The Instigator
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
OneElephant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Atheism is more probable than Theism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Microsuck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,940 times Debate No: 24794
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)

 

Microsuck

Pro

Resolved: Atheism is more probable than Theism.

For purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined as to include the general attributes of the Judeo-Christian God (i.e.: omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence etc.) That is to say, we are not referring to any specific deity.
"More probable" is to be defined as more likely than not (in other words, atheism is more likely than Theism).

Rules:

(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
(5) Forfeiting any round will result in a 7 point loss.

Rounds:

(1) Acceptance
(2) Opening Statement
(3) Rebuttal
(4) Rebuttal

Other notes:

(1) 72 hours to argue;
(2) If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time.
(3) If one side explicitly concedes or violates any terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other;
(4) By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.
OneElephant

Con

I accept and wish my opponent the best of luck. I also wish to put forth the following definitions-

Atheism: The doctrine or belief that there is no god. [1]
Theism: Belief in the existence of a god or gods (as opposed to Atheism) [2]

It is interesting to note that these definitions make Pro's definition of "god" obsolete. I believe this is justifiable; under Pro's definition, muslims would not be considered theists. Therefore, Pro should win if he can demonstrate that the odds of any and every god existing is under 50%, and I should win should I demonstrate the opposite.

===Sources===

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Microsuck

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. It is a pleasure to debate you on this important subject. In this debate, I will be defending two main contentions: 1) There are no good reasons to think that Theism is true; and 2) There are good reasons to accept atheism over Theism. I wish you the best of luck.

I. Case for weak Atheism

Weak Atheism is literally “without Theism.” In Greek, a means “without” and “theos” means God. Therefore, an atheist is simply one without a belief in God. We call this weak atheism. The definition you provided in round 1 (which I will defend in part 2), is strong atheism. This means that Atheism is the absence of Theistic beliefs. (Martin, 1992) In my next section, I will defend positive (or strong) atheism (I’m a strong atheist)

A. Presumption of Atheism

This argument takes advantage of a commonly accepted principle that extraordinary claims require extraordinarily strong evidence in order to be believed. I will define an extraordinary claim as:

“[A] claim that contradicts accepted physical laws or our common sense, everyday experiences of the world.” (Krueger, 2003)

As Carl Sagan puts it:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

1. If a claim is extraordinary, then in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim may be considered false.
2. The claim that a god exists is an extraordinary claim.
3. Therefore, in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim that a god exists may be considered false.
4. There is no extraordinarily strong evidence for the claim that a god exists.
5. Therefore, the claim that a god exists may be considered false. (Krueger, 2003)

Extraordinary claims vary in their degree of extraordinariness. Let me give you three statements:

  1. 1. I have eaten lunch;
  2. 2. I have won the lottery; and
  3. 3. Last night, God called me to be His final prophet on earth and wants all men to follow my words.

The first claim does not contradict accepted physical laws or our commonsense, everyday experience; consequently, my word would be sufficed for one to accept that claim. The second claim that I won the lottery would not contradict accepted physical laws, but it would contradict out commonsense, everyday experience since most people do not win the lottery. Consequently, if I were to present this claim, it may be sufficient to show that I have won by reading the account in the newspaper or reading the number on the lottery ticket. Finally, the claim that God called me to be His final prophet on earth is extraordinary to the highest degree. To believe the latter claim, you would have to change some of your beliefs about how God reveals Himself to man, your religion, and your views about God etc. Indeed, it would be irrational to believe the latter account unless I put forth lots of evidence.

The claim that there is a God is the highest claim one can make. Why? Because it is a being that differs from all known organisms with regard to power or intelligence; thus, this being is different in every way we experience. For example, God is all powerful. In this way, God is different from all known organisms because all known organisms are limited in their power.

