The Instigator
Orangatang
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Benshapiro
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

God Most Likely Does Not Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Orangatang
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,608 times Debate No: 36222
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

Orangatang

Pro

Important definitions are provided below:

God - the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe. (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Exist - have objective reality or being. (http://oxforddictionaries.com...)

We will be debating to whether or not the existence of God is likely or unlikely based on accurate peer-reviewed evidence as well as logically sound arguments. If there is no compelling evidence for God's existence, then God is unlikely to exist. This means that belief in a God is unjustified and irrational. Obviously, the burden of proof is on Con to show that a God exists. I would prefer one to accept the definitions above before accepting the debate. I would also like to point out that I do not want one to negate the resolution through semantic ploys. I want a genuine believer to argue and show his/her evidence and reasoning for an actual, observable, and provable God. First round is for acceptance. I hope to have a stimulating and worthwhile debate with Con.
Benshapiro

Con

Thank you, I accept your terms and I look forward to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Orangatang

Pro

The burden of proof is on Con to show that God is likely to exist; I will refute his evidence and arguments once they are posted. The most prominent reason for my disbelief in a God is that there is no compelling evidence for one; this will be my resonating theme throughout the debate. The following arguments will elucidate why the existence of a God is unlikely:

Religions and God are Man-Made:
Although the debate is centered on the existence of a deity, I would like to discuss various religions to show that their teachings are irrational and therefore the God who created it is as well. I challenge Con to express to the readers and myself which religion he holds to be true if any so that I can address his beliefs more specifically.


When it comes to the truth of religions, there can be only two possibilities. Either all religions are false or one religion is true. All religions cannot possibly be true because they all conflict one another (non-conflicting religions can be true as well but I find it unlikely for anyone to argue for this proposition). If God truly wanted the world to know which religion is true then why not just come out now and show it, in a time where we can actually record miracles? Christopher Hitchens logic on miracles is quite indisputable when he stated, “What is more likely? That all natural order is suspended, or that a Jewish mink should tell a lie?” If you do in fact believe you have witnessed a miracle please ask yourself what is more likely: that the natural order of the universe has been suspended in your favor, or that you have made a mistake? Either way it seems that God is taking great strides to hide himself from reputable scientists. God also seems to not care at all about a human consensus towards religions, theistic evidence, and even interpretations of scripture. It is what one would expect if you assume these holy texts to be man-made.

All miracles, stories, and myths from holy books are indoctrinated into children at an early age. If you have Christian parents, you are most likely to be a Christian if you have Hindu parents then you are most likely to be a Hindu, and so on. It seems as though one will stick to the beliefs given to them at the very early stages of their lives and hold them faithfully until death. I do not believe one will ever find the correct path to truth in this manner. Skepticism and logical inquiry is the greatest path to truth in both science and life. Rene Descartes once said: "I know how much we are prone to err in what affects us, and also how much the Judgments made by our friends should be distrusted when these Judgments [are] in our favor." If you want to truly know whether your religion is true, in an unbiased and genuine fashion then please apply the outsider test (http://wiki.ironchariots.org...) to your personal religion. This test basically asks one to question their own religious evidence with the same amount of skepticism as you apply to other religions. If any rational person does this in a sincere manner, then they should find themselves at a loss to which religion to believe. Ideally, they should ultimately become skeptical of all religious beliefs and concede that scientific evidence is our best bet.

Evolution trumps Intelligent Design

Evolution through natural selection along with abiogenesis is the best theory with predictive power which explains how life could have begun, and how species develop over time. Intelligent design is the theory that the universe was designed by an intelligent being rather than a naturalistic process such as natural selection. In any case intelligent design cannot be considered as a scientific theory (like evolution and natural selection) because it does not meet the following criterion (http://en.wikipedia.org...):

1. Consistent
2. Parsimonious (see Occam's Razor)
3. Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used in a predictive manner)
4. Empirically testable and falsifiable (potentially confirmable or disprovable by experiment or observation)
5. Based on multiple observations (often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments)
6. Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it)
7. Progressive (refines previous theories)
8. Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty)

It is impossible for anyone to disprove the proposition that God did create the universe with intelligent design. Therefore intelligent design is unfalsifiable by principle, rendering it an untestable and unscientific theory. Furthermore, if God did create all species with intelligent design than why didn’t he make them optimal beings? It seems that God supports poor design by allowing humans to choke from the same hole we breathe with. We have too many flaws in our design to have been made by a perfect all-loving God.

God Cannot be Omnipotent or Omnibenevolent in any Logical Sense

The omnipotence paradox is as follows: If a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task which this being is unable to perform; hence, this being cannot perform all actions. Yet, on the other hand, if this being cannot create a task that it is unable to perform, then there exists something it cannot do (http://en.wikipedia.org...). An example would be: Can God create a rock so massive that he cannot move it? If the answer is yes, then God is not all-powerful because he cannot move this rock. If the answer is no, then God is not all-powerful because he cannot create this rock. Either way it is not possible for God to be logically omnipotent, this means that an all-powerful God could not exist in a logical universe. One may argue that God transcends logic, but it is up to the theist to provide proof and evidence for such a wild assertion.

God cannot be omnibenevolent (all-loving, or infinitely good) as well. To put it plainly:

1) If an all-powerful and perfectly good God exists, then evil does not exist.

2) Evil exists.

3) Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good God does not exist.

You Must Believe This if you Believe in Evolution and God

If you believe in evolution then you should agree that humans have been evolving for thousands of years. Modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) have emerged around 200,000 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org...). All scientific evidence points to our evolution and to an old earth. To believe in a theistic God one must believe that for 198,000 years, humans have been living in desperate conditions. High infant mortality rates, low life expectancies, constant threat of danger from predators, barbarism, savagery, death, and suffering. For 198,000 years God watched this with indifference, and only around 2,000 years ago he decides to step in and reveal himself in the less literate part of the world. It is much more likely that all religions are equal glimpses of the untrue, as all are man-made.

