The Instigator
RBaker
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
thomas44
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

Belief in God is irrational

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
thomas44
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,989 times Debate No: 21773
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

RBaker

Con

After the debate you just won with this same title with an opponent who shared your same worldview, I thought you might be willing to egage an opponent who actually opposed your position and therefore would argue consistent to his worldview (ie an actual believer in the existent Christian triune God.) I'm sure the audience would be more interested. I thought that I would extend the rounds by one so that we had more room to define our positions, state our ulimate standards for truth etc. The last round as a closing statement - no further cross-ex.
thomas44

Pro

I thank RBaker for this re-debate. Everything will remain the same as before. As of 2012, believing in the existence of the Christian God is irrational.

I ask that he:
not use the ontological argument again
not concede midway through

Burden of proof:
I think we should both take it on. I would argue it rests more heavily on the one making the unscientific, unfalsifiable claim for the existence of God. If I believed that a flying teapot orbited the earth, I could hardly expect that the burden should be on others to disprove it.

The floor is yours RBaker.
Debate Round No. 1
RBaker

Con

I appreciate thomas44 for accepting my challenge to debate this topic which he has so recently engaged. I thought it necessary due to the fact that your previous opponent shared your Atheistic worldview subsequently giving up because he had no philosophical disagreement and therefore there was no real debate which he could posit and remain consciously consistent. His conscience could not bear the inconsistency – and rightfully so.
My position as a Christian is that the triune God of the Bible necessarily exists and therefore the Christian worldview is the only rational worldview to hold. It will be demonstrated that unless you presuppose God, as He has specially revealed in the Christian scriptures (see Romans 1 http://www.biblegateway.com... ) you cannot account for existence or how you know what you know or how you should live your life. My final authority or ultimate standard is the Bible. To make a reasoned defense the 3 main laws of logic must be maintained.
1.Law of Identity. Everything is what it is. A is A or A is Identical with A.
2. Law of Non-Contradiction. A cannot be A and not A at the same time.
3. Law of Excluded Middle. A is either A or not A
Not only are the laws of logic truths, they are necessary truths. This is just to say that they are
true propositions that could not have been false. Given that the laws of logic are truths, we can say that they are propositions, in the technical philosophical sense. The Law of Non-Contradiction is a truth about truths. In other words, the Law of Non-Contradiction is a truth about propositions. To present a proposition as true one cannot resort to pure subjectivism or feelings. I assert that the laws of logic exist only because God exists, that they are a reflection of His nature.

Further, consistency must be maintained between the set of basic underlying principles (presuppositions) that make up a person's belief system(your worldview) and the propositions presented as truth claims or the argument at that point becomes incoherent. I would like to insert here that rationality or logic is not the only way to prove that something truly exists but the parameters of the debate have been restricted to the rationality or irrationality of belief in (the Christian) God. Neither of us are neutral in this debate so both worldviews must establish the rationality of our opposing truth claims as you noted in your previous post. In this case: "Belief in God is irrational" cannot be both true and false at the same time in the same way. The Law of non-contradiction being clearly assumed and employed. I will proceed by way of an internal critique of our worldviews and demonstrate how the Atheistic worldview is inconsistent, being self-contradictory, therefore irrational. While the Christian worldview supplies the necessary preconditions for intelligibility thereby establishing its rationality. Each opponent in a debate argues through their presuppositions grounded in their ultimate authority and since non-contradiction is an incontrovertible, universal "Law" only my positions can be true… Just wanted to throw a coal on the fire This might prove to be a challenging debate but it should be fun.
As a Christian I believe that God created the universe by fiat out of nothing. That He sovereignly governs all things by means of His providence. That He has a decreed and has a purpose for all things whatsoever that comes to pass.
This debate should stay focused on the objective claims of the opposing worldviews not resort to subjective personal acts of the people who adhere to the respective systems, being irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the competing worldviews . I must assume God exists in order to argue for the rationality of belief in Him. Thomas44 must assume that God does not exist for him to argue for the irrationality of belief in Him. We both are making a claim. Therefore we both must account for our claims in order to justify the rationality of our belief systems.
Christian belief is not blind. Belief and faith are interchangeable in the Christian worldview and are well defined in http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org... as:
Specialty Definition: faith
Definition
FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. Source: Devil's Dictionary
Evidence: "Evidence as That Which Justifies Belief - Evidence, whatever else it is, is the kind of thing which can make a difference to what one is justified in believing or (what is often, but not always, taken to be the same thing) what it is reasonable for one to believe.To the extent that what one is justified in believing depends upon one's evidence, what is relevant is the bearing of one's total evidence. Even if evidence E is sufficient to justify believing hypothesis H when considered in isolation, it does not follow that one who possesses evidence E is justified in believing H on its basis. For one might possess some additional evidence E′, such that one is not justified in believing H given E and E′. In these circumstances, evidence E′ defeats the justification for believing H that would be afforded by E in its absence. Thus, even if I am initially justified in believing that your name is Fritz on the basis of your testimony to that effect, the subsequent acquisition of evidence which suggests that you are a pathological liar tends to render this same belief unjustified. A given piece of evidence is defeasible evidence just in case it is in principle susceptible to being undermined by further evidence in this way; evidence which is not susceptible to such undermining would be indefeasible evidence. It is controversial whether any evidence is indefeasible in this sense." http://plato.stanford.edu...
It is just here that it must be understood that everyone interprets evidence through their fundamental set of presuppositions.

