The Instigator
BrettBoelkens
Con (against)
The Contender
wmickas
Pro (for)

Does God Exist?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
wmickas has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 589 times Debate No: 103312
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (0)

 

BrettBoelkens

Con

Does God Exist? The question has been debated ever since we ever have had gods, and will likely still be debated after we die. My opponent must believe in the omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God of Christianity. If you worship Satan or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, that is the subject of another debate. My position is that the time to believe something is when it has been reasonably proven,and that God has not been established as being so. My opponent however can not appeal to faith or merely say that they feel God in their heart. For example, George Harrison, the guitarist for the Beatles, believed that he saw bodily Lord Krishna. People believe all sorts of beliefs, but there is only one objective reality. He can't also say that God is love, or something similar, making himself win the debate automatically.

Burden of Proof/Occam’s Razor
First off, according to the philosophical burden of proof, positive claims require positive evidence. If something is asserted without evidence, it can be dismissed for the same reason. I don’t think there’s any reason that these principles shouldn’t be applied to the question of the divine. The theist must provide positive evidence for his positive claim. And if there is no evidence for his claim, we shouldn’t believe it. The burden of proof is not on the atheist, much as it isn’t a non astrologer's job to disprove astrology.

Then there is Occam’s Razor, All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one. The simplest explanation is that the universe is all that exists. If one makes God the cause of the universe, why isn’t there a cause for god, and cause for that, and another after that.? If god is uncaused, why not remove a step and just have the universe be uncaused and leave at that.

Problem of Evil
The Problem of Evil has two primary branches, the logical and evidential, attempting to prove that god is imaginary, impotent, or immoral. One must reconcile the existence of an omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent (OOO) god who knows of evil, has to power to remove it, and the want to do so.

Some have argued that free will fixes this problem, god wishes for us to be able to choose between right and wrong. First off, why does free will need to include evil. There are plenty of good options to choose from without invoking evil. Second, is there free will in heaven, a place of no sin nor evil? If so, why didn’t he just skip Earth and go straight to making Heaven. If no, why is free will so valuable that God didn’t bother to make it in Paradise.

Some believe in Divine Command Theory, saying that whatever God does is inherently good, because he is god. Of course, this doesn’t turn out nicely for anyone. Tomorrow God could tell you to gut your kid in the name of the Lord, and that would be inherently good, since God commanded it. At that point there is no meaning to the words good and evil, since it’s all up to the man up high.

And to whatever theodicies one may come up with, you must ask why couldn’t they be used to defend an omniscient, omnipotent, omnimalevolent (OOM) god. For example, if someone says that God works in mysterious (I prefer delirious) ways, the theodicy can be used to defend OOO and OOM. Why does good exist? OOM wanted to give us the option to not choose evil.

FANG (Freewill Argument Against the Nonexistence of God)
If God knows his own future decisions, he doesn't have free will, since the future was already set. If he can't change his decisions, he isn't omnipotent and lacks free will, if he doesn't know the future, he isn't omniscient.

Argument from Divine Hiddenness
If God wishes to have a relationship with us, is safe to assume to everyone who wishes/wished to have a relationship with him would have it. This is not the case. It would seem God is playing favorites by revealing himself with undeniable proof to some, but not others. Saul got a Damascus Road experience where he got to meet God personally. Moses talked to God face to face. Hell, Joseph got to wrestle with God for Christ’s sake (admittedly, this would be an awesome cage match). Why isn’t this supposed fact of God’s existence known by everyone? In relationships, people don’t typically argue about the person’s existence.

Some have attempted to absolve this problem, by saying that if God revealed himself to everyone, there would be no free will in the matter and no need for faith. First off, why is faith important? Faith as used in religion can be used to defend anything, since it doesn’t require proof. No hypothesis worth consideration in science is proven on faith, rather evidence. Do scientists gather on Sunday, singing “Yes I know the Higgs Boson is real. Yes I know in my heart in Higgs Boson is real. I will have faith. Amen.” If they did such a thing, you would think they would be rather insecure on the concept. Second off, free will doesn’t explain this problem away. God could still give absolute proof to everyone, and people could still reject him. Lucifer had absolute proof of God's existence, but still ended up rejecting him.

