Christianity is false
My beginning argument consists of the lack of evidence, let alone proof of god or biblical creation. As such, I humbly suggest that my Opposition present evidence of the existence of god, of biblical creation, or of any Christian concept of their choice in order to begin their argument. Of course, you can say whatever you like on the topic if you think it'll convince our viewers in your favor! I excitedly anticipate the start of this debate.
I believe there is good evidence for the case of Christianity. I will propose 2 main pillars of evidence: The cosmological argument and the morality argument.
The Cosmological Argument:
In science, there have been 2 main beliefs about the universe, the most common being the belief that the universe at a time, about 13.8 billion years ago began from an infinitesimally small point and from that one point all of space, time, matter and energy came into being. I agree with this, and I find no contradiction between the Genesis narrative and this scientific explanation of our universe's beginning. In fact, they both compliment each other quite well. In contrast to the scientific theory I just presented, other philosophers and scientists have proposed the the universe, in reality, had no beginning and has existed eternally. This idea, however, is absurd for a number of reasons. First, that explanation is telling us that we have had an infinite past, but mathematically, when you use infinity, you encounter contradictions. For example, if you have have an infinite amount of apples, and you take half of them, how many are left? Well infinity. And you have infinity, too. This goes to show that infinity is only an idea, and doesn't actually exist. Likewise, if you had and infinite past, and an infinite number of past events, according to the 2nd law of Thermodynamics, or Entropy, which says the the total amount of energy in the universe is running down, then by now, our cosmos would be ice cold, with no leftover energy. So, with this in mind, the most logical explanation of the universe is the big bang. But how must atheists deal with the big bang? They are forced, by definition, to say that the cosmos, all the space, time, matter and energy came by and from nothing. But surely that doesn't make sense? From nothing nothing comes. So the big bang that held all of space, matter and time, necessarily needed a 'big banger' that was the cause of it. But in order to be the cause of all space, time and matter, that being must be un-caused, space-less, time-less, and immaterial, with extraordinary power. That is what Christians call God.
The Moral Argument:
This argument goes basically like this:
1) If objective moral values exist, then God exists.
2) Objective moral values DO exist.
3) Therefore, God exists
First let me explain what I mean by objective moral values. Objective moral values mean that there are moral values that exist and stay the same whether anyone believes they do or not. For example, if you take the Holocaust, murdering 6 million Jews and 5 million more Poles, gypsies, elderly etc., would still be wrong even if the Nazis had won WWII and had succeeded in brainwashing everyone alive.
People can only choose 2 different beliefs about morality, either it's subjective, and changes with each person's individual beliefs, or that it's objective and stays the same despite humans' beliefs. Let's take a look at the first belief, that morality is subjective. To disprove this, I would simply appeal to your own experience. We have all seen people quarrel, and they say things like this, "Hey, I was here first, you can't cut in like that," and "You promised," and "Give me some of you orange, I gave you some of mine." It seems to the observer that these people arguing are appealing to some standard of behavior, and you almost never find anyone replying, "To hell with your standard." Most often, you find the people on the defensive trying rather, to show that their actions really do fall in line with that standard, or that for some special circumstance, they are exempt from it. That standard I'm talking about is morality. Morality is the way humans SHOULD act, not that they always do, but that they should. However, people might say that morality actually does change, that in different societies, you find different morals. But that's wrong. Of course you'll find small, surface-level differences, but nothing that would add up to a complete difference. For example, societies might dispute on to whom you should be unselfish to, just your family, fellow countrymen, or everybody, but no society admires a man who puts himself first. Likewise, there is no society that admires a soldier running from battle. And no man is proud for double-crossing those that have been kindest to him. You might as well try and make a society where 2+2=5. And if between each people, there WAS a completely different set of morals, then what ground could we stand on to condemn what the Nazi's did? C.S Lewis says this, "What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practiced? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair." I hope this is sufficient proof for objective morality, because I need to move on to the origin of objective morality.
Objective morality can come from 2 places, either it was an evolutionary adaption that the human race has found most beneficial to the survival of our species, or it is a law that has "been written on our hearts" by God. This is why the first belief doesn't make sense: Let's say that it's right, that we, over millions of years found that this set of behaviors were beneficial to us a race. But where do it follow that we should follow the rules? Those arguing people I talked about believed that they SHOULD follow this, not just that it is self-beneficial. Doesn't it follow then that anyone who finds pleasure from raping women, or torturing little babies is only acting unfashionable? I mean, if we are a species that has only been around for a relatively short amount of time in the 13.8 billion years the universe has existed, and we are just over-evolved bacteria, no different from an armadillo, bats, or head lice, what compels us to still follow this moral law? And even if we felt compelled due to our ancestors' dispositions being inherited, we still have no good reason to keep following it. Therefore, I believe God is the best explanation of our objective moral law that all of us feel and are compelled by.
