The Instigator
DaGreek
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
tejretics
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
tejretics
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 940 times Debate No: 78065
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

DaGreek

Pro

Hello, this a debate on the existence of God. For the defintion of God, we shall use "the greatest being possible". To give an idea of this, think all powerfull, all loving, all knowing... The rounds will look like this:

First round: Acceptence
Second round: Opening arguments
Third round: first rebuttals
Fourth round: second rebuttals
Fifth round: Concluding remarks

Also as some ground rules, no insulting, going off topic or making new arguments after the second round. Let the games begin!
tejretics

Con

I accept.

To clarify, God is (1) defined as the "greatest being possible", and (2) has the properties of being "all-knowing," and "all-powerful".
Debate Round No. 1
DaGreek

Pro

This debate is on what I consider the most important topic. The existence of God. Why is this so important you might ask? Because it affects our lives in every possible way. Depending on wether you say "yes" or "no" to the question of God's existence, you view of value, morality, truth, meaning, and the purpose of life and the universe changes. I believe in the existence of God. I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, eternal God. I believe in the God that was revealed to us in the Holy Bible. I also believe that the existence of this God can be rationally affirmed. Throughout this debate I will sketch out four arguments for the existence of God. Starting with the cosmological argument.

THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

In fairly recent times, it was discovered that our universe began to exist. That it came into existence from nothing, in a flash of light, in a single instance. This event has become known as the big bang. The beginning of the universe is supported by the expansion of stars, solar systems and galaxies. We see such things expanding apart, and if we were to rewind history, we would see all the universe collapse to a singularity. A point of infinite density: nothing. From this discovery, we can formulate an argument:

1- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2- The universe began to exist
C- Therefore, the universe has a cause

Before discussing the conclusion, I want to touch on the first premise. What is meant by premise one is that nothing pops into existence out of nothing. We do not observe one instance of this in the universe. Since "whatever begins to exist has a cause" is a metaphysical principle, it applies outside of the universe.

This brings us to the conclusion, what is the cause of the universe? Well, there are only two types of causes: natural causes and personal causes. Since nature came into existence when the universe came into being (they are the same thing), the cause could not be a natural cause. It then follows that the cause of the universe was a personal cause. A personal creator: God.

THE MORAL ARGUMENT

It has been said that if God did not exist, then there would be no objective morality. No objective moral truths. What does this mean? It means that if God does not exist then nothing would be objectively good or evil. No one could really condemn the Islamic State for torturing and killing those who had a different belief system than them. Why is this is case though? Because, if God does not exist, then humans are the "top of the ladder". There is no moral law that is above us. Morality would be just a concept in our minds. This would make moral truths subjective.

The thing is that objective morality does exist. No one outside of a mental institution would say that it is okay to torture people for fun. It is considered by the world to be really evil. More so, every civilization has an overarching moral frame. Even in far away countries it is considered truly good and that we ought love our family. Even in far away countries it is considered truly evil and we ought not to murder. The overarching morality throughout the world makes a case for objective morality: a moral law. This leads to the syllogism:

1- If God does not exist, then objective moral truths would not exist
2- Objective moral truths do exist
C- Therefore, God exists

THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIRE

This is a lesser know argument to some. It is not air tight, but deals with a high degree of probability. Throughout history, there has been a desire for the divine. A desire for God, or gods. This particular desire would be considered innate, considering that it is felt by even atheists. (If Con would like to challenge me on this desire being innate, I am happy to explain.) Even some atheists have a desire for divinity and God. Here are some quotes that show just that:

Albert Camus: "For anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of the days are dreadful."
Jean-Paul Sartre: "I needed God...I reached out for religion, I longed for it, it was the remedy."
H.G. Wells: "Unless there is a more abundant life before mankind, this scheme of space and time is a bad joke beyond our understanding, a flare of vulgarity, an empty laugh braying across the mysteries."

Where it gets interesting is this, every innate desire has a corresponding object of satisfaction. If one thirsts, there is such a thing as water. If one hungers, there is such a thing as food. If one is hot, there is such a thing as air conditioning. With this in mind, we can sketch the argument from desire.

1- Every innate desire has a corresponding object of satisfaction
2- There are innate desires that only God can fulfill
C- Therefore, God exists

THE RESURRECTION

In a debate such as this, the question that at least I have is, "what God are we talking about?" Knowing that there is a creator God or that whatever God exists is the foundation for morality is nice and all, but the identity of this God is the most interesting. There is just the person to look at for this question: Jesus of Nazareth. Why Jesus? Because historically speaking, He claimed to be God. From this we might view the argument as follows:

1- If Jesus rose from the dead, then His claims would be validated
2- Jesus rose from the dead
C- Therefore, Jesus' claims are validated, thus entailing the existence of God

To back up the second premise, we can look at three historical facts concerning the life and death of Jesus.

1: Jesus was executed via crucifixion
2: Three days after Jesus death, His tomb was found empty
3: After the tomb was found empty, five hundred and fifteen people claimed to have seen Jesus walking, talking, touching objects, eating and drinking

To support the historicity of the three facts, corroborating sources can be used. Both the Talmud and Mishnah (both non-Christian, Jewish histories) and the works of Tacitus, Josephus and Pliny the Younger (non-Christian and even anti-Christian writers) confirm the above three facts.

I want you to consider this. A Man is killed in a horrendous way and buried. Three days later, His secure tomb (a vault system was used) was found empty and five hundred and fifteen people claimed to have seen this Man risen from the dead. This sounds a whole lot like a resurrection.

CONCLUSION

I gave four good arguments for the existence of God. I now await Con's turn, but I want to leave you with something. Many think that Christians believe in God simply because they do. There is a lot more to it than that. There is so much evidence for the existence of God, that it would take hundreds of debates to get it all across. I encourage you to investigate this issue in depth and follow the evidence to wherever it may lead. Thank you.
tejretics

Con

Preface
This topic is my favorite debate topic. I would like to note that the burden of proof is on Pro to prove that God likely exists—I need only refute Pro’s arguments to succeed in negating. This is true from Russell’s celestial teapot analogy.[https://en.wikipedia.org...]



R1. Cosmological Argument
I will just concede the first premise, and go on to refute the second premise and the conclusion.


Beginning of the Universe
Pro’s interpretation of the cosmological evidence has to be assuming a presentism ontology of time, since under eternalism, the cosmological evidence shows only that the universe is past-finite, not that it ‘began to exist’. Eternalism is a tenseless ontology of time, thus holds that tensed facts don’t exist, and that the past, present, and future are all equally real.[http://plato.stanford.edu...]

I will now attempt to affirm eternalism via special relativity. Special relativity holds that each observer has their own “plane of simultaneity”, a section of space-time where they can view the simultaneity of events. The differences in the plane of simultaneity entail that the simultaneity of events is relative to the observer’s plane of simultaneity, since these planes change with vast differences in observer’s motion. If time is viewed as another dimension of space (entailing eternalism), changes in planes of simultaneity are explained—presentism fails in explaining these changes.[https://en.wikipedia.org...]

