Does God Exist? Theism and Biblical Faith vs. Atheism and Agnosticism
Debate Rounds (5)
I will argue that God exist.....
I will have burden of proof.....
Definition of "god": The greatest conceivable being
I am not claiming that I can prove that God exists with absolute certainty. Im just saying that on balance of evidence theism is more plausible than not.
The argument I will be defending:
1.Origin of the universe
First round acceptance only...........
Alright, so I don't feel like I've been doing enough religious debates lately. Therefore I'm happy to accept this challenge.
I'm going to need a definition for reality - "something that exists independently of any ideas concerning it." In other words, to be a part of reality, God must not simply be real by virtue of any ideas about his nature (excuse me if I use the male pronoun for God, I know it's incorrect but it's a habit). For example, if I was to run the Descartes ontological argument ("God is omnipotent, one cannot be omnipotent and not exist, thus God must exist") then I would have to prove that God is omnipotent independant of any ideas or definitions we might have concerning God. With reference to my opponent's case, it will not be enough to say that God is the origin of the universe, or the source of morality, and thus must exist. They need to show why that is true independant of any ideas they might have about God, because otherwise God is no closer to matching the definition of being real.
My case will be that the notion of "the greatest conceivable being" is internally self-contradictory, with reference to the omnipotence paradox. I will also rebut my opponent's two arguments, particulary #2, as that is a bit of a pet peeve of mine with religious thinkers.
I look forward to reading my opponent's opening case and hope for a fun debate.
Thx to my opponent(OPP) for accepting this debate I look forward to a enlightening debate.......
1.The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them: "he refuses to face reality".
2.A thing that is actually experienced or seen, esp. when this is grim or problematic: "the harsh realities of life".
Synonyms(always helpful to have):
actuality - fact - truth - verity
First I need to say I am not claiming that I can prove that God exists with absolute certainty. I am just saying that on balance of evidence theism is more plausible than not.
Origin of the universe:
I am amazed at the courage and brilliance of Stephen Hawking. I still remember reading his ideas about the Singularity and how the universe began millions of years ago at this singularity. He achieved this idea and proved it via mathematical calculations and also understood by this process that this singularity must transcend space and time.
Of course Hawking and I might have different opinions on what the Singularity is, but the fact that he was able to come to this conclusion was amazing because in my estimation we had the ability to prove something had to be outside of space and time, and that the universe must have a beginning point. It proved that a less significant revealing of God in nature was real for everyone and not just to the regenerated.
Over the past several years in his most recent book The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking has let his denial of God get the best of him and thwart his brilliance. He claims that gravity can prove the existence of the Universe without God and by doing this he not only contradicts himself but also tries to explain an impossibility.
Laws are physical and operate under certain conditions. The Singularity has to be metaphysical because by Hawking own admission it transcends space and time, outside of "multiverses� of which there are the possibility of millions. So how would it be possible for a physical law to be responsible for creating something out of nothing?
Answer. It isn’t possible. Why does Hawking say it then? Because he is searching for a way to explain the Universe without the Singularity instead of simply staying within the framework. I have seen many in the Scientific community do this in recent years as they try and stay away from confronting the Singularity issue so they can avoid the idea that a Intelligent creator may exist. Regardless of belief system a scientist should study science, a physicist should study physics and just let it take them wherever it goes. However this proves to be very difficult as those who don’t believe refuse to admit that Science cant explain God away, and indeed make attempts such as Hawking to turn it into a tool for disbelief.
Why is there something rather than nothing ?
According to Aristotle, philosophy begins with a sense of wonder about the world, and the most profound question a man can ask concerns the origin of the universe.
My OPP asked for a definition of reality so I will use "reality" in my argument for the origin the universe.
There are four possible answers to why we have something rather than nothing at all:
1. Reality is an illusion.
2. Reality is/was self-created.
3. Reality is self-existent or eternal.
4. Reality was created by something that is self-existent.
(1) Reality being simply an illusion, which is what a number of eastern religions believe. This option was ruled out by Rene Descartes who is famous for the statement, "I think, therefore I am." Descartes argued that if he is thinking then he must "be." In other words, "I think, therefore I am not an illusion." Illusions require something experiencing the illusion, and moreover, you cannot doubt the existence of yourself without proving your existence it is a self defeating argument. So the possibility of reality being an illusion is eliminated.
