Does god exist
Debate Rounds (3)
.Before the big bang there was no time, so there is no time for anything to cause the big bang in, except for a timeless being, who is God.
.The cause must be beyond space and time, because it created space and time
.The cause must be uncaused, eternal, because an infinite number of past events is impossible.
.The cause must be immaterial because it created material things.
Its not god the gaps:
. We know that the universe had a beginning
. We know that time and space had a beginning
. We know that material things had a beginning
. We know it came from nothing
Argument from biological evolution
. We know that evolution by natural selection did occur.
But there's a problem with atheistic evolution:
consider a very simple putative organism composed of only 200 integrated and functioning parts, and the problem of deriving that organism by this type of process. The system presumably must have started with only one part and then gradually built itself up over many generations into its 200-part organization. The developing organism, at each successive stage, must itself be integrated and functioning in its environment in order to survive until the next stage. Each successive stage, of course, becomes statistically less likely than the preceding one, since it is far easier for a complex system to break down than to build itself up. A four-component integrated system can more easily "mutate" (that is, somehow suddenly change) into a three-component system (or even a four-component non-functioning system) than into a five-component integrated system. If, at any step in the chain, the system mutates "downward," then it is either destroyed altogether or else moves backward, in an evolutionary sense.
Therefore, the successful production of a 200-component functioning organism requires,"at least, 200 successive, successful such "mutations," each of which is highly unlikely.
Elementary statistical theory shows that the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is then (")200, or one chance out of 1060. The number 1060, if written out, would be "one" followed by sixty "zeros." In other words, the chance that a 200-component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.
Also, in a book called the anthropic cosmological principal, 2 great scientists barrow and tippler calculate the probability of evolution occurring, they lay out ten steps that human evolution would need to have gone through in order to bring about modern man as we know him each of these steps are so improbable that even before it could ever possibly occur our sun would have burnt out and ceased to exist, and in the process it would obliterate our planet Earth. In fact, the number that Barrow and Tippler calculate the chance of atheistic, unguided evolution of ever occurring in the human genome to be somewhere between the values of:
4^-180^110 000 and 4^-380^110 000. (Barrow & Tippler, 1988: 566)
The odds of evolution occurring without a higher power is as crazy as to be fantastic
Evolution is irrelevant to the truth of Christian theism.
Saint augustine, 300Ad, on his commentary on genesis pointed at that the creation as mentioned in genesis don't have to be literal.
And thay interpretation came 1500 years before the theory of darwin.
Evolution is simply irrelevant to the truth of Christian theism
The third argument im gonna use, is the argument from the resurrection of jesus.
If we can prove that jesus was raised from the death, we can know God. Exists, the resurrection implies miracle and mitacles imply God.
Four minimal facts pass the historical test, by every reputable new testament historian, and I believe that the best explanation for these facts is the hypothesis "god raised jesus from the death" and those historical facts are:
- Jesus was buried by Joseph of Armathia after his crucifixion
- Jesus tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers the Sunday after his crucifixion
- Multiple apparitions of jesus alive after his death, not only to his disciples but to skeptics and even enemies.
- Jewish disciples came to genuinely believe in the resurrection despite having every disposition of it. (The Jewish theology prohibits a dying messiah, disciples were willing to get persecuted and go to hell)
There is no plausible naturalistic explanation for these historical facts.
The theories that jesus wasn't really dead when he was buried, or that the disciples and paul (who was an enemy) , or that people have stolen the empty tomb are rejected universally.
So the only plausible explanation is the hypothesis "god raised jesus from the death"
1. Big bang, causation theory
There was a big bang, we don't know what did it. Therefore god must have.
Primitive islanders also used to witness volcanic eruptions. Their reaction was, we don't know what did it, therefore god must have done it.
Ignorance of a cause does not imply god. It is an intellectually lazy argument.
Volcanic eruptions are the result of the buoyancy of magma, the pressure from the exsolved gases in the magma and the injection of a new batch of magma into an already filled magma chamber. ( 1 ) We can accurately predict eruptions because we understand why it has occurred.
We do not understand the big bang. That is a fact.
We do not know if this is the first manifestation of the universe.
We do not know if the big bang was the true beginning of time and space.
We definitely do not know if it came from nothing.
To say it was god is ridiculous and almost certainly false. Furthermore there are real world consequences for using faith instead of logic - if we take the approach that is was god, then we lose the opportunity to understand fundamental reasons behind the big bang and what processes caused it. Faith denies knowledge because it refuses to look.
