The Instigator
MaskedSpartan
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Cicero66
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Does the God of Christianity most likely exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MaskedSpartan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 759 times Debate No: 77259
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

MaskedSpartan

Pro

Here is the outline of the debate. I am looking for an atheist or agnostic who will take the con side. The rounds will look like this:

1st: Acceptance
2nd: Opening statements
3rd: First rebuttals
4th: Second rebuttals
5th: Conclusion

Keep in mind: After the third round, no new objections are to be raised. The Fourth round is for clarifying and defend what was said in the previous rounds. Concluding statements are just that. No new arguments or objections.
Cicero66

Con

Thanks for starting what is sure to be a fascinating debate. I'm an agnostic but I'm definitely open to persuasion.
Debate Round No. 1
MaskedSpartan

Pro


Thank you Cicero66 for accepting this debate with an open mind. I will also look at your arguments fairly, so that this could be a learning experience. This debate is on whether or not the Christian God exists. I find this to be a terribly important topic because it affects our lives in every way. If God exists, then we have value, meaning, purpose, objective morals, and there is a God who loves us more than we can comprehend. If God does not exist, we have no value, meaning, purpose, objective morals and there is no God who loves us. In support of my position, I will give three main arguments.

The Moral Argument

Before I can lay out this argument, I need to define “objective moral values”. An objective moral value is a moral value that is a moral value that is true even if a group disagrees. An example would be that the holocaust would be wrong even if the Nazi’s killed or brainwashed anyone who disagreed.

1. If objective moral values do not exist, then a wholly good God does not exist
2. Objective moral values do exist
3. Therefore, a wholly good God exists

Let’s go step by step in examining this argument. If God does not exist, then moral values
would be purely subjective. Why? Because these morals would be dependent on humans. And a concept that is only in the mind is by definition, subjective. There would be no transcending moral law to follow. With no moral system above the human mind, then our minds would be the deciding factor in morality. If this is the case, then some people in a faraway country whose custom it was to murder the innocent once every year, would be just a moral as us. Why? Because if morals just exist in our minds, and as a consequence, our society then we cannot judge others morals. It would just be there customs and culture. We would have no right to judge. As a result, we could not say that the murderer, theft or rapist is really wrong in what they are doing. They are just behaving how their mind behaves. I am not saying that atheists/agnostics cannot be moral. Of course they can. I am saying that there would be no objective basis for the moral values.

Clearly objective moral values exist. No one outside of the psychopath community would say that it is morally ok to torture a baby for fun. This is because the act is really wrong. So are things like murder, rape and genocide. These things are really wrong. They are moral abominations and you know it. We also know that we ought to help those who are less fortunate or love our fellow humans. There is at least one objective moral value out of all of those. Even more so, we can say that these are objective morals because they are seen across the world. If subjective moral values existed, then we would expect to see a different set of moral laws across the globe. Instead of this, we see the same basic outline of morality everywhere we go.

Since objective moral values exist, it then follows that a wholly good God does exist. This works towards the Christian case on two accounts. First, it makes an argument for God’s existence. Second, it describes God as good and as a moral law giver, just as we see in the Bible.

The Argument from Reason

There is two views of the world: Naturalism and Supernaturalism. For those who don’t know, Naturalism is the view that Nature is all that exists. Supernaturalism, I admit, sound something out of a movie. However, the majority of the world holds this view. Supernaturalism is the view that there exists something outside of nature: Supernature. Supernature is seen as either singular (God) or plural (gods or lesser divinities). The philosophical principle of Ockham’s razor, which states that plurality should not be posited without necessity, shaves away multiple Supernatures. This leaves us with Supernaturalism as the view that there is something outside of nature, which is God.
Now, imagine a coin. If I flip the coin and I tell you that it did not land on tails, what did it land on? Heads. It landed on heads, because that is the only other option. This is the same with Naturalism and Supernaturalism. If one self-destructs, the other is inevitable true. In a way, this whole debate is looking at a quarter. So much for the sophisticated image! We see that Naturalism self-destructs and the cause of this is the existence of reason.

Before I get into the details, let’s list the argument as follows:

1. Naturalism reduces reason to a closed system of physical cause and effect
2. This closed system of physical cause and effect cannot account for reason
3. Therefore, Naturalism is self-contradictory

Premise one describes a closed system of physical cause and effect. This essentially is the
Naturalistic concept that everything is a product of natural laws. In addition to this, the closed system entails only matter existing. All there is on this system is matter being acted on by natural laws.

