The Instigator
AveSatanas
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Atheism is more rational than Christianity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 613 times Debate No: 61279
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

AveSatanas

Pro

This is my first real debate using this site so it should be relatively informal by some of the veteran user's standards however that in no way discredits the topic of discussion. I am looking for anyone who is up to the debate challenge however someone who is knowledgeable on the phases of debate and how one conducts themself through this site and who could model that example would be greatly appreciated but is not necessary. A rough outline of the debate is:
1) Opening statements- including an introduction of yourself and some noteworthy qualities, your thesis, and what arguments you expect the other side to use.
2) First argument- Con side provides their first argument for their side. Try to keep it focused on one or two arguments at most, basically no gish galloping.
3) Rebuttal 1: Pro side (me) will rebut the opposing argument while being sure not to go into any new arguments.
4) Counterrebuttal 1: Con side is able to counter this rebuttal also making sure not to state any new arguments.
5) Same process reversed: i provide my first argument, con side rebuts, then i counterrebut
6) Q&A (OPTIONAL)- depending on how things are going we can have an optional Q and A where the con side asks 5 questions in a post and then the pro side responds, then vice versa.
7) Closing statements- address the debate, the opposing arguments, close any way you want to. Be sure once again not to post a new argument that wasn't addressed in the body of the debate.
1Credo

Con

Thank you for creating this debate. I"m new to the site as well, so it should be a good experience for both of us! I'll begin by following steps 1) and 2) of the outline provided.

I. Introduction
I am a Christian who has a layman's interest in philosophy. I am studying the natural sciences (particularly Biology) in undergraduate school and am very interested in both religion and science.

II. Thesis
I believe that Christianity is at least as rational (if not more rational) than the belief that atheism is true.

III. Arguments
It should be noted that Pro has the burden of proof in this debate, as Pro has made the assertion that atheism is more rational than Christianity.

I will wait to see the arguments that Pro gives in favor of atheism being more rational than Christianity. I will address these points in my next response. Additionally, I will provide a few arguments as to why I believe that Christianity is at least as rational as atheism.

I look forward to an exciting debate!
Debate Round No. 1
AveSatanas

Pro

Hello Credo! I apologize for this but can you just copy and paste your argument above in response to this one so we keep even in the rounds? Thanks!

Intro: I am a first year Law and Society major and have been an atheist for a couple years. I have been on alot of debate sites and media during that time.

Thesis: Atheism is a far more rational stance on the question of the existence of god. I understand my burden in proving this however Con must also recognize that any assertions made on his side will carry their own burdens as well just as my additional assertions will.

Expectations: i really dont know what arguments i will hear from the opposing side.
1Credo

Con

Thank you for creating this debate. I"m new to the site as well, so it should be a good experience for both of us! I'll begin by following steps 1) and 2) of the outline provided.

I. Introduction
I am a Christian who has a layman's interest in philosophy. I am studying the natural sciences (particularly Biology) in undergraduate school and am very interested in both religion and science.

II. Thesis
I believe that Christianity is at least as rational (if not more rational) than the belief that atheism is true.

III. Arguments
It should be noted that Pro has the burden of proof in this debate, as Pro has made the assertion that atheism is more rational than Christianity.

I will wait to see the arguments that Pro gives in favor of atheism being more rational than Christianity. I will address these points in my next response. Additionally, I will provide a few arguments as to why I believe that Christianity is at least as rational as atheism.

I look forward to an exciting debate!
Debate Round No. 2
AveSatanas

Pro

Thanks Credo, sorry about that but at least i know for next time what to do.

For this debate the definition of atheism i am using is: "the lack of belief in a god/deities." NOT the belief that there is no god. Though a person that holds that belief would also technically fall under the full definition the vast majority of atheists, myself included, simply lack belief as opposed to making the indefensible statement that no gods exist.
In short, God in general is an unfalsifiable entity. We've no means of measuring or testing for god. We dont even know where to begin with going about testing the question of a gods existence. And this goes for all religions really. Based on this how can anyone claim to know that a god exists? or even simply believe one exists? The answer typically is belief on faith, which by definition is belief without evidence or in the face of evidence for the contrary. Faith by definition is unreasonable. It is unreasonable to claim knowledge about the unknowable.
Extending this farther god is claimed to be beyond space and time by many. In reality we dont even know if having something beyond space and time is even possible or coherent. God is also attributed with the quality of omnipotence which is in itself paradoxical as illustrated through the question "can god create a rock so heavy even he cant lift it?".
It is for these reasons that on the very fundamental level all gods, including the christian god of course, are illogical and why the default stance should be that such things are not real until proven real.
1Credo

Con

The correct definition of atheism (according to the dictionary cited below) is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God." If you do not affirm this belief, it seems to me you are not an atheist at all, but rather an agnostic. In that case, it appears we can both agree that atheism is not more rational than Christianity. If this is agreed, we can then turn to agnosticism, which is what you have defined.

