Atheism vs. Christianity
Thank you, BigSky, for challenging me to this debate. There has been no defined resolution in the debate and because I am CON and you are PRO, I propse the following resolution, "RESOLVED: On Balance, Christianity is more Pobable than Atheism."
Resolution accepted, thank you Dave.
For a Christian, you don't need science, or solid proof to believe in God. It's just faith you aquire over a lifetime of prayer. However, while we don't need proof, I know that Atheists call for scientific evidence as to why Christianity is more probable than Atheism. Before we can show that Christianity itself is more probable, I need to prove that a God actually exists. There are many valid scientific arguments that show this.
For this scientific evidence, I turn to three very important ideas. First, is the Principal of Sufficient Reason.
The Principal of Sufficient Reason
Basically, anything that happens, does so for a reason. If you were to find a laptop on the beach, picked it up, pressed a button, and it turned on, one of two things could have come to your mind. Either this laptop was created over time by natural selection, or an intelligent mind created it because it is obviously so complex. Imagine that Laptop were the size of a house, still needs an explanation, right? Now imagine it is the size of the whole Universe, still needs an explanation.
My point is that everything has a reason for its existence, this doesn't prove the existence of God, but it helps to understand my next argument.
Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
1) Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence,
either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause
2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that
explanation is God
3) The universe exists.
4) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its
5) Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the
universe is God (from 2, 4)
Warrant for Premise One
One is a modest version of PSR: Anything that happens does so for a reason. One merely requires
any existing thing to have an explanation, which is compatible with their being
brute facts about the world. Think of a translucent ball in the forest, that
ball would require an explanation, no imagine that same ball the size of the
universe, the universe is no exception to explanation, you cannot just dismiss
the universe needed an explanation like a taxi cab.
Warrant for Premise Two
Two is the logical equivalent to what atheists often affirm,
that if atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence.
For the transcendent cause must be immaterial, and there are two things which
fit such a description: abstract objects or Minds. But abstract objects
don't stand in causal relations, they don't fit our criteria for existence,
hence the cause of the universe must be an ultra-mundane mind. The universe
clearly exists, so therefore it follows logically that the universe has an
explanation, that explanation being God.
Argument from Thermodynaimcs
The law of conservation of energy under the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, with this in mind, there are only three major theories about how the Universe came into being/exists.
1) The Universe was spontaneously created from a singularity, disproven seeing as how energy cannot be created, therefore, science cannot explain the singularity.
2) The Universe is eternal and has always been, but that goes against the second law of thermodynamics, which says the Universe is finite. Therefore, that is disproven.
3) The Universe was created by a God who doesn't have to abide by scientific law. Three is the only plausiable explantion we have since science contradicts itself elsewhere.
I will get into Christianity after my opponent responds.
Thank you for challenging me to this debate. I to have been a fan of some of your debates. In this round, I will give only my opening statement and withhold rebuttals until the next round. Moreover, since my opponent is a Catholic, my arguments may be Catholic-specific (i.e., the Papacy).
I will divide my arguments in two party. In part one, I will discuss atheism. In part two, I will discuss Christianity.
Part 1: Atheism
When discussing atheism, there are two key types of Atheological arguments:
(a) Logical arguments: These attempt to show the God-concept is self-contradictory or inconsistent with known facts;
(b) Evidential arguments: These show that there are known facts that are incompatible with the Christian God such as Biblical errors, Problem of Evil, etc.
Pro 1: Non-Cognitivism
The following syllogism is taken from Magic8000’s debate1:
When someone says to you, "God exists", how do you normally respond? For most atheists, the answer is simply "prove it." However, this is a bit premature. Before we can get into whether or not God exists, we must first know what a God is. Indeed, many intellectuals have discussed and debated the subject as to what God is throughout history. The fact remains that from its original form, the ANC has stood as one of the most significant threats to the Christian/Theist worldview.
For example, consider the following dialogue2:
Mr. Jones: “An unie exists.”
Mr. White: “Prove it.”
Mr. Jones: “It has rained for three consecutive days—that is my proof.”
If this exchange seems less than satisfactory, much of the blame lies with Mr. White: his demand for proof was premature. Mr. Jones has not specified what an “unie” is; until and unless he does so, “unie” is nothing but a meaningless sound, and Mr. Jones is uttering nonsense. As W. T. Blackstone puts it:
“Until the content of a belief is made clear, the appeal to accept the belief on faithis beside the point, for one would not know what one has accepted. The request forthe meaning of a religious belief is logically prior to the question of accepting that belief on faith or to the question of whether that belief constitutes knowledge.”
Until my opponent specifies what a God is, the god-concept is invalid and “god” is just an utterly meaningless sound.
Pro 2: Incoherence of God’s Attributes
The following argument is tied in nicely with the last. Theists have attempted to provide us with a list of what God is. According to the 1968 National Catholic Almanac, God is3:
[A]lmighty, eternal, holy, immortal, immense, immutable, incomprehensible, ineffable, infinite, invisible, just, loving, merciful, most high, most wise, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, patient, perfect, provident, supreme, true.
As you noticed, these answer the secondary attribute, but fail to answer the primary attribute. Moreover, and more important, the above definition is incoherent. If God is incomprehensible and ineffable, how can the other attributes of God be known if he can neither be understood nor described?
Part 2: Christianity
Pro 3: Failed Prophecies in the Bible
According Deuteronomy 18:21-22, if a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and that prophecy fails then he is obviously a false prophet. There are prophecies within the Bible that have failed.
