Does God exist
I will be arguing against God, and proving why God doesn't exist.
It should be noted that definitive proof is impossible for either side to provide on this topic. My opponent and I can only argue as far as plausibility. With that in mind, I accept.
Universe Created-So as a committed theist, one of the major things holding me back from becoming an atheist was intelligent design. I will begin this debate by attacking the theory because I believe that this theory is one of the main reasons why thinking Christians don't become atheists. Lets start with what theists believe. God was the first cause to our universe. Humans usually think in terms of causes. They think of the cause-effect solution. This unfortunately does not work with God. For theists there would have to be an all-powerful, all knowing God, something must have created him. Because your logic would have to follow up with God. You say there is a first cause, but there would need to be a cause for God. There would have to be a never ending list of creators which would make no sense.
God's moral authority-God seems to also be a supernatural judge in the afterlife. If you have sinned, you will me sent to hell. If you slept with a man, you will be sent to hell. If you steal, you would have been sent to hell. Though let us go in deeper to these sins. Every person I think usually thinks that they are doing the right thing when they steal, that they are doing the right thing when they sleep with a man.
A young man lost 2 parents at age of 21. He was in poverty. He wanted to become an artist but couldn't. He signs up to fight in the war. He feels deep patriotism about his country and his people. When he comes back poverty is still on the rise. He wants to fix everything and put his country right back into glory. He finds out that his people can't enter business because it is dominated by other shrewd people. He wants those shrewd people to be excluded from the economy. He runs for president and wins. He wants to create opportunity for his people so he excludes the shrewd from the economy. The shrewd find ways to come back and dominate other professions. He decides that he will wipe out all the shrewd people from his country for the better of his people. His name is Adolf Hitler. He thought he did the right thing.
A young man's father is never there. A young man's mother wasn't there. He doesn't get the right role models. He hangs out with drug dealers that influence him to do it himself. His name was Jonah Cadiz, and he is a bad guy. Jonah Cadiz's story reflect probably every drug dealer's story. By God's logic each man here would go to eternal fire for things they thought were right. Why am I going to hell for something that I believe is right?
Everywhere at once- God is in Africa watching 5,500 children die everyday in Africa. God is watching Isaas rape women and children everyday. God himself watched the holocaust with his own eyes. God watched 1800s where the south was cruel to African Americans. God watches all of it and does nothing. On the light side it is kind of funny how also if God was against gay sex, than why would he watch them do it. He is watching everybody do it.
In conclusion, I would like to say that I think all religions support the spirituality of humans. Religion comforts the common man, and I have no problem with people practicing it. If somebody told me that he was going to make everybody an atheist, I would tell him to stop because its source of comfort. However, I urge the thinking man to think about religion deeply. See the glasses that blind the thinking man from his true potential. Once you realize that their is no god, you will want to live this life to the fullest, and accomplish anything that the thinking man can.
I'd like to start by thanking my opponent for their respectful conduct. It's rare these days to have a religious debate that doesn't involve suffering passive-aggressive jabs at one's intelligence before the arguments have even been presented. Voters take note.
Moral Argument-My opponent makes the claim that humans are born with moral senses, and that this could be the result of a higher power. My argument would be that it is not natural, but more of nurturing. For example, Hell is a good example of ways to frighten somebody into practicing morality. Public Humiliation is also another example of ways to frighten humans into obeying morality. Jail time is also another way of frightening people into obey. My opponent mentions how also humans naturally tend to be moral beings, but new studies have revealed that bullying starts in kindergarten. Kindergarten is when bullying is the highest. Humans naturally are here to survive. Humans naturally want things that will make their lives better. Our society has bought into the idea that morality produces a better society.http://chpru.ecu.edu.au...
Desire Argument-My opponent makes deep philosophical claims about life in general. The cause of life. She also claims that atheists believe that there is no meaning. I would argue that in order for their to be a source for god, than their would be a source for god. There must be a source for that God. Than a source for the other god which would make a list of causes which I find absurd.
