The Instigator
Jerry947
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Stupidape
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
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after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 275 times Debate No: 94217
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Jerry947

Pro

The definition of God is already given in this post. I am not arguing for any moon God or etc...

Rules:

-Pro argues for God's existence using various arguments.

-Con argues that God does not exist. And yes, Con actually has to provide arguments for the non-existence of God. For some reason people never understand this.

Rules...

Round 1:
-Pro gives definitions and sets up debate
-Con accepts the debate (acceptance only).

Round 2:
-Pro gives opening argument
-Con gives opening argument...no rebuttals.

Round 3:
-Pro responds to what Con argued
-Con responds to what Pro argued (does not defend arguments)

Round 4:
-Both debaters conclude their arguments and finish responding to what each other wrote.

Definitions:

God-the greatest conceivable being.

Exist-have objective reality or being.
Stupidape

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Jerry947

Pro

The Cosmological Argument:

a. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

Pretty self-explanatory...

b. The universe began to exist.

Modern science supports that the universe had a beginning. For example, the second law of thermodynamics helps us figure out that the universe is running out of energy (hence heading towards a heat death). In an eternal universe, it would have run out of energy by now. So since this hasn't happened, we know that the Universe had a beginning. Also, there is the discovery of red-shift in 1929. Basically, this discovery showed us that the universe is expanding which means if you were to go back in time, the universe would shrink and shrink until you get this infinite point. William Lane Craig says it better, he states that "as one traces the expansion back in time, the universe becomes denser and denser until one reaches a point of infinite density from which the universe began to expand."

c. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence
d. Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent).
God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe.

Truth Argument for God:

a. Truth is a statement that agrees with reality. Or in other words, truths make statements about what is real. For example, if I were to say that Obama is currently the President of the United States, I would be making a statement that agrees with reality.
b. Truth requires a mind. Sine truths are statements...and because statements are made by a mind, then it follows that truth requires a mind.
c. There are universal truths. 1+1 will always equal 2 no matter who is aware of this fact.
d. Therefore it follows that there must be a universal mind (God).

The Axiological Argument:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

Since this premise is generally not disputed, I will only give a quick defense of it. Objective morals have to come from an objective source and that source can only be God. Nothing/nobody else could produce an objective moral code.

2. Objective moral values do exist.

a. Since we know what is absolutely wrong, there must be an absolute standard of rightness.

Murder is an action that all people (insane people are the exception) recognize as absolutely wrong. Taking the life of a human being unjustly is undeniably wrong and everybody knows it. That said, if we know what is wrong, we must have some idea of what is right. For example, if someone were to say that 2+2 were equal to five, we would know that they were wrong. But in order to know that, we would have to have some idea of what the right answer was.

b. If there wasn't a Moral Law, then we wouldn't make excuses for violating it.

We have all done something wrong at some point in our lives. It is interesting to note that we always try to make excuses for violating the moral law. But if there was no objective moral law, then we would not feel the need to apologize to people when we hurt them. For example, if I were to say some harsh words to a family member of mine, I might try to offer them excuses like "I was hungry."

However, if morality was subjective, and there was no right/wrong, we wouldn't feel the need to to say sorry whenever we did something "wrong". In fact, lets say that I owed a person money. I wouldn't have any moral reason to pay them back. The person I owed money to merely would have a different opinion of what morality was than me. And since there would be no objective moral standard, I would be perfectly justified in not paying him back.

But this is all ridiculous since we all are aware of the same objective moral law. And that is why we make excuses for violating it and that is the reason why we just know when someone wrongs us.

c. All people really do know that a standard of right/wrong exist.

Most people have an idea of what is right and wrong. Now some people might argue that there is no such thing as objective morality or a real right and wrong. But the people that argue this always go back on their claim a moment later (Lewis 6). The same people that say that morality is opinion based (or subjective) would still be irritated at people for treating them poorly. I can imagine that my opponent would be irritated if the voters gave me all the votes merely because they liked my username better than his. He would certainly feel wronged. But the thing is, if morality was subjective, no one should ever feel wronged. Why would someone feel wronged if morality was based on opinions?

