The Instigator
Badi-Nontheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bladerunner060
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Bahaullah's astounding claim as Origin of all religions

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
bladerunner060
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,176 times Debate No: 60153
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)

 

Badi-Nontheist

Pro

P1. There is no proof that god exists.
P2. Bahaullah claims that reference to god was always a reference to him, not to some imaginary being.
P3. Proof exists that Baha'u'llah existed, including photographs and hair samples and his grave site is apparent and obvious.
P4. Many people believe in Bahaullah.

C. Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him) in so far as there is evidence that he existed, while there is a lack of evidence that god exists.
bladerunner060

Con

Pro challenged me to this debate, and refused any attempts at a reasonable adjustment of his resolution (see comments). I have, to some extent, lost patience with Pro, and so accept the debate as he issued it. Pro is locked into this specific formulation of his argument. Further, Pro has the full BoP for his case in support of the conclusion.

So let's look at this argument:

Pro says:

P1. There is no proof that god exists.
P2. Bahaullah claims that reference to god was always a reference to him, not to some imaginary being.
P3. Proof exists that Baha'u'llah existed, including photographs and hair samples and his grave site is apparent and obvious.
P4. Many people believe in Bahaullah.

C. Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him) in so far as there is evidence that he existed, while there is a lack of evidence that god exists.

There are a host of problems with this argument.

As to P1, first, most theists would deny that there is no proof that god exists. As an atheist, though, I'm willing to accept P1.

P2 is that Bahuaullah claims ALL references to god were references to him.

This is merely a claim. I can concede that he claims it. That doesn't make it true.

P3 is that Bahualullah exists and there is evidence he does.

This can be conceded--a man named Bahualullah exists. But by being a man, we've already negated that he is, say, immaterial (a common theist conception of god), or any of a dozen other criteria for god (for example, Odin was missing an eye--Bahuallah is not. Odin is a god, thus, the reference to Odin, the one-eyed god cannot be a reference to the 2 eyed man Bahualullah).

P4 is that people "believe in" Bahauallah. To "believe in" something is a slippery concept--is Pro saying that they believe his claims are true, or that they believe he exists?

If the former, it's an irrelevant appeal to popularity, as how popular something is has no bearing on whether it's true. If it's the latter, it's irrelevant as P3 already says Bahualullah exists.

The conclusion that Pro gives, that "Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him) in so far as there is evidence that he existed, while there is a lack of evidence that god exists" is a complete nonsequitur. It doesn't follow from the premises whatsoever. Further, it has other problems, as well--it implies through it's parenthetical that there's a different "truth" for believers than the "truth" for nonbelievers, which is nonsensical--the truth is the truth. They may FEEL it's true, but that doesn't make it true--you may "feel" that a bus won't hit you, but if it's barreling towards you, the truth is that it's going to hit you. If god DOES exist, then his lack of evidence would be irrelevant to whether Bahaullah's claim was true--Bahuallah's claim is FALSE under those conditions, regardless of whether there is proof that God exists.

Further, references to god are diverse and contradictory and, while Bahuallah may be agreed upon to exist, there is absolutely nothing within THIS argument that supports him being, for example, the son of Odin. Or a maximally great being. Or Allah. That he claims he is all of these things is fine and dandy--anyone can CLAIM a thing, that doesn't make it true whatsoever.

Pro has offered an argument that is a nonsequitur, logically fallacious, and that, in its conclusion, includes a nonsensical view of "truth".

As such, Pro has failed in his BoP and, given that he is locked into THIS formulation of his argument, the resolution stands negated. I turn the floor over to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Badi-Nontheist

Pro

Based on your response, we already agree to this, (some of which for the sake of argument):

P1 there is no proof for the existence of a supernatural god.
P2 is that Bahuaullah claims ALL references to god were references to him.
P3 is that Bahualullah exists and there is evidence he does.

These three initial premises are enough to conclude that reference to Baha'u'llah is really the purpose of the reference to god.

