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The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Christians should not try to logically prove God exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,158 times Debate No: 61169
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
Votes (1)




I take the position that God is too complex to be logically proven by humans.

First round acceptance


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


1) The Bible never argues for God's existence, but affirms it (Gen. 1:1). The Hebraic concept of "knowing" God is far different from our modern concept.

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.

In conclusion:

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.






Pro states that the Hebrew's had a different concept of knowing than we do. According to Pro's own sources this just isn't the case. Let's examine it. In the opening sentence of his source it says: The Hebrew word "know" (yada'), which is a common root in the Semitic languages, has a wide range of meanings depending upon the context in which the word is found. Like our word "know" in English, the Hebrew word can indicate mental knowledge, that is, that a person "understands" or "has knowledge" of something, as when we say "I know that 2 + 2 is 4"."

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.
Debate Round No. 2


While Con is correct in saying there are different concepts of knowing, when concerning the God of Israel, the context demonstrates it is relational

Isa. 43:10

"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.

Rom. 1:18-32

"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.


First, I would like to address an attitude I was picking up on in Pro's first post but I didn't comment on for brevity's sake. It seemed like there was this idea that some how the Hebrew view and notion of God was more valid than the Greek one. This is false. It's true that God introduces him self first substantially through the Jewish people by means of the Hebrew language; but that is not necessarily God's preferred method. God intentionally choose to use the Greek language and employ Greek pagan words and metaphors to speak to a much larger audience in the New Testament. One example would be the word Hades. It's used regularly in the Bible. It is the name of a pagan Greek god. He was brother to Zeus and Poseidon. He was god of the underworld or the dead. It was also the name given to his kingdom; the underworld. There were sections of this mythological place one of them was it's worst part called Tartarus. Peter in 2 Peter 2:4 borrows this word.

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. 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. 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

John Macarthur
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.

Henry Morris:

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.

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:

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."
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 (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).)
Debate Round No. 3


I concede, thanks Apokiliptik for having this debate.


Well! That was unexpected! LOL. I'd like to thank my counterpart for the debate.

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.
Debate Round No. 4


lol thanks


AND CUT! THAT'S A WRAP! PRINT IT! Thanks folks see you in the theaters!
Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Apokiliptik 3 years ago
BTW, there isn't even remotely a shortage of land or resources for people. People starve because of evil in government. Look at two of the great famines of the 20th century; the Holodomor and Mao's blunder. I'm not aware of any for other creatures that couldn't be solved pretty easily, Chinese medicine is a cause for the disruption of a number of species. Give up that bit of superstition or at least back off a bit and stop extinction. The reason there is so much ocean compared to land might be because they are our planets lungs and environmental control system.
Posted by Apokiliptik 3 years ago
Torgo for a person who claims to respect logic; you seem to have somewhat limited understanding of it. You shared a study that said that it showed prayer had failed to show positive results. You should know that "Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence." Further you've committed a classic error of induction. "Prayer didn't show results therefore prayer doesn't work." is the same as saying "There are no black swans." Even if you had never seen a black swan you could never safely say there are no black swans. Hume demonstrated this. (But was, humorously, guilty of the very same error with his argument against miracles.)

You also seem to misunderstand what an appeal to authority is.

A fallacy in which a rhetor seeks to persuade an audience not by giving evidence but by appealing to the respect people have for the famous.

I was responding to your giving a study as supposedly evidence against God but giving evidence for him. Mine was in essence the Kalam Cosmological argument. I was giving pieces of the evidence for it. In this case I was citing Cosmic Background Radiation as evidence for the Big Bang. The Big Bang is evidence for an absolute beginning of the Universe. I cited Arno Penzias as one, the man who was co-discoverer of CMB and two one who shares my opinion about the origin of the Universe. He states that our shared opinion is well supported by scientific data. He is an expert witness on this matter.

For one who proclaims love for logic and reason, I would think you would be on more intimate terms with your beloved
Posted by Torgo 3 years ago
Einstein also said "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former".

Please leave talk of black magic, quantum shifting, L. Ron Hubbard and quantum physicians (I assume you meant quantum physicists) at the door on your way in. You may pick them up when you leave and feel free to start a debate about Scientology elsewhere,
Posted by Torgo 3 years ago
For Vajrasattva-LeRoy,

How am I supposed to prove that "Christians should not try to logically prove God exists" without showing (by use of examples) that logic cannot be used for such an endeavour. And how can sentences such as this one from my last post "the existence of a god cannot be proved with the use of logic and is exclusively derived from a personal (emotive) experience" be considered off topic?

What on Earth has L. Ron Hubbard got to do with the Christianity, logic or the existence of God?

If you'd read all of my posts you would know that the point I was making about "mistakes" is that to make a mistake you must have been trying to achieve something different (intent) but because I don't believe in a god there is no intent and therefore no mistakes. It would be like saying evolution has a goal in mind, which of course is entirely untrue.

Biting my cheek is an accident! The resultant swelling is a problem because it increases the likelihood of repetition of the accident. I do not choose to do it because it hurts! It is no more my choice than if a plane were to hit my house, unless you expect to argue that I chose for the plane to hit my house. I will not be reading anything by LRH.

