The Instigator
tkubok
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points

Atheists are not logically and reasonably justified in their disbelief of a Christian God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
tkubok
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,608 times Debate No: 20702
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (33)
Votes (5)

 

tkubok

Con

Hi, I've always wanted to debate this, but I've never had much time until now.

So, the contention is, "Atheists are not logically and reasonably justified in their disbelief of a Christian God".

Lets get a few definitions out of the way.

Atheism: The disbelief or non-belief in a God or Gods.(1)
Christian God: Specifically the God as presented in the KJV bible.

Pro must show how the belief in God is reasonable and logically justifiable enough for Atheists to believe that God exists. Con must show how these justifications are either unreasonable or illogical.

Rules:
1. No swearing, ad hominem attacks or name calling.
2. Pro can post his argument in the first round, but cannot post an argument in the last round and can only respond to arguments already presented.
3. If Pro has any problems with the above, he or she must resolve it in the comments section with Con before accepting the debate.

Source:
1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
KeytarHero

Pro

I would like to thank tkubok for issuing this challenge. I hope the arguments I present will cause all who read to think more deeply about this issue. In order to claim victory in the argument, I must show that belief in a God is reasonable and logically justifiable and by extension, why it is unjustified for an atheist not to believe in God.

There have been many arguments for the existence of God used throughout history but as space is an issue, I will limit my argument to what I believe are three of the stronger arguments for the existence of God.

Principle of Causality

The principle of causality states that something cannot be created by nothing.

The universe is not infinite, as used to be believed. If it were, it would remain static. Yet it is expanding, indicating that it once had a beginning. There was a point at which there was no universe, and then there was a universe. In order for a universe to be created where there was nothing, there must have been a Being who created it, since something cannot be produced by nothing.

It is the height of folly to believe that any effect can be produced without a cause. Even David Hume, a noted atheist, stated "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." [1] As created beings, we are contingent upon that which created us. God is a Necessary Being, the First Cause of everything. God was not created, He has always existed. He is a Necessary Being; it is in His very nature to exist and as a being who has always existed, it is not in His nature to change. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and as such He has always been.

I will give my argument in the form of a syllogy:

1. Something cannot be produced by nothing (or, nonbeing cannot create being)
2. The universe once did not exist and now does.
3. Therefore, a Necessary Being must have created it

Moral Law

Moral relativism is a self-defeating belief, for in order to be true it must also be false (if there is no truth, as relativism claims, once might follow up by asking, is that a true statement?). While some truths are relative (e.g. your favorite flavor of ice cream or your favorite style of music), there are truths which belong in the realm of commonly accepted morality. Most people believe that murder and rape are wrong. Those who don't are labeled psychopaths and locked up in a mental institution. If parents don't teach their kids right from wrong, they are generally believed to have failed as parents. Yet how can we know, instinctually, what is right from wrong unless there is a Moral Law Giver? And who would be qualified to give a Moral Law for all humanity to follow other than a Being who created that race of beings?

1. There are things which are obviously wrong (e.g. rape and murder).
2. There must be an objective moral truth, or there would be no reason to keep your word, or to do good at all.
3. Therefore, only a Being who created us can create a Moral Law for all humankind to follow.

Teleological Argument

Whenever we look at a painting, such as the Mona Lisa, no one would believe that it simply sprang into existence, nor would someone believe that a building just suddenly came into existence one day. Paintings need a painter, buildings need a builder. The universe is much more vast and complex than a simple painting or even a building, so if a painter or builder is a given when viewing a painting or building, so is it a given that an intelligent being must have created this universe.

The world and universe we live in has been incredibly fine-tuned for our survival. There are currently no known planets in the universe where earth-like life can survive. In order for our kind to survive, it must be in the "Goldilocks Zone" of its galaxy, in other words the perfect spot where the planet would not be too hot or too cold. Plus, the world has to have a habitable atmosphere (with plants that absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen), and the galaxy around it can't be too hostile (e.g. we have Jupiter around to deflect asteroids by its gravitational field that might otherwise impact with Earth and destroy it or all life on it).

1. The world has been fine-tuned for our survival
2. The world would not be so finely-tuned for our survival if left up to random processes
3. Therefore, a Designer is behind the universe that was designed for us to live in.

[1] Hume, David, The Letters of David Hume, 1:187.
Debate Round No. 1
tkubok

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.


In order for a universe to be created where there was nothing, there must have been a Being who created it, since something cannot be produced by nothing.”


Yes. There was a point at which the current state of the universe did not exist, and then it did. However, my opponent is wrong in claiming that there was nothing before the universe. Scientists believe that a singularity existed before the current state of the universe.(1) This would open up the possibility that this singularity had existed for an eternity and therefore does not require a cause. It was not merely “Nothing” as we know it, that existed before our current state of the universe.


As created beings, we are contingent upon that which created us. God is a Necessary Being, the First Cause of everything. “


We cannot conclude by this that the creator was necessarily God. A universe-creating factory or invisible magical unicorns or anything else that we would not consider God-like could have been the necessary creating force. In fact, calling it a “being” is presumptuous.


Moral relativism is a self-defeating belief, for in order to be true it must also be false(if there is no truth, as relativism claims, once might follow up by asking, is that a true statement?) “


Moral relativism has to do with moral standards, and not truth claims in and of themselves, such as Logical truth claims. Pro is not discussing relativism in general. One can believe in Moral relativism and still believe in truth claims as long as those claims are not based on morality.


Yet how can we know, instinctually, what is right from wrong unless there is a Moral Law Giver?”


Quite simple. All social creatures have a basic understanding that killing within their group is wrong.(2) It comes from the simple realization that a group cannot exist if its members freely kill each other. The fact that this instinctual knowledge of right and wrong exists in some animals but not in others, is more evidence that this is something that is derived from common sense and nature, and not from a moral law giver.


When we outline the method, step by step, as to how these morals could evolve, it becomes quite simple.


1. I don't want to die.


2. Being in a group is more beneficial.


3. I have no need to kill anyone in my group.


4. Therefore lets make this a rule.


And who would be qualified to give a Moral Law for all humanity to follow other than a Being who created that race of beings?”


First of all, the existence of a moral law does not tell us anything about where it came from. We cannot conclude that because a moral law exists, that therefore it must have come from God.


Secondly, the existence of a different set of moral standards disproves this argument. Almost everyone today will say, with generally high certainty, that slavery is morally wrong. Yet, there is no doubt that in the past, people have believed that there was nothing morally wrong with owning people as property, I.e. Slaves. This is true in a lesser degree in the examples Pro stated. The farther back we go, the less the constraints as to who you are allowed to kill, even who you are allowed to rape, go.


“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. “-Numbers 31:14-18


Most people today would say that rape under any circumstance was wrong. Yet clearly Moses did not think so. This shows how moral standards have varied largely with time and contradicts Pros argument.


1. There are things which are obviously wrong (e.g. rape and murder).


2. There must be an objective moral truth, or there would be no reason to keep your word, or to do good at all.


3. Therefore, only a Being who created us can create a Moral Law for all humankind to follow.


I have shown above that the first premise has failed in the light of previous moral standards. The third point fails for the fact that we cannot know the source of this moral law, and cannot conclude if it came from God.