Failed Prophecy on Tyre
Ezekiel 26:7-14, “For thus says the Lord: "Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a hosts of many soldiers. He will slay with the sword your daughters on the mainland; he will set up a seige wall against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers...With the hoofs os his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people with the sword and your mighty pillar will fall to the ground...they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses... I will make you a bare rock...you shall never be rebuilt, for I have spoken," says the Lord God.”
The whole passage prophesied the attack and destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. However, none of this happened. After a long siege of 13 years, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his siege and compromised with the people of Tyre. Thus, king Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy Tyre as Ezekiel said that it would.4
Ezekiel later admitted his error:
Ezekiel 29:17-20, ...the Lord God came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labour hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labour that he had performed against it...”
I rest my case.
Thank you Dave for such a detailed response. Your knowledge on this issue is quite impressive, I also respect you for the time you must have put into ths, excellent job. Your arguments are so well written, that it will truthfully be difficult to rebut them effectively.
"Logical arguments: These attempt to show the God-concept is self-contradictory or inconsistent with known facts;"
I will point out that this also applies to theist arguments. The atheist belief is inconsistent with the laws of thermodynamics, which are used by the scientific community. I will discuss this more after my opponent has made his own rebuttals.
There is one major problem with using this argument, and that is, that when you are talking about an omnipresent, omnipotent being, this primary trait is unnecessary. If a being is all powerful, and everywhere at once, he doesn't need to have physical chracteristic traits to define him. If he is all powerful, then he is capable of changing his primary attributes. My opponent placed no limit on what, "all powerful" is, so God has no need of being composed of anything. God, by definition, does not follow any scientific laws, he follows no properties of matter, and therefore, only needs secondary attribute to exist.
Looking back at my own previous arguments, recall that I made it clear that all things we can see need a reason for their existence. Keep this idea in mind. The Universe can be one of two things, a closed-system, which means that the universe is all there is, and there are no outside forces that influnce its being. The Universe could also be an open system, meaning that the Universe is being influenced by an outside force. Since I have shown that the universe needs an outside force to exist based on our own scientific laws, we must live in an open system, and God is that influence.
"The fact remains that from its original form, the ANC has stood as one of the most significant threats to the Christian/Theist worldview."
Mr. Jones: "God exists."
Mr. White: "Prove it."
Mr. Jones: "Your science says that there needs to be evidence for everything."
Mr. White: "Why, yes, it does."
Mr. Jones: "How are we here? Where did the matter we are made of come from? Where is did the energy that we use daily come from , sir?
Mr. White: "There was a singularity, a speck, that caused the big bang, and it stored all the energy."
Mr. Jones: "Your own science disagrees sir, may I ask, where did this speck come from?"
Mr. White: "It.. it always was.."
Mr. Jones: "The universe must be finite, according to your own laws, sir. If the universe is finite, where did all the energy come from? It must have come from something that doesn't need to follow these laws... It must have come from God. "
A scientist will always have to answer where something has come from, if this is the case, then it will never end. If a scientists proves there was a singularity, then where did it come from? The answer always pushed back to a God that isn't regulated by scientific law. There is a nice story that demonstrates this, and defends my Christian faith.
A young man walked into his college class, he wore a cross, the atheist professor noticed this. After the class had begun, he said,
"I will show you the flaws of Christianity."
The professor asked the boy whom he had saw to come forward. The boy did so, but he was very nervous.
"Son, you are Christian, correct?" The professor asked.
"Yes, sir." The boy said. The class listened intently.
"Are you evil, son?" Asked the professor.
"The bible says I am, sir." The professor nodded and smiled.
"Ah yes, the Bible. Well son, let me ask you this: If you saw a man dying on the street, would you help him, if you could."
"Yes, sir. I would do what I could." The boy responded.
"You had done a good deed, would you then consider yourself good? The professor asked.
"No, sir, I wouldn't say that." The boy responded.
"Is God good?" The professor asked?
The boy hesitated, "y-yes, sir."
The professor then asked, "Is Satan evil?"
"Yes." The boy answered.
"So if God made Satan, then that means that God made evil, right?" The boy said nothing.
"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"
"Yes sir, I do." The boy said, more confidently.
"There are five senses, can you say you have used any of those to experience you God?"
"No, sir. I only have my faith." The boy concluded.
"That is why Christianity is flawed, there is no evidence. You may sit, son."
But the boy asked the professor, "Is there such a thing as darkness, no. It is a lack of the light. An absense of it. Evil is an absense of God, an absense of God's love. He didn't make it."
The professor looked at the boy, stunned.
"Do you have a brain sir?" The boy asked.
"Yes, I do." The professor answered, smiling.
The boy then asked the class, "Have any of you ever seen his brain? Smelt it? Touched it? Tasted it, or, heard it?"
The class laughed.
"How do we know you have a brain professor." The boy asked.
"You-you just need to have faith, I suppose."
Even after all the scientific evidence is put forward, you still need to remember that faith is a real thing. It is what a belief in God demands. Not scientific evidence.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for a swift reply. Unfortunately, my opponent failed to respond to all but one of my opening statements and has failed to give any evidence for the Christian faith.
I hereby forfeit this round and will continue in the next round. I will defend my opening statements in that round as well.
DoubtingDave forfeited this round.
My arguments are uncontested.
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