1.[Noun] Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates..
2: [Noun] The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, or probable evidence of any kind.
3: [Noun] In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Caesar.
4: [Noun] Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation. Being justified by faith. Rom. 5. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11. For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2Cor. 5. With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Rom. 10. The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior. Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them.
Your assertion is that this is irrational. Mine that it is the only rational position to hold.
I ask that my opponent briefly explain the contents of his worldview - evolutionist, empiricist, material atheist etc and your ultimate authority (everyone has one). This will greatly help forward the discussion. If I can show that belief in God fulfills the requirements of logic then the Christian worldview is indeed rational and my opponent must therefore concede.
thomas44

Pro

Atheism to me is not just ignorantly asserting that no God exists; it is a belief grounded upon the fact that there is no logical evidence put forth yet suggesting that a God or the Judeo-Christian God exists. For me, since you asked, my path to enlightenment of non-belief came around the age of 12. It wasn't so much philosophical in nature as it is now, but from seeing the negative affects such beliefs had on people (both past as present---subjective aspect which we agreed we wouldn't touch upon) in addition to other dilemmas I'll bring forth shortly. But more importantly is my lack of need in acknowledging, praying to, thanking, and giving myself to a personal God. I guess you can say I am a pragmatic atheist. Until a time comes wherein there is sufficient, logical evidence for a belief in the Christian God, I will continue to live my life as if no God exists (but not necessarily shut off to the possibilty--such a position a deist or Spinoza's God could take). To some this is a depressing assertion. However, I contend it's actually quite beautiful. I have complete control over my life. I am not subservient to a patriarchal, authoritarian, capricious, jealous, homicidal, hypocritical, vain, callous being (the God portrayed in the Bible anyway). I have no fear of hell. No desire to go to your heaven. Ultimate free will, in this day and age, should be seen as far more rewarding than a life of docile obedience to a sovereign ubiquitous being watching our every move. My ultimate authority I suppose would be the scientific process.

Many centuries ago, a belief in a God was arguably rational. God was our first explanation for life--our first attempt at science and philosophy. At the time we wanted to explain the unknown--the mysteries of this planet we live on. What is causing these earthquakes that is killing us by the thousands? Disease? How did we come to being? What is the bright thing in the sky providing us with heat? What causes the tides? The list goes on and on. At that time, human ignorance was at its peak. The easiest explanation: God did it. He has always been the "God of the gaps", but now unfortuantely, thanks to the scientific process and secularism, we have a working knowledge of the universe with very few questions left unanswered for theists to grab onto and claim as their own.

You quoted: "My final authority or ultimate standard is the Bible"

Here lies the greatest dilemma in this entire argument/debate. The Bible is not a credible source or explanation for the existence of your God. We do not prove anything to be true via conjecture or through axiomatic truths. Do you reject the existence of Allah? What about the Quran? Isn't that "proof" for their God's existence?

Furthermore, we are all atheists in some form or another. You reject the existence of the thousands upon thousands of other Gods before yours. I beg the simple question: Why? On what grounds is your God real, and theirs false?

[Short list of Gods prior to the Christian God: http://www.lowchensaustralia.com...]

According to your opening argument, your ultimate authority for believing in the Christian God is the Bible.

I ask:
      • was the Bible inspired by God or written by God? (His message sent via the divine authors, to the authors, or did the authors deduct what they thought God would say or act?) I've heard very little of these 40 authors and their backgrounds/credibility.
      • do you believe in all biblical writings as truthful, or like many theists, do you cherry-pick the passages that give credence to your beliefs and reject the others that go against your beliefs?-- or make the cop-out argument: "that story is taken out of context"
This will be very important for other components of this debate.

I contend that the Bible is not written or inspired by a real God (not the God created in ones mind), because there is no reasonable evidence to suggest so. Until you can prove that the Bible is a credible document, my original contention that belief in God is irrational will remain true. For believing in someone that does not exist, or in something we do not know exists given our knowledge today, is not logical or reasonable as per our definitions.

The BOP for this is on you: I do not have to prove why believing in the scientific process is rational. However, you do have to prove why the Bible is a valid source for proving the existence of God.

Unfortunately, self-attestment for the existence of God as predicated upon by the Bible is irrational.

    • How do you know God exists?
    • Because of the Bible
    • How do you the Bible is valid?
    • Because it's inspired by and is the word of God

Why is this irrational? Because circular reasoning is irrational.

    • Christians and yourself believe that God exists.
    • The Christian view is grounded upon the bible.
    • The Bible's validity is based upon circular reasoning
    • The Bible is the primary justification for the existence of God, which is based upon circular reasoning.

        • Circular reasoning is irrational
Conclusion:Believing in the Christian God is therefore irrational.



You brought up the 3 main laws of logic but failed to present a case for their applicability: if you could elaborate on these that'd be great.

1.Law of Identity. Everything is what it is. A is A or A is Identical with A.
      • God exists because...God exists?
2. Law of Non-Contradiction. A cannot be A and not A at the same time.
      • Can God be omnibenevolent and command murder of women and children at the same time?
      • Can God be omniscient but allow for human free-will at the same time?
      • Can God create a boulder so heavy that even he could not life?
3. Law of Excluded Middle. A is either A or not A
      • God either exists or he doesn't?
      • He's either omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent or he is not?
Given everything we know about God is based on the Bible, these laws of logic only further prove that there isn't any rationality for a belief in God, yet.

Laws of logic:
#1. The Bible does not sufficiently prove God exists.
#2. The Bible is chalk-full of contradictions pertaining to God's nature
#3. Given these contradictions, he is not omniscient, omnibenevolent nor omnipotent.

I'll close with a quote from Epicurious that wraps this up nicely:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

You said: To present a proposition as true one cannot resort to pure subjectivism or feelings. I assert that the laws of logic exist only because God exists, that they are a reflection of His nature.
      • This is a thought-provoking assertion for sure. Such that can objective moral standards exists without the existence of God? A proposition I don't think we can tackle in this debate. However, I beg the question: how do you know it's the Christian God that is the ultimate creator? The real, true God? How are you certain it is not one of the many other proposed Gods throughout our history?

As a Christian I believe that God created the universe by fiat out of nothing.
      • So on one hand you argue that human life and everything our universe contains cannot be created from nothing or by mere chance (evolution, big bang), but now you assert that the universe was created by God out of nothing? As the designer of ultimate power, intelligence, and love/compassion would indeed require a designer as well resulting in an ad-infinitum dilemma.

