The Instigator
The_God_Delusion
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

Does god exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 628 times Debate No: 71230
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

The_God_Delusion

Con

Hello, I will attempt to provide all evidence necessary toward the fact that the universe needs no god.

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Opening statement

Round 3: Rebuttal

Round 4: Rebuttal

Round 5: Closing argument/statement

RULES: No forfeiting, any forfeit is an absolute loss. And be a good sport. :)
1Credo

Pro

Acceptance

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. The burden of proof will be shared in this debate, with Con providing arguments and evidence to defend the view that God does not exist and myself providing arguments and evidence to defend the view that God exists. I look forward to a good discussion!
Debate Round No. 1
The_God_Delusion

Con

Thank you for accepting, and good luck to you.

OK, lets get this started, my belief is not necessarily atheistic, rather it is more of an agnostic belief, I do not reject the idea of a God completely, so this should be a good debate.

Point 1: God has no proof supporting him/her/them

There is no solid proof of a God or Gods, therefore the logical assumption is to believe that there is, in fact no God.

This is the basis of my belief.

God has not been proved, and probably never will proved.

Point 2: Where did God come from?

Many theists will tell you that God has existed forever, but will deny the possibility of particles existing forever, this is hypocrisy, to believe that a magical, all powerful God has just existed forever and will exist forever is not only ignorant, but illogical.

I await my opponents opening statement.
1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con.

As round 2 has been specifically designated for opening statements, I won't be giving a rebuttal of my opponent's statement until next round.

Opening Statement

I will present 3 deductive logical arguments in favor of God's existence. If each premise of a given argument is more likely true than its negation, then it follows logically and necessarily that the conclusion is true. So, in order for one to reject the conclusion (God exists) one must knock down at least one of the premises. If, at the debate's conclusion, there are any arguments in which the premises remain standing, then the argument is sound and its conclusion follows necessarily.

i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Defense of P1:I will not spend much time on premise one, as it is fairly self-explanatory and relatively uncontroversial. Simply put, something cannot come from nothing. This is supported by reason as well as by experience. No one has ever witnessed a material object (say, a tree) pop out of nothing in front of their eyes. The idea itself is absurd, as everything within the natural world has a cause for its existence.
Defense of P2:There is both philosophical and empirical evidence that verify premise two. In order for this premise to be false, one must assert that the universe is eternal. This suggestion contradicts both science and reason. Let us start with the philosophical evidence for premise two. Reason alone can show us that the idea of an eternal past (with an infinite number of past events) is impossible. The absurdity of infinity is shown in this example:
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract an infinite amount of coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract three coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
In both cases, I subtracted the same exact number of coins from my original count, yet I arrived at contradicting answers. This, along with several other examples (i.e. Hilbert's Hotel) go to show that infinity does not exist in reality.
Now, let us take a look at the empirical evidence supporting this premise. Aside from the obvious Big-Bang model of cosmology, which estimates that the universe came into being from nothing about 13.8 billion years ago, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that any universe which is on average in a state of expansion (as our universe is) cannot be eternal.

ii. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1: Therefore, God exists.

Defense of P1:Here again, premise one is relatively uncontroversial. If there is no God, then we have no standard from which to deem particular moral acts "good" or "evil". In order for objective moral values and duties to exist, there must exist a perfect standard: God.
Defense of P2:Each of us have a sense of morality which tells us that certain actions are objectively "good" or objectively "evil". For example, I can clearly recognize that altruism (self-sacrifice in order to further the well-being of others) is objectively good. I can also clearly recognize that raping and torturing a child is objectively evil. I have no more reason to doubt the reliability of these moral senses than I do to doubt the reliability of my physical senses. In other words, for any argument given in an attempt to show that our moral senses are not valid (and objective morality is therefore not valid), I can construct a parallel argument to show that our physical senses are not valid (and the physical world we experience through these senses is therefore not valid). In order for one to disagree with premise two, one must believe that an action like rape is just as "good" as an action like generosity, and that no objective distinction can be made between the nature of "goodness" of the two acts.

iii. The very possibility of God implies His actuality.
P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists, in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C1: Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Defense of P1:In order to refute this premise, one would have to show that the idea of God is incoherent, such that the concept of God is as absurd as the concept of a square circle.
Defense of P2-P6:I have combined the defense of premises two-six because these premises are necessarily true so long as premise one holds true. If a maximally great being is even possible, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world (this does not imply a parallel universe idea, but by possible world I mean to say a way that the world could have been). But if this maximally great being exists in some possible world, then by its very nature it must exist in every possible world (otherwise it would not be "maximally great"). And if this maximally great being exists in every possible world, it follows that it exists in the actual world.