Sometimes people try to argue that morality is created by societies. But we also understand that there are societies that have condoned evil practices when in fact people know that the society was wrong. For example, W. H. Auden, a famous 20th century poet, said that "there had to be a reason Hitler was utterly wrong." Auden said this famous quote after going to a theater that showed pictures of the Holocaust. These pictures sickened him and made him rethink his worldview. Before watching these pictures, Auden believed that it was up to the society to decide what was right and wrong. But during his time at the theater he realized that if societies decided what was right and wrong, and if morality is subjective, this would mean that Hitler was justified in everything he did. Well, at least according to that society. And who are we to tell them they are wrong if morality is purely subjective?

d. If there is no objective morality, there is no reason to be moral. If there was no objective standard of right/wrong, then all we would have is peoples opinions. Our opinion on morality would be like our opinion on what the best flavor of ice cream is. It just would not matter If we did something that people thought was wrong since there would be no objectively wrong things in the first place.

Some may argue that they are moral to benefit society. The problem with this response is that benefiting society is part of what it means to be moral. The question "why be moral" and "Why benefit society" are almost the same question. Benefiting society is a moral thing to do...but we want to know why someone should be moral if there is no objective morality.

Another objection would be that morality is merely an instinct. The problem with this claim is that people have different instincts which would make morality subjective. And again, if morality is subjective, we could never tell people that they are doing something wrong. Another problem with this argument is that morality is usually that thing that decides between which instincts to follow. For example, if a person were to hear a gun shot and a cry for help, people would most likely have two instincts. One would be to run away from danger; another instinct would be to run to help the person. Morality might push a person to choose the weaker instinct, which is to choose to help the person instead of saving themselves.

3. Therefore, God exists.

The Ontological Argument:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

I am interested to see what premises my opponent attacks.
Stupidape

Con

Outline
I. Intro
II. Scientifically God doesn't exist
III. Can't disprove unicorns exist, but can get close
IV. Conclusion
V. Sources

I. Intro

I will make my argument this round, no rebuttals. I thank my opponent for creating this debate.


II. Scientifically God doesn't exist


Claim 0 : Scientifically God doesn't exist.

Warrant 0: [0]

Impact 0: This dramatically lowers the chances of God existing.


III. Can't disprove unicorns exist, but can get close


We can search for unicorns all across the globe. There is always a chance somebody has one stashed away in a basement, or an undisturbed glade of unicorn exists. Yet, the further and longer we look the less chance there is that unicorns exists. Therefore, just as it is impossible to disprove unicorns it is impossible to disprove God. Nevertheless, we can say we looked in locations x,y, and z and found no unicorns.

Impact, the chances of God existing are far less than 50%. Some may consider because we cannot disprove God at this time, that the chances are 50/50%. This is false, the chances are about 1% for God existing.


IV. Conclusion


It is extremely improbable God exists. There will always be some doubt though. Thanks for your time and energy reading. I wait your rebuttal.

V. Sources

0. http://atheism.about.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Jerry947

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for those arguments.

2. Scientifically God doesn't Exist

They basically make that bare assertion. Nothing really to talk about here.

3. Can't disprove unicorns exist, but can get close

Nothing really is said here. However, Con does admit that you can't disprove God. Not sure how that helps him though...

They also assert that the chances of God existing are far less than 50%. This is another bare assertion and then they go on to say that there is a 1% chance of God existing. But again, that is a bare assertion.

Conclusion:

My opponent literally offered no substantial arguments for the non-existence of God. But I thank him anyway for the debate and hopefully things will get more interesting.
Stupidape

Con

Outline

I. Intro
II. The Cosmological Argument
III. Truth Argument for God
IV. The Axiological Argument
V. The Ontological Argument
VI. Conclusion
VII. Sources


I. Intro

First I want to say I find it interesting that the way my opponent made his/her round 2 argument that this could be used for any omnipotent God. The Judaism, Christian, Islamic, and so forth God. My arguments will be plain text and my opponent's bold and italics.


II. The Cosmological Argument


"a. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

Pretty self-explanatory...

b. The universe began to exist.

Modern science supports that the universe had a beginning. For example, the second law of thermodynamics helps us figure out that the universe is running out of energy (hence heading towards a heat death). In an eternal universe, it would have run out of energy by now. So since this hasn't happened, we know that the Universe had a beginning. Also, there is the discovery of red-shift in 1929. Basically, this discovery showed us that the universe is expanding which means if you were to go back in time, the universe would shrink and shrink until you get this infinite point. William Lane Craig says it better, he states that "as one traces the expansion back in time, the universe becomes denser and denser until one reaches a point of infinite density from which the universe began to expand."

c. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence
d. Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent).
God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe." Jerry947


Science already has an explanation for the universe called the multiverse theory. [1] Also, something can come out of nothing according to quantum theory. [2]

Impact, science has an alternative solution that does not include God. There is evidence to support this theory. My opponent's argument is of philosophical nature. Yet, without proof my opponent's argument can be dismissed as conjecture. Finally, God is not a good answer at all, because the using the answer of God begs the question "who created God?" Since a creator is more complex than a creation this leads to the problem of infinite regression.


III. Truth Argument for God


"Truth Argument for God:

a. Truth is a statement that agrees with reality. Or in other words, truths make statements about what is real. For example, if I were to say that Obama is currently the President of the United States, I would be making a statement that agrees with reality.
b. Truth requires a mind. Sine truths are statements...and because statements are made by a mind, then it follows that truth requires a mind.
c. There are universal truths. 1+1 will always equal 2 no matter who is aware of this fact.
d. Therefore it follows that there must be a universal mind (God)." Jerry947


To be honest argument made my head hurt and made me blink quite a lot. This is another way of rephrasing the ancient proverb "if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around, does it make a sound?" The answer is of course it does. There is birds, insects, and rodents just for starters. This is an incredibly human centered point of view. Remember people used to believe we were the center of the universe.

Animals understand fairness, pain, empathy, and so forth. [3] Even on planets without life, there is still truth. There is x amount of mineral y on the planet's surface. Long before we knew of the existence of certain galaxies, they existed and were therefore true.


IV. The Axiological Argument

This section is too long to quote entirely and not run out of characters. Instead I will summarize.

"1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists." Jerry947

1. Disagree
2. Agree
3. Disagree

Dogs understand fairness [3], I think that qualifies as an objective moral value.

"1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

Since this premise is generally not disputed, I will only give a quick defense of it. Objective morals have to come from an objective source and that source can only be God. Nothing/nobody else could produce an objective moral code." Jerry947

The objective source would be evolution and natural selection as seen in evolutionary psychology. [4]

Impact, science explains how humans and other animals developed morality without God.

"The problem with this claim is that people have different instincts which would make morality subjective." Jerry947

There are also people who live in different geographical locations, different genders, colors of skin, strong, weak, smart, and intellectually challenge, science has an explanation for all these, adding diversity of morals to this list would be no problem. In one geographical location hiding was a better response than fighting. In a second location the reverse is true. This makes sense from a natural selection point of view.


V. The Ontological Argument

"1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists." Jerry947

True, but highly unlikely.

"2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world." Jerry947

Given the likely hood of such a being existing, especially due to infinite regressions, there must be infinite or nigh infinite universes for this to happen. Not all versions of the multi-verse theory have infinite universes.

"3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world." Jerry947

Assuming the previous claim is correct there is some sense to this. Yet, just how powerful would God have to be to travel between universes? Your talking about a God that creates the entire universe and then travels to others. There is no evidence to support this claim.

"4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists." Jerry947

This makes sense if the previous claims are correct, which I have shown the flaws of them.


VI. Conclusion

My opponent provides no evidence nor outside links. This is all conjecture on my opponent's part which I have pointed out the various flaws. We could just as easily speculate at whether the moon is made of cheese. Or, we could look for evidence and find out with 99% probably that the moon is made of non-cheese. Thanks for debating.


VII. Sources
1. http://www.space.com...
2. https://www.astrosociety.org...
3. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org...
4. http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
Jerry947

Pro

Here is my defense of my initial arguments.

1. The Cosmological Argument

a. My opponent suggests that the explanation of the universe is the multiverse theory. However, they fail to bring up any evidence that actually shows that there is a multiverse. The link they gave supplied very basic reasons for why there could be a multiverse yet there was no actual evidence given. Even the champion of the multiverse theory, Vilenkin, has shown that the multiverse cannot be extended into the infinite past but must have had a beginning.

In 2012, Vilenkin said that "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning" (http://www.reasonablefaith.org...).

And that is coming from a man who accepts the multiverse theory. So the multiverse theory does not actually explain how the universe exists at all. It only makes the problem worse since now you got many universes to explain instead of just one.

b. My opponent then asserts that something can come from nothing according to quantum theory.

No actually, we do not know that. There are about ten different interpretations of quantum mechanics (https://www.sciencenews.org...) and my opponent merely asserts his is the correct one. No one really knows which one is correct.