I hope all readers can see the many dilemmas with a belief in the Christian God--as I have presented just a few here.



Sources:
Epicurious quote: http://thinkexist.com...
Laws of logic: http://www.britannica.com...
Debate Round No. 2
RBaker

Con

You are mistaken in your representation of "the God portrayed in the Bible" Have you read the Bible or are you just misrepresenting its teaching by hearsay? Either way your representation is merely prejudicial conjecture. What is the basis of your assumption? What is your concrete evidence? You stated: "I have complete control over my life." I assume because of "ultimate freewill" as you say later. This is quite an arrogant statement. It's also quite irrational and untrue. Your nature is one of being an atheist. I must challenge you then to will yourself, against your atheistic nature, to be a believer. You cannot control that over your life. You assume your will is free, your prime mover, but you fail to recognize that your will is motivated by something more basic in your nature - your desires. That is not an argument just simply an unfounded opinion.
This next section is interesting: "You quoted: "My final authority or ultimate standard is the Bible" Here lies the greatest dilemma in this entire argument/debate. The Bible is not a credible source or explanation for the existence of your God. We do not prove anything to be true via conjecture or through axiomatic truths. (Since you simply assert - "The Bible is not a credible source or explanation for the existence of your God." - with no corroborating evidence, comparing it to the Quran, you have "applied incorrectly," and so "it constitutes a false dichotomy, a fallacy."
Do you reject the existence of Allah? (Yes) What about the Quran? (No, it exists) Isn't that "proof" for their God's existence? (No) Even though you seemed to be able to accurately quote my statement on my "ultimate authority" you have not accurately understood it. I did not say the Bible proved God's existence. It is the objective, inspired, written, self-revelation of His person and works concerning human history. On whatever it speaks it is truth. It is therefore by what I as a Christian measure all questions and controversies.
Furthermore, we are all atheists in some form or another. (How do you know that about everyone? Have you universally "observed" that? To say one is a theist and an atheist at the same time is of course illogical.)
You reject the existence of the thousands upon thousands of other Gods before yours. I beg the simple question: Why? (There can be only one.) On what grounds is your God real, and theirs false? (As you know I stated my ground is Scripture, so on the authority of the Bible's clear statements eg: "So that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no savior besides Me." Isaiah 43:10b-11 "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6)
"We do not prove anything to be true via conjecture or through axiomatic truths." con•jec•ture 1. the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof. 2. an opinion or theory so formed or expressed; guess; speculation. 3. Obsolete. the interpretation of signs or omens. In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not and cannot be proven within the system based on them. Axioms define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted within the particular domain of analysis, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory and domain dependent) truths… Logical axioms are usually statements that are taken to be universally true… http://en.wikipedia.org... (I thought we agreed that the Laws of Logic were universally true? So your argument above violates the very thing you are trying to accuse me of doing. Your statement is a conjecture - an arbitrary prejudicial conjecture - an irrational, unargued, philosophical bias.)
According to your opening argument, your ultimate authority for believing in the Christian God is the Bible. I ask: was the Bible inspired by God or written by God? (His message sent via the divine authors, to the authors, or did the authors deduct what they thought God would say or act?) I've heard very little of these 40 authors and their backgrounds/credibility. do you believe in all biblical writings as truthful, or like many theists, do you cherry-pick the passages that give credence to your beliefs and reject the others that go against your beliefs?-- or make the cop-out argument: "that story is taken out of context" This will be very important for other components of this debate. (According to 2Timothy 3:16 – "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" "Now, it is common for folks to misunderstand what Paul is saying here, as if he is simply saying that the Scriptures exist on a slightly higher plane than the 'normal' words of men; that is not what he taught. He used the Greek term theopneustos, which means 'God-breathed' or 'breathed out by God,' and this tells us that the very Scriptures themselves are the creation of God, reflecting His very breath, His very speaking." http://www.aomin.org... Inspiration establishes that the Bible is a divine product. In other words, Scripture is divinely inspired in that God actively worked through the process and had his hand in the outcome of what Scripture would say. Inspired Scripture is simply written revelation. "Scripture is not only man's word, but also, and equally God's word, spoken through man's lips or written with man's pen" (J.I. Packer, The Origin of the Bible, p. 31). The term comes from Latin and English translations of the Greek word theopneustos in 2 Timothy 3:16. The KJV renders it "inspiration", while the RSV uses "inspired of God". However, the word literally means "God-breathed". http://www.theopedia.com... To the second point I believe in the "plenary" inspiration of the Bible. I will also say that proper interpretation must take into account the vital aspect of context.)
"Until you can prove that the Bible is a credible document, my original contention that belief in God is irrational will remain true." (The Bible as a "credible document" - Dr. F. F. Bruce, the late Ryland's Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, asserts of the New Testament: "There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament."8 Professor Bruce further comments, "The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical writers, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt."9 How can the Bible be rejected when its documentation is one hundred times that of other ancient literature? Because it is impossible to question the world's ancient classics, it is far more impossible to question the reliability of the New Testament.13 In addition, none of the established New Testament canon is lost or missing, not even a verse, as indicated by variant readings. By comparison, the books of many ancient authors are filled with omissions: 107 of Livy's 142 books of history are lost, and one-half of Tacitus' 30 books of Annals and Histories. For Polybius, only five complete books remain from the original forty. Finally, the Gospels are extremely close to the events which they record. The first three can be dated within twenty years of the events cited, and this may even be true for the fourth gospel. This means that all four Gospels were written during the lives of eyewitnesses, and that abundant opportunity existed for those with contrary evidence to examine the witnesses and refute them.) http://www.johnankerberg.org...
"Unfortunately, self-attestment for the existence of God as predicated upon by the Bible is irrational." … Why is this irrational? Because circular reasoning is irrational. (We both begin with and appeal to a final judge of evidence for truth and knowledge to justify our ground of belief. My final authority is the Bible your ultimate standard is science. "Unless we reason in a circle, we cannot prove anything. We must reason in a circle so we can show the consistency of the Christian faith and worldview and how it alone can account for the foundations of logic, science, and ethics. The truth of the Bible is a presupposition of Christianity. It is an assumed premise. All worldviews hold to presuppositions, those things which are assumed to be true from the outset. How can you justify your use of inductive reasoning? If you seek to justify it by using past experience were it has been successful, that assumes the future will be like the past. Therefore, induction is justified by induction. This is circular reasoning in the classical sense. Christians on the other hand are appealing to the authority of God since He has saved them and they can do no other. They cannot deny their Savior. Christians also make use of this fact when testing the consistency of worldviews. In order to do so, you must assume the premises of that worldview are true. Every worldview has presuppositions, so this is not something that is unique to the Christian faith." http://www.cmfnow.com... ) "You brought up the 3 main laws of logic but failed to present a case for their applicability". Since the debate is over the philosophical issue of rationality and rationality unavoidably includes the Laws of Logic I sought a confirmation from you that they exist and that you attempt to use them in argumentation and everyday living as a necessary component of reasoning and reality and morality.
thomas44