I will quickly address the second premise.


There is a reason to keep your word or to do good. The more we do good to others, the more likely they will do good to us, and it helps us keep a social norm that benefits us all. We see this in other animals, such as when Monkeys groom each other. Why bother grooming another monkey? So that they will groom you in return.


“Paintings need a painter, buildings need a builder. The universe is much more vast and complex than a simple painting or even a building, so if a painter or builder is a given when viewing a painting or building, so is it a given that an intelligent being must have created this universe. “


Wrong. Let me systematically show why this argument fails.


First off, we do not create, we manipulate. Humans do not “Make” a painting in the same way that this God “Made” the universe. We take existing matter, and manipulate it into paintings and buildings. To claim that the creation of this universe ex nihilo can be concluded from the existence of manipulators manipulating pre-existing matter is a non-sequitur.


Secondly, We know that paintings and buildings were made, a posteriori. We have examples of painters and builders. We have knowledge that Painters and builders make paintings and buildings all the time and no examples of paintings and buildings occurring in nature. The problem exists when we compare two things, a painting and a rock, and try to consider which has a designer, and which occurred naturally. It is completely reasonable to assume that a rock was not designed, and was a product of nature. Yet, if we draw out the argument that Pro is making to its logical conclusion, then the rock must have been designed and must be no different than the painting. The very fact that we are justified in recognizing the rock as being a product of nature, shows how this argument fails.


Thirdly, the conclusion is self-refuting. This God is supposedly more complex than the universe, yet does not require a creator. So by Pros own admission, something that is complex can exist without requiring a creator.


“The world and universe we live in has been incredibly fine-tuned for our survival. “


No, not the universe. 99.99999999999% of the universe is hostile to life. Humans cannot live in the sun, or out in space. We cannot easily live on other planets. Yes, this planet is suited for life, but not the universe in general. This single planet that occupies less than .00000000001% of the entire universe Is fine tuned for life, yet Pro has us think that therefore the entire universe, hostile to life, must also be fine tuned for life as well. This is a non-sequitur.


“In order for our kind to survive, it must be in the "Goldilocks Zone" of its galaxy, in other words the perfect spot where the planet would not be too hot or too cold. “


The “Goldilocks zone” for Earth is 120,000,000 kilometres wide, enough to fit 10,000 earths side by side. Furthermore, we have already found a planet other than earth that is in the “Goldilocks zone”.(3) So the tuning isn’t too fine after all.


“Plus, the world has to have a habitable atmosphere “


The habitable atmosphere came after life arose. Before life, the atmosphere was hostile, and oxygen was scarce(4). In other words, Life came before a habitable atmosphere, not after.


"the galaxy around it can't be too hostile"


Except that extinction-level evets have occurred frequenty(5).




Clearly there is no justification for atheists to believe in God.




Source:
1. http://ssscott.tripod.com...

2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

3. http://news.cnet.com...

4. http://www.ux1.eiu.edu...

5. http://en.wikipedia.org...

KeytarHero

Pro

I, again, thank tkubok for creating this debate. Let's get right to it.

Tkubok stated,

"...my opponent is wrong in claiming that there was nothing before the universe. Scientists believe that a singularity existed before the current state of the universe."

Tkubok, here, is begging the question. I read the article supplied by Con, and it doesn't prove there is a singularity (in fact, tkubok even said scientists believe there was a singularity that always existed) -- unless I missed it somewhere, in which case if he would point out the relevant paragraph I will re-read it. But I would ask him to prove that there was a singularity that has always existed and expanded into the universe, otherwise we can simply dismiss it as an ad hoc explanation to avoid having to believe in a God who created the universe.

Furthermore, if there was a singularity that has always existed that expanded into our universe, why, then, did it cause a big bang and create the universe? If it was simply a singularity, a non-living, non-intelligent thing, then how could it have exploded and expanded into our universe? There must have been Someone behind it, otherwise a static singularity that has always existed would have no reason to undergo a big bang and create a universe.

"We cannot conclude by this that the creator was necessarily God..."

The difference here is that there is no universe-creating factory or magical unicorns. Those are the stuff of fairytales with no external evidence to support their existence. However, we have much evidence to suggest a God, not the least of which are all the people who believe in some kind of Deity. There are many religious texts claiming to be the words of God. It seems likely that one of the religions has it right. If there is a God who created our universe and wants to be a part of it, then certainly He would have spoken to us and given us religious texts so that we can know Him and know what He wants of His creation.

The Bible is the most likely candidate for the true words of God, apart from other religions. The books of the Bible were written by over 40 authors from all different walks of life, yet they spoke in complete unity. Plus we have several Old Testament books that gave prophecies that were fulfilled by the events recorded in the New Testament. As well as other evidences. [1]

"All social creatures have a basic understanding that killing within their group is wrong...a group cannot exist if its members freely kill each other."

This may be, and certainly I can see the logic in refusing to kill others because their friends or family may retaliate and cause you harm or death. However, this is not a motivating factor for most people. I don't know anyone who doesn't kill because they don't want to be killed in return. That may be a reason someone contemplating murder eventually doesn't go through with it, but people know that murder is simply wrong, and that is why they don't murder. They won't take a human life, not because they're afraid of retaliation. That would come second.

Secondly, as C.S. Lewis postulates, if our morality were really about "herd instinct," then the stronger impulse would always win, which it does not. But people all the time put their lives in danger to help friends in need, or even complete strangers. [2] We wouldn't have a military or police force if the "herd mentality" were all there was to morality. The fact that we can make choices as to whether to do the "right" thing or the "convenient" thing proves that we do, in fact, have an ingrained sense of morality.

Additionally, we cannot appeal to nature when it comes to human morality. Animals are bound by their instincts and can only go against them if they are trained to do so, and even then they still go with their nature if they can get away with it. Humans are higher than animals and have the ability to make moral decisions and act upon free will.

"...the existence of a moral law does not tell us anything about where it came from."

If you have a better explanation, please share. If all humans have an innate sense of morality (and they don't have a mental illness that keeps them from noticing it), then how did it get there other than the Creator of the very people who try to abide by that law? It makes sense that there would be a Moral Law Giver, who has instilled in us an innate sense of the same morality this God shares (and has outlined when He delivered His words to us).

"...the existence of a different set of moral standards disproves this argument."

I don't think it does. While different cultures may have differed on morality, nothing has ever amounted to a complete difference. If you compare the moral teachings of ancient cultures (e.g. the Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.), what will really strike you is how alike they are to ours.
C. S. Lewis asks us to imagine a country with a totally different sense of morality, where men were praised for running away in battle or where a man felt proud of double-crossing those who have been kindest to him. Men have disagreed on what to be unselfish to (whether it be family, friends, strangers, etc.), but they have always agreed you ought not to put yourself first. [3]

Con used the example of slaves. While there were people who supported the owning of black people as property, there were also those who believed it was wrong and fought to free slaves. They were not acting on "herd mentality" but on a much deeper morality that said that all men are created equal and ought not be considered as property. The same morality that tells us owning slaves is wrong now, told them that owning slaves was wrong while it was accepted in our country.