As such, the universe only “began” as much as a ruler “begins” with its first inch, under eternalism.

Personal Cause
Pro argues there are only two types of causes—personal causes and natural causes—but fails to justify this dichotomy. By this dichotomy, if a cause is supernatural, it has to be personal – but this has to be demonstrated.

I argue that even if the universe was caused, the cause could have been supernatural and, yet, not personal. This is because a personal cause would have to be a disembodied mind, but minds, in requiring processes, require time and the universe to exist themselves.

R2. Moral Argument
I’ve never faced a moral argument before (though am facing one in another debate of mine currently), so I hope this is interesting. I shall attack the premises individually.

Premise 1
If God does not exist, then humans are the ‘top of the ladder’. There is no moral law that is above us. Morality would be just a concept in our minds. This would make moral truths subjective.

This entire justification is a bare assertion. I don’t see how there can’t be objective morality without God—there is a proposition that objective morality exists in our genes. Till this is contested, the premise fails, since crimes such as murder are demeaning for a species, thus are evolutionarily unwanted.

Premise 2
Pro’s defense of this premise is based on the homogeneity of morality. In response, I’d like to ask a question—then why do animals commit acts that may be considered “immoral”, but aren’t? They aren’t immoral, since the concept of morality held by animals is different from that held by humans. Which means this “objective morality”, itself, is relative.

Until Pro adequately justifies the two premises, the argument doesn’t stand.

R3. Argument from Desire
I can completely concede both premises, and still maintain the argument is invalid. The argument doesn’t deductively follow—it’s a non-sequitur. Even if there are innate desires which only God can fulfill, that doesn’t entail that God has fulfilled these desires, which the argument assumes without justification. This is, in part, an appeal to emotion—since people “want” God, God exists, by the nature of this argument. The majority of the populace also wants a utopian world—but there is no utopian world now.

I still reject the first premise—by the exact same logic, a reductio: if one wants fairies, does it mean fairies exist? I want another $1,000,000 dollars on my account, but I don’t have it. The first premise is a hasty generalization.

R4. Resurrection of Jesus
I reject premise one. Premise one is a bare assertion, and is yet to be justified. Even if Jesus was resurrected, that only means he is supernatural—not that he was resurrected by God or was God. Let’s move on to premise two.

The facts Pro presents –


1. Jesus was executed via crucifixion
2. Three days after Jesus death, His tomb was found empty
3. After the tomb was found empty, five hundred and fifteen people claimed to have seen Jesus walking, talking, touching objects, eating and drinking


I concede #1 and #2, but I find problems with #3. According to Helmut Koester, the majority of the sightings of Jesus are unreliable, and there are only a few reliable sightings, all of which are vague.[https://books.google.co.in...]



Now, run it through an inference to the best explanation, using the following criteria, as generally used in history and philosophy:


1. Occam’s razor
2. Background knowledge


The resurrection fails #1, since the explanation of the resurrection adds an assumption that God exists and that Jesus is divine—the additional assumption must be rejected under Occam’s razor.[http://plato.stanford.edu...] #2 is failed because Fact 3 is unreliable and resurrection is, scientifically, impossible.


As such, the resurrection is a weak explanation for the two facts. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 2
DaGreek

Pro

Thank you Tej. Well, it just got interesting! Now we are into the philosophy of time and animal morality! Let's look at each of Con's objections, one by one and see if they hold.

THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

1- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2- The universe began to exist
C- Therefore, the universe has a cause

PRemise two

Tej objected to premise two on the grounds of Eternalism. Although the universe is past finite, Eternalism does not allow for the universe to begin to exist. To back this, appeals to Special Relativity are made. Keep in the back of your head that this is just one of the many interpretations of Special Relativity. Obviously, this objection only holds if Eternalism holds... I think that it does not. Eternalism says that temporal becoming and tensed facts are illusions and that they are really tensless. This is actually a contradiction and do I dare say, that it is actually an argument for a tensed theory of time! The argument goes as follows:

Eteralism claims that temporal becoming and tensed facts are an illusion. However, an illusion is a processed event that occurs in the mind/brain. As you might know, processed events require temporal becoming. This means that for an illusion to happen, there has to be temporal becoming! In reality, not only does Eternalism self-contradict but it back fires and argues for a tensed theory of time.

COnclusion

I stated that there are only two types of causes: natural and personal. We know that these are the only two types of causes because every event that occurs is a result of one of these causes. The tectonic plates cause earthquakes. This is a natural cause. When I plug in my electic guitar (and play too loud) I am the personal cause that caused the plug to go in the outlet. These two causes are accepted by scientists and scholars alike as the only two types of causes. In order to show that this is a false dichotomy, all Tej would have to do is name the third option. If this is a false dichotomy as he claims, this should be extremely easy. It would then conclude that the only two causes are personal and natural, and as we deducted earler; it has to be a personal cause.

The next objection is that the cause of the universe could not be personal because this would lead to an unembodied mind. Con says that this is impossible because minds require process, which requires time and thus the universe. This would not be the case for God though. Why? Because God by definition is omniscient. God knows everything. Since God knows everything, mind process is not required of God. Due to God's omnisience, He does not have to think out situations since He knows and had known everything from eternity past. In conclusion, God does not require mind processes.

THE MORAL ARGUMENT

Now we move to the moral argument:

1- If God does not exist, then objective moral truths do not exist
2- Objective moral truths do exist
C- Therefore, God exists

PRemise one

Con says that premise one and my explaination are both bare assertions, then makes some comments on genes and Evolution. Before I dive into those interesting topics, let me explain premise one better. If God exists, then morality would be based on God. There would be a moral law that is above all of us that is not based on human minds. If God does not exist, then morality would not be based on God. There would be no moral law above us that is not based on human minds. Instead, morality would be based on human minds. Since morality then would be reduced to a concept in the mind, then by definition it would be subjective.

On the note of genes giving us an objective basis for morality. First off, there is not an inch of evidence to support this. I know that Tejretics is not necessarily holding to this position, but one has to support an assertion. Otherwise, it is just that: an assertion. In addition, molecules and consequencly genes have no relation to truth. Objective morality is a series of truth statements on what is objectivlely good and evil. No molecule or part in a molecule tells that two plus two equals four. Nothing in our genes tell us that we ought to consider each argument in this debate fairly. I challenge Tej to provide the evidence for this claim.

Next, a mention of Evolution was brought up. The idea that I am getting is that Evolution can account for morality by weeding out what was unwanted. This however, would at best explain our subjective view of moral truths. This would not explain how morality is objective. In this case, morality would still be a concept in our minds and nothing more; rendering it subjective.