Pro

You are mistaken in your representation of "the God portrayed in the Bible" Have you read the Bible or are you just misrepresenting its teaching by hearsay?

  • Have I read the Bible cover to cover? No.
  • Catholic school for 8 years/worked with and studied the Bible a fair amount
  • And based from what I have read, I have not misrepresented the God portrayed in the Bible as I will show further down the page.

Let’s establish a few known truths about the origins of the Bible:

  • Written over a span of 1600 years
  • Multiple translations from Hebrew->Aramaic->Koine Greek->Latin->English
  • Over 40 divine authors
    • o How many people today claim to be divine/have a special relationship with God?
  • Written on 3 continents
  • John being the only divine author alive when Jesus was alive
  • MULTIPLE contradictions-> both direct and indirect of God’s nature and teachings (http://www.evilbible.com...)
  • Multiple unscientific fallacies: age of the earth, rejection of evolution (Adam and eve first), miracles, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the fish, etc.

At best we can consider the Bible to be a work of anecdotal evidence propagated by hearsay. For example, we know a great deal more about Pontius Pilate than we do about Jesus. Pilate was a Roman aristocrat, and Procurator of Judea as representative of the Emperor Tiberius. There is also little to mention of the virgin birth throughout the Bible, which we can agree is a large component of the high esteem people hold Jesus to. Not to mention any historical evidence for any of Jesus’ many miracles. Without these components --> Jesus is merely another man proclaiming divinity. Where have we seen this before? How often does this occur today and in the past?

http://articles.cnn.com...

http://news.ninemsn.com.au...

http://www.infoniac.com...

Alexander the Great even thought he was divine, not to mention numerous kings, emperors, presidents, pastors, priests, etc.

Furthermore, Philo of Alexandria, who was a contemporary of Jesus and Paul, does not mention Christ or the Christians at all throughout his works; and the brief account of Flavius Josephus in the Testamonium Flavianum (C.E. 93) appears to have been added by a later hand. Even the reference by Tacitus is second-hand hearsay (probably from his friend and correspondent Pliny the Younger, who was Governor of Bithynia, and would have had access to the historical records and reports of the region). Quote: http://www.tektonics.org...

Not to mention the massive list of banned books and Christian theocrats burning any and all historical works that would have gone against the Christian view that was just beginning to take form. As concerned as the inquisitors were in the burning of heretics, they were just as concerned in the burning of books (~over 6000). Even though hundreds of thousands of books have been burned, there is still a plethora of evidence suggesting that not only is Christianity false, but the belief in God as such. All one need to criticize such a religion is the very book the religion is grounded on.

“Perhaps the greatest single intellectual loss of the classical world was the destruction of the library of Alexandria. At one time, it was reputed to house about 700,000 books on subjects ranging from literature and history to science and philosophy. In the year 391, the bishop of Alexandria, Theophilus (d.412), in his quest to destroy paganism, lead a group of crazed monks and laymen, destroyed all the books in the great library.”

“No other great libraries were spared by the Christians. Up to the fifth century many Greco Roman cities had libraries which housed more than 100,000 books. These were all destroyed by the Christians. Pope Gregory The Great (c.540-604) was the person responsible for destroying the last collection of older Roman works in the city.”

Forbes, C. "Books for the Burning"Transactions of the American Philological Society 67 (1936): p114-25
http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net...

I'm not going to insult the intellect of you and the readers of this debate but pointing to the obvious message of all these statements; let us all form our own conclusions as to the religion of Christianity and the validity of the Bible and such a belief in God.

Either way your representation is merely prejudicial conjecture. What is the basis of your assumption? What is your concrete evidence?

My representation of the Bible and my “prejucial” nature is predicated upon the very work itself! This is straight from the very work you claim to be the word of God. The very work in which the Christian faith in grounded upon! Yes, arguments that are based upon the Bible are words of conjecture, which is exactly why I said this text cannot be deemed valid in proving the existence of God in the first place.

For example these quotes are straight from the Bible:

  • If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. Deuteronomy 22:28-29
  • Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
  • Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21
  • And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son Genesis 22:10
  • The LORD is a man of war Genesis 15:3
  • And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them Numbers 11:1
  • "The one who has stolen what was set apart for destruction will himself be burned with fire, along with everything he has, for he has broken the covenant of the LORD and has done a horrible thing in Israel." Joshua 7:15
  • "Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among Israelites, both man and beast, for it belongs to me." Exodus 13:2
  • As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. Deuteronomy 20:10-14
  • If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. Zechariah 13:3
Confirmed and historically correct? For mankind's sake, let's hope you're wrong.

NEED I SAY MORE?

These quotes are my concrete evidence. The real question is: what if your concrete evidence for not only the validity of the Bible, but in justifying your belief in a just, loving, compassionate, omnipotent, omniscient God?