I'll try to answer your arguments piece by piece before moving on to my own arguments.

"In short, God in general is an unfalsifiable entity. We've no means of measuring or testing for god. We dont even know where to begin with going about testing the question of a gods existence. And this goes for all religions really. Based on this how can anyone claim to know that a god exists? or even simply believe one exists?"

You are correct in saying that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. However, we are able to give evidence either in favor or against the existence of God. In a civil court trial, we cannot prove to an absolute certainty that either side is right, but we can listen to the evidence and follow it where it leads. In the same way, I expect that though the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven to an absolute certainty, we can both follow the evidence where it leads and come to a conclusion on which side is more probable in being right (or, in the case of this debate, whether Christianity is even rational at all.)

Faith by definition is unreasonable. It is unreasonable to claim knowledge about the unknowable.

I am interested in hearing your justification for believing that the past is real, the external world exists, etc. I think you will find that there are several things we believe on the basis of faith that we would not consider unreasonable. There are a number of things unaccounted for by the scientific method that each of us, theist and atheist alike, believe without controversy. It seems to me that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that God exists.

Extending this farther god is claimed to be beyond space and time by many. In reality we dont even know if having something beyond space and time is even possible or coherent. God is also attributed with the quality of omnipotence which is in itself paradoxical as illustrated through the question "can god create a rock so heavy even he cant lift it?".

I think the incoherence would lie in a belief that God is within space and time, rather than outside of space and time. I see nothing incoherent about the idea of a God that transcends both space and time. What is incoherent, however, is the question you pose: Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it? I think the answer to this question is a fairly obvious one. A "rock so heavy that even God cannot lift it" is an incoherence in itself. It is similar to asking if God can create a square triangle. No, God cannot create a square triangle and God cannot create a rock so heavy that even he cannot life it. Does this pose a problem to his omnipotence? I think not. Square triangles, or rocks that God cannot lift, are not "things" at all. They are merely words of a language placed next to each other that are individually coherent, but together incoherent. When you ask the question, "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it? It is as if asking "Can God create nothing?" Hopefully the incoherence is clear. If not, I can delve deeper into this issue in the next round.

It is for these reasons that on the very fundamental level all gods, including the christian god of course, are illogical and why the default stance should be that such things are not real until proven real.

I do not think we have been provided any good reason to think that the Christian God is illogical. The suggested incoherence of a transcendent God has not been supplemented with any sort of argument, and the question of God creating a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it is has been addressed as an incoherent question of itself. I think it is fair to say that we have been given no good reason to think Christianity is less rational than atheism or agnosticism, as Pro affirms. Let us turn then to arguments in favor of the rationality of belief in God.

I. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
i. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
ii. The universe began to exist.
iii. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

II. God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of our universe for intelligent life.
i. The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity, chance, or design.
ii. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
iii. Therefore, it is due to design.

III. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
i. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
ii. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
iii. Therefore, God exists.

Due to space constraints, I'm going to wait to see if Pro has any objections to these arguments before delving further into them. If Pro wants to deny the conclusion of the arguments, Pro must pick out a premise to take issue with in each argument and knock it down. If Pro fails to do so, then the conclusion holds sound. If additional arguments are needed, I will be happy to provide them.

I invite you to keep in mind that I am not arguing that Christian belief is more rational than atheism or agnosticism. I am merely objecting to the assertion made by Pro that atheism or agnosticism is more rational than Christian belief. I think that we have not been given any good reason thus far to think that this assertion is true.

Sources:
http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
AveSatanas

Pro

"The correct definition of atheism (according to the dictionary cited below) is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God." If you do not affirm this belief, it seems to me you are not an atheist at all, but rather an agnostic..."

1 You seem to have ignored the second definition on the page. "disbelief in gods/deities". That is the definition I, and most other athiests, adhere to. An agnostic is one who doesn't know or claims that nobody can know whether god exists. Agnosticism concerns knowledge, atheism concerns belief in. They are not mutually exculsive and i actually adhere to both. For the sake of this debate please use only the 2nd definition as that is the one i am arguing about and the one that applies to me personally.