With all this in mind, I believe God is the best explanation for reality. This may not have argued for Christianity specifically, I will do that in the next rounds, but seeing that Christianity is based around the existence of God, I thought it important to solidify that foundation.
Sources: Mere Christianity, C.S Lewis, pg. 5
Hello Con, and thank you for accepting the debate! As I did not specify whether to post an argument in the first round, you had perfectly fine justification for doing so. I'll begin by addressing your points.
Concerning The Cosmological Argument
Con stated 2 scientific theories concerning the "beginning" of the universe.
Con’s assessment of the idea that the universe had no beginning is quite true -- a majority of cosmologists agree with the Big Bang theory. Why do they agree? Aside from the logic that Entropy would have destroyed all energy relatively instantly given an infinite time period, there is more easily observable evidence that we have seen through Astronomy. In short, everything we can see outside of our solar system is rapidly moving away from us and everything else. This is mainly seen in the redshift (1) of objects moving away from the relative observation point (Earth). Logically, we can say that if the things in the universe are moving away from each other, then they must once have been closer together. There is also evidence of background radiation (2) in the universe, which has been cooling off since the beginnings of the universe (everything was extremely dense and hot as the Big Bang occurred). This also suggests the Big Bang theory is true. With these pieces of evidence to support our communal conclusion, I will move on to the Big Bang.
The Big Bang
Con said: "...the universe at a time, about 13.8 billion years ago began from an infinitesimally small point and from that one point all of space, time, matter and energy came into being."
Con said: "They [atheists] are forced, by definition, to say that the cosmos, all the space, time, matter and energy came by and from nothing."
One of the most common misconceptions about the Big Bang theory is that it describes the absence of the universe before the "beginning." The truth is, science has not yet proven if, where, and how the universe began or what/if there was "before the beginning." As a result, most people, like Con, turn to the most popular explanation: a creator. The problem here is that the "creator" is just that -- an explanation. It is not a theory, an idea, a hypothesis, or a fact. It is neither proven nor in the process of being proven. People only accept it because it is the most available alternative. Con said: "...the big bang that held all of space, matter and time, necessarily needed a 'big banger' that was the cause of it." It becomes clear even in this debate that one of Con’s main justifications of a creator's existence is that there is no other explanation. Creationists begin with the view that a creator exists, instead of using evidence to prove a creator's existence. Blind faith, put simply, is not enough to argue that the claims of Christianity are true.
Concerning the Moral Argument
For the purposes of this debate, I’ll accept Con’s premise that morality is objective.
Con said: “Objective morality can come from 2 places, either it was an evolutionary adaption that the human race has found most beneficial to the survival of our species, or it is a law that has ‘been written on our hearts’ by God.”
I would like to point out to the audience that Con’s use of the assumption that a creator exists is not a valid argument that one does.
Con said: “Let's say that it's right, that we, over millions of years found that this set of behaviors were beneficial to us a race.”
The fallacy here is simply incorrect information regarding the theory of evolution. Species evolve because of the survival of those with mutations, not because their mutation was beneficial to them. In many cases the mutation is beneficial, but that is not necessary for them to evolve (3). To illustrate this, I’ll write an example:
There is a species of frogs in a creek. They have no predator, and they eat small flying insects. Their population is kept in check by a limited supply of the insects. Now, focus in on a female frog, whose reproductive system is producing an egg to be fertilized later by a male. The RNA in her body -- the part of a cell that makes the proteins -- is manufacturing them at an alarming rate. RNA, like any other system of the biological being, is bound to make mistakes. These mistakes are called mutations in the context of evolution. When the egg is born into a tadpole and eventually a frog, this small mutation lives on in its DNA. If the frog survives and reproduces, that trait will be in the DNA of the new frog. Then that frog reproduces and carries the trait to the next generation. This process continues.
I hope it is now easy to see that adaptations can exist because of the survival of the mutation, and not because of the resulting benefit of the mutation.
