The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 707 times Debate No: 61205
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (2)




I (pro) will be arguing that God exists, from the very fact of consciousness. The burden of proof will be on me. The job of con will be to refute my argument.

1. No trolling.
2. No conceding.
3. Breaking the rules becomes an automatic win for the other opponent.


I accept. I look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you con, for agreeing to participate.

I would like to begin my opening statement by introducing the audience to my philosophy of mind. I hold to a view called idealism. Specifically, theistic idealism. Idealists believe that only the immaterial soul exists, and that what we call matter is emergent from mental phenomena. The idealist does not deny that matter exists, but believes that matter's form does not exist prior to observation. Form would include color, shape, size, smell, taste, sound, feel, and any other properties that make up subjective experience through the senses. When there is no observation, matter simply exists in a state of information. Think of it like a book. Before you pick up a book, there is nothing but information, which is meaningless, but when you pick it up and read it, you give the story its form. You give the book semantics, and its meaning. Or better yet, think of a computer game like Minecraft. It is a virtual reality. The game has space, motion, color, sound, sensation, and best of all, physical laws. It even has a virtual sun which gives the world color, and when the sun sets, the world becomes dark. And not one part of the virtual reality is fundamental. It is all emergent, and built from information, which is encoded into the computer. When you play the game, there are things all around you, but they are not objectively there if your computer character (first-person view) is not observing. It is only objective in so far as the information, but the virtual matter which emerges from this information is not objectively there. What I want to argue, is that we live in a compute like-virtual reality, built from information, and that this information is being simulated by God.

P1) Matter is merely a collection of subjective experiences.
P2) Subjective experiences are contingent on the existence of a mind."
C1) Therefore, matter is contingent on mind, and thus is not fundamental."
P3) If mind X were material, an infinite amount of other minds would be able to sufficiently explain mind X."
P4) An infinite amount of other minds would not be sufficient to explain mind X."
C2) Therefore, mind is immaterial.
P5) If matter is not fundamental, then it is information.
P6) Information is contingent on mind.
C3) Therefore, matter is contingent on mind (C1, P5, P6).
P7) This mind is not a human mind.
C4) Therefore, matter is contingent on some higher-level, non-human mind."
P8) By Occam's Razor, we can shave off unnecessary entities as an explanation."
P9) Multiple, higher-level, non-human minds would be unnecessary entities in explaining matter."
C5) Therefore, the existence of matter is contingent on one higher-level, non-human mind.

Justification for P1):

Sub-premise 1: What has no pragmatic use in the world we know should not be said to exist (a priori).
Sub-premise 2: A material reality beyond subjective experience is something that has no pragmatic use in the world we know."
Sub-conclusion:"Therefore, a material reality beyond subjective experience should not be said to exist (a priori).

As justification for SP1, I will ask you to look up Carl Sagan's essay known as, "The Dragon in my Garage".

As justification for SP2:

(1) We define things according to our experience.
This is common in everyday language. If someone were to ask me what a ball was, I would define it as something spherically shaped, bouncy, or whatever properties that particular ball has. In no sense however, will I define the ball as something beyond its observed properties, which I derived from my experience. In no sense will I define it as some fundamental, mysterious object, which is indirectly represented by properties of roundness, redness, or whatever.

(2) We can consistently have no external reality being represented, and have the same world we know."
We know this since we"ve had experience from dreams. Dreams are completely contingent on our mind, and the experiences we receive from them don"t represent anything external. It is also consistent to have physical laws in this reality. A virtual reality in a video game for example, is not contingent on an external reality, but on information processing. All the while however, there is also an information input for that reality to follow specific laws of physics, which are assigned by the programmer of a video game."

(3) There is already a candidate for explaining our experience which is satisfactory: information. I explained this earlier in my opening statement.

