The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Does a god exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 186 times Debate No: 93306
Debate Rounds (4)
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I'm making yet another "Does God exist" debate. This time, however, I'll let my opponent define the term "god".


1) I'm suspecting another forfeit glitch (My smash bros debate, and my Tic-Tac-Toe debate are currently frozen), so please, do NOT time out.
2) Burden of Proof will be on Pro. I'll just have to show that their arguments are invalid.
3) Kritiks will be allowed.
4) Pro needs to source their definition of "god". The definition can't be anything like "technology", or "whatever Pro wants it to be". If I see anything wrong with Pro's definition, I'll point it out, and voters will take this into account.

With this, who will accept?


I have found that lately I've been unintentionally "noob sniping", which is taking debates that have a clear and obvious winning position.

To counter this, I accept this debate as Pro. I'm a wee bit outside my comfort zone, but that can only be a good thing, right?

Opening Statements

For the purposes of this debate, I will be defining "god" (lowercase) as "a self-aware being with power significantly greater than humans which may or may not live in this spatial plane".

Con will note that this definition is very general, which should suit him. Let's briefly look at each facet of my definition, so we know I am not trying to be unfair. (My argument will be made shortly, which will make it apparent that I am not being abusive with my definitons.)

1. The god is self-aware: This eliminates referring to god as "nature", "technology", or anything like that. It implies that god has a mental being.

2. The god has significant power: This eliminates my ability to claim that any people can be god. An abusive Pro here might try and argue that the most powerful human being should be considered "god'. My definition does not allow for this abuse.

3. The god may or may not live in this spatial plane: This is central to my argument, but I believe it is quite fair. Common gods, like "God" and "Allah" are thought to "transcend" the universe, implying that they are not bound to a physical existence in this universe.


I will be making one argument, a probabilistic analysis. Given this, I will show it is highly likely that a god exists. The degree of likelihood will be sufficient such that I have met my burden of proof.

Probabilistic Analysis

Consider the set of all possible gods, G = { 'God', 'Allah', 'Buddha', 'Krishna', 'Zues', ... }

The set G has more than one unique member, meaning that we can deine subsets of G.

Our first subset will be K, the "known" gods.
Our second subset will be U, the "unknown gods".
The third subset will be N, the single element of 'none'.

K = { 'God', 'Allah', ... } must clearly be of a finite length, since human knowledge is finite. There cannot be an infinite number of known gods, since there is not an infinite amount of knowledge.

U = {'unkown1', 'unknown2', ... } must clearly be of infinite length. Consider that we might describe some god of having an arm of length 1m. We might describe another god of having an arm length of 10m. Since the set of all unknown possible gods must contain all possible unknown gods, there must be a god in this set for each possible arm length between 1m and 10m. Given that the number of discrete values between 1 and 10 is uncountably infinite, we are left with the conclusion that the set U of all unknown possibe gods is also infinite.

N = { 'none' } is of length one. This describes the possibility that no god exists.

Let us define an 'existential weight', which is a property belonging to each god. This 'weight' defines how likely that god is to exist. Let us say this weight ranges from between 0 (definitely non-existant) to 1 (definitely existant.)

Since these weights are directly tied to the probability of a particular god (or 'none') being true, the sum of the existential weights must equal 1.

S(G[existential]) = 1


Now the critical question: What do these weights look like? There are a few ways we could look at the possible distributions.

The first assume equal distribution -- that is, each element has an existential weight equal to every other element's existential weight. (Existential weight will now be called EW.) An analogue to this distribution would be the possible rolls on a six sided die. D = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}, in which each has an EW of (1/6).

The most commonly occuring distribution is the normal distribution, or the "bellcurve". Ie, test scores would normally follow a bellcurve, in which middle values have a higher EW than more extreme upper or lower values. Unfortunately, this type of distribution cannot be applied to this data, since G is fundementally unordered. (It does not matter where "Allah" is in the set, since the set would have the same meaning either way.)


We can make some changes to the weights, whatever they are, based upon our own knowledge. For instance, we might give "the flying spaghetti monster" a lower weight, since it lacks the supporting evidence of, say, "God". Similarly, we might give "God" a lower weight as compared to "unknown1", since there exists evidence against "God", whereas none exists for "unknown1".

Notably, this "weight adjustment" can only occur with known values, that being the subset K and the subset N. By the very defiition of subset U, we simply know nothing about the gods it contains.

We should finally look at the particular subset N = { 'none' }. What evidence do we have for 'none'? Well, we haven't witnessed any god. That, however, doesn't change the weight of 'none', since there exist infinitely many gods in U which exist entirely outside of the physical universe and which don't interact with humans in any way. We can reduce the EW of gods that "interact with humans" to zero, but that does not fundementally add weight to the value 'none' any more so than it adds to the "noninteracting" members of U.

Bringing it all together

I know that was wordy -- let's bring it all together.

1. We know that G[EW] follows some distribution rule.
2. We know that U is infinitely large.
3. We know that K is finite.
4. We know that N is of length 1.
5. We do not have sufficient reason to believe 'none' is of higher EW than the infinitely many members of U which do not interact with the universe.

As such, we must consider the possibility of "unknown1" as equivalent to "none". To assume otherwise is to make inferences which do not exist.

If the EW of U['unknown1'] == the EW of N['none'], then U['unknown1'] plus U['unknown2'] must have twice the existential weight of N['none'].

Given that there are infinitely many elements of U, we can follow this calculation to its limit, which puts the probability of N['none'] at "just above" zero. (Or 1 / S(U)).

As such, we can conclude that the probability of 'none' is ludicrously small. This puts the probability of its converse (U + K) ludicrously near 100%. Thus, I have demonstrated that the probabiity of some god existing is nearly 100%, while the probability of no god existing is nearly 0%.

This likelihood is significant enough to fulfill my burden of proof.

I look forward to the opponent's response.
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Cobalt 3 months ago
You bring up a really interesting point with that last statement.

I'll share my thoughts after this debate is over. (I don't want to say anything the opponent can use against me.)
Posted by Iamsmarter 3 months ago
I now realize my last comment could be overturned with the statement that any property of the god could be subjected to this distribution, so the name is not necessary. In fact, if I were to question each and every assumption for the infinite number of possible attributes that the god could possess, it would turn out that it is more likely the god has some attribute than that it has no attribute at all. And once we've established that, then we know the god exists.

But what about the anti-gods, who cancel out the gods?
Posted by Cobalt 3 months ago
Good point.

I suppose I should have worded G as containing just "references" to gods, instead of their actual name. That the set references the gods *as an object* as opposed to a reference *as a name*.
Posted by Iamsmarter 3 months ago
In response to Cobalt's statistical logic in comparing all the possible names of non-gods (i.e. just one, which is the lack of a name) to the possible names of gods (i.e. an infinite array), I must question an underlying assumption: that if the god were to exist it would have a name.
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