PRemise two

Con says that since animal morality is different than human morality, then objective morality is really relative. The short answer is this: Animals do not follow any sort of moral system. When a wolf kills a sheep, the wolf did not murder the sheep. When a bird goes onto another bird's branch, the bird did not trespass. Morality is for humans, not animals.

THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIRE

1- Every innate desire has a corresponding object of satisfaction
2- There are desires which only God can fufill
C- Thereffore God exists

When I say that there are desires which only God can fufill, I do mean that God fufills these desires. The desire for divinity for example is fufilled by God. The desire for eternal life, for example, is fufilled by God. With this in mind, the argument does logically follow.

Next, I want to adress what Con said on utopian worlds and faries. The argument is worded with innate desire. An innate desire is a natural desire such as water, food, relationships... When Tej was talking about money and faries, he was talking about artificial desires not innate desires. The examples that he gave where as a result, off topic. When the first humans were running around, they were not dreaming about finding faries. This was latter addded when faries became a central part in fantasy.

Desire that only God can fufill did exist from the beginning of mankind. When a family member died, one person at least wanted the dead member to still be alive (desire for eternal life). It is natural. We can see throughout history that religion of some kind was always present. This is a result of the desire for divinity. Did these religions produce divinity and fufill the desire? No, religion cannot create God. The desire for divinity, is in fact an innate/natural desire.

THE RESURRECTION

1- If Jesus rose from the dead, then His claims would be validated
2- Jesus rose from the dead
C- Therefore, His claims are validated, entailing the existence of God

PRemise one

I am supprised that Con rejects this. His justifaction is by saying that this only means that Jesus was supernatual. I do wonder if he is taking this position or if he is just saying that this is a live option. I would also have to say that either way, Jesus would have to be God in order to be resurrected. First off, God is a supernatural entity which makes Con's assertion strange. I assume that he is refering to a lesser supernatural entity such as an angel. Keep in mind that the Resurrection is a miracle and only through God's power can a miracle occur. This is because a miracle is a suspension of the laws of nature. Only that which created nature could do such a thing. This is because It which is performing the miracle has to be above and outside of nature, which is created.

To be outside of nature, this Entity wouild have to be free of what makes up nature. Otherwise, the Entity would really be in nature. This Entity would have to be non-material, would have to be non-spacial: omnipresent, not be bound by energy: omnipotent and be free of the restraints of time: eternal. This is the description of God. In total, if Jesus rose from the dead then He would be God.

THe supporting details

Of the three suporting details which I gave to back premise two, Tej has problems with the third (the eyewitnesses of Jesus' post-mortem appearances). He describes that some of the witnesses are vague and that only some are reliable. Keep in mind that the time the witnesses were recorded, Jeruseluem was in an up roar. The early Christians established a church and were preaching the Gospel everywhere they could. The five hundred and fifteen witnesses would be well known. The context of the list of witnesses was a reference to the encounters with the risen Christ, this means that audience would know the witnesses quite well.

THe big picture

Con objects to premise two on the basis of Ockhams' Razor and the background knowledge. He says that the Resurrection fails the infamous razor because it adds into play theism. Ockham's Razor can only be used to shave off multiplicity if the mutltiplicity is unnecessary. To illustrate this, if cookies are missing from the jar when mom comes home and little George was the only one there, it is better to assume that little George ate the cookies than the cookies where stolen by secret agents. This is because the extra assuption of the secret cookie stealing agents are unnecessary. In the case of the Resurrection, no Naturalistic explaination can account for the event so it is necessary to envoke theism.

Since the third supporting fact is "unreliable", Con says, the Resurrection does not go well with the background knowledge. I have shown that the third fact is not unreliable and even if it was, one thing being reliable cannot bring down the whole hypothesis. About the Resurrection being scientificly impossible, it is if one tries to explain it naturally. Of course one cannot rise from the dead naturally, the Resurrection is a supernatural event.

IN CONCLUSION

Throughout this long rebuttal, I have shown or rather I hope I have shown that all of Tej's objections do not hold water. As brilliantly marshaled as they where, I am afraid that they don't cut it. I now turn it over to Con.
tejretics

Con


R1) Cosmological argument


Since my objections are centered around eternalism and the dichotomy which Pro establishes, I shall divide the rebuttal into those two divisions.


a) Eternalism


I accept that the objection holds only if eternalism holds. As such, I shall respond to Pro’s objection to eternalism. Pro says that for illusions to exist, they require mental processes, which, in turn, require tensed facts. But mental processes *only* require a sequence of events--an arrow of time--and not actual tensed facts. The presence of an arrow of time is not denied by eternalism, since entropy determines that such an ‘arrow’ does exist. This argument against eternalism fails for another reason, since it is based on a flawed conception of time. Time itself is not determined by entropy--only the arrow of time is--because the majority of special relativity sees time as a spatial dimension [1].


Experiments from quantum mechanics vindicate eternalism. Photons have been entangled through time itself [2]. The present can affect the past and the past can be affected by the future, meaning they must all exist. Other experiments show time is an internal phenomena from quantum entanglement [3]. Under presentism, time dilation is impossible, but we have observed it [4].


The only interpretation of special relativity that allows for presentism as an ontology is the neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity, which is incompatible with any form of cosmology since cosmology is predicated on the principle of the uniformity of nature, which doesn’t exist under a neo-Lorentzian interpretation [5-6].


b) Types of Causes


I did present a third possible cause, which Pro dropped. The third cause is a supernatural one that isn’t personal. Pro doesn’t provide any justification for his assertion that a non-natural (supernatural) cause has to be personal, so that remains logically possible. As such, the dichotomy is a false one, so this argument doesn’t justify God.


R2) Moral argument


a) There is no evidence that genes give us morality--but to refute this premise, I need only show that it is possible that genes give us morality. Genes as an explanation for morality have the *same* probability as God explaining morality. Now, Pro says no morality is truly objective without God. I don’t even have to refute this, because Pro’s justification for the existence of objective morality--the homogeneity of morality across human cultures--can be entirely explained by genes.


b) Pro says morality is reserved for humans--this is a bare assertion. If all morality applies only to humans, then this vaccoulizes animals, and treats animals with the same moral value as rocks. But we can and do empathize with animal suffering, and seek to prevent it. This emotional connect clearly means we perceive animals as having rights as objective as our own. This could be flawed perception, but then why do we have such an objective perception? Abductive reasoning would entail that it is likely that: either animals have rights as much as we do, and that these are relative, or that morality itself is subjective.


c) As mentioned above, Pro’s justification for objective morality--the homogeneity of morality across cultures--can be explained by genes. Empathy is the basis for all morality. And empathy has an evolutionary origin [7]. Research in piranhas has shown results that suggests morality is an evolutionary trait [8].