What the person who thinks there's a material reality beyond subjective experience has to believe is that there is something actually out there beyond our perceptions. This something is outside of space, and has no color, no geometry, no taste, no smell, no sound, no feel, and no property which can be experienced, if isolated from its form. It cannot even be coherently defined. It cannot be tested. It cannot be proved or disproved. It has no direct impact on our lives, nor does it help us understand the world better. This is worse than postulating a flying spaghetti monster, or even a god. This is because we can actually conceive of a flying spaghetti monster, and we have an understanding of what a mind is. We do not even have a clue what this mysterious matter is, which lies beyond our perceptions and experience. How is this different than nothing at all? {Just to clarify: I am a Christian and do believe in the God of the Bible, but I just use the term "god" for the purpose of example.}
One cannot just appeal to the fact that our perceptions and experience exist, and that this is sufficient to conclude that there is something beyond our experience. To argue this way would be to make the same mistake in arguing for the existence of a god by saying, "Look around! Creation proves a creator!" The problem with this line of reasoning is that you are not bothering to show that what we see around us actually is a creation, when you argue this way. Similarly, the one who says that there is a material reality beyond subjective experience is not making any argument showing that the existence of qualia is necessarily contingent upon an external material reality beyond subjectivity, by merely appealing to the fact that our perceptions and experience exist.

Justification for P3:

Given the first conclusion, since matter is contingent on mind, it cannot exist without a mind. If mind were material, it would be contingent on another mind. Then that mind would be contingent on another mind. Then so on and so on onto infinity.

Justification for P5:

So now that we"ve established that mind is immaterial, we need to turn now, and examine the nature of physical reality.
What would happen if we took away all the minds in the world? What would there be left? Answer: there would be nothing left in the world. "But there"s still physical reality", you might object. Remember however, that this "reality" is purely potential, meaning it has no actual existence on its own. It can only be something that actually exists if there is a mind present. However, if there is no mind present, then physical reality loses all potentiality, and turns into nothing.
So what is the one thing we know that only has potentiality of existing if there is a mind present? Answer: information. Information is the only thing that is immaterial, and only has the potentiality of existing when there is a mind present.

Why Immaterial?
Take the following characters: moeedr aylIg yeda.y kdswt
This is a bunch of meaningless gibberish, right?
But I rearrange them: I walked my dog yesterday.
I suddenly have something beyond syntax. I have semantic content, which as meaning.
It is important to remember that the meaning behind the characters is not the same as the characters themselves. If it were, then "moeedr aylIg yeda.y kdswt" and "I walked my dog yesterday." would be semantically equivalent. They are not semantically equivalent, and thus there must be more to the meaning than just the letters. The meaning itself must be immaterial.

Why is a Mind Necessary?
Without a mind, information becomes meaningless. If information is meaningless, then it has no potentiality. And since it has no material structure, it would thus be the equivalent of non-being. It can only have potentially if there is a mind in existence. It can only actually exist when the mind is in contact with it.

Justification for P6:

Does the information that makes up matter come from anywhere? Or is it merely self-existent? There are two ways to answer this question, and I think both of these need each other in order to work. We firstly know from past experience, that information is always the result of a mind. Whenever we see information specified for the mind"s experience, it always comes from another mind. Secondly, we have to remember that information is purely potential, meaning that it cannot have existence by itself. Something can only have potentiality if there is something actual, which gives it that potentiality. For a ball to have the potentiality of having the properties of blueness, flatness, gooeyness, or whatnot, there first needs to be an actual ball in existence. There cannot be potentiality without actuality. There must be something actual, which then has potentiality. Potentiality cannot exist on its own. Since we know that matter is purely potential as information, it thus follows that there must be something actual, which allows this potentiality to exist. And we know of only one thing that is actual all by itself: mind.


Before we begin, my opponent has not provided a definition of God, so I will do that.

God - "a maximally great [entity] that would be omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and all good" [1]

I will begin with my arguments against the existence of God, and then rebut my opponent's arguments.

One: Paradox of the Stone

This paradox is based around the idea that God is omnipotent. If God were truly omnipotent, then He could do anything. However, if God could truly do anything, then He could create a rock so heavy that even He cannot lift it. If He cannot create the rock, then he is not omnipotent. If He can create the rock, then He cannot lift it and is not omnipotent. Thus, omnipotence is incoherent. Thus, God is incoherent. Objections to this paradox include allegations of the misrepresentation of omnipotence, claiming that God can only perform actions noncontradictory to His nature. These merely dodge the question, not giving an answer (also, if omnipotence means being able to do anything noncontradictory to one's own nature, then I am omnipotent because I can do anything noncontradictory to my own nature). No matter how it is framed, unlimited capability plus self-referentiality ultimately results in a paradox.