Also, I should point out that Moses was not condoning rape in the passage Con quoted. In fact, the women were kept as slaves, not to be raped. Slavery was allowed in that time because it was preferable to being killed. The reason that the women who had "known a man" were killed was because they tempted Israelite men to idolatry, which was a huge deal. The reason that indicating the women "had not known a man" is important is because the ones who hadn't slept with the Israelites were spared. They were kept as slaves, not for the purposes of raping.

I have refuted Con's claims and shown how the existence of a Moral Law indicates there is a Moral Law Giver. It is not mere "herd mentality" because if it were, the stronger impulse would always be given in to, which it is not. And while differences in morality have existed through time, never in such a way as to be a "complete difference."

"...we do not create, we manipulate."

Granted. But this does not disqualify the need for a Creator of the universe, since God simply didn't have any pre-existing materials to work with when He created the universe.

"...we know that paintings and buildings were made, a posteriori."

Granted again. But what about when the first painting was painted, or the first building created? Was someone not justified in calling a painting a painting, or a building a building, even if they were new concepts?

"...the conclusion is self-refuting."

God is a Necessary Being. It is in His nature to exist. It is a difficult concept because God is the only one in existence and we are not able to empirically observe Him. Being a Necessary Being simply means that God is not contingent. His exists independently or anyone, or anything, else.

The Earth is fine-tuned for human life to survive. I did not mean to indicate that the universe was also, merely that certain aspects of it are there to help us survive (such as Jupiter's gravity helping to push meteoroids away from us).

I only have a few more characters remaining, so I will respond to his objections I didn't get to in the next round, as well as any new arguments.

[1] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, pp.91-96
[2] Lewis, Clive Staples, Mere Christianity, HarperCollins Books, pp. 9-10
[3] ibid, pp.5-6
Debate Round No. 2
tkubok

Con


“But I would ask him to prove that there was a singularity that has always existed and expanded into the universe, otherwise we can simply dismiss it as an ad hoc explanation to avoid having to believe in a God who created the universe.”



Pro has attempted to use Science to support his claim that the universe had a beginning. Expansion does not “prove” that the universe is not static either, and it is a BELIEF based on deduction that the universe has been expanding SINCE it was packed in a single point, I.e. A singularity. In other words, the same deduction that leads us to the belief that the universe had a beginning, is also the same deduction that leads us to believe that the universe was a singularity, and that singularity was the beginning of the Big Bang.



Pro has attempted to dismiss the very argument he used to support his premise that the universe had a beginning.



“There must have been Someone behind it, otherwise a static singularity that has always existed would have no reason to undergo a big bang and create a universe.”



Yes, there could have been a catalyst. It might have been an increase in energy build-up that started infinitesimally small. It might be an infinite regression of universes that are created, then destroyed by way of big crunch, then created again.



There are many possibilities. None of these require intelligence or sentience, and they all only require nature, something which we know exists. So I ask Pro, what makes God the preferable possibility?




“However, we have much evidence to suggest a God, not the least of which are all the people who believe in some kind of Deity.”



People used to believe in Unicorns and Faeries and Leprechauns. People believe in contradictory Gods and deities. This is not evidence of anything, anymore than belief in unicorns is evidence that Unicorns exist.



“There are many religious texts claiming to be the words of God.”



What makes these religious texts more reliable than texts that talk of Faeries and Lepricons?



Furthermore, the “Words” of these Gods contradict each other in these many religious texts. So, if the message is false, then the source is questionable at best.



“If there is a God who created our universe and wants to be a part of it, then certainly He would have spoken to us and given us religious texts so that we can know Him and know what He wants of His creation.”



Based on what Evidence does Pro claim that this God would want to be a part of his creation?




“The books of the Bible were written by over 40 authors from all different walks of life, yet they spoke in complete unity.”



First off, there are contradictions in both the Old and New testament.



Secondly, they were not from all walks of life, modern scholars agree that the Torah was written around 600 BC, from oral traditions and compiled together in 400 BC.(1) The Jewish kingdom of Judah had already existed as well as the Jews who were already well versed in their own history and mythology. In other words, they were from the same walk of life, I.e. Jewish.



Furthermore, we can reasonable assume the same thing happened to the Torah as it did with the New Testament, which excluded texts that were against the canonical gospels and branded them as apocrypha or heretical.



Thirdly, the Hindu Vedas were also a result of many authors after oral traditions, compiling the vedas together into one book, speaking in complete unity.



“Plus we have several Old Testament books that gave prophecies that were fulfilled by the events recorded in the New Testament.”



Muslims claim the Quran has fulfilled prophecies as well(2).



Furthermore, the prophecies provide three problems.



Firstly, Prophecies being fulfilled does not tell us whether the claim of the source of the prophecy is true. If I am a time-traveller, I can make prophecies that will undoubtedly come true.



Secondly, failed prophecies of the New Testament exist, such as the prophecy that the messiah will have the bloodline of King David, which Jesus did not. Many more are the reasons why Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah.



Thirdly, we have no contemporary accounts for the life of Jesus outside the bible, at all, nor do we have direct eyewitness accounts. Much like how you cannot prove the Quran is historically accurate by using the Quran itself, you cannot use the bible to prove the bible is true.



“people know that murder is simply wrong, and that is why they don't murder.”



Today, we know that murder is simply wrong because our morals have evolved. Just like we know today that a soldier who rapes a woman whose country he invaded is simply wrong. Yet, 4000 years ago, people thought this was not wrong, but acceptable. It took a long time to understand that this was wrong, but it does not change the fact that we used to think it was right.



“But people all the time put their lives in danger to help friends in need, or even complete strangers.”



This is seen in nature as well. Vervet monkeys will make noise, alerting predators to its location to let other monkeys to escape(3).



“Humans are higher than animals and have the ability to make moral decisions and act upon free will.”



Except that we are clearly the product of our society. Our higher morals that we have today were non-existent 2000, 3000, 5000 years ago. What happened, is that our morals evolved. This is in contrast to your claim that God gave us all the same moral law, and completely in sync with the stance that our morals are learned, that morality is dependant on the natural mental construct. The natural explanation suffices here.

If you have a better explanation, please share.”



Argument from ignorance. Because you cannot come up with a better explanation, you're going to stick with yours. Logical fallacy.



“nothing has ever amounted to a complete difference.”



Again, the same could be said of animals. However, nature explains this, as we see with increased brain capacity, that morals also increase. It has to do with benefit. Animals understand this, because they are capable, mentally, to. Bacteria do not.



“They were not acting on "herd mentality" but on a much deeper morality that said that all men are created equal”



In other words, Morality evolved. I would like to ask Pro, what prevented people 2000 years ago from accessing this deeper morality?



“They were kept as slaves, not for the purposes of raping.”



First off, even the male children were to be slaughtered, no matter how young. There is no reason to kill the young male children if they were to be enslaved.



Secondly, no. Dueteronomy 21:10 will explain this better:


When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;



Clearly Moses was speaking of forced marriage and rape.

Was someone not justified in calling a painting a painting, or a building a building, even if they were new concepts?”



Depends. As Arthur Clarke puts it, Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.



God is a Necessary Being.”




Only if Theism is correct and we assume that the universe has to be created by God. If this premise is true, then the conclusion that a God exists does not matter, therefore this argument is also self-refuting due to the fact that the premise is assuming what the argument is trying to prove.



