The Instigator
twocupcakes
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
1Devilsadvocate
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Everyone Who Believes in God is Most Likely Delusional

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
1Devilsadvocate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,122 times Debate No: 28679
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

twocupcakes

Pro

Everyone who believes in God is Most likely Delusional

Delusional
an act or instance of deluding.
2.
the state of being deluded.
3.
a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
4.
Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.
1Devilsadvocate

Con

I want to thank 2cc for agreeing to do this debate, based on a statement he made in the religion forum.
Unfortunately people often make outlandish statements in the forums, & then refuse to defend them in debate, Kudos.
(Voters can give him the conduct point for that alone.)
(Although he left out the words "most likely" in the forum, but included them here, at least he's willing to defend the general idea)

Without further ado I will begin with my opening arguments, which, for this round will only address definitions.

Unfortunately the definitions that my opponent provided is inccorect & I could win by pointing out that according to his definitions the resolution doesn't make sense.

The definitions that my opponent provided (from http://www.thefreedictionary.com......, & that should have been sourced, or actually they shouldn't, as his definitions are not what the dictionary said.) are for the word delusion a noun, not the word delusional the adjective. (I know it says delusional on top of the definitions, but that's what my opponent wrote, that was not in the dictionary.)

Never the less I'll let that go, (for now unless I need it :)), & I'll even use his source to define "delusional".
(See how nice Christians are? not really. I'm agnostic of Jewish decent:p)

Definitions:

"
Adj.1.delusional- suffering from or characterized by delusions
psychoneurotic, neurotic - affected with emotional disorder
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farley clipart collection. " 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc." (1)

& for good measure:

"A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.[1] Unlike hallucinations, delusions are always pathological(the result of an illness or illness process).[1] As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation,dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception."(2)

(1) http://www.thefreedictionary.com......
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org......
Debate Round No. 1
twocupcakes

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate and posting some definitions. Sorry, I used the wrong word, I must have been in a hurry to type it out. For good measure and a more robust debate I got the definitions from http://dictionary.reference.com......;


de·lu·sion·al
adjective
1.
having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
2.
Psychiatry. maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.


Good Luck!


Does talking to imaginary supernatural beings constitute a delusion/ being delusional?

Theists talk to God, have relationships with God and know God's opinions about various moral issues. If someone thinks they are talking to an magical being, but this is not actually happening, would they be delusional? Yes, they would. They would have a false belief that they are talking to someone, when actually they are not.

Are most theists right or wrong?

Most theists are wrong. Every theist has a different opinion about God, they cannot all be right. Some believe in Allah, Budah, Jesus. Some believe the Garden of Eden is in the USA, some do not. Some believe that God hates gays, some do not. Theists hold specific views about what God is right. No two theists have the exact same view.

So, not all theists can be right. At most, 1 theist has the exact concept of God and the rest are wrong. Because most people are wrong about there perceptions of God, most people are delusional.

Summary

If you believe something imaginary to be real you are delusional,

Every theist has a different view about what God is like,

Only one view can be correct,

Most views are wrong,

Most theists believe something about God to be real that is actually imaginary,

Most theists are delusional
1Devilsadvocate

Con

The problem with what Pro is saying, is that according to it practically every great thinker in history is/was delusional.

My opponent acknowledged the absurdity of this, but then gets into contradiction circle.

I will quote from the forum:

"So here we go, Newton, Leibniz, pretty much most of the founding fathers of science, Clarke, Paul Davies, Nick Rescher, brilliant other minds like Aristotle, Descartes, our president, most other presidents, Lorentz, Kant... 1/3rd of practicing analytical philosophers in America. JP Moreland, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig.
all these people aren't just mistaken, but delusional?"

2cc answers yes indeed they are:
"As everyone has a slightly different view of God, they cannot all be correct about their God. So yes, they were delusional. At most, only one person "got it right". The rest were wrong. So yes, they were delusional and at best all but one are delusional."

So, he's acknowledging that all these geniuses can't be considered delusional on account of them all believing in the existence of god.
but rather they are delusional because of what they do not agree upon, the fact that they have contradictory opinions with regard certain aspects/characteristics of god.

To which I pointed out that this too is absurd:
"Do you mean to say that if someone is wrong about a detail then they are delusional.
That's one of the most delusional thing I've heard in a while.
According to this just about everyone is delusional including Newton, Einstein, Dawkins,Hawkins, ,Darwin, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, etc. Just about everyone who ever lived, since they all have somewhat different ideology."

