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Does the idea of the Christian God contradict science?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,109 times Debate No: 77319
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (40)
Votes (1)




Because I am taking the negative position in this question, the burden of proof necessarily falls on my opponent. However, it is incumbent upon me to delineate essentially what I mean by the Christian God for the purpose of this debate, in order that a potential opponent might make coherent arguments supporting the contradiction between the existence of such a God and the discoveries of science.

By "The Christian God", I mean a personal being that governs the entire universe, loves humanity, and became man in order to pay for the sins of mankind so that all souls would have the opportunity for salvation from sin.

I hold that belief in any god is not based on empirical evidence, but is basic in the same way that belief in time moving forward or a belief in other conscious beings besides ourselves is. Therefore there can be no empirical evidence for or against a god. It is simply a belief one chooses to have, to not have, to continue to have, or stop having. The Christian God, as defined above, however, adds a few assertions to the basic idea of a god, specifically involving the nature of sin and the necessity of needing a savior. However, these too cannot be measured empirically and thus do not lend themselves to empirical evidence for or against.

I look forward to an opponent who will take up the challenge of finding ways in which the God I described contradicts the discoveries of science or indeed, if there be any. Please note that I am not arguing for the existence of God, but am merely refuting claims of contradiction between science and God. One might be able to do this with the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Celestial Teacup as well. My interest lies exclusively in whether or not there exists someone who thinks they can find evidence against it. Cheers.


By accepting this debate I intend to show that there are negligibly low odds that the Christian God exists but I must be assured that you do not expect me to show that it is impossible for the Christian God to exist, just that it is not plausible for us to think he exists based on the evidence prevented.

I would also inform you that the BOP is mostly on you, because you are taking the negative on the negative, you are taking the positive.

Until you can show evidence that the Christian God exists, my argument stands at "There is no scientific, repeatable way to show that the Christian God exists."
Debate Round No. 1


You may rest assured I haven't the slightest intention of expecting you to show the impossibility of God's existence. Implausibility should suffice. If you show that the existence of the Christian God is implausible, I shall endeavor to show why it is perfectly plausible given whatever facts you used to support your argument.

I must point out, however, that contradiction is not the kind of negative that couples with another negative to make a positive. A simple example: someone says "It's raining outside. This contradicts the notion that it's Friday." I respond "How silly of you to say so. There's no reason to think that it can't rain on Friday. The fact that it is raining does not contradict the notion that it's Friday." By responding this way, I am not actually arguing that it's Friday. I could be responding that way on Monday, and still be perfectly correct. I am simply refuting the silly notion that the rain somehow makes the idea that it is Friday implausible. In formal terms, if I respond to A -> ~B with ~(A->~B), I am not arguing B. Just so, if you have a series of facts, observations and logic that you say makes the existence of the Christian God implausible, I will take those facts, observations and logic and show that it does no such thing. I will not be arguing for the existence of the Christian God. The topic of this debate is not "Does the Christian God exist?", but "Does the idea of the Christian God contradict Science?". If your argument is no more than "There is no scientific, repeatable way to show that the Christian God exists", you're in the wrong debate.


Ok thank you for the clarification

Throughout the Bible, the Christian God's followers through the Christian God do many acts that contradict laws of thermodynamics. Mostly creating objects out of nothing. To do most of the acts the Christian God is credited for he would have to exist outside of the Physical World. Science deals in the physical world. You can also say science assumes there is nothing beyond the physical world. So yes science thinks everything is bound by the same laws of physics, therefore any claim of something defying those laws (The Bible) would be assumed that the person making the claim is lying or being deceived.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you.

The first point I'd like to address is a question that wasn't necessarily made by my opponent, but is a frequent one. It is a question of wether or not miracles are just a cop out response to the fact that there is no scientific explanation for the described events. On the contrary, however. If the Christian God exists, then one would EXPECT miracles to be performed. A god is by definition a supernatural being. The Christian God would be a god, and therefore would be a supernatural being. This means that if the Christian God exists, it would not only have the ability to live outside of the natural world, but would by necessity have to live outside of the natural world. The natural world is synonymous with the physical world, therefore if the Christian God exists, it must live outside the physical world. Now, given the definition of the Christian God I supplied: a personal being that governs the entire universe, loves humanity, and became man in order to pay for the sins of mankind so that all souls would have the opportunity for salvation from sin, we can expect some confirmation from the man that he is God incarnate. Since the Christian God wants to give all the souls the opportunity to be saved from sin, one would expect him to gain the trust of souls. What better way to gain that trust, to show that one is supernatural than by performing supernatural act?. If the Christian God existed, one would expect the performance of miracles.

Secondly, miracles do not contradict the discoveries of science, which is to say, they do not set up expectations which scientific discoveries lower. Rather, they provide mysteries from a certain time and place the explanation of which scientific study is insufficient to provide. To illustrate this distinction, imagine you're running in a race and all of a sudden a car drives up next to you and then zooms right past you. Well, you never expected to compete with the car, because you are running on legs (science) and the car is running on an engine (miracle). The engine doesn't set up expectations that are lowered by the accomplishments of your legs. You expect to just keep running. Nevertheless, the car's existence is perfectly plausible. No one who wasn't at the race would call you a liar for claiming that the car existed and drove by at an incredible speed.