2. Argument from biological evolution
My opponent states that because something is unlikely, it therefore follows that it must be designed.
To say the universe was created demands something even more complex to have created it. That is even more unlikely.
An argument to incredulity is not an argument to logic. Regardless of how improbable the universe's existence, it exists. We only need go outside to see that.
What matters is that we understand the process behind it. Furthermore, it is a testament to mankind that we not only understand the improbable, we can also predict it. One need only investigate genetics to observe our command of it.
Evolution is hardly irrelevant to Christianity. It utterly disproves the origin stories of the Old Testament, and provides a natural and logical solution to the complexity of life. Understanding evolution has allowed us to accurately track the origins of mankind and our common ancestry with other species in the animal kingdom. These are not trivial facts, they are essential to any earnest study of history.
Furthermore, if creation in genesis need not be literal, we are left in the unbearable situation of guessing as to which parts of the Bible are literal or not. Pertaining to my opponent's next point, Is the resurrection of Jesus therefore not "literal"?
3. Resurrection of Jesus
Sources please. The only consensus among the secular community is that Jesus was a real individual, was baptised, and then crucified. This is one of the most hotly disputed areas of history in existence - it is hardly in consensus.
For the sake of the debate though, I will take my opponent's side for a moment and assume that historians agree with him/her. Notwithstanding the failed prophecies, lack of modern evidence, and the abundance of other messiah figures in that time ( Ceaser, egyptian and babylonian gods, etc ) why should anyone believe that Jesus was unique from an objective viewpoint? It was hardly uncommon back then. Both Julius Caeser and Augustus gave birth to cults depicting them as gods. Julius Caeser in particular after his murder was used by the Imperial Cult as a figure of divinity. Sound familiar?
It is impossible to disprove or prove with 100% any subject, including god. However, religion is predictable. It is this predictiveness that shows it is a human construct, which I will attempt to support below.
Christianity is not why so many believe in a god. Religion is a masterpiece of the human mind. It stems from fear and wonder. Religion is also in many respects, an emotional reaction, just like fear or love. It is the mind's attempt to understand the world with what information it has available.
We can predict belief in god through a number of variables.
1. Great suffering, and a lack of information and personal empowerment. A desire for justice without a means to enforce it
2. A lack of control over our environment and factors far beyond our control. Take the volcano from my first point and the native islanders who believed that gods had caused it
Belief in god is normal. It is something we use as a construct to try and make sense of our lives, especially when we are in great pain or have absolutely no control. In respect to my opponent's arguments on the resurrection of Christ, I have little doubt that the story would have inspired martyrdom in future believers, including a form of temporary sacrifice for the reward of heaven.
The point though, is that it is predictable. We understand why religious belief inspires its followers. And if it is predictable, then it is controllable, as political leaders have known and used for their own benefit. The promise of unconditional love plays on our suffering and offers a hope for the naive. We can predict con artists by their appeal to emotion and their demand on us to hurry "before it is too late and the offer expires". In addition we are tempted by things, that in hindsight, are obviously too good to be true. Religious leaders, eternity in heaven, and a great fear of hell if we refuse at imminent death, all fit this perfectly.
If god is a predictable belief, and something that we can understand, then there is little reason to believe that it is supernaturally inspired. The argument is not whether god exists, it is apparent, at least in a theistic form, that he does not. The question is whether we are courageous enough to accept it and move on.
I will now add some classic arguments for god's non-existence, from a theistic Christian sense.
1. Lack of miracles and lack of fulfilment of the prophecies mentioned in the Bible. In addition, failed prophecy of Ezekiel concerning Tyre, and inconsistencies in virtually every book. A rehash from previously, if one part can't be taken literally, than what can be?
2. Scientific errors in the Bible, the mustard seed is not the smallest seed, value of pi incorrect from 1 Kings 7:23, hares chewing the cud ( they don't ) Lev 11:6, etc etc there's plenty more on freethoughtdebate.org
3. NT translations, the final verses in Mark which were added long after the book was written - Christians sources generally don't dispute this. The number of original books in the bible, the 4 gospels were whittled down from a total of 59, Revelation was taken from a list of 8 other apocalyptic books ( and Revelation wasn't even added until 419 CE ( A.D. )
4. No modern evidence whatsoever to corroborate miracles in scientific circles. Children dying from their parents praying for them rather than taking them to hospitals, Christians not being supernaturally protected where they are persecuted and hurt in spite of promises of deliverance and hope.