This attitude regarding “god” is quite common. In the words of Stephen Roberts, “I contend that we are both atheists; I just believe in one fewer gods than you do; when you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” For example, by definition of atheist, all Christians are atheistic about all gods except their own. No-one has been able to prove that other gods do not exist, yet no Christian believes that such gods exist. Why do they disbelieve? Because of the presumption of Atheism.

Is there strong evidence for the existence of God? The subsequent arguments will show that there is not. Moreover, I will refute my opponent’s arguments and show that there is not. Dr. James Dobson notes that, “faith ranks at the top of God’s system of priorities…This determination to believe when the proof is not provided and when questions are not answered is central to our relationship with the Lord. He will never do anything to destroy the need for faith.” (Dobson, 1993)

This approach justifies me rejecting all other gods that may be proposed until extraordinary evidence is available. Thus, I can rationally conclude that there are no gods at all.

II. Case for Strong Atheism

In the subsequent arguments, I am going to argue for strong atheism—the positive claim that God does not exist.

A. Demographics of Theism

  1. 1. If the demographics of Theism are better explained by Atheism than Theism, then the demographics of Theism makes Atheism more plausible than Theism;
  2. 2. The demographics of Theism are better explained by Atheism than Theism;
  3. 3. Therefore, Atheism is more plausible than Theism.

This argument begins by making the following observations:

  1. 1. There are many more Muslims than Christians than in Saudi Arabia[1];
  2. 2. There are more Hindus in India than in any other part of the world[2]; and
  3. 3. In the ancient world, every nation had its own distinct mythology[3].

This pattern is very surprising on the Theistic part. Isn’t it bizarre why God would let such an important matter of faith be dependent upon the place and time of one’s birth? The fact is, atheism better explains these demographics. If God does not exist, then religions are but elaborate social constructions. Therefore, we would expect the demographics to vary based upon culture and time.

In conclusion, Theism is better explained by Atheism than by Theism!



[1] According to the US Department of State, there is a 99% Muslim population. http://www.state.gov...

[2] The Census of India reports that 80.5% are adherence to Hinduism. http://censusindia.gov.in...

[3] These mythologies are contradictory and vary wildly. See http://www.ancient-mythology.com...

Bibliography

Dobson, D. J. (1993). When God Doesn't Make Sense. Carol Stream, Illinoise, United States of America: Tyndale House Publishers.

Krueger, D. (2003, March 24). The Krueger-McHugh Debate: Theism or Atheism (2003). Retrieved from Internet Infidels: http://infidels.org...

Martin, M. (1992). Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

OneElephant

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments. I will do my best to refute them and present my own arguments.

===Pro’s Case===



A. Weak Atheism

First of all, we have to establish that Weak Atheism is not relevant to the resolution. If I understand correctly, Weak Atheists do not assert that there’s no such thing as a “god”, they simply choose not to believe or follow theistic practices that may be associated with belief in a particular conception of “god”, such as going to church [1]. This is not relevant to the resolution because it’s a negative claim; since there is no assertion, there’s no “likelihood” involved. If we substitute the definition of Weak Atheism into the resolution, we end up with “disbelief is more likely than the existence of one or any ‘gods’”, which doesn’t make sense.

For the resolution to stand, Pro must prove that strong Atheism, or the existence of no gods/deities, is more probable than theism.

As an extension of Weak Atheism, Pro advocates Presumption of Atheism. If I understand correctly, this is an argument about burden of proof; Pro states that since “god”, is a being that defies accepted physical laws or common sense (an “extraordinary claim”), we should immediately assume that no such being exists unless “extraordinary evidence”.
I think the problem with this argument is the overall vagueness of it. For starters, what exactly suffices as “extraordinary evidence”? Consider the following questions-

Is the current amount of evidence for the ice age sufficiently “extraordinary”?

What about the big bang? Is there sufficient “extraordinary evidence” for that?

If not, does that mean that we should assume that these events did not take place?