To this he provides a perfect straw man ):
"You also agree that many theists are delusional, right? Do you think people actually talked to Allah, Zeus, Thor, Pagan or Mayan Gods. Just like me you think many are delusional. I just go one more to include your religion also as delusional."

So I repeat myself:
Mistaken =/= Delusional. Except in your delusional world.

He seems to acknowledge this is true, but qualifies that being mistaken with regard to god & then praying does qualify for delusional:

"If you are wrong about talking to invisible people/supernatural you are delusional. So, if I say I counted seven rabbits, when really there were 8, not delusional. If a magic perfect ghost man tells me there are seven rabbits, when there are really 8, delusional."

& this is when I decided enough, because now we are right back at the beginning completing the contradictory circle.

He has in essence stated that:
"Newton, Leibniz, pretty much most of the founding fathers of science, Clarke, Paul Davies, Nick Rescher, brilliant other minds like Aristotle, Descartes, our president, most other presidents, Lorentz, Kant... 1/3rd of practicing analytical philosophers in America. JP Moreland, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, etc."
Are all delusional, for believing in god.
A notion which when pressed at the beginning he acknowledged is absurd.
So now he will go back to:
"As everyone has a slightly different view of God, they cannot all be correct about their God. So yes, they were delusional. At most, only one person "got it right". The rest were wrong. So yes, they were delusional and at best all but one are delusional."

ETC.

You get the point.


I will now turn it over to my opponent to clarify his position.

Are they delusional because they all agree that there is a god, or are they delusional because they have slightly different ideas with regard the nature/ certain characteristics of god?
Debate Round No. 2
twocupcakes

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate and posting some definitions. Sorry, I used the wrong word, I must have been in a hurry to type it out. For good measure and a more robust debate I got the definitions fromhttp://dictionary.reference.com......;


de·lu·sion·al
adjective
1.
having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
2.
Psychiatry. maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.


Good Luck!


Does talking to imaginary supernatural beings constitute a delusion/ being delusional?

Theists talk to God, have relationships with God and know God's opinions about various moral issues. If someone thinks they are talking to an magical being, but this is not actually happening, would they be delusional? Yes, they would. They would have a false belief that they are talking to someone, when actually they are not.

Are most theists right or wrong?

Most theists are wrong. Every theist has a different opinion about God, they cannot all be right. Some believe in Allah, Budah, Jesus. Some believe the Garden of Eden is in the USA, some do not. Some believe that God hates gays, some do not. Theists hold specific views about what God is right. No two theists have the exact same view.

So, not all theists can be right. At most, 1 theist has the exact concept of God and the rest are wrong.Because most people are wrong about there perceptions of God, most people are delusional.

Summary

If you believe something imaginary to be real you are delusional,

Every theist has a different view about what God is like,

Only one view can be correct,

Most views are wrong,

Most theists believe something about God to be real that is actually imaginary,

Most theists are delusional
1Devilsadvocate

Con

I would like to thank my opponent on clarifying his position.

I asked: "Are they delusional because they all agree that there is a god, or are they delusional because they have slightly different ideas with regard the nature/ certain characteristics of god?"

He writes:
"They are delusional because they believe in supernatural aspects that are not true"

His evidence for this was:
"We know theists are most likely have incorrect beliefs, because they all hold different beliefs, and they cannot all be true."

1st of all, So what if "they cannot all be true", I only need one.

2nd of all, do you really think every single theist has a different idea about god?

This is absurd. There is some dispute about certain aspects of god, but to say every single theist has a different idea, is absurd.
( It's like saying since there are many variations of the theory of evolution, every single evolutionist has a different idea of evolution. There are more theists than there are combinations of theories of god.)

Aside from that, it ignores the many theists that believe we cannot describe god at all.

Pro writes that the difference between mistaken & delusional is a delusional person will hold his beliefs "regardless of fact", while one who is just mistaken will change when presented with evidence contrary to their belief.

The simplest way to show that not all theists are like that is the fact that some theists become agnostic/atheist, when presented with certain arguments.

The most well known examples are:
Dawkins, & Joseph Stalin. Stalin actually studied to be an Orthodox priest but became an atheist after reading Karl Marx's books.
Another good example is Charles Templeton - A co-founder of Youth for Christ. He rejected Christianity for agnosticism after a struggle with doubts.

One last example - Dan Barker - American atheist activist who served as a Christian preacher and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984.
a list of them can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org......