It's not so much the belief in a God that is irrational, but the extent one has to suspend disbelief and rely so heavily on faith to justify their beliefs. Especially when the evidence, conjecture or not, is so strong to the contrary. This is what ultimately makes believing in such a God portrayed by the Bible to be an irrational belief.
At character limit, I'll continue with the rest of your first rebuttal in my next round.

Debate Round No. 3
RBaker

Con

In 168 BCE the Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV ordered Jewish 'Books of the Law' found in Jerusalem to be 'rent in pieces' and burned - part of the series of persecutions which precipitated the revolt of the Maccabees.
A decree of emperor Diocletian in 303, calling for an increased persecution of Christians, included the burning of Christian books. At that time, the governor of Valencia offered the deacon who would become known as Saint Vincent of Saragossa to have his life spared in exchange for his consigning Scripture to the fire. Vincent refused and let himself be executed instead. In religious paintings he is often depicted holding the book whose preservation he preferred to his own life (see illustration in Saint Vincent of Saragossa page.
In 1731 Count Leopold Anton von Firmian - Archbishop of Salzburg as well as its temporal ruler - embarked on a savage persecution of the Lutherans living in the rural regions of Salzburg. As well expelling tens of thousands of Protestant Salzburgers, the Archbishop ordered the wholesale seizure and burning of all Protestant books and Bibles. http://en.wikipedia.org...
(The anti-Christian society was guilty of the same type of actions- as sampled above. It does not further the debate to resort to "special pleading" by introducing "irrelevant material" concerning the character of adherents of either mindset.)
My representation of the Bible and my "prejucial" nature is predicated upon the very work itself! This is straight from the very work you claim to be the word of God. The very work in which the Christian faith in grounded upon! Yes, arguments that are based upon the Bible are words of conjecture, which is exactly why I said this text cannot be deemed valid in proving the existence of God in the first place.
(You then list 10-13 Bible verses and offer no explanation how validation is made for your assertion of conjecture) World English Dictionary Conjecture 1.the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence; guess 2. the inference or conclusion so formed 3. obsolete interpretation of occult signs 4. to infer or arrive at (an opinion, conclusion, etc) from incomplete evidence. (This section is incoherent as an argument)
These quotes are my concrete evidence. (Of what?)The real question is: what if your concrete evidence for not only the validity of the Bible, but in justifying your belief in a just, loving, compassionate, omnipotent, omniscient God? (If this is evidence that these verses are in the Bible you are correct. But there is nothing in the way of an argument here. (Incoherent )

It's not so much the belief in a God that is irrational, (Concession?) but the extent one has to suspend disbelief and rely so heavily on faith to justify their beliefs. (Faith justifies beliefs? Your argument is classic circularity. Knowledge is justified true belief. http://plato.stanford.edu...) Especially when the evidence, conjecture or not, is so strong to the contrary. (Is this a double-standard?)This is what ultimately makes believing in such a God portrayed by the Bible to be an irrational belief." (You will have to rise well above this level of argumentation to be taken seriously.)

In order for us to justify our position we must maintain consistency between our presuppositions, our ultimate standards and living our life.
As an Atheist you insist that belief in God is irrational because "My ultimate authority I suppose would be the scientific process." "thanks to the scientific process and secularism…" By only accepting that something can exist that can be explained by observation you can't account for "Laws" of thought. In your worldview how do you account for the Laws of Logic? Your ultimate authority (science) cannot observe these abstract "Laws" and yet you admit and indeed must operate in this world as if they actually exist. If only the material world exists- matter in motion- how do you account for order out of chaos? Life from non-life? The immaterial? Universals? If the origin of the universe is "by mere chance (evolution, big bang)" where did these abstract laws come from? Furthermore given your final authority what observable evidence do you have to justify morality? If we are the product of evolutionary "survival of the fittest" how does kindness, compassion, love, hate, and especially self-sacrifice fit in? If our thinking is only the result of cellular activity why debate? What explains our desires that go beyond physical responses? If survival is king why evolve beyond bacteria? Science can only observe nature and we can only interpret what we observe through our senses and we hope our senses and interpretations are reliable. And we interpret those observations through the grid of the presuppositions that make up our worldview. I interpret as a Christian, you as an Atheist. But only Christianity can supply the explanation for the preconditions of intelligibility.
For you to attempt to successfully debate you must have knowledge of (justified true belief) and submit to- rational thinking, which, in your worldview cannot be accounted for. Only the Christian worldview accounts for the Laws of Logic, the Laws of Physics, Natural Laws, Mathematical Laws, ethics, how you know what you know, reality – all universals. The only proof for the Christian God is that without Him you couldn't prove anything. The reason you can know anything is because you borrow from my worldview. In order for you to live your life you must operate as a schizophrenic. You say one thing and unwittingly operate in opposition to it. You must depend on my perspective, unwilling to admit it, to be able to try to prove that it is false. You cannot justify what you know by your worldview. You are self-deceived. You know God exists but because you don't like that God who exists you convince yourself of the lie that He doesn't exist. You feel that tension. You hold down the knowledge of God but cannot help living under the universals He has established in His creation. So you can rely that the future will be like the past. Science cannot observe the future but you can count that the air will be available for you to breathe tomorrow because God regulates creation in a consistent manner. Your final authority does not, cannot, know that. You cannot be consistent to your Atheistic worldview. You must live according to my worldview in order to make sense out of anything. Atheism presupposes Theism. The Bible aptly describes the unbeliever as "double-minded".
Sufficient evidence for the Christian God is available for all. Romans 1:18-32 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."
God made His existence evident to you -in the created order and evident in you -being created after His image consisting of, among other things, rational thought and moral culpability-having a conscience. That is why you can function in this world all the while suppressing the truth. In your disbelief in God you do not react as if His non-existence was like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or the flying teapot. You are actively hostile towards God in thought, word, and actions. "I am not subservient to a patriarchal, authoritarian, capricious, jealous, homicidal, hypocritical, vain, callous being (the God portrayed in the Bible anyway). I have no fear of hell. No desire to go to your heaven." Like Invictus, it's not indifference but hatred. http://www.christiancourier.com...
thomas44

Pro

In Short:

Resolution: Is the belief in Christian God rational?
You: Yes. Why? Because of the Bible.

