The Instigator
lazarus_long
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
A-ThiestSocialist
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

"Does God Exist," Redux - A-ThiestSocialist has failed to prove that God exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,057 times Debate No: 1134
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (24)

 

lazarus_long

Pro

In the recent debate, "Does God Exist?", A-ThiestSocialist proposed to "prove" that God exists, through several supposedly logical arguments. He "won" that debate, by virtue of his opponent forfeiting all rounds - which was in my opinion unfortunate, as this meant that the arguments proposed were never really analyzed. I believe these arguments are all fatally flawed, and that in fact A-ThiestSocialist (hmmm...I need to ask about that name) failed to prove his point.

Note that I am initially challenging A-ThiestSocialist to debate this, so that he has an opportunity to defend his own arguments. If he should choose not to do this, I will then open the challenge to anyone.

To review the arguments as originally presented, we first need to put these in the context of just what A-ThiestSocialist was arguing FOR:

"1st Observation: I am arguing for theism, that is to say a rational God does exist. But further I am arguing for an only for the Christian God, as revealed by the holy scriptures."

This should be carefully noted; it is now necessary for him to show how his arguments apply to the Christian version of God exclusively, and would exclude others. By the way, I'm going to skip a few points here which do not appear to be relevant to the question at hand - if you wish to see the entire original argument, it is, of course, still available for review.

I agree that all need to be very careful to judge all arguments presented here, both pro and con, on their merit alone, and not with regard to whether or not they agree with anyone's existing beliefs.

The arguments themselves were as follows:

"I. The argument from abstract absolutes.

1. Abstract absolutes exist.
2. Abstract absolutes would still exist if man kind were to disappear.
3. Abstract absolutes existed before man.
4. Abstract absolutes can not have been created by man.
5. Something besides man must have created abstract absoultes.
6. The atheist world view of matter in motion cannot account for these absolutes.
7. The only tangible cause of this is God.

Therefore, God exists."

I should note here that by "abstract absolutes," A-ThiestSocialist seems to mean such things as the laws of physics. But regardless of the nature of the supposed "absolutes," the argument has a number of flaws, including several which are both major errors and fatal to the argument itself.

Obviously, #1 is taken as a given; #2 and 3 are actually also assumptions, although clearly accepted ones, though #2 is irrelevant to the argument itself. #4 follows from #3, to be sure, but it's #5 where the serious problems first crop up. Line #5 - "something besides man must have created abstract absolutes" - is true only if we make the assumption that such things required a creator in the first place. There is an implicit argument here that "everything requires a creator." We'll get back to that in a moment. Line #6 introduces a phrase not previously defined - the "atheist world view of matter in motion" and makes a claim about that "world view" which is impossible to logically evaluate; it certainly has not been shown at this point that this world view, or any other, CANNOT account for such absolutes.
The final line, #6, is essentially an "argument from ignorance" - it equates to "I don't know how else to account for these things, so it must have been God!" - clearly, this does not logically follow.

But let's get back to that middle part, which is actually the most serious flaw in this and in many, many similar arguments which purport to "prove" God. In simplest terms, the argument winds up being:

1. Everything requires a creator.
2. God is the only known ultimate creator.
3. Therefore, God exists.

The problem here should be obvious; the assertion that "everything requires a creator" is made first, and immediately following that an UN-created entity ("God") is introduced to explain existence. But what created God, if "everything requires a creator?" And if God did NOT require a creator, then how do we justify the first assertion? You can't have it both ways; either everything requires a creator, or it doesn't, and the moment you allow for the possibility for ANYTHING to exist withou being "created," you should stop with the first "absolute" thing you encounter rather than introducing the now-unnecessary additional entity. In fact, it is far more reasonable to assume that the "absolutes" in question (e.g., the "laws of physics" existed without a "creator" than to assume that God does, for reasons which should be obvious (but which we can get into later if need be).

The second argument was:

"II. The transcendental argument for the existence of God.

1. To prove or disprove God's existence requires logic.
2. Logic is perfect and absolute.
3. Logic is not conventional.
4. Logic presupposes God.
5. Arguing God's existence proves God's existence.

Therefore, God exists."

It was originally noted that this argument is "similar to" the first, although it is actually far, far worse off from the standpoint of logic. Nearly every line is an unwarranted assumption or undefined assertion - exactly what is meant by "logic is perfect and absolute" or "logic is not conventional," and how to these assertions logically relate to one another. Line 4 is clearly a non-sequitur - it has certainly not been shown that "logic presupposes God" at this point, and it is in fact fairly simple to demonstrate that this is, in fact, not the case. In fact, a very simple variant of this argument could be used to prove that God does NOT exist, and that in itself should at the very least raise strong suspicions that the entire structure of the argument is fatally flawed. (Hint: Line one could easily be interpreted as requiring that logic exist in the first place BEFORE God could exist...) It may be best to leave this one to die in peace, unless someone wants to try to prop it back up for another go. Let's move on to the third argument:

"III. The argument from moral foundation.
An atheist has no moral backing to prove something is right or wrong. In a world that is matter in motion, a high five is as wrong as theft."

