Does God exist?
Debate Rounds (5)
1st round: Acceptance
2nd round: Opening statements only (no rebuttal)
3rd round: Rebuttal
4th round: More arguments/rebuttal
5th round: Concluding statements
To open up this debate I would like to first of all thank my opponent for accepting this challenge (and good luck). I would also like to point out that I have no objective of converting my opponent (or anyone for that matter) to the belief in the existence of a Creator. I realize that it would be futile to attempt to convert my opponent however I do hope that through this debate and the arguments I present that you will realize that the belief in a deity is a perfectly reasonable belief and is not irrational or stupid.
In my opening statements, I will first present several of the arguments for the existence of a deity. While doing so I hope to show some flaws in atheism and explain why it takes far more faith to believe that there is no God then it does to believe that there is in fact a Creator.
#1 Cosmological Argument
This argument basically states that if the universe had a beginning then the universe must have had a cause. In logical form, the argument goes like this:
1. Everything that begins must have had a cause.
2. The universe had a beginning.
3. Therefore the universe must have had a cause. 
One of the most fundamental laws in all of science is the Law of Causality (this law is practically the foundation of all science) which basically states that “every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause.”  The Law of Causality makes it clear that (similar to the cosmological argument) the universe must have had a cause and that cause must be an adequate cause. Since time, space, and matter was created by this cause the cause must therefore be timeless, spaceless, and immaterial otherwise it is not an adequate cause. What is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial? It actually turns out that those three characteristics perfectly describe the Judeo-Christian God!
For many years atheists simply believed that the universe was eternal. However, in 1919 British cosmologist Arthur Eddington conducted an experiment during a solar eclipse which proved that the theory of General Relativity (which was first proposed by Albert Einstein) was indeed true.  General Relativity by itself basically proves that the universe had a beginning. A century has gone by and even more evidence has come out that the universe had a beginning (i.e. expansion of the universe). Now most scientists (and people in general) have come to the conclusion that the universe must have had a beginning due to the overwhelming amount of evidence. I will list 5 arguments that show beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe had to have a beginning:
1. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
2. The universe is Expanding
3. Radiation throughout the universe
4. Great Galaxy Seeds
5. Theory of General Relativity 
The universe having a beginning is a major problem for atheists. Since the discovery of General Relativity atheists have been coming up with many theories (most significantly the Big Bang) to the origin of the universe without referring to a deity. However, all of these theories collapse in light of the evidence/lack of evidence. Many of the theories that they come up with do not explain the origin of time, space, and matter and thus they are still left with the same problem that they were seeking to solve. For example, the Big Bang theory is the most accepted theory concerning the origin of the universe among scientists yet it doesn’t even explain the origin of time, space, and matter. You’re still left with the same question that the Big Bang was supposed to solve!
Some physicists will then propose that it is possible for “nothing” to create something. But their definition of nothing is a very distorted definition of what nothing really is. Aristotle put it like this, “Nothing is what rocks dream about - no thing!” I think that definition sums it up quite nicely. Yet you are expected to believe that nothing exploded and created everything? That sounds like a fairy tale, not science!
#2 Teleological Argument
The word teleology comes from the word telos which means “design.” This argument states that since the world appears to be designed it must have a designer. In logical form, the argument goes like this:
1. Every design had a designer.
2. The universe has highly complex design.
3. Therefore, the universe requires a Designer. 
What is even more interesting is the fact that our universe is governed by laws (like gravity, centrifugal force, etc.). So if you happen to believe in the big bang (without referring to a deity) then you must come to the conclusion that somehow the big bang not only created the universe but it also just so happened to organize the universe by giving it laws. This is like believing that a printing shop exploded and created the Library of Congress! It seems rather unlikely that this could have happened without a deity involved.
Not only that, but the universe has many constants that are known as anthropic constants. “Anthropic” come from the Greek word “human” or “man.”  The Anthropic Principal is just a fancy way of saying that the universe is extremely fine-tuned to support human life. If these constants were altered by just a little bit then the world as we know it would probably result in complete chaos. I will just list a few of these anthropic constants.
#1 Oxygen Level
On earth, oxygen comprises about 21 percent of the atmosphere. However, if oxygen comprised 25 percent of the atmosphere fires would begin to erupt spontaneously. On the other hand, if the oxygen level was only 15 percent human beings would suffocate. 