Argument From Biblical Contradictions
If two men tell a story, and they tell mutually exclusive stories, one of them must be wrong. Take only the resurrection. Was the tomb open or closed when the women arrived? What was their purpose? Who was at the tomb when they arrived? What was their message? Did the women tell what they saw? When did Mary meet Jesus again? Could he be touched after his death? Where did he meet the disciples again? Did the disciples believe him? How long did Jesus stay on Earth? I’m not merely doing Bible trivia, these are mutually exclusive propositions. Take a prior question, where did he first meet the disciples after his death? In Luke (24:31, 36), they meet In Emmaus (about seven miles away) at evening, to the rest in a room in Jerusalem later that night. However, in Matthew (28:16-17) it says they met on a mountain in Galilee (60-100 miles away). Even if they all had the fastest race horses ever, who go 38 mph, you still have to buy time for meeting two apostles in the country, and to the eleven later on as in Mark (16:12,14).

Argument From Poor Design
There are roughly 2 trillion galaxies in our visible universe, and as found by Edwin Hubble, are all rapidly moving away from each other, ever since the Big Bang. They aren’t slowing down, in fact they are speeding up, due to acceleration from dark energy. In some time there will Everything will be so far away, the light from distant stars and galaxies could never reach them due to the expansion of the universe being faster than the speed of light. Once the rate of expansion is large enough, galaxies, stars, planets, and matter (potentially even the subatomic building blocks that comprise all matter) can no longer hold themselves together, at which point they rip apart. Sadly this isn’t the only model for the death of the universe. If not a Big Rip, there are potential models of a Big Freeze, a Big Crunch, and a Big Slurp to destroy everything. Of course, even before this, the Andromeda Galaxy collides with the Milky Way, and our sun turns into a red giant, and a red dwarf, burning our planet into a crisp.

Take our little planet, with every other rock in our solar system either being too hot or too cold, as is most of our planet. Our very existence is on a knife’s edge, ready to topple over. When we still lived on the African Savannah, it’s been estimated that we as a species were down to a few thousand members due to climatic change. We nearly did join the fate of the 99.9% of all species who have ever lived, and become extinct. This is some design. By some estimates, humanity has been around for 200,000 years. So for 200,000 years, humanity is born, a great deal of it dieing childbirth, infant mortality extraordinary, being killed by microorganisms that we didn’t know even existed, by earthquakes we thought to be portends, storms that we didn’t know came from our climate system, and of course man made atrocities. For about 196,000 years, this goes on, till Heaven decides to finally intervene with subjecting one of his children to revolting torture, to prove his love.

One must say, if there is a divine designer, this is one hell of an intelligent design.

http://io9.gizmodo.com...

https://curiosity.com...

wmickas

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for the chance to participate in this debate with him. The question before us is "Does God exist?' The question is for both of us to answer and give evidence for each of our positions . The burden of proof is for each of us. For me to offer the case for God's existence and for my opponent to offer his case for the non existence of God. My opponent says, "it isn't a non astrologer's job to disprove astrology." Well the debate is whether or not he could disprove God's existence and whether or not I can prove God's existence. If your intention is not to disprove God's existence, then switch the debate to "is there good reason to believe that God exists." Then the burden of proof would be on me. I have no choice but to laugh at his assessment of Occoms razor. He has made two distinct claims "If one makes God the cause of the universe, why isn't there a cause for god, and cause for that, and another after that?" This is the famous Richard Dawkins "Who created God?" objection to the kalam cosmological argument. God is by definition uncaused. He responds to this saying, "If god is uncaused, why not remove a step and just have the universe be uncaused and leave at that." This is going backwards scientifically speaking. Before Georges Lema"tre proposed the big bang theory the prevailing theory was that the universe was eternal (the steady state theory). It seems that he agrees with the big bang theory in his further responses and also the belief that the universe has an end in his argument from poor design. Next he mention the problem of evil. He mentions two of the answers (the Alvin Plantinga free will defense and the divine command theory). I agree that the free will defense is weak for much of the same reasons. There is no scriptural backing for this. I could answer this with three verses (Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20 and Acts 4:26-28). There is a problem with the atheist bringing up the problem of evil. First, they have no foundation for objective morality. The atheistic worldview has no foundation for the law of nonconradiction, so he is arguing outside his worldview when he argues about Bible contradictions. He argues that the fact that we have not seen God proves his absence or nonexistence. If we use this type of argumentation for immaterial things then we would see the weakness of this argument. He also argues from "bad design". Again there are thousands of badly designed houses, computers and other designs all around of the world. What could we conclude using this argumentation? Nobody designed these things. Lets apply consistent argumentation during this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
BrettBoelkens