"In short, God in general is an unfalsifiable entity. We've no means of measuring or testing for god. We dont even know where to begin with going about testing the question of a gods existence. And this goes for all religions really. Based on this how can anyone claim to know that a god exists? or even simply believe one exists?"

"You are correct in saying that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. However, we are able to give evidence either in favor or against the existence of God. In a civil court trial, we cannot prove to an absolute certainty that either side is right, but we can listen to the evidence and follow it where it leads."

True but in court in order for the defendant to be guilty, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"In the same way, I expect that though the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven to an absolute certainty, we can both follow the evidence where it leads and come to a conclusion on which side is more probable in being right (or, in the case of this debate, whether Christianity is even rational at all.)"

Fair enough.

Faith by definition is unreasonable. It is unreasonable to claim knowledge about the unknowable.

"I am interested in hearing your justification for believing that the past is real, the external world exists, etc. I think you will find that there are several things we believe on the basis of faith that we would not consider unreasonable. There are a number of things unaccounted for by the scientific method that each of us, theist and atheist alike, believe without controversy. It seems to me that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that God exists."

Faith is belief in something without evidence first and foremost. I believe what occured in the past explicitly for the reason that there is evidence supporting what such things happened. Geological evidence, fossily, artifacts, historical records, ect. These are all evidences of events. It takes no faith to believe the earth was once ruled by dinosaurs or that Ceasar Augustus existed.
As for the external world existing thats sort of delving into solipcism. Are we in a matrix? is it really real? My objection is that my senses seem to be working in accordance with the rest of humanity in that we can all agree for the most part what is real. I have no reason to assume otherwise nor could it ever be proven otherwise.

"I think the incoherence would lie in a belief that God is within space and time, rather than outside of space and time. I see nothing incoherent about the idea of a God that transcends both space and time."

What is incoherent is that we don't even know if there is a beyond space and time. We dont even know if that state of being is even possible. If a god were within space and time it would be much easier and would lower the burden of having to prove the existence of a god in a realm of human ignorance. It would also make more practical the idea of a god interacting with the universe within space and time. But i digress.

Responding to the omnipotence paraxox (running out of character space):

So you would say that god can do anything that is logically possible? Fair enough. Let me propose the argument in a more organized logical argument through premises:

1) God is omnipotent
2)Omnipotence is the power to do all things logically possible (in accordance with your objection)
3) A logically possible feat is any coherent action one can speak out loud without contradiction
3a) any feat that has been done before is logically possible
4) It is logically possible to create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker (From #3)
5)Therefore, an omnipotent being can create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker (From #2-4)
6) Therefore, an omnipotent being can create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by an omnipotent being (definition of "maker" by an omnipotent being"
7)For any finite mass of rock it is logically possible to generate a force that will lift it against a uniform gravitational field (Newtons 2nd Law)
8) Therfore an omnipotent being can lift any finite mass of rock (From #2 and #7)
9) Premise #6 and premise #8 are contradictions
10) Therfore it is logically impossible to be omnipotent (From #3 and #8)
11) Therefore, god (as defined as omnipotent) is logically impossible

I do not think we have been provided any good reason to think that the Christian God is illogical. The suggested incoherence of a transcendent God has not been supplemented with any sort of argument, and the question of God creating a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it is has been addressed as an incoherent question of itself.

The argument is that being beyond space and time is incoherent and wholly unknowable and non demonstrable. Yet Christians claim they know their god exists there. That is unreasonable. Also i addressed the paradox above.

I. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.

Usually this would go as the final premise. Putting it here just allows me to show you havent demonstrated that and ignore the rest. i wont but just know i could.

i. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Everything in human existence has come about through "creatio ex materia" or the rearrangement of pre-existing materials. To say a god created the universe would be "Creation ex nihilo" or creation out of nothing. To claim "everything that begins to exist has a cause" is to attempt to equate everything we know with what we should expect from a god. Yet they are two different methods of creation.

ii. The universe began to exist.

A statement about a realm of human ignorance while also equating creatio ex nihilo with creation ex materia.

iii. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Full response at: https://www.youtube.com...
Please check it out as it explains exactly what i would have if i had more characters

II. God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of our universe for intelligent life.

Stop there. You've merely asserted fine tuning without demonstrating it. The rest cannot logically follow unless you do so.

i. The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity, chance, or design.
Its not really either of these but that isnt important right now.

ii. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

Ignoring the above this is once again an assertion. All our evidence seems to indicate what you would call "chance"

iii. Therefore, it is due to design.

III. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.

