The Instigator
serp888
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Zealous1
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Believing in a religion is illogical

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
serp888
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,876 times Debate No: 33755
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

serp888

Pro

There are no good reasons to believe in a religion. I am letting the opponent begin the debate.
Zealous1

Con

I thank the opponent for instigating the debate, and I will open with my first argument. I reserve the right to add arguments in the next round, up till but not including the last round.

Since my opponent has not defined illogical, I will define illogical as: "lacking sense or clear, sound reasoning" [1]

For my argument I will also present the definition of Apologetics. "The logic-based defense of a religion or theory" (Based on [2] and [3])

I have two arguments.

Argument 1 - Apologetics

Apologetic thinking is logical for two reasons according to my definitions:

1) My definition of illogical reads "lacking...sound reasoning". Since my definition and the second and third source support Apologetics as having reasoning, the definition is fulfilled.

2) The obvious reason that my definition and second source support Apologetics as LOGICAL.

Since apologetics assumes belief in religion, Believing in religion is not always illogical, although it can be.

Argument 2 - Inductive Reasoning

This argument is more important than the last. Rather than a strict definition of inductive reasoning, I will provide this "definition" from a dictionary:

"The term "inductive reasoning" refers to reasoning that is "bottom up." Inductive reasoning takes specific information and makes a broader generalization that is considered probable, allowing for the fact that the conclusion may not be accurate." [4]

Inductive reasoning is logical. [5] It IS more risky, and I'm sure my opponent will argue that, but the question is not which is more sound logically: religion or lack of it; but rather whether believing in religion is logical at all.

An example of inductive reasoning causing faith:
A person is hurt, and prays for a miraculous recovery. It happens. Whether it was miraculous or not is irrelevant, the person perceives it to be and to the doctors it is miraculous. But this man has a similar situation two more times. And his friend tells him a similar thing happened to him.

If this person believes based off his experience, he is using inductive reasoning. Whether or not he's right, he's being logical. (Another source, even though it's unneeded: [6])


Because apologetics is a reasoned, logical activity, and because inductive reasoning can cause faith, my opponent is incorrect in asserting that believing in a religion is illogical.

One last note: The resolution asserts that ALL belief in a religion is illogical, not just some. So if my opponent proves there are some beliefs that are illogical, that's not a reason to vote Pro.

I eagerly await my opponent's reply.


Sources:

[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.apologeticsindex.org...
[3] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[4] http://examples.yourdictionary.com...
[5] http://www.fibonicci.com...
[6] http://www.biblicalworldview21.org...
Debate Round No. 1
serp888

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for taking on this debate. I'd also like to ask my opponent to agree to limit the debate to 4 rounds, since this will get pretty long.

I'd like to start by clarifying that I'm not discussing agnosticism, but rather that choosing one particular, specific religion is illogical. This assertion is supported by the fact that I said believing in (a) religion is illogical. And by belief i'm referring to your absolute acceptance of a religion. I will start by addressing my opponents claims, and then present my own arguments for why belief in a specific religion is illogical.

Now lets take a look at your Apologetics argument:

Your first argument claims that Apologetics is logical because two of your source said that "The logic-based defense of a religion or theory" is reasonable. Well which religious theory or defense are you talking about? In what way is it reasonable and from what context? It's begging the question to say that the "logic based defense of a religion or theory" is logical because it's reasonable, regardless of how many sources you have. In order to make this point at all relevant, you need to show how exactly your sources "proved" that for particular religions, which seems unlikely given that proof and religions don't mix well.

Your final point about apologetics is also wrong, where you say that "Since apologetics assumes belief in religion, Believing in religion is not always illogical, although it can be." Your unproven assumption, is again, that the underlying logic for the defense is sound. If the underlying logic (valid prepositions, and assumptions) was correct for apologetics, then it would be reasonable as you have claimed. However, to make this kind of argument worthwhile at all, you need to give examples of effective religious apologetics, which prove that belief in a religion is reasonable or logical.

As for your argument about inductive reasoning:

You're absolutely correct to emphasize that inductive reasoning is often more risky. It often stands on argumentative fallacies such as hasty generalizations. Wikipedia has a page on the problem of induction namely that:

[1] Generalizing about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class (for example, the inference that "all swans we have seen are white, and therefore all swans are white", before the discovery of black swans) or

[2]Presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (for example, that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the Principle of Uniformity of Nature.
[1][2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Going back to your example about the person who prays for a miraculous discovery, this is a primary example of a logical fallacy known as a hasty generalization, where you assume a religion is true because several instances seem to confirm your guess and is highlighted by [1]. They also assume [2] that praying will continue to affect their lives. Neither of these are logical nor reasonable because they completely ignore random chance.

The exclusion of random chance means that the entire line of reasoning is illogical, because it does not consider every possible case. The best you can do is guess to a certain percentage that the religion is correct, but you have no way of being certain. Therefore, inductive reasoning to arrive at a certain religious conclusion is illogical without sufficient evidence. In addition, depending on your own anecdotal evidence as sufficient, is another example of a logical fallacy.

