The Instigator
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Atheism or Theism

Do you like this debate?NoYes-2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Microsuck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 869 times Debate No: 21484
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Microsuck

Pro

=====> Introduction <======

I thank keytarhero for agreeing to debate this topic with me.

This debate focuses on atheism-vs.-Theism. The full resolution is, "On balance of probability, the existence of God is improbable." Note that the title of the debate is not the resolution.

Just a quick note to my partner, and the readers, all of my sources are found here http://www.debate.org...



=====> Debate Guidelines <======

Rounds:

1. Terms and abstract
2. Opening arguments
3. CX/1st R
4. CX/2nd R
5. Closing

For the purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined broadly as to include the general attributes (e.g. omnipotence, omniscience etc.) commonly associated with Judeo-Christian monotheism. This definition primarily concernsgeneral revelation, and hence forms of religion are irrelavent. We are debating a judeo-Christian type God.

"Improbable" will be defined as less than 50%.

The time limit between replies is 72 hours. If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time. If one side explicitly concedes or violates any of these terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other. By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.

Good luck :-)
KeytarHero

Con

I thank Microsuck for issuing this challenge, and I accept the terms set forth in his opening round.

However, the existence of something cannot be put into a percentage. Either I exist or I don't. Either God exists or He doesn't. So I'd like to revise the definition of "improbable" to mean it is unlikely that such a God exists.

Therefore, as instigator Pro must cast reasonable doubt upon the existence of God (or a god). It will be my job to show why Pro's arguments do not cast reasonable doubt on the existence of God.

I look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Microsuck

Pro


=====> Introduction <======

I like to thank keytar hero for accepting this debate. I also wish to remind him (and the audience) that it is simply not enough for KeytarHero to refute my arguments--he needs to also prove that it is likely that such a God exists (hence the term "on balance of probability"). Likewise, it is simply not enough for me to refute his arguments.

=====> Abstract<======

The existence of God has always been a major part of philosophy. However, the standard definition of God is unlikey. I am defending two contentions: (1) There are no good reasons to believe in God; and (2) The non-believe in God is warrented
.

=====> Opening Arguments <======

C1) 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.

In order to understand this argument, we need to define an extraordinary claim. I will define an extraordinary claim as:

A claim that contradicts accepted physical laws or our common sense, everyday experiences of the world.[2]

So, the question is, ‘Is God an extraordinary claim?” I contend to you that indeed, it is. Let’s take a look at this chart that I have drawn up.

God

Man

Holy

Unholy

All-knowing

Limited knowledge

Perfect

Imperfect

Immortal

Mortal

All-loving

Evil

Invisible

Visible

Just

Unjust

As one can see from this chart, God has attributes much different than man; indeed, God is incomprehensible compared to man.[3]

Premise 3 states, “Therefore, in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim that a god exists may be considered false.” We now need to ask ourselves two questions:

1) Why is one justified in rejecting extraordinary claims in the absence of extraordinary evidence?

2) What is the basis of extraordinary evidence?

Allow me to give you the following propositions and ask yourself “which one do you immediately reject, and why?”

1) I am a member of Facebook,

2) I won the multi-million dollar lottery, and

3) I own a transportation mechanism that transports you from point A to point B in under 1 second.

Which one do you immediately reject without further ado, and why? If you guessed point 3, you would be correct—and totally justified in rejecting proposition 3. Allow me to explain why.

According to Facebook stats, Facbeook currently have 350,000,000 members [4] hence, to claim that I am a member of Facebook is not unheard of, nor is it an extraordinary claim. Claim 2 is certainly more extraordinary than the first; however, people have won the lottery before so it is not unheard of—in order for one to accept this claim, one may need to look at just my lottery ticket, or the numbers on TV. However, claim 3 is quite different. In order to accept claim 3 with just my word, you will have to:

1) Change your current views on the technology of today,

2) Change your views on how people transport from point A to point B, and

3) Change your perspective on the person making such a ridiculous claim (and ridiculous is quite appropriate).

So, you see, extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence. So, what type of evidence is there for God? I contend that there is no evidence; it will be my partner's burden to prove so. In the words of Keith Augustine: "God, as conceived by the major religions, does not exist. I hold this neither dogmatically, nor as an article of faith. Rather, I think the existence of the Judeo-Christian/Islamic God is as improbable as the existence of Zeus and the plethora of Olympian gods. I am simply more consistent in my skepticism. I have the same amount of evidence for the existence of Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah as I have for Zeus--none." [5]

How does this cast doubt on God's existence? Consider: God wants us to "love him maximally"; and if that were to be the case, one would need to know for a fact that God exists (or at least have extraordinary evidence to prove that He exists). One cannot "love a being maximally" that does not exist or is hidden.