Additionally, what are “accepted physical laws/common sense”? Is there a universal standard for “common sense”? Pro seems to agree that people have different notions regarding “common sense”; he argues that if he had said “Last night, God called me to be His final prophet on earth and wants all men to follow my words.”, it would be an extraordinary claim to the theist because it conflicts with the pre-established ideas that the theist might have about god. Doesn’t that imply that there is no standard idea of what constitutes as a “common sense” (and ergo “extraordinary claims” as well) since people have different pre-established doctrines? If so, than wouldn’t that imply that the “presumption of atheism” argument only works on atheists?

In order for my opponent to proceed with this framework, he must first address the questions I have raised in this round. Until then, burden of proof is to be shared.

B. Strong Atheism

If I understand correctly, my opponent has accepted my definition of “theism”. Therefore his argument falls because it’s based on the premise that “god” is perfectly just- the idea of an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god is just one concept of a supreme deity. For example, in the Old Testament (of the Bible) Yahweh himself admits to being selfish. Additionally, he had a “chosen people”, the Israelites, implying he wasn’t “perfectly just” and had his preferences.



===Con’s Case===


I will only be presenting one argument this round. I’m not aware if Pro will allow new arguments to be brought up in future rounds, but I hope he will, as my brain appears to be unable to formulate coherent arguments right now.


A. Teleological Argument

Let’s consider the odds of winning the lottery. The chances of winning the lottery are so small that all participants with six matching numbers are considered extremely lucky. Now let’s assume that somebody won the lottery’s grand prize three times in a row. Most people would immediately accuse said person of cheating or fraud.

The reason that a three time lottery winner would fall under suspicion is that the sheer odds of winning the lottery three times in a row by random chance are so slim that almost any other explanation is more probable. Manipulation from an outside source is much more probable than something occurring from random chance.

Now, let’s consider the chances of the earth being suitable for human life. As Pro himself admits, the odds are probably infinitely times slimmer than winning the lottery three times in a row. Since science would suggest that most things have a cause, it is reasonable to assume that there is some external guiding force that shaped the world into something inhabitable for humans.

Therefore, it is probable that a god or gods exist.

Thank you.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Microsuck

Pro


Thank you for your timely response. I apologize for the delay.



Refutation of con's opening arguments


My opponent chooses the teleological argument as his sole weapon. As we are going to see, it has never been a popular argument—and for good reasons. I shall show why this fails to meet the burden of proof and fails to prove that God exists.


A. The teleological argument



My opponent states, “Let’s consider the odds of winning the lottery. The chances of winning the lottery are so small that all participants with six matching numbers are considered extremely lucky. Now let’s assume that somebody won the lottery’s grand prize three times in a row. Most people would immediately accuse said person of cheating or fraud.”



Richard Carrier in his 2006 book Why I am Not a Christian thoroughly refutes such a statement:




Suppose there is no God. If that is the case, then the origin of life must be a random accident. Christians rightly point out that the appearance of the first living organism is an extremely improbable accident. Of course, so is winning a lottery, and yet lotteries are routinely won. Why? Because the laws of probability entail the odds of winning a lottery depend not just on how unlikely a win is--let's say, a one in a billion chance--but on how often the game is played. In other words, if a billion people play, and the odds of winning are one in a billion, it is actually highly probable that someone will win the lottery. Now, if the game is played only once, and the only ticket sold just happens to be the winner, then you might get suspicious. And if the game was played a billion times, and each time only one ticket was sold and yet every single time that ticket happened to be the winner, then you would be quite certain someone was cheating. For nothing else could explain such a remarkable fact.