(2) Reality being self created. When we study philosophy, we learn of analytically false which means they are false by definition. The possibility of reality being self created is one of those types of statements for the reason that something cannot be prior to itself. If you created yourself then you must have existed prior to you creating yourself but that cannot be. In evolution this is called spontaneous generation something coming from nothing a position very few if any reasonable people believe anymore because you cannot get something from nothing. Atheist David Hume said "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause." Since something cannot come from nothing, the alternative of reality being self created is ruled out.
There are only two choices left (3) an eternal reality or (4) reality being created by something that is eternal an eternal universe or an eternal Creator:
* Something exists.
* Nothing cannot create something.
* Therefore, a necessary and eternal "something" exists.
All key scientific and philosophical evidence points away from an eternal universe and toward an eternal Creator. From a scientific standpoint scientists admit the universe had a beginning and whatever has a beginning is not eternal. So whatever has a beginning has a cause and if the universe had a beginning it had a cause. The fact that the universe had a beginning has evidence the second law of thermodynamics, the radiation echo of the big bang discovered in the early 1900s, the fact that the universe is expanding and can be traced back to a singular beginning, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. All prove the universe is not eternal.
***image below shows the universe is expanding***
Now we know:
* Something exists.
* You do not get something from nothing.
* Therefore a necessary and eternal something exists.
* The only two options are an eternal universe and an eternal Creator.
* Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
* Therefore an eternal Creator exists.
So does belief in God have intellectual warrant ? Yes. Is there a rational, logical, and reasonable argument for the existence of God? Yes.
I will touch on my argument for objective morality:
Are we inherently good or evil? Psychologists have some idea of whether or not we are inherently good or bad. Researchers presented four scenarios to 100 babies using puppets. After watching puppets act negatively or positively towards other characters the babies were shown puppets either giving or taking toys from these "good" or "bad" puppets. When prompted to choose their favorite characters babies preferred puppets that were "good" over the "bad" characters. The study shows that babies are born with morality and a strong moral sense. This also shows we are not blank slates at birth. These findings about babies moral notions tell us about adult morality. Some scholars think that the very existence of a moral sense has profound implications. In 1869, Alfred Russel Wallace, who along with Darwin discovered natural selection, wrote that certain human capacities including the higher moral faculties are richer than what you could expect from a product of biological evolution. He concluded that some sort of godly force must intervene to create these capacities.
In later rounds I will reinforce my argument for the origin of the universe.
I look forward my OPP's rebuttals.
I'd like to thank my opponent for his arguments.
What is reality?
My opponent has provided an alternative definition for reality. First he defines reality as what "actually exists". This, however, is problematic because most dictionaries will define "exist" as "Have objective reality," which is a circular definition and not particulary helpful. Second he defines it as the state of things experienced or seen, which isn't particulary fair to his case since God is niether. Lots of things we experience aren't a part of reality either - dreams would be a good example. So none of these is a good definition. That's why I would defer to my more philosophical definition.
Origin of the Universe
What my opponent has shown is that the origin of the universe COULD be an intelligent creator. I'm going to accept this. What my opponent needs to show is that the origin of the universe, at the very least, is PROBABLY an intelligent creator, let alone a perfect one. He has not even come close to this.
The whole origin of the universe argument is not a good argument because we simply know so little about it. We can't even predict the weather one week ahead with much accuracy, and here we're dealing with what happened at the very instant of the creation of our universe, ~13 billion years ago. The reason why a singularity remains so controversial is that we have no data - either experimental or observational - about how a universe comes about. All we have is the guesses of good scientists. Good scientists can be mistaken.
My respect for Steven Hawking is that when he realised that he was wrong about the universe beginning with a singularity, he admitted it. He even published it in his best-selling book, "A Brief History of Time." He even puts it right near the start (page 50) to make it immensely obvious. So it's quite wrong of my opponent to presuppose that time and space began with a singularity, just because Dr Hawking said so. The fact is that even Dr Hawking does not support that assumption.
The assumptions continue throughout my opponent's case. He assumes, for example, that the universe was created from nothing. In fact there are lots of respected scientists who believe we are the result of an earlier, collapsed universe. If so, then we were created from the gravity that existed in that universe, and thus, a physical law. Indeed, assuming anything about a metaphysical world is nothing more than guessing. Is it possible gravity does not require time and space to operate? Yes (although it wouldn't have anything to operate on). He assumes something cannot be prior to itself in a metaphysical sense, but gives no evidence as to why other than philosophical premises based on observations of our world. Similary, the idea that nothing cannot create something depends on a worldview informed by observations about our world.