Lets assume God exists, therefore God exists.



“I did not mean to indicate that the universe was also”



You kinda did. You said earth AND the universe was fine-tuned.



“merely that certain aspects of it are there to help us survive”



None of this requires a God and is statistically inevitable.



Source:


1. Blenkinsopp, Joseph The Pentateuch: An introduction to the first five books of the Bible


2. http://www.alislam.org...


3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

KeytarHero

Pro

Science can be used to show the universe has a beginning. [1] In fact, the very reason we know the universe had a beginning is the very reason we can know there was no singularity at the beginning. The universe is expanding. Galaxies are moving away from each other. If the universe were eternal, it would be static and unmoving. If there was a singularity at the very beginning of time which resulted in the big bang, it would have no reason to explode and create the universe. There would be no catalyst to cause the explosion of the singularity because if that singularity had been around forever, it would not be able to build up energy into an explosion unless an outside force did it. It would be static and forever remain a singularity. Additionaly, there could have been no energy build-up that started infinitesimally small unless there was an outside force acting on it or the singularity, itself, had a beginning.

An infinite regression is not possible. Since an infinite series would theoretically have no beginning and no end, since a series of moments succeed one another, no matter how long the series it would always be possible to add one more. But one more cannot be added to an infinite number. Hence, one can never reach an infinite number. Also, an infinite number of moments can never be traversed. But the number of moments before today has been traversed. Otherwise, today would never have come.Hence, there was not an infinite number of moments before today.

Yes, people have believed in contradictory gods, but the fact that people have always been searching for God or gods shows that there is reason to do so. People have been arguing for and against the existence of God for thousands of years. The fact that so many cultures have a "creation myth" or "flood myth," etc., lends credibility to those events actually having occurred.

I agree that many people believe in contradictory gods and contradictory religious texts, but that doesn't automatically prove that they are all wrong. One of them could be correct and all the others wrong.

As far as proof that God would want to be a part of His creation, I can offer several. First, why would God create a universe inhabited by people if He did not want to be a part of it? Why go to the trouble to create something so vast if He really wanted no part of it? If He creates beings, don't you think He would love them as if they were His own children? Even if you don't believe in a loving God, maybe a vindictive one, He would still want to be a part of His creation to create havoc in it. I don't see there's any reason to suppose that a creative God wouldn't want to be a part of the thing He creates.

There are also many evidences to suggest that the Bible is the word of God, and the Bible tells us that God takes part in His creation. First, the Bible was written by over 40 authors from all different walks of life (e.g. fishermen, philosophers, poets, kings, etc.), and from different periods of time (a span of about 1,500 years), yet they speak in complete unity. Suppose a book of family medical advice was composed by forty doctors over 1500 years in different languages on hundreds of medical topics. What kind of unity would it have, even assuming that authors knew what preceding ones had written? Due to superstitious medical practice in the past, one chapter would say that disease is caused by demons who must be exorcised. Another would claim that disease is in the blood and must be drained by blood-letting. Another would claim disease to be a function of mind over matter. At best, such a book would lack unity, continuity and usefulness.

We also have the numerous specific prophecies that were fulfilled, many of which were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. [2]

There are many reasons to suppose the Bible is the Word of God, and that same Word tells us that God wants to be a part of His creation.

Regarding contradictions: Christians don't claim that the numerous translations and copies are error-free, only that the original texts were inerrant. Unfortunately we don't have the original texts, but we have thousands upon thousands of manuscripts to show that the only errors contained in the Scriptures that we have now don't change any Christian doctrines.

Not all scholars agree that the Torah was written that early. In fact, the books that were written were instantly considered canon by the Jews and the Christians (for the New Testament). We even see in the books themselves that they were instantly added to canon, and not just "compiled" later. Moses' books were immediately placed with the ark of the covenant (Deut. 31:26), Joshua's writing was added (Josh. 24:26). Following were books by Samuel and others (1 Sam. 10:25). Daniel had a copy of Moses and the Prophets, which included the book of his contemporary Jeremiah (Dan. 9:2, 10-11).

I don't know much about the Hindu Vedas so I can't really comment, but I was offering the evidence for the Bible with many authors as only one bit of evidence supporting its supernatural composition. I would guess that it is lacking in some of the other proofs of its supernatural origin, such as fulfilled prophecy.

Time travelers cannot be used as evidence of fulfilled prophecies, especially since there is no proof time travel will ever be possible.

Jesus came through the bloodline of King David (Matthew 1:1-6).

We do have eyewitness accounts of Jesus, such as Josephus (a Jewish historian) and Pliny the Younger. Using the Bible to prove the Bible true is not circular reasoning. What better way to prove the President lives in the White House than to look in the White House? Also remember that the Bible was not written as "The Bible." It was written as individual books that were compiled later into one, canonical volume (some two- to three-hundred years after the New Testament was written). The Gospels were eyewitness accounts of Jesus' ministry by people who either knew him or were acquainted with people who knew him.

Regarding the Qu'ran, I don't have space to go into it here but possibly next round.

Simply because some people accepted it a few thousand years ago doesn't mean everyone did. There were people, even 4,000 years ago, who believed rape was wrong. Just as we do now. It was still morally unacceptable, even if it was accepted back then.

The natural explanation still doesn't suffice because there were people who believed as we do now about morality several thousand years ago. Moses gave us the Law which had many things in it that were sinful, including a number of sexual sins. Even if some accepted it back then it was still wrong.

I'm sticking with my beliefs because there's no better alternative. You can't prove that God doesn't exist, but I believe there's good reason to believe that He does. If you can't offer a better alternative, I see no reason to change. Even if morals are simply "evolutionary" and not directly granted by God, you have shown no reason that God didn't simply direct the evolutionary process and use evolution to deliver our morality.

There wasn't anything preventing people 2,000 years ago from accessing this morality and many did. Just because some acted in contrast to morality doesn't mean that everyone was. We see in cultures thousands of years old that one ought not to live selfishly. We may disagree in the details, however (such as who we should not be selfish toward).

I am running low on characters. I will respond to the rest of Con's round three arguments, as well as any new ones presented, next round.

[1] http://www.harvardhouse.com...;
[2] Geisler, Norman L. The Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, pp. 609-617
Debate Round No. 3
tkubok

Con

If the universe were eternal, it would be static and unmoving.

Again, this is a conclusion based on deductive reasoning. Pro cannot discount the possibility that it has only recently begun to expand, and that the universe used to be static, 5, 10 billion years ago. No one can. The universe having a beginning is derived from deductive reasoning from the evidence of an expanding universe, the same deductive reasoning that leads us to believe that the universe, in its beginning, was a singularity. Again, Pro is using evidence to both reject and accept the conclusion made by scientists.


If there was a singularity at the very beginning of time which resulted in the big bang, it would have no reason to explode and create the universe.”


Again, argument from ignorance. Because Pro cannot think of a reason, therefore he is claiming that the belief that a God must have moved it. Again, logical fallacy.



Additionaly, there could have been no energy build-up that started infinitesimally small unless there was an outside force acting on it or the singularity, itself, had a beginning."