But then you into unecessary argumentation. I address these below:

"But by being a man, we've already negated that he is, say, immaterial (a common theist conception of god), or any of a dozen other criteria for god"

I never said the person of Bahaullah is immaterial. I already stated in the comments that proof of P3 is that we have photographs, grave site, hair samples, his shoes, pens, robes, mirror, pocket watch, stamps, marriage certificate, passport, etc.

"Odin was missing an eye--Bahuallah is not."

There is no evidence that Odin actually existed. The story of this imaginary guy named Odin having one eye is a mere mythological story. All sorts of characters were always made up by people to tell stories around camp fires. This tradition continues today in DC Comics and Marvel Comics, for instance.

"P4 is that people "believe in" Bahauallah. To "believe in" something is a slippery concept--is Pro saying that they believe his claims are true, or that they believe he exists?"

You are unnecessarily over-complicating my P4. It simply states that people exist on earth (I am an example) who accept premises 1-3. In other words I accept that god doesn't exist and therefore all reference to a god in religions is obviously not a reference to someone that doesn't exist (god), but rather a reference to someone that did exist (Baha'u'llah).

"The conclusion that Pro gives... is a complete nonsequitur. It doesn't follow from the premises whatsoever."

How so? I just demonstrated it.

"there's [no] different "truth" for believers than the "truth" for nonbelievers, which is nonsensical--the truth is the truth."

You are wrong. Truth is not absolute. Truth is relative.

"Further, references to god are diverse and contradictory and, while Bahuallah may be agreed upon to exist, there is absolutely nothing within THIS argument that supports him being, for example, the son of Odin."

Again, we already agreed in P1 that god doesnt actually exist and everything said about god in religions is just made-up.

My conclusion stands. If I lose this debate, it is proof that this voting system is rigged.
bladerunner060

Con

Pro claims that with this truncated version of his argument:

"P1 there is no proof for the existence of a supernatural god.
P2 is that Bahuaullah claims ALL references to god were references to him.
P3 is that Bahualullah exists and there is evidence he does."

...the conclusion "therefore reference to Baha'u'llah is really the purpose of the reference to god" is valid.

This is, to repeat, a non sequitur--that is, this conclusion does not follow from the premises.

Just because someone who exists claims something refers to them, does not mean that it refers to them, and there is nothing in these premises that *supports* his claim as being the source of references to god. Pro would have us believe that people describing a specific entity (god) were actually describing a completely different entity (the man Bahuallah). Pro's only evidence for this is that the man exists, and makes the claim. That he makes the claim does not make the claim true, which is what Pro is asserting.

Pro then complains about "unecesary argumentation".

He claims that he "never said the person of Bahaullah is immaterial."

Pro argues that ALL references to god are references to Bahaullah, and God is often conceived of as immaterial. [1] Therefore, statements about God's immaterial nature are, by Pro's argument, statements about Bahuallah being immaterial. But he is clearly not immaterial. The entity "god" may or may not exist. But the entity "god" is given characteristics--Bahuallah claims that references to god are references to him, even though he doesn't have those characteristics inherent to the thing being described.

He may as well say that all references to unicorns are references to him, even though he doesn't have a horn on his head, isn't a horse, and is a person--just because there's no evidence of unicorns actually existing. It's quite clear that when people discuss "god" they are discussing a particular entity--and that Bahuallah is not that entity.

Pro attempts to dodge the immaterial point by arguing that he already admitted to material evidence of Bahuallah. This misses the point. If someone refers to "god", Pro's argument goes, they are referring to Bahuallah. Yet Bahuallah has none of the attributes of the entity they are describing, and it was not their intent to describe Bahuallah. Pro simply hasn't supported any of the necessary aspects to prove his case.

Pro claims "There is no evidence that Odin actually existed."

Of course, according to Pro's argument, all references to Odin are references to Bahuallah--so then he DOES exist, and is Bahuallah, by Pro's argument. This despite Bahuallah having none of the attributes of Odin and the people talking about Odin being completely unaware of Bahuallah's existence (given that it was hundreds of years before his birth).

Pro moves on to say "The story of this imaginary guy named Odin having one eye is a mere mythological story."

