The Instigator
LiamKNOW
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RowanM
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Does a God exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RowanM
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 374 times Debate No: 46254
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

LiamKNOW

Pro

I will arguing that it is more likely that a God exists than not. I will not be attempting to provide definitive proof of the Christian God's existence (as too many atheists jump to conclude).
RowanM

Con

I accept, let's hear it.
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.
RowanM

Con

I thank my opponent for his quick reply.

The argument of common consent is completely false. It is an argumentum ad populum; a logical fallacy. This means that if a large number of people agree on something, that doesn't make it necessarily true. So no, it is not logical to conclude that God exists. Rougly 200 years ago, over 90% of the people claimed that man was created by God in the Garden of Eden. Darwin disproved that theory and came with a new one. Before the 1700s, nobody believed gravity existed.
The reason that many people believe in God is because Christianity spread very quickly and it was a mandatory religion for a long time in Europe.

I'm afraid this argument will not hold. I hope my opponent has something else up his sleeve.
Debate Round No. 2
LiamKNOW

Pro

I fear my opponent is too quick to dismiss this argument, which -- as he knows if he is familiar with classical theology -- has been debated for centuries. I'm also disappointed that my opponent has fundamentally misunderstood what I am attempting to demonstrate; I am not claiming to prove God's existence, or present arguments that "are necessarily true." I merely assert that the Argument from Common Consent makes it more likely than not that a God exists.

My opponent claims that Darwin disproved Man's creation in the Garden of Eden, a statement that reveals ignorance of both evolutionary theory and the Bible. Darwin's theory offers an explanation of biological diversity and complexity, not how life began, much less theological explanations of how God might have created Man.

My opponent's comparison with Newton's gravitational theory is misguided. Prior to the 1700s (actually, it's more like the 1600s), no one denied that objects "stuck" to the earth, they merely lacked a mathematical explanation. A proper analogy would be to claim that 90% of people back then believed that objects were not attracted tot he earth, which of course was not the case.

Finally, my opponent's flippant assessment of why belief in God is so popular is ridiculous. Why did Christianity spread so quickly if no God exists. (And no, Christianity was not a mandatory religion in Europe -- many, many atheists thrived during the so-called "Dark Ages," and religious diversity was more pronounced than it is today.)
RowanM

Con

First off, pro defends his argumentum ad populum, coincidentally, with another argumentum ad populum. He claims that because the argument has been debated for centuries, it is somehow more valid. I restate that whether or not a large majority believes something that does not make it true.

All of my other examples were not meant as stand-alone argument of mine (I do not need any since I only have to refute pro's) and that is why they were not as detailed. But I shall correct them nevertheless.

Since Darwin (or even Lamarck) science has spent a lot of time refining and expanding the evolution theory. We are now sure that earth is older than the bible claimed (7,000 years), we are also sure that Noah -if he even existed- never built an ark and that the tower of Babel never existed. Pro is right that it does not explain how life began, however abiogenesis does [1]. I'm not educated enough to explain it, but that doesn't matter for we're not talking about abiogenesis.

I thank my opponent for correcting the gravity example for me. Indeed many people before Newton's discovery did not believe objects were attracted to the earth's gravitational field.

Finally, christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire by emperror Theodosius I. Atheists in the medieval islam empire were viewed as heretics and in the European Middle Ages, no clear expression of atheism is known.

My opponent has given only one argument which was a logical fallacy. He has given no further evidence and has thereby failed to proof the likelyhood of a christian god.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RowanM 2 years ago
RowanM
Thanks
Posted by btwinch 2 years ago
btwinch
Yeah, sorry, I did. I corrected it.
Posted by RowanM 2 years ago
RowanM
I think the last voter switched pro and con by accident.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by btwinch 2 years ago
btwinch
LiamKNOWRowanMTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con actually used a source. Pro made arguments that were refuted by Con, and then continued to make them like they were still 100% correct.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 2 years ago
Kreakin
LiamKNOWRowanMTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con correctly identified the falacious nature of the arguments put forward. Tied for conduct, refs, spelling & grammar.
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
Jonbonbon
LiamKNOWRowanMTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This one was pretty simple. Conduct was even. S&G was even. Granted, I tend to favor the pro position in this debate, but the argument as pointed out by con was logically fallacious and couldn't be supported. All con had to do was adequately negate pro's argument, so that was it. No one used sources.