians about whether God exists or not. Well, Tatarize, I'll believe it when I see it.

You are not arguing that God does not exist, you are arguing that the debate over His existence is logically similar to the argument (which no one has ever seriously made) that two and two equal five. This is obviously false.

Thanks again,

Sola Gratia.
Debate Round No. 1
Tatarize

Pro

Your argument is fallacious and completely misses the point. You are arguing in favor of incongruity based on an argument of substance on the con side of the debate. I freely admit the argument against God is different on most levels than than argument against the proposition two plus two equals five. The topic is that arguing in *favor* of the topic where the burden of proof rests with the argument in favor of the topic. That the pro arguments in each case is on similar logical, evidential, and reasonable foundations.

Yes, the con arguments would be markedly different because God is unfalsifiable whereas the proposition of two plus two equals five is easily proven to be false under standard mathematics. You offer a difference within the substance of the potential arguments to tear down those premises. That is not part of the topic at hand.

I specifically said that arguing *for* the existence of god is akin to arguing *for* the proposition two plus two equals five. The con argument is demonstratively different. However the pro arguments are akin to each other. One is asked to argue in favor of a proposition without any good arguments. One is asked to argue in favor of a proposition quite probably false. One is asked to argue in favor of an argument that essentially nobody has or can win. One is left in a terrible position of having no evidence to back up the claims, no sound arguments to reasonably draw the conclusions, and being presented with a plethora of good tear down arguments.

I have personally debated on both sides of each type of argument. The pro stance in God arguments requires circular reasoning, deference to authority, arguments from ignorance, arguments from popularity, and a good deal of weasel words. The pro argument in favor of bad math requires similarly bad arguments. Whereas the con side of the debate has trivial counter-arguments which easily slice through the notably bad argument on the pro side.

* Arguments on the "con" side are moot. The "pro" arguments are congruent.
* Arguments on the substance of the debate are moot (by the introduction).

However, my opponent does make some points which do address the above topic. He states that "To prove that God exists, we would need all available data. We do not have it, and even if we did, the data about every atom in the galaxy would be too much to comprehend, much less form an argument from it." - To prove that God exists you would need one thing: a God! Similarly to prove that two plus two equals five you would need one thing: to place two things and two things into a basket and finding five things in that basket.

He further contends that "[p]rovided we could, I believe it would show the existence of God somehow." - Why not equally contend that one simply hasn't attempted to add every set of two thing with every other set of two things. In all of the wonders of this universe there is bound to be something which, when added together as will result in five things. Provided we could do this, the premise that two plus two would be shown... somehow. You believe it would not. We have no way of proving this.

This argument for God was offered to show incongruity? It seems to be grasping for straws. Which is exactly as any argument seems to be in favor of these two topics.

When I say that a similar argument to the one SolaGratia offered could be similarly offered, I'm not making that up. I submit the debate "1=1" by Solo and Yraelz
http://www.debate.org...

"In an alternative universes 1 does occasionally does not equal itself."

Likewise in the debate "Two Plus Two Equals Four" between RMK and myself he asserted:
http://www.debate.org...

"Objections to the more equal construction rest on the assumption that the mathematical notion of equality is appropriate to the description of a world where the equality of two quantities"

The assertion that perhaps God exists if we look everywhere in the universe and magically ascribe that God exists is similar in reasonable and logical character as well as similarly far fetched. Positing alternative universes where 1 doesn't equal itself or in some world equals doesn't mean equals is akin to arguing that searching the entire universe will turn up a god.

My position is that the pro argument in either debate is in equally dire straits. If you could posit an argument for God which wasn't clearly flawed as pro attempted. Such an argument would show the incongruity between the two positions: that is not done, it should not be possible if my argument is sound.

I seriously doubt that many people on the planet believe that two plus two equals five. Some people do believe that god(s) exist. However, to assert that the premise is therefore true or defensible is a fallacy of numbers (no pun intended). This not an argument often used in support of an argument for bad math, however it is clearly a bad argument. I freely confess that there are different arguments and that the substance of the argument is going to be different from time to time. However, both pro positions can do and must make bad and fallacious arguments and be in a critically weak position.