Therefore, the only way life could arise by accident (i.e. without God arranging it) is if there were countless more failed tries than actual successes. After all, if the lottery was played by a billion people and yet only one of them won, that would surely be a mere accident, not evidence of cheating. So the only way this lottery could be won by accident is if it was played countless times and only one ticket won. To carry the analogy over, the only way life could arise by accident is if the universe tried countless times and only very rarely succeeded. Lo and behold, we observe that is exactly what happened: the universe has been mixing chemicals for over twelve billion years in over a billion-trillion star systems. That is exactly what we would have to see if life arose by accident--because life can only arise by accident in a universe as large and old as ours. The fact that we observe exactly what the theory of accidental origin requires and predicts is evidence that our theory is correct.” (Carrier, 2006a)




So, are there more failed tries than actual successes? Let's do some math. As of 1999, NASA reported that the Hubble Space Telescope found over 150 BILLION galaxies in the observable universe. (Georgia, 2002) ScienceBlogs (partners with National Geographic) reported in 2012 that there are at least 306 extrasolar planets found that year alone (Ethan, 2010).



So it certainly does appear that there are more tries than successes. Richard Carrier notes in his interview:



“Thus, we have exactly the universe we’d expect to have if there is no god. Whereas a god does not need vast trillions of star systems and billions of years to make life. He doesn’t need vast quantities of lethal space and deadly matter. Only a godless universe needs that. It also does no good to say such a random accidental universe is improbable, because the convenient existence of a marvelously “super-omni” god is just as improbable. Either way you are assuming some amazing luck. Which leaves the evidence. And the evidence is just way more probable if there’s no god. Thus, we’re forced to choose between which lucky accident it was, and the evidence confirms the one and not the other." (Carrier, 2012b).

Other problems with the argument are thus:





  1. The analogical reasoning used is weak




  2. Even if we accept the analogy, the argument cannot show:




    1. The designer has infinite attributes




    2. The designer is faultless




    3. There is only one designer




    4. That the designer(s) is (are) still alive (Tobin, 2006).






The analogical reasoning used in the teleological argument is weak and not convincing.


In conclusion, my opponent's arguments have failed. I am out of time and will defend my opening statements in the next round.



Bibliography



Carrier, R. (2012, January 3a). Richard Carrier Interview. (TheBestSchools, Interviewer) Retrieved from: http://freethoughtblogs.com...


Carrier, R. (2006b). Why I am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith. United States of America: CreateSpace Publishers.


Ethan, S. (2010, 17 June).How many planets are out there? First Results from Kepler! Retrieved from ScienceBlogs



Georgia & Veronica. (2002, November 27). How many galaxies are there? Retrieved from NASA: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov...



Tobin, P. (2009).The Rejection of Pascal's Wager: A Skeptic's Guide to the Bible and the Historical Jesus. United States of America: AuthorsOnline Publishers. Retrieved from: http://rejectionofpascalswager.net...



OneElephant

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments. I also would like to note that I will be expanding on my original arguments and adding new arguments, because I feel like the limited amount of arguments I put forth will not hold enough weight against my opponent’s refutation. I was also not previously aware of the restriction on when arguments can be presented, so I apologize and offer conduct to Pro if necessary.

===Con’s Case===

A. Argument from Improbability

My opponent is correct in pointing out that the appearance of human life more closely resembles a lottery win than a planned occurrence. Therefore, I would like to shift my argument from the creation of life on earth to the creation of the universe. I think my opponent would agree that there is only one universe; therefore, the argument that I deliver more closely mirrors the example that Richard Carrier presents.

I would also like to rename the argument; I believe that it is more of an argument from improbability than argument from design.

In summary:

1. Pro concedes that “if the game was played a billion times, and each time only one ticket was sold and yet every single time that ticket happened to be the winner, then you would be quite certain someone was cheating“, or in other words, if something extremely unlikely occurs, it is reasonable to suspect outside interference by a greater power rather than random chance.

2. The creation of the universe mirrors the situation where an extremely unlikely event occurred with no prior trials.

3. Therefore, it is reasonable to suspect that outside interference by a greater power other than chance influenced the creation of the universe.


B. Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological argument is as follows:

1. Finite things cannot be caused by infinite regress.

2. All existing things that came into existence (began existing) must have a cause.

3. The universe began, and therefore must have a cause.

4. The cause must have been a theistic power.

While I’m not sure if my opponent will accept my assertion, I believe that points 1 and 2 can be accepted purely based on empirical evidence- only infinite things (such as numbers) can have infinite regress, finite things, such as rocks cannot. I will expand on these points further if needed.

We know that the universe is finite, therefore, it couldn’t have been caused by an unending chain of events, there must have been an uncaused cause, which leads to point 4. Why must there be a theistic power?
Pro touches upon this by pointing out that even if the cosmological argument and the argument from improbability were valid, there is still not enough evidence implicating a god that is faultless or there is only one designer, etc. He states that the argument does not show:

1. The designer has infinite attributes

2. The designer is faultless

3. There is only one designer

4. That the designer(s) is (are) still alive (Tobin, 2006).

I will dismiss the second and third points; I’m not defending a specific god, I’m defending the probability of theism in general. I believe that the arguments I have provided do show that the designer has infinite attributes and is/are still alive; the cause of the universe must necessarily be uncaused so the first cause would transcend time and matter. Only an incredibly powerful being could cause the existence, a supreme diety.

I apologize for the delayed response. I hand the stage back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Microsuck

Pro

Thank you for your reply. In this post, I will respond to your rebuttals to my opening arguments first. My opponent added to his argument and thus we should only count his original statement when voting.

I. Defense of Opening Statements

A. Presumption of Atheism

My opponent straw man’s this argument. My opponent first of all states the following:

"First of all, we have to establish that Weak Atheism is not...This is not relevant to the resolution because it’s a negative claim; since there is no assertion, there’s no “likelihood” involved. If we substitute the definition of Weak Atheism into the resolution, we end up with “disbelief is more likely than the existence of one or any ‘gods’”, which doesn’t make sense."

This is false. I have to show that atheism (positive atheism) is more probable than Theism. The purpose of this argument is to show that the lack of evidence for God’s existence is evidence against God’s existence. It shows that we are reasonable to conclude that God does not exist. Consider the argument from non-belief:

1. If God exists, inculpable non-belief does not exist;
2. Inculpable non-believe does exist.
3. Therefore, God does not exist.

Why do I say this? Consider that if God perfectly loves, then he desires to have a relationship with every one of us. If that were the case, then God would want to give us evidence that God exists. My opponent admits that his argument for God’s existence was not strong enough in light of my rebuttals. Indeed, as Paul Tobin notes:

[T]he fact that theist philosophers have been unable to prove the existence of God, is enough for anyone to not have any belief in God. In other words, the absence of evidence is a strong case for atheism.” (Tobin, 2006)

Now, my opponent straw man’s this argument by proposing three questions:

Is the current amount of evidence for the ice age sufficiently “extraordinary”?

Yes, the current amount of evidence for the ice age is sufficient. First, we need to understand how we can calculate the probability of the events. To this, I use Bayne’s theorem. The following information is from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Joyce, 2003):

The probability of a hypothesis H conditional on a given body of data E is the ratio of the unconditional probability of the conjunction of the hypothesis with the data to the unconditional probability of the data alone.

Definition.

The probability of H conditional on E is defined as PE(H) = P(H & E)/P(E), provided that both terms of this ratio exist and P(E) > 0.[1]



To illustrate, suppose J. Doe is a randomly chosen American who was alive on January 1, 2000. According to the United States Center for Disease Control, roughly 2.4 million of the 275 million Americans alive on that date died during the 2000 calendar year. Among the approximately 16.6 million senior citizens (age 75 or greater) about 1.36 million died. The unconditional probability of the hypothesis that our J. Doe died during 2000, H, is just the population-wide mortality rate P(H) = 2.4M/275M = 0.00873. To find the probability of J. Doe's death conditional on the information, E, that he or she was a senior citizen, we divide the probability that he or she was a senior who died, P(H & E) = 1.36M/275M = 0.00495, by the probability that he or she was a senior citizen, P(E) = 16.6M/275M = 0.06036. Thus, the probability of J. Doe's death given that he or she was a senior is PE(H) = P(H &E)/P(E) = 0.00495/0.06036 = 0.082. Notice how the size of the total population factors out of this equation, so that PE(H) is just the proportion of seniors who died. One should contrast this quantity, which gives the mortality rate among senior citizens, with the "inverse" probability of E conditional on H, PH(E) = P(H & E)/P(H) = 0.00495/0.00873 = 0.57, which is the proportion of deaths in the total population that occurred among seniors.