Con

Okay, maybe we can do that debate later on is it reasonable to believe in God. I’m fine with that.

As Hume said, a wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. If a claim is asserted without evidence it can be dismissed without reason for the exact same reason. My opponent brought for no evidence of his own position, merely attacking my own. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and my opponent doesn't even bring forth ordinary evidence for his extraordinary claims. He asserts that I have no objective foundation for morality, nor for the laws of logic. Admittedly, he may have proposed the Kalam, but he may just be arguing against me for my statement on Occam’s Razor.

Rebuttals

Kalam

To start off, I never read Dawkin's The God Delusion, and by extension, never read that quote. That was my first thoughts after reading of the cosmological argument, not the Kalam variant. Sagan also had similar sentiments. For those unaware, the Kalam was founded in Islamic tradition by Aal-Ghāzāli, based on Aristotle's thoughts of a prime mover. Instead of the premise, everything that exists, the Kalam instead uses the premise everything that begins to exists in an attempt to avoid the refutations such as an infinite regress.

What evidence does my opponent have that the universe began to exist? As far as we know, no human being knows what went on prior to the events of the Big Bang. Other models besides the one you propose exist, such as the hypothetical Multiverse or an infinite number of Big Bangs and Big Crunches as in the Steinhardt–Turok model and such. Even if it was proven by my opponent that the universe began to exist, what evidence does he have that God did not? My opponent defines god as being uncaused. I automatically reject to this, due to this being an argument from definition and additionally, by the same line of logic, I could just define God as nonexistent and win the debate.

Second off, some events in quantum mechanics may, in fact, be uncaused. For example, quantum fluctuations are caused by virtual particles coming in and out of existence at a whim. Similar principles apply with radioactive decay.

Even if you accomplish the task of proving a first cause, or a prime mover, all your work is still ahead of you. At a minimum, you merely proved a deistic deity. How to move from deism to the position that there is a God who answers prayers, commits miracles, and dictates commandments. You must explain how to move from the first position to the next. And why this must be the God of Christianity? The argument was formed from Islamic theology and has been used to defend Allah. Even if this argument is valid, Christianity could still be a house built on a foundation of sand. Why not Allah, Shiva, Krishna, Zeus, or Thor?

Moral Argument

Whatever is beneficial to mankind is moral, and whatever is not is immoral. It is based on the objective suffering of human beings.

Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God? As I said before, if whatever that is commanded by God is good, then God could order genocide and then that would be good. However, if goodness is separate from God, then God is powerless to change it. And that sense of morality is separate, what is to stop us from finding it out ourselves.

I must also ask, how did you discover that God is good and Lucifer is evil? If you made this decision yourself, where does this secular sense of morality come from? If you didn't make it of your own moral code, and rather the one God wrote on your heart, how did you find that God was good? If the devil wrote his moral code on your heart, wouldn't he come out like sunshine and rainbows?

Presuppositionalism

My opponent asserts that I don't have any don't have any foundation for the law of noncontradiction. By extension, I believe he's proposing the Presuppositional Argument, essentially saying that God is required for the laws of logic to work. I take the presumption as a matter of practicality. Without logic, we would jump of buildings, and run amok, due to there being no reason to do so. We use reason and logic since it’s required for a sane life. Even professional philosophers don’t take skepticism this extremely, they don’t go out and buy yachts and supercars on the belief that reason isn’t reasonable, and they can just do what they want.

I must ask, what evidence does he have that I don't have any foundation for the laws of logic. And why does he? He can’t merely assert that he has a logical foundation. Is this not merely a god of the gaps argument, filling god in to explain away logic. And again, why can't this be used for any God?