Youve asserted objective morality exists without demonstrating it. Morality is subjective to so many factors like culture, time period, situation, ect.

i. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

Reverse it.

ii. Objective moral values and duties do exist.

Assertion.

iii. Therefore, God exists.

Even if i granted objective morality existed how would it logically follow that a god provided them, let alone the exact god of the bible? It would be a non sequitur to just make that leap.
1Credo

Con

1. Definitions

"Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings" and "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" are the two definitions of atheism given by the quoted source. Both definitions essentially mean the same thing (as should be expected.) An atheist disbelieves in the existence of God. It is not merely a lack of belief, which is at best a strange psychological state, it is more than that; atheism says there is no God. Agnosticism, on the other hand, is consistent with the belief system you appear to endorse, a belief system of uncertainty (or neither belief nor disbelief.) But if we cannot agree on the terminology, we can at least both acknowledge that "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" (whatever word we want to apply to that) is not more rational than Christianity.

2. Civil Court Example

In the last round, I gave the example of a civil court trial in order to show that the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven to an absolute certainty, but that we (the atheist and the theist) can both follow the evidence where it leads. Pro seemed to agree that we ought both follow the evidence where it leads, but I would just add that the statement made by Pro "True but in court in order for the defendant to be guilty, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" is false. My example was that of a civil court trial, not a criminal court trial. In a civil court trial, 51% certainty will do in order to win a case. This is the type of "trial" we ought to use when following the evidence where it leads in the case of God's existence.

3. Pro's Claim that "Faith by definition is unreasonable"

In order to show that this claim was false, I asked Pro to provide justification for the belief that the past is real (as opposed to being created, say, 5 minutes ago with the appearance of age) as well as justification for the belief that the external world exists. Pro responded by attempting to provide geological and historical evidence for the past being real. This just shows a misunderstanding of the concept. Geological and historical records mean nothing when trying to show the past is real, for in the scenario I have given it is possible that the ideas of geological and historical records were placed into our minds within the last few minutes. It takes faith in our memory to believe that the past is truly real, just as it takes faith in our physical senses to believe that the external world really exists. Neither can be proven with evidence; both require a great degree of faith, faith which Pro has claimed is unreasonable. Faith in God is no less reasonable than faith in the truth of our memory or in the accuracy of our physical senses.

4. Pro's Claim that a Being Beyond Space and Time is Incoherent

It has been asserted that the idea of a transendent being is incoherent. I see no reason to think that this is the case. I can perfectly well conceive of a spiritual being who requires neither space nor time to exist.

5. The Omnipotence Paradox

Pro gave the following set of reasoning in order to support his assertion that God is incoherent:
"1) God is omnipotent
2)Omnipotence is the power to do all things logically possible (in accordance with your objection)
3) A logically possible feat is any coherent action one can speak out loud without contradiction
3a) any feat that has been done before is logically possible
4) It is logically possible to create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker (From #3)
5)Therefore, an omnipotent being can create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker (From #2-4)
6) Therefore, an omnipotent being can create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by an omnipotent being (definition of "maker" by an omnipotent being"
7)For any finite mass of rock it is logically possible to generate a force that will lift it against a uniform gravitational field (Newtons 2nd Law)
8) Therfore an omnipotent being can lift any finite mass of rock (From #2 and #7)
9) Premise #6 and premise #8 are contradictions
10) Therfore it is logically impossible to be omnipotent (From #3 and #8)
11) Therefore, god (as defined as omnipotent) is logically impossible"

This argument is trivially easy to recognize as false. It is not logically possible to create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker if that maker is God. The idea of a "rock that cannot be lifted by God" is incoherent, in the same way that a square triangle or the smell of the color purple are. Showing that "a maker" (in other words, "a human") could chip off a piece of rock too heavy for himself to lift does nothing to show that the same would be true for God. The incoherence in this case does not apply to God, but rather to the idea of this very heavy rock that Pro attempts to describe.

6. Back to the Subjects of Space and Time

"The argument is that being beyond space and time is incoherent and wholly unknowable and non demonstrable. Yet Christians claim they know their god exists there. That is unreasonable."

Once again, I will have to ask you to provide some sort of warrant for the claim that it is incoherent for anything to exist outside of space and time. As stated previously, I can perfectly well concieve of a spiritual being who requires neither space nor time to exist. Furthermore, we have examples such as abstract objects (i.e. numbers) and objective truths. Both of these exist outside of and independent of space and time. So, it seems to me that there is no incoherence of transendence of space and time.