Let us ask Pro, how does he know this? No one is claiming that it did, since this is just one of many possibilities. However, Pro has made the claim that this cannot happen. Therefore, I ask Pro to give his evidences or reason behind this claim.



“But one more cannot be added to an infinite number. Hence, one can never reach an infinite number.”


Pros argument breaks down with the fact that Pro himself accepts a God that has a quality that pertains to its existence as being eternal, infinite. Let us ask Pro, why eternity can apply to God but not to the universe?



“Yes, people have believed in contradictory gods, but the fact that people have always been searching for God or gods shows that there is reason to do so.”


The fact that people have found contradictory Gods, shows what, exactly? Pro has us believe that the search for God gives us reason to believe that God exists, but wants us to ignore the conclusion of that search. Unreasonable at best.



“One of them could be correct and all the others wrong.”


I cannot comment on this until Pro comments on the Quran, as I can easily show how the standards applied to the bible can also be applied to the Quran, thus preventing us from discerning which is correct.


If He creates beings, don't you think He would love them as if they were His own children?”

How does Pro know that God created this universe with the intent of creating us as well? This is an unproven premise that, for example, Deists reject. Therefore this argument fails.


“Christians don't claim that the numerous translations and copies are error-free, only that the original texts were inerrant.

Unfortunately this claim cannot be confirmed. What we know as fact, however, allows us to doubt the texts, as none of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses, at least 30 years after Jesus died, with many early church fathers being excommunicated or banished due to their support of books that contradicted the 4 Gospels. In light of these facts, it is still unreasonable for Atheists to believe that the bible is in any way accurate.



“Not all scholars agree that the Torah was written that early. ”


Daniel, the protagonist for the Book of Daniel, is accepted by Christian scholars to have existed around 6
th century BCE. Both Deut 31:26 and Josh 24:26 talks of a book of law, which does not make it a historical account, and 1 Sam 10:25 speaks of Samuel writing down the rights and duties of a king, not any historicity.

So, we know it was compiled after 500 BC allowing for them to add or delete any inconsistencies, none of the examples you provided talk of the actual writing of the historical accounts, and they all, even if they did talk of the historicity of the Jews, confirm that they were written by Jews. Therefore my objection stands.



“Time travelers cannot be used as evidence of fulfilled prophecies, especially since there is no proof time travel will ever be possible.”


Exactly. There is no evidence that prophecies are necessarily revealed by God, just like there is no evidence that time travellers are not the source of the prophecy.. You do not have any evidence as to the source of the prophecy and therefore cannot claim the source to be God.



“Jesus came through the bloodline of King David”


The genealogy is through Joseph. Jesus was not Joseph's son therefore he cannot be of King Davids bloodline.
Clearly an unfulfilled prophecy.


“We do have eyewitness accounts of Jesus, such as Josephus (a Jewish historian) and Pliny the Younger.”


Only to the existence of a man named Jesus, not the events in his life. Josephus only talks about the existence of Jesus and Pliny talks only of Christians. Nor is Josephus or Pliny, both born after Jesus died, eyewitnesses to anything.


No one is saying that Jesus never existed or that Christians never existed. But none of this is confirmation as to the events of the bible itself.


“What better way to prove the President lives in the White House than to look in the White House?”


And if the president just happened to be away? If you saw a janitor living there, and called him the president, would your claim be valid? How would you be able to prove that the president was actually living there and not just visiting?


The reason why we cannot simply use a single book to corroborate itself, has to do with confirming that the evidence is valid, and not simply asserting that the evidence is valid. Can we look at a Spiderman comic and conclude that Spiderman must have existed? According to Pro's criterion, yes, we could use the Comic book to prove the claims within the comic is true. Yet, clearly, this is not the case. The only way to confirm that the claim is true, is to use outside sources, because its a given that internal sources will confirm itself to be true.



“The Gospels were eyewitness accounts of Jesus' ministry by people who either knew him or were acquainted with people who knew him.”


Its not an eyewitness account, its hearsay. All of the gospels are anonymous, we have no signed copies. They were all written well after Jesus died.


So, we have little to no idea who the authors are, they are not eyewitnesses and are only reporting hearsay, and they were all written after Jesus died. Hearsay evidence would not hold up in a court of law(1), let alone 30 year old hearsay evidence, therefore it is unreasonable for Atheists to accept.



“Moses gave us the Law which had many things in it that were sinful, including a number of sexual sins. Even if some accepted it back then it was still wrong.”


I am talking about the things that were acceptable, not sinful. One thing that was acceptable was the rape and forceful marriage of any woman from a town your army conquered, and this wasn;t just accepted by “Some”, it was accepted by the vast majority. Again, in light of this fact, my opponents argument fails, and once again, the natural explanation suffices.



“Even if morals are simply "evolutionary" and not directly granted by God, you have shown no reason that God didn't simply direct the evolutionary process and use evolution to deliver our morality. ”

This is still just an argument from ignorance(2).

There is no evidence or reason that God didnt direct evolution.


Therefore, God did direct evolution.



“There wasn't anything preventing people 2,000 years ago from accessing this morality and many did.”


God and Moses seemed unable to, as Deut 21:10 is Moses specifically allowing the forceful marriage and rape of women, a law which Moses claims God has passed down. Clearly many, many more did not. So, is God and Moses, immoral?

Furthermore, let us ask Pro to name these moral giants. So, who, 2000 years ago, rejected the moral standard that Raping captives of war was wrong?


Source:

1. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

2. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...

KeytarHero

Pro

As I have been running out of room for my arguments, I will hit the more important aspects of Con's argument as well as a leftover from the previous round.

Alleged Prophecies in the Qu'ran

The evidence that prophecies in the Qu'ran have been fulfilled are unconvincing. The suras most often cited are those in which Muhammad promised victory to his troops. But what religious military leader is there who might not say to his troops: "God is on our side; we are going to win. Fight on!"? Further, remembering that Muhammad is known as "the prophet of the Sword," with his greatest number of conversions coming after he had forsaken the peaceful but relatively unsuccessful means of spreading his message, it should be no surprise that he would predict victory.

Considering the zeal of Muslim forces, who were promised Paradise for their efforts (cf. sura 22:58-59, 3:157-58; 3:170-71), it is no surprise they were so often victorious. Finally, it is little wonder so many "submitted," considering Muhammad commanded that "the punishment of those Who wage war against God And his Apostle, and strive With might...Is: execution, or crucifixion. Or the cutting off of hands And feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land" (sura 5:36).

The only substantive prediction was about the Roman victory over the Persian army at Issus. Sura 30:2-4 reads: "The Roman Empire Has been defeated -- In a land close by: But they, (even) after (This) defeat of theirs, Will soon be victorious -- within a few years."

This prediction is less than spectacular. The defeat of the Romans by the Persians in the capture of Jerusalem took place about 614 or 615. The counteroffensive did not begin until 622 and the victory was not complete until 625. This would be at least ten or eleven years, not "a few" spoken by Muhammad.

