The Instigator
wmickas
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
squonk
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does God exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 345 times Debate No: 95746
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

wmickas

Pro

I will start off by making the argument that Atheists cannot account for the reliability senses, reasoning,memory laws of logic, laws of physics or nature, memory or morality. I will also make the argument that the Biblical worldview is the worldview that can account for these things. There are also external arguments I could appeal to give philosophical and scientific backing for my position. I will give the rest of the time to my time to make an argument against the existence of God.
squonk

Con

I will make the argument that [A] nobody, Christian or otherwise, can be certain that their senses are reliable, [B] faith is antithetical to reason, [C] Christians have a childish morality, [E] it is irrational and wrong to make "God of the gaps" arguments in regards to laws of physics, memory, etc.
Debate Round No. 1
wmickas

Pro

My opponent claims that nobody can be certain that our senses are reliable. That is not my claim. My claim is that the Biblical worldview is the world view that provides a suffient basis for sense reliability. Second he says that faith is antithetical to reason . I would like to know if he has any idea of the biblical definition of faith. Notice that he said that nobody can be certain of sense reliability so he must have confidence in that and the suffex for confide is fide which means with faith. So by this logic he just went against reason to respond to this debate. God of the gaps is a complete straw man of my position.
squonk

Con

"the Biblical worldview is the world view that provides a suffient basis for sense reliability"

How so? How does the Bible allow you to confirm that your senses are reliable?

"I would like to know if he has any idea of the biblical definition of faith"

Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is the Biblical definition of faith, and it's a bunch of religious gobbledygook. I prefer Bertrand Russell's definition of faith, as it is more accurate: "We may define "faith" as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith". We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence."

"he said that nobody can be certain of sense reliability so he must have confidence in that"

Not absolute confidence, no. I just acknowledge that,

"the suffex for confide is fide which means with faith"

Interesting bit of etymology. Too bad it's irrelevant.

Debate Round No. 2
wmickas

Pro

My opponent has given us the definition from scrscripture. That is very good. Notice that he says basically that he does not like the definition of faith that the bible itself gives, so he switches the definition to belief without evidence. When you talk to a Christian, in order to critique his or her faith as being irrational or illogical, you need to critique on the basis of how the bible defines faith otherwise you would be committing equivocation. Now for how the bible could give us a basis of sense reliability would be first of all Genesis 1:27 also all the commands where God commands a person that requires them to use their senses. Notice he says he does not have absolute confidence that his senses are reliable but he still has confidence which means by his own assertion that he is going against reason and logic to be involved in this debate. I feel that this assertion will nag at him for the rest of the debate.
squonk

Con

Christians love the Biblical definition of 'faith' because it sounds mystical and wise. Unfortunately, it's just word salad. It means nothing. It's not even a functional definition. It doesn't work:

"I have faith in God" --> "I have substance of things hoped for in God"

"I have faith that Jesus rose from the dead." --> "I have evidence of things not seen that Jesus rose from the dead."

Clearly, the Biblical definition is utter nonsense. The Bible does not offer us a functional definition of the word "faith."

Let's ask ourselves: when someone says "I have faith in God" what do they really mean?

It means they have a "strong belief" in God that is "based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof." [1] As Bertrand Russell notes, "When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." [2] The dictionary / Bertrand Russell definitions actually mean something, and they actually work:

"I have faith in God" --> "I have a strong belief in God that is based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof."

"I have faith that Jesus rose from the dead." --> "I strongly believe that Jesus rose from the dead, although I have no evidence."

I challenge my opponent to elucidate the Biblical definition of faith. Maybe I'm just too stupid to understand it?

for how the bible could give us a basis of sense reliability would be first of all Genesis 1:27 also all the commands where God commands a person that requires them to use their senses

Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." How do you know that God Himself isn't out-of-touch with reality?

he does not have absolute confidence that his senses are reliable but he still has confidence which means by his own assertion that he is going against reason and logic to be involved in this debate

It's hard for me to make sense of this criticism. How exactly am I "going against reason and logic"? In regard to the question of whether we can trust our senses, I am provisionally saying no. I embrace "model-dependent realism."