7. Arguments in Favor of the Rationality of Belief in God

First, I would like to point out that in each of the three arguments I gave, the roman numeral represents a description of the argument and not the first premise of the argument. My apologies for not making this clear. So the following statements are a simple misunderstanding of the structure of the argument:

"Usually this would go as the final premise. Putting it here just allows me to show you havent demonstrated that and ignore the rest. i wont but just know i could."
"Stop there. You've merely asserted fine tuning without demonstrating it. The rest cannot logically follow unless you do so."

"Youve asserted objective morality exists without demonstrating it. Morality is subjective to so many factors like culture, time period, situation, ect."

Now, let us turn to the objections to the premises themselves. The first premise to the first argument reads "Everything that begins to exist has a cause." To this, Pro stated "Everything in human existence has come about through "creatio ex materia" or the rearrangement of pre-existing materials." This is false. Our universe is part of human existance, and it is incoherent that the universe itself could be rearranged from previously existing materials simply because there were no preexisting materials to rearrange with! Out of nothing, nothing comes. The second premise reads "The universe began to exist." It appears that Pro disagrees with this statement, although I don't believe the reasoning was given. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that any universe which is on average in a state of expansion (as our universe is) must have began to exist. Futhermore, one who asserts that the universe is eternal faces the philisophical dilemma of Hilbert's Hotel, which shows that the idea of an infinite number of things existing in reality (i.e. past events of an external universe) is absurd. Pro did not give reasoning for his disagreement with the other arguments I presented. As I have run out of space, I will address these further if necessary in the next round.

We have still not been given any good reason to think that "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" is more rational than the belief in the Christian God. Until Pro can both defeat each of the arguments I presented and take on the burden of proof for showing that atheism is more rational than Christianity, we can assume that the given assertion is unwarranted and false.
Debate Round No. 4
AveSatanas

Pro

"Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings" and "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" are the two definitions of atheism given by the quoted source. Both definitions essentially mean the same thing (as should be expected.)"

Wrong. Both of them fit under the definition of atheism but they are not the same thing. One makes an active claim. One does not. One requires a burden of proof. one doesnt. Most atheists, nearly every single one you will ever meet, will never tell you they actively believe there is no god. What you will here is that they lack a belief in god. No atheists would use definition one and definition 1 doesnt even follow the words etymology. A- without/lacking/non Theism (root: theos)-belief in a god/deities. Literally: lacking/without belief in deities. NOT, the doctrine that there is no god. Atheists are actually petitioning to have that first definition removed as it isnt even accurate.

"But if we cannot agree on the terminology, we can at least both acknowledge that "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" (whatever word we want to apply to that) is not more rational than Christianity."

I agree. And so will every atheist you meet. But i adhere to and am only defending the later definition.

"In the last round, I gave the example of a civil court trial in order to show that the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven to an absolute certainty, but that we (the atheist and the theist) can both follow the evidence where it leads. Pro seemed to agree that we ought both follow the evidence where it leads, but I would just add that the statement made by Pro "True but in court in order for the defendant to be guilty, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" is false. My example was that of a civil court trial, not a criminal court trial. In a civil court trial, 51% certainty will do in order to win a case. This is the type of "trial" we ought to use when following the evidence where it leads in the case of God's existence."

I wasnt aware you had specified civil as opposed to criminal. This analogy kind of went awry so ill let it go. it isnt the meat of the debate anyways.

"Pro responded by attempting to provide geological and historical evidence for the past being real. This just shows a misunderstanding of the concept. Geological and historical records mean nothing when trying to show the past is real, for in the scenario I have given it is possible that the ideas of geological and historical records were placed into our minds within the last few minutes. It takes faith in our memory to believe that the past is truly real, just as it takes faith in our physical senses to believe that the external world really exists."

Wrong. it takes no faith to accept my memory and my senses as accurate as i have the evidence of my entire past experiences with my memory and senses to lean on. I can also compare my memory and senses to that of others and i if they match up thats evidence that theyre functioning accurately.

"Faith in God is no less reasonable than faith in the truth of our memory or in the accuracy of our physical senses."

Nobody has ever seen or tested for a god. Yet we test our memories and senses every single waking minute.

"It has been asserted that the idea of a transendent being is incoherent. I see no reason to think that this is the case. I can perfectly well conceive of a spiritual being who requires neither space nor time to exist. "

How? Explain the ways by which this deity could transcend space and time, which in reality isnt even accurate as we know time isnt a "real" as it is woven in with space as the 3d construct of spacetime. Sure i can think of a deity sitting outside space and time in a really vague sense. Yet its the logistics of a deity doing so which make it incoherent.