I will conceed that there should be no beginning to the multiverse cycle, as its called (though "eternity" implies the presence of time beyond the universe which contradicts my opponent's narrative). I will conceed that the universe probably began. But that doesn't mean God was the cause. It could literally be anything.
Science can't explain God away, but it also doesn't provide any evidence for him. God is no more likely than any alternative hypothesis for the creation of the universe because science literally doesn't know. For all science knows the whole universe is in fact contained in an electron of another universe (yes, some scientists give that very serious consideration). In fact, due to the logical problem I will outline, God is an impossible alternative that scientists can discount.
My opponent spends little time on this argument, and so will I. My opponent does not cite his study, but even from the description it is biased, because it presupposes there is such a thing as "good" and "bad" behavior (objective morality), which is called confirmation bias in science. My opponent likes Rene Descartes, and he spent a lot of time thinking about this. He concluded that the only way to know truth was to exclude the alternative, which is impossible with a moral truth. Thou shalt not kill? Well first prove that thou shalt kill is "wrong". When one considers all the war, abortion, murder, capital punishment etc that happen in the world, its impossible to do this objectively. Even if nobody killed, is that evidence that not killing is right? Of course not. A moral truth cannot be proven.
I will agree that most people follow more or less the same morality. However, the presence of exceptions (even among those babies, according to your testimony) proves morality is not objective. Religion makes us out to be all the same, and time and time again in history, has used the lie of objective morality to paint followers of other religions as inhuman. Objective morality is not evidence for God - it's the modern remnants of medieval warmongering.
Back to Reality
My opponent has twice relied on a Godly attribute - in this case, being eternal and being omnibenevolent - to prove God. That does not show that God is a part of reality - God must exist independantly of those ideas. You cannot presuppose that God is eternal, for instance, as that would presuppose the existance of God, which I deny. Same for omnibenevolent. Presupposing what you're trying to prove is a form of logical fallacy.
The idea of God as perfect implies that there is no limit to what God can do. In other words, God can microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it. However, this would put a limit on what God can do. Some Christian thinkers resolve this by restricting God to doing things logically possible, but this would imply God cannot do logically impossible things and thus has a limit to his power - logic. Others state that God can do things logically impossible and thus eat the uneatable burrito, but then he has failed to microwave a burrito he CANNOT eat. Therefore there is a logical problem with being absolutely perfect.
The origin of the universe remains uncertain, and so any presumption surrounding its nature is pure speculation. God is no more likely a speculation than any other alternative hypothesis. Objective morality doesn't exist. My opponent has presupposed the existance of God in both of his arguments. The God hypothesis is impossible because of the omnipotence paradox.
I'm excited to hear my opponent's response.
Let me reiterate by saying I am not claiming that I can prove that God exists with absolute certainty. I’m just saying that on balance of evidence theism is more plausible than not.
Also I am not trying to convince my OPP I am trying to convince our audience as you will see. My OPP objection are nothing more than tired somewhat programmed rebuttals. Everything is not all black and white there are shades of gray.
Now we know as shown in the previous round:
* Something exists.
* You do not get something from nothing.
* Therefore a necessary and eternal something exists.
* The only two options are an eternal universe and an eternal Creator.
* Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
* Therefore an eternal Creator exists.
Former atheist Lee Strobel who arrived at this end result has commented, "Essentially I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything non-life produces life randomness produces fine tuning chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take, especially in light of the affirmative case for God's existence â€¦ In other words, in my assessment the Christian worldview accounted for the totality of the evidence much better than the atheistic worldview."
The next question we must tackle is if an eternal Creator exists (and I have shown that He does)what kind of Creator is He ? Can we conclude things about Him from what He created ? In other words, can we understand the cause by its effects ? The answer is YES we can with the following characteristics:
* He must be supernatural in nature (as He created time and space).
* He must be powerful (exceedingly).
* He must be eternal (self-existent).
* He must be omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it).
* He must be timeless and changeless (He created time).
* He must be immaterial because He transcends space/physical.
* He must be personal (the impersonal cannot create personality).
* He must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites.
* He must be diverse yet have unity as unity and diversity exist in nature.
* He must be intelligent (supremely). Only cognitive being can produce cognitive being.