Me: No. The Bible is not sufficient ground to base such an extraordinary claim to. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

Why? Because in order to justify the Bible as valid, we have to employ circular reasoning. And circular reasoning is irrational.

I then go on to explain why this is so, which you had failed to rebut. (history of the bible, contradictions, horror stories, scientific faults, lack of true prophecies)

I’ll ask again: given all of the information put forth by me about the Bible, how is it you take it as God’s word? Faith is not sufficient.

This is the exact reason why I posted direct quotes from the Bible. Since all your arguments are based upon it, I took it upon myself to argue on the same grounds as you. I’m not going to talk about the validity of the scientific process and throw some Karl Popper verbatim into the debate.

By quoting the Bible I allowed for you and other readers can see how erroneous it really is. These quotes are a direct representation of my description of your God earlier and it also, according to you, describes the actions and character traits of this God (since it is the word of God correct?)

It is you who commits the double standard. On one hand you justify your belief in God as this intelligent creator who is all-loving, knowing, powerful but then you fail to realize how this God is actually quite the opposite. Not only fail to realize this, but fail to rebut any of my arguments that have shown this. Your only argument was that I used conjecture to show that the Bible should not be taken seriously. I’m not saying that God does not exist. I’m not saying the Bible is not the word of God. But if it is, then God is not all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing because the very character portrayed in the Bible and our established laws of logic. The Bible shows us that not only is He incredibly inept, but the furthest thing from a loving being we would want a God to be.

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with this, do I need to explain further? I made the assumption the readers would have the intelligence to draw the conclusions based on the evidence I brought forth. I guess I should have been clearer.

These quotes are my concrete evidence. (Of what?)

That the Bible should not be taken seriously as the word of God. Because if this truly is God’s nature, then WHY do you hold this abomination of a being to such a high standard? These quotes I brought forth are word for word of how God acts, and how God behaves (assuming that the Bible is the word of God). To which one can conclude, how I have already stated a thousand times, would make God: patriarchal, authoritarian, capricious, jealous, homicidal..etc.

I’ll ask again since this must not have registered: on what grounds do you claim the Bible to be valid and of the word of God?

But only Christianity can supply the explanation for the preconditions of intelligibility.

How?

This is a blatant false-dichotomy propagated largely by an argument from ignorance. Just because we have not yet been able to explain the ontology of logic, love/compassion (we have a working knowledge of this), life-from non-life, laws of the universe (and this), morality, etc. does not necessarily give theists the right to claim their God is the source of this. This has been the case since the God proposition first came about, like I had already explained earlier. We used to attribute God as the explanation for all unknowns. We have thus far been able to explain the vast majority of these dilemmas, leaving God out of the picture. Yes, in 2012 we are still unsure of many things, but arbitrarily attributing these unknowns to your God is a ridiculous proposition. If we had done that, where would we be today? If it were not for the enlightenment and a secular movement where would we be in terms of intelligence, scientific progress, health—we would ultimately be coming up vastly short of our human potential but subjecting ourselves to such an unintelligent way of thinking given the nature of your God and the lack of evidence.

Again, I ask: What makes your God the source of everything in the universe? The answer of all metaphysical questions? How is it the Christian God is the true God? A Muslim can say the EXACT same things as you, and by your standards, he too would be right. What about Hinduism? I can start my own religion tomorrow, write a bible and everything, and make all of these same claims. Would I be right in doing so? This is why I contend that belief in a specific God is irrational. There is no evidence brought forth to this day that suggests that such a being exists.

For you to attempt to successfully debate you must have knowledge of (justified true belief) and submit to- rational thinking, which, in your worldview cannot be accounted for.

How?

This is an incredibly arrogant statement. How is it that atheists are not rational thinkers? It is rationality that leads to atheism. Atheism, as I explained in detail earlier, is not a choice but a result of logical, rational thinking. How is it if rationality precedes the existence of God, that those who believe in this dogma are the most irrational thinkers in our society (with regards to this one facet of life—not all).

Only the Christian worldview accounts for the Laws of...[...]... in order for you to live your life you must operate as a schizophrenic. You say one thing and unwittingly operate in opposition to it.

How is it that only the Christian worldview accounts for this? What about the other religions? I’ll ask again—with hopes of getting an answer—how is it the Christian God is the true God and all others false?

In order for an atheist to live their life they must operate as schizophrenics? Wow. You’re going to have to elaborate on this. Something I’m sure the readers would like to hear—both theists and atheists.

You cannot justify what you know by your worldview. You are self-deceived. You know God exists but because you don't like that God who exists you convince yourself [...]

My worldview is one that rationally explains the workings of the universe via the scientific process—the only logical way to explain anything. Not through mind-numbing conjecture, quoting the Bible, or by faith.

I know God exists? Atheists do not believe in God! This is like saying we’re angry with God for not existing. I feel like you’re grasping at straws here while trying to get me to submit to ad-hominem.


…you can count that the air will be available for you to breathe tomorrow because God regulates creation in a consistent manner. Your final authority does not, cannot, know that. You cannot be consistent to your Atheistic worldview

In fact, my final authority does know that there will be air for me to breathe tomorrow. What is not consistent, however, is the theistic worldview—especially Christianity. How many Christian sects are there in the world—30,000 and growing? What’s more consistent—the scientific process that has allowed us to reach incredible heights as human beings—or the convoluted Christian worldview wherein one believes God loves you and will protect you when the earth eventually reaches it’s demise sometime in the next billion years. Some creation right?

Sufficient evidence for the Christian God is available for all. Romans 1:18-32.

Quoting the Bible as evidence is not sufficient evidence for the existence of God. I thought we established this? I hope you can see the irony in the passage.