#2 Carbon Dioxide Level
The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere just so happens to be the perfect amount! If the CO2 level were higher a runaway greenhouse effect would take place (meaning that we’d all burn up). If the CO2 level was lower we would all suffocate (because plants wouldn’t be able to maintain photosynthesis). 
Gravity is so precise that if it was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 we would not be here! 
#4 Universe Expansion
If the universe had expanded at a rate of one millionth more slowly, expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself. 
There are many more anthropic constants out there, some of them include: thickness of the earth’s crust, water vapor levels, centrifugal force, rotation of the earth, and seismic activity. Against all odds, it appears as though the earth was perfectly designed so that it could sustain human life! I just don’t have the faith to believe that this all happened by blind chance!
#3 Moral Law Argument
Why is it that we all have a sense of obligation to do good and shun evil? Why do we feel the need to help people? Although it may not seem like it at first the Moral Law argument is actually an argument used for the existence of a Moral Law Giver (also known as God). The argument goes like this:
1. Every law has a giver.
2. There is a Moral Law.
3. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver. 
Now if the first two premises are true then we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a God. We know the first premise to be true as there can be no legislation without a legislator . But is there really a moral law? Many people think so (including the founding fathers of America). We also must consider the implications that if there is no moral law then everything is permissible. In the same way, if there is no God then everything is permissible. It also means that life is meaningless and there is no such thing as “right” and “wrong.”
I have many more arguments to present however I am running out of characters. I hope to present some of these arguments in round four. Thank you for your time.
1. I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist (Frank Turek and Norman Geisler)
cleoforman forfeited this round.
Since my opponent forfeited round two I will not be using this round to refute anything (as there is no purpose to rebuttal). I will allow my opponent to present a couple arguments (if he choose to do so) this round along with rebuttals.
I will be arguing against the presence of a general God, as I don"t see the differences between the Gods of different religions other than what people have interpreted Him to have said or done. However, to emphasize a point I might use an example from a single religion. As I said, they are essentially all the same to me. The root of all religion is an explanation for existence--an explanation based on faith-- as well as a way to encourage morality in a society. These are important things for people to have, but they are created by society, not the other way around.
Of course the beginning of the universe is a major problem for atheists-as it should be for religion. It is very difficult to acquire scientific evidence regarding events that occurred billions and billions of years ago. Your argument that atheism requires more faith than religion is untrue- atheism requires no faith. Atheism is a philosophy that embraces evidence as the roots of knowledge, not scriptures written by multiple people thousands of years ago. There is a reason why the greatest scientists of our time were atheists, and why the vast majority of those practicing today are as well.
There are trillions of planets in the universe. It is illogical to believe that some supreme being must have created this specific planet to have a perfect climate for life, because statistically the likelihood of zero out of billions of planets having a suitable climate for life is impossible. We didn"t choose to live on Earth, we simply evolved because it had a climate that supported life.
Who made the Creator if everything has a creator?
1. God is known as the Creator.
2. Everything has a Creator.
3. God must have been created". By humans.
God was created as a rudimentary sort of science, a method of explaining to one"s self the purpose of existence. This was initially used as a way to fill in the gaps of knowledge- by relying on a "all-knowing being" to explain things. However, as we have made advancements in the sciences we have filled in these gaps little by little, and the necessity of easing the baffling qualities of the universe by relying on an all-powerful being is less and less necessary. The gaps that God has been used to explain are growing smaller, and eventually there will be no gaps left for him to fill.
So if the purpose of religion is to discover why we are here, why are the majority of religions so hostile towards science or the seeming disproof of an element of their faith? It seems that they would embrace these strides towards understanding based upon logic and evidence.
The argument that religion is the basis of human morality escapes me. How could any of us possibly believe that killing each other unnecessarily and stealing each others things endorses a productive society? Many animal colonies have a similar sense of what we could call morality, customs and laws (such as not killing one another or establishing societal classes) without believing in any religion. Humans are a social animal, and as thus establish conventional morality as it furthers a successful society in which all can prosper. Leaders of countries have sponsored and encouraged religion, because it gave citizens incentives to do good. Simply put, be good (however they defined good) and you will go to heaven, do bad and you will go to hell. However, one cannot argue that atheism causes one to have no morality. Personally, I pride myself that I don"t have to rely on fear to encourage me to do good things. I have no incentive other than the good of society, and there is no doubt that this ideal of classical republicanism is what led to the establishment of religion rather than the other way around.
