Christianity is true
Debate Rounds (5)
The Bible is true, though not always literally so.
Con will have to argue that this is not factually correct. No name-calling or saying how awful it is or attacking the moral code pertaining to the claims mentioned above, you have to argue that it's not TRUE.
I accept the challenge.
As the burden of proof is on Pro, I will wait for his arguments.
In short, "evidence" is anything which is more LIKELY to be true if a hypothesis is true than if it is false.
Suppose we don't know the nature of reality to perfection. We're not sure if we live in a world where there is a God (world 1) or where there isn't one (world 2).
Every observation which is more likely to happen in world 1 than in world 2 is evidence, by definition. The probability that world 1 is the one in which we live must necessarily increase.
Feel free to offer as counter-evidence any observations which are more likely to exist in world 2 than in world 1.
But I do have the burden of proof, don't I?
Allow me to present as evidence all the standard "proofs" of Christianity. The Bible, in its beauty and utility. The mass of believers, of martyrs, of converts, lives marked by a special influence.
The unusual healings scattered among the more usual ones. The answered prayers leading people to lost items, lost people, those in need of salvation, encouragement, healings of the heart, body and spirit.
Now it is often protested that these things could happen even if there is no God. This is true, though it reveals an ignorance of the laws of probability.
We must learn to distinguish between the POSSIBLE and the PROBABLE.
There are practically no symptoms of any disease which are not also symptoms of other diseases. But the symptoms come in sets, and the more symptoms you have belonging to a single disease's set, the more LIKELY it is that they are the result of that disease.
You might protest that it's possible that the myriad symptoms are only the result of a perfect combination of other diseases which collectively produce the observed symptoms.
And since you can often have a disease without displaying every symptom, you can always claim that you have the set of diseases necessary to make it LOOK like you have the one disease, and also LACK all the other symptoms the set of diseases might produce.
This is possible, but not probable.
If hypothesis 1 is that you have disease 1, and hypothesis 2 is that you have diseases 2-8 that make it look like you have disease 1, hypothesis 1 is inherently more likely to be the TRUE hypothesis.
And so, here we live, in a world which LOOKS marked by the work of a supernatural influence. If it is, then we might expect people in special positions of knowledge to say so.
And so it is, that people who claim to have contact with supernatural influence report on its character, and the reports are the same.
God is our father. He loves us. His influence is felt in the presence of His work, whether it be the truths of the Bible or the blessings of living lives of goodness.
Call it coincidence, and I'll not contradict your claim as a possibility. But it is not a probability. Our world bears all the symptoms of the influence of God.
That simple hypothesis > more complex hypotheses
" "evidence" is anything which is more LIKELY to be true if a hypothesis is true than if it is false."
Actually, that's circumstantial evidence, the less strong kind of evidence. To prove his point, Pro must give direct evidence of it. If not, he just falls in the fallacy of the unique cause. He says: someone had prayed and then he found something he had lost, then praying caused the founding. That isn't a valid argument. There are many other possible causes .
Nothing can be omnipotent, and god is omnipotent. Then god can't exists.
Let me explain the paradox. God can create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it? If he can, then he is not omnipotent, because ha can't lift that rock. If he can't, then he is not omnipotent, because he can't create that rock.
Omnipotence, Omnibenevolence and reality
If god is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, he must do whatever in order to make life better, to eliminate suffer, etc. However, as we can observe, people suffer a lot. There are people starving, people being raped, people being tortured. Where is god then? Wouldn't he stop all this with his "all loving hands".
In a world where the Christian god existed, suffering wouldn't exist. But suffering exists, so god doesn't.
Omnipresence and omniscience incompatibility
A omnipresent god can't know nothing. In order to know, there must be an object external to the knowing subject(Kant). Even to know yourself you need something external to you. Like when you want to know your face, you need a mirror.
But as god is omnipresent, there is no object external to him. Then, he cannot know anything.
I gave several pieces of direct evidence against Christianity. On the other hand, Pro gave some circumstantial evidence. On balance, god does not exists, so Christianity is not true.
I mean, goodness, what did you think it meant when you said the evidence was "circumstantial?"
Are you saying that it does NOT adjust the probability of the hypothesis?