Premise two makes the assertion that this closed system cannot account for reason. Why is that? It is because on Naturalism, our reasoning abilities and outcomes are not due to commitment to truth, but rather on physical cause and effect. On Naturalism, all that is going on inside our heads is molecules in motion that are governed by natural law. Now, there is no natural law nor type of molecule that is committed to truth. What might seem like reasoning based on commitment to truth to you, is really blind, cause and effect. The question is, why should I trust a system for something that it was not intended to do? Why should I trust a system that truth is so foreign to, to bring me to truth? I shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t either. If one was to take Naturalism seriously, one would not take Naturalism seriously.

Naturalism is self-contradictory and even self-defeating. Back to the coin analogy, if it is not heads its’ tails. If it’s not Naturalism, it’s Supernaturalism. As I shown above, Supernaturalism leads to the existence of God.

The Resurrection

If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity would be validated. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christianity would be falsified. The historic person of Jesus of Nazareth made the remarkable claim that He was God. He then backs this claim up by rising from the dead. We can list the argument as follows:

1. If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity is validated
2. Jesus rose from the dead
3. Therefore, Christianity is validated

To back up the crucial second premise, I will give three lines of evidence. The five E’s if you will:

E1. The execution of Jesus via crucifixion
E2. The empty tomb of Jesus
E3. The eyewitness evidence
E4. The extra-Biblical evidence
E5. The emergence of the early Church

E1.The crucifixion of Jesus is considered to be the most trusted fact about His life. This is in very little dispute and has been accepted for thousands of years. E2.To modern surprise, Jesus’ empty tomb was universally accepted by the entire ancient world. The religious authorities at the time did not say that the tomb was not empty. They said that that disciples of Jesus stole the body! Did they keep it in Peter’s basement and hope that the cops didn’t come knocking?! It is kind of funny to think about. The problem with this theory is that the Apostle didn’t have the ability, the opportunity, or the motivation. E3.We now possess an early Christian creed that dates back to, at earliest, twenty four months after Jesus’ crucifixion. This creed list 515 eyewitnesses to Jesus’ post mortem appearances. 515 people claimed to see Jesus after His death. Even more, some of the eyewitnesses were enemies of the early Christian movement.

E4.There is a multiplicity of ancient, non-Christian writing that mentions a religious leader, who supposedly performed miracles, who was called the Messiah and the Christ and who was crucified by Pontius Pilate who was named Jesus of Nazareth. Works included the Talmud, the Mishnah and writings of Josephus, Tacitus, and Pliny the younger. The ancient equivalent on Pliny Jr. These references where within 60 years of Jesus’ life, if not sooner. Lee Strobel, a Christian apologist and former atheist, states that “this is like a news flash from the modern world!” E5.The emergence of the early Church is pretty remarkable. The leader of the movement was executed and humiliated in the capital city in front of thousands people and then 50 days after, in the same city, the Christian movement was in full swing with 6000 plus members. How could this happen if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. It couldn’t.

Conclusion

I have presented three arguments for the existence of the Christian God. The debate is whether or not the existence of such a being is likely. The existence of God has to be more probable than the negation. To determine this, we will have to evaluate the arguments and evidence on both sides and see what stands up to scrutiny.
Cicero66

Con

The Christian God more than likely does not exist. His qualities contradict logic, the bible and plain common sense. The resolution that the affirmative upholds isn't positive, nor is the position I hold. We have to prove or disprove the resolution not with totally certainty, but beyond a reasonable doubt. With that in mind, let's begin.

The Argument of Perfection
Christian teaching holds that God is perfect. For the purpose of clarity, I will use the term universe to describe everything pre-genesis 1, and the term creation to describe everything post Genesis 1. Before their was creation, there was solely God. If God was perfect and if only God was present before creation, then it logically follows that everything before creation was perfect. But this assessment causes a dilemma.