Counter Arguments

Problem of Evil

Again, my opponent continues to make assertions, saying that I have no objective foundation for morality (see morality). Again, with the Bible saying that God is good, and it was divinely inspired by God, the argument is circular.

Divine Hiddenness

My opponent says that this line of logic would prevent us from detecting the immaterial. Yet the immaterial almost always supposedly interacts with the material world as well. For example, a hypothetical ghost haunts a mansion or such, moving furniture around, breaking windows etc. The same should apply to God. At times God even shows up in the Bible in person. Either way, the immaterial is supposed to affect the physical material world. A God that doesn’t manifest in reality is indistinguishable from one that does not exist. This problem still stands.

Argument from Poor Design

Of course, if something is poorly designed, it is still designed. The argument from poor design is typically used as a reductio ad absurdum response to the teleological argument, attempting to show a contradiction between the supposedly designed universe and a perfect being. God could very well be laborious, roundabout, tinkering, and incompetent or extremely capricious and callous, and even cruel. Or both.

Biblical Contradictions

My opponent didn't cover this argument, saying that I can't use reason in my arguments. As I said before, (see presuppositionalism) I do. As Paul said, if the Resurrection isn’t true, Christianity is null and void. He still has yet to respond, leaving his still standing.

FANG

He still didn't cover this. It still stands.

Miracles

A miracle, as defined by Hume, is a violation of the natural order by a particular volition of a deity. By definition, a miracle goes against the the probability of their occurrence is always less than the probability of their nonoccurrence. The proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined. The uniformity of nature is experienced every day. When something falls on Earth, gravity always pulls at 9.8 mps.

Even if one tinkers with definitions and a miracle is merely a suspension of the laws of nature, all your work is still ahead of you. A natural cause for an event is always more probable than a supernatural cause. In each case of a miracle you must ask what is more likely. That the entirety of the natural order is suspended, or that you have made a mistake. Crucially, all of this is if you experience it for yourself. If you heard of it from someone else, you can’t experience the miraculous for yourself, and must filter it through witnesses, assuming that they were witnesses.

Alien abduction stories are somewhat common, especially in the regions surrounding Nevada, where there is literally an Extraterrestrial Highway by Area 51. Right now, you can talk to people who will tell you their alien abduction stories. Living breathing, people, that you can’t interview at this very moment. Some people purportedly experienced this together, and in rare cases small towns have been supposedly abducted. How many of us believe in aliens? Live, first hand, eyewitness accounts, sometimes with a video testimony and photographs of the spaceships. We don’t have anything like that with the Bible, with its supernatural claims being brought down through the ages through non eyewitnesses, corrupt texts, contradictions, and translation errors. How are we expected to believe what it is potentially a more extraordinary claim, on weaker evidence.

Lets imagine for a moment that objectively that miracles occur, where Jesus turns water into wine, walks on water, heals the sick and blind, and resurrects the dead. However, this does not prove his parentage is divine. Someone could very well commit miracles and not be the son of god. Nor would this prove any of his teachings to be correct. The ability to produce miracle doesn’t prove the truth of the doctrines of those performing them. Pharaoh's magicians could too produce miracles, though Aaron could outproduce them. Additionally, this would be an argument from authority. Imagine if Trump argued that he was right about Middle Eastern foreign policy by saying that he could walk on water. Or if Clinton advocated for Obamacare by saying her mother was a virgin. That does not follow.


wmickas

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. I will now respond. I agree that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. God's existence or God's nonexistence are both extraordinary evidence. David Hume also was a skeptical philosopher who argued against induction saying that we have no reason to believe that the present will be like the past (uniformity of nature). We a sufficient foundation for the uniformity of nature and the laws of logic. My opponent appeals to pragmatism which I will respond to when I respond to in my rebuttal on presuppositionalism.
Kalam
It seems that my opponent is fine with an infinite regress of universes but for some reason is not willing to grant it to God. I believe that this is why he mad the who created God objection. I don't see this being very consistent. The eternal regress of universes are only theories to make a complete worldview of origins. If he does not like how I defined God, then the burden is on him to create an alternative definition. I believe it would be more honest to examine the existence of the God according to how the person he is debating defines him. Since this debate is about God's existence I also feel that it is a red herring to critique the God of other religions.
Morality
I am wondering how he determines what is beneficial to mankind or objective suffering to human beings. Through out history people have committed acts that neither of us would consider moral at all by simply redefining what a human being is. If this is your foundation for morality then I must say that it is extremely weak.
He points out what is called in philosophy is called the euthyphro dilemma. This is a good argument against general theism. I as a Christian would answer that in the Bible God is defined as all good and has a morally sufficient reason for doing what he does. The bigger problem is that your worldview relies on ambiguous terminology I could redirect and ask you to answer the same euthyphro dilemma with society since many atheists say that morality is subjective based on society.
Presuppositinalism
His argument against presuppositianalism relies on pragmatism. The question is how do you know that the laws of logic work for all times and all place. Does weighing an idea by it's usefulness solve the question of how we know anything at all since there were many ideas such as the flat earth were practical to believe but still turned out to be false.
Problem of evil
I want to remind my opponent and the audience of my response to morality. He strawmans the divine command theory. We do not say that everything that happens in human experience is good but we say that everything works out for good and God's glory which I would see as the ultimate good. For his argument to work, my opponent has to prove that there is such a thing as useless evil. I agree what he said about free will.
Argument from Divine Hiddenness
He appeals to ghosts interact with us by moving furniture. Christians believe that God continues to interact with this world by answering prayers and keeping the Earth from getting pulverized by stuff that will end life all together as other planets. For his argument from divine hiddenness to work he also has to demonstrate that God does not interact with the world.
Biblical contradictions
He still has not established why contradictions are wrong. (see presuppositionalism) also the resurrection of Christ is an interesting debate we could have. I do admit I have not done my research on the numerous supposed Bible contradictions. There are some great books on that cover this topic. The question I have is does his worldview provide a foundation for him to say that contradictions are wrong?
Miracles
Hume as I said said that we have no reason to believe that the present will be like the past unless we rely on circular reasoning. The question we have is could an all powerful God who created the laws of nature in the first place intervene and cause a miracle? He asked does the fact that someone does a miracle mean that we have to trust him? I would say that I would not just for that reason alone I have other reasons, but that I don't feel that it is appropriate for the debate topic.
I now invite my opponent to respond and conclude.
Debate Round No. 2
BrettBoelkens

Con

This debate is almost over, and we have yet to see any evidence that God is OOO nor any evidence that lead from generic theistic arguments to the Christian faith. Several of my arguments still stand, such as the argument from Poor Design are

Uniformity of Nature
The mere fact that I take an influence from Hume doesn't mean I believe everything from him. Take the great evangelical Billy Graham, being on Gallup's most admired least scores of times. However, as much as one admires the man, most people don't subscribe to his view of Jews in the 1972 Nixon tapes, espousing the view that Jews are satanic and their domination of the media of the country needs to be removed. Ignoring the fact that he denied the conversation ever happened prior to the release of the tapes, he has since apologized. This is likely due to the fact that if he didn't, it would be the end of his career. Nevertheless, it should be completely logical that even if you believe Graham's sermons and such, that does not entail that you share his former anti-Semitism.

Besides that, if this was true, it would be the end of science. God could fiddle with science, messing with anything he so wished to. That's why science is based on methodological naturalism. I must also add that this is completely unfalsifiable, contradicting the scientific principle of falsifiability proposed by Carl Popper.

If the past is not like the present, how do you know the law of cause and effect still apply at the beginning of the universe. You have said laws could change at any moment, why couldn't they have been different then. Aren't you contradicting yourself?
http://www.nytimes.com...

The Multiverse and Infinite Regress
As I said in the second round, I said that no one really has any idea about what went on prior to the Big Bang. There are several variational proposed ideas, however saying that God did it isn't the only option. To add, if there is an infinite regress of Gods, that means that monotheism isn't true. Rather polytheism would be, due to an infinite number of Gods, and contradicting most modern interpretations of Christianity. Additionally, you ignored my arguments from quantum mechanics.