If I was writing a computer program, I would not assume that the entire thing was 100% working because I tested three or four test cases, when there are trillions of different cases which could be implemented. Math also shows that non mathematical inductive reasoning is often very flawed; you don't assume that a proof is true because you proved that three or four cases were true. The reason why I say non mathematical is because mathematical induction is a perfectly logical construct, assuming that all the base cases are true, and that you can prove that p(n)-->p(n+1). Religious people have failed to prove all their base cases by excluding certain things such as random chance.

Furthermore, they don't even have enough inductive information to pick a religion: how do they know it wasn't Thor, or Zeus, or Apollo, or even the flying spaghetti monster that saved them from their medical woes? The point is that they have no idea"no one truly does unless they were indoctrinated (which would be manipulative, not logical), which is another reason why believing in religion is highly illogical.

I'd also like to bring up one of your quotes, where it says, "Whether or not he's right, he's being logical. (Another source, even though it's unneeded: [6]) ." I find that this line of reasoning to be a gross over simplification; if he's not doing something right, then he's not being logical. For example, if a mechanic repairs a car incorrectly, then his logic was flawed on some level. Being truly logical will never lead you to the wrong answer, which is why math works. If perfect logic could sometimes get you to a wrong answer, then logic, the basis for science, wouldn't be very useful in computer science, math, or physics. The only reliable way to believe in a religion is if there is mathematical proof and, or evidence"not simply a hasty generalization from a faulty use of induction based on anecdotal evidence.

Now for my arguments:

There are also several more hasty generalizations, which all religious individuals abide by. Of course not all religions are the same, but all religions make central claims about the universe, which are either unprovable currently, or just flat out wrong. For example, they make claims such as "there is meaning and purpose to life", or "there is some sort of afterlife", or "that the higher powers of the universe care about humans". Neither of these claims are provable, factual, or reasonable to believe in inductively, or logically, without proof. Does the fact that you were saved at hospital miraculously prove these claims even the slightest? No, it proves nothing and these are just more illogical assumptions.

Lets talk more about probability:
There are an infinite number of possible religions that could be true. You can imagine infinite possible religions by adding infinite layers of complexity to the religion. The total chance that a religion is correct, and thus logical is 1/(the number of religions). If you take the limit as the number of religions goes to infinity, the function goes to zero. Any person with a paper and pencil can find this out for themselves. Therefore, logically and mathematically, the chance of a religion being correct is 0%. Believing in something which has a 0% chance of being right is even more illogical. http://www.wolframalpha.com... can calculate the limit of the function 1/x U94; 0.
Zealous1

Con

I thank my opponent for responding. I will agree to limit the debate to four rounds, with the condition that round 5 can be used to say "Vote Pro/Con" and give some guidance to voters.

I'd like to ask a few Cross-Examination questions, or basically questions for my opponent to answer.

CX

1. Do you agree that Sherlock Holmes, as depicted in the books, is behaving logically?

2. Let's say a man owns a lawn mower. You could reasonably infer that he owns a property to mow. Furthermore he probably owns a house on that property. This is thinking logically, is it not?

3. Is it possible to believe in something even if you might doubt it slightly?

4. Do you believe the theory of evolution is logical?

5. Must something be probable to be logical?

6. Must you examine every possible outcome of a decision in order to logically make it?

7. Inductive reasoning is a form of logical, is it not?

Before I begin, I'd like to define Belief. My opponent seems to think that believing in a religion is 100% acceptance. "conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence" [1] I would argue that belief is not necesarrily complete acceptance, but rather accepting that option as the most likely. For example, if you are taking a test and you are asked what the square root of 492 is, you might believe the answer is around 24. You don't 100% accept that, but you do accept it as the most likely. You would be wrong however, since the answer is an irrational number closer to 22.

One more thing before jumping into the arguments. My opponent and I seem to disagree on a major issue: Whether or not you can be logical without being correct. I will present a few reasons why you CAN be wrong and still logical.

1) Inductive reasoning. It is by nature imperfect and risky, yet my opponent agrees it is a form of logic. By agreeing that inductive reasoning is logic, my opponent inadvertently also agrees that you can make mistakes and still be logical.

2) Evidence. According to [2], one can be wrong but still logical. Let me quote:

"Within logical reasoning it can sometimes happen that the premises and conclusion seem obviously wrong, but are logically speaking correct when applying one of the logical reasoning types mentioned above. Be aware that conclusions are drawn based on logical reasoning and not on the validity of the context of certain premises or conclusions."


Now with that in mind let's jump into the arguments. I will quote parts of my opponent's statements by using >>>

1. Apologetics.

>>> "In what was it is reasonable and from what context?"

It seems there are several questions here that don't fit well together or are written in a confusing manner. I will address the theme of this paragraph by saying a few things. First, I need not defend a particular religion, since the resolution does not deal with a particular religion. Second, the reason Apologetics is logical, from this first part of the argument, is because of the way my two definitions work together. Logic is defined as many things, including sound reasoning. I also proved that Apologetics is reasoning. I didn't say reasonable,I said reasoning.

The point is not whether certain apologetical arguments are correct, the point is that the very activity of apologetics is a process of logical reasoning.

Although I don't think this debate is one where we need to present apologetic arguments, I will satisfy my opponent's plea for an argument just for an example. I am not saying this argument necessarily proves a certain religion, but it's persuasive enough for some people to logically conclude it's true and believe.

  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.

As you can see, whether you agree with this argument or not, it is based on logical reasoning. As is all of Apologetics. But remember the point is not if the argument is correct, the point is the fact that Apologetics is logical and leads to belief in religion.

2. Inductive Reasoning

We both agree inductive reasoning and can risky. However, my opponent somehow thinks that makes inductive reasoning less "logical". These two examples are irrelevant because they don't disprove the validity of inductive reasoning, they just prove it can be wrong. Which is fine. It all goes back to my original point in the beginning that logical reasoning can be incorrect.

(Also note my opponent is citing wikipedia, which is allowed but more dubious of a source).

>>> "Going back to your example about the person who prays for a miraculous discovery, this is a primary example of a logical fallacy known as a hasty generalization"

Let's go back to my definition of belief. "conviction of the truth of some statement...especially when based on examination of evidence". The man in this example is simply basing his belief on the evidence of his own personal experience. He might be wrong, but it's still logical thinking.

>>> "The exclusion of random chance means that the entire line of reasoning is illogical, because it does not consider every possible case. "

Evolution is still a theory, so the same applies. Plus my definition of belief shows that it's based on examination of evidence, it doesn't say ALL evidence. It's impossible to be logical under my opponent's view, since he asserts you must consider every possible case.

>>> "Religious people have failed to prove all their base cases by excluding certain things such as random chance."

Once again you don't have to cover all of your bases or be 100% correct. No one does. Inductive reasoning is logical, and thus belief in a religion is logical.

>>> "Furthermore, they don't even have enough inductive information to pick a religion"

There is historical evidence of certain religions, such as Christianity. This debate isn't about bringing up that evidence, but people do have reason to pick a certain religion logically and evidentially.

>>> " if he's not doing something right, then he's not being logical."

I've already read a quote to the contrary.

Now to my opponent's arguments.

1. Presupposing

In order to believe something, you need to presuppose other things. Religious people use the apologetic argument I mentioned above to prove that God created the world. But no matter what you are arguing, you're presupposing something.

2. Probability

Well, the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is 1060 so evolution is far from probable either. [3] Aside from that however, my opponent is ignoring that there is evidence and apologetics to support certain religions, making them more probable.

Lastly, probability has nothing to do with the discussion of logic, as discussed throughout this round.

I'd like to present one more argument for my side:

3. Definition of belief

Based on the definition I provided, the very act of believing is based on evidence. Inductive reasoning based on evidence is logical. Thus the resolution must be false.

In short, in order for my opponent to be able to make a convincing argument, he'd have to 1) provide more sources for his claims and 2) provide a convincing argument for why logic must be correct to be logical.

Sources

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.fibonicci.com...
[3] http://www.icr.org...
Debate Round No. 2
serp888

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for agreeing to reduce the round length.
I'll begin my argument by making a few counterpoints, and then i'll answer con's questionnaire.

"It's impossible to be logical under my opponent's view, since he asserts you must consider every possible case."

It is impossible to be illogical under my opponent's view, since he asserts that you can choose which cases to consider in order to make a proposition logical. My opponent believes you can just ignore any premise to prove your point, and you're still being logical. Logic becomes a pointless word, then. Yes, you do need to consider every case in order to be truly logical. The more cases you consider, the more logical you are.

"The point is not whether certain apologetic arguments are correct, the point is that the very activity of apologetics is a process of logical reasoning."

Again, I remind the audience that con is begging the question, a huge argumentative fallacy, by saying that believing in a religion is logical because apologetics is a process of logical reasoning for religion, which is logical because it's reasonable. It's a highly ineffective form of circular reasoning with an attempt to prove that religion is logical through use of deceiving semantics. Con completely disregards that apologetics can include faulty, illogical premises, which would mean the entire sequence of reasoning is illogical. Furthermore, this general form of apologetics cannot suddenly apply to a believing in a single religion. Accepting a faulty premise is unreasonable and illogical.

I can also disprove my opponents example of apologetics almost instantly from one faulty premise :
"An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause"
You don't understand infinity. Infinity doesn't need an initial cause, since infinity always exists. Such an example is the theory of parallel universes, where we are just one part of an infinite number of universes. It needs no beginning because it exists outside of the dimension of time. No one said the universe had to be completely understandable to humans.

"My opponent and I seem to disagree on a major issue: Whether or not you can be logical without being correct."

Instead of using a flimsy quote as evidence, I use the entire field of math as my source, again. You cannot arrive at any incorrect conclusions by using flawless logic. A mathematical proof uses flawless logic; if you could get to a wrong answer using perfect logic in math, then math wouldn't work, physics wouldn't work, and computer science wouldn't work, for example. These fields require rigorous logic, something that religion doesn't need. Apologetics is only logical if it has valid basic assumptions and axioms, otherwise the individual is being illogical. My opponent somehow thinks that because religious people apply a form of logical reasoning incorrectly, that it somehow makes believing in a religion logical. False.

My opponent also claims that belief in a religion does not require 100% acceptance. False. Believing in a religion based on probable likelihood is about the worst argument you can make since it defeats the point of Religion. You're an agnostic at this point by definition, because the definition of an agnostic is doubting, or being skeptical of, the existence of a supernatural deity on some level. The level is not specified to an exact quantity.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

If you accept that belief in a religion is only a probable belief, then you doubt the existence of the supernatural by a factor of (1-(%probability)). However, no where in your definition of belief does it say that belief is not 100% acceptance. I believe in gravity, which means I accept it 100%, even though technically it has an inconceivably low chance of being wrong. But because there is substantial scientific evidence, I accept it as fact. Religion, on the other hand, demands the existence of faith instead of evidence, which can be defined according to the highly reputable source, Princeton university as:

Faith: complete confidence in a person, or plan etc
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

The keyword is complete, which means 100%. I'm sure you can agree that religions require faith, but in case you can't, ill cite the definition of religion as evidence: "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held with ardor and faith"

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Therefore, since nothing in reality is 100% accurate, my opponent has defeated his own argument, because faith requires certainty, and nothing is ever completely certain. My opponent agrees that nothing is truly certain. Choosing a religion is thus inherently illogical, and my opponent aligns himself with agnosticism.

I'd also like to discuss my mathematical analysis more, which con didn't even respond to. I still emphasize that the chance of a particular religion being right is 1/(the number of religions). The same reasoning applies to a bowl of 200 marbles, where you have a 1/200 chance of picking any particular marble out of the bowl. Therefore, even if religion isn't about faith, which it is according to my cited definitions, the chance of a religion being correct is still infinitesimally low. Logically, and reasonably you cannot accept something with such a small probability.

I remind the audience and con that you can make an infinite number of religions by adding layers of complexity to a religion, which means you can take the limit of the function (1/(the number of religions)) to infinity, which from basic series mathematics, is 0 percent. Anyone with a piece of paper and a pencil can prove this logically, and reasonably, which your apologetic argument fails to encompass. Every individual has access to basic axioms of math, which contradicts your apologetic arguments.

Questionnaire-

1. In some cases he acts logically, and in others he doesn't. Again this is not a black and white dilemma as you keep trying to portray it.

2. Yes, you could assume logically that he probably owns a house on that property, but you can't assume that he does in fact own a house or a property. Maybe he works for a business that needs him to have a lawn mower, etc. It is impossible to quantify this probability. You cannot have faith that he owns the property. However, blindly, and incorrectly using inductive reasoning to assume a truth is bad logic.

3. Then you're an agnostic, according to my definition of faith and agnosticism.

4. Yes, it is based on random chance and evidence, not fictional characters and risky inductive reasoning.

5. More than probable, almost certain. Something greater that 99.9% such as gravity, or evolution.

6. Yes, which is why math works.

7. Incorrect inductive reasoning is not logical. Correct inductive reasoning is.

Finally, a question for you:
When using inductive reasoning to choose a religion, how does the person know that the right religion, logically, is Zeus, or thor, or apollo, or Christiantiy, etc?
Zealous1

Con

Thank you for responding.

Before I begin, I'd like to note the theme Pro has had: Absoluteness. He believes that in order to be logical, one must examine every possibility before making a decision. He thinks that in order for something to be logical, it has to be 99% probable. He thinks that in order to be a religious person, you must believe 100%, and never doubt.

All of these standards are ridiculously flawed. Not only have I presented quotes saying you don't have to be correct to be logical, I'm sure this standard makes no sense to you either.

Let me go through some of the Cross-Examination questions.

CX

1. Sherlock holmes is sometimes logical. My opponent, by answering this way, is contradicting himself. On one hand he's saying that something has to be 99.9% probable to be logical, and yet he believes Sherlock Holmes is sometimes logical. Sherlock Holmes makes a lot of risky deductions which are certainly not as accurate as Pro seems to want.

2. >>> "Yes you could assume logically that he probably owns a house on that property"

And Christians assume logically that there probably is a God. Once again my opponent is contradicting his 99% standard.

3. If you're uncertain even for a moment about your faith, Pro seems to think that makes you agnostic. I'll refute this later.

4. Hmmm, yet again Pro contradicts himself. I said evolution is mathematically improbable, and Pro never responded to this.

5. Once again this contradicts many things Pro has said.

6. No comment.

7. This doesn't make sense. Inductive reasoning provides no way to be certain you are correct. There is no way to know if it is logical, therefore, because the point of inductive reasoning is to assume certain facts based on what you've seen. All the definitions and quotes I've brought up support Inductive reasoning being logical, whether or not it's correct.

Answer to Pro's question: Apologetic arguments, historic evidence, the fact that some faiths seem more logical to certain people... There are many reasons a person would choose one religion over another.

Moving on

>>> "It is impossible to be illogical under my opponent's view, since he asserts that you can choose which cases to consider in order to make a proposition logical. My opponent believes you can just ignore any premise to prove your point, and you're still being logical."

My opponent has incorrectly represented my point. First of all, in my point of view, you can be illogical by engaging in logical fallacies such as appeal to authority, etc. I believe if you are using logic correctly with the facts you know to create ideas, you are behaving logically.

>>> "Yes, you do need to consider every case in order to be truly logical."

This is literally impossible. There could be infinite cases in your choice.


You decide one day you need groceries. You could leave now, but there is a possibility that your husband/wife is driving near the store already. So you call them to make sure. That's one possibility covered. There's also the possibility that the store is out of milk, which you need. So now you have to choose which store. That's maybe 7 possibilities.

But what if a bomb goes off in new york city, and someone driving in front of you driving hears about it in the radio and brakes abruptly, causing an accident? Well, that's certainly something to consider. But you couldn't have known about it. So it's not illogical that you left the house to get groceries, since you already considered the necessary possibilities.

There are infinite possibilities in each choice, and it is impossible to be logical with Pro's viewpoint.

1. Apologetics

>>> "Again, I remind the audience that con is begging the question, a huge argumentative fallacy"

This is not circular reasoning. I am saying belief in religion can be logical because it can be defended with logical arguments. This is not at all "begging the question".

>>> "I can also disprove my opponents example of apologetics almost instantly from one faulty premise :"

And this is why I did not want to bring up an apologetic argument: as I said and pro ignored; "I am not saying this argument necessarily proves a certain religion, but it's persuasive enough for some people to logically conclude it's true and believe."

I would rather not get involved in a large apologetic argument because that is completely irrelevant to my point. Let me repeat my point:

"Belief in religion can be logical because it can be defended with logical arguments."

Let's move on to the argument of whether or not you can be logical: but incorrect.

>>> "You cannot arrive at any incorrect conclusions by using flawless logic."

I don't think Pro understands the important of evidence. He brushed aside my evidence as if he is somehow smarter. Let me provide a Ph.D. in Philosophy to disprove my opponent:


"an argument can have good logic, strictly speaking, even if its premises are false." [1]

Would you rather trust Pro, or a Ph.D. in philosophy? Also trust what makes sense: the fact that you can be using logic correctly, even if you are incorrect.

Pro brought back the example of mathematics. I'm glad he likes math, but that's not the only type of logic that exists. The fact that he had to use the adjective Flawless before logic shows that you can be logical without flawless logic. Otherwise he wouldn't need the adjective. The resolution is not: "Belief in a religion is belief in the improbable". The resolution is "Belief in religion is ILLOGICAL".

>>> "You're an agnostic at this point by definition, because the definition of an agnostic is doubting, or being skeptical of, the existence of a supernatural deity on some level. The level is not specified to an exact quantity."

I find it odd that Pro quoted a source which said nothing of "level". "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God." Nowhere does it say level, it actually shows that agonstics are completely against religion.

Since when are agonstics people who doubt religion even the tiniest bit?

>>> Faith and religion

The resolution is whether belief in a religion is illogical, not whether faith in a religion is illogical. My opponent is arguing against faith, not belief.

>>> "Therefore, since nothing in reality is 100% accurate, my opponent has defeated his own argument, because faith requires certainty, and nothing is ever completely certain. My opponent agrees that nothing is truly certain."

Remember, we're arguing belief, not religion. And you don't have to 100% believe a religion to believe in it. And also by this argument my opponent is illogical in believing in gravity, because "nothing is truly certain".

>>> Probability of religion

Pro asserted that I dropped this argument. If you scroll up you'll see I dedicated a headline to it and addressed it briefly. First, I said evolution is also improbable (not responded to), and second, I said that there is historical evidence and there are apologetic arguments that can tip the scales in favor of a certain religion.

Dropped arguments:

1. Inductive Reasoning

Pro never directly responded to this argument in his last speech. I've already proven with multiple sources that inductive reasoning IS LOGICAL.

2. Definition of Belief

I said in my last speech that because the definition of belief says that belief includes evidence to support the belief, so thus believing in a religion assumes that there is evidence to support it. (Go ahead and scroll up to read the full version).

Recap

My opponent is too focused on absolutes. Any person who believes in a religion will remember a time they doubted it slightly. That doesn't make them agnostic. Something doesn't have to be 99.9% probable to be logical. And as the Ph.D in Philosophy said: You can be logical without being correct.

1. Bears can fly

2. Lassie is a bear

3. Lassie can fly

Well, bears can't fly, but this is still logical: Just incorrect.

Sources:

1. http://instruct.westvalley.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
serp888

Pro

One more time!

"He thinks that in order to be a religious person, you must believe 100%, and never doubt."

No, this analysis is entirely faulty, I never said "and never doubt." The moment you 100% accept a religion with faith, you believe in a religion, but if you doubted before it doesn't mean you can't be religious now. According to my definition of agnostic and definition of religion, if you doubt the existence of the supernatural to some level, then you are agnostic at that time. It doesn't say how much you need to doubt in order to be agnostic, only that you need to doubt, which con rambled pointlessly about and missed my point. Ill will quote the definition exactly this time:

"More specifically, agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims"especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims"are unknown"
http://en.wikipedia.org...

In other words, if you give a percent chance to believing your religion, then you are essentially saying that the existence or non-existence of a deity is uncertain, which means that it's unknown for sure whether or not the religion is actually correct. That makes you an agnostic by definition, and thus you haven't specifically chosen a religion.

"This debate isn't about bringing up that evidence, but people do have reason to pick a certain religion logically and evidentially. "

No, people don't have a logical reason to pick a certain religion. Evidence is relevant to many of the points we discuss. Con doesn't say how people pick a certain religion logically, and so I can just deny it until he provides some evidence or logic I haven't refuted. That's what this debate is about; whether it's logical or not .

"He brushed aside my evidence as if he is somehow smarter."
Con has a history of brushing aside my evidence and definitions, which makes this claim highly hypocritical. For example:

"The resolution is whether belief in a religion is illogical, not whether faith in a religion is illogical. My opponent is arguing against faith, not belief. "

Con just throws away my argument that if you do not believe in religion, which is the same as not having faith, then you're an agnostic. Con thinks you don't need faith to believe in a religion. Faith and belief are in the same domain, and con just disregards that.

According to the best seller Richard Dawkins,
"Faith, being belief that isn't based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. "
www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/dawkins.htmlR06;

Would you agree with a best seller and definitions, or con?

"My opponent, by answering this way, is contradicting himself. On one hand he's saying that something has to be 99.9% probable to be logical, and yet he believes Sherlock Holmes is sometimes logical."

This does not prove I made a contradiction. Sherlock Holmes used correct math at some point in the novels, and so he was being 100% logical sometimes. If he assumed something with absolute certainty based on a probable guess, then he was being illogical.

"This doesn't make sense. Inductive reasoning provides no way to be certain you are correct"

This is a horrible mis characterization of mathematical induction, which is the same thing as conversational induction, but more formalized; correct mathematical induction from discrete math proves absolutely, through laws of logic, that a case will inductively follow from a base case and a logical connection. Let me provide you a definition since you don't know what induction is:

"Mathematical induction is a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish that a given statement is true"

https://en.wikipedia.org...

"This is literally impossible. There could be infinite cases in your choice. "

Some things do have infinite cases, such as the amount of numbers on the number line, or the length of irrational numbers. The number PI, for example, goes on forever and has infinite cases. The irrational number PI, for your reference, is the ratio of the circumference of the circle to it's diameter. But yes, exactly, this is what makes religion so illogical. You realize you could potentially choose an infinite number of religions. Religious faith, and hence belief, needs the same rigorous logic, which is also impossible as con points out. Therefore, believing in a religion is illogical

"And Christians assume logically that there probably is a God. Once again my opponent is contradicting his 99% standard."

Con doesn't say how this is contradicting. Christians cannot prove through scientific evidence that Christianity in fact meets the 99.9% standard. The 99.9% standard is the reason why evolution is not a fact, but is a theory and always will be. Con is saying that the entire scientific community is wrong. Again there is an equal chance that the true deity could be Thor, or Zeus, or Mars, so it is impossible for Christians to meet the 99.9% Standard, or even say that the Christian God probably exists.

"I believe if you are using logic correctly with the facts you know to create ideas, you are behaving logically. "

Your belief is irrelevant, but everyone has access to basic axioms of math, such as series calculations, which show that the limit of 1/(the number of religions), is a 0% chance. This means that mathematically, the chance of picking the correct is religion is 0%. It is not logical to believe something with a 0% chance of being correct. My opponent refuses to respond to my point, except to vaguely complain about ignoring his point about evolution, which I will now address, but is also largely irrelevant.

I will argue that evolution is likely because it happened. Only likely things occur OVER THE COURSE OF TIME. Even if something has a low percent chance in one second, it might have a high chance in the 13.7 billion year history of our universe. Con makes a claim that evolution is unlikely without providing any evidence for how it is unlikely. There might be billions of other planets with life and evolution to make it very likely.

"I'm glad he likes math, but that's not the only type of logic that exists. "
This is absurb. All logical laws are the same, whether it be from math, or from conversation. Mathematics is one way of expressing the same logic formally and with variables. That's the entire point of math.

1. Bears can fly
2. Lassie is a bear
3. Lassie can fly
Well, bears can't fly, but this is still logical: Just incorrect.

Con's example really highlights the flaw in his argument: he claims it would be logical to argue that bears can fly. By similar reasoning he claims it is logical to believe in religion. No PHD philosopher would agree that it is logical to say that bears can fly. It is not logical or reasonable to ignore valid premises, such as the fact that bears can't fly. Again, con can simply make any statement logical by changing the premise to whatever he desires.

