The Instigator
Jacobtheatheist
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Does the Christian God exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
KeytarHero
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 971 times Debate No: 29832
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

Jacobtheatheist

Con

Thank you for accepting. This will be the structure of the debate:
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Arguments
Round 3 -Rebuttals
Round 4 - Rebuttals
KeytarHero

Pro

I accept the debate challenge, which is quite vague (and he didn't go into detail), so I will be arguing Pro for the resolution God exists.

I will define God as a "maximally great Being," that is, he exhibits all great-making properties and no lesser-making properties, and he exhibits all great-making properties to their maximal extent. God is omnipotent and omniscient.

However, since God has not been defined specifically by Con, I will argue only that God (or a god) exists, I will not argue that the specific God who exists is the Christian God. If Con wishes to debate this with me, I will debate it in a separate debate since space here is limited.

As Con is making the claim, and as round 1 is for acceptance only, I will allow him to make his opening argument first.
Debate Round No. 1
Jacobtheatheist

Con

You will be arguing that the Christian God exists. I will be arguing that he doesn't.

Arguments:
Argument #1
No being can be both all-knowing and all-powerful. If he were, would he be able to alter the future in a way that he would not know what the future was going to be like? Exactly. This is a paradox. Therefore, God cannot be both all-knowing and all-powerful.
Argument #2
No being can be all-powerful. If he were, wouldn't he be able to make himself stronger? Since he'd posses all possible power, he would. But he wouldn't be able to do this because he'd already have all possible power. This is a paradox. Therefore, God cannot be all-powerful.
Argument #3
Who made God? A typical response would be that God is uncaused. This would mean that he's eternal. Yet this is impossible. I could ask you how many hours God has existed for. You cannot say infinity, as infinity is not a number. Can you count to infinity? Exactly. Infinity is just an idea we have in our minds. Therefore the idea of God is pointless.
Argument #4
The Christian God is not an all-good God, as he gives infinite happiness to people who have committed a finite amount of good deeds and infinite torture to people who have only committed a finite amount of sin.

Also, may I remind you that to win this debate, you will have to dispeove all four of my arguments and logically prove that the Christian God does exist. Since you're the one making the positive claim, you're the one that has the burden of proof. To claim that the Christian God exists is an extraordinary claim, you will have to provide an extraordinary amount of evidence. Those are the two outcomes of this debate. Either lose, or provide an extraordinary amount of evidence.
KeytarHero

Pro

Con is correct. I did indeed misread the resolution. I will argue that the Christian God exists, and Con will argue that he doesn’t. However, Con is incorrect in asserting that I bear the burden of proof. Since Con is the one making the claim, Con bears the burden of proof to prove that the Christian God does not exist. He has attempted to shift the burden of proof, which is a dishonest tactic and a fallacy. Since Con made positive arguments for the non-existence of God in his opening argument, it seems he has implicitly accepted the burden of proof.

Con’s assertion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is plainly false. Extraordinary claims require ordinary evidence, just like anything else. Consider this analogy:

If I tell you I have a brown dog with a long tail and long ears, you will believe me. Why? Because you have seen dogs before and know what they’re like. But what if I tell you I have a purple dog with two tails and two heads? You would be skeptical and rightly so. But what would convince you? You would merely need to see the dog. The same evidence is required for the purple dog as for the brown one, you’ve just seen brown dogs before.

I will make my case, then I will respond to Con’s arguments.

How can we know that God exists? I suggest the following simple argument, widely used by William Lane Craig:

1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) The universe had a cause. [1]

Premise 1 -- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

This is pretty self-explanatory, and pretty uncontroversial. The principle of causality is a first principle. In other words, it is self-evident. According to this fundamental principle, every effect has a cause and as such, non-being cannot produce being.