The same is true the other way around there have been atheists who have been convinced that there is a god.
The most famous example is Anthony Flew, a Philosopher and one of the most respected atheist thinkers of the 20th century.
He was convinced, by Dr. Gerald Schroeder among others, of the validity of the teleological argument.
He was not convinced by the other philosophical arguments, but Flew stated that "the most impressive arguments for God"s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries" and that "the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it".

Other examples:

Christian B. Anfinsen, Nobel prize-winning chemist who converted from "orthodox agnosticism" to Orthodox Judaism.

Mortimer J. Adler " American philosopher, educator, and popular author. He converted to theism after decades of interest in Thomism.

C. E. M. Joad " English philosopher whose arguing against Christianity earned him criticism from T. S. Eliot.[24] He turned toward religion later, writing The Recovery of Belief a year before he died.

Prof. Dale Gottlieb - was a Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, became an orthodox Jew.

This notion that all theists live by faith without reason is a common misconception among some atheists.
They think that all theists believe without reason & regardless of contrary evidence.
This misconception arouse as a result of the fact that many do believe in the concept of faith beyond reason.
But it ignores the many theists who do deal with evidence. The most popular one being W.LC. who is considered by many (even atheists) to be the greatest debater today. (Dawkins has refused to debate him, except once, & the 1 time that he did agree he backed out in the end.).
There are many theists, books, & organizations that support a rational approach to god.

There are many arguments for god, including; several cosmological arguments (thomistic version being my current favorite), teleological, ontological, Arguments from fulfilled prophesies, etc.

I just want to clarify I never said smart people cannot be delusional. But there is a difference between saying a brilliant chess player became delusional, and saying; Newton, Leibniz, pretty much most of the founding fathers of science, Clarke, Paul Davies, Nick Rescher, brilliant other minds like Aristotle, Descartes, our president, most other presidents, Lorentz, Kant... 1/3rd of practicing analytic philosophers in America. JP Moreland, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, etc., are all "delusional".
Debate Round No. 3
twocupcakes

Pro

We know theists are most likely have incorrect beliefs, because they all hold different beliefs, and they cannot all be true

My opponent objects to this statement made by me. My opponent argues "1st of all, So what if "they cannot all be true", I only need one."

The relosution is that theists are most likely delusional. I aregued that theists most likely have incorrect beliefs. So, even if one theists had the exact version of God, theists still would be most likely incorrect, and therefore(because of my other arguments) most likely delusional.

My opponent continues "2nd of all, do you really think every single theist has a different idea about god?"

Yes, I think everyone has a different idea of God, even if it is by only one detail. Even under the same religion, some theists believe heaven is difficult to get in, some easy, some think that being gay is a sin, some say its okay, some think Jesus loves Capitalism, some Socialism, some think God would stop school shootings if religion was preached in schools, some do not, some are YEC, some are not, ect.

It is fair to say that not many have the same version of God. Even if a group does have the same version. Say, a group of 100 agree on every detail about religion that group would be small compared to the majority of theists, so still even if that large group was correct, theists(in whole) are most likely incorrect


Some Theists Become Atheists/Agnostics...These Theists are not Delusional

I argued that theists are not just mistaken because theist's beliefs are held without reason and regardless of fact. My opponent claims that there are theists who become atheists and these theists consider facts. He argues "The simplest way to show that not all theists are like that is the fact that some theists become agnostic/atheist, when presented with certain arguments. "

I agree that when someone becomes an atheist/agnostic, they are no longer delusional because they consider fact. However, when they were theists, they were delusional. For example, when Dawkins decided to become an atheist, he no longer was delusional, however, as a theist, Dawkins was delusional.

Some atheists become theists

*First Note that Anthony Flew was not a Theist but a Deist. [1]

"I should clarify that I am a deist."-Anthony Flew [2]


My opponent argues that some atheists become theists. These theists must surely have reason or fact, he argues. But this is not the case. As a baby, every one is an atheist. The fact that they were atheists before, does not mean that they believe based on reason and fact. It still can be said that theists(even if previously atheists), believe in supernatural ideas that are most likely false and hold them without reason and regardless of fact.


Theists are not just faith but reason


My opponent argues that it is a common misconception that theist live without reason. "He says theists do have reason.This misconception arouse as a result of the fact that many do believe in the concept of faith beyond reason.
But it ignores the many theists who do deal with evidence."


I understant that theists also use reason, however, most theists hold their beliefs through faith, even if it is a combo of faith and reason, it still uses faith. And for reasons stated earlier, if they hold beliefs based on faith, they are delusional.

Furthermore, my opponent says there are reasoned arguments for god "There are many arguments for god, including; several cosmological arguments (thomistic version being my current favorite), teleological, ontological, Arguments from fulfilled prophesies, etc."