I could of course mention the horrendous atrocities that have and do happen because of religion. I will link to this page http://www.skeptically.org... as I wouldn't be able to accommodate such a list within my character limitation. (I'm not arguing that all religious people are fundamentally evil--of course not.) However, the combating religious sects have been killing each other for centuries--so why hasn't this Creator they speak of, with his encouragement for morality, come in and clarified? Of course, I'm sure some atheists or agnostics have committed horrendous crimes (but I don't know of any who did such in the name of "anti-religion"). I just think that one could agree that religion doesn't determine whether a person is moral.
What is God anyway?
Why would any of us be correct in what God is? Why are we to believe in the Judeo-Christian God and not any of the hundreds of others of versions? Why would he have created the universe? Why would he care what billions of humans did with their lives and their thoughts--after all he apparently is also governing and protecting trillions and trillions of other planets and galaxies as well? How did he come to exist? Why doesn"t he make it clear that he exists if he does and cares so much about our morality? Why do we care anyway?
Religion is based on faith. Atheism and science are based on the principles of evidence and knowledge. Faith is the enemy of knowledge and atheists prefer to think and learn for themselves.
Thank you for responding (and no apology necessary). In this round I will make a brief rebuttal and present a couple more arguments supporting my position.
"Your argument that atheism requires more faith than religion is untrue- atheism requires no faith."
Atheism actually requires much more faith then you might realize. First of all, you must have faith that it is possible for something to come from nothing. It is far more reasonable to believe that something created everything rather than nothing exploded and created the universe we live in. Secondly, you must have faith that life simply came into existence by blind chance. Evolution has a lot to do with faith and assumptions. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having faith (as it is something that we all exercise on a daily basis) but there is definitely something wrong with blind faith.
"Who made the Creator if everything has a creator?"
As I previously said in my opening statements, the God I believe in is timeless therefore he does not need a beginning. The first premise in the cosmological argument states that "everything that begins to exist must have had a cause", God never began to exist as he is eternal.
"This was initially used as a way to fill in the gaps of knowledge- by relying on a "all-knowing being" to explain things."
The God-of-the-Gaps argument first must make the assumption that belief in a deity is unreasonable so therefore it can be dismissed. But is the belief in a God unreasonable? When compared to the other theories and in light of the evidence belief in a God is not all that unreasonable. The God-of-the-gaps argument is also yet another example of blind faith as you have to make the assumption that there is a natural explanation for the complexity and beginning of the universe.
"The argument that religion is the basis of human morality escapes me. How could any of us possibly believe that killing each other unnecessarily and stealing each others things endorses a productive society?"
When did I ever say that religion defines morality? I believe that morality is written on each individuals heart. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. So based on your worldview, society defines what is right and wrong meaning that if society said that it was fine to murder it would be justified? Also why is it that we (as humans) feel guilty when we commit something wrong? Is it simply because society teaches us that it is wrong or is there something inside of us that tells us it is wrong?
"I could of course mention the horrendous atrocities that have and do happen because of religion."
Once again, religion does not define morality. Neither is it true that religious people have higher moral standards when compared to atheists. This argument can be flipped on its head by saying that atheists have committed horrendous atrocities as well.
"Why are we to believe in the Judeo-Christian God and not any of the hundreds of others of versions?"
Based on the evidence of course. Obviously, the most convincing proof that the Judeo-Christian God is the true God can be found in the Bible and other secular sources (I will present why shortly).
"Faith is the enemy of knowledge and atheists prefer to think and learn for themselves."
Since when is faith the enemy of knowledge? You may not realize this but you exercise faith on a daily basis (and so does everyone else). For example, whenever you sit down on a couch you have faith that it will be able to hold your weight without breaking. As I mentioned earlier, there is a difference between faith and blind faith.
A1) The Bible
Perhaps the most convincing argument for God's existence (this also happens to be one of the most ignored pieces of evidence) can be found in the Bible itself. Many atheists will simply ignore the Bible as evidence for a Creator and dismiss it as a book written by a bunch of liars thousands of years ago. I know that there is going to be a lot of haters out there saying that I can't use the Bible as evidence for a deity. But why not? If the Bible happens to be true then what should follow is the admission that there is in fact a God. In syllogism form, the argument would look like this:
1. The Bible is suppported by much evidence.
2. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is true.