Premise 2 -- The universe began to exist.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics affirms that the universe is running out of usable energy and, hence, cannot be eternal. We also see that the universe is expanding, and at an accelerated rate. As we see the universe is expanding more and more rapidly, and the universe is running out of usable energy, the universe will inevitably run out of usable energy and result in a "heat death." As the universe is expanding and not static, we can see that the universe, indeed, had a beginning as it is not eternal.

We can also approach this from a philosophical viewpoint:

1) If an infinite number of moments occurred before today, then today would never have come, wince it is impossible to traverse an infinite number of moments.
2) But today has come.
3) Hence, there was a finite number of moments before today; the universe had a beginning. [2]

Conclusion -- Therefore, the universe had a beginning.

But what of this cause? Can we know that this cause was intelligent and not just a natural cause?

I believe we can.

As was already stated, the universe had a beginning. Without God, there would have existed nothing before the universe, and nothing cannot produce something without intervention from an outside force. Nothing is a state of non-existence. Nothing, not the universe, not the world, not humanity, but nothing would be here right now if there wasn't a God.

However, God pre-dates the universe. The KCA states that everything that begins to exist has a cause. However, God is eternal. He has always existed and therefore has no cause. We humans are contingent beings. Our existence was began (caused) by God and we can only be kept alive at God's pleasure. We are contingent beings. A contingent race of beings could only have been created by a necessary being (i.e. God). God is a Necessary being because it is in His nature to exist. He has no beginning so He logically will have no end.

But which God is it that exists? It can be shown that the God who exists is the Christian God.

The New Testament offers several independent accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus, in the for Gospels and the writings of Paul. This is a boon for historians. The existence of Jesus as an actual person is an uncontroversial fact. If you can accept the existence of Socrates, you can accept the existence of Jesus. Plus, there are at least four facts that are accepted by most historians: 1) Jesus was crucified, 2) Jesus’ empty tomb found by some of his female followers, 3) Jesus’ appearances alive after his death, and 4) the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection.

Jesus knew that he was going to die and rise again and then he followed through with it. The best explanation that fits all of the evidence is that Jesus rose from the dead, as the four independent Gospels teach. In order to disprove the resurrection, Con has to submit another explanation that accounts adequately for all of the evidence. If he fails to do so, then this argument succeeds and the existence of the Christian God has been shown to be the most reasonable explanation.

Responding to Con’s Arguments

Con’s arguments actually denote a very elementary understanding of the matter at hand. I would encourage him to read the works of Christian theologians to be able to understand the arguments, because he clearly doesn’t understand the terms he is attacking very well.

Argument #1

There is no contradiction in being all-knowing and all-powerful. God could alter the future if he wishes, but he would know that he was going to alter the future. Knowing what will happen in the future doesn’t mean that God can’t change it, anymore than I couldn’t change my plans even though I know I’ll be going to the store tomorrow. God knows the future, and he knows if he will change it or not. There is no paradox here.

Argument #2

Con is attempting the Omnipotence Paradox, but this argument has gone out of favor a long time ago. It relies on a fundamental misunderstanding of Omnipotence. Omnipotence does not entail that God can do the logically impossible. He cannot create a square triangle, a married bachelor, or a stone so heavy he can’t lift it. Neither can he make himself stronger because he already possesses power to its maximal extent. Again, there is no paradox here.

Argument #3

This is really not a good objection at all. No Theist argues that God had a cause, just that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Since God did not begin to exist, he didn’t have a cause. The universe was once believed to be eternal, but when the Big Bang was discovered, that showed that the universe had a beginning. Since something cannot come from nothing uncaused, we are simply positing that an Uncaused Cause, i.e. God, has always existed and brought the universe into existence. Con’s argument that you can’t count to infinity is just nonsense. God could be eternally existent even though we can’t count the number of hours God has existed. Since he existed even before time, the question “how many hours has God existed” is simply a logically incoherent question.