Perfect: Having all required or desired characteristics, Absolute or complete

Perfection means completeness, nothing could male this better. If the universe was perfect, it was by definition complete, it needn't be added to. So what was the impetus for creation? You either have to assume that either

A. God wasn't perfect, contradicting nearly every quality of God, or
B. God didn't make creation, which contradicts genesis and a whole host of scriptural passages

The Facilitation of the Fall
Let's continued operating under the hypothetical of God's existence. It's easiest to explain the following argument with an analogy. Imagine two children are at home while their parents are getting groceries. Imagine that one of the children stumble upon their fathers gun safe, which he accidentally left slightly ajar. More than likely, the parents both tools their children repeatedly to not play with guns because they could be fatally dangerous. When you phrase this question as how did God not facilitate the Fall by putting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden when he knew man would eat of the fruit, the answer comes down to free will. God wants us to freely love him. Allow me to clarify this analogy before I unpack it. We are the two children, naive and unknowing, God is the paren't who should close his gun safe, and the guns are an analogy for the previously mentioned tree. Imagine that while playing, one of the siblings accidentally shoots the other and puts him in the ICU. The children had free will, they could have chosen to not play with the guns and to never touch them, but they didn't. Do you blame the children? Of course not! More often than not, these incidents are just treated as tragedies, but if criminal charges are levied they would be against the parents who facilitated the tragedy. So if anyone was at fault it was the irresponsible God, not the kids in his care. Even if you operate under the assumption that we were at fault, the story of the fall is still not possible. God is perfect and he has free will, as evidenced by his omnipotence. It was in that perfect image that we were made, so how was the original sin possible? Evidence of our perfection ican be seen in Genesis chapter 3, where we could even walk in the presence of the holy God. So the questing remains, how could we sin?

The Moral System of Creation
Let me actually define what I mean by that term. God legislated that sin was wrong, he legislated that the cost of sin would be death. So the all knowing God created a list of rules he KNEW we would break and with this in mind, he gave us a certain death sentence. This is a very draconian system. In our western societies justice isn't black and white, it's based on gray areas. The punishment the criminal receives is based on the frequency of the crime, how many people were affected, the intention of the act, and on any mitigating circumstances in the context of the crime and the life of the criminal. The god of bible fame displays utter disregard for the gradations of justice and instead treats it like a black and white checklist. You are condemned to death regardless of how many times you erred, the people you wronged, why you did what you did or the motive of your act. But fear not, God has sent his son to save you!

The Omnibenevolent Torturer with a Savior Complex
Do you really need a savior? According to Christian theology, you do indeed, because in order to be with God again, we must be sinless? But this necessity doesn't require a savior, it merely requires saving. Which makes God's actions all the more puzzling. God's solution is to send us our very own Passover lamb. The omnipotent God can think of no other way to salvage his creation gone wrong than to send his very own son to be tortured and nailed to a tree. Being all powerful, he can muster up thousands of solutions to his dilemma, but instead he chooses to have his son crucified. With this in mind, you either have to conclude that;

A. God choose The cruelest way to forgive your sin as was possible, which contradicts his omnibenevolence, or
B. God doesn't have the power or authority to forgive your sins, which destroys Christianity

My final point is simply an observation. Why would you choose stoning as a punishment for the people you love? Was hell just not enough? When ISIS stones homosexuals in Ar-Raqqa, we call it an injustice, a brutal repression of human rights. More often than not, Christians are at the forefront of those condemning this evil. However, when this is pointed out in the law as a punishment for homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian response is rather muted; well, it is the law, what are you going to do? I think it's necessary to point out that Christians are no longer bound by the law since the death and resurrection of Jesus, but when you have stoning within the Canon of the Omnibenevolent, omnipresent and omnipotent God, in the very least it makes one question these qualities.

The notion that a Christian God exists is unlikely. The qualities of God all contradict the bible, Christian theology and commonsense.
Debate Round No. 2
MaskedSpartan

Pro

Thank you Cicero for that opening argument. The idea presented is that if the God of Christianity contradicts the attributes given to God (such as perfection), then this God does not exist. I will go over each of the arguments. Might I add that it is impressive that my opponent managed to type this on his phone? I couldn't, I need a computer.

The Argument of Perfection

Con sets up the argument with Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." To illustrate the point, the term universe is used to describe everything preexisting Genesis 1:1 and creation is used to describe everything after. Con states: "Before their was creation, there was solely God. If God was perfect and if only God was present before creation, then it logically follows that everything before creation was perfect. But this assessment causes a dilemma.