I could offer that "everybody believes that two plus two equals five and therefore it should be believed". It would be a bad argument in favor of the proposition, just as your argument that numbers of believers make an argument bad.

-- "You say that a 14-year old with a basic grasp of argument could easily win an argument with a pack of theologians about whether God exists or not. Well, Tatarize, I'll believe it when I see it."

Well, there have been a number of such debates between teenagers against the God premise with some fairly sound defeats for the Pro god side of the debate. Many of them have fairly basic arguments:

* http://www.debate.org...
JustCallMeTarzan at 19 years old (though age is hardly important to the point rather than grasp of the argument).

* http://www.debate.org...
Black.Nite17 at 16 years old.

* http://www.debate.org...
Korezaan at 15 years old.

* http://www.debate.org...
* http://www.debate.org...
Logos at 18 years old.

The pro-god argument is pretty well a dead end. You either make up something really bad or you copy the really bad argument somebody else already put forward. You're in, roughly, as bad of shape as arguing that two plus two equals five. Similar math debates have been a staple of debate, as you could check if you wished. Jackie-Chan posted half a dozen debates stating that 1 = 2.

---

An argument in favor of a false conclusion cannot be sound. If one were to suppose the non-existence of God, these notoriously bad arguments would be the logical consequence. I feel that this is probably the source for the underlying congruity between the aforementioned arguments. So, notably, if it is possible that God does not exist, it is possible that asserted congruity is not only there but explained. However, to show that this congruity is an impossibility one need prove the existence of God.

Though, the mere possibility of a congruity is not an ample argument that a congruity exists. For example, if there is no God, then the two arguments are clearly akin in that they argue for false conclusions. If God and evidence for God exists then the arguments are not congruent. However, if God exists, and no evidence for God exists then the arguments must, necessarily, be equally as bad as arguments in a universe without God and therefore congruent with the bad-math arguments.

So, is there any good evidence for God? I contend, and my arguments rests, on the answer of "No". - The balls' in your court.
SolaGratia

Con

I believe, Tatarize, that it is your argument which is fallacious.

My opponent has failed to address the main point of my argument: these two debates, the god debate and the math debate, are totally disparate, since one is provable and the other is not. It is PROVABLE that two and two are four. Wouldn't you agree? It is , however, impossible to prove that God exists, and it is impossible to disprove it. THEREFORE, these two arguments are ENTIRELY disparate: not only in subject matter, but in the conclusion. Tatarize's argument is really that the MEANS of argument are similar. This is shaky ground again, but does have some basis. The means of argument in some math debates may be similar to that in some god debates, but by no means in most of them. My opponent says that the same fallacies are required, but even that isn't really true. For example, I doubt the math argument would use a Deference to Authority fallacy, because the "authority" says that two and two make four!

Tatarize says, "In all of the wonders of this universe there is bound to be something which, when added together as will result in five things." Now THERE'S a fallacy for you. That is certainly an argument from ignorance.

Tatarize also says, "To prove that God exists you would need one thing: a God! Similarly to prove that two plus two equals five you would need one thing: to place two things and two things into a basket and finding five things in that basket." This might be true. And the differences between these two arguments, then, should be abundantly clear: God can exist--by that I mean that it is metaphysically possible that a god created the universe. However, two and two do not, have not, and will not ever equal five. It is impossible. It is alien to the laws of the universe.

In the first debate you mention, between Dairygirl and Just Call me Tarzan, Pro dropped the ball in the first sentence, when she said, "God's existance [sic] can be proven". I've established that God CANNOT be proven except by evidence that is beyond the scope of human reason, and I think most people agree with me on that one. I think first impressions count alot in a debate like that, and I think that's where Dairygirl fumbled the ball, NOT TO MENTION that she is an incoherent debater, as you have probably seen in other debates.

The other debates are similar: in the second one, Pro's arguments were short and incoherent, in the third, Pro missed an argument (usually a fatal flaw. Trust me.) That debate is tied. Hardly a stunning defeat of the pro-God view. These debates aren't really evidence in your favor. None of these debates were really good, and none of them showed real similarities with each other.