Here are some straightforward consequences of (1.1):

Probability. PE is a probability function.[2]

Logical Consequence. If E entails H, then PE(H) = 1.

Preservation of Certainties. If P(H) = 1, then PE(H) = 1.

Mixing. P(H) = P(E)PE(H) + P(~E)P~E(H).

So, based upon this, what evidence is there for the ice age which include, but is not limited to (Isaak, 2003):

  1. 1. Species of foraminifera vary with ocean temperature. The variation is recorded in deep ocean sediments, showing many long-term changes.
  2. 2. Oxygen isotope ratios (18O/16O) indicate when more water is held in glaciers (because 16O evaporates more easily and so is disproportionately common in snow). This ratio is recorded in carbonate shells in seafloor sediments; it shows the same sort of variation.
  3. 3. Formations caused by glaciers on Mauna Kea show that the volcano experienced at least four glaciations. Lava flows between the formations show that the glaciations were separate.4.

Needless to say, there are a lot of evidence for the ice age event and zero for the existence of a God!

What about the big bang? Is there sufficient “extraordinary evidence” for that?

Once again, yes! First, let’s define the BBT as In the distant past, the universe was very dense and hot; since then it has expanded, becoming less dense and cooler.[1] Some of the evidence for the BBT includes large-scale homogeneity, abundance of light elements, dark energy, evolution of galaxies, and the existence of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (Feuerbacher & Scranton, 2006)

If not, does that mean that we should assume that these events did not take place?

My opponent asks that should we assume that these events did not take place if there is no extraordinary evidence for these events. My answer is yes. These are extraordinary events; though just because they are extraordinary does not mean they did not occur. Because of the large amount of data and evidence that we now have for those events, we can confidently say that these events did occur.[2]

Out of room!

[1] Note that the BBT does not about the origin of the universe; rather it is about the development of the universe. This is a misconception that we need to clear up.

[2] It is important to note that "... in science there is no 'knowledge', in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth. ... This view means, furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by 'proof' an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory." (Popper, 1968) So, we cal these events “facts” because they are so well-documented and the evidence supports them so well that it is unreasonable to reject such theories.

Bibliography

Feuerbacher, B., & Scranton, R. (2006, January 25). Evidence for the Big Bang. Retrieved from Talk.Origins Archive: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Isaak, M. (2003, June 9). Claim CH590. Retrieved from Index to Creationists Claims on Talk.Origin Archive: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Joyce, J. (2003, September 30). Bayes' Theorem. Retrieved from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition): http://plato.stanford.edu...

Popper, K. (1968). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson.

Tobin, P. (2006, August 9). God and Christian Theology. Retrieved from The Rejection of Pascal's Wager: The Skeptic's Guide to Christianity: http://rejectionofpascalswager.net...


OneElephant

Con


I don’t have much time to compose arguments, so I’ll just quickly summarize the debate.


As it stands, Pro does not expand on my refutation for his “argument for strong atheism” because he is “out of room”. Therefore, Pro only presents one argument, the “case for weak atheism”. His argument is essentially thus- “if there is no evidence for something extraordinary, it is logical to assume it does not exist”. Essentially, it’s an attempt to shift burden of proof.


To support this argument, he brings up the argument from non belief. However, the argument from non belief is flawed because its premise is that god is benevolent and all loving- it’s an argument against the existence of an omnibenevolent god, not all gods or deities in general.