The Origins of the Universe is Unknown

Theists are glad to announce and proclaim that God is the creator of the universe. However no person can actually provide any proof of this claim. If God is the creator of the universe then who created God? If one can claim that God had no creator and he is eternal, then one can say the universe is eternal as well. According to Occam’s razor (http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_razor), since the universe is much simpler than a God, then the eternal Universe explanation is more likely to be true. In reality, nobody knows the true origin of the universe and therefore we must keep our possibilities open:

1) The universe and the Big Bang could have been created by completely naturalistic causes.

2) The Big Bang could have been created by uncaused causes. Uncaused causes seem to occur all the time through spontaneous quantum phenomena such as radioactive decay (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and quantum fluctuations (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

3) The universe could have always existed.

4) God always existed, and created the universe.

Again, it is better to adopt the universe explanations as the universe is less complex then God and therefore more likely to be correct. It is up to Con to prove that (4) is more likely than all other possibilities.

Why Does God do Irrational Things?:
No compelling evidence for any God has ever been presented to this day, if there was then there would be a consensus between atheists and theists. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good then why does he constantly do irrational things, things that can be easily explained if you assumed that they are man-made. There are millions of nonbelievers and people from different religions that are good and rational people. If God's doctrines truly do benefit mankind, then why doesn't God just pop up and prove his existence to all nonbelievers and believers in the wrong faith to finally progress the human condition? Why doesn't God seem to give any notable benefits to his "true" believers? Why doesn't God heal amputees? Why doesn't God stop religious wars and controversy and grant his followers their rightful peace? Why does God allow so much suffering in our world, to even starving and innocent children? Why does gratuitous evil exist? Why does God seem to spread his truth in the irrational manner of anecdotal evidence through holy books? The best and easiest answers to these questions are either that 1) God does not exist or 2) God does not care for humans (The third option is that God does care but does not have the power to intervene in human affairs. However this option must be discarded as the definition agreed upon includes an all-powerful God). Through all the arguments explained thusfar I find it much more likely that (1) is true. I thank Con for accepting this debate and await his rebuttal.

Benshapiro

Con

Religions and God are Man-Made:

Thank you for the interesting post. To clarify my beliefs, I am a Christian. I'll be responding to your arguments in bold to avoid confusion. I've shortened some of your points for brevity but I don't believe I've skipped over anything. If I have let me know.


1) Either all religions are false or one religion is true. All religions cannot possibly be true because they all conflict one another (non-conflicting religions can be true as well but I find it unlikely for anyone to argue for this proposition).

God is love. Regardless of culture, social differences, and religion, God knows your heart and accepts you for believing in Him and acknowledging that He died on the cross for your sins. There are differences in religion that still acknowledge Jesus Christ as savior. I do not believe that entrance into heaven is limited only to Christianity, and I believe that differences in religion resonate better with people of different cultures - every believer is furthering his development and by having differences in religion it helps relate with culturally diverse people.

2) If you do in fact believe you have witnessed a miracle please ask yourself what is more likely: that the natural order of the universe has been suspended in your favor, or that you have made a mistake?

Rather than altering physics, a miracle can be being present in the right place at the right time. Many extraordinary events happen everyday.

3) God also seems to not care at all about a human consensus towards religions, theistic evidence, and even interpretations of scripture. It is what one would expect if you assume these holy texts to be man-made.

This could be to help reach people of different backgrounds and cultures with the end result of being brought closer to God.

4) "All miracles, stories, and myths from holy books are indoctrinated into children at an early age. If you have Christian parents, you are most likely to be a Christian if you have Hindu parents then you are most likely to be a Hindu, and so on... Skepticism and logical inquiry is the greatest path to truth in both science and life... Ideally, [from reviewing evidence] they should ultimately become skeptical of all religious beliefs and concede that scientific evidence is our best bet.

The same could be true of atheists, too. A wise person will apply skepticism and logical inquiry to everything they believe.

Evolution trumps Intelligent Design

Evolution through natural selection along with abiogenesis is the best theory with predictive power which explains how life could have begun, and how species develop over time. Intelligent design is the theory that the universe was designed by an intelligent being rather than a naturalistic process such as natural selection. In any case intelligent design cannot be considered as a scientific theory (like evolution and natural selection) because it does not meet the following criterion (http://en.wikipedia.org......):

1. Consistent
2. Parsimonious (see Occam's Razor)
3. Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used in a predictive manner)
4. Empirically testable and falsifiable (potentially confirmable or disprovable by experiment or observation)
5. Based on multiple observations (often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments)
6. Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it)
7. Progressive (refines previous theories)
8. Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty)

It is impossible for anyone to disprove the proposition that God did create the universe with intelligent design. Therefore intelligent design is unfalsifiable by principle, rendering it an untestable and unscientific theory. Furthermore, if God did create all species with intelligent design than why didn’t he make them optimal beings? It seems that God supports poor design by allowing humans to choke from the same hole we breathe with. We have too many flaws in our design to have been made by a perfect all-loving God.

While God cannot be scientifically proven in a controlled setting, He has left evidence for us to see - the reason He did this is so believers would have faith in Him.

God Cannot be Omnipotent or Omnibenevolent in any Logical Sense

1) The omnipotence paradox is as follows: If a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task which this being is unable to perform; hence, this being cannot perform all actions. Yet, on the other hand, if this being cannot create a task that it is unable to perform, then there exists something it cannot do (http://en.wikipedia.org......)." Can cannot create a rock so massive he cannot move it because that would contradict his omnipotence.

This is more of a semantic argument. It's like asking to draw a square circle. God cannot sin, and it would be sin to contradict Himself. He is perfect and infinitely more complex than anything conceivable by the human mind.

God cannot be omnibenevolent (all-loving, or infinitely good) as well. To put it plainly:

1) If an all-powerful and perfectly good God exists, then evil does not exist.

2) Evil exists.

3) Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good God does not exist.

Evil is not from God. Mankind fell by their own free will and thus evil entered into the world. The same way darkness is the absence of light, evil is the darkness in absence of God.

You Must Believe This if you Believe in Evolution and God

I do not believe in evolution.