Uthman's edition of the Qu'ran had no vowel points, these not being added until much later. [1] Hence, the word sayaghlibuna, "they shall defeat," could have been rendered, with the change of two vowels, sayughlabuna, "they shall be defeated." [2] Even if this ambiguity were removed, the prophecy is neither long-range nor unusual. One would have expected the defeated Romans to bounce back. It took little more than a perceptive reading of the trends of time to forecast such an event. At best, it could have been a good guess. In any event, there appears to be no sufficient proof that it is supernatural.

The evidence that Muhammad possessed a truly supernatural gift of prophecy is lacking. His prophecies are vague and disputable. It is far easier to read meaning back in to them after the event than it would have been to see the meaning before hand.

Static Universe

Con has not offered any proof to show that there was, indeed, a singularity at the beginning of the universe, or how a singularity that had been around forever could have built up energy without an outside force acting upon it. For example, we know that one of Newton's laws says that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. If there is a stationary rock, it will remain stationary for all of eternity unless someone comes upon it and moves it. This alleged singularity is nothing but an ad hoc explanation to avoid a more obvious arrival at the belief in a Creator.

I am not claiming an argument from ignorance. I am stating that a Creator who created the universe is a much more reasonable explanation than a natural accident creating the universe, especially since we know the universe had a beginning.

Eternity can apply to God but not to the universe for this reason: First, we know the universe had a beginning so it is not eternal. We also know that we exist. If we did not exist, we could not be here to question our own existence. Not to mention the famous line by Descarte, "I think, therefore, I am." However, we are contingent beings. It is not necessary for us to exist. Indeed, there was a point in which humanity did not exist. Due to the law of causality, we know that nothing cannot produce something. Where once the universe did not exist, a universe could not come into existence unless an outside Intelligence causes it to. God is an uncreated Being. We are contingent upon an outside Intelligence for our continued existence. Since we have been created, we could only have been created by someone greater than ourselves, a Necessary Being. Whereas we can not existence, God cannot not exist. There is no other explanation by how we can even be here.

Quest for Truth

The fact that people find contradictory gods does not prove anything, per se, but the fact that so many people are searching for truth lends credibility that a) there is more to life than what we see and feel around us, and b) there are good reasons for accepting belief in a supernatural Being. It is more reasonable to believe in a Creator than to believe in a natural creation.

I think it's fairly evident that God created this universe with us in mind. The world has been fine-tuned for our survival, and the universe around us (while much of it is hostile to human life) has at least been designed to aid in our survival (for example, Jupiter is there to deflect large asteroids away from Earth with its gravitational pull).

Unless God has no actual control over His creation, then just by virtue of our being here we can safely assume we were created by God.

The claim of the original texts' reliability can be confirmed, to a 99.99% accuracy. We have numerous manuscript evidence, more so than for any other ancient work. [3] The Gospels were, indeed, written by eyewitnesses (Matthew and John were Jesus' disciples, Luke and Mark knew the disciples personally.

Old Testament

I may have misunderstood what you were arguing. Keep in mind that the Torah refers to the first five books of the Old Testament.

Yes, Daniel is accepted to have existed around the sixth century BC. And regarding the other examples, those were still historical people writing those books. Just because those particular accounts were not historical doesn't mean they weren't historically relevant.

There is evidence that the prophecies were fulfilled by God. The prophecies were specific and written well before they were fulfilled, as we see in the New Testament.

Regarding Matthew's genealogy, there is a problem here. No true son of Joseph could have been heir to the throne of David, because of Jeconiah's curse (Jeremiah 22: 24, 30). However, being the legal son of Joseph, Jesus had a claim to David's throne. And the genealogy of Luke shows how Jesus had a claim to the throne of David. [4]

Regarding Josephus and Pliny, I did misspeak. They obviously couldn't have been eyewitnesses. However, we do have the four Gospels which were written as individual accounts by eyewitnesses. It wasn't until a few hundred years later that all the Scriptures considered inspired were compiled into. We do have other eyewitness accounts of Jesus' ministry as contained in apocryphal books (e.g. the Apocalypse of Peter) which are not considered inspired in the same way as the other 66 books are, but are still around. They are not considered inspired because they have some teachings that contradict Scripture. In fact, there were even disagreements from early church fathers as to what books should actually be considered canonical.
Again, I am running low on characters so I will continue next round.

[1] Spencer, H., Islam and the Gospel of God, p. 21.
[2] Tisdall, W.S.C., The Source of Islam, p. 137.
[3] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, pp. 531-538, and 548-553.
[4] http://www.messiahnj.org...;
Debate Round No. 4
tkubok

Con


The evidence that Muhammad possessed a truly supernatural gift of prophecy is lacking.”


My opponent has failed to actually read the website I provided which state the prophecies of the Quran.

The website that I provided, talks specifically of Prophecies within the Quran regarding, for example, air traffic, or pollution(1). Since Pro has failed to address this and instead addressed an argument I did not make, therefore the objection against prophecies is valid.


Con has not offered any proof to show that there was, indeed, a singularity at the beginning of the universe”


Con does not need to show proof, since Con is not claiming this to be true. However, the very possibility of a singularity, makes it unreasonable to accept a creator explanation unless Pro can show a reason why God would be more likely than all other possibilities.


Pro has refused to answer my question regarding how he knows this to be impossible, and since he has not produced any arguments that show that God creating this universe must necessarily be more likely than all other possibilities, it is therefore unreasonable for Atheists.


I am stating that a Creator who created the universe is a much more reasonable explanation than a natural accident creating the universe”


The reasoning behind this statement can be quoted by a previous argument that Pro has made:


If there was a singularity at the very beginning of time which resulted in the big bang, it would have no reason to explode


Again, the reasoning behind Pros argument is that since he cannot find a reason why, therefore his belief of a God is more likely. This is the very definition of an argument from ignorance.(2)


“First, we know the universe had a beginning so it is not eternal.”


Again, Pro has ignored the fact that we do not know what came before the beginning of the universe, that would make the universe in some form or another, eternal. Without knowledge of this, we cannot claim that the beginning of this universe necessarily precludes it from being eternal.


Due to the law of causality, we know that nothing cannot produce something.”


The possibility of an eternal universe, and the inability of Pro to show that all other possibilities other than God is unreasonable without relying on a logical fallacy, dismisses this argument.


Where once the universe did not exist, a universe could not come into existence unless an outside Intelligence causes it to.”


Pro has, yet again, failed to address my previous argument. How does Pro know that the universe must have been created by an intelligence? All of pro's previous arguments failed with the fact that contradictory Gods and deities exist, and Pro cannot disprove them all, nor has his attempts at proving the Christian God, worked.


Prophecies have failed, since the Quran has prophecies as well.


The argument that the bible was written by many authors, has failed, since the book was compiled well after the first Jewish kingdom at the latest, and therefore subject to interpolation, exclusion of Apocryphal or contradictory texts much like the New testament. Also, since the Old testament is both accepted by Jews and Christians, this presents a contradiction of beliefs, as Jews do not accept Jesus as their Messiah.


a) there is more to life than what we see and feel around us”


This, if true, does not necessarily point to a God. Pro has not made the connection, it is a non-sequitor to connect “There is something more to life” to “Therefore a God must exist”.


b) there are good reasons for accepting belief in a supernatural Being”


What are those good reasons? So far, Pro has stated several, which have all failed due to the fact that they apply to multiple religions and cannot be attributed to a single one, such as Prophecy, or rely on a logical fallacy such as a non-sequitor.