Why is this important to the Moral Argument? Con’s entire rejection of evolution determining objective morality relies on the idea that morality is beneficial to the species. Since I have disproven that the evolution of morality must be beneficial, Con’s argument crumbles. For instance, Con said: “Those arguing people I talked about believed that they SHOULD follow this [morality], not just that it is self-beneficial.” We now know that if we did evolve morality, we might “believe that we should follow” it even if it is not “self-beneficial.”
As that was quite wordy, I’ll sum up my counterargument to the Moral Argument.
Con’s reasoning was:
Here is a summary of my counterargument:
Furthermore, evolutionary morality is even more likely than god-given morality as evolution is backed by definitive proof via the Scientific Method. Is god supported by evidence? So far, we have not seen a hint of it from Con.
Con’s Morality Argument is debunked.
God is the best explanation and the most rational explanation to the cosmos. The one's who refuse to believe that are being willfully ignorant.
Now to the moral argument. The theory of evolution is based around the belief that, "In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection." - See more at: http://www.darwins-theory-of-evolution.com...
So you're entirely wrong when you say, "The fallacy here is simply incorrect information regarding the theory of evolution. Species evolve because of the survival of those with mutations, not because their mutation was beneficial to them."
Adaptions survive only because the adaptation was beneficial, and it made one organism perform better in its environment than the others. Now your rebuttal has been dis-proven, and you still have to deal with where our objective morality comes from.
I do want to say this before I end, however; If you proved that objective morality could have come to us through purely natural means, without a moral-law giver, why then should I care? Why should anyone care about that objective morality that we all feel? Why don't we just do what pleases us? We have 70 +/- years here on a tiny speck in the practically infinite universe that in the everlasting expanse of time. What difference does it make in the big scheme of things? There is no difference and therefore, to deep thinkers, they realize they have no true bindings on their behavior, and they are justified in not following that moral law.
You have yet disprove my 2 points, to make, and justify your stance.
I'd like to start out by requesting that as we have now both had 2 argument rounds, Con will only use the last round to summarize existing information. I think this request is reasonable because if Con were to make new points, I would not be able to respond. That wouldn't really be a debate, would it? This is my first debate here, and lo and behold, I forgot to put that in the first round. I hope Con will be reasonable here.
Now, to what Con said at the end of the last round. Con said: "You have yet... to make, and justify your stance." To make this clear to the readers, as stated in the first round, my stance "consists of the lack of evidence, let alone proof of god or biblical creation." What I think Con is referring to is that I have thus far only responded to their points. If you look back at my stance, it becomes obvious that in order to maintain (or justify, as Con says) the "lack of evidence, let alone proof of god or biblical creation," I must debunk any claims at evidence by the opposition. This is exactly what I have done thus far, and as such, I urge readers to disregard Con's false statement.
Concerning the Cosmological Argument
Con claims: "My cosmological argument still stands." Con then restates what was said in round one, that "from nothing, nothing comes" and then insists on filling the gap with god. Like I said in round one, a lack of an explanation from science is not a valid argument for Christianity. Put another way, just because science hasn't fully explained the beginning of the universedoes not mean things must be blindly believed without proof. If this was the case, I could argue that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the all powerful ruler and creator of the universe with exactly as much evidence (none) as Con.
Con also talks about empirical data. Con claims that things in the universe could exist without being able to be proven by the Scientific Method. This may well be true. However, I could say, based on Con's logic, that I am a unicorn with tentacles for legs. For Con to continue to use the argument that things (including Christianity) can be believed without evidence, as he suggests in round 2, it must be believed that I am a unicorn with tentacles for legs. It may be said that this is ridiculous and unprovable, but isn't that exactly what is being said about god?
I'll sum up. No, science hasn't explained everything about the beginning of the universe. But is that reason to believe in an unproven all powerful magic man in the sky who hates homosexuals and shellfish? Con thinks it is. Is this a valid argument in a debate? No. Don't support Con's blind assumption of Christianity's supposed truth.
Concerning the Moral Argument
If Con had read my first rebuttal to the Moral Argument more thourougly, they would have seen that I said "adaptations can exist because of the survival of the mutation, and not because of the resulting benefit of the mutation." In round 2, Con seemed to think that I stated that mutations are never beneficial. Con's refutal of my statement was backed by a source (something for which I commend Con -- it's a first). However, I can present an equally viable source (1), which confirms my correctness by stating, "Any given mutation is merely a chance error in the genetic system, and as such, its likelihood of occurrence is not influenced by whether it will turn out to be detrimental, beneficial, or (most commonly) neutral." What it boils down to is: who is right? Which source is better? Both directly quote Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution; how can we tell which is telling the truth? I'll simplify this for the readers. If you assume both sources are equally viable concerning evolution (which I do as they both cite Darwin), focus on what was said by each of us:
Con said: "Adaptions survive only because the adaptation was beneficial, and it made one organism perform better in its environment than the others."