Argument #4

The Christian God is all-good. We are not saved (we do not go to Heaven) because of the good we do. The Scriptures are clear about this (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are saved because of God’s mercy. Second, as Dr. Craig explains, rejecting God and his salvation is a sin of the highest order, one that unbelievers continue in through eternity in Hell. So they are not suffering for finite sins, but for an infinite amount that continue after the grave.

I look forward to Con’s response.

[1] William Lane Craig, On Guard, (David C. Cook: Colorado Springs, CO, 2010), p. 74.
[2] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, p. 399.
Debate Round No. 2
Jacobtheatheist

Con

Jacobtheatheist forfeited this round.
KeytarHero

Pro

Disappointing, but Con has forfeited this round. So I extend all of my arguments into the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Jacobtheatheist

Con

Jacobtheatheist forfeited this round.
KeytarHero

Pro

Con has once again forfeited, so please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
I don't see how you can possibly reconcile Genesis 1:20 with Genesis 2:4-19. At least, not while remaining intellectually honest. But then, I doubt you're familiar with that concept, from a personal point of view at least.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
I didn't say withholding the point was voting unfairly, I said your rationale for withholding the point was voting unfairly.

Plus, infidels.org is not a good site at all for refuting Christianity (the arguments contained therein are pretty elementary and easily refutable). The Bible contains no internal inconsistencies or contradictions. There are some that may appear contradictory on the surface, but if you follow the rules of proper Biblical hermeneutics (that is, proper Biblical interpretation, most of which are common sense and the same rules that apply for interpreting any other work), then the apparent contradictions and inconsistencies disappear rather quickly.
Posted by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
Withholding a point is hardly "voting unfairly." You might have a case were I to give the point to your opponent, but I didn't; I merely abstained from voting on that point, as is my prerogative, and stated why.

I also didn't say "the gospels are inconsistent with each other" as you seemed to think I meant. I mean that the bible itself contains internal inconsistencies, not limited to the contradictions between the gospels.

http://www.infidels.org...

The above link uses the bible itself as a source. I'm not challenging you to refute these contradictions, I merely use this to point out that such contradictions exist; this is part of my basis for saying the bible is internally inconsistent.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Kris, you are using your presuppositions to vote unfairly. Personally, I didn't care that you didn't give me source points, I only question it now because of your motives. The Bible is not self-contradictory.

First, the New Testament offers four independent accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. Historians consider it a treasure if you can find just two independent accounts of the ancient world.

Plus, even if they are self-contradictory, that does not mean they are unreliable. There has been two-hundred years' worth of Biblical criticism that shows your assumption to be false. Even documents which are generally unreliable may contain valuable historical nuggets, and it is the historian's task to mine those documents in order to discover them. Several pieces of information are undisputed by historians, even liberal ones: That Jesus lived, that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and that his tomb was discovered three days later by a group of his women followers.
Posted by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
I don't care how many historians believe the bible is true. It is demonstrably self-contradictory, and thus fails the test of reliability. I judge it to have negative (rather than neutral) reliability.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Kris: "the Bible cancels out the reliable sources." You're speaking against the majority of historical scholars (even liberal ones) who consider the writings in the Bible historically reliable.
Posted by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
KingDebater, I don't see what basis you have for that statement. From what I see, Jacob had no answer for the argument posted by KeytarHero, and fled the scene.

A shame, really. But the fallacy called "god" isn't proven true just because one skilled theist debater schools one unskilled atheist debater.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
KD, I'd be willing to debate you on the existence of God. Unless you're all talk, that is.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
Jacobtheatheist has already destroyed KeytarHero. He forfeited the round because Keytarhero was being so dumb.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
John, would you care to back up that baseless assertion?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
JacobtheatheistKeytarHeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
JacobtheatheistKeytarHeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
JacobtheatheistKeytarHeroTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to complete the debate, so conduct and arguments go to Pro. I would give sources as well, since Pro had good sources, but Pro also used the bible as a source so that cancels out the reliable sources.