R3) Argument from desire


There are multiple assertions Pro makes. The desire for utopia, i.e. a perfect world free of suffering, is as innate as desire for eternal life. There is a natural, biological desire to be free of suffering. Pain is a biological sensation that causes distress--there is a biologically innate desire to be free of all pain [9-10]. As mentioned above, empathy also has evolutionary origin. It follows that, via empathy, we desire a world free of pain and suffering, i.e. utopia. Therefore, this is a truly innate desire, which has not been fulfilled. As such, innate desires don’t necessarily require fulfillment. The desire for eternal life hasn’t been fulfilled, so this is a turn.


R4) The resurrection of Jesus


a) Pro asserts that for an entity to be supernatural, it would have to be transcendent. This is a turn--Con asserts that Jesus is supernatural, but then why was Jesus within the universe? The ontological analysis of properties completely fails. Pro asserts that something supernatural has to be God, but that’s invalidated by this turn. Furthermore, Pro has to affirm that, outside the universe, there is no constraint as this argument seems to assert.


b) According to Pro, the fifteen-hundred witnesses ‘would be well-known’. This is an appeal to intuition, thus is logically fallacious [11]. Additionally, Pro is relying on the Bible for historical fact, but the Bible has multiple historical errors (e.g. the entire Book of Exodus, which is rejected by historical consensus). Historian Helmut Koester (my source) writes, “All of the narrative materials of the gospels are not straight reports of events observed or experienced, but are stories cast into popular forms of communication. The quest for historical kernel is therefore doomed to miss the point of these narratives. … [T]hey do not provide answers to the quest for reliable historical information. … [E]xact details of names and places are always secondary … [and] precisely those elements and features of the narrative that lead to the climax of the story are not derived from historically trustworthy information” [12]. Pro is using bare assertions, while I use credible historical evidence.


c) Pro argues it is necessary to invoke theism because the resurrection cannot be explained otherwise. This is question begging, since it assumes the resurrection happened. I’m run it through an inference to the best explanation not to determine whether God exists, but whether the resurrection happened. So Occam’s razor and background knowledge are conceded. So, I’m saying--even with those two facts--the resurrection probably didn’t happen.


The resolution is negated.


1. http://plato.stanford.edu...

2. http://www.livescience.com...

3. https://medium.com...

4. http://www.phy.olemiss.edu...

5. https://en.wikipedia.org...

6. http://plato.stanford.edu...

7. https://www.psychologytoday.com...

8. See video.

9. https://en.wikipedia.org...

10. http://www.iasp-pain.org...

11. http://www.seekfind.net...

12. Helmut Koester. Introduction to the New Testament: Volume 2, 64-65. Walter de Gruyter and Co: 2000.
Debate Round No. 3
DaGreek

Pro

Sorry for my delay, I was very busy. In the comment section I said that I will try to make this an interesting debate. I think Tejretics did this for me! Let's go over each of the four arguments again.

The Cosmological Argument

1- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2- The universe began to exist
C- Therefore, the universe has a cause

Objection to Premise Two

Con objected to premise two by appealing to Eternalism. In his rebuttal, he gave some supporting evidence for Eternalism. I will not address that because my objection would make the very concept of Eternalism self contradictory. I stated that the idea that temporal becoming and tensed facts are an illusion is self-contradictory. This is because an illusion is a mind process and mind processes require temporal becoming. The response to this is that illusions (mind processes) only require an arrow of time, not tensed facts. The thing is that mind processes do require temporal becoming. Temporal becoming is the process of time states changing from one to the other. This is the arrow of time. Temporal becoming is just the way that the arrow of time is described in philosophy. So by admitting that mind processes require an arrow of time, Tej is admitting the reality of temporal becoming. With the reality of temporal becoming, Eternalism breaks down.

Objection to the Cause of the Universe

In deciding the cause of the universe, I said we had to look at natural causes and personal causes. I then showed that a personal cause would be the case. Con says that this is a false dichotomy because the cause could be supernatural but not personal. Although the term supernatural refers to an agent, not an impersonal force, I will show that the cause is necessarily personal.

The cause must be personal because a non personal entity cannot be a cause in this sense. Imagine an environment with no personal agents and in this environment there is a pond that is frozen. Nothing acts on this pond. This frozen pond would stay frozen forever because there is nothing acting on it and it is not a personal that can manipulate the environment. This is much like what Tej is envisaging. Since his supernatural cause is not being acted on by anything and cannot manipulate its environment, it could not have caused the universe. This brings us again to my opening statement where I deduced that the cause of the universe must be personal.

The Moral Argument

1- If God does not exist, then objective moral truths would not exist
2- Objective moral truths do exist
C- Therefore, God exists

Premise One

Originally, Con claimed that Evolution or genes could account for objective moral truths. Now, he just holds on to the gene hypothesis. In my last rebuttal, I stated that there is no evidence whatsoever for genes having any baring on morality and challenged Con to provide the evidence. He didn't. Instead he just says that it is as possible as God providing objective morality and leaves it at that. On this note, I would say that God is more probable in this case. I have provided four arguments for God's existence and there are over thirty six more. Thirty six pieces of evidence. How many arguments did Tej give for his gene hypothesis? Not one. Even though there are objections to the evidence for God, there are counters to those objections. Which side are you going to trust? The hypothesis that has an abundant amount of evidence or the hypothesis that has none?

Now, I want to show that genes cannot account for morality. Genes only account for physical traits. Such traits would include eye color, height and the way our brain relays information to our body. Morality is not a physical trait, thus would be outside the scope of genes. Things like morality are no where to be found in the physical body. You cannot point to a spot and say, "look, that is the part of the body called 'you ought to be nice'". Con did not give any evidence for his assertion, did not justify that it was possible, it is less probable than the God hypothesis and is inconsistent with science.

Premise Two

Finally, I am going to address Tej's animal morality objection. He says that since animals and humans have a different moral system than us humans, then morality is subjective. I answered this by saying that morality is only for humans. When a great white devours a seal, the shark did not commit murder. The shark was merely surviving. What is the response to this? "But we can and do empathize with animal suffering, and seek to prevent it. This emotional connect clearly means we perceive animals as having rights as objective as our own." This is missing the topic. Rights and morality are different things entirely. A new born baby has no idea about what he/she ought to do or ought not to do, but the baby still has rights. This defense is totally off topic.

The Argument from Desire

1-Every innate desire has a corresponding object of desire
2- There are desires which only God can fulfill
C- Therefore, God exists

The first objection that Con raises is that this could apply to fairies and other things that do not exist. This objection is flawed because God and desires which only He can fulfill are innate desires and Con's examples are not innate. The new objection is that we don't necessarily get what we want. That desires are not always fulfilled. This doesn't do anything to the truth of the argument. People die of dehydration when there is no water. There desire for thirst was not fulfilled, does this mean that water does not exist? Of course not. On top of that, the examples that Tej gave such as a utopia would fall under the category of desire which only God can fulfill.