"Pro gave the following set of reasoning in order to support his assertion that God is incoherent:..."

"This argument is trivially easy to recognize as false. It is not logically possible to create a finite mass of rock that cannot be lifted by its own maker if that maker is God. The idea of a "rock that cannot be lifted by God" is incoherent, in the same way that a square triangle or the smell of the color purple are. Showing that "a maker" (in other words, "a human") could chip off a piece of rock too heavy for himself to lift does nothing to show that the same would be true for God. The incoherence in this case does not apply to God, but rather to the idea of this very heavy rock that Pro attempts to describe."

I dont think you really demonstrated why it doesnt apply to god so much as just claimed it doesnt apply to god because hes special. But this too is not the meat of the debate id rather just move on and focus on the other arguments.

"Once again, I will have to ask you to provide some sort of warrant for the claim that it is incoherent for anything to exist outside of space and time. As stated previously, I can perfectly well concieve of a spiritual being who requires neither space nor time to exist. Furthermore, we have examples such as abstract objects (i.e. numbers) and objective truths. Both of these exist outside of and independent of space and time. So, it seems to me that there is no incoherence of transendence of space and time. "

1) see above.
2) Nobody is claiming abstract objects actually exist in our reality. Theyre linguistic labels not physical things.

"My apologies for not making this clear. So the following statements are a simple misunderstanding of the structure of the argument:"

Its wierd you say that because the arguments are actually in order by premise. Thats why i addressed them as so even if you didnt intend for them to be that way.

"The first premise to the first argument reads "Everything that begins to exist has a cause." To this, Pro stated "Everything in human existence has come about through "creatio ex materia" or the rearrangement of pre-existing materials." This is false. Our universe is part of human existance, and it is incoherent that the universe itself could be rearranged from previously existing materials simply because there were no preexisting materials to rearrange with!"

We dont know that. It very well may have. Once again this is the problem with trying to make claims about the origin of the universe. Without a PhD in graduate level physics and mathematics you cant even begin to have a real conversation about the logistics of it. Yet Christians seem to think word games and word based arguments can somehow rationalize god into existence in a realm of human ignorance.

"The second premise reads "The universe began to exist." It appears that Pro disagrees with this statement, although I don't believe the reasoning was given. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that any universe which is on average in a state of expansion (as our universe is) must have began to exist. Futhermore, one who asserts that the universe is eternal faces the philisophical dilemma of Hilbert's Hotel, which shows that the idea of an infinite number of things existing in reality (i.e. past events of an external universe) is absurd."

My issue is that when you use the term "began to exist" the argument attempts to equivicate creatio ex materia with creatio ex nihilo. You cant claim that everything that begins to exist has a cause, as we see in our human experience everything does via creation ex materia, and then say therfore the beginning of the universe must be the same when the beginning of the universe would require (especially via a god) creatio ex nihilo. Its false equivication while also making claims about the unknown state prior to the beginning of the universe.

"We have still not been given any good reason to think that "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" is more rational than the belief in god"

That was never the intent. See first argument. Im arguing that suspending or lacking belief in god is more rational than holding belief in god.
1Credo

Con

1. Definition of Atheism

"Most atheists, nearly every single one you will ever meet, will never tell you they actively believe there is no god."


If this is the case, then that's quite remarkable. It would mean very few people on Earth would believe that God does not exist. Unfortunately, I think it is clear that this is not the case. It could even be said that this sort of retreat is simply to attempt to shift the burden of proof entirely to the theist.

"What you will here is that they lack a belief in god."

A "lack of belief" is not a view, but merely a psychological state. If this definition were accurate (and by no means is this definition accurate) it would mean all babies are atheists. It would even mean that your pet dog, along with every other living animal, is an atheist due to the fact that these animals do not have a belief on the matter. The theist affirms that there is a God. The atheist affirms that there is no God. The agnostic does not have a belief. Below I have given 5 independent dictionary definitions for the words atheism and agnosticism. The sources are listed at the bottom of the page.

Atheism:
"The belief that there is no God; or denial that God or gods exist." [1]
"Someone who believes that God does not exist." [2]
"The doctrine or belief that there is no God." [3]
"The doctrine that there is no deity." [4]
"The doctrine that there is no God or gods." [5]

Agnosticism:
"The belief that the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities cannot be known with certainty." [1]
"Someone who does not know, or believes that it is impossible to know, if a god exists." [2]
"Anintellectualdoctrineorattitudeaffirmingtheuncertaintyofallclaimstoultimateknowledge." [3]
"A person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not." [4]
"ThebeliefthattherecanbenoproofeitherthatGodexistsorthatGoddoesnotexist." [5]

As we can clearly see from these definitions, atheism affirms that there is no God. The attempt made by Pro to absolve his/herself from the burden of proof is a failed one.