It's impossible to be illogical with what con is saying. He is saying that it doesn't matter that the premises make no sense, and are illogical, his claim is that it only matters whether your logic with those faulty premises is good. That is not logical or reasonable, and the audience should note that he is simply arguing from a semantics viewpoint, and not a reasonable one.

"my opponent is ignoring that there is evidence and apologetics to support certain religions"

There is no evidence or valid apologetics to support religions until con provides such a case.

"Pro never directly responded to this argument in his last speech."
I did respond. I said that correct inductive reasoning is valid, but incorrect inductive reasoning is not. I was not arguing this fact, and you missed my point.

"I believe if you are using logic correctly with the facts you know to create ideas, you are behaving logically. "

Con ignores that people know multiple religions exist, and everyone has access to series math
Zealous1

Con

Zealous1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
serp888

Pro

vote pro!
Zealous1

Con

I thank Pro for his generosity: despite my forfeit he is allowing me to post my final argument in this round. I'd like to note that it'd be entirely fair to knock me down in the conduct section. (Check comments for Pro's statement)

>>> Doubt and agonisticism

I'd like to note that Pro still believes that doubt AFTER acceptance of a religion is still agonsticism. So my original point still stands. Also, he changed his definition! He went from a credible dictionary to wikipedia. You can't flip flop in definitions.

Either way however, the definition does not support Pro. You are not an agonstic if you doubt a religion 1%, you are an agonstic if overall you don't believe in a religion and think the question is unknown and impossible to know.

The point is, you don't need to completely 100% accept a religion in order to believe in it.

>>> People have a logical reason to choose a religion.

Pro seems to want something more than the apologetic argument I provided. But I have repeated many many times that the point of the debate isn't to prove that a certain religion is true, but rather to show people can logically choose to believe a religion. For example, the roman historican Tacitus made mention of Christ in his writings. (http://www.probe.org...)

The question is not whether this evidence is TRUE or not, but rather whether people could believe in a religion as a result of this evidence, and the answer is yes. So they are behaving logically.

>>> Brushing aside evidence

This is not the same type of brushing aside. Pro is directly contradicting my evidence, I'm simply sidestepping his. His evidence held that his position is true for faith. But he has not proved that belief = faith, and I've proved the contrary with my definition of belief. We also see that the resolution is not about faith, but rather belief. So let's not argue about irrelevant words.

I didn't "just throw away" the agonstic argument, I argued that Pro's definition did not support what he stated. Once again, I am not brushing aside Pro's evidence, I am merely turning it against him. Meanwhile I've provided more credible sources, more sources in total, and sources that actually agree with what I'm saying. Pro has mostly brought up definitions only.

>>> "Faith, being belief that isn't based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion."

Belief that ISN'T based on evidence. This implies there is a type of belief that does involve evidence and is not the same as faith. Since the resolution contains the word Belief, and Pro has not proven Faith = Belief, I win this point. In fact, this quote only serves to strengthen my argument.

>>> Probability and contradictions

Once again Pro seems to be saying that the only way to be fully logical is to do math to reach your conclusion. He has provided no evidence that supports this, and I've provided two quotes from credible people that logic can be incorrect and still be logical. Math is not the only logic that exists, and it certainly can not solve the problem of origin of life.

Don't take this as a jab at Pro, but I feel like he is a math major who wants to apply math to everything in life.

>>> Mathematical induction

Pro said I don't know what induction is and provided a link to wikipedia explaining mathematical induction. Unfortunately for him, this article explicitly rules out his argument. In the FIRST THREE paragraphs it says:

"Mathematical induction should not be misconstrued as a form of inductive reasoning, which is considered non-rigorous in mathematics (see Problem of induction for more information). In fact, mathematical induction is a form of rigorous deductive reasoning." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

So my argument still stands: If Pro believes inductive reasoning is logical, then he believes in reasoning that can be incorrect and improbable, but still logical.

>>> Infinite number of cases

Pro basically conceded to my point. My point was that his idea of logic is completely unreasonable because no decision can be logical unless it involves math, under his viewpoint. As for an infinite amount of religions, Pro has ignored my argument from the second and third rounds: There is evidence to support certain religions over others. Thus that narrows the field down, and there aren't infinite plausible religions. Refer back to the historical evidence I provided earlier in this post.

Do you want to agree with Pro when he says that as you vote, you're being illogical? That every decision you make is illogical? That if you believe in anything, you're acting illogically? That's what Pro conceded to under this argument.

>>> 99.9% standard

I was referring back to my earlier argument that because Pro believes inductive reasoning can be logical (even though he's tried to wiggle out of it conveniently), that disproves the idea that something has to be 99.9% probable to be logical. Thus Christians are not being illogical by choosing a religion that is less than 99.9% probable.