These are not arguments for theism, but for deism. So, they do not apply. The only argument here for theism is arguments from fuffiled prophecies, which is not reasonable at all. All holy books contain fuflled prophecies, so how do you choose which religion? Furthermore any reasonable person understands that "fuffilled prophecies" are no reason to think a book is divine. Most can be fuffilled by random chance. Nostradamus sniped may "prophecies", would you base your life on a book written by him, because he must have been divine.[3]

*also maybe my opponent will object that deism=someone who believes in God, however, I will post my forum posts that started this debate...I think I was clear that I was cool with deism

My (twocupcake's) forum posts that inspired the debate

"I may be an agnostic or a deist, but I don't believe that people talk to God, or God answers prayers. So, if you believe you are meditating, that is fine. But, if you believe that you are talking to a supernatural being, you are delusional. Calling talking to God magic is not really ignorance, as God is magic. Where magic=supernatural."

"People have "prayed and talked" to every God...Thor, Zeus, Spaggetti Monster, Odin ect. They cannot all be talking to there God. So, even if you can talk to God, there is no way of knowing which God it is you are talking to. You could be talking to the Flying Spaggetti Monster!"

You also agree that many theists are delusional, right? Do you think people actually talked to Allah, Zeus, Thor, Pagan or Mayan Gods. Just like me you think many are delusional. I just go one more to include your religion also as delusional.


Again with Smart People

If all the "smart people" my opponent mentioned are theists, then they are delusional. I clarified this last round. I am confused and do not know what to make of my opponent giving a list of smart people. Is is that smart people can't be delusional? If it is, I debunked it. In addition to "smart people" there are theist "athletes" and "musician"...I fail to see your argument. Sorry, I would respond again if I had any idea what your line of reason was.

Summary

My opponent argues that there could be a correct theist, if so not all theistss would be delusional, this is not truebecause the resolution is "most likely" delusional. Just as if 100 people help raffle tickets, raffle ticket holders are most likely going to lose.

My opponent argues that some theists are not delusional because they will become atheists when they look at the facts,but this is not true because as theists they still were delusional

My opponent argues that some atheists become theists,and these theists think to base belief about facts, no all theists were atheits befoe indocrination, being a atheist before does not show reason ect

My opponent lists arguments for God, but these are arguments for deism, not theism

My opponent lists the prophecie argument, but this is not based on reason

My opponent mentions "smart theists" again, smart people can be delusional, I have no idea what more he is trying to prove


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org......\


[2] http://www.tothesource.org......

[3]http://en.wikipedia.org......
1Devilsadvocate

Con

I said that I only need one person who is not wrong.
My opponent claimed that since the resolution says the words"most likely", 1 is not enough.
If I understand him correctly he means that each theist is most likely delusional because he is most probably not "the 1".
The resolution was :Everyone who believes in God is Most Likely Delusional.
It seems that my opponent has confused the word "everyone" with the term "every one".
The difference is not limited to the space between "every" & "one", but they actually have different meanings:

"Care should be taken to distinguish between everyone and someone as single words and every one and some one as two words, the latter form correctly being used to refer to each individual person or thing in a particular group: every one of them is wrong" (1)

"Every one", would mean each individual, & pro might have a point.
But the term everyone, means, the whole of the group.
so If there is at least one person in the group who is not probably wrong, it's false to say everyone is most probably wrong.
That's how I see it anyway, I leave it to the voters to decide.

(It's also possible, that my opponent forgot that the word "everyone" is in the resolution. I noticed that both times when addressing this argument he left the word out, presumably unintentionally)

I do believe even without this my other points hold up.

My opponent dropped the following argument which I made in the previous round:
"Aside from that, it ignores the many theists that believe we cannot describe god at all."

With regard my argument from theists who switch to atheism, my opponent made the predictable argument that, when they were theists they were delusional, but then when they switch they are no longer delusional.
This is simply not true. Do you think no one became atheist on account of being presented with arguments or facts?
Is every conversion to atheism simply a result of a person going from unreasonable to reasonable?
No. Many/most atheists were rational before hand, & changed there mind as a result of learning new things that they did not know previously. They weren't believing despite contrary proof, they were believing because they didn't know of that fact/argument.
Here is one example from a member of this site:
"I started out as the most religious person in my family. Started researching and reading...(2)

I pointed out that some theists use reasoning. My opponent responded:
"I understant [sic] that theists also use reason, however, most theists hold their beliefs through faith, even if it is a combo of faith and reason, it still uses faith. And for reasons stated earlier, if they hold beliefs based on faith, they are delusional."