Hold it right there - this equates to the claim that an atheist cannot have a moral code; numerous counter-examples exist (there have very clearly been atheists who led lives which would have to be considered "moral" by practically any standard), and there is certainly no grounds for asserting that an atheist must believe that any two acts (a "high five" and a theft) must be equally "wrong." So we're off on shaky ground already. But, moving on, we see an argument as full of holes as the others:

"1. Morals exist.
2. Morals are not conventional.
3. Absolute morals exist.
4. The existence of absolute morals does not comply with the atheist world view of matter in motion.
5. Only the theistic Christian God world view accounts for absolute morals.

Therefore God exists."

Again, several undefined and unsupportd assertions are made, followed by (as in the first case) an argument from ignorance. We are given no reason to believe that morals are, in fact, "absolute," that whatever their nature they are in conflict with the atheistic position, or that "God" is the ONLY possible explanation for their existing. We have certainly been given no reason to believe that the Christian model of God is the only one which could account for the existence of morals (it is interesting to note that practically all religions have very similar moral codes, so there does not appear to be anything uniquely assignable to Christianity here). The "argument" is really nothing of the sort, and is mere assertion.

As all three arguments have been shown to be fatally flawed, I believe at this point it has been demonstrated that A-ThiestSocialst has NOT proven the existence of God, and certainly has made no argument which uniquely supports the Christan God alone.
A-ThiestSocialist

Con

Thank you for the challenge, hopefully we can have some fun with this. As for the name, notice the misspelling of "thiest" and the - between a and thiest.

I'm going to refute my opponents points, while strengthening my own case as my outline for this argument, since my constructive has already been posted.

Firstly, my reference to my beliefs dealing with the Bible and the Christian world view simply comply with my arguments. Not all of my arguments comply with other world views, so to argue against my world view one would have to go against the Christian world view. The debate itself isn't excluded to the Christian God as proving, however, I can not and will not prove the existence of another God, or be able to defend such attacks, that was the purpose of that clause.

My proof: "I. The argument from abstract absolutes.

1. Abstract absolutes exist.
2. Abstract absolutes would still exist if man kind were to disappear.
3. Abstract absolutes existed before man.
4. Abstract absolutes can not have been created by man.
5. Something besides man must have created abstract absoultes.
6. The atheist world view of matter in motion cannot account for these absolutes.
7. The only tangible cause of this is God."

First to my opponents rebuttal to my argument regarding abstract absolutes. He neglected to provide the foreground of it, and partially misunderstood the argument and simply only looked at the line by line explanation. The argument comes down to the fact that with the atheist world view of matter in motion, all things that are not tangible have to have been human created or influenced, however abstract absolutes are not human created or influenced, thus the only explanation for this and the only possible way they can exist is in the theist world view.

Tag 2 in the argument is actually essential, despite my opponents claims. Without 2, God isn't necessary, because then absolutes wouldn't be reliant a higher creator. Because of clause 2 standing, the argument itself stands. The idea that the argument is a fallacy is simply wrong. There can only be two world views, the atheist one, and the theist one. If something only complies with the theist world view, then the theist worldview stands. My opponent failed to prove that abstract absolutes can exist in a atheist world view, so despite his attempts to argue at the proof, the general claim stands because of his lack to prove otherwise.

My opponent then proceeds to suggest that somehow I'm creating a cosmological argument. He simply shapes it into something else and distorts the argument. The premise is that it can't exist without God due to worldview analysis, not that everything has a creator. But let's pretend for a second that's what I'm arguing. There are two problems with his "proof." Claim 1 is absolutely true, but the key is thing. God is not tangible to us and is not a matter created substance, but also if God were proven, but a creator were necessary, then something would have to have created that creator, and it goes back infinitely, but the only solution to this is God.

Next on the Transcendental argument. I thought the claims were pretty self explanatory, but I guess not. First and foremost, logic being perfect isn't simply an assertion, it's a form of an abstract universal. Secondly, if logic weren't conventional, then it's and absolute. By it not being conventional, and not contingent upon human existence, it again relates to abstract universals. Furthermore, the premise is that to argue God's existence pressupposes God's existence. If my opponent has a counter proof using a similar standpoint, I'll be more than happy to refute it. My opponents discontinuous claim against the first claim in the proof is illogical. He says that if God can be proved using logic, then logic is before God. That's like saying that if you can use a geiger counter to prove there is radiation somewhere, then that geiger counter is before God. A mechanism of proof does not necessarily predate the thing (or being) it's trying to prove. The argument is instead that because there is logic, there has to be a God.