Perfect: Having all required or desired characteristics, Absolute or complete

Perfection means completeness, nothing could male this better. If the universe was perfect, it was by definition complete, it needn't be added to. So what was the impetus for creation? You either have to assume that either

A. God wasn't perfect, contradicting nearly every quality of God, or
B. God didn't make creation, which contradicts genesis and a whole host of scriptural passages"

There is two things I want to comment on. First is the use of the word universe, and its "adding to". Before God created the heavens and the earth (the universe in the event of the big bang), there was nothing besides Him. Just God. So there is nothing to be added to, since God cannot be added to. Genesis 1:1 was not an adding to, but rather the creation of the known universe (not Cons definition). The question could be asked, if God is perfect, why did He need to create the universe? The answer is this: God loved us before we were even born, so by creating the universe He gave us the chance to be born. This is an abstract concept and I will boil it down the best I can.

God is all knowing. He knows what will happen in addition to all possible scenarios. God knows what will happen if I were not typing this right now, or about the possibilities of me living in Hawaii at this very moment, instead of America. So, God knew before He created the universe that there is a scenario where humans will exist. Because God is all loving, He created the universe with us in mind, so that we could live.

The Facilitation of the Fall

Here, Con explains why he thinks that God facilitated the fall of man. To illustrate it, an example of two children who were naive and unknowing opened a gun safe and shot the other kid. Free will is explained to be a bad reason. The illustration is different from the fall on this point: Adam and Eve were told the dangers of eating from the tree and were warned multiple times. In fact, they wouldn't have eaten from the tree, except they were tricked. When Eve saw the tree, she knew to not eat from it.

Free will is a valid reason for allowing the temptation of the tree. Both Adam and Eve were warned multiple times, knew about the dangers and still chose to eat from the tree. Not to mention that the tree was the only source of temptation in the garden. Without it, Adam and Eve would be like robots and would not be forced to be in communion with God.

The Moral System of Creation

To paraphrase: God set in motion a moral law, one that He knew we would break but the punishment for breaking the law is death. This is were I have to input my Orthodox Christianity, the second largest Christian denomination in the world. We have a bit more of a Jewish view of this. Once you die, you will either go to Paradise or Hades. If you lived a good life while believing in Jesus you go to Paradise, but if you chose to not repent for your sins you go to Hades. Here is were it gets interesting. Once you are in Paradise or Hades, you know what you have done wrong and have an opportunity to ask forgiveness. You have a second chance at redemption to get into Paradise. However, at the end of days the gates of Heaven and Hell will open and those who are in Paradise will go to Heaven and Hades with Hell. Once that happens, there is no third chance.

Why do I say this? Because even though we sin and some chose to not ask forgiveness, we have a chance to redeem ourselves from death. I will provide scriptural support in the comments if needed.

The Omnibenevolent Torturer with a Savior Complex

Why would God have Jesus be tortured and die on the cross so that we can be saved, why not just save us without Jesus' crucifixion? Keep in mind that God and Jesus are the same person. God became flesh, and died for our sins so that He could show us how much He loves us. He died, when we should have. He sacrificed Himself for us. Think about it. God, the most perfect being died for a group of mortal sinners. That is really amazing to me. Was God cruel, having Himself be tortured? No, He chose this because it was the best way in His mind to get the message across.

Finally, Con asks why would God command homosexuals to be stoned in the Old Testament? I admit, this is one of the harder passages for me to read as a Christian. One has to understand the context though. This was specifically for Israel. Not for the whole world. Israel had it stricter that every other country, because it was the country were the Messiah was going to be born. The Israelis had a choice to live there, and could freely leave. They knew the laws that were in place and could leave. Keep in mind that before a stoning could happen, a case had to be taken to the council to be decided whether or not it was to require stoning. Finally, the common theme in the Bible is repentance. One could so chose to repent and not be stoned.

In total, a stoning was rare, one who did not want to live under the law could freely move and could always repent to avoid being stoned.

Question

How can one tell a crooked line if there is no straight line to compare? This is the situation in this debate. Cicero has given examples of supposed moral evils committed by God, but how did he get this idea? How can Con say that certain actions are evil or really wrong if Con doesn't believe in God's existence? If God does not exist, then there are really no objective moral values. Morals, on the Agnostic view, are just things in our heads. So, what is moral in one country may be different in another country. They are subjective. How can Con say what is right and wrong when he only has his subjective opinions to go off of? It is a contradiction is Con's philosophy.

Conclusion

My agnostic friend provided some examples where he thinks that God contradicts the attributes given to Him. As seen, all of these do not really show that God contradicts Himself. Additionally, Con cannot say that something is truly wrong if God does not exist. Thank you. Over to you Con.
Cicero66

Con

Before I get into this, I just have a quick comment. My rebuttal for the resurrection was on a piece of paper at home that I forgot to pack, so I will just have to get to it in our next round.