Here's a recent example of a debater making a ridiculous claim, much like claiming two and two are five. (http://www.debate.org...) See how it is turning out? If all debates were created equal, all debates saying that two and two are five and similar harebrained claims would lose entirely.

My opponent asks, rhetorically, "So, is there any good evidence for God?" He forgets that I am not arguing for the existence of a God. He also forgets that he is NOT arguing against the existence of a God. We are arguing the simple statement made in your debate title, and nothing more.

For your consideration: here are some debates that have been won by the Pro-God side. I think using individual debates as evidence is inherently flawed, since there are many ungovernable factors, but since you have I feel no qualms about it.

(http://www.debate.org...)
(http://www.debate.org...)

And here is one of your own, which you are narrowly losing:
http://www.debate.org...

Thanks,

Sola Gratia.

I have thrown the ball back to you, and let's now dispatch with the idiotic basketball metaphors.
Debate Round No. 2
Tatarize

Pro

Again, my argument flies over the head of my opponent. In order to be sure that it doesn't again or for you the readers let me spell it out.

Pro- God Exists: Nearly impossible to argue and arguments are bad at best.
Pro- 2 + 2 = 5 : Nearly impossible to argue and arguments are bad at best.
Con- God Exists: Requires one to tear down the arguments of Pro.
Con- 2 + 2 = 5 : Requires one to tear down the arguments of Pro.

Pro- No God Exists: You cannot prove a negative. Best: Compare God to fairy, goblin, leprechaun, teapot around pluto.
Pro- 2 + 2 ! = 5 : True, 2 + 2 = 4, easily provable.
Con- No God Exists: Your opponent cannot prove a negative, sit back and relax.
Con- 2 + 2 ! = 5 : You're screwed.

Now, notice these positions and take a good look at the topic. I am saying that Pro- God Exists is a very similar position to Pro 2+2=5. My opponent has, repeatedly attacked the position I am arguing for as being that "No God Exists" is roughly equal to "2+2=4". -- This is categorically false! Those debates are remarkably different, I freely admit... but that's not the topic!

My opponent is, oddly enough, shifting the burden of proof. He's not doing so in this arguments but in the arguments this argument is about. If the argument were "Arguing for the non-existence of God is akin to arguing that two and two make four"-- he'd be set -- It, however, is not.

Sorry to look like I'm splitting hairs here, but the topic is clear on the issue and he's trying to make it fuzzy.

---

>>"are totally disparate, since one is provable and the other is not. It is PROVABLE that two and two are four. Wouldn't you agree? It is , however, impossible to prove that God exists, and it is impossible to disprove it."

The point is that it's impossible to prove that two plus two equals five. Which, when you compare that to the other impossible to prove position of God exists... you see the underlying congruity.

>>"For example, I doubt the math argument would use a Deference to Authority fallacy, because the "authority" says that two and two make four!"

At last, an argument on the topic! The two arguments may require different fallacies to try to make connections. However, due to the very nature of a fallacy you could arrive at any conclusion with the use of any fallacy. My preacher says the Bible is true might not as common as my math professor says 2 + 2 = 5, but it is just as bad and wrong. The fallacies used to support a bad conclusion are an outcropping of the substance of the argument, not due to some fundamental change in the "strength, logic, and reasonable aspect" of the arguments. Using different logical mistakes to conclude a wrong conclusion of God or five doesn't change the nature of the arguments: the point is they are all mistakes!

>>"Tatarize says, "..." Now THERE'S a fallacy for you. That is certainly an argument from ignorance.

Yes. It's a fallacious argument. It's a parody of the argument you used 'if you took everything into account then God would exist.' -- On a separate note this is not an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance is when you conclude something because you cannot think of alternative possibilities. I don't know what that light in the sky is... so it must be aliens.

>>"God can exist--by that I mean that it is metaphysically possible that a god created the universe."