Finally, my last argument on morals. If my opponent read my argument correctly, then he'd understand that I am not saying atheists are evil, I am instead saying that an atheist has no moral backing without God. The argument consists of the idea that God's revelation of himself created morals and a moral code. With moral absolutes, this means that man could not have simply agreed upon a moral code, it instead points to something else. Without a God, there is no real way to say what is moral and what isn't without making morals conventional, but then absolute morals don't exist; however, absolute morals do exist, and thus the Christian worldview stands. My opponent proceeds to say morals arent' necessarily absoltue, however things such as genocide and murder in anger are wrong. Simply ask anyone, "Is it wrong for me to kill you, and take your wife?" The answer is yes, but people don't simply agree on things like this, it's just wrong. Furthermore, religions do teach a moral code, but this means nothing to the argument. It's still some kind of God, if it's Christian or not; the Christian worldview however sets it apart from all else.

My opponent failed to truely analyze worldviews, and constantly said "there are other things or there's other explanations" however provided no such thing. Also, just because he proved any of my arguments false, he still provided no proof against God's existence.
Debate Round No. 1
lazarus_long

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent has still not addressed any of the serious shortcomings in his original arguments, and seems to be under a serious misunderstanding about what this debate is about in the first place - which may, in part, explain that failure. To address his last point first:

"Also, just because he proved any of my arguments false, he still provided no proof against God's existence."

Two serious problems here - I have proven ALL of his arguments false, not simply "any," and the point of the debate has clearly been missed. Note the topic - we are debating the merits of A-ThiestSocialist's so-called "proofs," and only that. I do not need to provide any "proof" against God's existence, since that's not what we are debating here. We are concerned solely with the validity of the arguments which have been presented by my opponent.

And, unfortunately, he has failed to address any of the shortcomings in those arguments which I pointed out in the first round. Taking again the first "argument" first - the so-called "argument from absolutes," my opponent has now said:

"The argument comes down to the fact that with the atheist world view of matter in motion, all things that are not tangible have to have been human created or influenced, however abstract absolutes are not human created or influenced, thus the only explanation for this and the only possible way they can exist is in the theist world view."

Once again, a completely undefined phrase (the supposed "atheist world view of matter in motion," which remains as meaningless as it was before) is used, and a mere assertion is made, with no support whatsoever, that this "world view" supposedly requires "all things that are not tangible to have been human created or influenced." This is nonsense, and so constitutes a mere straw man. I know of no atheists, or no recognized "atheist world view," which believe or require this notion; the idea is quite clearly wrong, since there are obviously numerous intangibles which are not human-created. This is by no means evidence for the existence of a God, however, UNLESS someone makes the further assumption (as I pointed out originally) that such things MUST for some reason have a "creator," i.e., a conscious entity which deliberately brought them into existence. IF that were the case, then yes, the "theist world view" would be the most logical alternative, but that assumption itself suffers from the significant problem (which again I originally pointed out, and which my opponent apparently acknowledges) that it simply introduces a new "uncreated" entity (God) to get around the problem of another one. The remainder of the argument is similarly composed of unsupported assumptions and non sequiturs; it boils down to a simple assertion that God's the only way to explain X (where "X" could be practically any assertion) and "therefore" God exists. Nonsense. And again, despite my opponent's attempts to misdirect the debate into a different direction, it is not up to me to show what can or cannot exist in the supposed "atheist world view" - the issue at hand is the logical validity of my opponent's arguments, and I believe it has been amply demonstrated that they have none.

On to the "transcendental" argument, my opponent now expresses concern that perhaps his claims were not sufficiently "self-explanatory." But it is not my failure to understand his claims that are the problem here - the claims ARE clear enough, it is simply that they make no logical sense. Again, we see numerous unsupported assertions and assumptions, and nothing in the way of a logical structure to tie them all together. "Logic is perfect and absolute" - what is this actually supposed to mean, and why should we accept it as a given? "Logic" is claimed to be another "abstract universal" (another interesting phrase), but if the first argument is invalid, that claim certainly doesn't help this second argument. If logic is supposed to be "perfect and absolute," then I am forced to ask my opponent to clarify exactly what this is supposed to mean in light of such things as Goedel's famous "Incompleteness Theorem." The basic premise, though is given as by my opponent as:

"Furthermore, the premise is that to argue God's existence pressupposes God's existence."

Really? If this were true, then to argue the existence of ANY entity would "presuppose" that entity's existence, and therefore "prove" it. You can. using this sort of "logic," prove the existence of God, Zeus, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, among others. At least equally problematically, the inverse of the argument is equally valid in terms of logical structure - to argue an entity's NON-existence obviously would have to "presuppose" that entity's non-existence. If this is so, then I should simply be able to argue my opponent out of existence right now, and save us all the trouble of a third round. :-) Clearly, though, the argument is simply not logically valid, being based on unsupported (and unsupportable) assumptions, much as the proverbial "house built upon sand."

The final argument, the so-called "argument on morals," remains on even shakier ground (if such a thing is even possible!). My opponent recaps it thus:

"The argument consists of the idea that God's revelation of himself created morals and a moral code. With moral absolutes, this means that man could not have simply agreed upon a moral code, it instead points to something else. Without a God, there is no real way to say what is moral and what isn't without making morals conventional, but then absolute morals don't exist; however, absolute morals do exist, and thus the Christian worldview stands."