The Resurrection

1- If Jesus rose from the dead, then His claims would be validated
2- Jesus rose from the dead
C- Therefore, Jesus' claims are validated, entailing the existence of God

Premise One

Premise one is objected to on the idea that Jesus could just be supernatural, not God. My response was that in order to preform a miracle, God would need to be involved. This is because a miracle is a suspension of nature. In order to suspend nature, the miracle worker has to be outside and above nature. Finally, in order to be nature, the worker would have to lack the qualities that nature has: matter, energy, space, and time. This would make the miracle worker non-material, not bound by energy (omnipotent), non-spacial (omnipresent) and timeless (eternal). The description you just read is a classical description of God. When I used the wording "miracle worker" I meant He allows the miracle to happen (God) , not necessarily the one who declares the miracle (saints, priests, nuns...).

What is Tej's defense of his objection? Before I get to this, I want to clear up a confusion. Tejretics thinks that I think (that sounds kind of funny) that something supernatural has to be God. This is not my belief. I would consider this view to be heretical because it would deny the existence of angels and other beings. I am saying that Jesus could not just be supernatural. Con's objection is that Jesus was in the universe, so how could He have resurrected Himself given the paragraph above. The classical Christian response is that when Jesus died, only His body died. His soul (immaterial) remained alive. Jesus could suspend nature because His soul was out of and above nature.

Premise Two

Con attacks that the Resurrection ever happened by invoking Ockham's Razor and evaluating the background knowledge. He says that since the existence of God is unnecessary, it can can be shaved off. However, I said that since no Naturalistic explanation can account for the three facts concerning Jesus death (the crucifixion, the empty tomb and the post-mortem appearances) thus we need to look for a theistic answer. Con says that this is question begging because it assumes that the Resurrection happened. Not so. It only assumes that the three facts need to be explained.

Additionally, Tej attacks the third fact concerning this issue: the post-mortem appearances. He says that since the list of witnesses are vague, it means that the Resurrection did not happen. Firstly, one area being vague does not affect the truth of the whole. This is invalid logic. Secondly, I gave a defense that the list of witnesses where not vague. The list of five hundred an fifteen witnesses was written in reference form in a letter. The first century middle east and Jerusalem in particular, was in an uproar. Christians where preaching in synagogues, debating in court, being arrested and many (the five hundred and fifteen) claimed to have seen Jesus risen from the dead. The five hundred and fifteen would be well known at the time given the situation. Not to mention that in the letter, it was written as a reference. Con says that this reasoning is appealing to intuition and is logically fallacious. This is a historical issue, not purely philosophical. As historical reasoning, this is perfectly valid.

The Bible

Finally, Con attacks the reliability of the Bible. He cites a quote that says the Gospels are not straight reports buy stories cast into popular communication. No support of this assertion keep in mind. When the Gospels are compared to other biographies of that time, they match. They focus on the crucial years of the Person's life, and focus of the Person's teaching. They do match what a biography of that time looks like, they do not match up with how the mythologies of the time were written.

Conclusion

The four arguments which I presented remain sound in face of Tejretics' objections, his new objections and his attempts to save his objections. I now turn it over to Con.
tejretics

Con

R1) Cosmological argument


Pro argues that mind processes and illusions require tensed facts to exist, and necessitate a distinction between the past, present, and future, making eternalism self-contradictory. Simon Prosser writes, “[O]nly certain kinds of things can have a role in determining brain states. The brain is a part of the physical world and the succession of its states is determined by the physics of the brain and its environment. If someone were isolated within a limited environment then in principle the physics of the system comprising the brain and its environment would determine the subsequent states of the brain and thus the experiential states of the subject. Even if a physicist could not predict these states in practice, and even allowing for quantum indeterminacy and the like, the system would still evolve in accordance with the laws of physics and nothing else. … [I]f there were such a thing as the flow of time it would have no role in determining brain states” [1].


I can completely concede that some form of time directionality is required for the mind and brain states, but that doesnot imply a presentist ontology. Eternalism *can* explain such time directionality--in the form of a ‘time ordering’ referred to as the B-series. Additionally, this argument does not defend presentism—it only attacks eternalism, but even the ‘moving spotlight’ worldview and possibilism wouldn’t allow the universe to have a ‘beginning’. Pro *drops* my evidence from special relativity and quantum mechanics, both of which back eternalism.


Next, objects that are personal also cannot act on things independently. Only if dualism or idealism were true would that be possible. I shall now frame a case for physicalism based on eternalism. Since eternalism is true, justified by quantum mechanics and special relativity [2-3], it would imply that there has to be another explanation for our perception of time. Prosser argues that “any physicalist or supervenience theory of the mind the nature of experience is determined entirely by the physical state of the world—experience could not be different without the physical state of the world being different. Now our understanding of the role of time in physical science suggests that the putative flow of time has no role in determining the physical state of the world. It follows from this that the flow of time could have no role in determining the nature of experience. The intuitive impression that time flows thus arises quite independently of the putative real flow of time. Consequently the nature of temporal experience provides no reason to posit a real flow of time” [1]. Only physicalism or Sereian biological naturalism can explain this, meaning all minds are contingent on brains—disembodied minds cannot exist.


R2) Moral argument


Evolution can explain morality, and, in fact, is the sole explanation for morality. “[A]ll social animals have had to modify or restrain their behaviors for group living to be worthwhile” [4]. Michael Shermer argues that whales display what are known as ‘premoral principles’, i.e. those principles that defined morality from an evolutionary perspective. He argues that “attachment and bonding, cooperation and mutual aid, sympathy and empathy, direct and indirect reciprocity, altruism and reciprocal altruism, conflict resolution and peacemaking, deception and deception detection, community concern and caring about what others think about you, and awareness of and response to the social rules of the group [are shared by animals and humans].” [5]


The biology of morality in social animals is simple. In these species, the neocortex came under intense levels of selection via biased mutations, to improve social cognitive abilities. The evolution resulted in two things: coalition forming and tactical deception. The management of relationships led to the formation of morality and is an evolutionary aspect—therefore, morality is evolutionary in origin [6-7]. In fact, altruism is a biological concept, which forms the basis of morality. “[A]ltruism refers to behaviour by an individual that increases the fitness of another individual while decreasing the fitness of the actor.” [8]


According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Altruistic behaviour is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures. For example, vampire bats regularly regurgitate blood and donate it to other members of their group who have failed to feed that night, ensuring they do not starve. In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives help in raising its young from other ‘helper’ birds, who protect the nest from predators and help to feed the fledglings. Vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked. In social insect colonies (ants, wasps, bees and termites), sterile workers devote their whole lives to caring for the queen, constructing and protecting the nest, foraging for food, and tending the larvae. Such behaviour is maximally altruistic: sterile workers obviously do not leave any offspring of their own—so have personal fitness of zero—but their actions greatly assist the reproductive efforts of the queen.” [9] The purpose of altruism is group level benefit. The fitness of each group is enhanced by altruism, therefore selection is the origin of altruism.