2. Arguments in favor of God

At the beginning of the debate, I presented three arguments in attempt to show that Christianity is at least as rational as atheism:

i. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
ii. The universe began to exist.
iii. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Pro's refutation to this argument (with regard to the first premise) was "We dont know that." Pro went on to say that we can't make any sort of claims about the origin of the universe. I think it is perfectly reasonable to claim that the universe had a cause, given the facts that everything that begins to exist has a cause and the universe began to exist. This argument holds sound.

i. The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity, chance, or design.
ii. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
iii. Therefore, it is due to design.

Pro has not responded to this argument. This argument holds sound.

i. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
ii. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
iii. Therefore, God exists.

Pro has not responded to this argument. This argument holds sound

3. Pro's concession that his claim (atheism is more rational than Christianity) is false

Con: "But if we cannot agree on the terminology, we can at least both acknowledge that "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" (whatever word we want to apply to that) is not more rational than Christianity."

Pro: "I agree. And so will every atheist you meet."

Pro has conceded that atheism, or the belief that there is no God, is not more rational than Christianity.

4. Conclusion

Thanks for the debate, Pro.

Throughout the course of this debate, Pro has failed to shoulder the burden of proof for his claim that "atheism is more rational than Christianity." Pro has even gone so far as to concede that atheism (or at least the common definition which was also found through at least five independent dictionary sources) is not more rational than Christianity. Even if we grant Pro the agnostic definition that he/she appears to endorse, it seems to me that Pro has failed in shouldering the burden of proof that this definition is more rational than Christianity as well. Pro failed to put forth sound arguments against Christianity. The only structured argument that was put forth in the entire debate (the question of whether or not God could create a rock so heavy that even He could not lift it) by Pro was abandoned in his last round. On the other side, two of the three arguments that I put forth in favor of Christianity were not addressed by Pro. In the argument that was addressed, Pro merely stated that we cannot know anything about the origin of the universe. Pro failed to knock down any of the premises in the three arguments presented, thus it follows (for now at least) that these arguments hold sound.

Pro was responsible for shouldering the burden of proof in this debate, due to his claim that "atheism is more rational than Christianity." Pro failed to shoulder this burden and also failed to knock down arguments that were presented in favor of Christianity.

Sources:
http://www.yourdictionary.com...
http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
RFD 1:
General comments:

Con's structure was far better in the debate and as such I will award S&G points to Con. I have given argument points to Pro, for detailed reason see the rest of the RFD.

For future debates, I would suggest Pro puts all definitions in the opening round and keep Cons opening round just for acceptance. In this way Con accepts the definitions presented.

Additionally, for both debaters I would suggest using italics, bold or underlining to distinguish between opponents comments and yours. Its much easier to read.

Big no no to Pro, don't post a link to a video to explain your argument. If you cannot answer it due to character limit wait for the next round and explain rather you will address it later.

Conduct points to none. Both violated the rules of the debate. Pro used a youtube video and Con presented new arguments in the final round.

Lastly, I am not awarding source points, as definitions are not worthy of source points :)
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
RFD 2:
Semantics and definitions.

Pro defined atheism, and as Pro is holding the BOP this is the definition of atheism to use. Cons definition can be used, however as Pro is making the proposition this should be decided before the debate. As such we adhere to Pros definition. BTW agnosticism is not a theistic position, its a position on truth claims. This Pro pointed out, as such Pro affirms the definition provided.

BOP was argued as not been filled, however interestingly Con accepted part of the BOP in round 4. I commend this as BOP should be defined in this way and I agree with you Con. But then to say BOP was not met is disingenuous.

Arguments and Coherence

Regarding the rock to big to lift paradox. Con cannot claim incoherence and then use incoherence to create a counter claim which works in their favor. This was pointed out by Pro as well. As such I have to see whether Con can defeat this point. Con then needs to show God to exist outside of time and space to claim this as feasible and coherent.

Multiple of Cons arguments (fine tuning, everything has a cause etc) all were based on a premises that was not proved. As such all Con's argument are incoherent (illogical and unproven) according to Cons definition. "It has been asserted that the idea of a transcendent being is incoherent. I see no reason to think that this is the case. I can perfectly well conceive of a spiritual being who requires neither space nor time to exist. " Great Con you can conceive it, but it does not make it rational.