As was pointed out in round 1, the notion that there are such things as "absolute morals" is hardly a given, and in fact is an assumption on the part of my opponent. My opponent has in no way proven that there are such things, and that in fact mankind has not simply evolved a fairly consistent moral code across the various human societies. The notion that a God is required to say "what is moral and what isn't" is again an unsupported assertion, and one which is easily shown incorrect by pointing to any of a number of counterexamples. Buddhist philosophy, for instance, which is most definitely NOT based on any notion of a Supreme Being (Buddhism in fact bein quite silent on the subject a a Deity or Deities), nonetheless has a very clear code of morality. And there are any number of examples of well-known atheist philosophers who, despite their lack of a belief in a God, not only have clear moral codes but can argue strongly and convincingly a rational basis for them. The final claim above - that it is specifically the CHRISTIAN worldview which stands - is again a complete non sequitur, since no evidence or reasoning been presented to show that Christianity has any special claim on this argument.

As an aside, the notion of "absolute morals," if they do exist, is actually quite problematic for the basic Christian notion of God. I suspect that my opponent would answer the question "Is God always good?" in the affirmative. But then we are forced to ask "What defines 'good'?" If "good" is determined by God, then the meaning of "good" could clearly be changed at God's whim. But if "good" is a separate absolute, then an "always good" God winds up with no free will whatsoever; he is constrained to ALWAYS act per this external, absolute definition. We also would be faced with the problem of just where this "absolute" came from, if it were not created by God (and therefore changeable by God, and not truly absolute)? The typical response to this dilemna is that God established "good" in the first place, and THEN constrained himself to be "aways good" - but this again would remove God's free will, and presents a model of a God who willingly transforms himself
into a mindless automaton.
A-ThiestSocialist

Con

Sorry about the delay, I've been stuck observing the cauci hype(i?).

First, as a main clarity in today's round, I was under the original interpretation that you were going to fill the void of my original opponent, but since that is not your interpretation of the resolution (and you are the author) I will continue under your guidelines. All arguments in this count neither for or against either side, but simply as a misunderstanding. I apologize for any inconvenience.

This debate seems to be focused on assertions that "I haven't addressed things" so for this round I'm simply going to "address" the things I allegedly have not clarified.

"Once again, a completely undefined phrase (the supposed "atheist world view of matter in motion," which remains as meaningless as it was before) is used, and a mere assertion is made, with no support whatsoever, that this "world view" supposedly requires "all things that are not tangible to have been human created or influenced."

First clarification for my opponent. In the round I was debating, and am debating now, according to my proofs, I have contrasted world views. The theist world view is that created the earth, and created man, and that God exists. The atheist world view is that the world is simply matter in motion, being that there is no tangible cause or God to the world. Through this understanding my arguments are based. This clarifies much of the round, but I will further continue. The atheist worldview asserts that the earth is simply consisted of matter and human thought. The theist world view allows for more than simply these entities. That is my argument which you fail to understand.

"This is nonsense, and so constitutes a mere straw man. I know of no atheists, or no recognized "atheist world view," which believe or require this notion; the idea is quite clearly wrong, since there are obviously numerous intangibles which are not human-created. This is by no means evidence for the existence of a God, however, UNLESS someone makes the further assumption (as I pointed out originally) that such things MUST for some reason have a "creator," i.e., a conscious entity which deliberately brought them into existence."

My opponent first simply says that it constitutes a logical fallacy. Then he says he doesn't know any atheists that have this world view. There are two simply answers to this, first you propose no other world view, so my definition still stands, but further when a worldview is proposed, it is further intended to be discussed. Neither of these are true. My opponent refutes this by simply saying my atheist friends don't believe this. That proves nothing in the round since there is really no counter example. The answer in today's round is further explained in two simple ways. First an atheist cannot account for these, and secondly a theist can. The atheist world view does not allow for these intangibles to be consisted of anything else besides human creation or thought, or physical matter. Thus, the worldview is not comp liable. Furthermore, the lack of an explanation leaves only one world view standing which is the theist worldview. Next, to answer the random argument distorted and proposed by my opponent, on things requiring a creator. This is true, but essentially irrelevant. The argument doesn't simply say that everything requires a creator and it has to be a theist worldview explanation, the argument calls that the theist worldview stands because of the impossibility of the contrary. You fail to understand this, and it is a fatal flaw in the round.

Due to character restraint, please reference his argument on the transcendental argument.

I'm going to attack this statement from the bottom up. To demonstrate and test the logical validity of something, or to disprove a proof of examples, you need to provide counter examples. If you don't believe my definition of the atheist worldview is correct, please provide another. The proof stands under this premise, and if you are attacking the definition you need to provide an alternative so I can defend my definition against yours. Next, I previously addressed the uncreated entity argument that God does not require a creator because he is not a thing, but secondly, we cannot understand God in such a way to say that he is not infinite. Again, a major flaw with my opponents case. My opponent then boils my argument into saying, the only way to explain x is God, so God exists. This isn't exactly what I'm arguing, it's a world view analysis which you fail to comprehend and agree to.