The Origins of the Universe is Unknown

In reality, nobody knows the true origin of the universe and therefore we must keep our possibilities open:

1) The universe and the Big Bang could have been created by completely naturalistic causes.

2) The Big Bang could have been created by uncaused causes. Uncaused causes seem to occur all the time through spontaneous quantum phenomena such as radioactive decay (http://en.wikipedia.org......) and quantum fluctuations (http://en.wikipedia.org......).

3) The universe could have always existed.

4) God always existed, and created the universe.

Again, it is better to adopt the universe explanations as the universe is less complex then God and therefore more likely to be correct. It is up to Con to prove that (4) is more likely than all other possibilities.

4) We know that matter is not created nor destroyed. The logical explanation is that God created the matter that makes up the universe.

Why Does God do Irrational Things?:
No compelling evidence for any God has ever been presented to this day, if there was then there would be a consensus between atheists and theists. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good then why does he constantly do irrational things, things that can be easily explained if you assumed that they are man-made. There are millions of nonbelievers and people from different religions that are good and rational people. If God's doctrines truly do benefit mankind, then why doesn't God just pop up and prove his existence to all nonbelievers and believers in the wrong faith to finally progress the human condition? Why doesn't God seem to give any notable benefits to his "true" believers? Why doesn't God heal amputees? Why doesn't God stop religious wars and controversy and grant his followers their rightful peace? Why does God allow so much suffering in our world, to even starving and innocent children? Why does gratuitous evil exist? Why does God seem to spread his truth in the irrational manner of anecdotal evidence through holy books? The best and easiest answers to these questions are either that 1) God does not exist or 2) God does not care for humans (The third option is that God does care but does not have the power to intervene in human affairs. However this option must be discarded as the definition agreed upon includes an all-powerful God). Through all the arguments explained thusfar I find it much more likely that (1) is true. I thank Con for accepting this debate and await his rebuttal.

God doesn't do irrational things, humans do. Sin entered the world after mankind disobeyed God. War, human suffering, hatred... Evil of all kinds are not from God. It shows us how much we need His love. By living a life of sin, that is the result.

Reasonable evidence for God's existence: Taken from this website - I am using the arguments of John Clayton, the author of the website.
- http://www.doesgodexist.org...

"1) Hydrogen"

-Hydrogen is the base of all matter in the cosmos. Hydrogen is a non-renewable resource. The amount of hydrogen in the universe is continuously decreasing. Thefore the universe is not eternal.

"2) The universe is expanding"

- The evidence shows that the universe started in "a small/space time called a singularity". The continuous expansion of the universe suggests that it had a beginning.

"3) The second law of thermodynamics"

- The cosmos are in a constant state of increasing disorder. Stars eventually reach what is called "heat death" once the disorder disrupts the heat process. An eternal universe is impossible given there would be no energy left.

Another section for the points below: http://www.doesgodexist.org...;

1) The argument of: "intuitive design"

The natural order of the universe is incredible. The intelligence found in living organisms is masterfully made. Here is a compliation of processes where life would not be sustainable by a change in order: http://www.doesgodexist.org...

2) The argument of: "Beauty"

Beauty is something our mind appreciates without always having a useful function. Architecture is one he uses as an example.

3) The argument of: "Mathematical design"

Life is created with mathematical paramaters. The odds of every particle interacting to create the universe we live in now is astronomical.

Link to a table of Biblical accuracy: http://www.doesgodexist.org...

SOURCE:http://www.doesgodexist.org...;

Debate Round No. 2
Orangatang

Pro


Con: Thank you for the interesting post. To clarify my beliefs, I am a Christian. I'll be responding to your arguments in bold to avoid confusion. I've shortened some of your points for brevity but I don't believe I've skipped over anything. If I have let me know.


Yes, you have responded to most of my arguments but to no avail. None of your responses seem to be logically sound or backed with evidence. They are regurgitations of scriptures and Christian teachings which you give no reason to believe. You believe in the Christian scriptures and reject all others without basis. You have not met your burden of proof or shown any reason as to why God’s existence is more likely than any of the other naturalistic explanations that I have outlined. You also did not respond to Occam’s razor and how it supports my thesis that God is not likely to exist.


Con: God is love. Regardless of culture, social differences, and religion, God knows your heart and accepts you for believing in Him and acknowledging that He died on the cross for your sins. There are differences in religion that still acknowledge Jesus Christ as savior. I do not believe that entrance into heaven is limited only to Christianity, and I believe that differences in religion resonate better with people of different cultures - every believer is furthering his development and by having differences in religion it helps relate with culturally diverse people.


The idea of vicarious redemption is an evil and immoral preaching of Christianity, as it places all of the punishments from ones sins on somebody else. One must accept the consequences of their actions in all cases, putting it on a mythical man who nobody can prove is the son of God is ridiculous. If this teaching was true then I could rape whoever I want then ask Jesus for forgiveness and be ready to do it all over again. This example may seem farfetched but it seems to be statistically prevalent among priests (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Many people do not even acknowledge the fact that Jesus died on a cross, was born of a virgin, or was resurrected. There is no evidential basis to assert these claims but even if I granted them as true it would still not mean that his teachings were morally correct, that he was the son of God, or that God exists. It is much more likely that these teaching are man-made just like every other religion. You also assert that having different cultures and religions is preferable because it helps diverse people relate. What about religious wars and controversies? It is much more irrational to let people remain hostile and divided over one of the most important questions to mankind then to unify humanity and reveal indisputable proof.


Con: Rather than altering physics, a miracle can be being present in the right place at the right time. Many extraordinary events happen everyday.


I would agree that many extraordinary and improbable events occur every day. I mean what are the chances that the fly in my room is at exactly that one position that it is in? What are the chances that I sit next to exactly six distinct individuals of all possible people in the world? Point is, these probabilistic scenarios are impossibly rare but occur every single moment. They mean nothing. Improbable coincidences are too often confused with miracles. It is much more likely that human perception is fallible than the suspension of the natural order (a miracle).


Con: The same could be true of atheists, too. A wise person will apply skepticism and logical inquiry to everything they believe.