Two: The Problem of Evil

Before I explain this one, it is important to note that "evil" does not imply some kind of objective moral standard imbued into the universe, but rather conditions that result in pain or unhappiness outweighing happiness. As stated before, God is all good, meaning that if capable, God would have to remove all evil. God is capable, because He is defined as omnipotent. The only way God could be all good and omnipotent and still allow evil to exist is if He didn't know about evil. However, God would know about evil, seeing as he is defined as omniscient. Thus, if God truly existed, pain, suffering, misery, and poverty would not exist. However, they clearly do exist, meaning only that God cannot. Some try to say that these evils are merely facilitators to a greater good. If God were truly omnipotent though, He could simply have instated that greater good from the start.

Now onto my opponent's case.

First of all, your idealism is inconsistent with the actual idealism belief system held in philosophy. Idealism was created by philosopher George Berkeley. However, the idealism created by Berkeley is starkly distinct from the one you explain.

"Berkeley does not deny the existence of ordinary objects such as stones, trees, books, and apples. On the contrary, as was indicated above, he holds that only an immaterialist account of such objects can avoid skepticism about their existence and nature." [2]

However, I will assume that by "theistic idealism" you refer to a specific offshoot that is distinct from the Berkeleyan view. You have not provided an unambiguous definition, so I will simply examine your examples.

Information by itself cannot exist without a material form. I have yet to see a single example of information existing without some physical medium. Words exist on physical paper before you read them, and the zeroes and ones that make up games like Minecraft exist on millions of servers throughout the world. Movie reels are a series of photos on film, DVDs consist of tiny indentations on a circular disk, and the argument I give now as a series of photons shooting from your screen to your eyes. All information has a physical medium, so the very conception of information existing without a material retainer is incoherent.

To be clear, sub-premise one in justification one does not work when given a binary choice without a positive and negative distinction. Neither the material world or the world of ideas lacks a burden of proof, and so the pragmatism method is useless here. However, when choosing between a world in which forms exist without needing to change when observed versus a world in which an object's existential identity is constantly flip-flopping, I will adhere to the simple, straightforward, matter that doesn't care whether the photons bouncing off of it hit an eyeball, or whether the chemicals emanating off of it waft into someone's nose. The two are independent.

In lack of support for Premise One, sub-premise two is useless.

Without Premise Two, Conclusion One is unsupported.

There is, thusly, no justification for Premise Three and Premise Four was never given any justification to begin with.

I have discussed how information requires a material medium, which disposes of Premise Five. In addition, I will say that as I have shown how Occam's Razor supports materialism rather than idealism, the support for Premise Five is likewise demolished. Physical reality is not merely potentiality. Meaning is assigned to information. No matter how you arrange the letters, the meaning will never be clear to a person who only speaks Mandarin, even though they are a conscious mind.

I am running out of character room, so I will summarize and say that even if we accept your argument, we still haven't achieved proof of the existence of God, as per the definition of God as an all good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent entity.
We have only achieved proof of "a higher-level, non-human mind", which is completely distinct from the former.


Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has claimed that I have not defined the God that I'm arguing for. This is false. You can take a look at my very definition of God by viewing C5 of my syllogism, in my opening statement.

He first presents an argument known as an omnipotence paradox. An example of an omnipotence paradox would be as follows:

"Could an omnipotent agent create a stone so massive that that agent could not move it? Paradoxically, it appears that however this question is answered, an omnipotent agent turns out not to be all-powerful. " [1]

The argument is deceptively clever, but nevertheless, flawed. Here is my counterargument:

P1. For every rock R of mass M, there is a possible world in which there is an agent A with a strength-level S, such that A can lift R.

C1. Therefore, there can be no rock R of mass M, such that it is impossible for an agent A with strength-level S, to lift R.