Next, there is a small paragraph arguing on specific claims, which don't have a major impact on the transcendental argument. They are claims describing and revealing logic that require a perfect entity. You don't understand the argument which was what I was afraid of. The argument isn't as you boil it down. It's saying that for logic to exist, God has to exist, so to argue and use logic, you're already assuming God's existence.

I'm running out of characters, so reference my opponents last few paragraphs for this response. Again you're distorting the argument and changing the basis. First of all, the basis isn't simply that atheists don't have morals. The basis is that morals have no source without God. Atheists can be and are kind and generous and loving human beings, however their worldview cannot account for absolute morality. Morals are not what God says and doesn't say, they are a reflection of him. God does not say what is good, God is good. He is the epitome of all good, and morals are a reflection and rev lance of him. Other religions having a source of morality is fine. They can also have moral codes, however, absolute morals can only be accounted for on the theistic worldview. You haven't disputed my examples of absolute morals, so the idea stands. If people simply created and agreed upon a moral code, then nothing would be absolute. However things such as unwarranted and cold blooded murder and rape and genocide are always wrong. If you were to ask a person is it right for me to kill you and take your spouse, they would always say no. He finally argues that somehow God does not have free will, and that he cannot do evil, because he is good. This again has two explanations. First, God is beyond us to define his actions and what he does, so you can't really pin him down like that. Second, God being omniscient and omnibenevolent means that he can do things, however being a loving being he will not. Was the flood good or bad? Thousands died, but we can't always comprehend his actions. He can do what he wants, but it is always for a divine and just purpose. Finally, I need to address the continuing dilemma with proving christianity. If you read my earlier arguments, I say that I am defending christianity because it is my personal convictions and what I know. Further, the only God consistent as a whole is the Christian God. Simply put, and example is that other God's don't have a personality, yet humans do, so humans under that interpretation are greater than God. It is simple consistency problems I am referencing. If you would like for me to further explain this I will, but originally it was not a weighing mechanism in the round, or this round. Neither restrict to a Christian God, I simply will not defend any other Gods. If you would like me to further elaborate on this, or empirically provide examples of how my arguments can only apply to the Christian world view I will, however it is not empirical to the round, and was not to my previous round.

Thank you, and sorry again for the long delay in responding.
Debate Round No. 2
lazarus_long

Pro

"I was under the original interpretation that you were going to fill the void of my original opponent, but since that is not your interpretation of the resolution (and you are the author) I will continue under your guidelines."

Sorry, but the topic quite clearly states "A-ThiestSocialist has failed to prove that God exists." This has most definitely been, right from the start, a debate regarding the validity of your original arguments. It is NOT about the existence of God, but rather whether or not those arguments are valid.

"The theist world view is that created the earth, and created man, and that God exists. The atheist world view is that the world is simply matter in motion, being that there is no tangible cause or God to the world."

Assuming that there was supposed to be a "God" before "created" in that first sentence, it's a fair definition of the theistic point of view. The definition of the atheistic perspective is somewhat lacking, though; an atheist is not one who says that there is no cause for things, simply that whatever the cause is, it is NOT a conscious, supernatural entity; a "deity," if you will. Simply put, the atheist denies the existence of God. Why complicate it with meaningless phrases such as "matter in motion"? I have to wonder where my opponent came up with that phrase; generally, it is traceable back to some writings of Thomas Paine on deism vs. atheism, but Paine's writings had some problems as well. He was clearly no physicist, and the "matter in motion" argument which he presented was invalid. So either please show exactly why "matter in motion" is an important aspect of anything relevant to this discussion, or let's set it aside, OK?

But whether or not the definition of the atheistic "world view" is correct is really a trivial matter; again, the topic of the discussion is the validity of a specific set of arguments. I am not required to show valid alternatives in order to show those arguments invalid; an invalid argument is an invalid argument, whether or not a valid alternative has been shown to exist.

My opponent again fails to address to flaws in the "intangibles" argument; his claim was that the "atheist world view" did not allow for "intangibles," or "intangible absolutes," and that this claim was somehow evidence that the theistic view was the correct one. However, his simple assertion that atheists do not allow of intangibles does not make this claim so, and he completely fails to give any evidence or reasoning to back up this claim. That's not surprising, since the claim is NOT true; clearly, the question of "theism" does not enter into the question of whether or not one "believes in" intangibles. An obvious counter-example is the existence of emotions, or even thought or consciousness itself; clearly such things exist, are intangible, and are accepted as existing by atheists and theists alike. We also all accept the existence of other intangibles, such as, say, radio waves (which clearly cannot be directly perceived by humans, and yet there is no doubt of their existence). In fact, it would appear that the ONLY intangible not accepted by the atheist is God, to which we can only note: "well, DUH..." But my opponent seems to continue to rest a great deal of his argument on this, as in:

"The atheist world view does not allow for these intangibles to be consisted of anything else besides human creation or thought, or physical matter."

First, we note that this is again an unsupported assertion making claims about the supposed "atheist world view." But even if it is true, what examples of such "intangibles," which are NOT created by human (or the equivalent) thought, or physical matter, does my opponent wish to offer, OTHER THAN the example of God himself - which, of course, is the question at hand? Keep in mind that any example offered would have to be something which IS widely recognized as actually existing; an appeal to examples which could be as fictional as the atheist believes God to be clearly isn't going to work.

"Next, to answer the random argument distorted and proposed by my opponent, on things requiring a creator. This is true, but essentially irrelevant. The argument doesn't simply say that everything requires a creator and it has to be a theist worldview explanation, the argument calls that the theist worldview stands because of the impossibility of the contrary."

How wonderfully circular this is! "The theist worldview stands because of the impossibility of the contrary" depends on the "contrary" (atheism) being actually shown to be impossible - but in the argument in question, its "impossibility" DOES depend on the notion that a creator is required for all things. Otherwise, it would again reduce to mere assertion, with no logical basis whatsoever. But since we've already disposed of the "all things require a creator" argument, there isn't a logical basis here anyway.

"To demonstrate and test the logical validity of something, or to disprove a proof of examples, you need to provide counter examples." - Nonsense. A logical argument stands or falls on its own; if you show that any of the assumptions are incorrect, or that the logic used to derive the conclusion from those assumptions is incorrect, the argument fails, whether or not an alternative explanation can be offered at the same time. In other words, we wind up with a situation in which we say, "We don't necessarily know what the answer IS, but we know it ISN'T this..." We do not, for instance, know exactly how gravity works. But if I were to make the assertion that objects attract other objects by throwing out tiny little ropes and then pulling them in, it is simple enough to show that assertion wrong even if the true nature of gravity is NOT given as part of that argument.

"Next, I previously addressed the uncreated entity argument that God does not require a creator because he is not a thing" - but again, this is simply a way of completely arbitrarily ruling "God" out of the class of entities which require creation. Actually, the notion of an "uncreated" God is far more problematic than the notion of other things, including the universe itself, being "uncreated," since of course God would have to be of a higher order of complexity (and therefore more unlikely to exist "just because") than anything within his supposed creation, or even the entirety of that creation itself.

My opponent would also clearly like to explain everything away by simply saying that I "don't understand" his arguments (with the implicit "but they're correct, anyway, trust me on this!"). On the contrary, his arguments are all to readily understood - again, they are simply not logically valid. The example he himself gives at this point shows this:

"The argument isn't as you boil it down. It's saying that for logic to exist, God has to exist, so to argue and use logic, you're already assuming God's existence."

Do you honestly not see the problem with this? The statement that "for logic to exist, God has to exist" is a COMPLETELY UNSUPPORTED ASSERTION. It does not logically follow from any accepted assumption or fact which has been previously presented. Note that I would be JUST as justified (which is to say, not at all) in arguing that "for logic to exist, God can't exist, since God is a bundle of logical contradictions - therefore God doesn't exist!"

The argument re "morals" is again based on an unsupported assertion - that there is such a thing as "absolute morality" (and therefore, supposedly, God exists). The problems with this re the nature of God as conventionally described have already been covered, so I see little to be gained in repeating it here.

In closing, my opponent's responses to date continue to show little more than unsupported assertion and highly questionable "logic." There can at this point be no question re the validity of his original arguments - they're simply wrong.
A-ThiestSocialist

Con

Since I have a LOT to respond to (admittedly) I'm going to try and keep this as easy to follow as possible. Thank you for an excellent debate!

First, the definition for the atheist world view essentially stands. It's origins are epistemologically based on naturalism and atheist views of creation and accountability for humanity. It's important in the debate because it's the formulation of atheist existence and creation. My arguments are all about world view perspectives and analysis. My roots for that definition go to many read debates, but I would pinpoint it to Hume, but continued to Russell. These two seem like credible enough atheists for me to give them association to my arguments. Also, the idea that a "physicist" is necessary to have philosophical credibility is preposterous.

"But whether or not the definition of the atheistic "world view" is correct is really a trivial matter; again, the topic of the discussion is the validity of a specific set of arguments. I am not required to show valid alternatives in order to show those arguments invalid; an invalid argument is an invalid argument, whether or not a valid alternative has been shown to exist."

I'll admit that in this debate I'm in a disadvantage. You're taking arguments I made and simply attacking them, but not giving me anything to attack. Instead of debating a topic using arguments, we're debating my arguments, using again my arguments. This doesn't necessarily harm me in the end however. The topic of discussion is the validity of my arguments, and we both agree. The essential difference is we aren't debating a Rogerian claim, we're debating the sub categories in the warrant, but even more restricted. This has to be considered in that my defense for certain claims will refute plausible alternatives, and show why my alternative is right, since that is the only way to defend the arguments in this context.