Sober and Wilson argue that altruism (and morality) is entirely a biological concept—not a philosophical one—as it arose out of evolution [10].


I object to premise two since animal morality *is* morality—of evolutionary origin—and should be treated that way. Since empathy is of biological and evolutionary origin [11], our feeling of empathy to animals entails that animals are a part of the ‘moral community’, therefore morality is not *really* objective: it is only an evolutionary aspect for survival in our genes.


R3) Argument from desire


Pro drops the majority of my refutation by simply strawmanning my position. I provided an example of an innate desire which had no possible object of satisfaction. As I said, utopia—a world, one where the desirer lives, free of suffering—is an innate desire, but there’s no corresponding object of satisfaction, since us desirers don’t have a world free of suffering. It would be unfair for Pro to bring up an objection to this now, since then it would be a new argument, which is misconducted and not allowed. Therefore, presume Con, and this contention is refuted. I ask voters to dismiss any further objections Pro makes, since silence is compliance.


R4) The resurrection of Jesus


I reject the idea that to be out of nature, one must be free of the qualities nature possesses. Let me trivially illustrate the problem with this with the example of the following cup.



The contents of the cup are water, sugar, and juice. As such, by this logic, anything outside the cup has to be juiceless, sugar-free, and dry. But it, obviously, is not. Similarly, for something to be supernatural does not mean it is ‘nature-less’. It can be natural, with some capabilities extending beyond natural processes. Premise one fails.


Onto the third fact—there are many reliable accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. I argue, with my source Helmut Koester, that these accounts are unreliable [11]. Some positions are that the entire description of the resurrection in the Bible is a post-Pauline interpolation, so all of Paul’s witnesses fail [12]. So far, Pro has not offered a single source to back up their claims that these witnesses are: (1) really witnesses, and (2) reliable and non-vague.


Pro argues there are no naturalistic explanations for these 3 facts, but there are explanations. His execution via crucifixion can obviously be explained—it is merely his execution from a physical tool. The second fact has multiple explanations, e.g. his body was taken away, etc. The third ‘fact’ is disputable—there were no *reliable* records of the resurrection. The Gospels can be untrustworthy for three reasons: (1) there have been multiple historical inaccuracies in the Gospels before, (2) literal interpretation of the Gospels fails, as Helmut Koester notes, and (3) Corinthians 15:3-11 can be a post-Pauline interpolation.


== Summary ==


Pro has the burden of proof, and has failed to fulfill it. His C1 fails because the second premise assumes presentism on a flawed basis, and there’s no ontological reason to conclude that if the universe was caused, it was caused by God. C2 fails because morality is an evolutionary trait. C3 fails because Pro drops my argument against it, and, as the next round is the last, silence is compliance—if Pro addresses it, it is misconducted—therefore voters must presume Con for C3. C4 is mine since it doesn’t link to the resolution and fails to affirm the resurrection.


Sources

Debate Round No. 4
DaGreek

Pro

This was a very interesting and fun debate! I defended that God does exist and gave four arguments to support this position. The question is whether not Tejretics made compelling objections to my arguments. If he did not, then the proposition that God does exist stand. Does he make compelling objections? I don't think so. Here is an overview of the debate:


The Cosmological Argument

Premise one: Whatever begins to exist has a cause
Premise two: The universe began to exist
Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause

Premise two

Tej objected to premise two on the basis of Eternalism. He claimed that since Eternalism is true, then the universe could not have "began". I formed an argument against Eternalism and stated that if the argument stands, then regardless of the evidence, Eternalism would be self-contradictory. The argument is as follows:

Premise one: An illusion is a mind process
Premise two: Mind processes require temporal becoming
Conclusion: Therefore, an illusion requires temporal becoming

Since one of the crucial pillars of Eternalism is that temporal becoming is an illusion, is self-contradictory due to my above argument, Eternalism buckles. Tej tries to save his Eternalism objection two ways, first he says that mind processes only requires an arrow of time. An arrow of time however, is synonymous with temporal becoming. Next, he says that an arrow of time is not necessary for mind process. He takes the complete opposite view that he was defending! Now, according to the debate rules, he is making a new argument. I will respond to this because of the violation. First, the justification for this is that the only thing that affects mind processes are physical laws and since temporal becoming is not a physical law it does not affect mind processes. Other things affect mind processes such as illusions and descision making besides physical laws. Such examples would be emotions, laws of logic and possible consequences of actions.

The Cause of the universe

Tej then objects to the notion that the cause of the universe is personal. First, he says that cause could be supernatural but not personal. After I shown that this is not possible (see previous rounds) Con stopped defending this possibility and raised a new objection in the fourth round. The objection is now that a personal cause would be an unembodied mind and this would assume mind-body dualism which he says is not true. Again, since this is a new argument, I will respond to it. Tej cites Simon Prosser saying, "experience could not be different without the physical state of the world being different." This is supposed to imply materialism/phsicalism. However, mind-body dualism never disagrees with this. Dualism simply states that although we live and experience the physical world, we have an immaterial soul. This does not refute dualism.

The Moral Argument

Premise one: If God does not exist, then objective moral truths do not exist
Premise two: Objective moral truths do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists

Premise one

Tej gives two explanations of how objective moral truths could exist without God: evolution and genetics. I objected to evolution yielding objective morality by saying, "This however, would at best explain our subjective view of moral truths. This would not explain how morality is objective. In this case, morality would still be a concept in our minds and nothing more; rendering it subjective". For a brief while Tej stopped defending the evolution objection but then brings it back up. Even though he brings it up again but ignores (or appears to) my objection. My objection still stands. Onto genes. Tej gave no evidence for genes containing morality, does not explain why it is possible or viable. He simply says that it is as possible as God. I gave four arguments for God's existence and there are thirty six plus more...Tej gave no arguments for his view, and there is no evidence for it either.

Premise two

Tej says that since animal morality is different than human morality, morality is subjective. Animals do have moral values or duties and do not know moral truths. I gave an example of when a shark eats a seal, the shark does not commit murder it is just surviving. Although animals might act as if they are moral, examples like the last still applies.

The Argument from Desire

Premise one: Every innate desire has a corresponding object of satisfaction
Premise two: There are desires which only God can fulfill
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists

The first objection

The original objection raised to this argument is that it could be used to prove fairies. This is not so because desires which only God can fulfill (desire for eternal life, divinity, reuniting with dead family...) are innate desires but fairies are not innate. I gave support of this in the above rounds.

The second objection

After the first objection, Tej says that there are certain innate desires which are not fulfilled. An example that he gave was the desire for a utopia. To this I responded that just because one's desires are not fulfilled, it does mean that there is no object of corresponding desire. I explained how if someone dies of dehydration/the desire for thirst is not fulfilled, it does not mean that water does not exist. I apparently misunderstood this, so I can not respond to Con's clarification: "I provided an example of an innate desire which had no possible object of satisfaction." But I can quote myself from a previous round and this would not be a *new* argument: "On top of that, the examples that Tej gave such as a utopia would fall under the category of desire which only God can fulfill." I cannot defend this quote due to the rules, but I encourage you to think about it.