The difference is atheists do not believe things based on faith, theists do. Atheists are the skeptical ones. Theists claim to know things that are impossible for any human to know in this age and time. Theists claim to not only know that a God exists, but that they know the mind of this God, and how he wants us humans to act. The atheist does not say that God does not exist absolutely 100%, rather that there is no evidential basis to support belief in a God. Therefore, the atheist has the more likely and realistic worldview.


Con: While God cannot be scientifically proven in a controlled setting, He has left evidence for us to see - the reason He did this is so believers would have faith in Him.


Please show me and the world your indisputable evidence, why would God make it so hard for other to obtain his truth? If God was really supporting you, then why are your arguments so unpersuasive, illogical, and lacking in evidence? Because it applies, please explains your thoughts on Schellenberg’s hiddenness argument (http://en.wikipedia.org...):


1. If there is a God, he is perfectly loving.


2. If a perfectly loving God exists, reasonable nonbelief does not occur.


3. Reasonable nonbelief occurs.


4. No perfectly loving God exists.


5. Hence, there is no God.


Con (in response to the omnipotence/omnibenevolence argument): This is more of a semantic argument. It's like asking to draw a square circle. God cannot sin, and it would be sin to contradict Himself. He is perfect and infinitely more complex than anything conceivable by the human mind… Evil is not from God. Mankind fell by their own free will and thus evil entered into the world. The same way darkness is the absence of light, evil is the darkness in absence of God.


The omnipotence and omnibenevolence arguments are not semantic arguments in the slightest; they are logically sound deductions and consequences. I do not use definitions to support any of the premises or conclusions in any of the arguments. You agreed to the definition of a God that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good, and you must defend your unsupported claims. Do not be a scapegoat, when the questions get hard to defend. Humans have free will because it is evolutionarily beneficial to a species, not because God granted it to us. It is nonsensical to say that humans would not have free will if it wasn’t because some God granted it to us. It is equivalent to say that all humans would act as robots without any choices, this claim has no merit and I challenge Con to prove it without reference to scripture.


Con: I do not believe in evolution.


Why not? It passes all the criteria for a scientific theory, it has passed many rigorous experiments, and it is actually the only game in town with accurate predictive power and explanations for various features of various organisms around the world. Creationism is a joke in the scientific community as it should be. One weeks’ worth of peer-reviewed evidence/articles for evolution trumps all the peer-reviewed creationism articles ever published.


Con: We know that matter is not created nor destroyed. The logical explanation is that God created the matter that makes up the universe.


Here you make a typical logical fallacy. You say that matter cannot be created then you say it was created by God. You can’t have your cake and eat it too sir. You did not even explain why this is the most likely possibility of the four I have listed. I have given you reason to believe that the creation of a universe without a God is more likely due to Occam’s razor. You have avoided this point completely.


Con: God doesn't do irrational things, humans do. Sin entered the world after mankind disobeyed God. War, human suffering, hatred... Evil of all kinds are not from God. It shows us how much we need His love. By living a life of sin, that is the result.


Again, please give me a good reason to believe this scriptural nonsense, you do realize I am an atheist right? I require proof of such claims. I have also responded to how the Christian way of handling sin is reprehensible (vicarious redemption in a response above).


In response to the arguments you posted:


1) So what if hydrogen in the universe is decreasing? How do you know that the universe did not exist in some other form before the big bang? Why couldn’t the big bang have occurred through naturalist causes or uncaused causes?


2) I would agree that evidence shows the universe is expanding and that it has a beginning. This does not mean that God did it however, it could have been created naturally. It is more logical to assume God did not create the universe because God is more complex than the universe (Occam’s Razor). If God can be eternal than so can the universe.


3) Entropy in the universe disperses energy into different forms. I do not see how this supports the existence of a God in any way.


1) How can this universe be intuitively designed if you just agreed that stars will eventually reach a “heat death” meaning that energy would not be available for humans to live in the future. Seems like indifferent design.


2) Beauty does not support the existence of God, you could have argued for it if you like but you didn’t.


3) How do you know that other life forms cannot and do not exist in a universe with different parameters?


Con argues from ignorance in most of his claims, and I see no compelling reason to believe any of your assertions as they are not even close to the truth. Con did not meet his burden of proof. All of my arguments stand quite firm as Con’s refutations and wild claims have no compelling evidential support. The resolution stands, the existence of God is not likely, but the creation of the idea of God by man is highly likely.


Benshapiro

Con

Acceptance of Occam's razor requires us to be blind to the empirical evidence God has left behind. I will address these points in my post. To quickly quote C.S Lewis: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

The idea of vicarious redemption is an evil and immoral preaching of Christianity, as it places all of the punishments from ones sins on somebody else. One must accept the consequences of their actions in all cases, putting it on a mythical man who nobody can prove is the son of God is ridiculous. If this teaching was true then I could rape whoever I want then ask Jesus for forgiveness and be ready to do it all over again. This example may seem farfetched but it seems to be statistically prevalent among priests (http://en.wikipedia.org......). Many people do not even acknowledge the fact that Jesus died on a cross, was born of a virgin, or was resurrected. There is no evidential basis to assert these claims but even if I granted them as true it would still not mean that his teachings were morally correct, that he was the son of God, or that God exists. It is much more likely that these teaching are man-made just like every other religion. You also assert that having different cultures and religions is preferable because it helps diverse people relate. What about religious wars and controversies? It is much more irrational to let people remain hostile and divided over one of the most important questions to mankind then to unify humanity and reveal indisputable proof.

I argue that vicarious redemption is contrary to evil and immoral. It is loving and self-sacrificing. The only gain made by your sacrifice is to help someone else. God knows your heart, so if your heart is evil, then God will know. Hypocrites have existed for thousands of years, as the Bible talks about the priests who were hypocrites back then too. Wars that ignite are not always of God's will. Human error and evil in the hearts of men will prevail if they do not truly follow God.