What I'm basically saying here is that there is no positive rational number that you can plug into M, that I cannot also plug into S, such that S would be sufficient to lift M. There is no mass such that there cannot be a strength level to allow that mass to be lifted.

P2. An omnipotent being would be such that his power reflects the power of all possible agents with a strength-level R.

This would mean that for any possible rational number you can plug into M, that same number can always be plugged into the S of an omnipotent being, such that the omnipotent being can lift a rock of mass M. For any mass that a rock can take, God has a corresponding strength-level that allows that mass to be lifted.

C2. There is no possible rock that cannot be lifted by an omnipotent being.

A rock that an omnipotent being cannot lift is an incoherent concept. No such rock is even possible, since for every mass, there is a corresponding strength-level that can allow that mass to be lifted. Asking if God can create a rock that he cannot lift would be like asking if God can create an incoherent concept. An incoherent concept cannot count as a "thing" that a being is able to do.

It is important to distinguish between

(A) Being able to make a stone such that at least somebody can't lift it.


(B) Being able to make a stone such that God cannot lift it.

Task (A) can be accomplished by a non-omnipotent or omnipotent being. However, nobody can accomplish task (B). Neither God nor man could accomplish this task. Task (B) is simply an incoherent concept. It cannot be accomplished because the stone being talked about is not a stone that exists in the set of all possible stones. Since task (B) is an impossible task, then not being able to do it would not go against omnipotence (given that we define omnipotence such that it entails doing all that is possible).

Nevertheless, my opponent might claim that I've missed the point entirely. He might say, "All it would take to point out that omnipotence is impossible would be to ask if an omnipotent being can do something that is not in accord with its properties. "

That would be false however. Here is a reductio ad absurdum of such a paradox:

P1: God is such that he can do all that is logically possible.
P2: Failing to be God is something logically possible.
P3: God cannot fail at being God.
C1: Therefore, God can't do all that is logically possible.
C2: Therefore, God does not exist.

I hope that con doesn't think this is a good argument. The fallacy of occurs at P2, because P2 is not a universal quantifier. P2 only applies to any being that isn't God. However, when it comes to God, P2 would be false. If God failed to be God, he would be violating the law of identity, which is a logical impossibility. One cannot violate one's own nature. A more honest formulation would be as follows:

P1: God is such that he can do all that is logically possible for him to do.
P2: Failing to be God is something logically possible for any being that isn't God.
P3: God cannot fail at being God.
C1: Therefore, God can't do all that is logically possible.
C2: Therefore, God does not exist.

Clearly, this argument would not work, as C1 would not follow from P2 and P3. It would be a non-sequitur.

Con might then claim that since no being can violate their own nature, then that would make con himself omnipotent. However, this would also be false, since a distinction needs to be made between accidental and essential properties.

"The distinction between"essential versus accidental properties"has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms: anessential property of an object"is a property that it must have while anaccidental property of an object"is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. " [2]

So for example, an essential property of a triangle is three-sidedness. If a shape did not have three sides, then it would be a non-triangle by definition. An accidental property of triangle however, would be it's color, size, or the type of triangle (isosceles, equilateral, or scalene). A triangle's accidental property is not something essential to bring a triangle. A triangle can be big or small; red or blue; equilateral or scalene, yet it would still maintain its triangularity.

When it comes to a creature such as con, the reason he cannot run 100 mph or fly is because of his physical limitations. However, there is some possible world in which con is able to do those things. Con's physical limitations are only his accidental properties, not his essential properties. The fact that some things are physically impossible for con would not therefore mean that con is omnipotent. For con to do something that he physically cannot do now, would only contradict his accidental nature, not his essential nature. When it comes to God however, the properties that make up his perfection are essential to him. God's goodness, knowledge, and power are essential to him. Without them, he wouldn't be God. That's why it would be logically contradictory for God to violate those essential properties. However, it wouldn't be logically contradictory to violate accidental properties (physical limitations), which are prone to change.

One way con might object to this would be by asserting materialism. He could say that there is no personal identity that doesn't change over time. Ignoring the fact that this would raise eyebrows, such a rebuttal would fail in light of my opening argument, and many others. Another response to this argument would be the fact that it takes away morality and responsibility, since one would not be the same person one was in the past.