Model-dependent realism "is based on the idea that our brains interpret the input from out sensory organs by making a model of the world. When such a model is successful at explaining events, we tend to attribute to it, and to the elements and concepts that constitute it, the quality of reality or absolute truth. But there may be different ways in which one could model the same physical situation, and each employing different fundamental elements and concepts. If two such physical theories or models accurately predict the same events, one cannot be said to be more real than the other; rather, we are free to use whichever model is most convenient." [3]

"We can...employ the tools of science, which are designed to test whether or not a particular model or belief about reality matches observations made not just by ourselves but by others as well. Although there is no Archimedean point outside of ourselves from which we can view the Truth about Reality, science is the best tool ever devised for fashioning provisional truths about conditional realities. Thus, belief-dependent realism is not epistemological relativisim where arll truths are equal and everyone's reality deserves respect. The universe really did begin with a big bang, the earth really is billions of years old, and evolution really happened, and someone's belief to the contrary really is wrong. Even though the Ptolemaic earth-centered system can render observations equally well as the Copernican sun-centred system (at least in th etime of Copernicus anyway), no one today holds that these models are equal because we know from additional lines of evidence that heliocentrism more closely matches reality than geocentrism, even if we cannot declare this to be an Absolute Truth about Reality." [4]

[1] Oxford English Dictionary
[2] Bertrand Russell
[3] Stephen Hawking
[4] Michael Shermer
Debate Round No. 3
wmickas

Pro

Christians love the biblical definition of faith because the Bible is the authority for Christian belief and practice and and none else. My opponent asserts that when Christians assert that they have faith in God or in the resurrection, they really mean strong belief"based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof" . This is true and false at the the same time. Yes Christians may mean that but faith does not merely mean strong belief I would simplify this verse down as "confidence in something that I cannot persieve with my senses. That is what I mean when I say I have faith in God. My opponent quotes Russell as saying, "When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." That is also true and false we use other words like confidence. We could very well say that "We have confidence in the data that scientists and mathematician have gathered to bring us to the conclusion that the earth is round of that 2+2=4." Remember the latten root that I brought up during my first rebuttal. My opponent also says "The dictionary / Bertrand Russell definitions actually mean something, and they actually work". This commits the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. He is really saying that the definition that Russell and the dictionary gives is correct because they are typically authorities on what words mean, but as I said before when you read your own definitions in to the words of other people you are committing equivocation. When I said that he by his own admission is going against reason and logic by entering this debate, I meant that he is employing confidence of his senses to see his computer and keyboard to type and he is employing his reasoning to think of the words he needs to respond to what I say. He is using confidence in both of these things and he said that faith is antithetical to reason.Remember the latten root that I brought up during my first rebuttal. He also asked how do i know that god is not out of touch with reality. According to the scriptures he created reality. If he was out of touch with it, then it is not possible for him to create it I also have not heard a positive argument for the nonexistence of God yet in this debate.
squonk

Con

he does not like the definition of faith that the bible itself gives, so he switches the definition

As I pointed out in Round #2, the definition of "faith" that the Bible gives is gobbledygook. It means nothing, and it does not tell us what people mean when they say they have "faith" in something. For this reason, I reject the Biblical definition.

[Squonk] commits the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. He is really saying that the definition that Russell and the dictionary gives is correct because they are typically authorities on what words mean

No. I reject the Biblical definition of faith because it is meaningless, and I accept the dictionary definition because (unlike the Biblical definition) the dictionary definition actually tells us what people mean when they say they have "faith" in something.