C2) Incoherent attributes argument

1. Anything that has contradictory attributes cannot exist.
2. God has contradictory attributes.
3. Therefore, God cannot exist.

We are debating a Judeo-Christian type God, so before we go any further, one must need to know what the Judeo-Christian type God is:

almighty, eternal, holy, immortal, immense, immutable, incomprehensible, ineffable, infinite, invisible, just, loving, merciful, most high, most wise, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, patient, perfect, provident, supreme, true. [6]

A contradiction is by definition two or more propositions that are incompatible with each other; [7] therefore, if God is self-contradictory, how can He exist? We know that the Invisible Pink unicorn cannot exist because it is impossible to be both invisible and pink; and invisble and cognative (namely, the shape and feel of a unicorn; whatever that might mean).

Now, you may notice something: Those attributes are contradictory. If God is ineffable, and incomprehensible, then this seems to contradict the other attributes; for how can the attributes of God be known if He is ineffable and incomprehensible? Consider:

1. If God cannot be known or understood, then his attributes cannot be known.
2. God cannot be known and understood.
3. Therefore, his attribues cannot be known.

There are more contradictions than just that,; for if God is all knowing, then it is impossible for him to change the future; if He is all-just, then he cannot be merciful. We get the picture.

Paul Tobin points out:

Thus the characteristics of God as supplied by Christian theologians are nothing more than meaningless and contradictory concepts wrapped in theological garb. [8]

Because God is contradictory, it is impossible for him to exist!

C3) Atheism accurately portrays the universe in which we live

My final defense for atheism is this: Atheism accurately portrays the universe in which we live. In order to understand this contention, let's first make some observations

1. Over 700 extra-solar planets and solar systems have been found. [9]
2. Our known Universe is at least 13 billion light years across. [10]
3. In our known universe, there are at least 125 billion galaxies. [11]
4. In our solar system, we have 8 planets and hundreds of different rocky layers.
5. All-in-all, earth is the only known planet with life--let alone, intellegent life.

In his essay, Why I am not a Christian, Richard Carrier notes:

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. [12]

So, we see; atheism predicts exactly that; namely, that life is an accident and that there should be more failed attempts than successful attempts; that is exactly what we see.

I await your reply.

KeytarHero

Con

As it turns out, I don't have the time to research this and come up with an argument. I do apologize to the instigator but I must forfeit this debate. I just have too much going on at the moment. Sometime in the future I may debate this again.
Debate Round No. 2
Microsuck

Pro

My partner has forfeited this debate. I thank my partner for taking his time to read this; hopefully we will do this in the future.
KeytarHero

Con

Yes, and again I apologize. Obviously please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Microsuck

Pro

Good debate.
KeytarHero

Con

Again I must concede, so please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
Microsuck

Pro

Vote pro. Thank you for not wasting time.
KeytarHero

Con

You're welcome. Again, please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by logicrules 2 years ago
logicrules
On a scale of probability...so if there is a 51% chance .....now that's reason.
Posted by KeytarHero 2 years ago
KeytarHero
Actually, Ahopele, that would be the argument from ignorance, which is a fallacy. Just because you can't prove something exists doesn't mean it doesn't exist. As the instigator, Microsuck would have borne the burden of proof. However, I didn't have time to put it to research for an argument and I didn't just want to throw an argument together.
Posted by ahopele 2 years ago
ahopele
As an atheist, this topic is actually easy to resolve. The default position is always disbelief until there is evidence for something. So until the theist demonstrates that a god exists, the atheist is justified in not believing a god exists. Simple as that.
Posted by Microsuck 2 years ago
Microsuck
All sources here: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Microsuck 2 years ago
Microsuck
Darn, forgot my abstract...lol; I'll add it in my OA.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by baggins 2 years ago
baggins
MicrosuckKeytarHeroTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
MicrosuckKeytarHeroTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: honorable FF = conduct point for the con
Vote Placed by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
MicrosuckKeytarHeroTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: No fun. At least do what I did and throw something together until round four xD actually, on second thought, don't do that. I had to concede because of it. Conduct to con because he's a swell guy xD