I'm going to focus on the miracle "feeding the multitude." While some of the miracles can be explained to how they can happen with the same physical laws as everything else, this one actually directly contradicts the law of conservation of mass. So assuming God was not being deceptive and actually did produce bread, God does contradict a law of science in this instance. You can say that he didn't violate that law because he made the bread out of air or something like that, but that would definitely require the supernatural to intervene in the physical world. Since there is no known supernatural world, and in that there is no known laws that could loophole the conservation of mass, I would conclude that, until a supernatural world is discovered, the most likely explanation to the feeding the multitude is that it never happened, or the people were deceived into thinking anything supernatural happened.

The next miracle: The day the sun stood still. Now the funny part about this is that it seems the supernatural has missed the Earth's rotation. This suggests that the people writing this were not working in divine inspiration or the divine inspiration did not reveal to them the astronomy that was advanced at the time. Either way Newtons laws, specifically the "object will remain in motion until acted on by an outside source" (first law) would mean that a huge amount of force would be used to stop the Earth's rotation and then used to start it back up again afterwords. Since this has never happened and doesn't look like it will ever happen in any computer models, a natural phenomena is a very unlikely explanation. Once again, until the supernatural world is known, and in that world you can establish laws of physics for them, and use this to loophole the apparent lack of conservation of energy here, I would conclude that this never happened and I would add that the source is unreliable saying that it didn't even know the Earth was rotated.

The next miracle: The account of creation. Science has its own origins story, and the Christian story looks nothing like this. I think you could say "The Christian Origin Story does contradict Science." Furthermore, if the Christian God were infallible, he could easily provide the exact origin story, and science would agree perfectly.

The next miracle: Noah's Ark. Most people who believe this happened put it at 4400 years ago. The pyramids were built at about 2400 BC. Which gives them a calm 0 years to get off the boat and complete the massive project. Of course the date could be wrong, so lets look at the claim itself. Now we have a ton of species, approximately 8.7 million. Now you could always say, kind means something like dog kind or cat kind, but that would make it so rapid evolution would be needed. ~4400 years to take 5320 families to 8.7 million species of animal. Thats 5 new species a day. Then you have species diaspora but I believe I have already done an adequate job of showing that this could not have happened.

The final miracle I will review: A baby from a virgin. Ha, this might sound a bit weird, but a baby can not be born without fertilization. It is basic biology. Unless you could say that God fertilized the egg. Once again, until that supernatural world is discovered, I think it is much more likely that Mary is in fact not a virgin.

Throughout these 5 miracles reviewed, I hope to have conveyed the message that it is much more likely that these miracles never happened or weren't the result of divine influence. I think people looking at the Bible need to actually review what happens, rather than just taking it all as fact, because, as you can see, even in the slightest critical thinking application, these miracles don't hold up to natural laws [science]. Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 3
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AaronMC 2 years ago
That's a pretty weak response because it confuses the laws of nature with events of nature. The two are not the same. The law of gravity is different from an instance of gravitational pull. When a bird spreads it's wings and flies, the pull of gravity on the bird changes, but the law of gravity remains the same. It is simply in the presence of other forces besides gravity acting on the bird. Likewise, with any law of nature. The law itself doesn't need to change in order to effect the same event differently in different cases. The event need only have different additional forces acting on it.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
Either miracles can happen or they cant happen. If they can happen and they effect natural world then its impossible that this does not effect physical laws that constantly govern this object. For example lets picture me as some physical law holding natural object in my hand. You cannot possibly get that item out of my hands without having some effect on me.
Posted by AaronMC 2 years ago
I realize I titled this debate incorrectly and that may be where a good portion of the miscommunication lies. The question should have been "does the existence of the Christian God necessarily contradict science?" That's the question to which my answer is no. Why debate it? The idea that the existence of the Christian God necessarily contradicts science forces the believer to choose between faith and science. Since this is a monumentally stressful position for someone to be stuck in, it better have some solid support, lest the believer commit a disastrous and foolhardy mistake. I've known people in the pro position, so I assumed there might be some on here. Relating that to miracles, I don't see why miracles can't just be some events occurring for who's explication the laws of science are unable to be referenced. I don't see why it has to suspend, bypass, violate, etc. etc. the laws of science instead of just occurring while all the laws if science operate on it. If you give me an example of a law and show how a miracle effects that law, I might be able to better explain what I mean.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago

The argument is not whether miracles exist but *if* they do do they contradict science. This in my opinion is very interesting debate because it goes to the extends of theists not only thinking that miracles happen but thinking that they know exactly how do they happen and what mental athletics do they use to justify it, oh man...

In the end it might be pointless to debate (except for the fun factor) bcs its like arguing if the concept (idea) contradicts anything; Well it depends on you imaginary power to avoid any contradiction by shaping the idea and how it manifests in reality.