But I find it most interesting when my opponent's source claims that an electron can come out of nowhere.

What happens is that the particles borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief existence. William Lane Craig (Christian Philosopher) puts it this way, he says that "the energy locked up in a vacuum fluctuates spontaneously in such a way as to convert into evanescent particles that return almost immediately to the vacuum."

Furthermore Professor David Albert (non-Christian from Columbia university) said that "And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings " if you look at them aright " amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing."

Therefore since the quantum vacuum is not actually nothing, and since vacuum fluctuations do not actually appear out of nothing, this does not count as an exception to premise one of my argument. What does begin to exist does have a cause.

2. The Truth Argument for God

a. My opponent says that "To be honest argument made my head hurt and made me blink quite a lot."

I never thought that this argument was that complicated but sometimes reading things on the internet can make it hard to understand. If my opponent has any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them as best as I could.

b. My opponent also seem to admit that there are some truths that would exist without the existence of humans. This seems to affirm the third premise of my argument. But I will let the voters decide for themselves if this is the case.

3. The Axiological Argument

a. My opponent states that "Dogs understand fairness [3], I think that qualifies as an objective moral value."

The video my opponent provides isn't exactly what I would call scientific. That said, I am not sure what dogs have to do with objective morality nor do I even buy the fact that they understand fairness.

b. My opponent then argues that evolution is the source of objective morality. However, this cannot be true. I already gave the reasons why morality cannot be an instinct. And then there is the fact that moral standards would evolve over time (which of course is not objective). Hitler also used evolution to justify the holocaust (see his book Mein Kampf) and that is of course something most people agree wasn't moral. I mean, evolution would pretty much justify all actions so I think my opponent is very incorrect when he suggests that evolution can provide an objective moral code. It might be able to create people with different ideas about morality, but certainly nothing is objective.

c. My opponent misses my point about people having different instincts which would in effect make morality subjective. My opponent affirms that morality is objective but now seems to say that it isn't. They say that "There are also people who live in different geographical locations, different genders, colors of skin, strong, weak, smart, and intellectually challenge, science has an explanation for all these, adding diversity of morals to this list would be no problem. In one geographical location hiding was a better response than fighting. In a second location the reverse is true. This makes sense from a natural selection point of view."

So which is it Con? Is morality objective or subjective?

4. The Ontological Argument

a. My opponent agrees that it is possible for a maximally great being (MGB) to exist.

b. My opponent starts bringing up the multiverse theory for some reason in premise two of my argument. This premise however is only saying that it is possible for a MGB to exist in some possible world. And surely, if you affirm the first premise of the argument, it really is not that big of a leap in accepting the second one. So I think my opponent merely had a misunderstanding here.

c. My opponent asks "Yet, just how powerful would God have to be to travel between universes? Your talking about a God that creates the entire universe and then travels to others. There is no evidence to support this claim."

My response is that a maximally great being is all-powerful and therefore would be able to do such wonders. This is not an evidence based argument. This argument in particular is philosophical by nature.

Conclusion:

My opponent practically brought up no real arguments against the existence of God and their links were not informative in the slightest. However, it will be interesting to see how they defend their arguments in the next round. Thanks for the debate and I will await patiently for the results.
Stupidape

Con

To facilitate equal time I will only be responding to my opponent's round 3. This because my opponent will not get a chance to respond to this argument.

Opponent's round 3:

"Thanks to my opponent for those arguments.

2. Scientifically God doesn't Exist

They basically make that bare assertion. Nothing really to talk about here.

3. Can't disprove unicorns exist, but can get close

Nothing really is said here. However, Con does admit that you can't disprove God. Not sure how that helps him though...

They also assert that the chances of God existing are far less than 50%. This is another bare assertion and then they go on to say that there is a 1% chance of God existing. But again, that is a bare assertion.

Conclusion:

My opponent literally offered no substantial arguments for the non-existence of God. But I thank him anyway for the debate and hopefully things will get more interesting." Jerry947

My statement that scientifically God doesn't exist is my strongest argument. You dismiss it as a bare assertion, without explaining adequately why. I provide a warrant in the form of a link. You provide no warrant. Your labeling of my argument that is backed up by a warrant, is a bare assertion within itself. [5] Thus, my argument stands that scientifically God doesn't exist.

