The Instigator
LiamKNOW
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
johnlubba
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Does a God exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
johnlubba
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 533 times Debate No: 46249
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

LiamKNOW

Pro

I will be arguing that the existence of a supernatural, powerful, immaterial, and timeless being is more likely than not. Good luck to con!
johnlubba

Con

I accept

My opponent has the task of proving it more likely that a supernatural and timeless immaterial being is likely to exist.

The burden of proof rests entirely on Pro and I have no burden to prove that it is unlikely that God exists, my only burden is to negate the arguments Pro puts forward and then show why based on the arguments of Pro that is unlikely that any God exists.

Good Luck Pro
Debate Round No. 1
LiamKNOW

Pro

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this debate.

Though Con is correct in assigning the burden of proof to me, I would like to clarify that, at least for the purposes of this debate, my responsibility is only to demonstrate that a God's existence is likely, not that it is certain.

Though dozens of deistic arguments exist, I would like my opponent to respond to one in particular. It is commonly called the "Argument from Common Consent." Basically, the argument states that, since at least 90% of the people who have ever lived believed in a God (leaving a very small minority claiming its non-existence), it is more likely than not that a God exists. Just as if 900 people say they know John and 100 people vehemently claim that John does not exist, it is logical to conclude (not with certainty, mind-you, but with statistical confidence) that John exists and that the 100 deniers are simply ignorant or have never met the guy. In no other ontological realm have we ever discovered such a large-scale delusion (if, of course, believers are deluded); UFO enthusiasts, mystics, and others who may be regarded as misguided account for a few thousand people, not billions.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
johnlubba

Con

I believe my opponent is advocating an argument based on statistical probability, also know as the argument from the majority and the ad populum fallacy.

Here is a brief description

In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: "If many believe so, it is so."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

This argument is not water tight and neither does it provide a good argument for the existence of God, Sometimes the majority have been proven to be wrong, and if it has been proven on many occasions that popular belief is simply wrong, Then why should we take Pro's assertion that just because so many people, past, and present believed in God that God's existence is more than likely true. I assert that it proves nothing either way, all it is, is popular opinion.

Another example from the same link, is that.

At a time in history when most people believed the world was flat, one could have claimed the world is flat because most believed it.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

So by Pro's logic then, just because the majority believed the world was flat, it must be, simply because it is a popular belief and obviously the whole population can not be wrong or deluded.

When in fact, that is exactly the case. Seeing as we now have strong evidence that the world isn't flat, but spherical.
We know this from satellite pictures taken from space and also by simply drawing a triangle large enough on the surface of the earth and concluding the earth is spherical simply by noticing the curvature of the lines of the triangle, which would be straight, had the earth been flat.

Conclusion.

My opponents argument from the majority has been negated and the resolution thus far has not been confirmed.
Debate Round No. 2
LiamKNOW

Pro

Unwittingly, I believe that my opponent has done his stance harm. The claim that the Earth is flat (which, as you correctly state, was the popular belief of most people in the 1300s) has been disproved using exactly the methods you describe: satellite imagery, views of the curvature of the earth, etc. Thus, despite an overwhelming number of people believing that the earth was flat, we -- in light of scientific, observational, and experiential evidence -- can conclude that it is in fact round. But what overwhelming amount of analogous evidence is there to overcome the majority and conclude that God does not exist. By his own admission, the classical atheist says "I don't have any evidence for God's non-existence, but there are no good reasons to believe in God." In the case of God, therefore, lacking any contrary evidence popular opinion can be taken to establish the probability of God's existence.
johnlubba

Con

I would like to begin by thanking Pro for instigating the debate, However I find his argument to be drastically flawed and will proceed to show why below.

Notice that Pro concedes my point that the popular belief of the earth being flat was eventually proven to be false when we discovered that indeed the earth was spherical.
This showed very easily how the popular opinion of the masses regardless of their belief in something can be wrong, and the actual fact of a thing can be entirely different altogether. Thus proving how un-reliable popular opinion really is.

My opponents only defence here is that although we have proven the earth wasn't flat we haven't proven that God doesn't exist, so therefore it safe to assume the method of popular opinion in this case, and God's existence should be assumed likely on the basis of popular opinion. Well I am shocked that Pro would even consider this stance, after showing that popular opinion was wrong the first time, Pro thinks it's safe to have another crack and just go with popular opinion anyway.

For me, it is not good enough to assume the existence of God as likely, simply because the majority believe it so. I believe there are much better arguments for the existence of God and this isn't one of them for the reasons I have already shown. The public can be wrong, and if they can be wrong once they can be wrong again an again, and indeed they have been.

Conclusion

The method of approach used by Pro is not a strong convincing argument for the existence of God and furthermore I have given good reasons to show why popular opinion can not be used as an accurate method for discovering the truth. Therefore Pro has failed to defend the resolution and I urge a vote in favour of Con.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
LiamKNOWjohnlubbaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that everyone believing that a god exists (the crux of Pro's argument), doesn't make it so. Wikipedia isn't really used as a source here, so I'm not going to give it points.
Vote Placed by btwinch 2 years ago
btwinch
LiamKNOWjohnlubbaTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Although Con used Wikipedia, an unreliable source, at least he presented proof. Con disproved every argument Pro had, and Pro continued to state the false argument.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 2 years ago
Sojourner
LiamKNOWjohnlubbaTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct & S&G tied as both were respectful, and there were no significant S&G errors. Arguments to Con, in soundly defeating the "Argument from Common Consent". Con's refutation was strong, and Pro really had no where to go in making a defence other than abandoning his original argument.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
LiamKNOWjohnlubbaTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that Pro's arguments were fallacious, and thus Pro did not meet his BoP. Con was the only one to use sources too.