The problem with that is we are discussing the argument that God exists. The suggestion that God can exist does not help that argument. What is needed is evidence of the existence of God. I assert that there is none (if you present some solid evidence, I thusly lose). Taking this into account we see that the argument that 'God exists without evidence' is weak whether or not God actually exists. If God exists, but no evidence for God exists, the argument is weak. If God doesn't exist, there is no evidence for God, the argument is weak. The actual existence of God is fairly moot to the argument of whether or not God exists. If there's no evidence the argument is going to suck.

** On a side note, God existing and giving no evidence for His existence is pretty cold if eternal damnations awaits those who fail to believe. With exactly the same amount of evidence as should be present if there is no God, the conclusion that there is a God is unwarranted in either case. An all-good, all-powerful, all-loving God should perhaps make unbelief less warranted.

---

The debates I mentioned were examples meant to highlight a fairly throwaway comment I made.

>>"I've established that God CANNOT be proven except by evidence that is beyond the scope of human reason, and I think most people agree with me on that one."

First off, you've simply said that God cannot be proven. Frankly if God descended from the sky proved himself and started doing the talk shows, I think it would pretty clearly established and well within human reason. Evidence beyond human reason is not evidence, in case you care. And you stated that if everything in the universe were known God would exist, that's not much of a claim at all. Further, most people agreeing with you is firstly false and secondly moot. Defending a bad argument with a fallacy of numbers is a bit on the odd side, even for you.

My point about the evidence for the existence of God was because of the evidence rather than the existence of God. Actual evidence in favor of the notion would make the playing field completely unlevel. Whereas currently the debate in favor of 2+2=5 and in favor of the existence of God are both weak and fairly impotent. I wasn't asking that my opponent prove God as a random hoop to jump through, just as an example of THE thing which would show the incongruity of the two arguments.

>>"And here is one of your own, which you are narrowly losing"

Most of the debate references are minor points and fairly moot. In my defense of the MoonDragon debate he's gotten some biased points and some creativity points. The comments clearly make the point, from several individuals (including MoonDragon), that my debate was better. MoonDragon however is one of the best debaters on this site and had, I must say, a very clever argument.

---

The argument that two plus two equals five is hopeless and there is no sound argument or compelling reason why any person should be compelled by the argument. The argument that God exists is hopeless and there is no sound argument or compelling reason why any person should be compelled bye the argument. The two arguments are "on the strength, logic, and reasonable aspect" "two peas in a pod."

Thank you.
SolaGratia

Con

You certainly have a right to insult my intelligence, but for the record I have been blessed (YES! By an eternal, omniscient God! ;)) with a good pair of eyes, reading skills, and a brain which can process and understand your arguments. I don't think your arguments passed over my head, in fact I think it's every credit to you that they did not. They hit me squarely between the eyes ;) But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so I will continue on.

If I may, I will attempt to summarize my opponent's arguments. His basic thesis, I believe, was this.

"Pro- God Exists: Nearly impossible to argue and arguments are bad at best.
Pro- 2 + 2 = 5 : Nearly impossible to argue and arguments are bad at best."

If this were the case, you would be right and this debate would have no further purpose. However, this little comparison is flawed.

First of all, as I have argued, the scope of evidence for these two debates is different. We possess the bulk, some might say all that is needed, of the evidence to conclude that two and two always, irrevocably equal four. However, the evidence to prove that a god exists is far, far greater. In fact, it includes every piece of matter in the galaxy. I know it is impossible to prove a negative, and this may sound like a fallacy, but consider: the only way that it would actually be a true fallacy in every case would be if you possessed ALL relevant data--as we DO for the 2+2=5 argument, and as we do NOT for the God argument.

So, your original argument is quite simply wrong: these two popular debate topics share no similarities. They are almost completely unrelated to each other. I would be doing the same thing, for example, if I started a debate with an equally nonsensical topic, such as "Steve Martin is akin to Margaret Thatcher."

I notice that you even admit these two debates are, "[R]emarkably different." You go on to say triumphantly that this wasn't the topic. I'm wondering how you can say at the same time that two debates are "akin" and "remarkably different." These may be equivalent in your relativistic universe, but in the real world they form a very tidy contradiction.

I should mention that making the debate "fuzzy" was certainly not my intention, and indeed seems a rather odd, even petulant complaint to bring against me. I was, I admit, struggling to DISCERN the topic, because it seemed to me that it inexplicably altered every time you formed an argument. But I was not, at all, trying to "fog" or "fuzz" the topic.

>>On a side note, God existing and giving no evidence for His existence is pretty cold if eternal damnations awaits those who fail to believe. With exactly the same amount of evidence as should be present if there is no God, the conclusion that there is a God is unwarranted in either case. An all-good, all-powerful, all-loving God should perhaps make unbelief less warranted.<<

I suppose you couldn't resist arguing against God, even though YOU have kept reminding me that this isn't the topic. If God is God, by the way, he can do whatever He wants.

You conclude: "The argument that two plus two equals five is hopeless and there is no sound argument or compelling reason why any person should be compelled by the argument. The argument that God exists is hopeless and there is no sound argument or compelling reason why any person should be compelled bye [sic] the argument. The two arguments are "on the strength, logic, and reasonable aspect" "two peas in a pod.""

The argument that God exists is hopeless? No sound arguments or compelling reasons? Read Lewis, Schaeffer, and the other Apologists. If reason is the highest standard for you, these authors have done a pretty god job of proving god through reason. Also, Lee Strobel.

If there were "sound arguments or compelling reasons" that God exists, then those who believe in a god, most of the world's populace, are deceiving themselves. You are one of the "enlightened" ones, it seems. Frankly, it rankles that you believe yourself so superior to me and the billions of others who believe in a deity. Do you really believe that every believer in the world, of any real religion, is deceiving themselves? I can't accept that, and I doubt many other people can, either. It is false. And so is your original argument.

Thank you for the debate, Tatarize. Whatever way the results go, you are a worthy debater. Thanks!

Sola Gratia
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
Tatarize: If I found as much humor in bad arguments as you apparently do, I would be in paroxysms of mirth right now.

Sorry, lame pun.
Posted by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
I am entitled to my own opinions, and in this case, you lost the debate and are wrong.

Yes, yes, I know, I'M the one that wrong, and no one on earth will convince you otherwise, so I guess I will just shut up and stop wasting my time.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Renzzy, you're wrong as to how I attempted to boil down the argument. Dax hit the nail on the head with his remarks. I'd also recommend reading another debate of mine:

http://www.debate.org...

Sometimes it's an uphill battle.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
For the record, I've read Lewis, Schaeffer and Strobel... those are not sound arguments, compelling reasons, or even good.

Lewis' argument from desire is a personal favorite of mine. Something about having entirely false premises, bad logic, and then failing to conclude what you're suppose to conclude has a subtle entertainment value.
Posted by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
Blond guy,

Sola DID answer Tatarizes analogy. The problem was that Tatarize tried to boil it down to a "is there a god?" debate, and Sola did not allow this to happen. Sola argued the title, and the title was incorrect. Sola won without a doubt.
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
blond guy: You certainly have a right to disagree with me, but I believe I have shown beyond a doubt that these two arguments are entirely unrelated, if nothing else. I believe that your vote is motivated by your own atheism, but I could be wrong.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
I disagree Renzzy. Con failed to prove that pro's analogy was incorrect. There were so many "amen" moments as I read Tatarize's arguments, my vote goes for pro.
Posted by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
Well ended Sola! Good debate! You get my vote, because you actually beat Tatarize, and that is not an easy thing to do. Very good debate, and I wish there would be more debates like this, because debate.org seems to be dying from pointless and foolish debates and debaters who want nothing but to be...immature.
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
The reason the pro is wrong is because the nature of the two things trying to be proved are very different. One way of thinking about knowledge is that it can be divided into two groups: analytic and synthetic. Analytic knowledge is knowledge that is true by definition, e.g. Ice is the frozen form of water, 2 + 2 = 4. Synthetic knowledge is knowledge about the world that requires investigation, like the freezing point of water is 32 degrees, or god exits. The pro's argument was just a long-winded version of "Arguing 2+2=5 is like arguing god exists because they are both stupid positions." I agree that god doesn't exist, but don't get ahead of yourself.
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
Thank you, Das Kapitel. I will endeavor to.
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Vote Placed by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
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Vote Placed by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
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