The Instigator
Saimouer
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
philochristos
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
philochristos
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 720 times Debate No: 26105
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Saimouer

Con

I hold the position that the existence of any god is most likely a falsehood. Perhaps the primary argument against this is the fact that there is no objective third party evidence for a creator. Science does not point to the existence of a god, in fact, the more we reveal through science, things that were attributed to god, such as natural disasters or disease are explained through objective, non supernatural means.

In Christianity, god is viewed as an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient deity. There are problems with this idea - namely, can god create a human so imperfect that he can't save it? Or perhaps a rock so big that he can't move it? Does god have the power to remove some of his powers?

Also, the theory of evolution poses serious problems to the idea of a creator. Considering that evolution is pretty set in stone by the scientific community through evidence such as the fossil record, DNA evidence, and more - it makes the idea of a creator that created the world in 6 days a rather difficult concept.
philochristos

Pro

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Since there are five rounds, I am going to try my darndest to keep my posts short. That way, in spite of the many rounds, it'll still keep your attention to the end, and hopefully that will encourage you to vote.

My opponent intends to do what most non-theists dare not. Unlike those who are content to say that they have a mere lack of belief in God, my opponent has taken upon himself the burden of demonstrating the positive claim that God most likely doesn't exist. He further means to show that no gods exist at all. That is ambitious because there are so many kinds of gods that it's not possible to come up with one definition that would apply to all of them. Some are creators, some are not. Some are omnipotent, some are not. Some are personal, some are not. Some interact with the world, some do not. etc. If any kind of god whatsoever survives my opponent's arguments, then he will have failed to carry the burden of proof he set out for himself.

I am not going to assume the burden of proving the opposite of my opponent's claim. I'm not going to try to show you that god exists. All I'm going to do is show that my opponent has not carried the burden of proof he assumed for himself. When you vote, please don't hold that against me. I'm doing it for two reasons. First, to keep the length of the debate manageable. Second, because my opponent did not set out any rules stipulating that his opponent must shoulder the burden of proof. He simply asserted his own point of view and said he would defend it.

My opponent made three arguments against all gods.

Argument from silence

My opponent actually makes two arguments from silence:

1) There is no evidence for a creator.

This argument fails for the following reasons:

a) He has not given us any evidence that there is no evidence for a creator.
b) Not all gods ARE creators.
c) He has not told us what sort of evidence we should expect if there were a creator. How would the universe be different if it had been created? Arguments from silence only work if there's something we should expect to see but don't.

2) Things we used to attribute to gods are now known to have natural causes.

This argument fails because all it tells us is that some of the arguments people in the past have made for god have had false premises. But it hardly follows that the opposite conclusion is true. Let me make an analogy to show what I mean. Suppose I made the following argument.

* If there were a god, then the moon would not be made of cheese.
* The moon is made of cheese.
* Therefore, there is no god.

This is a fallacious argument because both premises are false. But just because there's a fallacious argument against the existence of god doesn't mean the opposite is true. It doesn't follow that there is a god just because some argument against god fails. In the same way, it doesn't follow that there's not a god just because some argument for god fails.

Argument from incoherence

My opponent asks three questions in which, whether you say yes or no, you can supposedly conclude that god is not all powerful. This argument fails for two reasons. First, because not all gods are essentially all powerful. At best, this argument only applies to all powerful gods.

Second, this argument fails even to demonstrate the non-existence of all powerful gods. The reason is because the scenarios my opponent imagines are logically incoherent, like square circles. They essentially amount to asking, "Can God do what he can't do?" Or, "Can God do something and not do something at the same time and in the same sense?" Can God beat himself in an arm-wrestling match? Can he overpower himself? God's inability to do these things is not due to a lack of power, but due to a lack of coherence in the scenarios. Can there be a scenario in which god can do something he cannot do? Of course not, because that's logically incoherent! Since it's incoherent, it can't be actualized, even by an all powerful god.

Argument from evolution

My opponent thinks that evolution is inconsistent with the existence of god. But he hasn't explained where the inconsistency lies. He says evolution is inconsistent with six day creation, which is true, but it doesn't follow that there's no creator. Maybe god created the universe and never interfered again. Maybe god created the first life four billion years ago, and evolution took over. Maybe god isn't a creator at all.

Conclusion

So far, all of my opponents arguments against all gods have failed. Not only have they failed to demonstrate the non-existence of all gods, but they have failed to demonstrate the non-existence of any god.
Debate Round No. 1
Saimouer

Con

To begin, let me clarify that I didn't affirm absolute confirmation that any gods do not exist. While I still am in a lack of knowledge of the existence or non existence of a god, I simply feel it is illogical.

Also please let me clarify that, as the profile of my opponent indicates, he is a Christian. When I use the term "creator", "god", etc. I'm most likely referring to the Christian god, Jehovah.

Now, onto me addressing the rebuttals my opponent made towards my arguments.

1) There is no evidence for a creator.

a.) I am not required to provide lack of evidence for a creator - nor can I - I fully recognize that I cannot firmly "disprove" any gods, but I am not making any outlandish claims by saying that I disbelieve and find the idea of a god to be illogical/probably nonexistent based on the amount of evidence I have been exposed to. If there is evidence that I am not aware of, please enlighten me.
b.) I'm aware of that, as I stated above - since you are a Christian, I'm mostly referring to the Christian god, Jehovah. This is pointless semantics.
c.) I would consider something directly apparent to the general public to be a pretty firm definition of evidence. Internal sense of a god, holy books, otherwise explainable answers to prayer are not evidence but articles of faith.

2) Things we used to attribute to gods are now known to have natural causes.

I fail to see how this changes what I said. You simply presented a hypothetical argument that is a overly exaggerated version based on the opposite side of what I was presenting. How does this in any way dismantle the fact that other people used gods as an explanation for things that can now be explained? God is clearly an ever receding pocket of uncertainty about our environment.

3.) Again, you draw on pointless semantics to avoid my question. Nonetheless, you say that incoherency cannot be actualized by an omnipotent god, to which I must ask...

Why?

If a god is omnipotent that means he can literally do everything. Does this mean that god's powers do not extend to illogicality? Isn't the sheer idea of omnipotence illogical to begin with?

4.) That is a fair point, but what you propose directly contradicts the 6 day creation story presented in the Bible. Unless you want to propose that this story is a metaphor - you are defying the earliest story within the Bible.

The problem with this idea, however, is that there is no indication that this story is a metaphor within the context of he story.

Conclusion:

I feel your arguments have multiple holes in them - holes I've addressed above.
philochristos

Pro

In his opening statement, my opponent said, "I hold the position that the existence of any god is most likely a falsehood." He went on to say, "Perhaps the primary argument against this is"" After his primary argument, he went on to give two more. Clearly, the original intention was for him to defend the claim that the existence of any god (not just Jehovah) is most likely a falsehood.

But now, he says that he is "in a lack of knowledge of the existence or non existence of a god," and when he says, 'god,' he means specifically Jehovah--the Christian God. So he is completely changing the subject of this debate. He is no longer attempting to defend the claim that no gods of any kind exist.

I do not think it is appropriate to change the subject of the debate in the middle of the debate. If he wants to concede that he cannot defend his original claim, then he should forfeit. Until he does that, I will continue to hold him to his original claim.

Now let's look back at his arguments and see if he successfully defended them against my rebuttals.

There is no evidence for a creator

I responded to this in three ways:

1. My opponent did not give any evidence support the claim that "There is no evidence for a creator."

In response, he said, "I am not required to provide lack of evidence for a creator," but nobody said he was. What he has to do is provide evidence for his claim that there is no evidence for God. He made the claim, so it's up to him to substantiate it. So far, he still hasn't done it.

2. Not all gods are creators

My opponent conceded this point, which means that his first argument against all gods fails. At best, his first argument would only apply to creator gods, but his argument doesn't even establish that.

3. My opponent does not tell us what evidence we should expect to see or how the universe would be different if there were a creator.

In response, he simply defines "evidence" and tells us what does not count as evidence. So he fails to respond to my third point because his comments are irrelevant to it.

Things we used to attribute to god are now known to have natural causes

I responded to this argument by demonstrating that failure of a past argument to prove one thing (e.g. that god exists) does not prove the opposite thing (e.g., that god does not exist).

My opponent failed to even understand my argument, so he did not refute it. His response suffers from irrelevance. I suggest that he go back and read my argument more carefully before making a second attempt at refuting it.

Argument from incoherence

I responded to this argument by pointing out that the scenarios he imagined are incoherent scenarios and that it's therefore no strike against god's power that he cannot actualize them.

His response depends on his peculiar definition of "omnipotence." He defines it as the ability to do literally anything, including engaging in logical absurdity. Based on this definition, he concludes that omnipotence is illogical.

If that were the definition of "omnipotence," he would be right. Omnipotence would be logically incoherent. But that is not the definition of omnipotence that Christian scholars, philosophers, and theologians subscribe to. Rather, omnipotence means, "maximum power possible," or "the ability to do all things that are logically possible."[1],[2] Being all-powerful does not include the ability to engage in logical absurdity, so the argument from incoherence fails.

Argument from evolution

I responded to this argument by pointing out that it has no bearing on the non-existence of god since it's possible for there to be a god even if evolution is true.

He conceded that I made a fair point, but then went on to affirm what I had already said--that evolution does undermine a six day creation account. But he doesn't tell us how this works out as an argument against all gods. In fact, he doesn't even tell us how it works out as an argument against the Biblical God. It could be that the Biblical God exists, but the Bible is not infallible, so the existence of the Biblical God is consistent with evolution. And, as he pointed out, it could be that the account in Genesis is a metaphor. Although my opponent insists that it's not a metaphor, he doesn't give us any arguments for why we should accept his literal interpretation.

Unfortunately, my opponent was unable to salvage any of his original arguments. I look forward to his next attempt. Or, since we haven't reached conclusions yet, he could introduce some new arguments.

[1] Plantinga, Alvin, God, Freedom, and Evil, p. 17
[2] Moreland, J.P. and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, pp. 527-529
Debate Round No. 2
Saimouer

Con

Saimouer forfeited this round.
philochristos

Pro

In the last round, I said, "If he wants to concede that he cannot defend his original claim, then he should forfeit." I guess we have our answer. But there are two rounds left, so we'll see.
Debate Round No. 3
Saimouer

Con

Saimouer forfeited this round.
philochristos

Pro

One more round to go.
Debate Round No. 4
Saimouer

Con

Saimouer forfeited this round.
philochristos

Pro

That brings us to the end of tonight's debate. Thank you for coming.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Dale.G 3 years ago
Dale.G
yes God Exist the wind Exits u cannot see the wind but u can feel the wind have u ever seen death before if no then Atheism is not accurate and correct :)
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
Although I'd prefer fewer rounds, this could be fun. I'll try to keep my arguments short for the sake of the readers. I'm going to a movie now, so it'll be later tonight or tomorrow before I post a response.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
SaimouerphilochristosTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro because Con forfeited. S/G to Pro because Con was less coherent. Arguments to Pro because Pro's were more convincing, and Con dropped everything by forfeiting. Sources to Pro because Pro had sources.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
SaimouerphilochristosTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for Con's forfeiture. Spelling and grammar to Pro because of Con's numerous mistakes. Arguments to Pro because of Con's forfeiture & the thorough refutation of them by Pro.