The faith by definition is unreasonable argument. I am not sure what Pro and Con were doing with this argument. In effect it hurt Cons arguments, as Con had to accept not to be a Christian for this too work. This argument, was not working for anyone and as it didn't really fit in with the proposition of the debate I am ignoring it.
Posted by AveSatanas 2 years ago
AveSatanas
"For this debate the definition of atheism i am using is: "the lack of belief in a god/deities." NOT the belief that there is no god." " Argument 1 (Round 3)

"Stop there. You've merely asserted fine tuning without demonstrating it. The rest cannot logically follow unless you do so." (Round 4)

""ii. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.""

"Ignoring the above this is once again an assertion. All our evidence seems to indicate what you would call "chance""(Round 4)

""III. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties"".

"Youve asserted objective morality exists without demonstrating it. Morality is subjective to so many factors like culture, time period, situation, ect."

""i. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.""

"Reverse it."

""ii. Objective moral values and duties do exist.""

"Assertion."

""iii. Therefore, God exists.""

"Even if i granted objective morality existed how would it logically follow that a god provided them, let alone the exact god of the bible? It would be a non sequitur to just make that leap." (Round 4)
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
I just checked again. You responded to only one of my arguments in the final round. The other two were not addressed at all.

You provided your own definition in the third round of the debate. In the initial argument, as well as the second round, no definition of atheism was given. If you do not want to use the standard definition of a word (dictionary definition) then this needs to be specified in the initial argument, so that your opponent knows what you mean before they accept a debate. It is unfair to change the definition of a word in the middle of a debate. But as I said, the burden of proof was not shouldered in either case.
Posted by AveSatanas 2 years ago
AveSatanas
"I didn't see responses to these two arguments in the last round, which is what my rebuttal was based on."

Check again. I disputed the first premesis of each.

"There was no definition given when I accepted this debate. "

Read my first argument. I specify exactly which definition im using.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
"Just saying, i did respond to those 2 arguments you listed lastly. I didnt have to in detail because I disputed the first premesis of each earlier in the debate."

I didn't see responses to these two arguments in the last round, which is what my rebuttal was based on.

"Also it must be nice to have a real closing statement when i had to spend all my time articulating older arguments because you claimed over and over that my definition of atheism (which i specified at the beginning of the debate) was wrong."

With all due respect, you chose what you spent your time on, not me. I also spent a great deal of time on the issue of definitions throughout the debate.

"Theres a reason why we set definitions at the beginning of debates. For debate purposes i could say that atheism means one who loves potato chips. It doesnt matter if that doesnt match a single dictionary because im stating that word means what it means in the context of just this debate."

There was no definition given when I accepted this debate. If you wanted to debate a particular definition, it should have been listed in the first round. When I accepted the debate, I was assuming I would be arguing against the real definition of atheism rather than someone's personal view of what the word means. In either case, no matter which definition we take, I do not feel that the burden of proof was shouldered.
Posted by AveSatanas 2 years ago
AveSatanas
Just saying, i did respond to those 2 arguments you listed lastly. I didnt have to in detail because I disputed the first premesis of each earlier in the debate. Also it must be nice to have a real closing statement when i had to spend all my time articulating older arguments because you claimed over and over that my definition of atheism (which i specified at the beginning of the debate) was wrong. Theres a reason why we set definitions at the beginning of debates. For debate purposes i could say that atheism means one who loves potato chips. It doesnt matter if that doesnt match a single dictionary because im stating that word means what it means in the context of just this debate.
Posted by Mussab 2 years ago
Mussab
You forgot to define what you meant by "rational"
You talked about science and how you cannot test for a God. But a belief/faith (I understand that's what Christianity is) doesn't have anything to do with science.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Sorry, I just posted my response before seeing your comment. Luckily, I didn't present any arguments in my opening response, so hopefully we're still on fair ground! If you'd like to create a new debate, that would work as well.

Good luck in the debate!
Posted by AveSatanas 2 years ago
AveSatanas
Ohh wait i see how i fucked that up. i thought i was posting the debate instructions but that actually shows up as my first argument. oops. well its all in the learning. Credo please just post a few periods in the first argument so we can stay on even ground thanks.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
AveSatanas1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro mischaracterized the definition of atheism given So conduct to con. Pro dropped several of con's contentions so arguments to con. Con had more sources.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
AveSatanas1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: detailed RFD in the comments.