To summarize, I have presented three arguments in favor of God's existence. In order to win this debate, my opponent must refute each of these arguments (by knocking down at least one premise in each argument) and successfully put forward sound arguments for thinking that God does not exist. Until my opponent is able to do this, we can reasonably conclude that God exists.

Thank you.

Sources

http://now.tufts.edu...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Debate Round No. 2
The_God_Delusion

Con

Thanks, pro

Here are my rebuttals.

P1: if everything that exists has to have a cause, who created God? God just somehow doesn't have to have a cause? This is a self contradiction, please provide evidence for God to exist without a cause even though you just said that he has to have a cause.

P2: this may or may not be true, the universe could have been around forever, maybe not, if not, you cannot put a god in the gap and say it must be true.

C1: yes the universe may have a cause, but probably not by God, why? No evidence.

2:

P1: I have morals that I take from my own understanding of right and wrong

P2: I do not necessarily believe in God

C1: therefore, God is not necessary for morals.

3

P1: yes, it is possible for a god to exist, but unlikely.

P2: without evidene of other world or that possibilities must exist in some world, it is logical to assume that they do not exist.

P3: not necessarily, you first have to prove that multiple worlds exist.

P4: again, even if a god exists in one world, doesn't mean that he has to exist in every world.

I am skipping p5 because of my p4 rebuttal.

C1: a God doesn't have to exist.

I look forward to cons rebuttals to my rebuttals.
1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con

Rebuttal (Part 1)

I will begin by giving my rebuttal to my opponent's opening statement:

Point 1: God has no proof supporting him/her/them

It seems to me that there is an abundance of arguments and evidence which support God's existence. I have presented three such arguments in this debate, but I will provide a brief list so that my opponent (or readers) may look into other arguments if they wish:
-The Kalam Cosmological Argument (God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe)
-The Teleological Argument (God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of our universe for intelligent life)
-The Moral Argument (God is the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values and duties)
-The Contingency Argument (God is the best explanation for why there is anything at all rather than nothing)
-The Mathematical Argument (God is the best explanation for the applicability of mathematics)
-The Ontological Argument (The very possibility of God implies His actuality)
-The Modal Argument (God is the best explanation for the existence of the human soul)
-The Evolutionary Argument (God is the best explanation for the incompatibility of naturalism and evolution)
-The Altruism Argument (God is the best explanation for the existence of altruistic behavior among humans)
-The Resurrection Argument (God is the best explanation for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth)
-The Experience Argument (God can be personally known and experienced)

Point 2: Where did God come from?

God, if He exists, must be transcendent. This means that God exists outside of space and time. So, God had no beginning and He will have no end. This is in contrast to our universe, which had a beginning a finite time ago and will eventually have an end.

Rebuttal (Part 2)

I will now give a rebuttal to my opponent's response to my own arguments:

i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

"if everything that exists has to have a cause, who created God?"

As I previously stated, God is transcends time and as such God had no beginning. The argument states that everything that begins to exist has a cause, but God did not begin to exist.

"this may or may not be true, the universe could have been around forever, maybe not"

As I said in my opening statement, we have both scientific evidence (The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem and The Big Bang) and philosophical evidence (the absurdity of infinity) to think that the universe is not eternal. If you are taking the position that the universe is eternal, please provide (1) some sort of rationale for rejecting the scientific and philosophical evidence that is available and (2) evidence for thinking that the universe is eternal.

"yes the universe may have a cause, but probably not by God"

What sort of viable candidates are there for a "cause" of the universe? It seems to me that there are two (if you have any other suggestions, I invite you to bring them forward): an abstract object (a number, shape, etc.) or an unembodied mind (God). We can then ask ourselves, "What sorts of qualities must a 'cause' of the universe have?" It seems to me that the cause of the universe must be transcendent (this entity must exist outside of space and time), immaterial (this entity cannot have a physical substance as it exists outside of space), beginningless (in order that this entity could have created the universe without an infinite regress), and extremely powerful (after all, it must take some degree of power to bring about a universe). But, clearly, abstract objects don't stand in causal relations (the number 3 can't cause anything). So, we are left with only one viable candidate for the cause of our universe: God.

ii. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1: Therefore, God exists.