As you also don't understand black holes let me fill you in real quick. Neutral explained that what we can know about the universe ends at the event horizon, this is because the event horizon is like a one way filter. Information goes in but doesn't come out (though there is some debate about if the information lost to a black hole becomes imprinted on the event horizon and is therefore not lost from the universe). So to know what is happening inside you would have to pass through the event horizon then you could know but you'd be unable to communicate that to anyone outside because any radio transmission can only travel up to the speed of light and light cannot escape the gravitational pull of the black hole. Get it?

Continued in the above post...
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 3 years ago
I think LRH's story about the man with a broken arm
can be found in his basic 1950 book on Dianetics.
Don't believe everything you read/ hear about LRH.
He & others apparently believed at one time that his
successful results were due to "Black Magic" .
I don't.
He & many others were apparently never aware that his results
were apparently due to what I believe was his Quantum Shifting.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 3 years ago
For Torgo:
I sure wish you'd stop going off-topic.
This debate is supposed to be about whether Christians should
or shouldn't try to logically prove that God exists.
It's not about proving the existence or nonexistence of God, let alone the validity of
Evolution, Creationism, Genesis, etc.
You're apparently claiming that anything that you don't approve of are mistakes, accidents, things that don't fit in reality, etc. , which, of course, doesn't make sense.
There are no such things as "mistakes" , "accidents" , "things that don't fit in reality" , etc.
The idea that if Lunatics demand that "choking hazard" labels have to be plastered all over the place that proves that all kinds of things are dangerous risks doesn't make sense.
People have been around for a long time without having to be warned that
small toys are "hazards" , or whatever.
Some people even believe that human overpopulation is a major problem in the world, so why should we all be scared of little toys, or whatever?
The reason that you bite your cheek is because you choose to.
The reason that you tend to bite your swollen cheek is because you choose to do so.
You might want to study L. Ron Hubbard's teachings, like his story
about the guy who "accidently" broke his arm.

For Neutral:
Your claim that the known universe ceases at the Event Horizon
of a Black Hole doesn't make sense.
(If that was true, it would indicate that Black Holes, Event Horizons, don't exist. )
Quantum Physicians, etc. , have been trying to come up with a "Theory Of Everything"
for some time.
Try harder.

Albert Einstein stated that the universe is finite but unbounded.
Neither the universe nor life had a beginning, or will have an end.
Posted by Torgo 3 years ago
There are appeals to authority and there are appeals to authority aren't there!?

If we are to argue this way then I would feel compelled to bring in the point that the more scientific a persons approach is to life, the less religious their outlook is likely to be.

As always don't feel you must take my word for it please do you your own research.

Quoting the scientists who support your view is not likely to get you anywhere. And if by invoking the definition of logic you are somehow trying to imply that it does not go hand in hand with science then I'm not sure what you are trying to prove here other than science is unreliable. If you think for some reason that science is not both deductive and inductive reasoning then we will need a new definition for it.

My point remains with emphasised power that the existence of a god cannot be proved with the use of logic and is exclusively derived from a personal (emotive) experience "sensible argument and thought: sensible rational thought and argument rather than ideas that are influenced by emotion or whim"!

The burden of proof remains with the one making the claim and as yet there is no conclusive proof, not just for the Christian God but all the other current and pre existing gods. If there were we would all accept God's existence, until then we have only the word of those guided by "emotion or whim". Vague similarities between what we scientifically think happened from the point of the beginning of the universe and what someone loosely interprets from the Biblical account does not constitute evidence.
Posted by Apokiliptik 3 years ago
"The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole, in that the universe appears to have order and purpose." ARNO PENZIAS (Nobel, physics, 1978)
Well Torgo there are experts and then there are experts aren't there.
Posted by Apokiliptik 3 years ago
Definition of logic (n)
Bing Dictionary

[ l"jjik ]

theory of reasoning: the branch of philosophy that deals with the theory of deductive and inductive arguments and aims to distinguish good from bad reasoning
system or instance of reasoning: any system of, or an instance of, reasoning and inference
sensible argument and thought: sensible rational thought and argument rather than ideas that are influenced by emotion or whim
Posted by Torgo 3 years ago
That's a pointless demand, I do not believe in the existence of a god. And the reason I don't is because if the universe is designed it is a criminally inefficient waste of space. The small amount of beings that populate it are not well designed to live in it, and I keep biting my cheek (and the other points mention thus far).

All of these issues are far more readily explain by processes like evolution where we're left with odd genetic traits that are sometimes unhelpful. Yes, there are gaps in our scientific knowledge of the universe (How did it start? How did life begin?) but I'm not content with sitting back saying 'God did it'. As with so many thing assumed by religions these thing will recede as scientific knowledge advances. I'm unable to think of a single issue that was claimed by science to be true but in the light of new information from God had to be false but time and time again things asserted by believers to be true are overcome by new scientific evidence.

But as I have strayed somewhat from the focus of the debate to whether God exists, rather than if attempts should be made to logically prove his existence I'll return to it with the point that logic and science go hand in hand and science will attempt to measure things to understand them but how does one measure God? The only example I can think of when an attempt has been made to do just that would be this :

(I'm sorry it isn't the peer reviewed paper but I'm short on time and can't look for it right now but I've no doubt you'll look into it yourself)

It would be wrong to say that it proves anything definitively but it does suggest to me that science and logic would not be the tools to use in the search for a god.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.