* He must be purposeful as He deliberately created everything.
* He must be moral (no moral law can be had without a giver).
* He must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).
These things being true we now ask if any religion in the world describes such a Creator. The answer to this is yes: the God of the Bible fits this profile perfectly. He is supernatural, powerful, eternal, omnipresent, timeless/changeless, immaterial, personal, necessary, infinite/singular, diverse yet with unity, intelligent, purposeful, moral, and caring.
Last thing to address on the matter of Gods existence is the matter of how justifiable the atheist's position actually is. Since the atheist asserts the believer's position is unsound, it is only reasonable to turn the question around and aim it squarely back at him. The first thing to understand is that the claim the atheist makes "no god," which is what "atheist" means is an untenable position to hold from a philosophical standpoint. As legal scholar and philosopher Mortimer Adler said, "An affirmative existential proposition can be proved, but a negative existential proposition one that denies the existence of something cannot be proved." Example, someone may claim that a red eagle exists and someone else may assert that red eagles do not exist. The former only needs to find a single red eagle to prove his assertion. But the latter must comb the entire universe and literally be in every place at once to ensure he has not missed a red eagle somewhere and at some time, which is impossible to do. This is why intellectually honest atheists will admit they cannot prove God does not exist.
It is important to understand the issue that surrounds the seriousness of truth claims that are made and the amount of evidence required to warrant certain conclusions. For example, if someone puts two containers of lemonade in front of you and says that one may be more sour than the other, since the consequences of getting the more tart drink would not be serious, you would not require a large amount of evidence in order to make your choice. However, if to one cup the host added sweetener but to the other he introduced rat poison, then you would want to have quite a bit of evidence before you made your choice. This is where a person sits when deciding between atheism and belief in God.
So does belief in God have intellectual warrant ? Is there a rational, logical, and reasonable argument for the existence of God ? Absolutely.
First I need to clarify that atheists can be morally good. They can be people of integrity. But that isn't the issue. Having good morals doesn’t mean you have objective morals. One atheist’s good morals might only be coincidentally consistent with true objective morality where another atheist’s isn’t.
Think about it in atheism there is no moral right and wrong. There is no moral should and shouldn't. Why? Because when you remove God, you remove the standard by which objective moral truth is established. In atheism morality is up for grabs.
In an atheistic worldview, lying, cheating, and stealing are neither right or wrong. They are phenomena to which, if the atheist so decides, moral values can be assigned. Sure, the atheist might say that we all should want to help society function properly and it does not benefit society as a whole to lie, cheat, and steal. But, this is weak intellectual reasoning.
Let me explain and show you why. What if there were a global economic meltdown and social turmoil ensued so that robbing people at gunpoint to get food became common place. Robbery would then be a social norm. Would such a norm be wrong? If it is not wrong, then you affirm situational ethics and can’t complain when the situation suits somebody else’s ideals and you get robbed at gunpoint. Of course, this would lead to anarchy.
If you say such theft is wrong, then why is it wrong? If it is your opinion that it is wrong, that’s nice, but opinions don’t make ethical standards. If you said it is wrong because it is wrong, you are just begging the question. Besides, that would mean there was a moral standard outside of yourself to which you must answer and that would imply a moral law giver God.
Some atheists maintain that the best moral system is that which brings the greatest happiness, the least amount of suffering, and the greatest freedom for as many people as possible. That is a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t work. Take a look at slavery, for example. The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people means that a minority of people should suffer in bondage. This way, the greatest amount of freedom for the majority is ensured. But if the atheist says that it is wrong to enslave then why is it wrong? Because he said so? If he says its wrong because the minority is suffering, so what? Why is suffering wrong? It may be unpleasant. But, from an atheistic worldview, why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the majority? Atheism can’t help us here. It just isn’t up to the task of providing solid answers. Let me reiterate by saying that atheism offers a subjective moral system that is based on human experience, human conditions, and human reason. By its very nature, such moral evaluation is relativistic, dangerous, can change, can become self contradictory, and can lead to anarchy.
So I think that theism offers us a better foundation for the objective moral values that we all hold. I'm convinced that on balance the weight of the evidence tips clearly on the side of theism.
I thank my opponent for posting his next round.