“The world has been fine-tuned for our survival, and the universe around us (while much of it is hostile to human life)”


This entire universe has been created by God, and therefore, the fact that only this solar system, consisting of less than .000000001% of the entire universe, is the only place that is not hostile to human life, is both counter-intuitive and a non-sequitor. Pro has failed to address this problem.


Pro has also failed to address that the Fine tuning of this world is not actually fine-tuned at all, since we have already observed another planet in the Goldilocks zone.


“The Gospels were, indeed, written by eyewitnesses”


Again, all 4 gospels were of unknown authorship. It is only by church tradition that the authorship has been attributed to these 4.(3)


The fact that both Matthew and Luke borrow so heavily from Mark, despite Pros claims that they were an eyewitness, shows that they would not have been an eyewitness, as there is no reason why an eyewitness to Jesus' life would have to borrow so heavily from another eyewitness. Since Mark was not an eyewitness himself, this makes his gospel, hearsay. The Gospel of John is, by many modern scholars, irreconcilable with the synoptic gospels.


“Just because those particular accounts were not historical doesn't mean they weren't historically relevant.”

I agree, however, Pros argument used those as an example of how the written Torah had been compiled. Since none of the examples that Pro provided, were regarding the Torah, this essentially makes Pros argument of bringing up examples from the Old Testament to show that the writings were instantly added as canon, false, as they were not books that were added to canon.


“However, being the legal son of Joseph, Jesus had a claim to David's throne.”


We are talking about the Bloodline of King David. This is exactly why many Christians tried to argue that Mary was also the descendant of King David. This is because, anything else would contradict the prophecies of 2 Sam 7:11 and 1 Chron 17:11 that King Davids seed would be the one to rule. A legally adopted son is not the seed, the bloodline of David. Therefore this argument fails.


This is only compounded by the fact that both Luke and Matthew claim two different genealogies of Joseph, which is where we get our understanding that Joseph is the direct descendant of King David.


They are not considered inspired because they have some teachings that contradict Scripture.”


The fact that those early church fathers who supported different, heretical texts were excommunicated and exiled from the church, tells us of the unreliability of the New testament and its compilation. The fact that a group of men, chose, and subsequently voted on what would be considered the word of God and what would not, gives us reason to doubt the very voracity and accuracy of the new testament.


So far, Pros arguments have failed. Pro has conceded his teleological arguments, granting my objections to be valid. Pro has been unable to address how he knows that the universe cannot be eternal, and instead relying on an argument of ignorance. The problem that encompasses Pros argument, can be summed up by a single quotation from pro:


If you have a better explanation, please share.


This is the problem. Con does not need to show that a better explanation exists. What is required, is for Pro to show why his explanation is necessarily better. Pro has the burden of Proof, not Con. This is true with the principle of causality, and this was also true with Pros argument of Morality, where Pro stated that even if Morality was naturally explained, this would still not prove that it came from God.


Since Pro has the burden of proof to show why it is God, and not ask why it shouldn't be God or whether I have a better explanation other than God, I believe Pro has failed in his requirements regarding these arguments to show that Atheists are not reasonably and logically justified in disbelieving a God.


I believe these cover all of the three initial arguments presented by Pro. Vote Con.


Source:

1. http://www.alislam.org......

2. http://www.fallacyfiles.org......

3. http://www.twopaths.com...

KeytarHero

Pro

As this is our final round, I will not present any new arguments. I will only reply to Con's last round.

Regarding The Qu'ran

As the Resolution is atheists are not logically justified in disbelieving in God, it's not really essential that I disprove all the prophecies given by the Qu'ran. Because if they were genuine prophecies that have come true, then that would lend credibility to the Qu'ran as being the words of God and therefore would go to support that there is, in fact, a God. It's not really essential in this debate to prove which religious document, the Bible or the Qu'ran, is the superior document.

Regarding the alleged singularity

I have shown how belief in a God is more reasonable than in a singularity. The "singularity" would have had no reason to make a big bang and create the universe unless acted upon by an outside force.

Again, I am not arguing from ignorance. A singularity is a non-intelligent source. If it were there before the universe began, it would be static through all of time. There is much better reason to suppose an intelligent Creator than a non-intelligent singularity, proven by the fact that we are, in fact, here.

My argument that the Bible was written by many different authors does not failed simply because it was compiled later. All the Biblical texts, written by many different authors, were compiled into the Bible, into one volume. Additionally, the Old Testament is accepted by Jews and they are still waiting for their Messiah. This is not a prima facie contradiction with the New Testament, because the New Testament shows that Jesus is the Messiah the Jews have been waiting for. Many Jews became Christians based on Jesus' ministry.

As for the entire universe, we are God's central creation. There was no reason to make any other planets habitable because this is the planet that we created for us to live on. Because there is another planet in the Goldilocks zone does not disprove that we were created to live on this world, just that the odds are astronomical that this one planet (or perhaps, two -- though a second is equally unlikely because simply being in the zone of the solar system comfortable for life is not the only prerequisite for life) would have developed with exactly the right circumstances for life to evolve.
It may be simple church tradition that the authorship has been attributed to the authors of the Gospels, but the Catholic church also traces its roots back to the Apostles. So they are reliable in their determination of the authorship of the four gospels.

Matthew and Luke may borrow heavily from Mark, but that was because it was written first. They may have wanted to make sure they were getting some of their facts straight. Matthew and Luke also contain things not written in the book of Mark.

I have adequately shown why it is not logically justified to disbelieve in God but that belief in God (or a god or gods) is more rational simply because the odds are astronomical we could have developed on our own. Even putting aside the arguments about which religious document is superior, just the fact alone that the universe is not eternal, nor could an eternal singularity have existed that arbitrarily decided to explode into the universe as we know it now, proves that belief in God is more logical than not believing in one.

Please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SarcasticIndeed 2 years ago
SarcasticIndeed
Very interesting debate, but Con has won from the very start.
Posted by KRFournier 2 years ago
KRFournier
You've successfully convinced me that I was wrong to give the conduct point to Pro. You're right that there could be no misconduct when both sides operated ethically within the parameters set forth by round 1.

So, the issue remains, how do I vote for "Who made more convincing arguments?"

You said in round 1, "Pro must show how the belief in God is reasonable and logically justifiable enough for Atheists to believe that God exists."

The term enough here is vague, but it leads me to expect that atheist have more valid justification for disbelief than for belief. Now, you did successfully refute some of Pro's arguments, I'll give you that. There were a couple issues in which I felt your refutation was not wholly convincing. So, that means Pro's case was not nearly as strong as I would have liked.

But the fact remains, there is at least some evidence on Pro's part and none on your part. So, I am convinced that--on balance in this debate--Atheists are not justified in their disbelief.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
KRFournier, no, I neither like nor dislike your votes. The problem I have is with the reasoning of your votes. I have no problem with people who use their own personal biases to decide who they vote for, theres nothing wrong with that. However, your claim of reasoning on how you voted, is wrong, plain and simple, as i have just demonstrated.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
The claim here is, Atheists are not justified in their disbeliefs of a christian God, BECAUSE there are logical and reasonable justifications to believe in a God. This is the CLAIM. This is the contention.