So how do we stop infinite recursion? Well, the buck needs to stop somewhere, and because everything that has a beginning must logically have a cause, there needs to be something that does not have a beginning. God, according to most religions, is eternal, and therefore fulfils that requirement—He does not have a beginning.
But if God can be eternal, why can't the universe? The universe operates on a system of entropy, meaning that everything is winding down or decaying indefinitely. If the universe has existed forever, and yet still operates on properties of entropy, it raises the question why we haven't already reached a point where entropy is at its maximum and nothing can wind down any further (a state known as thermodynamic equilibrium). The fact that the universe as we know it has not reached a state of maximum entropy is evidence that it hasn't been around forever.
But if the universe can't be eternal, how can God? Entropy is a law that governs the natural world. God, by definition, is a supernatural being, meaning that he is beyond or outside of nature. The laws that apply to nature, therefore, do not apply to God.
My opponent brings up the concept of hell. Because the societal idea of hell is based off of the Christian doctrine, I will address it from the standpoint of Christianity. I cannot speak for how other religions may handle the subject.
First of all, this idea that God will cast you into eternal flames if you have the audacity to sin is crass, and does not accurately represent the issue. Biblically, “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23). This means that because we've all sinned, we all deserve hell. But God is not the one to send us there. Hell is what happens when we say say “I don't want God,” and God lets us have what we asked for.
C.S. Lewis has explained this issue much, much better than I could ever hope to in chapter eight of his book The Problem of Pain. I would certainly direct anyone with an objection to hell to read the full chapter, but I will quote a few sections here for the purposes of this debate:
“If the happiness of a creature lies in self surrender, no one can make that surrender but himself (though many can help him to make it) and he may refuse. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully “All will be saved". But my reason retorts, “Without their will, or with it?" If I say "Without their will" I at once perceive a contradiction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self surrender be involuntary? If I say "With their will", my reason replies "How, if they will not give in?"”
“In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is itself a question: "What are you asking God to do?" To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not [accept forgiveness]. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.”
I would also note that just because a person believes their actions to be right doesn't mean their actions are excusable. Hitler, for instance, despite his belief that he was doing the right thing, still did unimaginable evil. If we as people can't condone his actions in light of that fact, we shouldn't expect God to either.
Omnipresence and the Problem of Evil
Con states that God sees countless horrors and atrocities and does nothing to fix them. But here's the thing: so do we. Poverty exists even though there's more than enough money. Starvation exists even though there's more than enough food. Homelessness exists even though there's more than enough shelter. The problem isn't that we don't have the means to solve the world's problems, it's we've built a civilization that either profits off or ignores these problems, and now we're so stuck in our ways that the smallest sacrifice on the part of those who have more than they need seems like an injustice. This is not God's fault. This is our fault. God intervening and fixing everything wouldn't get rid of them for good, either, because these atrocities are symptoms of the the underlying disease: human greed and selfishness. Unless we cure the disease, we'll be right back where we started before too long, and God cannot force us to be selfless without violating our free will.
Which brings me to my second point:
We have chosen to abuse our free will. I can kill someone because free will gives me the ability to make that choice. This is also not God's fault. Now, it's true that God could step in and stop people from committing evil, but there's a problem with this: if He stops us every single time we're about to do something evil, therefore eliminating evil's existence, we don't truly have free will. Now, I suppose he could only stop us some of the time; He could allow some atrocities and prevent only the worst ones from occurring. But how do we know He hasn't already done this? Maybe the horrors we have in our world are nothing compared to what we'd have if God wasn't actively stopping us.
Nature vs. Nurture
It's true that morality produces a better society, so I can certainly understand the argument that morality evolved for survival. But there's a problem:
Selfishness is in my best interests, but not society's. However, I should l put society's best interests over my own because it aids the species' survival (thus why selflessness is considered “good” and selfishness is considered “bad”). Why should I care about the species' survival? Because if the species doesn't survive, neither will I. So it's in my best interests to be selfless. But as we've already established, it's also in my best interests to be selfish. Which should I choose?