Again, I cannot hate God for not existing. I can a show contempt for a character written in a book over thousands of years by unknown authors, who portray an image on an incredibly unlikable being. IF in fact the Bible is the word of God, and that the God portrayed in the Bible is the true God—then yes, I do in fact dislike him. What rational human being wouldn’t? If God is omniscient--he will understand why I do in fact refute the idea of the belief in him.

Debate Round No. 4
RBaker

Con

In this last round I would like to thank thomas44 for engaging in this debate -"Belief in God is irrational".
Antitheism, however, doesn't merely deny theism; it opposes theism. And one of the ways it opposes theism is through argument. Antitheists oppose theism by arguing that belief in God is false, irrational, irresponsible, dangerous, and all the rest.
I have repeatedly asserted that for you to participate in a debate regarding rational thought you are, at the outset, being self-contradictory within your own worldview. You cannot account for the necessary, universal Laws of Logic which you try to adhere to claim the irrationality of belief in God.
"It's not merely that theism is true; it's not merely that theism can be shown to be true; it's that theism can be shown to be true by any attempt to prove it false. One can prove theism to be false only if, as a matter of fundamental metaphysical fact, theism is true — which is just to say that antitheism is self-defeating.
If the laws of logic are metaphysically dependent on God, it follows that every logical argument presupposes the existence of God. What this means is that every sound theistic argument not only proves the existence of God but also presupposes the existence of God, insofar as that argument depends on logical inference. Indeed, every unsound theistic argument presupposes the existence of God. And the same goes, naturally, for every antitheistic argument. The irony must not be missed: one can logically argue against God only if God exists.
Insofar as logical argument depends on laws of logic, antitheism depends on laws of logic. Without laws of logic there could be no antitheism — at any rate, no logical antitheism. But if the existence of God is a metaphysical precondition of the laws of logic, it follows straightforwardly that the existence of God is a metaphysical precondition of antitheism. In other words: "Antitheism presupposes theism." All men do their thinking on the basis of a position or perspective that is accepted by faith. If your faith is not in God who speaks infallibly in His Word through Christ, then your faith is in man as autonomous. "All of one's reasoning is controlled by either of these presuppositions." Cornelius Van Til, The Case for Calvinism, 128, 129." Quoted from http://www.proginosko.com...
There is abundant evidence in the created order, in the historical record, in the image of God in man. The evidence for God, and therefore the resultant belief in Him, may not seem reasonable (rational) to you to persuade you to believe in God but what I have attempted to show in this limited space is that it is reasonable proof nonetheless for you to believe.
To attempt to debate with both sides using scientific evidence to support each position as if it is neutral ground is, as was demonstrated, futile. Direct, immediate, physical evidence can be and is denied by many-
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this (His death and resurrection), Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. Luke 24:36-43
Regarding our worldviews we bring to this debate the interpretation of evidence will be determined by our antithetical presuppositional bias.
"Just because we have not yet been able to explain the ontology of logic, love/compassion (we have a working knowledge of this), life-from non-life, laws of the universe (and this), morality, etc. does not necessarily give theists the right to claim their God is the source of this."
Can science "observe" the universal, abstract Laws of Logic? No. Can science, on which Atheism depends as its ultimate authority, "observe" belief? No. Therefore by the final authority as the very basis of Atheism's worldview neither belief nor logic can be accounted for. By its own explanation of the existence of everything that exists there can be no logic, emotions or "working knowledge"-self-refuting. So his argument at the starting point is irrational. He hides behind the demand for more evidence yet he has no foundation for rational inquiry. His house is built on shifting sand. Thomas44 relies on logic to live his life, think, and debate the belief that God does not exist. This is self-contradictory not meeting the requirements for a coherent philosophy of life-an inconsistent worldview and life-application. Inconsistency is a sign of a failed argument.
The believer's final authority (God's Word) accounts for all metaphysical abstract universals in reality as reflecting the character of the Creator. The Christian worldview does account for the universal, abstract Laws of Logic providing the necessary preconditions for rational thought. The Christian worldview is therefore consistent and coherent in its philosophy of life. To be a Christian is to believe in God. To believe in God therefore is rational. This is the topic of the debate.
God's written revelation records man's willful rebellion in his desire to be independent from Him believing the lie of the tempter that they would be autonomous, subsequently receiving the forewarned curse. This curse included the seed of physical death (the eventual separation of the soul from the body), and spiritual death (separation of the soul from God i.e. the intimate familial relation with Him is forever severed, receiving the due penalty of our sins). This "fall" ruined the whole nature of man. When man fell, sin permeated every part of his personality. This includes his thinking, emotions, and will. Total depravity does not mean he is necessarily intensely sinful, it means that sin has encompassed his entire being. The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel. Man will never seek God on his own; he will never have a desire for God or righteousness. This is why Total Depravity has also been called "Total Inability." Since man is totally incapable of seeking God, he will never find salvation through Jesus Christ on his own. (John 6:37-65)
Sin is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and (2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines. http://www.biblegateway.com...
But God, out of mercy, entered into His creation in the person of the Son by taking on human nature-sin excepted. He voluntarily suffered at the hands of unbelievers by being brutally tortured and finally crucified for evidencing the truth. He also suffered the wrath of His Father that was due all His children in their place satisfying divine justice. So that all who repent-turn from their sin and turn to Him believing Jesus is who He said He is and did what He said He did- will be saved.
thomas44

Pro

I just want to thank RBaker for an interesting, thought-provoking debate over the past week. Unfortunately the theist vs atheist debate is a futile endeavor--but we both knew coming into the debate that neither one of us was going to change our views on the topic. I hope we can both take each other's justifications and arguments in stride and be able to express a greater sense of understanding between the two schools of thought in future debates.

I still contend that belief in the Christian God is an irrational thought. As Rbaker had failed to provide any justifications or proofs outside of the Bible in addition to an inability to rebut my previous comments. Rightful so though--there really isn't a rational answer one can give to my questions other than a reliance on faith and arguments from ignorance as expressed via multiple false dichotomies.