I disagree entirely that the person who believes in God gets to define how he is. You could merely describe God as being something we all know exist, like roast beef sandwiches. Rather, to define something is to state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of (Google Dictionary). If God isn't uncaused, he isn't uncaused. You can not merely define this quality into existence. If we played by the same logic, I could just define God as nonexistent and win the debate.

To add, you never mentioned how this isn't broken compass argument, due to it potentially leading to any God. There are many potential Gods, and yours is merely one. You are an atheist in regard to all other Gods, why not yours?

And you never mentioned what evidence you have that God intervenes in the world, merely saying that Christians believe God answers prayers. Belief isn't knowledge. All other world religions besides Buddism believe their God(s) answers prayers and works miracles.


Morals
You didn't answer how you found out that God was good and the devil was evil, and not vice versa. Again, what does objective morality do to help your situation? Objective morality could very well be filled to the brim with commandments of mass genocide, and rape and torture. Objective morality could be filled with a God who knows the cure for all disease, ever and still won't give it to us.

There is pain that exists in the species homo sapiens. Due to this pain existing in reality, it objectively exists in reality, though there are subjective interpretations. We don't decide what is and isn't moral, we try to relieve suffering

And I must ask who's version of morality is written on our hearts under your view? Throughout the world, polygamy, human sacrifice, infanticide, cannibalism (Eucharist), wife beating, self-mutilation, foot binding, preemptive war, torture of prisoners, circumcision, female genital mutilation, racism, sexism, punitive amputation, castration, and incest are perfectly “moral” in certain cultures. There isn't any common morality between hardly any of them, and they all supposedly have God's moral code written on their hearts. Is god confused?

Presuppositionalism
Everyone knows at least two things to absolute certainty, that the universe exists, and that they too exist. So without any help from God, we found several absolute truths. A belief in a Flat Earth has no practical usage. Typically only true information has practical application, such as knowing fire is dangerous. If we didn't learn that, we wouldn't have ever escaped Africa. Try thinking that gravity doesn't apply to you, it will turn out great.

Even if God is infallible, you aren't. Others have thought their beliefs to be just as true as you do, and they were wrong. Nevertheless, as Jefferson said in the Age of Reason, revelation can only be revelation for those whom who experience it, and to everyone else it's hearsay. Why should we believe you, and not others?

POE
Why couldn't God's glory be caused by suicide bombings or ritual human sacrifice? That's a possibility. I do not straw man the theory. It says that whatever is commanded by God is inherently good, merely since God commanded it. God could still command us to murder children, and that would make it good.

Useless evil should only exist if there is no OOO deity, due to the fact that he isn't limited in power. For a non OOO deity, some evil could be a tradeoff for more evil, due to God not being able to do everything. But God isn't set by limits on his power, at least in your view. An example of useless evil would be 99.9% of all life ever existing on this planet becoming extinct. And for most of human history, we had no idea they even existed.

Divine Hiddenness
I merely rebutted your point about not being able to see the immaterial, due to the supernatural supposedly interacting with the world in almost all cases. Most people throughout history have never believed in Yahweh, no matter how hard they tried. All the people prior to the advent of Christ had no chance to believe in him.

The arguments for God's existence can be used for any other God, such as the afore mentioned Kalam and answered prayers. Anyone can say that have absolute knowelege of God.

Miracles

As Paul said, if Christ had not risen, Christianity is null and void. The very foundation of your faith it up to question here. Even if you found absolute evidence for an OOO god, he wouldn't be required to forgive sins or turn water into wine. Christianity requires Christ being raised from the dead after his crucifixion and burial. What evidence do we have for Christ being resurrected besides the canonical gospels and the Epistles, writings mutually contradictory with many other gospels? Gnostic, Marcionite, and Adoptionist texts still exist, some predating the Gospel of John. Some Christian groups such as the Docetists even believed there was no real material Jesus, he was merely a spirit. Within the first couple centuries of Christianity, we already have arguments whether Jesus was a real person?