Furthermore, it puts an unfair burden of proof for me to have to prove that scientifically God doesn't exist. You would have made a much stronger argument if you would have provided evidence that God does exist, as opposed to labeling my argument as a bare assertion.

"They also assert that the chances of God existing are far less than 50%. This is another bare assertion and then they go on to say that there is a 1% chance of God existing. But again, that is a bare assertion." Jerry947

I backed this statement up in the previous talk about unicorns. Yes, we cannot disprove unicorns exist, but that doesn't make the percentages for existance/non-existance 50/50%. The more places we look and do not find unicorns the less chance one is to exist. As for the 1% number that was a best guess based upon the unicorn explanation. The chances of God existing may be far less than 1%.

I can back this statement up with no evidence of Hell nor Heaven. My opponent's round 1 doesn't explicitly say that God has to have created a Heaven or Hell. So, this point seems moot. My opponent provides no evidence that God exists, therefore the chances of God existing are the same as unicorns and faeries. [6]

Thanks for the debate.

5. http://dictionary.sensagent.com...
6. https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Jerry947 3 months ago
Jerry947
Anyone that makes a claim has a burden of proof. That includes people that say "there is no God."

If you have an issue with supporting claims you may or may not make, that is solely your problem.
Posted by BackCommander 3 months ago
BackCommander
"And yes, Con actually has to provide arguments for the non-existence of God. For some reason people never understand this." Because that's not how the burden of proof works. People never understand how cars run on pine cone shavings and grape soda, because that's not how cars work. Its extremely difficult to get theists to understand the BoP but the easiest way to convey it is to say that the one who is FOR the existence of something has the burden of proof. No one asks theists to go hunt down the lack of fossils that show the human evolutionary line, because that's ridiculous. Make sense?
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: WKOJ// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I think that pro made really good arguments that stood against the false statements by con. They both used sources but I think con failed to fill his side of the BOP that God does not exist. Pro was able to use many arguments that was eventually left without a rebuttal by con. Mostly because of a lack of rebuttals, I think it is safe to give the win to pro.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to specifically assess points made by both debaters. That requires more than just a broad set of statements regarding what each side did and didn't do without any specific references to the arguments given.
************************************************************************
Posted by Stupidape 3 months ago
Stupidape
"I think that pro made really good arguments that stood against the false statements by con. They both used sources but I think con failed to fill his side of the BOP that God does not exist. Pro was able to use many arguments that was eventually left without a rebuttal by con. Mostly because of a lack of rebuttals, I think it is safe to give the win to pro. " WKOJ

My opponent only used a weird philosophical debate tactic w/o any evidence. Yes, I admit I never heard these philosophical arguments before, so I was unprepared to refute them. Yet, I don't think my opponent provided any evidence at all. I showed that scientifically God doesn't exist. Therefore, I think I made the better argument because better evidence trumps better philosophical debate.
Posted by Stupidape 4 months ago
Stupidape
subfusc

I read your comment several times. It makes no sense to me. Just as my opponent's truth argument. To me both arguments are saying 1 = 2.

Reality = truth and truth = reality. 1 = 1. The two are one in the same. That's why the truth argument made me blink several times. The idea of the truth being a statement that agrees with reality makes my head hurt.
Posted by subfusc 4 months ago
subfusc
"Con actually has to provide arguments for the non-existence of God. For some reason people never understand this."

No they don't.

This commits the fallacy of circular reasoning.

In order for there to be a requirement of a positive argument on both sides any predicates must already be true, and therefore cannot form part of the conclusion to any argument.

Thus if debating 'Is this car red or blue'? The assumption of the predicate (i.e. there is a car) is automatic: if the car did not exist any argument about its color would null and void.

However any one arguing their case must provide a positive argument in order to establish their case: it is necessary to prove that the car is not red to prove that is it blue, but it is not sufficient: the car might also be green, yellow etc.

However that case is unlike the current debate.

The terms of the debate as stated are "Does God Exist?" thus the existence of God (or not) *is* the conclusion and can not be assumed.

Thus you assertion is circular reasoning (and an attempt to skew the debate such that a failure of your opponents to prove points they do not have to prove leads to you winning the debate, even if you also fail to prove the ones you *do* have to). Therefore the terms of the debate are invalid, any subsequent arguments are beside the point*, and the debate should be forfeited by the pro side.

*In your case they also commit the fallacy of circular reasoning and/or affirming the consequent.
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