Without sufficient proof for the existence of God and the lack of validity of the Bible, I find it difficult to envision RBaker or any theist to rationally justify a belief in the Christian God. I would. however, like to express my overall indifference towards a belief in a God--I would not consider myself to be an antitheist as my opponent was alluding to. The vast majority of Christians I know are stand-up, wonderful people that I have the out most respect for. This argument is by no means an attack on the intelligence, or character of theists as a predicate of their beliefs in a supernatural being.

RBaker's other justifications also rely heavily on "if" statements ("The irony must not be missed: one can logically argue against God only if God exists"). Yes, a belief in God would be rational IF we knew the ontology of all metaphysical questions. Taking claim to an answer that is unknown to us is what this argument is largely dependent on. The atheists makes no unfalsifiable claims. Atheists don't rely on leaps of faith to justify their beliefs. Atheists do not claim to have answers that do not exist or answers that are not known yet. There is no cognitive dissonance with atheism. The burden of proof, like I emphasized earlier, is on the theist in these debates. And up to this point, not a single polemic or apologetic has yet been able to rationally justify their beliefs without taking claim as arbitrarily "knowing" the truth without any authority.

To paraphrase Omar Khayyam (1048-1131):

Look not above, there is no answer there;
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;
Near is as near to God as any Far,
And Here is just the same deceit as There.

And do you think that unto such as you;
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew:
God gave the secret, and denied it me?--
Well, well, what matters it! Believe that, too.

"Did God set grapes a-growing, do you think,
And at the same time make it sin to drink?
Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus--
Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!"

Atheism only pressuposes theism IF God in fact exists and is the ultimate creator of the universe and its workings.

Until one can prove the existence of God, this argument is rendered moot. No rational human lives a life of 'what ifs' and bases their decisions on "just in case God exists....I'll act and think [this] way". This is one of many reasons why Pascal's Wager is so faulty.

"There is abundant evidence in the created order, in the historical record, in the image of God in man. The evidence for God, and therefore the resultant belief in Him, may not seem reasonable (rational) to you to persuade you to believe in God but what I have attempted to show in this limited space is that it is reasonable proof nonetheless for you to believe."

Other than the Bible and faulty pseudological conjecture, RBaker did not provide any evidence for the existence of God.

Let all theists/atheists alike consider this:
    • You may live a good life and believe in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
    • You may live a good life without believing in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
    • You may live a good life and believe in a god, but no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a positive legacy to the world; your gain is finite.
    • You may live a good life without believing in a god, and no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a positive legacy to the world; your gain is finite.


    • You may live an evil life and believe in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to hell: your loss is infinite.
    • You may live an evil life without believing in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to hell: your loss is infinite.
    • You may live an evil life and believe in a god, but no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a negative legacy to the world; your loss is finite.
    • You may live an evil life without believing in a god, and no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a negative legacy to the world; your loss is finite.


Or as Marcus Aurelius wrote:

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."


Belief or non-belief, rational or irrational--God's existence shouldn't have any bearing on how we live our lives.

As RBaker has shown throughout the debate:

RBaker states that the Christian world-view holds that God exists.

RBaker states that this is so because of the Bible.
I showed that the Bible's validity is based upon circular reasoning
Therefore, God's existence is based upon circular reasoning.
Circular reasoning is not logically sound.

Concluson: God's existence, as RBaker has shown this debate, is not logically sound.

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by thomas44 2 years ago
thomas44
Do you believe in the Adam and Eve story? I've gotten many different answers on this one--my catholic school teachers say no. Priests that have said yes. And everything in between.

What's your take on the story? Factual or..just a story?

Noah's Ark?

Jonah's punishment?

Walking on water?

Humans born filthy of sin?

Water into wine?

Talking donkeys?

Burning bushes?

Healing the blind?

Resurrecting the dead?

Rod into a serpent?

Great flood?

Immaculate conception?

Destruction of Sodom and Gommorah
Posted by Antitroller 2 years ago
Antitroller
Free-will for Adam and Eve was not to believe but was to obey or disobey. They chose to disobey. It is our free-will to believe cause we do not have God directly interacting with us. How is belief not a choice?
Posted by DakotaKrafick 2 years ago
DakotaKrafick
"The reason God gave us free-will was to choose to believe or not."

1. Why would God give Adam and Eve free will for the purpose of choosing to believe in an entity who directly interacted with them?
2. Belief is not a choice.
Posted by Antitroller 2 years ago
Antitroller
If you had scientific proof of God how would it be faith or belief? If you could see and touch God, how would that change your life? It would change your will, your actions, your life completely, it would then define your life. The reason God gave us free-will was to choose to believe or not.

If you think that if there is a God why does all these bad things happen, its cause we live in a fallen world. If God stopped all bad things would he not be removing free-will?
Posted by thomas44 2 years ago
thomas44
Thanks again for the debate Rick.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by SarcasticIndeed 2 years ago
SarcasticIndeed
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Reasons for voting decision: S/G to Pro since he made his arguments clear to read. Arguments to him as well, since all Con did was quote the bible as evidence. Pro definitely won in this one.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 2 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
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Reasons for voting decision: RBaker put forth the TAG
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter the Borator's blatant votebomb.
Vote Placed by TheBrorator 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was kind of a jerk... throughout the entire thing. (Conduct to Pro) Con misspelled more words than I saw that pro did. (S/G to pro) Con's arguments were insulting, and turned me off from this debate. I am an atheist, and Con needs to think about his audience when he debates. (Args. to Pro) Both debater's sources looked good, but I really do hate Wikipedia... Sorry.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 2 years ago
KRFournier
RBakerthomas44Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides were talking past each other. Ultimately, Con was presenting TAG and Pro didn't comprehend it. Con didn't put spaces between paragraphs, which made my eyes cross, so spelling/grammar to Pro.