The Gospel of Mark was the first canonical gospel, written in approximately 70 CE, about 40 years after the death of Jesus. Keep in mind the average life expectancy in Rome, the capital city of the empire, was between 25 and 35, when you aren't being persecuted for your faith. Comparing the synoptic gospels for similarity, Biblica, the author of Encylopedia Biblica, found that 91 percent of Mark’s gospel is contained in Matthew, while 53 percent of Mark is found in Luke. The Gospel of John is one of the last gospels written. The only gospels that are canonized are the last gospel, which shouldn't be for obvious reasons, and the ones largely plagiarized from the first one. There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus during his whole lifetime, and we base our knowlege of him from books that were written decades after he died. Don't you think there is something wrong with this?

What reason do we have to trust the events in the New Testament as accurate? And why would Jesus' words be accurate? And why would they be true? Why should we even listen to God in the first place?

http://www.bc.edu...
https://www.biblica.com...
http://www.revealedrome.com...

Contradictions
As I said before, the resurrection is the foundation of your faith, and if a house is built on sand it will crumble. If gospel writers can't even agree on the basic events that happened, it doesn't seem that they can be very reliable.

Conclusion
My opponent has provided the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Moral Argument, and the Presupisistional Argument to prove his case. For him to win, he must provide evidence that they show that God exists, and provideadditional argument to show how God is OOO. But what he must also do is show whymere testimony of a two thousand-year-old book full of contradiction is enough to believe the miraculous claims of Christianity. Plenty of people have believed delusion through history, how do we know Christianity isn't another of the thousands of religions.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
sure, why not.
Posted by wmickas 5 months ago
wmickas
sorry that i lost the time to post my response but I could continue the debate in the comments
Posted by Ockham 5 months ago
Ockham
It's only a black swan fallacy if there is some independent reason to think that God exists or is a realistic possibility, which we don't have.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
Isn't that a black swan fallacy though?
Posted by Ockham 5 months ago
Ockham
I think the strongest argument against God's existence is that minds always require brains in our experience. That observation seems to undermine a lot of religious concepts like God and the soul.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
I agree, this is literally the hardest subject to debate and judge, possibly ever due to it involving any field from engineering to philosophy to science to history. Hell, sometimes even mathematics is thrown in there.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
I agree, this is literally the hardest subject to debate and judge, possibly ever due to it involving any field from engineering to philosophy to science to history. Hell, sometimes even mathematics is thrown in there.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
Thanks man. What do you think are the strongest arguments against God's existence? I think the poor design and divine hiddenness arguments are good, as well as arguing against the reliability of the Bible. I know you said you don't like to give negative arguments, but which ones do you think are the best, and what do you think of those?
Posted by Ockham 5 months ago
Ockham
I can't vote on this, but I have some thoughts.

First of all, this was a good debate. I think you both did a good job of presenting the standard arguments and rebuttals. If I was voting on this, I would give the sources points to Con, and I'm not sure who I would vote for on arguments.

Con presented a lot of arguments in round 1, which makes for a strong case but opens up the possibility of being accused of making a Gish Gallop. Pro dropped some of these arguments, which would likely be my main reason for giving Con the arguments points, if I did decide to do that.

I think Con opened with a strong case, which gradually got weaker as the debate went on. When someone makes an objection, you want to be able to give a strong, insightful response that moves the debate along. I could tell that Con was running out of those in the last round. I think my main piece of advice for Con would be to keep doing research and gathering ammunition on this subject. You can learn a lot about which "moves" are stronger than others by reading the literature and seeing how philosophers object to each others' reasoning.

Presuppositionalism's persuasiveness as opposed to pragmatism will depend on the background beliefs of the judge. Personally, I think pragmatism is a relatively weak response to Presuppositionalism because it basically concedes the point that we have no rational basis for logic and says "yeah, but it's not practical to act that way." I would just say that the axioms of logic are self evident and that every worldview presupposes them, including Christianity.

So, those are my thoughts. Again, this was a good debate, and I don't envy the people who have the duty of judging a debate of this complexity.
Posted by BrettBoelkens 5 months ago
BrettBoelkens
Well philochristos, this would be a really crappy debate if I offered no evidence nor argument and just said that you haven't met your burden of proof.
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.