Therefore, as it stands, Pro has brought up no arguments or no evidence against the existence of a non benevolent deity, he has only pointed out a lack of evidence. However, I also have no arguments for the existence of a deity because the only argument I raised during round 2 has been refuted and all further arguments I brought up has been rejected and denied by my opponent. As I am not allowed to bring up further arguments or expand on any of the arguments I made during round 3, I concede this debate.


Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brant.merrell 4 years ago
brant.merrell
Atheism and theism are not (respectively) the absence and presence of a god; they are the absence and presence of a 'belief' in a god. Demographically, theism is far more likely than atheism, so frankly, the title was painfully wrong. If I'd been here to vote, I'm not sure I'd have docked Pro for constructing the title wrong or Con for not picking up on the incorrectly constructed title.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
ARGUMENTS--Microsuck won arguments for a few reasons: 1) Pro's opening statement included many strongly sourced and cogently written arguments, whereas Con got a leap on his rebuttal by making his opening statement largely a kritik case. 2) Con presented only one argument, the teleological argument, which Pro responded to in great detail in the first rebuttal indicating several flaws in its reasoning. 3) Con disregarded the aforestated and agreed upon structure of the debate by introducing new arguments in the rebuttal round. 4) Pro had a much more strong and comprehensive conclusion than Con who apparently was running out of time to finish.

SOURCES--Microsuck was the clear winner of sources, having included many high quality sources in his debating rounds. OneElephant could have benefitted rhetorically and evidentially had he used more sources.

Advice to Pro: use Helvetica 12pt font like Con did. Define all necessary terms for the debate, so that your opponent does not receive any nominal advantage from that.

Advice to Con: Use more and better quality sources. In your opening round, include more than one argument. I learned recently that copying + pasting your opening arguments from sourced material is fine as long as you include good analysis later in the debate. This saves time, and can be a highly effective strategy. Also, be sure to conclude strongly and provide a list of reasons why judges should vote for you.
Posted by BTUx9 4 years ago
BTUx9
Stewpid_Monkey:

Just clarifying that, while I disagree with parts of your argument (aforementioned "different universe" and the idea that we know the universe had a beginning, which I didn't mention earlier), I agree with its conclusion.
Posted by Stewpid_Monkey 4 years ago
Stewpid_Monkey
BTUx9

Okay I see your point, so let me ask this. You view the universe as the set of all things that exist. But if we do not know, at this point, all the chracteristics of this universe, then one can not discount that it is infinite. I guess that's what I was really getting out. What is your point to the statement being patently false?
Posted by BTUx9 4 years ago
BTUx9
To me, "a different universe" is a non-sequitur.
I view the universe as the set of all things that exist.
If there exists more out there than what we currently view as "the universe", then our definition needs to expand to include it.

But I agree that "we know that the universe is finite" is patently false.
Posted by Stewpid_Monkey 4 years ago
Stewpid_Monkey
Con stated,
"We know that the universe is finite, therefore, it couldn't have been caused by an unending chain of events, there must have been an uncaused cause..."

This is a false statement. We know that the universe is finite? How so? We know that are universe as we know it had a begining but this is only with it's current laws and attributes. How does Con know that our current system did not derive from a different universe with different natural laws?
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
The points I did not respond to note that I am not conceding. I just ran out of room.
Posted by Lacie 4 years ago
Lacie
I am atheist. And I am proud of it. even if I live in an atheist banned country. (I will be killed if I wrote my religion is none)
Posted by OneElephant 4 years ago
OneElephant
I'm not quite sure, but I didn't get a chance to thoroughly think through all of my arguments and didn't realize that you could only post arguments R1.

If not, it's okay too, I guess.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
Why? Was my argument strong enough to totally refute the TA?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
MicrosuckOneElephantTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con brought up some good points, but he seemed to "phone it in" when compared to Pro's much more thorough treatment.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
MicrosuckOneElephantTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments