The Instigator
Max.Wallace
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cassius
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

As a non religion/religion, deism is the most truthful.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Cassius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,163 times Debate No: 65418
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (31)
Votes (2)

 

Max.Wallace

Pro

I cannot wait for a religeousist to disagree, bring it!
Cassius

Con

I’d like to thank Mr. Max Wallace for proposing this debate challenge. I hope we can have a fruitful discussion about which religious position is the most truthful. I'll first clarify for readers the basic beliefs of deism, and then compare the probability of deism with its theistic alternative.

I. Deism vs. Theism.

In The Routledge Companion to Theism, deism is defined as “natural or rational religion stripped of all revealed, mystical, inspired, parochial, and mysterious elements” (Taliaferro et al., 135). The author later refines this definition by describing some of its loosely related views: “God is a supremely good and wise person; God created the world but does not intervene in its operation,” among other views (Taliaferro et al., 135). As such, the deist affirms with his religious brother that there is a Divine reality external and independent of the created world. He simply rejects any act of Divine intervention in the world beyond that of creation.

Theism, broadly defined, is the belief in God(s), coming from the Greek word theos. Deism, although technically theistic, is often classified as non-theistic simply because it differs so contrastingly from the intervention and revelation characterized by other theistic belief systems (Taliaferro et al., 135). The divide between deism and theism therefore centers on the question of Divine intervention.

If God is more likely to have intervened in the world than not, I will have proven my position. Allow me to continue.

II. Human perfection in God.

The human mind is innately directed towards the truth of existence. This is true from simply surveying our cognitive power of reasoning. Through our empirical senses, we grasp effects, and then we use our power of reasoning to progress to an understanding of their causes. In other words, our mind tends towards the more fundamental principle, towards the abstract, theoretical, or universal.

Deism agrees with theism, at the very lest, that God is the ultimate principle of the world, as seen above. In other words, He is the universal cause, the necessary and fundamental source from which all else originates. Now because the human mind seeks the universal, it is clear that the human intellect is essentially directed towards God as the highest truth of existence. The perfection of the intellect, then, is the final end of God.

III. God distrubutes this human perfection.

Plato once wrote that “good is diffusive of itself.” This philosophical principle is verified by the very idea of goodness. Goodness consists in the existence of perfection. To perfect others in addition to oneself is therefore becoming to goodness, as more perfection exists if it is communicated to others rather than contained to itself.

Deism once again agrees with theism that God is “supremely good,” as referenced in the definition above. Because God is supremely good, it follows that He is likely to distribute His goodness to exterior creatures, perfecting them by His very nature. Thus, God, in His sublime purity, is likely to transmit the truth of His infinite existence to man, for the sake of man’s perfection.

IV. God’s diffusion of that human perfection.

Now, God could go about this process of perfecting humans in two ways. He could either allow man to find Him through rational deliberation and introspection, or He could reveal Himself to man efficiently and painlessly.

The ancient Greeks, step by step, over centuries of unaided and often erroneous reason, came to a shadowly reflection of God. Aristotle relates to us the history of the Greek philosophical campaign to find the source of the world. He states that “most of the earliest philosophers conceived only of material principles as underlying all things” (Aristotle, 983b). Afterwards, “since they were insufficient to account for the generation of the actual world, men were again compelled by truth itself to investigate the next first principle” (Aristotle, 984b). Left without revelation, it took generations of sophisticated Greek metaphysicians finally come to the rational knowledge of God.

This is why, of course, religious theists believe that God revealed Himself to man. In that revelation, man understands the end to which his very nature tends, so that God might perfect him with that knowledge. And thus God revealed Himself to the prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The French philosopher Étienne Gilson writes of Moses, the greatest prophet, “instead of engaging upon deep metaphysical meditations to discover the true name of God, he took a typically religious short cut,” which is, of course, simply asking his Creator for that Divine revelation (Gilson 40).

V. Conclusion.

My case rests on three parts: first, that human perfection ultimately consists in God; second, that a supremely good God delivers that human perfection; third, that God would most effectively accomplish that perfection through revelation of Himself. Thus, I believe I have shown it more likely than not that God would reveal Himself to man.

VI. Sources.

Aristotle. Metaphysics. Trans. W. D. Ross. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1967.

Bullivant, Stephen, and Michael Ruse. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford UP, 2013.

Gilson, Etienne. God and Philosophy. New Haven: Yale UP, 1941.

Taliaferro, Charles, Victoria S. Harrison, and Stewart Goetz. The Routledge Companion to Theism. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Debate Round No. 1
Max.Wallace

Pro

I really cannot argue, as your argument is essentially the truth in my mind, and has not disproved my statement, only strengthened it.