The Moral Argument
Mortality is subjective. The affirmative asks why we don't all have different moral codes if this is indeed the case, but the answer is rather simple. It all boils down to natural selection. A group group that kills its young will not last very long. A group that indiscriminately murders does not last long. A group that rapes the woman of other groups sows war, something that is very detrimental to survival. A group that rapes woman of its own group sows hated and mistrust, which drive wedges in the trust and cohesiveness of the tribe. These negative traits were eliminated in the process of natural selection. When groups that didn't kill or rape reproduced, they passed these traits onto the next generation. Natural selection easily explains the ubiquity of our morality.

Argument from Reason
MaskedSpartan says that naturalism reduces reason to a closed system of physical cause and effect, and since this cannot account for reason then naturalism is contradictory. First, let's define our terms.

Closed system: physical system which doesn't exchange any matter with surroundings and isn't subject to any force whose source is external

Reason: power of their minds to think, understand and form judgements via the power of logic

I would argue that our brains aren't closed systems. They are dependent on nerves to acquire data and on the lungs to deliver oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide, both of which contradict the previous definition. I would like to ask my opponent what he means by a system of physical cause and effect and I'll address it next round. But in the interim, there is a final point I'd like to address. You asked why we should trust a system to do something it's not supposed to do. We do this all the time. Doctors frequently give off label prescriptions, meaning it's being used for something it wasn't designed to treat. Earlier today, I was reading an article on my phone's internet. But how is this possible? My phone was designed to call and receive calls, but it can also serve a secondary or tertiary purpose and it frequently does. My opponent says our reasoning is untrustworthy because it's not committed to truth. Our reasoning is committed to understanding information and data and then using it to react to our environment.

I assume that we are supposed to rebut the rebuttals in the next round, so I'll do that in the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
MaskedSpartan

Pro


Cicero addressed two of my three arguments in his rebuttal. I will go over each objection to these, and then recap my third argument.

The Moral Argument

1. If objective moral values do not exist, then a wholly good God does not exist
2. Objective moral values do exist
3. Therefore, a wholly good God exists

My opponent objected to premise two by saying, "Mortality is subjective" and attempts to back this assertion via natural election. Con says, ". A group group that kills its young will not last very long. A group that indiscriminately murders does not last long. A group that rapes the woman of other groups sows war, something that is very detrimental to survival." Since somethings negatively affect our species, evolution "creates" subjective morals.

There are two main problems with this objection. First, it commits the genetic fallacy. For those are unfamiliar with the laws of logic and logical fallacies, a fallacy is an error in logic or reasoning. The genetic fallacy is when one tries to dismiss a premise or assertion due to how that premise or assertion came to be. Explaining that evolution might be how morals came about, does not explain away the objectivity of said morals. It is faulty logic.

Second, if God does exist, objective moral values would exist regardless how conditioned we are to the evolutionary process. At best, and I mean at best, this objection only proves that our subjective view of morals has evolved. It does not go an inch to show that there are no objective morals.

The Argument from Reason

1. Naturalism reduces reason to a closed system of physical cause and effect
2. This closed system of physical cause and effect cannot account for reason
3. Therefore, Naturalism is self-contradictory

As I said in my opening statement, there are only two views of the world. Naturalism and Supernaturalism. Like a coin, if not heads then tails. If not Naturalism then Supernaturalism. Since Naturalism is shown to self-destruct in the above argument, it would follow that Supernaturalism is true. Finally, Ockham's Razor eliminates multiple supernatures, leaving one: God. In total, this argument not only shows that God exists, but destroys Naturalism in the process.

How did my opponent object to this argument? Con makes three comments. First he says, "I would argue that our brains aren't closed systems" however, I am not stating this. Maybe I should have made it more clear. I am asserting that on Naturalism, Nature is a closed system. This means that nothing interferes with it. Nothing outside of nature acts on nature. I am just restating what Naturalism says.