Or that it actually makes the hypothesis LESS likely?
These may help.
There's this classic breast cancer example.
Say the odds of a woman having breast cancer are 1/1000
So if a thousand women are getting mammograms, odds are (on average) one of them will have breast cancer.
Mammograms don't ALWAYS detect the woman with breast cancer; they only succeed say, 90% of the time.
And they sometimes read positive for a woman WITHOUT breast cancer, they give false positives. Say, 5% of the time.
So suppose a woman gets a mammogram, and it says that she has breast cancer. What is the probability that she does?
Well, first calculate how many "yes" answers mammograms give for women who DO have breast cancer, and then calculate how many "yes" answers they give for women who DON'T have breast cancer.
1/1000 women have breast cancer, and it's detected 90% of the time. So that's .9 times, or say, about 1.
999/1000 women don't have breast cancer, each with a 5% of getting a false positive. So that's what, 49.95? Or say, 50, more or less.
So about 1 TRUE positive, and 50 FALSE positives.
Our of these 51 positives, only one has breast cancer. So the odds of REALLY having breast cancer if you get a positive from a mammogram (with these numbers) is 1/51, or a bit less than 2%
The initial odds were 1/1000.
After the observation of a positive mammogram, the odds are adjusted up to:
Each observation which is MORE likely to happen if she has breast cancer than not adjusts those odds up.
This is basic probability theory. Each observation in our world which fits the God hypothesis better than the Not God hypothesis adjusts the probability that the God hypothesis is right.
It's not that any individual piece of evidence is GUARANTEED to be good evidence, there's always the chance that there are some false positives mixed in with the true positives, that some of the evidence for God IS coincidence.
But the odds of them ALL being false positives(coincidences) are worse than the odds of them NOT all being so.
Thus it is, that collectively, they adjust the probability of the God hypothesis up and up and up, and in the end, it's the best and simplest explanation for observed data.
Omnipotence - God can create a rock of any size. God can lift a rock of any size. This is what I mean by omnipotence.
Theodicy - Nothing is pure evil. Every bad thing has at least a little good. God's fixed things so that the bad will end forever, but the good that came of it will last forever. Net gain.
Kant - How do you know Kant is right?
I want to emphasise this quote from Pro:
"How do you know Kant is right?"
I admit I can't be 100% sure about the correctness of Kant's statements. However, this same argument applies to Baye. How do we know Baye is right? So, if you apply Pro's line of reasoning, his whole argument is invalid.
"I mean, goodness, what did you think it meant when you said the evidence was "circumstantial?""
Circumstantial evidence supports a hypothesis, but can be explained by other means. I'm not saying circumstantial evidence is futile. What I'm saying is that direct evidence is more significant. I gave some direct evidence while Pro gave circumstantial evidence. Then, my argument is stronger.
The problem with Pro's argument is that he uses Bayesian statistics in a rigged way. He proposes a false dichotomy. He say we could have two worlds: one where the Christian god exists, and one when it doesn't. But he forgets about the other possible gods. That's why his evidence is circumstantial. The evidence Pro proposed supports Christianity, but also Islam, Hinduism, Umbanda, Scientology, and many others.
Also, that "evidence" can be scientifically explained in most cases.
"Omnipotence - God can create a rock of any size. God can lift a rock of any size. This is what I mean by omnipotence."
Pro didn't refute my argument. If god can create a rock of any size, then he can create a rock he can't lift. But then, he wouldn't be able of lifting that rock, so he would be omnipotent. Omnipotent is impossible.
"Theodicy - Nothing is pure evil. Every bad thing has at least a little good. God's fixed things so that the bad will end forever, but the good that came of it will last forever. Net gain."
Well, if you find anything good in raping kids or mass killings, I will believe you. Until then, that's none sense.
Let's introduce a new argument:
The The argument goes like this:
You said that my evidence can be explained by other hypotheses, while yours cannot.
Your evidence can only be explained by one hypothesis.
Well, what WAS this amazing evidence again? In my naivete, I'm inclined to say that all evidence is merely probabilistic. There can always be SOME other explanation, even if it's not a very probable one. Go-to catch-all hypotheses for that kind of thing include Plato's Cave-esque matrix simulation ideas, or blind spots in our reasoning and so on.