The Resurrection

Premise one: If Jesus rose from the dead, then His claims would be validated
Premise two: Jesus rose from the dead
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus' claims are validated entailing the existence of God

To support premise three, I gave three facts:

Fact one: Jesus was executed via crucifixion
Fact two: Three days after Jesus' death, His tomb was found empty
Fact three: After the tomb was found empty, five hundred and fifteen people claimed to have seen Jesus walking, talking, touching objects, eating and drinking

Premise one

The claim that Con makes is that Jesus could have been a supernatural entity but not God. This would undercut Jesus' claim to divinity. My objection to this is that the Resurrection was a miracle. A miracle is a suspension of the laws of nature. Only that which created nature could do such a thing. This is because It which is performing the miracle has to be above and outside of nature, which is created. To be outside of nature, this Entity wouild have to be free of what makes up nature. Otherwise, the Entity would really be in nature. This Entity would have to be non-material, would have to be non-spacial: omnipresent, not be bound by energy: omnipotent and be free of the restraints of time: eternal. This is the description of God.

Tej asks how could Jesus perform a miracle if He was in the universe. I responded specifically to the Resurrection, only Jesus' body died; His soul did not die. Jesus would be outside of the universe (physical world) and then could perform the miracle.

Tej attacks my explanation of how a miracle requires God. This is a second argument against premise one that makes after round two. I don't want this conclusion to be huge, so due to the rules of debate I will dismiss it invalid. If anyone is interested in how I would respond, you can PM me. Although...that juice in making me thirsty...

Premise two

Tejretics objects to the Resurrection happening by saying that it fails Ockham's Razor and the background knowledge (the three facts). The Resurrection does not fail Ockham's Razor because invoking theism is necessary to explain the three facts (in total) because all Naturalistic accounts fail. Tej then tries to explain each of the facts in a Naturalistic account. I do not say that the first two facts alone cannot be explained in Naturalistic account. Rather I am talking about the whole. I want to address the second fact in the brief. The body of Jesus could not have been stolen. The Romans and the Jewish leaders wanted Him dead, so they would not have stolen it. And the disciples could not have stolen the body because they did not have the ability, opportunity or the motivation.

As far as the reliability of the second fact. As I said in past rounds, the five hundred and fifteen eye-witnesses would be well known. Tej now claims that the list of witnesses are post-Pauline. He does not given any evidence for this. Finally, why would people fabricate the appearance of Jesus? So they could be outcasts, persecuted, mocked, beaten, tortured and killed? I don't think so.

Conclusion

Tejretics did not defeat any of the four arguments which I presented. A couple of times he even dropped old objections, made new ones and even changes his view 360 degrees half way through the debate. All four of my argument still stand. Thank you again Tejretics for the good debate. Vote Pro!

Sources: (video+website for each argument)

Cosmological argument

https://www.youtube.com...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

The moral argument

https://www.youtube.com...
http://crossexamined.org...

Argument from desire

https://www.youtube.com...
http://www.calvin.edu...

The Resurrection

https://www.youtube.com...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Why evolution cannot create objective morality

http://www.str.org...

Tensed theory of time

http://people.wku.edu...
tejretics

Con

I thank my opponent for an invigorating and truly stellar discourse.


R1) Cosmological argument


Eternalism holds that the flow of time is an illusion, and we perceive a flow of time because of physicalism. Pro says that an illusion itself requires a flow of time--but it does not require a flow of time that is objective. Even it only requires the thermodynamic rate of entropy. Entropy is distinguished from an objective flow of time. I’m not seeing how this temporal becoming has to be *objective*, when the illusion we experience is shown by physicalism. As I held from the start of the debate, a process requires time only in that it requires entropy, but it does not require a distinction between past, present, and future.


Pro says the paper I presented is a new argument, but it isn’t--it only substantiates the position I advocated at the beginning of the debate. For there to be a true ‘flow of time’, there needs to be a clear distinction between the reality of past, present, and future [1]. No such distinction is required for a mind process, so that flow of time is not an objective one--it is still based on how we perceive our mind functions--and is completely explained by physicalism [2]. So, while time has a role in determining brain states, a *true* flow of time does not.


Additionally, Pro says Prosser’s argument does not link. Actually, it does, simply because relativity and quantum mechanics entail eternalism. This was dropped by Pro from the beginning. The only interpretation of relativity compatible with presentism is the Neo-Lorentzian Ether Theory, but there is no no evidence of such an ‘ether’ existing, and it is rejected by physics [3], since otherwise, *all* cosmology would fail. Due to this, eternalism is true, and Pro’s objections fail. From this, physicalism is the sole explanation for our perception of time. Prosser explains, “[O]n any physicalist or supervenience theory of the mind the way things seem to the subject is determined by some aspect of the brain state; consequently if there are such things as mind-independent tenses they must have a role in determining brain states. … [I]f there were such a thing as the flow of time, it would have no role in determining brain states and consequently, it would have no role in determining the nature of experience” [4]. Since eternalism is true, and this is the sole explanation for our perception of time, physicalism is the sole explanation.


R2) Moral argument


I did not ignore this point--I refuted this in R3, but Pro dropped it. I clearly stated, even if this only explains our subjective sense of morality, it *perfectly* explains Pro’s justification for ‘objective’ morality--the homogeneity of morality. Pro justifies that morality is objective with its homogeneity across cultures, but evolutionary morality explains this. I brought this up, but Pro dropped it. With this evolutionary morality explanation, both premises fail.


R3) Argument from desire


I addressed Pro’s objection as well--desire for utopia is an innate desire, and it does not exist. Pro asserts that every innate desire has an existing object of satisfaction, but it doesn’t exist, *unless* God exists. Pro’s objection is question begging, because it justifies the first premise with God’s existence, which is also the conclusion. While there are innate desires which only God can fulfill, I’m saying such innate desires cannot be fulfilled anyway.


R4) The resurrection of Jesus


a) Pro asserts the juice analogy is a new argument, but it isn’t--it’s an analogy used to justify a point I made earlier in face of Pro’s other objections. Pro *fails* to demonstrate that something supernatural has to be ‘beyond’ nature, and this merely supports my objections which I began raising from the second round itself. Extend this argument, and consider it dropped.


b) Firstly, I did not assert the witnesses are post-Pauline--I’m saying the mere possibility that they are post-Pauline refutes this argument. Secondly, Pro *fails* to justify the reliability of those witnesses--the fact that there is a number doesn’t mean they even existed, or are reliable, as my source, Koester, notes [5]. I’m not saying they fabricated it--the thing is, we have no reason outside of the Bible to know they even existed, or even witnessed the resurrection, as such sources, at these times, could be highly unreliable, and were likely so. From those two facts, naturalistic explanations account for an inference to the best explanation better, so the resurrection is unlikely.