In the last round, you'll recall that I explained how we can know, with absolute certainty, that God does not exist. I explored this under the heading of "Omnipotence Paradox". I also explained why my opponent's arguments were all based on a simply logical fallacy, under the heading of "Back to Reality". Furthermore, I rebutted every single one of my opponent's unique contentions from last round, under the same headings he assigned them - "Origin of the Universe" and "Objective Morality".
Presume, for a moment, that everything I said is 100% true and correct, unless my opponent says otherwise. Since my opponent has not made any attempt to answer my contentions that all his reasons are fallacious, nor has he made any attempt to answer my claim that God is an impossible hypothesis, we must accept that God is not real given the evidence presented in this debate. Now presume everything my opponent said is 100% true and correct unless I say otherwise. Since I have rebutted all of my opponent's contentions, none of them can be presumed to stand, and thus I am the only side that has upheld their burden of proof. In this situation we must therefore again conclude that God is not real given the evidence presented in this debate.
Those are the most extreme, biased possible votes in debating. No matter where your bias lies, my opponent has failed so badly at making his case that unless he actually engages with or even adknowledges my case, the only justifiable vote in this debate is a negative vote. Otherwise you prove that you're equally ignorant of the fact I made a case at all, when I quite clearly have.
As you can imagine, I also consider it quite poor conduct to ignore everything I say and expect me to refute everything that he says.
Aside from appealing to the same old already-rebutted and totally-refuted assumptions, my opponent brings up a few more things he considers evidence for God. First he cites the opinion of converted athiest Lee Strobel. I could equally cite the opinion of any athiest as to why they consider their worldview to be superior, including my own. However, because our worldview is ultimately informed by moral principals, and since I have already proven these are subjective, this would be quite a futile exercise. In the same way, my opponent might as well have cited "God exists" - the Pope. Doesn't make it true.
The same is true for Mortimer Adler's assertion that a negative existential proposition cannot be proved. Just asserting that it cannot does nothing to change the fact I just did, even if it was Mortimer Adler who said it. Just like you can prove that no black hole the same size as the galaxy is hovering above your house right now (by the fact you're not dead yet), so can you prove a negative existential proposition, such as God cannot exist because he is internally self-refuting. If you were to profess faith in a bright darkness I would equally claim that your proposition is impossible by definition, and thus cannot exist. The only intellectually dishonest person here is the only person who has overlooked actual evidence, and instead appealed to the assertions of a few rouge individuals who clearly have little understanding of philosophy. The fact of the matter is that I DID just prove a negative existential proposition, and my opponent needs to deal with it.
I agree the choice is important for individuals and that the choice of whether to be a thiest or an athiest should generally be a high-involvement decision. I'm glad to be involved in this debate, and have argued both ways on religious topics frequently because all too often it's the athiests who don't understand what religion's all about. However, that does not make the existance of God any more or less likely. My opponent has made no attempt to justify this point.
All my opponent has really done is copy and pasted from http://answers.yahoo.com... (which he also did in a previous debate) and completely ignored my argument.
My opponent has done nothing to counter my proof that objective morality is impossible. His argument is strictly emotional, saying that if stealing was not objectively wrong we can't complain if something is stolen from us. It is in fact in theism, not athiesm, where you need to bow to the moral will of others. In athiesm, you don't need to do what the person holding you at gunpoint wants, and are thus perfectly free to complain. You can even say that the person at gun point was crazy and immoral. Whether the person holding you at gunpoint agrees or not is up to him, because he has perfect freedom too. In theism, one side would be decreed to be right because somebody else said so. So as you can see, even his emotional argument is attacking the wrong side. To disagree with somebody else's morality, such as a robber's, you must have subjective morality.
None of this changes my emotional case, by the way, which is about how much moral decay a theocracy really causes. It wasn't just in medieval Europe/Middle-East - Japan, the Inca, the Maya and pretty much half of Africa provide more examples of the damage the false belief in objective morality. Like my opponent correctly predicted, a theistic moral view has always led to anarchy or something very close to it (the Inca were a bit of an exception here, but they had little influence over much of their territory which suggests anarchy was coming for them).