"I have morals that I take from my own understanding of right and wrong"

What reason do you have for thinking certain actions are morally "right" or "wrong"? In other words, by what authority do you claim there are such things as "right" and "wrong"?

"I do not necessarily believe in God"

I'm not arguing that it's necessary to believe in God in order to be moral. I'm simply saying that without God, objective moral values and duties could not exist. If you agree that there are in fact actions which are truly "right" or "wrong", then it follows from the argument that God exists.

iii. The very possibility of God implies His actuality.
P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists, in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C1: Therefore, a maximally great being exists.


"yes, it is possible for a god to exist, but unlikely"

Once you grant the possibility of a maximally great being existing, it follows logically and necessarily (from this argument) that a maximally great being (God) exists.

"without evidene of other world or that possibilities must exist in some world, it is logical to assume that they do not exist."

I'm not arguing that other worlds exist; I'm arguing that there are other possible ways that the world could have been. For example, it is possible that our world could have contained three-headed dogs.

"not necessarily, you first have to prove that multiple worlds exist."

Once again, I'm not arguing that other worlds exist. I'm arguing that there are other possible ways that the world could have been. If you can conceive of any possibility that does not exist in the actual world, then you have proved to yourself that other worlds are possible (it's not necessary that they actually exist). So, for example, if you can think of a room with a three-headed dog, then it is possible that there could have been a world which contained a room with a three-headed dog.

"even if a god exists in one world, doesn't mean that he has to exist in every world."

Remember, we agreed that it is possible for a maximally great being (a being which holds the quality of necessary existence) to exist. By its very nature, any entity which holds the quality of necessary existence must exist in every possible world (that is the very definition of necessary existence).

Summary

I have addressed both of my opponent's objections by (1) showing that there are arguments and evidence in support of God's existence and (2) showing that God does not need a cause as He had no beginning.

My opponent has failed to refute a premise from any of the three arguments I presented in my opening statement.

As it stands, then, we have 3 sound arguments in favor of God's existence and 0 sound arguments against God's existence. We can then reasonably conclude (for now) that God exists.

Thank you.

Sources

http://now.tufts.edu...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Debate Round No. 3
The_God_Delusion

Con

Thanks, pro

Your first argument states that "god is the best explanation for the origin of the universe, etc.)
But just because something Is the best explanation (which God is not) for the universe, doesn't mean that he IS the explanation,

Your second argument

"God, if He exists, must be transcendent. This means that God exists outside of space and time. So, God had no beginning and He will have no end. This is in contrast to our universe, which had a beginning a finite time ago and will eventually have an end."

This is illogical by nature, saying that god exists outside of space and time is a delusion and a completely illogical argument with no base to support it.

You have still provided no hard evidence of the existence of a god, just illogical assumptions about space and time, all of which are just guesses, time may not exist at all.

I'll just end this round by asking pro: if god knows everything, does he know what it is like to sin? If so, then he is not all-good, if not, then he is not omniscient. If he doesn't know what it's like to sin, what right would he have to make laws against sinning?

1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con.

Rebuttal

"Your first argument states that "god is the best explanation for the origin of the universe, etc.) But just because something Is the best explanation (which God is not) for the universe, doesn't mean that he IS the explanation"

You're correct, the argument shows that God is the most rational explanation for the origin of the universe, but, as you say, this does not mean that God must be the origin of the universe. It's nearly impossible (outside of mathematics, perhaps) to prove something to be true. Think about it: we believe that humans came about via evolution by natural selection not because we are 100% sure that evolution is true, but because it is the best explanation given the evidence we have. We believe that Alexander the Great led a conquest of Persia not because we are 100% sure that the story of his life is true, but because it is the best explanation given the evidence we have. In the very same way, if we are to follow reason and evidence, we ought to believe that God is the origin of our universe, as this is the most probable conclusion given the evidence we have.