Him saying this means that he has contradicted himself. He argues that all references to god are references to Bahualla. Then he claims that Bahualla exists. And now he claims Odin (who is Bahualla according to Pro) is imaginary. This is a direct contradiction.

Pro continues:

"All sorts of characters were always made up by people to tell stories around camp fires. This tradition continues today in DC Comics and Marvel Comics, for instance."

I agree. But that doesn't mean that when people are describing Superman, they're describing Bahualla. Nor does it mean that when people describe God, they're describing Bahualla.

Pro moves on to say that I am "unnecessarily over-complicating [his] P4. It simply states that people exist on earth ([he is] an example) who accept premises 1-3. In other words I accept that god doesn't exist and therefore all reference to a god in religions is obviously not a reference to someone that doesn't exist (god), but rather a reference to someone that did exist (Baha'u'llah)."

Premises 1-3 do not support that "all reference to a god in religions is obviously not a reference to someone that doesn't exist (god), but rather a reference to someone that did exist (Baha'u'llah).""

The idea that all things stated MUST map to a "real" thing, rather than being just wrong is nonsensical. We can reference things that don't exist--for example, Darth Vader does not exist. His nonexistence does not mean that we're actually referring to Bahualla when we're talking about Darth Vader.

Again, of course, theists would disagree that god doesn't exist. But even if god does not exist, Pro has still utterly failed to support the contention under consideration.

Pro objects that his conclusion is not a non sequitur, claiming that he's "demonstrated" that it follows from his premises. He did not, and it does not. The only way it WOULD actually follow is if we consider it an enthymeme--that there are missing premises. There is nothing in the premises which gives ground for a "truth" evaluation of Bahualla's claims at all. An additional premise, giving grounds for what would warrant calling his claims "true" is absolutely necessary for this argument to be valid. I could make one up, and rebut it, but it's not my job to do so. It's Pro's job to present a valid syllogism, and he failed in that task. I'm also concerned that, because Pro seems to fail to understand what makes a valid logical case, he would think I was straw-manning him with whatever premise I came up with to make his argument valid (but, I would argue, still fundamentally unsound).

Pro then goes on to claim that truth is relative. I would argue this is not true--and that which has been asserted without evidence (that truth is relative) can be dismissed without evidence. Pro has BoP here, and has failed in it. He doesn't get to just assert things and have them be taken as true--this is a debate, and he is expected to support his claims.

Pro claims that we agreed in P1 that god doesn't exist. But that is, of course, false I conceded that there was no evidence for god. I did not concede he does not exist, although I do think that seems the most likely scenario. Pro claims that "everything said about god in religions is just made-up". If it's just made up, then there's no grounds to assert it refers to Bahualla.

Pro's concluding paragraph, such as it is, makes me suspect he's a Poe, or is trolling. Because he has failed to support his conclusion--and his assertion that if he loses it must be because the voting is "rigged" is unwarranted arrogance, and disrespectful to our potential voters.

Pro has given us a non sequitur argument that does not support his conclusion. He has contradicted himself. I believe it's clear that the resolution fails.

Fundamentally, Pro has given us no reason to conclude that the references of people to the various gods throughout human history are all references to a single man, who was not born until most of them had already been long thought up.

Incidentally, I finally looked Bahualla up. I had not thus far, as my issue was with Pro's invalid argument as it stood--not with the religion or its claims itself. Bahualla was born in 1817. As far as I can see Bahualla actually did not claim that all references to god were references to him, but that he was a messenger of god, and "that the essence of God will never descend into the human world." [2] I think my rebuttals of his case stand on their own; it is, however, interesting to find that he appears to be wrong about what Bahualla claimed.

Thank you to the readers and voters.

[1] --(I shouldn't really have to support that it's a common conception, but I figured it was worth doing so) http://www.probe.org...

[2] --http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
I am not trying to affect the scoring at all.

I apologize for saying the scoring is rigged if I lose. You layed out a good counterargument based on beliefs you assume that I hold which are wrong. But as you stated, that is my fault not yours, for limiting it to two round. I concede you won this fair and square but that's because you made assumptions about my thoughts that were incorrect.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
I am not trying to affect the scoring at all.

I apologize for saying the scoring is rigged if I lose. You layed out a good counterargument based on beliefs you assume that I hold which are wrong. But as you stated, that is my fault not yours, for limiting it to two round. I concede you won this fair and square but that's because you made assumptions about my thoughts that were incorrect.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Badi-Nontheist--it is bad form to continue attempting to debate in the comments. You had the opportunity to set more rounds when you initiated this debate, and you chose not to do so. The debate is over at this point, and up to the judges--nothing you say here should affect anyone's score on this debate.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
"Pro's only evidence for this is that the man exists, and makes the claim. That he makes the claim does not make the claim true, which is what Pro is asserting."
Since truth claims are not absolute, the truth claim of Baha"u"lalh is relatively true for those who believe in it. Unless you are arguing that Truth is Absolute.

"Pro argues that ALL references to god are references to Bahaullah, and God is often conceived of as immaterial."
Yare changing what I said. I said the intent of the authors of superheros, gods, and angels was to descrie something that was really really amazing. They didn"t know any better so they made up a bunch of supernatural stories and attributed it so their most ideal Being. Baha"u"llah claims to be the most ideal Being that they were longing for but missed because of the supernatural mumbo jumbo they made up.

I don"t feel I need to respond to the rest of your counterargument.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Con agues:
"This is a non sequitur""
Why? He answers:

"Just because someone who exists claims something refers to them, does not mean that it refers to them, and there is nothing in these premises that *supports* his claim as being the source of references to god."
I didn"t say people were consciously thinking about the biological person of Baha"u"llah when they wrote the Old Testament, New Testament, or when they made up the oral stories of Odin, Zeus, Mazda, Mitra, Krishna, etc. I did not say that the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster consciously thought of the biological person of Baha"u"llah when they made up the character Superman. I said the biological person of Baha"u"llah claims to be the God that all poets, philosophers, authors, and religions wished to have existed. The story of Superman is a story of a superhero, because people generally wish for superheros to exist. Same as God. Just because a girl wishing for a husband conceived the knight in shining armor who later married her. He is nothing like what she conceived, his person is independent of the image the young girl conceived in her mind. It is impossible that she thought of the exact features and expressions of her future husband. Unless of course you are arguing that the writers of the Religious books were future-seers. But where is your proof that the authors of the religious books could see into the future and were describing the biological person of Baha"u"llah when they conceived the holy books? You have entirely twisted my argument.
"Pro would have us believe that people describing a specific entity (god) were actually describing a completely different entity (the man Bahuallah)."
No. This is not what I said. I said that the entity that people were describing (god) does not exist (or there is no proof that such a being exists). Thus, what they were really longing for was the appearance of the biological person of Baha"u"llah.
"Pro's only evidence for this is that the man exists, an
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Me blade. Thanks for response. I never doubted you are a great writer and have command of the rules of logic. I will respond soon in comment and will submit a new debate request shortly.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
First: again, it's not a self-claim, it's a claim about other people's statements. Second, I have never claimed the spaghetti monster, so this sort of strawman nonsense is just foolishness.

If you really want me to accept this, fine--but don't say I didn't warn you.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
No you are wrong. There is no barrier preventing me from supporting a third party's self-claim so long as the third person is not imaginary. And clearly Bahaullah is not imaginary, unlike your spaghetti monster.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
It's not a "self-claim" if it's his claim ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAID. You are talking about his self-claim that is that every OTHER claim about god is a claim about him.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
I am talking of the self-claim of Baha'u'llah. Why can't I speak of the self claim someone else?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Badi-Nontheistbladerunner060Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: so as long as one statement is incorrect, pro's arguments fall. Blade took apart the logical analysis and rebutted everyone of them. Pro stood no chance, really.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
Badi-Nontheistbladerunner060Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO's entire argument is a non sequitur and CON pointed that out. It is such, then, that CON wins. I'm also awarding CON conduct points because of this ignoble remark: " If I lose this debate, it is proof that this voting system is rigged." What nonsense...