Pro accepts this claim to be true. Con does NOT accept this claim to be true.

Con is NOT claiming something else. Con is not making a claim of his own, he is refusing to ACCEPT the claim stated in the title of the debate, as true.

I cannot believe that there is a logical and reasonable justification to disbelieve in a God, because disbelieve does not require justification, evidence, all that is required is a LACK of justification, a lack of evidence. You do not need to present evidence, justification to disbelieve the claims of aliens, for example. This is true of ANY disbelief, because disbelief is addressing a CLAIM that something exists and rejecting the claim DUE to lack of evidence.

Also, the Round 1 rules are binding to the contender, and the contender, whether he believes this to be unfair or not, decided to accept it. I specifically stated, at the comments page before he posted his argument, whether he had problems with the rules, and he did not. Therefore, if BOTH sides agree to the rules presented, there CANNOT be misconduct from either side based on the rules, unless the rules that are agreed upon are broken, and you shouldnt base your votes on whether you believe this to be unfair, when clearly both sides agreed to it.
Posted by KRFournier 2 years ago
KRFournier
In round 1 you said, "Pro supports and is making the claim."

But you are Pro, in principle, aren't you? The resolution was stated in the negative and you took the Con position--a double negative. This tells me that you are, in fact, taking the Pro position that Atheists are indeed logically and reasonably justified in their disbelief of a Christian God. The only other reason to insist you are truly Con is that you wanted to force someone else to make a claim on your behalf.

You need to know your audience: the voters of DDO. Some of them simply disagree with your view on BOP (it's a hotly contested topic on DDO forums to begin with). When I see someone with a negative resolution taking Con, then I automatically anticipate seeing proof of that position.

I am aware of your round 1 rules, and I personally found them unfair to the contender. Round 1 rules do not constitute a binding contract to me, the voter.

You may dislike my vote for a number of reasons, but I feel it is fair and justified.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
To SuburbiaSurvivor, you do not understand the reason of assigning Pro and Con in a debate. The instigator is not the one who has the burden of proof, it is Pro who has the burden of proof. The only burden of proof that Con has is to refute Pros arguments sufficiently. Let me line it out for you:

A Claim exists.

Pro supports and is making the claim. Con is not making or supporting the claim. Therefore, Pro has to defend and has the burden of proof, irrespective of who instigated the debate. The person making the claim has the burden of proof.

The argument that Con is making is essentially "I dont believe you/I do not accept your claim to be true". Therefore, Con has to refute Pros claims and the arguments that Pro uses to support his claim.

But I would like to ask why you gave Pro the point for more reliable sources. I thought we were even, even though I dislike using books as refferences as it is generally harder to confirm.

To stephen_hawkings, I like fisking, as long as it has to do with the debate, and not irrelevent fisking. I think its sometimes important to systematically disprove something or someone.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
To Ricky_zahnd, thanks for the links. Very interesting indeed, the more we start to understand science and reality, the more we seem to get away from the requirement of faith and superstition to explain things. I was actually expecting more of a first cause argument with more of a "You cannot go into infinite regression therefore there must be a first cause, that cause is God", but he went to a "The universe had a beginning and nothing existed before" argument instead.

To KRFournier, no, i clearly stated in the first round the guidelines of the debate. It was up to Pro to accept the terms and provide sufficient reason to show that Atheists should believe. The only burden of proof that I needed, was to show how these reasons are unreasonable or logically flawed, which I did.
Posted by Ricky_Zahnd 2 years ago
Ricky_Zahnd
Tkubok - clearly you had no trouble here regardless, but i'd like to point you in the direction of some recent theories that provide an even more definitive counterpoint to the bogus "principle of causality" argument.

heres an article
http://www.physorg.com...
and heres the math!
http://xphysics.wordpress.com...

some people dont like the math, but i think its the best part. quite beautiful, here.

its a shame that so many people let their superstitious beliefs get in the way of substantive ideas like these! it would be so great if we could stop embracing fallacious, defeatist ideologies that demonize scientific problem-solving; we would have so much more resources to spend on finding solutions! oh well. bravo for an interesting debate.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
As for the scholars, read my comment carefully:

"I love Matthew 27:52. Zombies rise up from the grave and go into jerusalem, yet no one talks about this, no scholar, none of the thousands of people in Jerusalem took note, and its only talked about in matthew, no where else, not even in any of the other gospels. Hard to believe."

I am talking about the scholars that were IN JERUSALEM at the time who WITNESSED these events. NOT scholars who lived decades after and heard about them from other christians.

I never claimed that a man named Jesus did not exist. I never claimed that early Christians in late 1st century did not exist. What i am claiming is that there is clearly insufficient and utterly lacking historical, contemporary evidence to support that ANYTHING within the life of Jesus that is of any importance to christians, actually occurred.

Again, i am not claiming that Jesus never existed, much like i would never claim that Muhammad never existed. But yes, the historical accounts of their lives, especially the supernatural ones, are severely lacking to the point that we have ample justification to believe they never occurred.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
I suggest you look up Markan Priority, it will tell you which of these christian scholars i am talking about accept this.

Yes, the uniform testimony of early 2nd century? Matthew woldve been dead by then, so who is it that testified? Do you have the names?

Again, do you know who the author of Luke was? Who was this person who had access to the 12 disciples before their deaths, as many of them died early on? Again, without knowledge of the author, we cannot confirm the reliability of the accounts.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 2 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
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Reasons for voting decision: As the instigator, Con had the BOP. If Pro had instigated this debate, Con probably would've won. It was on Con to provide a logical reason not to believe in God. Essentially Con just spent the debate refuting Pro, without making his own argument, giving a logical reason for not believing the Christian God. (I'm going to give a more in depth RFD later, but it's late for me)
Vote Placed by KRFournier 2 years ago
KRFournier
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Reasons for voting decision: Tkubok took Con on a negative resolution, which is equivalent to being Pro for "Atheists are logically and reasonably justified in their disbelief of a Christian God." Therefore, he had at least some burden of proof, of which there was none. Con did have some strong rebuttals and some rather weak ones, but regardless, he had no arguments for his own position. (EDITED. See Comments)
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 2 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
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Reasons for voting decision: Generally better argument, although I dislike fisking.
Vote Placed by Sisyphus67 2 years ago
Sisyphus67
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro is primarily arguing from ignorance. Pro is trying to prove the existence of a God but the same proofs that are being used could be used to prove a universe factory, yet con dismissed this. Con should have hammered on this point, I think. That we are created (purposefully) does not necessarily follow from things do not happen without a cause. Pro begs the question that we are created beings, and then uses that to say god is a necessary being. Pro did not remove reasonable doubt.
Vote Placed by Ricky_Zahnd 2 years ago
Ricky_Zahnd
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Reasons for voting decision: Like con said, pro failed to provide any "arguments that show that God creating this universe must necessarily be more likely than all other possibilities, it is therefore unreasonable for Atheists." Furthermore, pro seemed to be trying to constantly flee con's argument, receding into less and less relevant corners in an attempt to lead con there and claim some small victory. this failed, and also seemed to disrupt what otherwise wouldve been a gripping debate.