I said: "...adaptations can exist because of the survival of the mutation, and not because of the resulting benefit of the mutation."
Now look at what was said in Con's source: "In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection."
I'll put my source here for comparison: "Any given mutation is merely a chance error in the genetic system, and as such, its likelihood of occurrence is not influenced by whether it will turn out to be detrimental, beneficial, or (most commonly) neutral."
What Con doesn't realize is that both me, my source and, their source contradicts them. We all say more or less that mutations can -- can exist randomly and not in a beneficial way. Look back, read the quotations, and see for yourself Con's fallacy which they refuse to recognize.
Now that we can see that species can evolve without the mutation being beneficial, I suggest rereading my bullet lists which failed to format (I hope debate.org fixes this) in round 2. They quickly and clearly explain that evolutionary morality is possible and viable given Con's logic.
Con also chose to ignore the fact that they are claiming that morality originated from an all powerful, unproven being whereas I am conforming to evolution, a definitively proven fact of life. If Con responds to this with the "empirical data" argument, check up in my "Concerning the Cosmological Argument" section to remind you of my refutal of it.
All of my opponent's arguments balance precariously on the idea of god, as decreed by Con's favorite book, the Bible. Con consistently relies on the assumption that just because science hasn't already figured out everything about the universe, god exists. Con insists on pointing out everything that hasn't yet been studied, and filling the gap with god. As stated in the first round, blind faith is not enough to argue that the claims of Christianity are true. Will you, the reader, support Con by pretending that their blind, unproven claims have a place in an educated debate? Or will you decide to back the debater that used definitive evidence to construct clear refutals of Chritianity?
(1) http://link.springer.com...;(click the "download PDF" button to see the article)
Spaghetti Monster God- It's impossible for that thing to be God because it is material, and as I said before, the cause that brought all matter, space and time into existence must necessarily be immaterial, space-less, and timeless. Spaghetti monsters are material. But let's say that spaghetti had a mind, and it was immaterial, space-less and existed outside of time. In that case, that thing you call the spaghetti monster, is what I call God.
Your next paragraph is an odd one. Based on my logic, "Science is not the end all be all, but rather a tool to discover only certain aspects of this world..." science is not the ONLY tool we use to find truth, but is certainly a useful one. But using science and empirical data, we can find very easily that you are indeed not a unicorn with tentacles. And completely contradictory to what you just said, I never said, and never would say, that "things...can be believed without evidence."
Next, you say, "Science hasn't explained everything about the beginning of the universe." But you still, despite science leading to the most reasonable belief of a god, refuse to assume it. A rational thinker would at least believe the most rational explanation, until a more rational explanation arose. Not dis-believe a claim just because in the future we might not find that to be true. Then you have no support for your assertion of a, "magic man in the sky who hates homosexuals and shellfish." Nowhere in the Bible does it say that. He hates homosexuality. Shellfish, Peter says in Acts 10:15, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Speaking specifically about shellfish and pork and food that the Jews had been told were unclean. You made an assertion without any supporting evidence.
Moral argument: I understand very clearly that you are saying a mutation can exist without it being beneficial. What I am saying, by using Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, is that only the beneficial ones REMAIN. Detrimental and neutral ones may exist, but only the beneficial mutations will prevail and continue on.
Finally, your conclusion. None of my arguments, "balance precariously on the idea of god, as decreed by Con's favorite book, the Bible." None. Not once did I ever use the Bible as my evidence. The one verse I did use was to correct your atrocious mis-quotation of the book. Next, never do I rely on the assumption that,"...just because science hasn't already figured out everything about the universe, god exists." Rather, I look at modern astrology, cosmology, and philosophy to decide the most rational explanation of our morality and our universe, which I find to be God. Is this what you call, "blind faith" and "blind, unproven claims"? I hope that, like you said, the reader decides to back the debater that used definitive evidence to construct clear arguments. Because I saw no arguments for: 1) Evolution being the best explanation of morality. And 2) A naturalistic beginning to the universe.
Thanks for the debate. God bless.
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