Now if con is really smart, he will continue trying to defend the omnipotence paradox by invoking a character named McEar:

"Mr. McEar is a man who has the essential property of only having the power to scratch his ear. He is incapable of doing anything else. Mr. McEar does not seem to be omnipotent. But, he WOULD be omnipotent on the above definition. For instance, Mr. McEar is incapable of standing up; however, "A being who has the essential property of only scratching his ear doing something besides scratching his ear (standing up in this case)" entails a contradiction. Therefore, it is no detriment to Mr. McEar"s omnipotence that he cannot stand up. "[3]

Now while some have responded to this by questioning the mere possibility there being a character such as McEar, this would be to miss the point entirely. I think the best way to respond to this would be as Alexander Pruss puts it: "x"is omnipotent iff"x"can do anything whose doing is consistent with the nature of a perfect being. "

I'll respond to the rest next round.


[1]: Hoffman, Joshua and Rosenkrantz, Gary, "Omnipotence", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition)
[2]: Robertson, Teresa and Atkins, Philip, "Essential vs. Accidental Properties", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2013 Edition)
[3]: Cultural Relativism: Societies have different beliefs about what is ...


Since my opponent has stated that they have more to their argument, I will not make an argument this round so that my opponent may finish their arguments. I ask, however, that my opponent does the same service to me in round 5 so that I have two rounds to respond to two rounds of arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


The next argument con presents is the problem of evil. There's a difference between

(A) Why God allows evil.


(B) Why God allows pain.

For case (A), the answer will be Plantinga's free will defense:

P1. If God creates creatures who are significantly free, he must create creatures who are capable of moral evil.

P2. A world containing creatures who are significantly free is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all.

C. Thus, God has good reason to create a world in which creatures are capable of moral evil. [4]

Justification for P2:

God's goal is not to bring out the happiness among everyone. Happiness is the result, it is not the ultimate aim. Rather, God's aim is for the achievement of a life of love and goodness. However, for this to happen, free will is essential. There is a virtue that we all know of when it comes to doing things freely. Let's say that con and I are brothers, and we each bake a cake for our grandma. This would be a good deed you would say, but is there a moral significance between con baking a cake and I baking a cake? What if I told you that I baked my cake out of love for our grandma, while con baked his because there was someone controlling his mind? Either way, both actions might lead to some happiness, but clearly, the motivation and intent behind my deed would be obviously more virtuous than con's doing his deed out of coercion. The reason behind my good deed would come out of genuine will and generosity, as opposed to being forced. This ultimately produces the type of goodness and virtue that God wants exemplified in our lives. Thus, a world in which we do good actions freely would produce more genuine love and virtue (a world which God would desire), than a world in which we do good out of coercion.

Con might then object that since God knew the future before creating everyone, then he would be responsible for evil. However, this can be countered by holding to a view called selective open theism, which says that God has the ability to know the future, but he"chooses only to selectively know certain"things, related to His purposes and prophecies, but blocks out the rest in order to allow free will to play out. [5]

Now for case (B), the argument can be summed up like this:

(1) God is omnipotent.

(2) God is perfectly good.

(3) Pain exists.

While these three statements would seem contradictory, they stop being contradictory as soon as we add

(4) God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing pain.

In order for con to say that the first three are logically inconsistent, he would say that (4) is impossible.

Con might then argue against (4) by saying that while it may not be impossible, it would be improbable, but I would counter this with two points:

(a) We humans are in no position to judge whether it is improbable that God would allow pain, since we don't know the end from the beginning. We are finite and fallible beings.
(b) The Bible indicates that God would allow pain to achieve a higher purpose. See the story of Joseph, Job, etc.

Now I will respond to the point con makes at the end:

"Some try to say that these evils are merely facilitators to a greater good. If God were truly omnipotent though, He could simply have instated that greater good from the start. "

This is not the point though. As long as the evil in this world can be redeemed and morally justified, it doesn't matter how God does it. It doesn't impugn on God's moral character. This is an argument against God's goodness, not an argument on how sloppy God is.

