The Instigator
RandomTruth
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
the1000things
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

God Is A Human Invention

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,040 times Debate No: 17003
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (3)

 

RandomTruth

Pro

It is clear that religion is a human invention but most believers consider that their deities truly exist. I contend that the only thing that exists is their belief, not their deities:

1. Belief is the only 'proof' believers have.
2. All 'arguments' are question-begging - circular in that they presuppose the existence of the deities.
3. Belief can only reside in the brain, there is nothing else.
4. Deities therefore must exist in the brain too.

Much like 'America' doesn't really exist except as social conventions and political agreements, so it is with God.
the1000things

Con

Hello! I accept the challenge put forward by RandomTruth. My opponent's argument is as follows:
1. Belief is the only 'proof' believers have.
2. All 'arguments' are question-begging - circular in that they presuppose the existence of the deities.
3. Belief can only reside in the brain, there is nothing else.
4. Deities therefore must exist in the brain too.

In order to win this debate, I merely need to disprove one of the points made by my opponent - the rest of the link chain falls. I'll focus on number two. I will present ONE argument for a god or gods, negating both points one and two, and by extension, three and four. I feel three is rather unclear, so if my opponent could clarify next round, that'd be fantastic.


Argument for a god: Cosmological argument.

This is fairly simple and straightforward. I deeply apologize as I am extremely pressed for time and will be able to make a much more sufficient round next time. For now:
  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.
This first cause can easily be interpreted as a god or gods. thus, it is not entirely unreasonable to believe in a god or gods - there is more proof than simple belief. This argument does not beg the question and is logically sound, unless my opponent proves otherwise.
Debate Round No. 1
RandomTruth

Pro

The Comsological Argument (CA) is invalid for my very claims:

------Depends on Belief------
- CA doesn't work because it could apply equally to the FSM. Therefore it is requires an initial belief in God for it to be effective.
- If you replace either the conclusion (god) with something else (FSM) it ceases to work.
- If you replace the arguer, a Christian, with an Atheist, it ceases to work.

Therefore the argument requires a belief in a deity and is only convincing for such.

------Question Begging------
- It is a circular argument because it is merely descriptive. You already have a definition of God, and all that is being done is that you're turning it around into an argument.
- Since I've shown above that this argument is specifically for both God and believers in God, then it is circular in that aspect too.

------Only Resides In the Brain------
- Even if your argument is true, there is no connection to reality at all.
- Because it is merely a definition turned around into a syllogism, it could still be true whether God existed or not. Therefore, it is no proof at all of a physical existence but at best, the possibility of a God. God could equally not exist and this be true (which it isn't).

You may claim that the argument is logically sound but all that does is to prove that it's a human invention, not that there's a God.

(Don't worry about the time, I'm in no rush!)
the1000things

Con

Now I have time! Thanks for your patience and I hope the rest of this debate will be lively and productive! I'm going to take a whole new direction with this and prove that there is a god or gods (where I will respond to your claims concerning the CA), that god is the God of the Bible, and we know this through the Bible (a reliable historical document). Something along the lines of:

  1. There is some form of deity
    1. Kelam Cosmological argument
    2. Moral Law argument
  2. The Bible is a reliable historical document
    1. Miracles
    2. Assorted historical resources
    1. Jesus spoke of God
    2. Conclusion.
==========
1. There is some form of deity

This will directly combat the notion that belief is the only proof believers in a god or gods have, and that that proof is outside of their mind and is a factual, rational concept that holds in the logical world - which means that they're true for anyone, anywhere. Quickly, I'd like to make a point that absolute truth is knowable and exists. to put it (very) briefly: we know that there is absolute truth because to deny such as aspect, you would be forced to hold the idea that "it is true (absolutely) that there is no absolute truth". That is a paradox, and cannot be true.

1a. Cosmological argument
I don't have enough space to restate, so just look above. To answer my opponent's objections, I'll number them one by one.
  1. Depends on belief. "If you replace either the conclusion (god) with something else (FSM) it ceases to work.
    If you replace the arguer, a Christian, with an Atheist, it ceases to work."
  2. It begs the question. "You already have a definition of God . . . this argument is specifically for both God and believers in God"
  3. Doesn't apply in the real world. " there is no connection to reality at all . . . a definition turned around into a syllogism

1. Depends on belief

  • Remember from above. Truth is absolute. You have not attacked the mechanics of the Cosmological Argument (I'll defend them should you), rather, you have just chosen to reject it. Even if you wholeheartedly believe that Buenos Aires is the capitol of North Korea, that doesn't change the fact that with evidence, facts, and logic, you can be proven false. The argument that Pyongyang is the capitol of the DPRK would hold regardless of who believed it or not.
  • You'll notice I did not say which deity I was proving. It doesn't need to be Allah, Yahweh, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You're absolutely correct in the notion that the CA applies to all gods everywhere - but that doesn't change the validity of the argument for a deity at all. The Kelam Cosmological argument highlights this - the argument was developed by medieval Muslim theologians. Kelam means "speech" or "doctrine" in Arabic - yet even though it is of Islam in origin, it is still used by many theists across the world, because no matter the religion, the concept still holds true.