I would agree that many extraordinary and improbable events occur every day. I mean what are the chances that the fly in my room is at exactly that one position that it is in? What are the chances that I sit next to exactly six distinct individuals of all possible people in the world? Point is, these probabilistic scenarios are impossibly rare but occur every single moment. They mean nothing. Improbable coincidences are too often confused with miracles. It is much more likely that human perception is fallible than the suspension of the natural order (a miracle).

If you consider that an all-powerful being may exist, it is impossible to discount the notion that our mind is affected by God and therefore affects our actions. If your action is affected by your conscience, and that led to saving someones life, who or what led you to act on your conscience to be in that place at that point in time?

The difference is atheists do not believe things based on faith, theists do. Atheists are the skeptical ones. Theists claim to know things that are impossible for any human to know in this age and time. Theists claim to not only know that a God exists, but that they know the mind of this God, and how he wants us humans to act. The atheist does not say that God does not exist absolutely 100%, rather that there is no evidential basis to support belief in a God. Therefore, the atheist has the more likely and realistic worldview

The beginning of your post began with the indoctrination of religion by parents to their child. The same idealogical transfer is true for atheists too regardless of thought process. Christians are people of religion who are skeptical too. Nobody can say with certainty that God does, or does not exist. However, we can believe that He is likely to exist given the empirical evidence (see bottom of post).

"1. If there is a God, he is perfectly loving.

2. If a perfectly loving God exists, reasonable nonbelief does not occur.

3. Reasonable nonbelief occurs.

4. No perfectly loving God exists.

5. Hence, there is no God."

1. God is perfectly loving, and He is also a perfect judge.
2. Nonbelief occurs, but God says that He reveals Himself to all people.
3. Therefore, rejection of God occurs despite His evidence.
4. Therefore it is possible for God to exist because He is perfect love and also perfect judgement.


"The omnipotence and omnibenevolence arguments are not semantic arguments in the slightest; they are logically sound deductions and consequences"

I still argue that it is a semantic argument. The logic behind this: If God cannot do something, he is not omnipotent. The answer is: God could not do anything that would make God non-omnipotent, because in doing so, He would not be omnipotent. I reference my example of drawing a square circle. By drawing a square circle, it is not a circle.

Humans have free will because it is evolutionarily beneficial to a species, not because God granted it to us. It is nonsensical to say that humans would not have free will if it wasn’t because some God granted it to us. It is equivalent to say that all humans would act as robots without any choices, this claim has no merit and I challenge Con to prove it without reference to scripture.

How is free will, our conscience, and our mind evolutionary beneficial to a species? Paraphrasing C.S lewis, why would we have eyes if there was no light? Why would we question Gods existence if there was no God? The question of Gods existence doesn't further the human evolutionary purpose.


Con: I do not believe in evolution.


Why not? It passes all the criteria for a scientific theory, it has passed many rigorous experiments, and it is actually the only game in town with accurate predictive power and explanations for various features of various organisms around the world. Creationism is a joke in the scientific community as it should be. One weeks’ worth of peer-reviewed evidence/articles for evolution trumps all the peer-reviewed creationism articles ever published.

Science is biased when scientific researchers become convinced of their ideology, in this case, evolution.
1. No bone evidence of missing links, despite dinosaurs pre-existing missing links.
2. No explanation for the matter that caused the big bang
3. Mutations are overwhelmingly harmful, by probabiltity, mutations enhacing species for billions of years could not have occured.
4. Morality is only decided for the purpose of furthering existence of the species, a species devoid of purpose.

Con: We know that matter is not created nor destroyed. The logical explanation is that God created the matter that makes up the universe.

Here you make a typical logical fallacy. You say that matter cannot be created then you say it was created by God. You can’t have your cake and eat it too sir. You did not even explain why this is the most likely possibility of the four I have listed. I have given you reason to believe that the creation of a universe without a God is more likely due to Occam’s razor. You have avoided this point completely.

My point is that the logical explanation is that if things cannot be created or destroyed, they must have originated from a creator.

Again, please give me a good reason to believe this scriptural nonsense, you do realize I am an atheist right? I require proof of such claims. I have also responded to how the Christian way of handling sin is reprehensible (vicarious redemption in a response above).

Evil is evident in society today without having to quote scripture. If evolution is true, then a woman who bears 5 healthy children but in doing so, requires organ extraction from 5 unhealthy children and kills them in the process, is not evil because the point is to evolve the species and that is the purpose of morality.

1) So what if hydrogen in the universe is decreasing? How do you know that the universe did not exist in some other form before the big bang? Why couldn’t the big bang have occurred through naturalist causes or uncaused causes?

I find it interesting you would assert that a foreign existence of substances, one that does not comply with the scientific evidence we have today, as an explanation of the big bang.

2) I would agree that evidence shows the universe is expanding and that it has a beginning. This does not mean that God did it however, it could have been created naturally. It is more logical to assume God did not create the universe because God is more complex than the universe (Occam’s Razor). If God can be eternal than so can the universe.

God has said in Revelations that the world we have now will end someday. The question of the beginning and ultimate end of the world poses the question: Why? What for?

3) Entropy in the universe disperses energy into different forms. I do not see how this supports the existence of a God in any way.

Because since the energy would be taken from a finite form, it would be unsustainable to have this energy last forever. It is currently this way by design.

1) How can this universe be intuitively designed if you just agreed that stars will eventually reach a “heat death” meaning that energy would not be available for humans to live in the future. Seems like indifferent design.

The end of humanity is prophecied, and was designed this way intentionally. The earth was not meant to last forever.

2) Beauty does not support the existence of God, you could have argued for it if you like but you didn’t.

Beauty exists, but some beauty serves no purpose. Like the masterful design of complex architecture for example. Why is this necessary if there is a more useful design?

3)"[argument of mathematics] How do you know that other life forms cannot and do not exist in a universe with different parameters?"

It could, but this doesn't further your case that God is unlikely to exist, since it defies mathematics.

Debate Round No. 3
Orangatang

Pro

Con: Acceptance of Occam's razor requires us to be blind to the empirical evidence God has left behind...

Please provide convincing empirical evidence of God! So far you have not, you have only asserted that your holy book is true without proving it to be true, or giving any reason to disbelieve the holy books of other religions as well.