3. Since both the Old and New Testaments refer to a God it is reasonable to conclude that there is a God.
What evidence is there to support the Bible? There is actually loads of historical evidence found in archeology and other written sources. Some of that includes hundreds of people and places that are confirmed to be historical, the walls of Jericho, an inscription that refers to the "House of David" and "King of Israel", Sargon's palace (this confirmed that there was a king named Sargon referred to in Isaiah 20:1), in-scripted onto the palace walls was also recorded the same event that Isaiah 20 recorded, and Sodom and Gomorrah was found (and is consistent with the Bible). There are also many historians from the first two centuries that refer to Jesus Christ. Some of these historians include: Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the younger, Thallus, and Suetonius.
If the historical evidence doesn't seem to convince you that at least much of what is found in the Bible is true then consider the incredible unity found in the Bible. Although the Bible is written by about 40 different authors (from completely different walks of life), over a time-span of 1500 years, on three different continents, written in three languages, and covering hundreds of controversial topics it seems almost as if it was written by a single author because of its amazing unity!
What is the most convincing proof that the Bible is true? It's not the historical evidence. Neither is it the amazing unity found all throughout the Bible. It is a subject that is often overlooked and it is something that makes the Bible unique when compared to other religious scripture. It is prophecy. It turns out that more than 25% of the Bible is made up of prophecy. With that in mind, it should be easy to prove once and for all that the Bible is false by simply examining the accuracy found in those prophecies. But what is astonishing is that some 500 (or more) prophecies have already been fulfilled just as the Bible predicted hundreds if not thousands of years earlier! I will quickly mention a few of these prophecies:
-300+ prophecies concerning the Messiah that were all fulfilled in the New Testament (and secular sources)
-Daniel’s 70 weeks
-Israel being a blessing to the whole earth
-Jerusalem being a burden to many nations
-Israel becoming a nation again and blooming
-Israel being hated by many nations
-Jews and Christians would be persecuted
-The destruction of Tyre
-Babylonian Captivity (70 years)
Perhaps the most amazing prophecy that was ever fulfilled is a prophecy found in Ezekiel 4 that reveals the exact year (and some say even the exact date) that Israel would become a nation again. For more details concerning this prophecy I would highly recommend that you check out the following link: http://www.alphanewsdaily.com...
There are so many more arguments for the existence of God that I did not get a chance to address in this debate. Some of the arguments that I did not get a chance to present include the ontological argument, the argument from experience, argument from miracles and the argument from contingency. The four arguments that I presented are just a few of the best arguments for the existence of a God. Also do you mind if I make some quick rebuttal statements in the final round in order to rebuttal some of your round four statements?
Thank you for your time.
R1: "The first premise in the cosmological argument states that "everything that begins to exist must have had a cause", God never began to exist as he is eternal."
So in order to eradicate the confounding concept of nothingness religion simply proclaims that God is eternal. This inherently doesn't follow. When did time begin? What was God doing in the infinite time before the universe? If God is eternal why did he create time? He wouldn't have had any concept of time if he never got older and never died and didn't change. This is "blind faith". There is no reason or evidence for the claim that God is eternal, it simply is used to relieve people"s mind of the stress of trying to wrap their minds around time.
R2: "Judeo-Christian God is the true God can be found in the Bible and other secular sources"
So the Bible must be more legitimate than other religious scriptures? What about the Muslim texts or Quran or literally thousands of other obscure religious texts?
Prophecies that other religions have correctly "foreseen":
Mormon: Section 87 of the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants, written in 1832, accurately predicts that South Carolina will begin a war of the South against the North and call on Great Britain for assistance.
Our Lady of Fatima:
The three seers of Our Lady of F"tima indicated in 1917 that the Virgin Mary had prophesied a "great sign in the night sky" which would precede a second great war.On January 25, 1938, bright lights, an aurora borealis appeared all over the northern hemisphere, including all of Europe and places as far south as North Africa, Bermuda and California. It was the widest occurrence of the aurora since 1709 and people in Paris and elsewhere believed a great fire was burning and fire departments were called L"cia, the sole surviving seer at the time, indicated that it was the sign foretold and so apprised her superior and the bishop in letters the following day.Six weeks later, Germany began its first unlawful seizure of land, the occupation of Austria.
