Christians should not try to logically prove God exists
Debate Rounds (5)
First round acceptance
Quoting from William Barrett "irrational man", he notes the following:
"The distinction"arises from the difference between doing and knowing. The Hebrew is concerned with practice, the Greek with knowledge. Right conduct is the ultimate concern of the Hebrew, right thinking that of the Greek. Duty and strictness of conscience are the paramount things in life for the Hebrew; for the Greek, the spontaneous and luminous play of the intelligence. The Hebrew thus extols the moral virtues as the substance and meaning of life; the Greek subordinates them to the intellectual virtues"the contrast is between practice and theory, between the moral man and the theoretical or intellectual man." (1)
The Hebraic concept of knowing God is focused on a relationship, not on his existence (2).
We often hear terms such as "blind faith" implying that you simply believe in a God whom you don't know exists, but that's not what the verb means in the ancient Hebrew.
Faith (Aman) means "to be secure" (3).
Greek philosophy has greatly influenced how western civilization thinks, hence that is why we are far removed from how the ancients saw the world. The Hebrews didn't care about such concepts of "existentialism" because it was irrelevant, God still acts upon the world whether we believe it or not. Those who reject God are doing so out of rebellion of his ways.
With that being said, i move on to explaining why the arguments for God simply cannot prove his existence
1) First cause argument - The first cause argument states that everything had to have an origin and that origin is God (see link below for the rest of the arguments).
No where in the argument does it actually prove that God is the first cause as it could also be unknown. Same goes for the argument from design.
2) Moral argument - this argument attempts to tell us that God exists based on the existence of morals, however morality is entirely subjective. Romans 2 makes a distinction between the Torah given to the Jews and the inner conscience of the gentiles. While yes there is a universal code of right and wrong, there is a difference between the two mentioned in Scripture.
Secondly, it's critics can argue that morality is simply a societal construct based on evolutionary factors making man to decide what is right and wrong.
3) Ontological argument - This argument already assumes that God is perfect and therefore exists. In reality, we don't know what "perfection" would consist of.
God should not be treated as an object, but rather as a being who desires a relationship with mankind. Just as we assume the existence of other individuals without evidence, we should also assume the existence of God and discover who God is on a personal level.
And we also have a relational use of the word "Know" as well. "Hey Sal you "Know" this guy? Yeah that's my buddy Jim!" Hebrew and English are both contextual languages. Interpretation of a word depends on context.
Pro's quote from William Barett is simply inadmissible. First off, he's not an expert in this field and so has nothing to say about it. Secondly Mr. Barett contradicts himself in his own statement. Our would be expert starts out saying ""The distinction"arises from the difference between doing and knowing. The Hebrew is concerned with practice, the Greek with knowledge." and then says " Duty and strictness of conscience are the paramount things in life for the Hebrew" but what is Duty and strictness of conscience but thoughts and attitudes. And again "The Hebrew thus extols the moral virtues as the substance and meaning of life" What are virtues but thoughts and heartfelt beliefs?. Barett has failed to understand and capture the Hebrew soul as has my counterpart.
The Hebrew people do not distinguish between thinking and doing. To believe and to act are one in the Jewish mind. This is why James says "I will show you my faith by my works." Right belief is most certainly important to the Hebrew mind. If you believe it it will result in right action.
The reason we should argue using all the means at our disposal for the existence of God. Is because it's necessary. We deal with people who think that He doesn't exist. Still others doubt His existence because of arguments made by others. The Hebrew's may not have dedicated allot of time to the subject but then again their entire culture simply assumed the existence of God. It was unnecessary to have lengthy discourses on the existence of God in culture that took the existence of God as a given.
The Bible it self instructs us to make arguments in favor of what we believe. It also points out that what we see when we rationally observe the Universe and nature are evidence of God's existence. Logical arguments for God's existence are nothing more stating these observations in words.
1 Peter 3:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB) "15 but [a]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [b]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [c]reverence;"
This is the instruction we as Christians are given by God. We are called to be able to explain why we believe in God. The Scriptures teach that the evidence of His existence in reality is the basis of judgement against unbelief.
Romans 1:20 New American Standard Bible "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
It is not even within the sweep of this debate to deal with arguments for or against the existence of God. This debate is about whether a Christian should attempt such a thing not whether it can be done or not. I will deal with one of Pro's criticisms though.
Pro misstates the Kalam argument. The argument is not that everything has to have an origin. It is this. Everything that Has a beginning, has an antecedent cause. The Universe has a beginning therefore it had an antecedent cause. Pros argument that we cannot be certain about the cause therefore we cannot use this argument is fallacious reasoning. We seek truth not certainty. I can't be certain the earth will not implode tomorrow but I won't let it disturb my plans I can assure you. We can understand with great assurance who the first cause is. The Universe is time,space, and material existence. Outside that would be eternal, unlimited by space, and the source of all material existence which would entail all power and all knowledge. That sounds allot like the God of the Bible to me.