Crystallization


The burden of proof rested entirely on Pro to prove the resolution as definitely--or, at least, most likely--true. I argue Pro has failed to do this because all Pro’s arguments fail.


R1: Cosmological Argument


The cosmological argument has two problems that I raised--first, the second premise assumes a ‘presentism’, or tensed, ontology of time, but a tenseless ontology is justified by special relativity and quantum mechanics. Pro drops my justifications from relativity and quantum mechanics, with observed experiments. Pro’s objection to eternalism fails to link because it doesn’t entail presentism unless a false dichotomy is established (e.g. discounting for possibilism, shrinking block universe, etc.), and its impacts fail because only thermodynamic ‘temporal becoming’ is required, *not* an objective flow of time or distinction between the tenses. The second objection I raised was related to the argument assuming the cause has to be God, and, as I argue, a personal cause has to assume a dualist ontology of the mind, which fails in light of eternalism and physicalism.


R2: Moral Argument


Both premises fail because of the evolutionary origin of morality--the evolutionary origin perfectly explains the cultural homogeneity of morality, and simultaneously entails as likely true according to biological studies. I demonstrated the biological origin of altruism and empathy, which are dropped by Pro. This refutes both premises, so presume Con.


R3: Argument from Desire


Pro mixes up the premises while defending this argument. I *conceded* the second premise, but Pro addresses some objections as if they were objections to the second premise instead of the first. I argued that utopia is an innate desire, but it has no corresponding object of satisfaction that exists--Pro says God could cause utopia, which is question begging. The first premise fails.


R4: Resurrection of Jesus


The argument fails to link, because (per the juice objection) something supernatural is not something ‘nature-less’, or ‘beyond nature’. The impacts fail because the witnesses are dubious, and an inference to the best explanation would entail a naturalistic explanation, the latter of which Pro concedes.


Therefore, vote Con.


1. http://plato.stanford.edu...

2. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk...

3. https://en.wikipedia.org...

4. Simon Prosser 2000, “A New Problem for the A-Theory of Time,” Philosophical Quarterly 50, p 497 (linked in source 2).

5. https://books.google.co.in...


Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
RFD Part 1/4

I think sources clearly goes to Con. Pro never uses sources until round 5, even though he made tons of empirical claims like that the big bang demonstrates P2 of the KCA, as well has claims that history supports the resurrection. None of these were cited whereas Con had sources to go with his empirical claims.

In refuting the KCA, Con brings up eternalism and the objection that there can only be a personal cause and a natural cause. Pro objected that there needs to be a flow of time to account for consciousness. Con explained that eternalism doesn't need to contradict a flow of time whatsoever, just an objective flow of time. Pro seems to think temporal becoming and a flow of time are synonymous, when they are not. Temporal becoming means something begins to exist, it once didn't exist. But there are even theories of eternalism which state there is an objective flow of time, yet all temporal states exist. Con defends the claim that a flow is subjective meaning that it is based on the very nature of the brain itself. Pro's rebuttals amount to him making the same mistake that temporal becoming is the same as a flow of time.

When it comes to personal causes. Con states that there may be a non-sentient supernatural cause. Pro says that a non-sentient supernatural cause couldn't act on anything. Con argues neither can a disembodied mind. Pro says this is a new argument and therefore doesn't have to answer it. I wouldn't say it was a new argument, but it was an argument to demonstrate something he was already arguing for.

Pro fundamentally misunderstand the philosophy of time, so I have to give this section to Con
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
RFD Part 2/4
With the moral argument, it seems Pro changed it mid-debate. First he was arguing that only God can account for objective morality, then he argues other moral theories are not probable. Instead of arguing God necessarily grounds morality, he argues that God likely grounds morality. Con points this out and Pro states that Con is changing his argument. Pro then gives an argument against the evolutionary account. He states genes can only account for physical traits. Con shows that evolution can also effect behavior. Pro says this only shows it is subjective at best and says Con never gave evidence for this. But this doesn't seem right, as morality would be based in genetics, not the mind. And all that's needed it to give a possible explanation without God to refute P1.

Pro misunderstands the nature of his own argument. P1 is a necessary claim, not a probable one.
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
RFD 3/4

Pro's third argument isn't valid. He never establishes that such desires are fulfilled. Pro says that what he means by premise two is that they are also fulfilled (mere assertion). He also claims Con's parodies aren't accurate because they are artificial desires, not innate. Con argues they are innate and states Pro hasn't shown desires for eternal life have been fulfilled. Pro again gives no justification that such desires are fulfilled and states that the parodies are only artificial desires. Pro lists the same objections without justifying any of his assertions for the rest of the debate.

Pro's argument has an invalid set up and never justifies that God actually fulfills such desires.
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
Rfd 4/4

Con claims that even if premise one is true, it doesn't follow that he was resurrected by God. Along with stating the third fact that Pro presented isn't reliable. Pro seems to have the idea that only transcendent entities can be supernatural, which is why he misunderstand con's objection. Then stating that the 500 witnesses were well known. Con says Pro is contradicting himself as he believes Jesus was supernatural, but not transcendent. Con states Pro is appealing to intuition and that the bible cannot be counted as historically accurate. Along with saying he is begging the question. Pro says that Jesus suspends nature and is therefore transcendent. He claims that it isn't question begging because it is needed to explain the three facts. But Con's objection is that the third fact begs the question. Pro goes to restate there is a list of the witnesses and that it isn't an appeal to intuition because it's not a philosophical issue (misunderstanding fallacies apply to arguments themselves). He defends the bible by claiming they match up with each other. Con states that even if Jesus did miracles, that doesn't mean it is out of nature. He shows that the gospels are unreliable and states there is no reliable records of the witnesses. Pro responds to Con's first objection by claiming that it would mean Jesus wasn't divine. Pro appeals to the eye witnesses evidence to account for the accuracy of the gospels. But since that is the claim in question, it's hard to see how this justifies his argument.

Pro never justifies the witnesses claims outside of the gospel, nor does he defend against Con's claims that the gospels are unreliable.

Pro's arguments are full of problems and unjustified assumptions. Along with the lack of sources, I give sources and arguments to Con.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@wallfly - Yes, why?
Posted by wallfly 1 year ago
wallfly
@Tejretics, are you really 13 years old?
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@TJVN -

Thank you! My vote on your debate will be up soon
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
im gonna evaluate this debate at some point as well
Posted by DaGreek 1 year ago
DaGreek
Same here!
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@DaGreek:

Awesome debate, I'm having so much fun!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by n7 1 year ago
n7
DaGreektejreticsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Keeping source points tied as requested.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
DaGreektejreticsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: h