Aaaand...You still don't seem to understand how Baye's Theorem works...standard probability theory.
In short, any observation which fits hypothesis 1 better than its null hypothesis increases the probability that hypothesis 1 is the right answer. A positive mammogram increases the probability that the recipient has breast cancer, even though there are "other explanations" possible.
The existence of other explanations does not detract from how the probability is adjusted.
Just to be clear. Are you claiming that this piece of probability theory is wrong? Or perhaps that I misunderstand it?
Else, I leave it to the audience to judge its merit.
Christian God hypothesis vs Not Christian God hypothesis is a perfect dichotomy. Either a or ~a, yah? This is the standard structure of the hypothesis and null hypothesis dichotomy employed in science.
The hindu god hypotheses are encapsulated in the Not Christian God hypothesis.
And pray tell, just what about the Bible is equally good evidence for Buddhism as it is for Christianity? Care to tell me about all the Buddhist martyrs?
Do the Buddhist's missionaries regularly find people who need them by improbable "coincidences?"
Did you look at the evidence I cited before claiming it worked as well for any God as for the Christian one?
Omnipotence - We'res using omnipotence in a different way. C.S. Lewis, myself, and other Christians have stated that this is not what is meant by omnipotence. A succinct definition would be that God can create a rock of any dimension. He can also move such a rock.
This is not omnipotence as you mean it. It IS omnipotence as we mean when we said that God is omnipotent. So you're not refuting our statement about the nature of God, you're reinterpreting it first.
Evil - Does not the worst suffering increase compassion, empathy?
Schellenberg - Premises 2, 3, and 4 all contain hidden assumptions, unproven.
2 - How do you know (even probabilistically ;) ) that's how a perfectly loving God works?
3 - How do you know that's how an open-to-relationships God would work?
4 - same idea.
You can understand why God might not reveal himself to someone as a baby, but wait until they're a few years old, no? Well, just extend that. God may have similar reasons to just be waiting on some people's maturity
"Well, what WAS this amazing evidence again? I'm inclined to say that all evidence is merely probabilistic. There can always be SOME other explanation, even if it's not a very probable one."
That's not true, there is evidence which is conclusive. I get the skeptical thing. Anyway, if the other hypothesis are fairly probable to generates a reasonable doubt, that's circumstantial. If the other hypothesis are quite improbable, so that they can be discarded, then the evidence is conclusive.
Let's examine Pro's evidence.
"The Bible" How can an allegorical book be a proof? I mean, Pro conceded "The Bible is true, though not always literally so", thus we can trust the bible as truth if some of it's passages aren't literal. The bible is probable to exist in a world where god exists, but also in a world where god doesn't. Circumstantial evidence.
"The mass of believers, of martyrs". People can believe in things which are wrong. Probable in a world with a god, but also in a world where there is not.
Let's examine my evidence.
"Nothing can be omnipotent". There's possibility of an omnipotent being existing. Conclusive evidence.
"Omnipresence and omniscience incompatibility" & "Omnipotence, Omnibenevolence and reality"
Some contradictions in the definition of god. No probabilities. Conclusive evidence.
"Aaaand...You still don't seem to understand how Baye's Theorem works...Standard probability theory"
Well, is not standard but axiomatic probability, I've studied calculus man. Again, saying there is a small possibility of god existing doesn't prove god exists. For instance, imagine you throw a dice but you don't see how it landed. It's probable that it may have landed on the 4. But does that prove the dice actually landed 4? The only way to truly know is with empirical proofs, not with probabilities. The only way to know how the dice landed is seeing it.
"And pray tell, just what about the Bible is equally good evidence for Buddhism as it is for Christianity? Care to tell me about all the Buddhist martyrs?
Do the Buddhist's missionaries regularly find people who need them by improbable "coincidences?""
If you make a real research you will find Buddhism is not a religion but a philosophy, and that they don't believe in a god.
The problem with Pro's evidence is not only it's circumstantially. Pro's evidence does not directly support Christianity, but Deism. The same claims of miracles and believers and martyrs can apply to the other religions.
"We'res using omnipotence in a different way(...)this is not what is meant by omnipotence."
That's totally ad hoc. Look at the word: omnipotent = all capable. This is the same as if I argument that Christianity is false because the actual definition of Christianity is "something false".
"Does not the worst suffering increase compassion, empathy?"
So Pro is ok with child raping and mass murder, and also his god. Then can someone be all loving and be ok with raping kids.
And what about the Inherency? Pro didn't refute that.
2. The Bible CAN exist in either world, but the probability is HIGHER in the God world. So the probability is adjusted.
3. Not all believers are the same. Do you think that the Romans would have said "I believe in Jupiter and will die before I deny it?" That's the difference. The psychology of Christian believers MIGHT happen without God, but is more likely to happen if there is a God. So, the probability is adjusted.
4. Words are just used to communicate ideas. You can't tell people what idea they're trying to communicate by looking at the etymology of the word they use to merely REFER to the idea. I have told you what I, and many Christians mean by omnipotent. I suspect that you've only argued against the WORD I used instead of against the IDEA I've referred to because the actual IDEA has nothing wrong with it.
5. You never offered evidence of ANY kind for Kant's statement. I'll point out that the inability of a face to observe itself is a feature of the anatomy of the human face, not some deep philosophical truth. With the ability to observe from any point, you can observe any point, including the ones you're observing from (by using OTHER points), no problem.
6. God is in pursuit of our highest good. He will not cause evil, but if it is performed, his strategy is not to force people to act differently, interfering with their ability to learn from their own experience; his strategy is rather to set things up so that all the pain and evil can be wiped away like it never happened, while any growth that occurred within the midst of that suffering is to be kept forever, be benefited from, contribute to achieving the highest possible good.
That doesn't mean the evil is okay. Just like your body might fight an illness, but keep the immunity that comes from passing through it, God removes the evil from our lives while keeping the growth and strength that came from passing through it.
7. There are no proofs in the sense of achieving 100% certainties, for anything, no matter how certain it naively FEELS. That doesn't mean there aren't 99.9999999% probabilities that we can ACT like are certain. God isn't certain, but by the adjustments of a million little pieces of evidence, His existence is extremely PROBABLE, and a superior hypothesis than the alternative.
8. The inherency bit was covered by the argument about why there are non-resistant people ignorant of the reality of God. There are conceivable reasons why He might not have YET revealed Himself to someone, and so it follows that the fact that not everyone knows God is not proof that He doesn't exist.
If you don't mind answering, do I seem to really believe in God, or do I seem to be faking it?
Ideological Turing Test
1- Contradictions on the definition are stronger than circumstantial evidence.
2- No proof of that. How about the other sacred texts?
3- The psychology of Christians is not too different from the other religions. Moreover, believers of other religions, like Islam, are even more fanatic. Christians don't kill themselves in the name of god, Muslims do.
4- If you don't define a term prior the debate, I must use it's common sense definition.
5- "With the ability to observe from any point, you can observe any point, including the ones you're observing from (by using OTHER points" The problem is you need those other points. Those other points are an external object to the observer point Then, you need an external object to reason.
6- So basically, god is all loving, but he is ok with raping kids. He pursuits our highest good, but he lets raping and mass murdering happen.
7- God existence is not extremely probable, just probable. As the burden of proof is on Pro, if he can only say there's the possibility of god existing, the resolution is negated.
8- "The inherency bit was covered by the argument about why there are non-resistant people ignorant of the reality of God. " That refutes the hiddenness argument. Read my argument carefully please. Anyway, let me review the inherency argument:
"If Christianity is so good. If it has the ultimate truth. If its god is all mighty, all loving and all knowing. If Christianity is the absolute truth. Why doesn't everybody become Christian? If Christianity is inherent, we would expect the majority to believe in it. But Christians are at about 30%. How is it that so many people is blind to see the self evident nature of Christianity? Because Christianity isn't self evident. Christianity isn't true."
The evidence supporting god is not conclusive. Besides that, the evidence presented does not prove Christianity, but any deist religion. On the other hand, I showed several contradictions within the definition of the Christian god. To conclude, the most strong and conclusive evidence is on Con's side, thus the resolution is negated.
Thanks for the debate. Good luck!
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