"This is illogical by nature, saying that god exists outside of space and time is a delusion and a completely illogical argument"

How is it illogical? There are plenty of entities that transcend space and time. Examples include numbers, truth propositions, etc. It seems to me that belief in a God that is not transcendent would be illogical (it seems to me that a being cannot be maximally great if the being is limited by space and time). Think about it: the origin of our universe (meaning the origin of space and time) cannot be a part of space and time; this would be incoherent. It would be like a child giving birth to itself. In order for something to create space and time, that entity must itself transcend space and time.

"You have still provided no hard evidence of the existence of a god"

I've provided 3 sound, logical arguments that support God's existence. On the other side, you haven't provided a single argument against His existence. So it seems to me that the evidence is in my favor here.

"if god knows everything, does he know what it is like to sin? If so, then he is not all-good, if not, then he is not omniscient. If he doesn't know what it's like to sin, what right would he have to make laws against sinning?"

It seems to me that this question mistakes the term "knowledge" for "experience". God "knows" of sin and "knows" when sin occurs, but God cannot Himself "experience" sin. This is not an issue of God's omniscience; He certainly knows about sin. You then ask what right God would have to make laws against sinning; can you think of a better moral standard than perfection? Why should one need to be a sinner in order to be against sinning?

Arguments for God

I have addressed each of my opponent's objections. My opponent has yet to refute any of the three arguments I've presented in this debate:

i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

ii. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1: Therefore, God exists.

iii. The very possibility of God implies His actuality.
P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists, in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C1: Therefore, a maximally great being exists.


Summary

I have fulfilled my share of the burden of proof in this debate my providing three sound arguments in favor of God's existence, none of which my opponent has been able to refute. On the other side, my opponent has failed to fulfill his own share of the burden of proof in this debate, as there has not been a single sound argument given against God's existence. As this is the last round of the debate for arguments/rebuttals, it seems to me that we can reasonably conclude that it is more likely God exists than it is that God does not exist.

Thank you.

Sources

Debate Round No. 4
The_God_Delusion

Con

The_God_Delusion forfeited this round.
1Credo

Pro

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
1. God existing outside of time only supports that he is nothing but apart of the believers imagination. God exists only in the imagination of the believer. Has nothing to do with space and time. Nobody's thoughts are bound by anybody else's thoughts. Belief has no "rules or laws".

2. You're ignoring the definition of objective morality.
"Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true."
Nothing is factually right or wrong. Therefor there is no objective morality. Continuing this and saying I am wrong just shows you're continuing to ignore the definition of objective morality.

3. Again Utopia doesn't have to be a physical place. Since it is the idea of a perfect society, full of love, that is indeed maximally great, you can think of Utopia as heaven, a place that is indeed perfect. However since we cannot observe it, it cannot possibly be proven to exist.

There is much more evidence against God than for him. Since God cannot be observed he can't have evidence to support him. However in science we can observe things and figure out how they were created, where they came from. The bible has proven to not be a reliable source for God, and the arguments Christians have used to prove God (God of the Gaps, Russell's Teapot, Pascals Wager, Ontological argument, etc.) have all been disproven and are faulty arguments.
Posted by 1Credo 1 year ago
1Credo
"The only way to prove something exists is through observation"

I'm not attempting to "prove" that God exists, but rather to show there is more evidence in favor of His existence than there is against it.
Posted by 1Credo 1 year ago
1Credo
(1) I'm not saying, as you suggest, that God "exists outside of existence". I'm saying that God exists outside of time. There are other examples of entities which exist outside of time, such as numbers, shapes, truth propositions, etc. Clearly the idea of transcending time is coherent. So, while God (or anything) couldn't "exist outside of existence" He can certainly exist outside of time.

(2) People believing something is "right" or "wrong" is completely meaningless is morality is subjective. "Right" and "wrong" completely lose their meaning. It would be more appropriate for someone to say that they "like" or "dislike" certain actions. You then say that subjective morality is when your morals come from your personal views. That isn't subjective morality; that's all morality. On objective morality, each of us still have differing opinions on what's "right" and what's "wrong". The only difference is that there actually is a "right" and a "wrong", whereas on subjective morality these words are meaningless and morality is only a matter of personal taste. Your suggestion that if objective morality were true we would all be in agreement on every issue is trivially inaccurate and demonstrates your lack of understanding on the subject. I encourage you to do more research on objective morality as it is clear that you affirm a misconception.

(3) No, the maximally great utopia is not possible. In order for something to be maximally great, it must be impossible to conceive of something greater. But I can easily conceive of something greater than utopia. For example, utopia is constrained by space and time. I can conceive of an entity that is not constrained by space and time. Therefore, it is not possible for a "maximally great utopia" to exist. The same cannot be said for a maximally great being (God), unless you're able to conceive of something greater.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
1. Sounds a lot like your saying God exists outside of existence. However existing outside of existing is not existing at all. If nothing created the designer, then indeed he has no beginning because he hasn't been designed. Therefor he couldn't exist. Again, existing outside of existence is not existing at all.

2. I didn't say people didn't believe there was right and wrong, what I was saying is nothing is factually right or wrong.
Objective morality by definition is when ethics and judgements are factually right, or wrong. But nothing is factually right or wrong. We all have different opinions on what is right or wrong. This is because we have subjective morality. Which is when your morals come from your personal views.
Abortion
Gay marriage
War in Iraq/Afghanistan
These are controversial topics, they are controversial because we have subjective views on them. Some say abortion is wrong for reasons, others say its right for reasons. Same goes for the other topics.
If there was objective morality, by definition we would all agree on what it's right and what is wrong because whatever it is we would be talking about, we would all agree because it'd be either factually right, or factually wrong. But since that is not the case, we do not have objective morality. We have subjective morality.

3. The Utopia is the idea of a perfect society, a perfect place, a place full of love and time would not matter in such a place. This place you could say is heaven. It's possible, so it must exist right?
No. Again, the only way to prove if something exists, is through observation.
Posted by 1Credo 1 year ago
1Credo
@Blazzered

(1) That's false. If the designer exists outside of space and time, as God does (if He exists), then He has no beginning. If God has no beginning, then there is no reason to think that "something must've created the designer" as you suggest.

(2) I'd say those who believe that there is no such thing as "right" and "wrong" are equivalent to those who believe there is no such thing as light. In other words, they are morally blind. If I met a blind man who was convinced that there was no such thing as light, it wouldn't in the least bit compel me to hold that view. In the same way, when I hear someone say that rape, torture, and murder are not "wrong", and kindness, love, and self-sacrifice are not "right", it doesn't tell me that there really is no such thing as "right" and "wrong"; rather, it tells me that the person I'm hearing it from is morally blind.

(3) You're correct in stating that the maximally great being doesn't necessarily need to be the Christian conception of God. I'd say there is no other conception of God that fulfills the requirements of being "maximally great", but that's another discussion. At any rate, it follows that some sort of God exists. As for your "utopia", my response would be that this utopia lacks several characteristics that are necessary in order to be considered maximally great. To give just a couple of examples, utopia would be a physical place (something cannot both be constrained by space/time and be maximally great) and utopia does not have the ability to love (something cannot lack such a quality and be maximally great).
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
1. If a designer created everything, something must've created the designer otherwise there is no explanation for anything.

2. "Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true."
Nothing is factual right or wrong. It's all a matter of opinion (subjective). Therefor there is no objective morality. Everything is subjective. There is no good and evil. It's all a matter of opinion.

3. The possibility of a maximally great being exists doesn't mean the Christian God is real, it could be another God, or maybe there are multiple maximal deities. Utopia is a place that is maximally great, it is a perfect society, yet it doesn't exist, you could say the same for a maximally great car, or whatever you'd like. Only observation can conclude and prove if something exists.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Illegalcombatant 1 year ago
Illegalcombatant
The_God_Delusion1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons own rule as creator of the debate states "RULES: No forfeiting, any forfeit is an absolute loss. And be a good sport. :)" I understood this to mean that in the event of forfeit all 7 points get awarded to opponent, as such 7 points to Pro.
Vote Placed by 4God 1 year ago
4God
The_God_Delusion1CredoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: @The-God-Delusion provided no sources or evidence to back his argument that God doesn't exist, so he didn't really do anything other than ask questions and try to refute @1Credo's arguments.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
The_God_Delusion1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gets everything in this round. Con had no strong arguments proving his side, whereas Pro made very convincing arguments backed up with sources. Great job!