Con then claims that information cannot exist without a material form. This is false however. Perhaps my opponent means to say is that information requires physical entities in order to exist, but clearly this would be question-begging, as I've argued that the mind is immaterial, and consequently, my thoughts exist as information in my mind, without material form. Furthermore, I would like to challenge con to coherently defined what matter is, beyond its form. I would also like to see how he can argue that form can exist beyond subjective perception, since form itself is subjective perception. The point being that subjective perception by definition, does not exist objectively.

Con then critiques SP1 of P1 of my original argument. He claims,

"sub-premise one in justification one does not work when given a binary choice without a positive and negative distinction. Neither the material world or the world of ideas lacks a burden of proof, and so the pragmatism method is useless here."

This would be to miss the point. When I use the word "pragmatic", I'm not referring to the empirical pragmatic method. I am appealing to a principle of parsimony that best helps us understand reality. There is a reason why people are not solipsists. Even though solipsism cannot be proven or disproven, the only way one can accept/reject it is via a priori reasoning. Since a world which matches our experience is a world that makes the most sense to us, that would make it the most pragmatic, since it best helps us understand the world. Similarly, when we're asking whether a material reality exists beyond subjective experience, we are asking a question that is best answered by a priori reasoning, and thus we can measure it by a pragmatic standard.

Con then claims that an idealist world would entail existential flip-flopping, but this not true. Form is not fundamental. Form changes all the time. It's not like there's something fundamental coming into and going out of existence. If con thinks that a change in form is not coherent, then that would entail the belief that time does not exist, since time is the measure of change, and change occurs with an object's form. The idealist's view is that matter is fundamentally made of information. This information never goes out of existence. It only changes form. When we make an observation, the information takes physical form. When we look away, the form ceases to be, but the information is still there.

Con then asks for justification for P4, so here it is:

Let's say you're at school, and your classroom has an infinite amount of people in it. When your teacher tells you to pull out a piece of paper, you realize that you've run out, so you ask a friend if he has an extra piece of paper he can give you. He then apologizes and says that he doesn't have an extra piece, but then suggests that he could ask another friend for a piece of paper. When he asks, the other friend apologizes and says that he doesn't have an extra piece, but suggests that he could ask another friend. And this just keeps going on and on, onto infinity. The question now is: will you ever get that piece of paper? No. An infinity is incomplete, and if you had to traverse an infinite amount, you would never get a piece of paper.

This would be analogous to how an infinite number of minds would work. Before mind X could exist, there would have to exist mind X* to allow X to exist. But before mind X* could exist, there would have to be a mind X** to allow mind X* to exist. But before mind X**, there would have to be a mind X***, and so on and so on. Even if you had an infinite amount of minds, that would still be insufficient, because at no point will there be a chance for any mind at all to exist. Mind simply has to be immaterial.

Lastly, I want to address a point that I should have addressed earlier. My opponent claimed that I did not define God, which is false. I defined him in C5 of my opening argument. I did not claim that God is a maximally great being. I only argued for the existence of a higher-level, non-human mind, who is sustaining the universe. If I have achieved that much, then I have successfully argued that God exists. Even if you disgree with my conclusion, it only matters how well I argued.


[4]: "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy."Logical Problem of Evil. N.p., n.d.
[5]: "CAB Bible - Fusion Theism."": Selective Open Theism. N.p., n.d.


Surrealism forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Alright, thank you once again for participating. Good day :-)


Surrealism forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to pro for not forfeiting. I don't think Pro's position necessarily proved the existence of God. While he argues that a higher mind is above the human mind and refutes Con's arguments (problem of evil, etc.), he never really proves that to be God. He states he believes in the God of the Bible, but he doesn't state what that higher level mind consists of. Con argues that information cannot exist without physical matter and based on observation, he is correct to infer that. What are all of God's attributes and abilities? Pro doesn't specify whereas Con does.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. This debate fizzled at the end, and I'm not entirely sure if Con's rebuttal was sufficient (in that he argued that Pro had at most defended a higher, non-human mind, but not god). Since the debate fizzled, I'm awarding the obvious point--conduct--and nulling the rest. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.