(this next argument deals with his next 3 paragraphs on intangibles)

My opponent says I give no evidence to the reasoning behind my logic of atheist unaccountability for abstract absolutes and non-human created intangibles. Ignoring the previous posts I've proposed, and the logic proofs I've shown this is true, but for the sake of clarity I will explain. The atheist world view of matter in motion cannot account for anything that is not human created, or made of matter. In my proof, I demonstrated how abstract absolutes such as the laws of science are not simply matter, but are not human created. Since a law of science does not conform to this world view, the world view stands. Using simply logic and process of elimination, the only other world view, the theistic world view stands. Next, my opponent again misinterprets my argument. He paints it that I'm saying atheists don't believe in intangibles. I'm not at all saying that. What I'm saying is that the atheist worldview cannot account for their existence, and their epistemological foundation cannot allow for their existence. Their personal beliefs in their existence is irrelevent. The relevance is in their applicability toward their world view. Your examples of intangibles ironically are all made up of matter or human created, so I won't hold those examples. I will simply use things such as laws of physics or laws of nature. Next, the alleged assertion is simply an explicit definition of a naturalist atheist point of view. The definition previously has been proven as standing, so the next paragraph is void. My opponent asks for examples of intangibles that man did not CREATE or are not of matter. The key word is create, and not discover. Laws of physics, chemistry, science, logic, absolute morality, the law of non contradiction, the list goes on. Last time I checked most of us believed in physics and a few others, although absolute morality is questionable in this debate.

Next, my purpose in explaining the impossibility of the contrary isn't circular at all. The premise is not the same as the conclusion. The atheist world view cannot account for these absolutes and intangibles. The premise is that all things are not created, but founded on either humans or matter. The intangibles do not comply with the world view. It's not a question of creation its' a question of compatibility. The world view cannot account for them, whereas the theistic one can. Next, you say that the argument on all things requiring a creator is flawed. Despite the fact that I have explained this, I answered your questions on God, and said that things require creators. I then explained how the only way this is possible is God, and that God is infinite. (See Spinoza)

"Do you honestly not see the problem with this? The statement that "for logic to exist, God has to exist" is a COMPLETELY UNSUPPORTED ASSERTION. It does not logically follow from any accepted assumption or fact which has been previously presented. Note that I would be JUST as justified (which is to say, not at all) in arguing that "for logic to exist, God can't exist, since God is a bundle of logical contradictions - therefore God doesn't exist!""

The "unsupported assertion" is derived from the original argument of intangibles. If you read my proof, which you did, I referenced that the arguments are similar. Logic is an abstract absolute that is intangible. It follows under that logic cannot exist in the atheist world view, so to use logic requires that you are dismissing the atheist world view altogether. Shockingly enough, you either misunderstood or misrepresented my argument.

Finally on the argument of morals, my opponent says there are not absolute morals. With morals there are two solutions. I will explain this further in a little. He failed to respond to the fact that thing such as genocide are not conventional, they are contrary to absolute morals. Other examples include cold blooded murder, rape of the innocent, things such as this. These are all absolute morals, and the only way they could be absolute is if God existed. Now onto the two solutions. There are only two ways to explain morals: absolute, or conventional. The absolute morals obviously simply point that morals are absolute. But if morals are conventional, what does that mean. One would say, morals aren't absolute, everyone has their own morals. The problem with this rationalist (philosophical belief, not thought process reference)belief is that Kant and Spinoza (and later Van Til) showed the flaw in that statement. If everyone had their own morals, that's an absolute. It's disproving absolute morals by establishing a system of absolute morals. They are personal and different, but absolute nonetheless. It's like saying there are NO absolutes. Well, that's an absolute.

The arguments as a whole hold. I have further clarified and refuted any of my opponents problems. Any lack of logic he claims I have can easily be found in the proofs. (See the previous debate) They are logical, and true. His main problems, which are with the whole absolute argument and intangible argument are rooted on a misunderstanding of the argument, and he misconstrues the argument, which proceeds to refute and hold against me even though his portrayal is incorrect. My opponents main argument against my main point was that I had no examples of abstract absolutes and intangible absolutes, however I previously showed that things such as Newton's laws are abstract absolutes not CREATED by humans, or consisting of mater. I held to his main criteria that he found impossible to hold to, and this weighs heavily towards my side. Please note: the first argument is the basis of the other two, they are simply logical extensions to further add ground. Also, since all my arguments hold, I have won this debate, but also, even if you believe not all my arguments, but some, or even one hold in this debate, God is proven, and I win.

Thank you again for this debate, and I am more than happy to debate on the original resolution of God's existence.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by joze14rock 8 years ago
joze14rock
Oh my goodness, I can't believe I just discovered this debate!!!
I debated A-Thiest on the same topic (and A-Thiest, if you would like to go at it again, reverse sides, that would be awesome)

We tied that debate. But I'm impressed at how well A-Thiest was in this debate.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
Ragnar Rahl: You make good points, but they are points that Pro DID NOT bring up, so you cant vote on them.

All pro really did to combat the worldview was say "a lot of atheists believe in abstract absolutes," which isnt the same as explaining why the atheist worldview is compatable. Just like I could say "A lot of Christians practice wicca" and this wouldnt prove that wicca is compatable with Christianity.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
I know that was a long explanation, but I felt like a good explanation was needed considering the effort that went into the debate.