5. The now universal usage of "understanding the context". This is not a mark of confidence in a firm and unshaken rock of belief, this is a result of obvious error and an attempt to brazenly salvage a belief in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. Can you imagine a science teacher ever using this phrase when referring to a science textbook?
6. Evil exists. No matter how much we don't want it to, evil, or things that disagree with us, exist. There can never be an explanation for why a theistic god allows it to happen. Why would god allow adam and eve to suffer? People don't want to suffer, its not a question of free will.
I see you're in for a good debate.
Im going to arguing for the god of Christianity, but obviously, you can't prove a religion scientifically.
So ill be defending the scientific arguments and the historical argument.
1. The big bang:
You compared our ignorance about what caused the big bang with the ignorance of primitive islanders about volcanoes.
There's a big difference here, the primitive islanders don't know anything about the volcanoes, also its not transcendent.
As I mentioned in my opening statement, its not god of the gaps.
We know that the universe had a beginning
We know time and space had a beginning
We know that material things had a beginning
We know the universe came from nothing.
We know all this, but we don't know what caused it, as you argue, and as all scientists say.
When you're taking out time and space, you're taking out time and space, you're taking out the roam of existence itself. Except for a timeless and spaceless being aka God.
Before the big bang there was no time, so there is no time for anything to create the universe in.
Also, suppose that something caused the big bang, that this cause must also have a cause, and the cause of the cause must also have a cause, and so on and so forth, you would get an infinite numbers of past events which is impossible, but a timeless uncaused being aka God doesn't need a cause.
Also, the cause must be immaterial because it created material things.
Its not an argument from ignorance at all.
2. Argument from evolution.
You said "something is unlikely therefore it must be designed"
Well, it's not just unlikely, its crazy unlikely
"The number 1060, if written out, would be "one" followed by sixty "zeros." In other words, the chance that a 200-component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion."
"4^-180^110 000 and 4^-380^110 000. (Barrow
Concerning the big bang, it is a god of the gaps, regardless of my opponent's insistence that it is not. He/she makes a list of several claims that we know:
the universe had a beginning
that time and space had a beginning
that material things had a beginning
that the universe came from nothing
I fully stand by my remarks that we absolutely do not know this. The big bang model is in its infancy. If he/she has sources he/she should please link them - these claims are fully unsubstantiated. And even if these were known to be true facts, which they are definitely not, how does the universe having a beginning point to a god?
My opponent's claim is using a prime mover argument, a first cause requires god. This is nonsense, and fulfills the definition of a god of the gaps. The "multiverse" or whatever our existence came from is just as likely to be eternal giant jelly fish, who require no first cause as they are "gods", with large random electrical storms of matter that randomly merged with each to create the big bang as it is to be "god". Should I say that we "know" now that we should all praise the giant jelly fish? It is no more ridiculous an idea. Both ideas require no first cause, and both provide no understanding of the universe or the big bang.
We don't know what is on the other side of space and time, just like the islanders hadn't seen below the earth's surface with modern equipment. In both cases, "god" is not and must not be the default answer. The criteria for knowing something is that one, with enough resources and time, should be able to replicate it. We are very different to the islanders who saw those volcanoes erupt, because we have invested the time and research into understanding them, and can now predict them. That is the correct approach we must take when we don't understand a subject. We know god didn't cause the volcanic eruptions, contrary to what they believed. If we wish to understand the big bang, then research and observation are what are required, not wishful thinking. Again, faith denies knowledge because it refuses to look for it. If we take god on faith, we will never discover the truth, just like the islanders.
2. Argument from evolution
My opponent seems to have missed my argument against this, which I will repeat here - a creator is even more complex, and therefore even more unlikely. One is simply moving the argument up a level. The odds of god's existence are even lower than that of the universe's. What designed god? If god wasn't designed, then its logical that our existence needn't have been designed - this particular belief is similar to pantheism.
Furthermore, how are low odds evidence for god? Again, maybe it was the eternal giant jelly fish who made everything. This is again, a god of the gaps argument. If we understand the subject, then we can repeat it, given enough time and resources. Saying it was god, tells us absolutely nothing beyond that one has religious beliefs.
I believe at this point the debate is fairly over, with plenty of ammunition to spare. My opponent didn't even address my points, and merely rehashed his two opening arguments, both of which have been well deconstructed.
1. The big bang:
Any answer to this problem must begin with a key realization: both time and space are contained within the universe and came into existence only AFTER the"Big Bang"occurred. Thecause"of the universe must not include them, they are not available to us. It must come from outside our experience."