I, speaking personally, agree that we need laws against things like murder, and so on. Athiestic viewpoints affirm personal rights since they are premised on personal choice, and murder is a denial of those (unlike the Bible, by the way, which mandates murder for many crimes and teaches determinism). Athiestic viewpoints also give concern to broader social principles and care for the planet, because athiests, just like thiests, have learnt to value these things. Athiests value their families and communities just like thiests do, we believe in respect and compassion just like thiests. We're humans. We're not necessarily anarchists. We're not necessarily utilitarians (we can have the argument over whether that's self-refuting in another debate, but it isn't the point). In fact, I'd go so far as to say most of us aren't. My opponent keeps spewing the same medieval religious propaganda - athiests are spawn of the devil, willing to do any immoral act the moment the situation warrants it, willing to destroy all good, all law, all justice, all government, all progress. Willing to compromise your safety. In fact, the thiests have both the track record and the philosophical warrant to do all of the above. In athiesm there is the philosophical warrant to do good. And unlike his assertion, many athiestic governments have been quite authoritarian (a political view I personally despise and am not proud of, being a liberal - which only goes to show athiests can really be of any political ideology). As an athiest, I'm sick of thiests making me out to be somebody I'm not, and that's really all this argument amounts to.
The fact is that there is no such thing as moral good or moral bad. We must question everything - that's the whole reason why we're questioning God here - and that includes the existance of objective morality. My opponent only assumes objective morality. There is no good reason to make that assumption.
My opponent has not answered my points, and not made any valid points of his own. I look forward to my opponent's next round.
I am not ignoring my OPP's argument I never meant to seem disrespectful
Origin of the Universe:
If my OPP is using "prove" in the strict sense of absolute certainty, we cannot prove or disprove Gods existence. But this does not mean that there is no good evidence or arguments for God, which might make belief in God's existence very reasonable. We know very little (if anything) with absolute mathematical certainty, so certainty is neither a reasonable or necessary standard. Like virtually all of our other knowledge, I think we can show that it is highly probable that God exists. It is also important for me to note that merely having a possible alternative explanation does not defeat the argument. What one needs is a more probable alternative explanation. For example, most people believe the earth is a sphere but a small minority still insist the earth is flat. Should the "spheroids" abandon their theory just because the "flat-earthers" have come up with an alternative? Of course not. The only way this would be necessary is if the flat-earthers were able to offer overwhelming evidence that theirs is the more probable theory. And that is unlikely in the extreme.
Good arguments for God's existence are in abundant supply. Alvin Plantinga, arguably one of the world's more brilliant living philosophers, recently delivered a paper outlining two dozen or so theistic arguments. Characters will limit me to two.
Argument #1: God Is the Best Explanation for the Beginning of the Universe
Premise 1) Whatever begins to exist must have a cause.
Premise 2) The universe began to exist.
Conclusion: Therefore the universe has a cause.
Whatever begins to exist must have a cause. Most of us have no problem accepting this principle. We assume its truth in virtually every aspect in our daily lives. Our experience always confirms it and never denies it.
It has always been a fundamental first principle of philosophy and science that "from nothing, nothing comes." Even the atheist philosopher David Hume, who showed that we could not prove with certainty that the causal principle was true, still believed it to be true and thought so with certainty.
Surely it is more reasonable to hold to this premise than to believe that things pop into existence out of nothing and by nothing.
Secondly, we have both scientific confirmation and logical argument for the universe having a beginning. According to the standard Big Bang model, space, time, matter and energy all came into existence simultaneously around 15 billion years ago.
Furthermore, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, given enough time the universe will eventually reach a state of equilibrium a cold, dark, dead, virtually motionless state. Clearly, if the universe is without beginning, then there has been an infinite length of time preceding this present moment. If this is the case, then the universe should already be in a state of equilibrium. This should be a cold, dark, dead, virtually motionless universe. There should be no galaxies, solar systems, stars or planets not to mention living organisms. Since there is obviously plenty of heat, light, movement and life, the past must be finite. The universe had a beginning.
An infinite past is impossible, because an actual infinite cannot be formed by adding one member after another. It's like counting to infinity-you just never get there. Just like we can never finish counting to infinity, we can never begin to count down to a negative infinity. But to have a universe with no beginning, you would have to have an infinite number of past events leading up to the present. But this is impossible, because, by implication, the present could never have come to exist.
Thus the Big Bang Theory, the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the impossibility of an infinite past all support the universe having a beginning.
Since whatever begins to exist must have a cause, it follows logically that the universe has a cause.
Taken together, these two arguments tell us that the cause and designer of the universe is an intelligent, immaterial, powerful, changeless being that existed in a timeless, eternal state beyond the beginning of the universe. This, I suggest, is close enough to the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of God that we can justifiably conclude that indeed, God does exist.