If the debaters have any questions, please leave a comment!
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
Excellent debate- I actually have to go back and look at the line by lines to see who won.

I was really leaning Pro at the end of R2, but Pro R3 was lacking. If Pro had had a stronger final round he probably would have had me.

Pro definitely won the morality argument. Con never really addressed the issue that many philosophers have come up with theories for absolute morality that dont require God. Also, Con didnt do a very good job of establishing that absolute morality actually existed.

Im not even looking at the transcendental proof of God, because it relies on the abstract absolute argument to function. If Con wins the AA argument, theres no point in looking at any other argument, If Con loses then the second argument fails.

I do think Pro is misunderstanding the Con argument. Con isnt giving a version of the cosmological argument and worldview analysis IS important.

That being said, Im not entirely convinced that an atheistic worldview is really incompatable with abstract absolutes. For me this is the swing issue in the debate.

I think Pro needs to do more work combatting the way Con frames the atheist worldview. Con is clearer on what the atheist worldview is and why that worldview is mutually exclusive to abstract abs. Pro is going down the right path but just isnt as clear as to how Con's description is flawed. I think if Pro had done a better job reexplaing the atheist worldview, he would have won.

Thats why I vote Con, but it was a really good debate.

P.S. Ive attended lectures about scientific theories as to where the laws of physics, etc. come from, so I am very certain that at least these sort of absolute universals CAN be explained in a worldview where God is absent. I think Con almost certainly misrepresents that worldview.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
It is utterly dishonest of A-theist socialist to speak of just a "theistic worldview" and "athestic worldview," as though all atheists or all theists have the exact same worldview. Your arguments only hold water for a VERY SPECIFIC branch of matierialism, and yes no matter what you say, it is a straw man to extent them unconditionally to the ENTIRETY OF ATHEISTIC THOUGHT, which as it happens you know nothing about. The nominalists would find nothing in common with the atheist you speak of, and I find very little.

There is a contradiction in speaking of the two "related" arguments as still separate when one is derived from the other.

You assume that the "laws of physics" are not made up of matter. Really? So if I take away all matter in the universe, the laws of physics still apply? (see immanent realism: no). An abstraction is nothing more than the the general trend among concretes once discovered by man, without the concretes or the man the abstraction does not exist.

The same for any other abstractions, including morality, which consists of the facts of reality as they relate to the choice to live.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
cjet- look at the old debate this is in reference to. My original arguments are a little more explanatory.
Posted by cjet79 9 years ago
cjet79
I never really saw any "proof" by "A-ThiestSocialist" that abstract absolutes existed before humans. Since his whole argument seems to rest on that assumption i think he should have given it more attention instead of attacking atheists constantly. Simply pointing out that your opponent cannot disprove your point is not proof unless you have solid evidence to back up your claims. Since there can be no directly observable "evidence" of god's existence there is no need to "disprove" gods existence.
Posted by bengiha 9 years ago
bengiha
All human experience leads one to conclude that God was created by people to make them feel better about the tragic finality of death. The relgious are right in that hell is something we experience if we do not believe in God, but wrong in that it is not something that occurs after death, but before it, when we realize that we are powerless to do anything about it. Heaven is the "ignorance is bliss" state we feel during life as we believe, for all practical purposes, that death does not exist. I hope that one day in the future, an advanced species will learn how to go back in time and save us all.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
qack:
"He is responsible for an alternative when he rejects the existence of God. If there is no God, what is there?"

Actually, no he isnt. Look at the Resolution. Realistically, Pro doesnt even have to defend the claim "there is no God." Pro can say "There is a God, but you havent proven his existance."

This is a pretty good debate.

Con should elaborate more on his premises in his proofs. Pro is right that Con has the burden of proof in showing his premises to be true, and I dont think Con is doing enough of it and most of the elaboration is coming too late in the round. Con should have opened with lucid explanations of each premise.

Unfortunately for Con, he is the only one with the burden of proof. All it takes is one dubious premise to collapse an argument and he loses. Pro definitely has the advnatage from the Resolutional wording.

Con is also way behind in the "morality" debate. Realistically I think it would be most prudent for Con to drop it in R3 and focus on the other two arguments that he has a better chance of winning, especially considering the fact that Con is in a character limit crunch.

Overall, interesting so far. I can see it going either way depending on the voting analysis I see in R3.
Posted by killa_connor 9 years ago
killa_connor
You're right about my first point. It's weak. I was trying to say that because we don't know he can make this claim without any substantiation. In that way it's appealing to an ignorance of sorts.

Third point I disagree on this claim:

"He is responsible for an alternative when he rejects the existence of God. If there is no God, what is there? Show me what's there."

By filling this hypothetical void that you've created he would be arguing against the existence of God by arguing for the existence of God. There is nothing there! They are natural forces in no way linked to a supernatural entity! He has no burden to produce a force to fill this void because by doing so he describes God.
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