Well, nature invariably chooses the short-term goal of helping oneself. A tiger that makes a kill doesn't share that kill with other tigers because it cares about itself as an individual animal, not about tigers as a species. An inferior male tree frog will take every chance it gets to pass on its genetics even though those genetics are inferior because it cares about itself as an individual animal, and not tree frogs as a species. So why have humans always seen the long-term goal of helping the species over helping themselves as "good?" Because it's the only option that considers the needs of others, and somewhere deep down at the core of humanity, there is the belief that helping other people is "right." In other words, a moral law.
My opponent makes the argument of intelligent design. She argues philosophical terms such as universe having a beginning. The problem with this argument is that this argument would have only worked in the 18th century. Scientists such as Steven Hawking have made astonishing progress on the start of the universe.http://www.hawking.org.uk...
The problem with this philosophical argument is that you only have gotten yourself to the deistic position. You still haven't proven that he is a loving God that cares for everybody when thousands of Africans die everyday. You still haven't proven that God cares so deeply about humans that he does nothing when the worst genocides occur. You still haven't proven that God cares for us when Isaas slaughters and rapes our brothers and sisters. You still haven't proved that our heavenly father is capable of love when he is ready to see the bad ones in eternal fire which is extremely barbaric. Punishing someone and putting them in eternal fire is not only wrong, but barbaric. The reason why it says that is because the Bible also was made hundreds of years age when people used to throw rocks at women. You still haven't proven a loving God when in the Bible(Timothy 2:12-11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;b she must be quiet. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women will be saved through childbearing"if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. Christianity speaks of an all-powerful, all knowing, all good God, I do not think that an all knowing God would approve of this. I do not think that an all powerful God would have approved of this. I do not thing that an all-good God would have approved of this. If your God was so perfect and so powerful than how come he couldn't take this part of the bible out. This is the book that you would take as a source for your life, instead of a scientist with a PHD. Instead of taking advice from the smartest man who lives today, Steven Hawking, instead you would rather have your history taught by Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John who have no scientific evidence of what Jesus did. You just rely on their word because it might comfort you. No, I do not accept that a selfish egotistical jerk created me, and I believe that the voter should agree.
My opponent justifies God's moral authority by assuming("What will he do if he doesn't send them to hell"). If your teacher was a female, she should be sent to hell. But, Christians would disagree. They would say such things as "progressive Christianity" or Timothy isn't the heart of the Bible. Here are two options
1-Do the right thing and say Timothy is wrong.-You give opportunity to rule out hell.
2-Take the Bible literally and let women not teach-Everybody knows your wrong.
You take option 1 and than you have cherry-picked the almighty creator's book.
Option 2- At least your not a hypocrite.
My opponent also defends God to the end by saying that it is humanity's fault that this is happening not God. So if I see a homeless man walking down the street with three kids, and I have all the money in the world. I will use God's excuse. Its society's fault and close the door.
In conclusion, If you can see what I see, than you would know what happened in this debate
People of faith will defend their God to the end even when they have been alerted that God has watched the greatest genocides of all time and did not do anything when he had all power. The only word that I can say to a being like this is Jerk.
There's no doubt that Stephen Hawking is a brilliant physicist, but the ideas he has presented in an attempt to remove a beginning for the universe have not progressed farther than hypotheticals. Neither has anyone elses', for that matter. In the first article Con has linked, Hawking discusses his famous theory of "imaginary time," which would effectively do away with the need for a beginning for the universe. I don't think that I nor my opponent would be able to explain the concept of imaginary time in such a way as to be satisfactory, so I will instead appeal to the rebuttal of someone much more intelligent on this subject than I am, theoretical chemist Henry F. Schaefer III:
"Hawking and Hartle's no boundary proposal begins by adopting a grossly oversimplified model of the universe. Then the authors make time imaginary, and prove in their terribly restricted model that the universe has neither beginning nor end. The flaw in the exercise is that the authors never go back to real time. Thus the notion that the universe has neither beginning nor end is something that exists in mathematical terms only. In real time, to which we as human beings are necessarily attached, rather than in Hawking's use of imaginary time, there will always be a singularity, that is, a beginning of time."