As a side note, Pro seems to believe in a form of logic called "Probabolistic logic". Basically logic that takes into account as many things as possible. However, if you look at the wikipedia article on the subject, it lists several applications for this logic. None of them include religion or anything of the sort. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) (I am using wikipedia because Pro has used them numerous times now.) This form of logic is neither the only kind that exists, nor is it appropriate for this topic.

>>> If you use logic correctly with the facts you know to create ideas, you're behaving logically.

Pro said my belief is irrelevant then went back to his math calculations which he so loves. Once again, I've refuted this point so many times. Not only with evolution, but more importantly by showing some religions are more likely than others because of historical evidence for them.

"Evolution is likely because it happened".

I simply respond: "Christianity is likely because it's true".

>>> Example of incorrect premises but good logic

Math is not the same as other forms of logic. Math has to be correct, other types of logic don't.

"No PHD philosopher would agree that it is logical to say that bears can fly."

Well, apparently this one did. Go read my last post. I quoted a portion of the article, and it said it's logical because it follows the process of logic.

Important: I don't argue you can change premises and be logical. If you know better, changing premises is "cheating on" logic. But for a religious person who has seen certain evidence, this logical form works just fine. Changing premises purposefully is not logical, but if that is all you know you are still behaving logically, just incorrectly.

Once again, trust the word of Pro, or a Ph.D in philosophy and another credible website who both support me?

>>> It's impossible to be illogical with what con is saying.

If you purposefully change premises that you know about, or you defy the rules of logic, then you're illogical. It's quite possible to be illogical under my standard, and impossible to be logical under Pro's.

>>> Evidence and apologetics

I already provided an apologetic argument and historical evidence.

>>> Inductive reasoning

Once again being correct or incorrect does not matter, as I have PROVEN.

Summary

I'd ask that voters remove personal bias when voting, as I know religion can be a heated topic.

I thank my opponent for letting me post round 4 in this round, but a conduct point loss from me would only be fair.

Vote Pro if you think that:
1. It's impossible to be logical unless you use math
2. You're agonstic if you at that moment doubt, even slightly, your religion.
3. Something must be 99.9% probable to be logical.

Or vote Con for sources and reasonable arguments.
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by serp888 4 years ago
serp888
Zealous1 you may post your last argument in the final round
Posted by Zealous1 4 years ago
Zealous1
NOOOOOOO!!!

I was too busy to post my argument and just came back from work :(

Would serp888 possibly allow me to post my argument on a pastebin type website and place it in a comment as round 4? I had literally no time to post my argument before.
Posted by JanetPlanet 4 years ago
JanetPlanet
Faith is illogical.

Religion is a form of brainwashing. Religion is a form of control.

A lot of people don"t need a God or religion to be able to see the difference between right and wrong.
Posted by serp888 4 years ago
serp888
I'd like to thank Zealous1 for participating in this debate, and for being an effective opponent!
Posted by serp888 4 years ago
serp888
me =)
Posted by Zealous1 4 years ago
Zealous1
Who is winning so far?
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
If being "illogical" or "not logical" means to be in violation of the laws of logic, then it sounds like you're saying that believing in religion, or having faith, or choosing a religion, violates the laws of logic. It'll be interesting to see how you argue that. I'm tempted to take this debate. Having been here a while, though, I'd recommend shortening your debate to 4 rounds (1 for acceptance and 3 for the debate). It might also be a good idea to shorten the character limit to 6000 characters. That'll make it a lot more likely that people will be interested in the debate and vote on it. It can be discouraging to spend hours working on your posts, and then have nobody vote, or just one person voting. Just a suggestion.
Posted by serp888 4 years ago
serp888
Well, the beliefs a religious person has are illogical, considering that people believe religions based on faith. Faith is not logical from an objective perspective. The debate is not whether, logically, humans should have evolved to believe in religion--that is very logical since religion added social structure and helped to start human civilization. However, specifically the debate should read: "believing in a religion (one religion) is illogical when you have access to an objective, valid information source."
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
philochristos gets it; "or do you mean religious beliefs are unwarranted?" That was the meaning I read into the resolution.

Mild difference in if those believing those things are being illogical to believe such things (as their lives have lead them to do), and if the actual beliefs have logical problems when considered objectively.
Posted by serp888 4 years ago
serp888
Choosing a religion violates the laws of logic specifically.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 4 years ago
ClassicRobert
serp888Zealous1Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro not only because of Con's forfeit, but because he graciously allowed Con to post his fourth round argument in the final round. Now onto the arguments. Con did not fulfill his burden of proof. He needed to provide a logical reason to believe in religion. While he was correct that reasoning does not need to be true to be logical, he failed to provide a reason that had no fallacies in it (which Pro was quick to point out), and as fallacies make logic unsound, by Con's own definition of illogical, "lacking...clear, sound reasoning," the logic he provided was illogical. After that, he only attempted to refute whether or not logical fallacies make an argument illogical, rather than providing a logical reason to believe in religion, so he lost the arguments.