For example : does 7th finger on my 3rd hand with ability to create super-massive black holes that give births to infinite singularities each breaking the speed of light, contradicts science ? Yes ? Well not exactly since they avoid this universe physical laws, you see, they happen inside of different time-space so they do not contradict this ones. Spice it a bit more and it seems plausible. Ridiculous.
Posted by TyroneShelton 2 years ago
But Physical laws are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... consistent. Remember the last time gravity stopped? Or youre leg fell through the floor? Remember the last time you put 2 kg of water with .25 kg salt and got 4.5 kg salt water? Remember the time you walked on water without sinking? Remember the last time anything happened that violated the laws of physics? No of course not. You only think they happened via a supernatural being. Of which is described by a Roman-era book of a man with a cult-like following of 13 people. Well Harry Potter could have happened via suspension of physics. But why dont we believe it happened? Why do we not question the Bible, but we know Harry Potter is impossible. Because, for whatever reason, nobody applies near as much critical thinking to the Bible as they do Harry Potter.

Bottom line is: The Bible describes a Super Natural Being. He performs actions, everyone knows are impossible, just to drive the point home. But its a book. You have no idea if it happened. You are relying on this one source. If you have to say, if you suspend laws of physics it could have happened, look at what you are saying. Imagine how many books could be true with that extremely flawed logic.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
First of all you showed nothing to back up that miracles do not violate the laws of physics. So at best we can say that we dont know if the idea of Christian God contradicts science or not. You are by no means in better position then Pro. BoP is on both of you.

Miracles can happen by either suspending, violating, altering or bypassing laws of physics. What you say is that they are bypassed so that something they govern is no longer governed by them in order for something supernatural to happen. Miracle is making supernatural effect on natural matter.So that effect is effecting something that is already under the natural/physical laws. So something must happen to those rules for the exception to happen.

Unless there is some yet undiscovered physical law that grants supernatural things to happen. But that already then is natural by definition because it is allowed by physical law.. So supernatural by definition contradicts science since science does not allow supernatural. Just like if part of some rule was to break the rules then breaking those rules would not be breaking the rules.
Posted by AaronMC 2 years ago
By "contradict", I mean " is inconsistent with". ~A contradicts A. B only contradicts A if B -> ~A. So, in order to show that the existence of the Christian God contradicts a laws of physics, one must show that if the Christian God exists, that law cannot operate. My assertion is that there is no law of physics or any scientifically established law that cannot operate if the Christian God exists, and by implication, if miracles occur. A miracle does not do anything to laws of physics, which continue to operate throughout the miraculous event.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
AaronMC, when you say "contradict" in the debate title do you mean "be in conflict with"=be inconsistent with, run counter to, disagree with ?

I think I changed my mind a bit. Here is why.

There is no axiom, scientific law or theory that physical laws cannot be suspended, violated, altered, bypassed or whatever else is needed to be done with them in order for miracle to happen. And though I think that miracles would make science less effective it would not be in conflict with it per se. But it would be stupid to state that for example speed of light is highest speed in this universe achievable by natural means. Because as far as we know there are no supernatural means. But thats not in question in this debate.

So yeah I dont think the miracles contradict science, they just render it less effective/more blind.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
>Reported vote: Jake33ss// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: The Christian God made science

[*Reason for removal*] (1) No explanation for any points awarded. (2) Votes based on personal bias.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
"As long as they are operative, what difference does it make to the law if some supernatural event occurs"

Supernatural by definition means that it cannot happen naturally. Its not permissible by laws of physics. So in order for miracle to happen those natural laws need to be suspended or altered or bypassed in some other way.

As William Adams a bit poetically said:"There must be an ordinary regular course of nature, before there can be any thing extraordinary. A river must flow, before its stream can be interrupted."

David Hume famously defined a miracle as "a violation of the laws of nature"..
Not appealing to authority, just saying that my view is very widely accepted.

My argument is that as a Christian you have to believe that miracles happened and can happen. Such world would not be compatible with scientific methodology since we got no mechanism to differentiate naturally produced data of some experiment with supernaturally produced data of same experiment.

Also in science we always seek natural explanations for phenomena which is called methodological naturalism. So if modern science encounters some supernatural phenomena it would deal with it and never find the answer which is problem in itself for this phenomena would almost certainly contradict some other commonly accepted laws. Imagine person raising from dead nowadays for example :D
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KroneckerDelta 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I am tempted to give arguments to PRO because they stated in Round 2: "...the Christian God do many acts that contradict laws of thermodynamics." But PRO gives no specifics until the final round where CON cannot refute and thus I see PROs round 3 as introducing new arguments. Further CON refutes PROs argument: "If the Christian God exists, then one would EXPECT miracles to be performed." But I don't see that PRO directly refuted that argument nor do I see that CON met the BoP by admitting that science cannot explain miracles. Thus this debate is a tie for me because I don't see that PRO refuted CONs arguments nor do I see that CON refuted PROs.