In the second article Con has linked, it discusses "M Theory." M Theory is essentially an extension of string theory, which is also a theoretical concept that has yet to have merits in actuality. Even provided that M Theory ends up being legitimate, and we do live in a multiverse, and so and and so forth, it still does very little to disprove the existence of a God. All we have done in that scenario is added another turtle. My solution to infinite recursion (which, I may add, is one of many different versions) may very well be kneecapped in light of such a scenario, but as we currently do not have an answer one way or the other, there is no legitimate reason to dismiss it as false at this stage.
I will have to declare a stalemate on this point because I don't think my time is well spent trying to navigate the implications of hypotheticals that as of yet have no merit in reality. Once we have an answer, I will be more than happy to review my case.
1 Timothy and the Status of Women
My opponent, it appears, has based their entire opinion of God on a series of verses from 1 Timothy. These verses from 1 Timothy (as well as a passage in 1 Corinthians that says virtually the same thing) are infamous for being ripped haphazardly out of the bible by skeptics and used to smack Christians upside the head and accuse God of misogyny. The problem is that a single verse or passage does not exist in a vacuum, and the entire context must be considered before a judgement can be made. As I do not have the character count to discuss this issue fully, I will again refer to a source rather than my own words: https://www.gci.org...
Hell, Round Two
My opponent states that "Punishing someone and putting them in eternal fire is not only wrong, but barbaric." Strangely, I stated in my previous argument that this idea of hell was "crass, and does not accurately represent the issue," before continuing on to explain a few elements of what I believe to be a much more accurate and reasonable depiction. I am left to wonder if Con read my argument at all.
The Gospels vs. Stephen Hawking
I have never actually managed to have a debate with an atheist without encountering something along the lines of "you're too stupid/brainwashed/scared to critically examine your beliefs." Ironically, this tactic is usually employed in lieu of actually explaining where my reasoning is flawed. I am disappointed to see this behavior from my opponent. Things started off so well.
Con states that I'd rather take my history from the Gospels than from Stephen Hawking. This is absolutely correct, as Hawking is a theoretical physicist and not a historian. As for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, there is little reason to believe they are unreliable [https://bible.org...]. The Gospel authors also didn't need "scientific evidence of what Jesus did" because they and/or their sources were supposedly there when He did them.
The Problem of Evil, Round Two
Once again, Con defaults to their original arguments rather than addressing my rebuttals properly. Con states "if I see a homeless man walking down the street with three kids, and I have all the money in the world. I will use God's excuse. It's society's fault and close the door." This is strawmanning with a side of false equivalency. If you passed a homeless man who was homeless because he betrayed and swindled everyone who tried to help him and would spend any money you gave him on lottery tickets and drugs, you would be well served to "close the door." This is a much closer equivalent to my argument. It does not matter how much help God gives us, because short of our voluntary decision to change or God's decision to violate our free will, everything will go right back to the way it started. Con has not offered a solution for this.
Con has also not addressed my argument that God cannot stop every act of evil without, once again, violating our free will. I suggested that maybe God only allows as much evil as he absolutely must, and that horrors thousands of times worse than what we have seen could have been on the horizon had God not intervened. We would never know. As it stands, I can only assume that Con is a proponent for violation of free will, given that no alternative has been suggested.
In conclusion, I have argued my case as best I can under the circumstances. If my opponent refuses to address my arguments in full, there's not a whole lot I can do to defend them.