Thank you for taking this debate.
Cassius

Con

I'm not sure if my opponent fully read my argument. The conclusion I drew at the end is that God would most likely provide revelation to mankind of His existence. However, deism necessarily rejects this kind of revelation as part of its definition -- otherwise, deism would not be divided against the great theistic religions which include revelation in the form of Scripture or Tradition. If my opponent did in fact read my argument and agree with it, then I invite him to reconsider his affection for deism, and perhaps turn to the knowledge which God has mercifully granted us.
Debate Round No. 2
Max.Wallace

Pro

I apologize, because I did fail to read the conclusion of your essay, as at the end of a day of hard physical and mental labor, I am prone to running off at the mouth/keyboard, often time to the detriment of my ELO score.

The fact is that I was raised Catholic also, and confirmed. I recognized very early on that the church was mostly about retaining power and wealth as every month or two there would be a sermon dedicated to church finance and how they needed more of your cash. Every religion that "god" has revealed themselves to, exists only to disagree with the other religions and to convert or kill or persecute the followers of those they declare as blasphemers. I could dedicate myself to any one religion, by believing god has revealed himself to me, but that would just be a plain old lie. I believe every religion has it's rights and wrongs.

I also believe that God most likely has only revealed himself to Moses, and shortly after that human nature took control.

The 10 commandments, in my mind are the only laws we should all so our best to follow, although anyone who says they have is most likely a liar, or not cursed with the urges and wishes of most humans. I do not pretend to know god, only to have faith that maybe God has been revealed to someone at one time. You really believe that you know God's wishes?
Cassius

Con

Well, dissecting my opponent's response, it seems we agree on far more points than I first predicted. My opponent seems to reject the rather harsh stance of deism, in favor of one which embraces a closer, more involved God.

Since this debate is not about the temporal or spiritual power of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, I will leave his polemic of Catholicism aside. Whether or not God's revelation takes the earthly form of the Catholic Church, the fact of the matter is that a supremely good God is more likely to assist men in reaching their intellectual perfection by revealing Himself to them than not.

Indeed my opponent admits, contrary to the stance of his deistic predecessors, "I also believe that God most likely has only revealed Himself to Moses," which would seem to affirm the veracity of the Torah and the Old Law contained therein. This makes him, at the very least, an intellectual (if not cultural) Saducee.

I confess that of my own limited nature, I do not have the infinite wisdom of God. This is evident from the fact that I am a mutable, temporal, bodily creature. This very finitude is in fact the reason why I believe God has chosen to reveal a portion of the riches of his intellect to mankind, because, as we have seen, it would take generations upon generations of us to catch a glimpse of Him otherwise. I admit therefore that I do not know God's wishes naturally, but only as spoken through the prophets who He has mercifully guided, and through His own Incarnate Word.

All of this aside, my opponent wisely maintains that God revealed Himself to Moses, and this would seem to concede deism in favor of a very Jewish -- but very theistic -- world-view.
Debate Round No. 3
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
We would all get along better without kings, THEY demand a side be taken.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
The lone voter here is a disturber of truth.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
And I to you Sir Cassius. No winners or losers in this one, in my pea brain. Thanks!
Posted by Cassius 2 years ago
Cassius
It's fine Max Wallace, this has been a pleasant exchange on an otherwise unpleasant website. I really enjoyed talking to you.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
Every religion has it's own bible, written by the god it followers choose to call god. It is very impossible to determine which one is the God we should worship. That is all I am trying to say, to everyone that quotes their god. No harm done, I am thick skinned, and have a head of mostly bone. lol!
Posted by Cassius 2 years ago
Cassius
If you believe that the Bible was not inspired by God, then, sure, yes, you believe I'm misled. But I am assuredly not pretending to know God's words, which implies intentional deceit; I truly believe that they are God's words. If anything, I am simply misled.
Posted by Cassius 2 years ago
Cassius
I didn't mean to insult you by calling you a Saducee. Any negative connotations you attach were not at all my intention. I merely wanted to explain how, by accepting the revelation of Moses, you have allied yourself with a shamelessly theistic religion.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
I cannot tell you how insulted I feel by you titling me Seducee. That must be your version of trolling.
Posted by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
You would of course agree that quoting man written scriptures is to pretend to know the lords words, even though a human wrote them, and human's quote them, all the while pretending the words came from God.

I think we could be on the same page, if we didn't pretend to know what page we read told us what to believe.

In my mind, this was a great debate, thanks for your patience.
Posted by Cassius 2 years ago
Cassius
I mean, I truly believe that it is God's words, otherwise I wouldn't be Catholic. No one arrogantly pretends they could know the mysteries of the faith (i.e. the Trinity, the Incarnation) without revelation.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 2 years ago
TrasguTravieso
Max.WallaceCassiusTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro states the conviction at the end of his final round that God revealed himself to Moses and that we ought to follow the Ten Commandments. This is so patently contrary to the deist position we can only take it either as an unconscious fumble or a tenuously worded concession. It is a pity Mr. Wallace didn't bother interacting with Con's case. It was a delight to read and would have made for a rich debate indeed.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Max.WallaceCassiusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro pretty much misses con's whole argument. Note to con: don't try this hard next time against Max.Wallace, he doesn't take much to beat.