"During the Big Bang, all of the space, time, matter, and energy in theUniverse"was"created. This giant explosion hurled matter in all directions and caused space itself to expand. As the"Universe"cooled, the material in it combined to form galaxies, stars, and planets."
The accepted model today is that time and space and material things had beginning.
And the cause must be beyond space and time because it created space and time.
The cause must be immaterial, it created material things.
The cause must be uncaused, an infinite number of past events is impossible.
An immaterial spacless timeless uncaused being God exists.
"One is simply moving the argument up a level. The odds of god's existence are even lower than that of the universe's. What designed god? If god wasn't designed, then its logical that our existence needn't have been designed - this particular belief is similar to pantheism."
This argument is simply false, God is immaterial. God doesn't need to be created nor complex.
Who created God? An actual infinite number of past events is impossible, so there must be an infinite being beyond space and time. God is immaterial, nor designed nor complex. He is a spirit, a deity.
The idea of evolution occurring without a higher power is as crazy as to be fantastic as I suggested in the previous rounds. And of course, evolution is irrelevant with the truth of Christian theism. Its obvious to consider genesis as a symbolic chapter. In the bronze age, 300 Ad Saint augustine on his commentary on genesis pointed out that the creation as mentioned don't have to be literal, and that interpretation came 1500 years before Darwin!
Let's say that evolution is true. How is that a defeater of Christian belief? What adjustment to a Christian worldview would that require? That God does not exist? That Jesus of Nazareth did not rise from the dead? Obviously not!
Now let's get to the resurrection:
When we have historical evidence, we look at the evidence itself.
We have discovered that Jesus was buried by joseph of armathia, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, multiple individuals have experienced appearances of jesus alive after his death, and that the disciples genuinely came to believe in the resurrection despite having every disposition of it.
Historical evidence demonstrates the"Gospel"of Mark was written before 37 A.D which would be about"four years or less after Jesus" crucifixion and scholars further note the"language, grammar and style used by Mark in his account of Jesus" crucifixion and resurrection (including the empty tomb) indicates Mark received the narrative from an earlier source. As noted by Oxford historian A.N. Sherwin-White, it is unprecedented anywhere in history for a legend to have arisen that fast so as to distort the account in the gospels of the resurrection.
Mark's Passion source didn't end with Jesus' burial, but with the story of the empty tomb, which is tied to the burial account verbally and grammatically. Moreover, Matthew and John rely on independent sources about the empty tomb. Jesus' empty tomb is also mentioned in the early sermons independently preserved in the Acts of the Apostles (2.29; 13.36), and it's implied by the very old tradition handed on by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church (I Cor. 15.4). Thus, we have multiple, early attestation of the fact of the empty tomb in at least four independent sources.
why the body couldn't have been stolen:
.The guards stationed at the tomb would have prevented anyone from stealing Jesus" body.
.No one stealing the body would have had a reason to leave the grave clothes behind or take time to fold the burial head cloth.
.The initial reactions of the disciples when they found out the tomb was empty were inconsistent with them stealing Jesus" body.
(When the women reported they had seen Jesus alive, the disciples initial reaction was to think the women were talking nonsense (Luke 24:10-12). Some of the disciples did not believe Jesus had bee resurrected until after they personally witnessed the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes (John 20:25). Thomas didn't believe Jesus had been resurrected even though the other ten apostles told him Jesus had appeared to them (John 20:19-25).
. The resurrection of man the messiah was completely unexpected on judaism, jewish theology prohibits a dying messiah, the invention of that would lead the inventors to get persecuted and go to hell
. Jewish propaganda presupposes empty tomb, they even paid for those who have seen it to lie
.The explanation someone stole the body doesn't explain the eyewitness testimony of Jesus" post crucifixion and burial appearances.
Why the disciples and paul didn't hallucinate:
.There were too many witnesses.
.The witnesses were qualified."They were simple, honest, moral people who had firsthand knowledge of the facts.
.The five hundred saw Christ together, at the same time and place.
.Hallucinations usually last a few seconds or minutes; rarely hours."This one hung around for forty days (Acts 1:3).
.Hallucinations usually happen only once, except to the insane."This one returned many times, to ordinary people (Jn"20:19-21:14;"Acts 1:3).
.Hallucinations come from within, from what we already know, at least unconsciously."This one said and did surprising and unexpected things (Acts 1:4,9)"like a real person and unlike a dream.