My OPP stated : "God can microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it. However, this would put a limit on what God can do." This analogy is flawed and is used by my OPP as smoke and mirrors to distract from the real question, "Does God Exist?"
It is absurd to speculate on matters that power is incapable of accomplishing. i.e. How many nuclear bombs would it require to make 2+3=7? "God is capable of doing all things that power can do"
- Power cannot do the intrinsically or logically impossible
- such things cannot be done at all
In the world there are both possible beings(those that come into and pass out of, existence) and necessary beings(those that always exist). - presupposing the past eternity of the earth, all possibilities would be realized and that all possible beings would come to be and pass away, making it possible that the process would arrive at the ‘nothing exists’ possibility (since its had an eternity to realize all possibilities) then there would be nothing in existence today,(since from nothing comes nothing), this is absurd because, things still exist today! Therefore, necessary beings must exist in that at least ONE being has to continue to exist throughout all the coming into and passing out of existence of the many possible being.
Objective Morality :
Theism does have good answers to the questions of moral values, moral duties and moral accountability
- the values are rooted in god’s nature
- the duties are owed to God
- it matters if we’re good or not because our ultimate destination is affected by our moral actions
- the social contract is just an arbitrary social convention
- determinism does not allow for free moral decisions
- with no one to prescribe duties, there is no reason to perform duties
- on atheism, moral duties are like rules of etiquette
- it makes no difference in the long run how you behave
My OPP is making a faith based argument from his own knowledge. Let me say that is the best way to make a faith statement.
But ultimately, whether various approaches seem more logical, or intuitive, or neither, the following statement is true when it comes to the cause behind this awe inspiring cosmos:
“Everyone Has Faith In Something.”
Atheism takes faith.
Theism takes faith.
Make no mistake, life is a leap of faith. Ones evidence is math for their leap of faith. Another’s is an encounter, a story, an experience, an epiphany.
No one knows exactly what the afterlife, if it exists, will be like. It takes faith to believe it exists. It takes faith to not believe it exists.
Faith has clues, and ancient stories, behind it, dating back to the beginnings of humankind. For some, the diversity of those stories disproves them. For others, threads are visible in those stories, and they wind back to primal truth – not superstition. Science is in danger of losing its role when it ventures into statements of meaning.
My OPP's argument is compelling, but not in contradiction to faith.
For my part these debates actually lead me to greater belief in God, not away. And when you break it down these arguments put forth against God were created(for lack of a better word)just to disprove God as you can see they have failed to do so.
I'd like to begin like my opponent ended - talking about faith. My opponent has asserted that athiesm takes faith. Strictly speaking that's not true. Not having faith is not technically a form of faith - an athiest COULD literally (hypothetically) believe in nothing at all. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend to athiests that they abandon faith altogether. It's not a matter of whether we have faith or not - it's a question of what we have faith in. I have faith, for instance, that my money in the bank will be safe. It's quite different from a belief in God because for God we have no evidence, for the money being safe in the bank we do. And that would be to ignore the logical impossibility of God's existance. This is why athiests are selective about their faith. It's worth noting that thiests are selective about their faiths too - they choose one religion in favor of another religion, one God in favor of another etc. Faith is not an absolute even in a thiestic worldview - that's the basis for the old cliche athiest saying "I just believe in one less God than you do."
I'm going to agree certainty is not a necessary standard, but it's nonetheless a standard I have met. The alternative my opponent proposes is an impossible alternative. My opponent's arguments - even the ones he copy-and-pasted, both in this round and the previous round - are invalid because they fall to my "Back to Reality" argument from round two, that I'm still waiting for a response on. They ALL presuppose an attribute of God. The real ironic thing about this whole uncertainty case is that the people who argue you can't KNOW if God exists or not are called "Agnostics" in philosophy, which is one of the positions my opponent is supposed to be arguing against under the resolution. Instead he's embraced theistic agnosticism, thus conceeding the debate.
Origin of the Universe
Like my opponent I agree that just because there are alternatives to the God hypothesis does not invalidate the God hypothesis. What I'm arguing is that the God hypothesis is no more or less likely than any other hypothesis for the creation of the universe, if it is a hypothesis at all. I'll deal with that part in the section labelled "Omnipotence Paradox" below.