Con: I argue that vicarious redemption is contrary to evil and immoral. It is loving and self-sacrificing. The only gain made by your sacrifice is to help someone else. God knows your heart, so if your heart is evil, then God will know...

Using Jesus as a scapegoat for your actions is reprehensible and immoral. As for the problem of evil, if God created everything and he also knows everything, then God created evil and knew he was doing it. Therefore God is not omnibenevolent as he is the source of evil, necessarily. If you believe that God did not create evil, human beings became evil due to free will, you must admit that God made these human beings, and knew that they would become evil because God is omniscient. In any case, a God that asks for worship and threatens anyone to eternal torment in hell if they don’t comply, is a God not worth serving. Any God, that helps you with your petty life but let’s innocent children suffer and die every day is not worth worship. Sources estimate that one child dies of hunger-related causes every five seconds (http://www.bread.org...).

Con: If you consider that an all-powerful being may exist, it is impossible to discount the notion that our mind is affected by God and therefore affects our actions...

Your first sentence is completely wrong; deists believe in God but do not believe he intervenes in any way, so he doesn’t affect our mind or our actions. There is no evidence that shows that God affects minds either. But let’s assume for the heck of it that he does affect people’s minds and their actions. That would mean that God causes people to commit murder and rape. Do you now see why I think your arguments are illogical?

Con: The beginning of your post began with the indoctrination of religion by parents to their child. The same idealogical transfer is true for atheists too regardless of thought process. Christians are people of religion who are skeptical too. Nobody can say with certainty that God does, or does not exist...

It is true atheists may be raised by atheist parents but the atheist worldview is more likely and therefore more realistic. I would contend that atheists come together from different religions to find truth.

Con:[God is perfectly loving argument.]

God has never revealed himself to me, or any other people that are secular. There is no compelling evidence for a God. Miracles are just stories that our uneducated, illiterate ancestors made up because they did not understand science. They did not know about atoms, they did not learn about DNA or evolution. They were highly susceptible to fallibility in their situation.

Con:I still argue that it is a semantic argument. The logic behind this: If God cannot do something, he is not omnipotent. The answer is: God could not do anything that would make God non-omnipotent, because in doing so, He would not be omnipotent. I reference my example of drawing a square circle. By drawing a square circle, it is not a circle.

Again, I will explain to the readers and Benshapiro why he is wrong in asserting my argument is a semantic one. A semantic argument revolves around a dispute which is usually about an unconventional definition that is used for a word. Con and I have already agreed to the definitions in round 1. Therefore, this argument is a logical one which Con does not want to answer. Either way if Con answers yes or no, he will have proven that God cannot be omnipotent in a logical world. His reference to drawing a square circle is not even a valid contention against my argument. Please address my argument without scapegoating, I did not ask if God could draw a square circle I asked if God could make a rock he cannot lift.

Con: How is free will, our conscience, and our mind evolutionary beneficial to a species?...

First off, free will (if it even exists) would allow us humans to choose to reproduce, which is evolutionarily beneficial. Our mind and consciousness allows us to think of different ways of solving problems, finding food and avoiding predators, all of which allow us to reproduce more. As for your light quote, there was light when species originated and when they were evolving, that is why we have eyes. Eyes are also quite beneficial to a species as you can imagine the many reasons why. You are right that the question of Gods existence doesn’t further human evolutionary purpose, but I didn’t even argue that point.

Con: Science is biased when scientific researchers become convinced of their ideology, in this case, evolution. (1-4).

Wow must be quite the conspiracy that 99.9 percent of scientists believe in evolution. There are plenty of fossil records of missing links. Once a missing link has been found for a certain time period, the theist asks to find another think between the remaining two periods, then another link, and another. It is absurd. Mutations are inherent in each one of us, and most of us I would assume are healthy human beings. Morality is best explained from an evolutionary perspective as killing each other would be harmful to our species. At this point I am going to have to ask you to cite your sources, wherever you are getting this from, it is complete and utter nonsense.

Con: My point is that the logical explanation is that if things cannot be created or destroyed, they must have originated from a creator.

By originated, don’t you mean created? If so you still are making a logical fallacy. Again, you are not clear in what you are trying to say.

Con:Evil is evident in society today without having to quote scripture. If evolution is true, then a woman who bears 5 healthy children but in doing so, requires organ extraction from 5 unhealthy children and kills them in the process, is not evil because the point is to evolve the species and that is the purpose of morality.

By making this claim I now know that you have no idea what evolution is or what its implications are. Evolution is not a moral compass itself, but it does explain why humans use morality -to increase reproductive success and benefit the species.

Con:I find it interesting you would assert that a foreign existence of substances, one that does not comply with the scientific evidence we have today, as an explanation of the big bang.

I have never asserted a foreign existence of substances nor implied it anywhere, I leave this to the fair-minded audience to decide. I said the universe could have an origin that is completely naturalistic, and it could still be eternal even if hydrogen seems to be decreasing overall.

Con: God has said in Revelations that the world we have now will end someday. The question of the beginning and ultimate end of the world poses the question: Why? What for?

I do not believe in Revelations, please show me evidence for why your holy book is the truth while every other holy book is not. You give no compelling reason for this point throughout the debate.

Con: Because since the energy would be taken from a finite form, it would be unsustainable to have this energy last forever. It is currently this way by design.

We do not even know if energy is finite or infinite, because the universe may be infinitely large and therefore it may have an infinite amount of energy. The big bang supports a finite universe however, if energy is finite then the human species will die out eventually, but I thought you said God was perfectly good. This observation of the universe again supports the resolution that God is not likely to exist.

Con: The end of humanity is prophecied, and was designed this way intentionally. The earth was not meant to last forever.

Although Con’s spelling is off, he is correct in asserting that the Bible does say this. I would agree that some things in the Bible are consistent with reality, but many are not which is why I have stated many times it is not a reliable source of truth; it is man-made in a time where man did not know enough. Here is a long list of inconsistent verses in the Bible: http://www.infidels.org...

