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The Contender
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Can't rationally argue for any of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 833 times Debate No: 7094
Debate Rounds (3)
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I think the a topic of whether or not the universe had a designer or designers
and the issue of the first uncaused cause are all very interesting and worth a serious debate, maybe in some other topic, this is called deism.

In this debate I am not considering deism as a religion I refer only to any of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions:

My main point is that even if one grants deism as a rational standing point
it remains to be seen how one can make a rational argument for any particular religion from this point.
People many times fail to notice this fact,
but arguing for a designer is totally insufficient for making claims about a specific religious belief.

Note that even if a theist was somehow able to demonstrate conclusive evidence that this designer/starter god is a personal god which cares about human affairs, answers prayers, and interferes in the natural course of the world,
in the form of miracles,
all his work would still be ahead of him in showing that his specific religion is correct since:
- All the religions that exist or that have existed in the past make claims about personal gods and miracles.
- These religions are incompatible, so they can't all be true.

Even if we could somehow narrow the list of religions down to the religions that are practiced today, it would still be impossible to know which of them are actually true.

If you think you your chances are one in three you are gravely mistaken,
because there are many additional religions that exist today or have existed in the past.
So how can one choose ?

There are also the more exotic religions,
how about "Sathya Sai Baba" the god man ?
The current estimates are that he has around 6,000,000 followers,
some argue that there are up to 100,000,000 followers,
many of them claim that he is a true miracle worker and they have seen his amazing miracles !
Imagine a person like this Sathya Sai Baba living 2000 years ago,
when we had no knowledge of science.
If anything, believing in Sathya Sai Baba claims is more rational than believing in the
Jewish, Christian or Muslim claims
since, at least, we can say the following:
a. We know for sure that this person actually exists
b. The people that claim Sathya Sai Baba is a god man are alive today and can be interviewed
This is much more than we can say for our ancient religions.

Carl Sagan once said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Ancient eye witnesses, hearsay,
or people just being certain of something to be true are just not good enough to be considered evidence,
not to mention extraordinary evidence.

One way to validate our worldview is to verify it for coherency.
For example if I catch my wife cheating on me I can't continue to claim that she is faithful to me because that would be incoherent.
So the worldview of someone that claims that the historical data that exists in the form of the gospel or in some religious book is enough to substantiate extraordinary evidence for Christianity
must also agree that the data that exists about UFOs, Big foot, Vampires and Sathya Sai Baba are more than sufficient as well,
otherwise he is being inconsistent,
like a cheating faithful wife.

Please note that the topic of the debate is about rationality.
If you claim that a specific religion can be taught by appealing to emotion or to "leaps of faith" then I have no argument with you,
I am only arguing with people that claim that their religion is a result of rational thinking.

Your job as con is to find a rational justification for believing your specific religion,
why you choose to believe it specifically,
and to explain if you also believe in the other extraordinary claims I mentioned,
and if not why not ?

Good luck.


"Your job as con is to find a rational justification for believing your specific religion,
why you choose to believe it specifically."

I believe in the Protestant Christian Religion because I prefer life over death. Let me explain. All religious beliefs can be categorized into two categories: either theistic on atheistic. An atheist believes in the destruction him or herself upon death. A theist believes that there is an afterlife. If there is no god, which I will consider likely for the purpose of debate, they are both destructed upon death. If there is a god, the atheist is destructed and theist lives. No matter the odds of there being a god, theism is the best way to secure life, which is the path I prefer and choose to take.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for taking on the con position.

First I wish to address a few of your statements:
"All religious beliefs can be categorized into two categories: either theistic on atheistic"
This is actually incorrect. Disbelief is not a religion. Do you disbelieve in Zeus or Santa Claus ? Is that disbelief considered a religion ?
But anyway this technicality is not so important.

What you are basically suggesting is the famous "Pascal Wager"

There are a few problems with this type a reasoning:
Many theologians have used this same argument to argue for their own specific religion, see:
- The Islamic kalam tradition which was discussed by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (d. 478/1085) in his Kitab al-irshad ila-qawati al-adilla fi usul al-i'tiqad or A Guide to the Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief.
- In the Sanskrit classic Sārasamuccaya, Vararuci makes a similar argument to Pascal's wager.

So you have an equal reason for being, say a Muslim, as you do for being a Protestant Christian.
So why are you not a Muslim ?

Moreover I can take this even further and say:
If you don't call god by the name "1" you will go to hell.
I could make the same argument and replace "1" with "2" and so on for every possible number.
According to your reasoning there is a small probability that one of these arguments is true and so you should accept one.
So how will you choose ?
I mean the same amount of evidence exists for the claim of an afterlife being true as does for any of the statements I've just made.
Is there a real reason to take a claim with no evidence seriously, no matter what the consequences are ?

Richard Dawkins offers the Anti-Pascal wager
Richard Dawkins argues for an "anti-Pascal wager" in his book, The God Delusion. "Suppose we grant that there is indeed some small chance that God exists. Nevertheless, it could be said that you will lead a better, fuller life if you bet on his not existing, than if you bet on his existing and therefore squander your precious time on worshipping him, sacrificing to him, fighting and dying for him, etc."

The whole idea of believing in a god because of this wager is an insult to the intelligence of such a supposed being (god) and turns what is intended to be a faith born of love into a faith born of cowardice.
Its basically saying, "well I might as well believe in god because he may have threatened me".
Its like me saying if you don't say you like me I'll shoot you.
It is, after all, possible that god would be so insulted by the reason you choose to believe in him that he will send you to hell anyway.

In any event the kind of reasoning you propose, is reasoning based on convenience, not truthfulness.
I can use this type of reasoning to justify the existence of Santa, if I feel it is convenient for me to believe in him.

For the above reasons I feel that your argument is very weak and in fact irrational as well.
Therefore until you address these arguments the resolution stands affirmed.


I will accept your claim if you can give an example that does not do any of the following:

1. believes in a supernatural deity
2. does not believe in a supernatural deity
Debate Round No. 2


Hmm, a joker, I see.

Anyway here is an example of such:
"an agnostic"
look it up clown.


mrw forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Islamicview23 7 years ago
Salam, I see your argument and from a Islamic perspective I can say I look at many other things than just the Idea of God being there. Ofcourse many religions have come and gone with the same ideology and we do also notice that. But when we see such things we don't like to turn a blind eye towards it, so for one there are descriptions of different things in the Quran (holy book) that relate to modern day science. So we look at these descriptions and try to build a stronger faith. And relating to your topic, when bringing up points relating to religion, some people will research them properly and bring up more questions if they have and other people will blindly reject what ever comes there way and choose not to listen to anything at all. So you either need to have interest in this topic or you just don't. If you do I can answer as much to my knowledge.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: The agnostic point at the end, took it; as seen by con failing to show up after it.