My opponent's arguments from Alvin Plantinga are based on what the most "reasonable" assumptions are for the creation of the universe. By the philosopher's own admission, this is based on experience. However, you will recall that I already showed last round that experience is totally meaningless when it comes to the origin of the universe, since nobody has ever experienced anything beyond the universe (or any universe, for all we know). You will recall that I've already agreed the universe had a beginning (so I don't know why you spent three paragraphs justifying it), but I've disagreed that God must be the cause. I've given good reasons why in the previous two rounds, so bastardising Plantinga's work will not be enough to answer my contention.
My opponent seems to think that if he puts his exact same argument from last round into bullet points, it will magically become more correct. It's just a rehash of the same case that I dealt with in the last round, and my opponent continues to fail to respond to. If you want to read my counter-arguments to his bullet points, read round three.
I'm glad to see that my opponent has made some attempt to answer this problem. My opponent agrees that God cannot do things that are logically impossible, and thus that there are things God cannot do, making him not all-powerful as he is limited by logic, meaning logic must be more powerful than God. It is therefore valid to logically deduce that my opponent agrees God is not all-powerful, which contradicts his earlier narrative that God is all-powerful. In other words, he admits the notion of something as "the greatest concievable being" (as he defined God in round one) is internally self-contradictory, because the greatest concievable being is all-powerful.
My opponent has dismissed the entire notion of God he so feverantly wanted to defend in round one, and yet claims to have strengthened his faith. This is a conflict in my opponent's case - and his beliefs - that I hope he will resolve.
My opponent continues to be unable to answer my case against his case. His only refutation of my case was to abandon God. His own case has been entirely repetitive, particulary his case for objective morality. He has conceeded agnosticism. He has still not dealt with any of my specific responses to his case. Therefore he has still failed to defend the motion.
I look forward to summarising my case next round.
Christian-agnostic is only used for the properties of God
As Duns Scotus put it, there is an infinite distance between being and non-being, and theism posits the origin of being by being, whereas atheism posits the origin of being from non-being.
In our everyday experience everything has a beginning. Fact of the matter the laws of science show that everything has a beginning easy was to prove this is things come to an end. Look at our sun running down. The sun is using up its fuel at millions of tons each second. It cant last forever. The same can be shown to be true for the entire universe.
The Christian faith is not a blind faith it is a logically defensible faith(over Atheism).
To say life is the result of dead matter and random chance alone leaves on in a confused state. With no central over arching theme that ties together all the problems of humanity. Theism solves them all does Christianity solve them all in one swoop. With atheism or materialism most of these problems are disconnected and require separate solutions. With God they are all resolved in the one simple answer of God's existence. This makes belief in God the simplest and most elegant solution because it resolves all of our most important questions at once. That offers a strong indication in a that God is the cause of all life.
Thx to my OPP and our audience....
I look forward to another debate with my OPP on his terms this time.
In this debate, we've seen three principle defences of thiesm. Two of them - the origin of the universe and the existance of objective morality - have been throughly rebutted and ignored by my opponent in his summary round. I haven't spent much time on the third - the "wouldn't it be nice" factor. Wouldn't it be nice if God existed? All the problems of humanity could easily be solved just by reading one book? All the problems of science instantly solved? Our lives filled with contentment forever, even into an afterlife? I have to admit, of course it would! Unlike athiesm, theism literally promises everything, while athiesm promises nothing. On the surface, a simple cost-benefit analysis shows theism to be more attractive than athiesm. Sure, theism has a small number of costs (the cost of theism is decreasing, actually, now that tithing is becoming less popular with churches) but it has a lot more benefits!
However, all the promises of theism are premised on the existance of God. They do not inform whether God exists or not, and all the promises, followers and testimony in the world does not make God true. The agnostic position is that we don't know whether God is true with a certainty. Unlike his assertion this round, my opponent said precisely this last round. By contrast, I have adopted a gnostic position. I showed, in several rounds, that the omnipotence paradox disproves God. My opponent has not, in any way, been able to refute that analysis, except by abandoning God in round four.
Without God, theism is a blind faith.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with only one side that has made unrefuted arguments. Only one side that has immediately engaged with all of their opponent's case. Only one side that has properly cited their sources. Only one side that hasn't just appealed to the same, repetitive arguments and has actually been constructive throughout. Only one side has won this debate. I urge a negative vote.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by jwesbruce 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Too many unanswered by Pro subsequently weight inevitably shifts to CON
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