2. Begs the Question

  • I feel that your assertions are rather non-coherent. A definition of God is not needed to recognize the CA. All it says is that there is a plausible reason to believe in some sort of supernatural being based on the arguments it makes through logic. I'd like to reiterate the fact that this argument is true for all, not just believers.
3. Doesn't Apply in the Real World
  • "at best [provides] the possibility of a God." Exactly! Remember what you said: "Belief is the only 'proof' believers have. All 'arguments' are question-begging - circular in that they presuppose the existence of the deities." What you stated in the second round contradicts what you said in the first: you acknowledged that there is at least a sliver of reason to believe in God, thus, belief is not 100% of the proof believers have.
  • For the third time: Logic and facts apply in the real world, not just in the brain. You have neglected to challenge either premise or the conclusion of the CA, so it is implied you accept it.
1b. The Moral Law Argument
This is another argument for a god or gods based on logical and factual premises brought to a conclusion. The argument, if not refuted by my opponent, applies to everyone, just like the argument I mentioned earlier on the capital of the DPRK applies to all as well. I'll let you refute this, and then I'll answer your objections next round.
  1. Every law has a law giver
  2. There is a set definition of right or wrong; a Moral Law
  3. Therefore, there is a (presumably supernatural) Moral Law Giver
2. The Bible is a Reliable Historical Document
I'll have to compress this quite a bit (but I'll expand it if significant objections are raised). The point of this section is to provide the link from point A (there is a god) to point B (that god is the Christian God of the Bible). This section will be divided between archaeology, historical records, etc. I'd like to point out, however, that we've narrowed it down already. From the Moral Law argument we know this god is the perfect standard (which eliminates the idea of a Hindu god, etc) and that he created the universe as a distinguishable part separate from it (which eliminates the possibility of a pantheist Avatar-esque god. No Eywa today.


I'll address common objections to the Bible's authenticity. I will answer any other objections my opponent brings up; I don't have room to anticipate all of them.
  1. Do we have a "true" copy of the Bible? Yes, we do. There are over 15,000 manuscripts [1] of the Bible (original hand-written documents) dating nearly 2000 years ago that we have in possession. Together, they create an identical Bible several times over, in languages from Greek, Latin and Arabic to Coptic and Syriac. The Bible we have today is effectively the Bible that would have existed 1,950 years ago (if it were canonized - you get my point).
  2. Is the Bible accurate? Very. There are errors in the manuscripts we have. Some say to be about 200,000 (most of which are punctuation and spelling, etc). Keep i mind that these errors are compounded: If I had ten manuscripts and one word was misspelled in one of them, then that would be 10 errors. Biblical text scholars Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort estimated that only 1 in 60 of those errors has any significance at all. [3] The New Testament Scholar and Princeton Professor Bruce Metzger estimates that the New Testimate is about 99.5% accurate - much more than, say , the Hindu Mahabbharata which comes in at roughly 90%. Philip Schaff, an 19th century Swiss theologian calculated that not one error affected basic Christian doctrine or articles of faith.[4]
  3. The Bible also describes miracles, which aren't possible! Not without God! I have proven there is a supernatural deity in the universe, separate from it and able to override its laws. Thus, with a histroically reliable Bible, saying miracles were performed by Jesus, then we can conclude that they were!
  4. Historically accurate? I'm running out of room, sorry. To be brief: Non-Bibblical accounts verify much of what the Bible says. From the nation of the Hittites to Josephus, the Bible has consistently been proven true. Archaeologists sometimes use it as an historical guide in the Middle East, and many archaeological discoveries confirm the Bible's accuracy. [5]
I'm really condensed, so I'll cut to the chase. Throughout the Bible, Jesus, who performed verified (via the Bible) Miracles claimed that He was the Son of God, and that there is a God in Heaven. My opponent's argument falls - there is reason outside of pure belief and faith to believe in God. I apologize the brevity of this; much of it fails to go in depth as I have yet to edit this for 8,000 character debates. I will answer any concerns raised by my opponent and look forward to his response.
SOURCES
1.Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. "Chapter 9: Do We Have Early Testimony About Jesus?" I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004. 224-26. Print.
2.Ibid.
3.Ibid
4. Schaff, Philip. A Companion to the Greek Testament and English Version. Vol. 3. New York City: Harper, 1883. Print.
6
. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
RandomTruth

Pro

RandomTruth forfeited this round.
the1000things

Con

Extend all of my arguments, please.
Debate Round No. 3
RandomTruth

Pro

RandomTruth forfeited this round.
the1000things

Con

www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dx5DyBkYKqnM
Debate Round No. 4
RandomTruth

Pro

RandomTruth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
RandomTruththe1000thingsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
RandomTruththe1000thingsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
RandomTruththe1000thingsTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins through Pro's forfeits.