Notice the words "most theists...", so he concedes that there are theists who do not rely at all on faith.
So those theists are not delusional, & thus the resolution is negated.

The point of bringing in the list of smart people, is to bring out the implications of the resolution.
Bringing out the implications of a statement gives it a new angle. It makes an abstract statement more real.
Often an innocent looking resolution can have absurd implication.
Bringing out an absurd implication of such a resolution, is a method of showing that the resolution itself must therefor be absurd.
This method is commonly referred to as "Reductio ad absurdum".
Most unassuming people with an open mind, would consider the notion that all those people are "delusional", to be absurd - even if it is possible for a smart person to be delusional.

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...

(2) https://debate.org...
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
Apeiron - 243 to 229. Close vote!
Posted by Apeiron 3 years ago
Apeiron
Don't worry two cups, they couldn't win that BoP in the Cambridge Union either,

America.
Posted by twocupcakes 3 years ago
twocupcakes
Yeah, I think a better resolution would be that "People who think they are communicating with a God, are most likely not" or something along those lines. But I used the word delusional in a forum post, and got challenged to a debate on it, so I used the word "delusional" in the resolution.
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
If delusional means "having false.. beliefs or opinions" you have supported "If you are a theist, you are most likely delusional." A trivial extension is "If you are human, you are most likely delusional." However, the word "delusional" has obvious negative connotations and other definitions that go beyond being mistaken about a fact, so your point seems to be to inflame rather than communicate. If you want to substantiate your argument in a meaningful way you'd have to go a step further and demonstrate why such a belief is unrealistic or in conflict with the facts each theist has. Then I would consider your argument informative rather than inflammatory. Peace. :)
Posted by twocupcakes 3 years ago
twocupcakes
But, still a solid debate, I believe I at least adequately defended the statements I made in the forums of people who pray and communicate with God are most likely delusional. And I'm glad we could finish this. Let me know and feedback please...i appreciate it
Posted by twocupcakes 3 years ago
twocupcakes
I never knew there was a difference between every one and everyone
Posted by phantom 3 years ago
phantom
Four definitions of delusional and they all use the word in the definition.
Posted by andrewkletzien 3 years ago
andrewkletzien
@johnlubba: I agree. Which is why I would have preferred this debate to be centered around "relusion" rather than delusion. It is just a rhetorical preference but I think more accurate. It was discussed briefly in Richard Dawkins' book "The God Delusion," the title of which many (arguably petty) psychiatrists took issue with.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
FYI, Everybody is to some degree delusional. atheists and theists alike.
Posted by twocupcakes 3 years ago
twocupcakes
okay we will try it again
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
twocupcakes1DevilsadvocateTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument establishes that every one who believes in God (and by trivial extension, every one alive) is delusional (in the sense of having false beliefs). However, his resolution was "everyone" rather than "every one", so I must award the debate to Con for sharp semantics. I didn't spot any spelling, grammar, source reliability, or conduct issues in the debate. PS - I would generally advise against labeling people who are merely "mistaken" as "delusional", as that word carries negative and inflammatory connotations.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
twocupcakes1DevilsadvocateTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro pretty much took various forms of error in one's belief to mean "delusion." All he did was declare that "most" theists were erroneous in their beliefs, whereas his resolution clearly stated "everyone who believes in God" -- hence, *all* theists. Con exploited this by establishing that he only needed to show one group of theists were correct.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
twocupcakes1DevilsadvocateTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't even come close to establishing his burden of proof. Even if his argument it sound, it doesn't lead to his conclusion. He said that "Everyone who believes in God is most likely delusional," and his argument was that they all disagree with each other. At best, that only shows that most people are mistaken about God. Con effectively rebutted all of Pro's arguments. Pro's response to Con's argument from atheist/agnostic converts was especially bad. Con argument was sound because it established that there are some theists willing to change their minds when presented with contrary evidence. Pro merely claims they were delusion prior to converting, but the fact that they converted proves otherwise. Besides, Pro never made the jump from "mistaken" to "delusional," so he never carried his burden of proof.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 3 years ago
Jarhyn
twocupcakes1DevilsadvocateTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to PRO, because of CON's purely semantic closing argument attack against PRO. S/G to CON because pro had numerous mistakes of a character which CON did not. Convincing to PRO because CON failed to sufficiently counter the contention that no exactly true view is shared on the nature of god across more than 50% of all theists. Sources tied, as even though they did not support a negation of PRO's position, they did reliably support the things he said with them.