The Quran on the linking of oceans (i.e. Panama Canal, Suez Canal):
"And when the rivers are made to flow into each other." (81:7)
"He has made the two bodies of water flow. They will one day meet. Between them there is a barrier; they cannot encroach one upon the other." (55:20,21)
"And He it is Who shall merge the two seas together. This palatable and sweet, that saltish and bitter. And between them He has (presently) placed a barrier and a massive partition." (25:54)
R3: "Also why is it that we (as humans) feel guilty when we commit something wrong? Is it simply because society teaches us that it is wrong or is there something inside of us that tells us it is wrong?"
Yes, that something inside of us is called a conscience. It is instinctive due to a combination of factors. First of all, due to natural selection. People with a conscience who didn't go around getting into fights tended to live longer, long enough to have children. These children inherited their parents non-confrontational genes. Second of all, most parents tell their children not to do bad things (which is why different people have different definitions of "bad". I for one feel no guilt when taking the Lord"s name in vain, or ignoring the Sabbath which the Lord clearly prohibits. Others may feel differently.) and thus when we do those bad things we feel guilt sometimes because we are doing things our parents or friends wouldn't have wanted us to do.
R4: "The God-of-the-gaps argument is also yet another example of blind faith as you have to make the assumption that there is a natural explanation for the complexity and beginning of the universe."
I would be making the assumption that we can rely on science and our own minds to explain the beginning of the universe. The complexity of life is due to natural selection. As I have said, things that survive to reproduce pass along their increasingly complex genes. Things that don"t survive don"t pass along their genes. And there we have evolution. It makes complete logical sense, there is absolutely no blind faith involved. Assuming that God made everything and thus we needn"t question how is blind faith.
R5: "1. The Bible is supported by much evidence.
2. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is true.
3. Since both the Old and New Testaments refer to a God it is reasonable to conclude that there is a God."
Do you believe that the universe is only a few thousand years old and deny the validity of carbon dating, radioactive decay of uranium, and atom-probe tomography which have all proved legitimate and correct in the past? For example, using two of the above methods they found a piece of zircon crystal that is 4.4 billion years old, clearly in contradiction to the Bible.
(4:8) "The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world." Was the whole world flat in the beginning? No mountain even close to that tall exists nowadays. Not to mention he wouldn"t have been able to breath.
Or when Jesus heals a paralytic man by healing his sins (4:8).... This is not scientifically possible. (There are hundreds of examples of this particular contradiction. And yet I have never seen or heard of God or Jesus exercise their powers of healing" only modern day medicine.)
According to the Genesis creation myth, the Earth was formed before the sun. Then God said "Let there be light". And then on Day Four he created the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Obviously this is contrary to science.
Now I"m sure many religions would argue that "God is all-powerful, he can do whatever he wants". This is why I present my argument that faith is the enemy of knowledge and why I contend that the Bible is not a valid source of information. Because one exercises completely blind faith in this book and in God when one says "God is all powerful" to explain something unscientific in the Bible or "God works in mysterious ways" when he doesn"t stop mass genocide or other atrocities on earth. According to many religious people, there is no reason to try to understand the universe because they can sum it up to "God working in mysterious ways" and thus we can all just live in fear and awe of Him. I don"t like this proposal. This sounds a whole lot more like "blind faith" than putting faith in modern scientists and scholars as we slowly piece together the universe.
I do not exercise faith when I sit down. Due to my many past trials of "sitting down" I have reached a logical theory that the next time I sit down I will reach the same result of being held in a sitting position by a chair. The action wasn"t built on faith it was built on experience and trial-and-error. This is a good metaphor for atheism. I have prayed in my life, and not one of the things I have prayed for has been granted. Thus, the trial-and-error method has proved this to be an illogical theory, and as thus I have reached the logical conclusion that no one is listening to these prayers.
My main goal in this debate is simply to allow us both to grasp a greater understanding of the other"s philosophy. I am convinced that the only way humanity is going to be able to respect each other"s differences is if we have an open dialogue. Religion is frequently a taboo topic, and questioning someone"s beliefs is seen as disrespectful. I believe the only way we will learn to respect one another if we do question each other and learn about different takes on religion. Thank you for the respectful debate.
R1) “Do you believe that the universe is only a few thousand years old and deny the validity of carbon dating, radioactive decay of uranium, and atom-probe tomography which have all proved legitimate and correct in the past?”
Carbon dating and radioactive decay of uranium are very inaccurate. For example, a rock that was formed by lava from the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980 was dated to be 340,000 to 2.8 million years (this was done by radioactive dating) when in fact the rock was only 10 years old!  There are numerous examples that show how inaccurate carbon and radio-dating can be. There is also plenty of evidence supporting that the earth is in fact quite young (comets, history, magnetic field, etc.).
R2) "Prophecies that other religions have correctly "foreseen":"
The few prophecies that you briefly pointed out are so vague that the chances of them being fulfilled at some point is actually pretty high. Not to mention, that some of those prophecies were written just a few years before the event actually happened. Now if a book could make precise predictions of things to occur hundreds (if not thousands) of years into the future, then it would be something worth looking at. You know what, that sounds a lot like some of the Biblical prophecies. For example, there are some 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah that are found in the Old Testament. The thing that fascinates me is the fact that all of those prophecies have been fulfilled. Researchers picked 48 of those prophecies and then calculated the chances that all 48 of those prophecies could be fulfilled in a single man's life. They figured out that the chances that one man could fulfill all those prophecies was about 10 raised to the 80th power!
R3) "... And there we have evolution."
If only evolution was a sound theory. There are so many problems with evolution starting with the very fact that it has never been observed. Not once. We see dogs producing a variety of dogs but they never produce anything other than a dog. In the same way, we have never seen fruit flies produce something other than fruit flies. This is just one flaw with the "theory" of evolution. There are many other flaws. For example, how come we don't see millions of intermediate links in the fossil record? After all, there is billions of fossils so shouldn't we find more than just a few dozen possible intermediate links? How do you explain the problem of irreducible complexity? Can mutations really account for the changes we see today? What about the Cambrian explosion? How did the first living cell learn how to reproduce? How did DNA originate through blind chance? And the list goes on and on...
R4) "Or when Jesus heals a paralytic man by healing his sins (4:8).... This is not scientifically possible. (There are hundreds of examples of this particular contradiction. And yet I have never seen or heard of God or Jesus exercise their powers of healing" only modern day medicine.)"
There is no contradiction there, what you are referring to are miracles. Just because you have never witnessed a miracle doesn't mean that miracles have never happened. In fact, there are many people who have claimed to have experienced miracles themselves (including myself). Also if the Bible is a reliable document then it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the miracles reported in the Bible are also reliable.
I would love to spend time more time refuting some of what you said however I am a little short on time so I will stop there and move onto my concluding statements.
To conclude I would like to point out a couple things. First of all, notice how my opponent has not given a single piece of evidence against the existence of a deity. While it is true that I have the BoP, my opponent should be able to point out some arguments against the existence of a deity. Instead he has spent most of his time trying to refute my arguments rather then presenting some arguments to show how belief in a God is irrational. On the other hand, I have presented four arguments to support my case.
Secondly, why should I trust anything that Con says? For that matter, why should you believe in anything that we say? Based on my opponents worldview, there is no such thing as absolute truth. After all, we’re just a bunch of molecules reacting with each other. Our beliefs and our ideas are nothing more than chemical reactions, right? I, on the other hand believe that there is a such thing as objective truth as opposed to my opponent who (although he may not realize it) believes that truth is relative and subjective to people’s opinions.
Finally, the reason for this debate was not to convert my opponent but rather it was to show that the belief in a God is not based on blind faith (although it does require faith). My objective in this debate was not to set out and prove the existence of God instead it was to show that God is the best explanation concerning the complexity and the origin of the universe. Ultimately, the belief in a God does not come down to the evidence (as we all have the same evidence) but rather it comes down to the interpretation of the evidence.
Thanks for the fun debate. If you would like to you can rebuttal some of my rebuttals in this final round but please do not rebuttal my concluding statements.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:26-27
2. I don't have enought faith to be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler
Radiometric dating involves using various elements (rubidium/strontium, thorium/lead, potassium/argon, argon/argon, or uranium lead) that have very long half lives, ranging from .7 to 48 billion years. Since 1920, scientists have made tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations. In order to check these ages they can use different isotope pairs or different techniques. The age of the earth has proven to be more than a few thousand years old thousands and thousands of times, enough that trying to refute this with the example of a single miscalculated rock is absolutely ridiculous. There is not plenty of evidence supporting the earth being young.
R2) "The few prophecies that you briefly pointed out are so vague that the chances of them being fulfilled at some point is actually pretty high... For example, there are some 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah that are found in the Old Testament."
I could say exactly the same thing about the Bible"s so-called prophecies. I mentioned only a few because I clearly didn't have room for the hundreds of thousands of "fulfilled" prophecies from the thousands of different religions. I concede that all of these are vague and the chances of them being fulfilled are high. All I saw when I read your link to the website proclaiming that the Bible had predicted that the state of Israel would be reconstituted in exactly 1948 was religion twisting the words of the Bible in any possible way they could to get an accurate prophecy. I"m pretty sure the Jewish people were very aware of the 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah... which is exactly why they decided to believe Jesus when he was said he was God's son and a prophet. Now if you ask the Jewish people, they have yet to have any of their Messiah related prophecies fulfilled. So that proves nothing. And there were an awful lot of prophecies that weren't fulfilled in the Bible as well. For example, when Ezekiel predicted that Babylon would conquer Egypt, when Ezekiel incorrectly predicts the destruction of Tyrus by Nebuchadrezzar, when Micah incorrectly predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, when Jeremiah predicts the wrong number of years of exile, etc. I could go on.
R3) "There are so many problems with evolution starting with the very fact that it has never been observed" After all, there is billions of fossils so shouldn't we find more than just a few dozen possible intermediate links?...How did the first living cell learn how to reproduce? How did DNA originate through blind chance?"
Evolutionary changes, as scientist clearly acknowledge, take lifetimes to accumulate into massive changes for most organisms. But as we can see, many different species clearly originate from a common ancestor, and the mutations they have have to do with the environment they live in and the modifications they needed to survive. Trilobites have left a long and detailed trail showing their evolution throughout their existence, which is another way of witnessing evolution. Through fossils. Other good species fossils for witnessing evolution are eusthenopteron, archaeopteryx, and our more recent human ancestors. Organic molecules were the foundation of life, and DNA and RNA are simply long chains of simple nucleotides. This led to RNA self-replications which then opened the door for natural selection. If you would like further insight into these processes I recommend Google or a biology class.
R4) "In fact, there are many people who have claimed to have experienced miracles themselves (including myself). Also if the Bible is a reliable document then it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the miracles reported in the Bible are also reliable."
The Bible is not a reliable document. I believe throughout my refutations I have made it very clear that I absolutely don"t believe the Bible to be a reliable document. Which means, no, I don"t believe in miracles. The process of miraculous recovery has no basis in science and no evidence except personal claims. If God is so good at healing people when absolved from their sins, then why doesn't he do so? He doesn't.
My opponent accuses me of not having given a single example of evidence in refutation of the existence of a deity. However, the burden of proof is on him. He has yet to provide any evidence or refutation that isn"t twisting science in such a way that it supports religions profound belief in an ancient text that has been disproven and contradicted thousands of times. Just because I haven"t highlighted my arguments with an "A" doesn't mean that they aren"t there, if you scroll up you will see plenty.
For example, he doesn"t believe that nothingness is possible so everything has a creator. This is why he believes the obvious conclusion is that God created everything. When I respond with the obvious question of who created God, he simply says God is eternal. So if the answer is God is eternal, why not just save a step and say that the universe is eternal? This is not only not an argument for God, it is an argument against God.
My opponent argues that atheism requires more faith than religion. He is presuming that I need an answer for the underlying questions of how did life begin. I don"t. Right now I believe that it was the Big Bang that created the universe after reading numerous journal articles and being shown the rational theories. His accusation that I shouldn"t be trusted because I don"t have answer to all questions of the universe is simply ignorance. I don"t deny an "absolute truth", I simply deny that just because scientists don"t yet have all the answers I have to default to some immaterial, floaty being to explain my existence. Truth isn"t relative, it just doesn"t make sense to worship an unproven being and live your life presuming that they are real and going to punish you if you work on Sunday (or Saturday).
People who believe in the Bible twist modern science to their advantage, acknowledging the perfection of gravity and the laws of physics and our perfect proximity of the sun in their favor (not in their favor as the the statistical probability of their being a planet with good conditions for life is nearly 100%) while denying the thousands of dated fossils and the huge amounts of evidence for evolution. Atheism and agnosticism doesn"t work that way. We absorb all the evidence, all the experiments, and we come to our own conclusions without the blinders of religion. No faith is needed to believe science, and any part of it proven to be genuinely false is modified or abandoned.
I propose we don"t let the Bible dictate what we believe or what science we can trust. I propose we put our belief in evidence. I propose that we think for ourselves.
"If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." -Albert Einstein
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
Thank you for your time.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con ff. Pro had stronger sources.
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