I won't attempt to defend the Moral argument or Ontological argument. For those who are interested William Lane Craig Is big on the argument from Morality and Alvin Platinga is a fan of the Ontological argument.
"10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know [yada] and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
You make a good case on the Hebrew mind, so i will surrender that one.
However for the verses of the New Testament, i don't believe they are a good case to argue the existence of God. 1 Peter 3 is speaking of testifying of Christ (not God) in the face of persecution.
1 Peter 3:8-22
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God"s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits" 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also"not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God"s right hand"with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him."
Romans 1 is starting with the assumption that God exists however it is in the context of dealing with idolatry, not those who doubt God's existence on the lack of evidence.
"18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God"s invisible qualities"his eternal power and divine nature"have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator"who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God"s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
"That sounds allot like the God of the Bible to me"
Why not Allah? Why not the Supreme being? Buddha? If you can logically explain how the God of the Bible is the only solution in the Kalam argument, i will concede.
I'm a little uncertain as to the point Pro is trying to make with the extensive quotation of the passage mentioned. The passage still says what it says and it's meaning doesn't change any from looking at the context that I can tell. First I'll provide the Greek meaning of the word defense or reason. It's Apologia. It means: 1) verbal defense, speech in defense 2) a reasoned statement or argument. https://net.bible.org... From research I've learned that it's a Greco-Roman legal term. It basically means to make your case from the defense side of the court room. http://www.etymonline.com... This word has the feel more of building a reasoned case or argument. It then adds "With gentleness and respect." If the passage was merely talking about someone talking about how they came to Christ, I don't see how this would be necessary.
I add the commentaries of two well known evangelicals so that the reader doesn't think I'm completely off my nut here.
1 Peter 3:15
What is that? Very simply that's the Christian faith. The hope that is in you is the Christian faith. It's just another way to identify the Christian faith. In other words, you are to be able to give a rational explanation and defense of why you are a Christian. http://www.gty.org...
3:15 answer. "Answer" is the Greek apologia, from which we get our word "apologetics" meaning the careful, logical defense of the Christian faith against the attacks of its adversaries and showing its validity as the true saving gospel of God, our Creator and Savior. In effect, Peter is admonishing believers to be always prepared to give an apologetic for the faith, especially when confronted by those who deny it and would destroy it if they could. This surely means that there is an effective apologetic that can be given, and it is each Christian"s responsibility to study (II Timothy 2:15) and be ready to give it when needed. In contrast, the unbeliever is "without excuse" (Romans 1:20), "without an apologetic." His faith is strictly based on credulity and wishful thinking, not historical and scientific evidence like that for the Christian faith. On the "defense" (same word) of the gospel, see on Philippians 1:7,17. http://www.icr.org...
Pro takes issue with my use of Romans 1 saying that the passage is speaking of idolaters and not Atheists. But there is no difference in God's eyes. The idolater worships stone and wood and the atheist worships himself. All three will fail him. And
Pro's criticism doesn't seem to make any difference to my point. The original passage:
New American Standard Bible "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
The point in the passage remains the same. People couldn't get off the hook just because they didn't have a copy of the OT or weren't living in Israel. The basics about God can be understood by observation and reason. This is the essence of things like the Kalam cosmological argument.
Finally the Qur'an claims that Allah IS the god of the Bible. Buddha isn't called god and isn't thought of as god. He didn't call himself god. Hindus don't believe in a god like we do, they are pantheists. They believe everything is a manifestation of god. The God of the Kalam is a transcendent creator over a temporal universe. The universe of the Hindu is a creation of Brahma and is eternally being reborn as is Brahma
http://hinduism.about.com.... (word of warning, they use the word "Trinity" to refer to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and it is inappropriate to do so)
The Genesis account is unique to the ancient near east.
(So, Genesis 1 and "Enuma elish," which was composed primarily to exalt Marduk in the pantheon of Babylon,11 have no direct relation to each other. Not only is the creation by divine fiat in Genesis unique in the ancient Near East, the creation of light as the first creating act appears only in Genesis (Lambert 1980: 71; 1965). Thus the creation in the Genesis story is quite different from the idea of "order out of chaos," though the latter is also often called "creation" (McCarthy 1967).) http://www.biblearchaeology.org...
I wanted to make a comment before I wrap up. I pointed out that the Gospel writers "Borrowed" pagan terms. I do not mean that the Apostles made up Christianity out of Pagan religions. I do mean, that God speaks to human beings in ways they are capable of understanding. This means using imagery and words that might be pagan in origin in order to make a point. Even Hebrew does this in a limited way. The Hebrew word for Sea is yam. This is also the name of the Canaanite god of the sea. Their language had a shared root. Human beings are foolish and fallen. God stoops to speak with us and uses our fallen and corrupt tools to speak with us because that's what we have.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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