I did pose the question, why would we trust a system to do something that it was not meant to do. There is a really good video by a guy named David Wood, where he discusses this argument. I will include a link in the comment section. He gave an example of the Brooklyn bridge. If the Brooklyn bridge was designed as a giant pigeon perch, why would anybody drive across it? It would be illogical and dangerous to trust a pigeon perch to carry so many cars across. This is the same with trusting natural laws and molecules in motion to get us to truth

. What does Cicero say to this? "We do this all the time." I hope not! I would really hope that my friend here would not use an anchor as a boat or a wallet to make a phone call! Two examples are given of this. "Doctors frequently give off label prescriptions, meaning it's being used for something it wasn't designed to treat". This is a bad thing though. Should we be glad that a doctor is giving us medicine that does not help our needs? No. This is what I am explaining, we should not trust a system/prescription for something that it was not designed for. There are prescriptions that are designed for a general range of symptoms, they are not made for a particular instance. But, there are still designed for that spectrum of issues! The other example is how he was reading an article off his phone. His phone was designed to receive calls not to read articles. But as he, himself says, "it can also serve a secondary or tertiary purpose and it frequently does". This is because one of functions that the phone was designed for was to use the internet. I am saying that commitment to truth is to be found nowhere in natural law.

Finally, Con asserts, "Our reasoning is committed to understanding information and data and then using it to react to our environment." This is actually reasoning in a circle. understanding information and data is reasoning. So what Con is really asserting is this: Our reasoning is committed to reasoning and then using is to react to our environment. It could even get worse. Using data to react to our environment is yet again another type of reasoning. So we could phrase Con's assertion as follows: Our reasoning is committed to reasoning and then reasoning. In total, the objection is just reasoning in a circle.

The Resurrection

My friend did not object to this argument, because he is going to do so next round. Nevertheless, I am going to outline it once again.

1. If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity is validated
2. Jesus rose from the dead
3. Therefore, Christianity is validated

Now, why is premise one true? This is because Jesus claimed to be God. This was done through by claiming to be "I AM" and "The Son of Man". I AM is the divine name of God. When Moses asks God his name, in the book of Exodus, God replies with "I AM". In first century Israel, to say the name of God was to commit blasphemy (claiming to be God). Yet, Jesus referred to Himself as "I Am" several occasions. Next, Jesus' favorite way to refer to Himself was "The Son of Man". Some think this to be a claim to mortality, but it is really an allusion to Daniel chapter seven (Old Testament/Tanakh). The Son of Man in this passage is one who is worshiped by all the world as God and has dominion over all things. In fact, when Jesus referred to Himself as The Son of Man in the Jewish court, He was sentenced to death on the account of blasphemy. Now if Jesus backed His claim to divinity by the Resurrection, then it would follow that Jesus was/is God, thus validating Christianity.

For the support of premise two, I gave five lines of evidence:

E1. The execution of Jesus via crucifixion
E2. The empty tomb of Jesus
E3. The eyewitness evidence
E4. The extra-Biblical evidence
E5. The emergence of the early Church

I wont go over each line, but I want to highlight point five, the emergence of the early Church. The apostles were in a unique position to know the truth. They knew whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. Someone did not tell them that Jesus rose, and then they started the Church. The apostles either saw or didn't see Jesus risen from the dead. I want you to imagine the later. The apostles saw that Jesus was dead in His tomb. All of Jerusalem saw the torturing and crucifying of Jesus and the government was on the search for the apostles. They decided to make up the Resurrection and stole Jesus' body. They willingly chose to be outcasts, to be beaten, thrown in jail, be seen as crazies, tortured and killed through long, excruciating deaths. Not one admitted that they were lying. Did they get anything out of it? No. They were dirt poor, lived off charity, on the rare occasion that they could get it. They got no worldly reward.

I don't have enough faith to believe that. It is easier and more logical to believe that the apostles really did see Jesus alive.

Conclusion

In total, both the moral argument and the argument from reason stand up to scrutiny. The Resurrection has five lines of evidence to support it and given other possibilities, it is the most rational account for the emergence of the early Church. Thank you. Back to you Con.

Cicero66

Con

Cicero66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
MaskedSpartan

Pro


In this debate, I gave three arguments for the existence of the Christian God. I showed through the moral argument, that a wholly good God exists. This type of God fits in nicely with the Christian concept of an all good and loving God. Next, via the argument from reason, it was shown that Naturalism is a self-defeating position. This also shows that God exists, and is presumably an intelligent and rational God. One that would create the entire universe and all of life, as seen in Genesis One. Finally, the Resurrection not only demonstrates the existence of God, but the unique God of the Bible. The God of Abraham, Moses and David. The God revealed to us by Jesus.