.Not only did the disciples not expect this, they didn't even believe it at first.Neither Peter, nor the women, nor Thomas, nor the eleven believed. They thought he was a ghost; he had to eat something to prove he was not (Lk"24:36-43).
. Hallucinations do not eat."Yet the resurrected Christ did, on at least two occasions (Lk"24:42-43;"Jn 21:1-14).
. Paul was persecuting early Christians until he saw jesus and came to genuinely believe in the resurrection, he hadn't met jesus before nor did he love him, no reason for hallucinations
.The disciples touched him"(Mt 28:9;"Lk24:39;"Jn"20:27).
.They also spoke with him, and he spoke back."Figments of your imagination do not hold profound, extended conversations with you, unless you have the kind of mental disorder that isolates you. But this "hallucination" conversed with at least eleven people at once, for forty days (Acts 1:3).
.The apostles could not have believed in the "hallucination" if Jesus' corpse had still been in the tomb."This is a very simple and telling point; for if it was a hallucination, where was the corpse? They would have checked for it; if it was there, they could not have believed.
The only plausible explanation is the hypothesis "god raised jesus from the death" as written in the scripture.
Now ill be addressing ur arguments against theism
- Problem of evil: in the normal moral universe, the good will do th best he can and the worst will do the worst he can. God doesn't intervene with it, we would be like bots
- Natural disasters: god knows why allows innocent people to suffer, their suffering could be compared to nothing face of eternal joy
- The prophecy about tyre came true, the tyre we see today is not the original tyre of the roman empire.
- Assume that the last verse in mark is added, nothing changes in the minimal facts
- The Bible is not inerrant, god doesn't recite scientific lessons to the prophets. The bible is inspired and that would include preservation of the original words of the gospels.
Thanks for participating
These articles are correct, space and time came into existence after the big bang occurred. But none of them would agree with your statement that it was the beginning, ie, the first time this has ever occurred. This makes a BIG difference. I would encourage you to investigate "Big Crunch" for more information on this phenomenon. We don't even know if our universe is the only one in existence, so how can we say that our universe was "the beginning"? The universe may very well already be eternal, without the need for a creator, if the big crunch theory turns out to be correct. You are welcome to disagree with this, but my stance remains firmly, we don't know. I think this is the correct response, considering that this subject is under rigorous debate by the scientific community.
Existence is no longer a subject that is contained within just our universe. Existence, the multiverse, whatever it is, these are subjects that are infantile. We just don't know enough to make a definitive judgement on this. To say that it was god merely reveals a lack of understanding of the subject material.
You missed my point. God's existence is even more unlikely as that of the universe. You don't accept that god needs to have been created, so why does the existence of matter? Matter can't be destroyed or created according to law of conservation. Doesn't that mean it is already eternal, like your definition of god? This is exactly why we haven't conclusively stated that the universe had a "beginning", because it doesn't match the laws of nature. A big crunch theory fits well, but it hasn't been resolved with the expansions effects of dark energy. Quantum physics also has a unique property. Matter and its antimatter spring out of nothing spontaneously, only to collide with each other and destroy one another. We already see matter popping out of nothing, without a god creating this. This further complicates our model of the universe.
Regarding the historicity of Christ Jesus, I honestly wish I had time to go through each of your historical sources and deconstruct them. That would take mountains of paper though, and so I will merely conclude by saying that, it is easy find evidence supporting your own theories, no matter what they are. Rejecting evidence that is contrary to the facts when they go against your own world belief is what is difficult.
To conclude. The reasons against god are:
1. It matches a predictable pattern. Self martydom, sacrifice for the promise of heaven ( my opponent even demonstrates this himself with "god knows why allows innocent people to suffer, their suffering could be compared to nothing [in the] face of eternal joy ), the use of joyful faith over hard reason, and a shallow understanding of scientific material, are the usual elements of religious belief. This is not for every case, but it is for many. We can predict religious growth well ( great suffering, little academic knowledge ), which matches the religious growth in Africa and China over the last 100 years. Incidentally, where suffering is reduced and knowledge abounds ( Sweden, Finland, and Australia for example, with fantastic qualities of life and superb education ) religious attendance drops dramatically. This is damning evidence.
2. Biblical inaccuracy ( my opponent does not appear to contest this ). Use of "out of context", lack of unity in the church - why go on?
Why go on indeed. I will stop there, there is no point in rehashing the obvious.
Thank you for your time.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sarai.K82 12 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both parties were articulate and strongly made their points. I found con's arguments more convincing in the context of this debate. Con also got my nod in terms of spelling and grammar.
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