Con: Beauty exists, but some beauty serves no purpose. Like the masterful design of complex architecture for example. Why is this necessary if there is a more useful design?

I agree, humans conceive things to be beautiful in many cases and what makes it more appreciable is that it is likely this all came to be naturally, without a divine authority.

Con: It could, but this doesn't further your case that God is unlikely to exist, since it defies mathematics.

If you agree that another universe may exist with different mathematical parameters that allow for life, then that is not enough to deny the mathematics of this universe. Please explain why this universe denies mathematics.

Con brings no compelling evidence, sources, or arguments to the table. He gives no reason to believe his holy book over others, when there are numerous inconsistencies and immoral teachings that I have pointed out in the Christian Bible (all other holy books have them too). Atheists have more evidence, more compelling arguments, and superior logic which create a more realistic worldview. Although we atheists do not say that there is no God absolutely, it must be noted that what can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. For all other questions pertaining to purpose and wisdom, it is best to consider philosophical doctrines and theories, rather than holy books. “Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astronomy takes the place of astrology” (Christopher Hitchens). The resolution therefore stands, God is not likely to exist.

Benshapiro

Con

Please provide convincing empirical evidence of God!

"1) Hydrogen"

-Hydrogen is the base of all matter in the cosmos. Hydrogen is a non-renewable resource. The amount of hydrogen in the universe is continuously decreasing. Thefore the universe is not eternal.

"2) The universe is expanding"

- The evidence shows that the universe started in "a small/space time called a singularity". The continuous expansion of the universe suggests that it had a beginning.

"3) The second law of thermodynamics"

- The cosmos are in a constant state of increasing disorder. Stars eventually reach what is called "heat death" once the disorder disrupts the heat process. An eternal universe is impossible given there would be no energy left.

Another section for the points below: http://www.doesgodexist.org......;

1) The argument of: "intuitive design"

The natural order of the universe is incredible. The intelligence found in living organisms is masterfully made. Here is a compliation of processes where life would not be sustainable by a change in order:http://www.doesgodexist.org......

2) The argument of: "Beauty"

Beauty is something our mind appreciates without always having a useful function. Architecture is one he uses as an example.

3) The argument of: "Mathematical design"

Life is created with mathematical paramaters. The odds of every particle interacting to create the universe we live in now is astronomical.

"using Jesus as a scapegoat for your actions is reprehensible and immoral."

None of us deserve God's forgiveness, but He loves us more than we can imagine.

If you believe that God did not create evil, human beings became evil due to free will, you must admit that God made these human beings, and knew that they would become evil because God is omniscient. In any case, a God that asks for worship and threatens anyone to eternal torment in hell if they don’t comply, is a God not worth serving. Any God, that helps you with your petty life but let’s innocent children suffer and die every day is not worth worship. Sources estimate that one child dies of hunger-related causes every five seconds (http://www.bread.org......).

Evil is the absence of good, or in other words, evil the opposite of God's will. He didn't create us to be robots, He created us to make our own choices. Mankind fell by turning against God and sin entered the world. God knows what will happen, but ultimately He left it up to us how we shape our destiny - a choice God left in our hands. Human suffering is not the will of God, it is evil in the heart of mankind - the absence of God by choice. The Bible says that God works in mysterious ways. The author of doesgodexist.org adopted a child at a very young age who turned out to be blind and mentally retarded. At first he was angry with God and didn't think he was ready for something so challenging, but then later realized he had a gift of relating to other parents with the same struggles and helped show Gods love to them.

"...There is no evidence that shows that God affects minds either. But let’s assume for the heck of it that he does affect people’s minds and their actions. That would mean that God causes people to commit murder and rape. Do you now see why I think your arguments are illogical?"

Why do we have that little voice in our head that helps us decipher right from wrong? God says that if you ask, He will direct you. The knowledge and wisdom of God can help influence our mind, and therefore our actions if we decide to act on them. Things such as murder and rape are not from God, it's a manifestation of impulsive, sinful, and evil thoughts.

It is true atheists may be raised by atheist parents but the atheist worldview is more likely and therefore more realistic. I would contend that atheists come together from different religions to find truth.

You are free to believe what you will, but there is empirical evidence God has left behind for us. Science is good at answering the "how" questions. Not so good at answering the "why" questions. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Why would we evolve if there was no specific purpose in life? Why does evil exist? If you assume that God exists, you would also assume He created science.

God has never revealed himself to me, or any other people that are secular. There is no compelling evidence for a God. Miracles are just stories that our uneducated, illiterate ancestors made up because they did not understand science. They did not know about atoms, they did not learn about DNA or evolution. They were highly susceptible to fallibility in their situation.

I ask that you would say a prayer to God, without anger or bias, to humbly ask Him how He has shown himself to you. Our ancestors may not have understood science, but they did experience life and humanity. If anything, the intricate, masterful design of everything in our universe has been tailored to the human experience.

semantic argument revolves around a dispute which is usually about an unconventional definition that is used for a word. Con and I have already agreed to the definitions in round 1. Therefore, this argument is a logical one which Con does not want to answer. Either way if Con answers yes or no, he will have proven that God cannot be omnipotent in a logical world. His reference to drawing a square circle is not even a valid contention against my argument. Please address my argument without scapegoating, I did not ask if God could draw a square circle I asked if God could make a rock he cannot lift.

The word I am referencing is omnipotent which means "all powerful." God could not do anything that would make God non-omnipotent, because in doing so, He would not be omnipotent. I reference my example of drawing a square circle. By drawing a square circle, it is not a circle. Omnipotence cannot be limited since the definition is "all-poweful." A square cannot be a circle because it is a square. If you draw a square circle, you must change the definition of square or circle.

"First off, free will (if it even exists) would allow us humans to choose to reproduce, which is evolutionarily beneficial. Our mind and consciousness allows us to think of different ways of solving problems, finding food and avoiding predators, all of which allow us to reproduce more. As for your light quote, there was light when species originated and when they were evolving, that is why we have eyes. Eyes are also quite beneficial to a species as you can imagine the many reasons why. You are right that the question of Gods existence doesn’t further human evolutionary purpose, but I didn’t even argue that point."

Of course free will exists, we are not controlled by anything nor are we robots. How do you separate the mind from the brain? It seems like we would not need a mind or conscious for an evolutionary purpose if our brain was able to determine the basics of danger, reproduction, and resource gathering. My point is - why would we even need to be aware of the question of whether or not God exists if it wasn't meant to be asked?

"Wow must be quite the conspiracy that 99.9 percent of scientists believe in evolution. There are plenty of fossil records of missing links. Once a missing link has been found for a certain time period, the theist asks to find another think between the remaining two periods, then another link, and another. It is absurd. Mutations are inherent in each one of us, and most of us I would assume are healthy human beings. Morality is best explained from an evolutionary perspective as killing each other would be harmful to our species. At this point I am going to have to ask you to cite your sources, wherever you are getting this from, it is complete and utter nonsense."

Science is good at answering "how" but not "why" questions - and if God created science to be the "how" then He is the answer to "why". Fossil records are not as reliable, but I am curious as to why missing links didn't leave any bone evidence behind since we can find dinosaur bones which pre-existed missing links. My point was not that mutations exists, but that they are harmful most of the time. This is an excerpt from a page I found on mutations:

'...the probability of a beneficial mutation is more like 1/1000 or one in a million, since each change is affecting so many other parts of the organism. This would probably lead to a rate of one beneficial mutation in about 10 or 20 generations, and probably many more generations would be required..." SOURCE: http://www.cs.unc.edu.... If morality is meant solely to perpetuate our species, then problems arise such as the prior example of 5 children earlier shows.

"By originated, don’t you mean created? If so you still are making a logical fallacy. Again, you are not clear in what you are trying to say. "

Yes matter originated (came from an instance of origin) which means it was created, because matter is not created or destroyed.

By making this claim I now know that you have no idea what evolution is or what its implications are. Evolution is not a moral compass itself, but it does explain why humans use morality -to increase reproductive success and benefit the species.


But earlier you said "Morality is best explained from an evolutionary perspective as killing each other would be harmful to our species. If morality is not explained through evolution, where would the explanation lie?

"I have never asserted a foreign existence of substances nor implied it anywhere..."

"...How do you know that the universe did not exist in some other form before the big bang?..."


That is where I got the implication from, my apologies if I was mistaken.

My space left is limited - but our arguments have been heard on both sides. My arguments, which are taken from John Clayton of doesgodexist.org, argue that: Mathematical parameters, beauty, and intuitive design give likely evidence of a creator. Added to this, the limited time left (based on decreasing hydrogen & entropy) and beginning of our earth (expansion) begs the question: why?


Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Benshapiro 3 years ago
Benshapiro
And i'd like to thank you for your consideration and having this engaging debate with me. God bless
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
Although I forgot to thank Benshaprio in my final round, I would like to do so here. Benshapiro represented his honest and general arguments on the subject which I find to be a fine justification (regardless of how much I think he is wrong). Thanks Benshapiro for the worth-while debate, and thank you for your polite mannerisms and professionalism throughout.
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
Well no respectful atheists believes that garbage. We believe it is likely that the universe could have been created through completely naturalistic causes. Or that the naturalistic universe, always existed. Nobody knows for sure, they are just possibilities which are more likely than the God creation theory.
Posted by MilkyChocolate 3 years ago
MilkyChocolate
My religion is bashing pseudo-intellectuals and I'm quite proud of it. How am I trolling? I am just stating the obvious.
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
Ugh please stop trolling, atheism is just the rational disbelief of the claims of any God(s). Merriam Webster defines it as: a disbelief in the existence of a deity. This is the minimal thing all individuals must believe to be considered an atheist. Please tell me what exactly your religion is, so that I may respond to it specifically.
Posted by MilkyChocolate 3 years ago
MilkyChocolate
Atheism: the belief that a bunch of atoms of the same element created 4 other types of atoms out of sheer darkness while still claiming that "for every action there is a reaction", even though they claim that something came out of nothing and calling the Creationist theory, which is pretty similar a "myth".

Derp.
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
Why believe anything off faith? Faith is the excuse people give when they have no good reasons, it is irrational. I base all my beliefs on pragmatic evidence and relative certainty. If God did exist then why not give humans a consensus to which religious doctrine is the correct one, to progress the human condition? Why are God's holy books so evidently man-made? I am not here to debate you OZ but perhaps I will after this debate.
Posted by O.Z 3 years ago
O.Z
Well of course he most likely doesn't exist. That's why it's so important to people who believe in Him! Above all, God states that Faith is at the top of his list, and to keep it real in our hearts, even if someone shows that they my be wrong. It is simply another test.
Posted by O.Z 3 years ago
O.Z
Well of course he most likely doesn't exist. That's why it's so important to people who believe in Him! Above all, God states that Faith is at the top of his list, and to keep it real in our hearts, even if someone shows that they my be wrong. It is simply another test.
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
@Ragnar Yea shoud've used both definitions from the oxford dictionary, I just don't want to lose through definitions or semantic tricks.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thp078 3 years ago
thp078
OrangatangBenshapiroTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were beyond crap. He did not counter any of pro's arguments nor did he give any convincing arguments in support of his side. Pro also had more reliable sources.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
OrangatangBenshapiroTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate got REALLY scattered due to both sides just quoting each other and then presenting their counter arguments rather than making their arguments in a more concise manner. Nonetheless, I find this a pretty clear Pro win. Despite the sketchy burden of proof situation (Theists usually have BOP, but the Atheist here is Pro who also generally holds the BOP), I find it really hard to negate without some compelling arguments for Gods existence and I just didnt have them. Of the six explicit arguments Con made none were fleshed out, the first three were not arguments for God but rather arguments that the Universe is not eternal (likely to support the second premise of a well known actual Theist argument), the next three were mere skeletons of arguments that didnt really move the Con case in any meaningful way. Pro on the other hand presented a great deal of arguments (if problematic), and while a lot of them were lost by R4 I felt he won on pretty much every issue by a large margin.