Bertrand Russell is not an authority on what words mean.

faith does not merely mean strong belief I would simplify this verse down as "confidence in something that I cannot persieve with my senses

How do you get "confidence in something that I cannot perceive with my senses" from "substance of things hoped for" or "evidence of things not seen"? I'm curious. Furthermore, this definition of "faith" doesn't work either. Things like "courage" and "kindness" cannot be perceived with your senses, yet we do not say "I have faith in courage."

how do i know that god is not out of touch with reality. According to the scriptures he created reality. If he was out of touch with it, then it is not possible for him to create it

You're missing my point. How do you know that there is not some "higher plane of reality" above God, that God himself is oblivious to?
Debate Round No. 4
wmickas

Pro

For my closing statement, I would like to thank my opponent for engaging in this debate with me. In this debate we have not seen him give any positive argument against the existence of God instead he gave a definition of faith that is completely foreign to the Bible and attempt to say that the biblical definition of faith is what he calls gobbledygook. When I say I have confidence in something that I cannot perceive with my senses I am reffering to to second part of Hebrews 11:1. When he says that we do not say the word faith for abstract concepts like courage or kindness he is completely missing the point we may not say in everyday language that we have faith in these things, but we do. But again you cannot reject the Christian definition of faith and read your own definition into the words that we say, that would be equivocation. I would also like to point out that my opponent completely changed the topic of the debate from the existence of God to a discussion on the definition of faith which I find interesting to say the least. I will end with saying that I hope that this debate was edifying to not only the believers but to unbelievers as well. I will have this debate archived on my website blazeofhope.weekly.com. God bless
squonk

Con

I agree that this debate ended up going somewhat off-track.

In Round #1, my opponent stated his intention to argue that (1) our senses our reliable and (2) only Christians can account for this. I argue that no one, Christian or atheist, can be absolutely certain that their senses are reliable. Our senses are all we have. As Michael Shermer says, "There is no Archimedean point outside of ourselves from which we can view the Truth about Reality." Therefore, none of us can verify that what we perceive is objectively real.

My opponent cites Genesis 1:27 as evidence that humans can trust their senses. Yes, it's a "Bible says so" argument. This verse states that God created man and woman in his own image. From this, my opponent infers that God created our senses to be reliable; we can trust our senses because "the Bible says so." How do we know that there isn't a higher plane of reality that God Himself is oblivious to? My opponent responds to this with another "Bible says so" argument.

In this debate, I do not bear the burden of proof. It is not my job to come up with a positive argument against the existence of God. As the one making the positive claim, ("God exists") it's on YOU to back it up with an argument. Which you haven't, at all.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by distraff 2 months ago
distraff
I was interested in the argument that the reliability of the senses is evidence for the bible. So to do this you have to somehow prove the senses are reliable and the bible is true. Using a bible verse to prove they are reliable assumes the bible is true.
Posted by distraff 2 months ago
distraff
I think the burden of proof needs to be established in this debate as to whether Con should simple try to refute Pro's arguments for God's existence or actually show that God doesn't exist. There also needs to be a definition of God whether he is a creator or the Christian all powerful God.

Without a specified burden of proof I assume that when you are con or arguing the negative case to "Does God exist?" you are saying he doesn't exist.
Posted by Khons 2 months ago
Khons
JSYK squonk D comes after C not E
Posted by squonk 2 months ago
squonk
Which of my arguments are invalid, and for what reason?
Posted by Khons 2 months ago
Khons
TBH if so then your arguments would be invalid squonk
Posted by Khons 2 months ago
Khons
I would debate this but i would be against what i believe and just a hint give those sources when you are debating
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by distraff 2 months ago
distraff
wmickassquonkTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Sense Reliability: Pro argues that there is no non-biblical evidence the senses are real. The bible says the senses are real so we can know they are real. This only proves they are real if you assume God exists and I don't see how this is evidence for God. Con provided a prediction based-model of determining reality. Pro says that argument is based on reason which is also unproven. But even the argument that senses is unproven is based on reason. The argument that the bible justifies the senses is based on reason. This is all very muddled so I don't see how either worldview wins here. Con attacks the biblical definition of faith as nonsensical. Pro provides the verse that faith is assurance in things not seen, and is not belief without evidence so his definition wins. In the last round there is debate over whether Con has to disprove God. Since he is Con to "Does God exist?" he does have to show God doesn't exist. He did not do that and Pro did not show God existed. Nobody won.