The Moral Argument

1. If objective moral values do not exist, then a wholly good God does not exist
2. Objective moral values do exist
3. Therefore, a wholly good God exists

In response to the moral argument, Cicero gave one objection:

Morality came about from natural selection.

Apart from committing the genetic fallacy, using invalid logic, it does not dispute the fact that objective moral values exist. At best, at best, this only demonstrates how our subjective view of morality came about.

The Argument from Reason

1. Naturalism reduces reason to a closed system of physical cause and effect
2. This closed system of physical cause and effect cannot account for reason
3. Therefore, Naturalism is self-contradictory

In response to the argument from reason, aside from confusion on terms, my agnostic friend gives two objections:

We should trust systems for tasks that they are not meant for and that "Our reasoning is committed to understanding information and data and then using it to react to our environment".

In response to the first, Con gave no real justification for this. All the systems named that did tasks outside of their design, really were designed to do such task. The latter is really reasoning in a circle. I wish to repeat what I said in my second rebuttal, since it was not refuted: This is actually reasoning in a circle. understanding information and data is reasoning. So what Con is really asserting is this: Our reasoning is committed to reasoning and then using is to react to our environment. It could even get worse. Using data to react to our environment is yet again another type of reasoning. So we could phrase Con's assertion as follows: Our reasoning is committed to reasoning and then reasoning. In total, the objection is just reasoning in a circle.

The Resurrection

1. If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity is validated
2. Jesus rose from the dead
3. Therefore, Christianity is validated

The supporting facts for premise two, can be listed as:

E1. The execution of Jesus via crucifixion
E2. The empty tomb of Jesus
E3. The eyewitness evidence
E4. The extra-Biblical evidence
E5. The emergence of the early Church

Finally, the Resurrection was not addressed. I do not know if this was due to lack of time or what, so I will leave it be.

Con tried to show that the Christian God cannot exist because He violates what Cicero to consider evil. I wont go into the explanations for each, but there is a crucial question we must ask our selves. How can we tell if a line is crooked, if we do not have a straight line? To put it differently: how can we say that something is really evil or wrong, if there is no real moral law to compare it to. I hinted at this before. Evil is an objective moral value. By the looks of it, Con feels that certain Old Testament morals are evil. Let us expand the argument I made in the first rebuttal, using evil to show the existence of God.

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist
2. Evil exists
3. Therefore, God exists.

Conclusion

All three of the arguments that I presented stand as strong as steel, while the arguments on Cicero's side...are really arguments for God's existence. I encourage you to follow the evidence where it goes, regardless of where it may take you. If I could offer one piece of advice, I would say just that. Thank you.
Cicero66

Con

Cicero66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Josh2900 1 year ago
Josh2900
About that objective morals argument in that debate.

The only objective values we have are empathy and remorse, which are mechanisms that stop us from just going around killing people for fun, and these have naturalistic explanations. But let's ask some questions and give some points that would favour naturalistic over a god...

Psychopaths don't have these two only objective values, so why would a God allow that? So try to explain with a god explanation over a naturalistic explanation.

Social animals have these two objective values too, but non social animals do not. Explain God over naturalistic eplanations and this also shows humans aren't special.
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
Here is the video of the argument from reason: https://www.youtube.com... I aslo highly recommend Miracles by CS Lewis and CS Lewis VS The New Atheists by Peter S Williams
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
Will do sources in just a bit
Posted by Cicero66 1 year ago
Cicero66
I apologize for the grammatical errors. I'm having to type this on my phone, so this was more a test of endurance than my understanding of proper English.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Ooh ... I've never faced a moral argument in a debate before. It would be fun to refute.
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
Sources: Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig (third edition) pages 172-182. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis pages 15-32. Miracle by CS Lewis (second edition) pages 311-321. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel pages 95-121 and pages 303-327. http://www.alwaysbeready.com...
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
Probablity being both sides provide argument, philosophical or scientific, and who ever has the best cumulative case standing at the end wins. It is probable that the statement is true if there are supporting arguments that lead to the conclusion, that stand up to scrutiny.
Posted by derailed 1 year ago
derailed
I assumed that much, MaskedSpartan, but how are you defining probability? According to statistics? Logic? Empirical observation?
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
When I say that something is more likely, I mean that the proposition is more probable than its negation. To say that it is likely that God exists, in my opinion, means that given the arguments presented it is more likely that God exists than He does not.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
MaskedSpartanCicero66Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff