God Probably Exists
UnhookedSchnook challenged me to this debate, and I'm sure it will be a truly fascinating discussion on this relevant issue - does God exist? As it is my favorite topic, I am happy to take on this challenge from my distinguished opponent. I'm sure it will be a stellar discourse, and hope we have fun.
Voters must have at least 2,500 ELO to vote on this debate. Debaters have 72 hours to post their arguments, with 4 rounds, and 10,000 characters per round.
God probably exists.
All terms and definitions are influenced by or excerpted from the American Heritage Dictionary, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Oxford Dictionary.
God - the all-powerful creator and ruler of the universe
Probably - 'is likely to happen or be true'
Exist - 'have objective reality or being'
1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or deconstruction semantics
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution)
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
8. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9. The BOP is shared
10. The first round is for acceptance only
11. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss
R2. Pro's Case, Con's Case
R3. Pro rebuts Con's Case, Con rebuts Pro's Case
R4. Pro defends Pro's Case, Con defends Con's Case
R5. Pro rebuts Con's Case, Con rebuts Pro's Case, both Summarize
...again to UnhookedSchnook; I look forward to an engaging discourse!
I too love this topic. Unfortunately hardly anyone ever changes their mind about this topic. Thank you for challenging me and I wish you the best of luck.
P.S. Thank god (intended) you included those definitions, I cant tell you how many times people say that my points are off because they don't agree with the definitions given by a dictionary.
I will post my argument in this round, and rebut Con’s argument in the next. I am playing Devil’s advocate in this debate.
I will be using multiple logic symbols in this debate which will be useful for me to demonstrate modal expressions. This acts as a key for all the logic symbols I use.
<> ‘possibly; is logically possible that’
 ‘necessarily; is not logically possible that not that’
p-->q ‘if p, then q’
G the proposition ‘God exists’
C1) Modal ontological argument
I shall be using the modal ontological argument, an ontological argument predicated on the nature of modality, for God’s existence. The definition of God here is one with all properties mentioned, along with the property of necessary existence, i.e. where G → G. The argument phrased in modus ponens form:
a) If God exists in one possible world, God exists in all possible worlds
b) God exists in one possible world
C: Therefore, God exists in all possible worlds
a) God is Necessary
The premise: “If God exists in one possible world, then God exists.” We must first understand what a ‘possible world’ is. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains, “[T]hings, as a whole, needn't have been just as they are. Rather, things might have been different in countless ways, both trivial and profound. In any case, no matter how things had gone they would still have been part of a single, maximally inclusive, all-encompassing situation, a single world. … Intuitively, then, the actual world … is just one among many possible worlds.” 
From this, we can conclude that there are multiple situations that described how the world could have been, and each situation depicts one among infinite possible worlds. There are also situations that the world can’t have ‘been’ as such, since they would entail contradictions. But if <>p, then we can conclude that p exists in at least one possible world .
Now, if p existed in all possible worlds, then p, meaning ~<>~p. Now, take the proposition G, i.e. the proposition ‘God exists’. With the law of the excluded middle, one can reasonably assert that either G or ~G .
Becker’s postulate also concludes that ~G → ~G . Since God is defined as “necessary being”, if God does not have necessary existence, he necessarily does not exist. If something is “necessary”, then it is true in all possible worlds. But since God’s existence remains possible, it is true in some possible world, which means God doesn’t necessarily not exist, which, from Becker’s postulate and modus tollens, allows us to conclude that if God exists in at least one possible world, God is necessary.
b) Possibility of God
Premise two is defended from Sankara’s dictum , which states that if p can be perceived, then <>p. If p is considered ‘possible’, then it does not entail a logical contradiction, i.e. is logically possible. When p does entail a logical contradiction, when the contradiction is realized, p cannot be perceived, due to Russell and Whitehead 1910’s proposition that if q and p is an unproved proposition that contradicts q, then ~p, referred to as the Law of Non-Contradiction . The link here is that God can be perceived, and entails no contradiction. Therefore, God is logically possible.
The conclusion entails from the premises from modus ponens.
C2) Argument from idealism
I shall be defending the position that there is a consciousness that grounds reality--therefore, there is a being that grounds reality and rules it, thus acting as its creator. Since reality defines ‘power’, and the being exercises control over reality, that being is ‘all powerful’. Therefore, it fits the definition of God. If reality is mental, then a mind controls it by definition, thus I shall affirm that reality itself is a mental product.
a) The mind is not physical, and is mental
b) If X is mental, it cannot interact with something which is not mental
C1: Minds cannot interact with anything non-mental
c) The mind interacts with reality
C2: Therefore, reality is mental, and requires a mind to ground it
a) Minds are Mental
First, it is known that the ‘mind’ is something that exists. As Descartes put it, “Cogito ergo sum” , or “I think; therefore, I exist.” To doubt the existence of the mind itself requires a mind. With this, I shall affirm that a mind is not physical. If a mind is physical, then metaphysical solipsism is logically impossible, i.e. exists in no possible world, thus is necessarily untrue. Metaphysical solipsism is the position that the mind is all that exists . If the mind is made of matter or energy, then it is impossible for the mind to exist apart from it, which it would under solipsism.
Is solipsism metaphysically possible? A proposition p is metaphysically possible iff it entails no logical contradiction. From Sankara’s dictum, something is metaphysically possible if: (1) it is not prima facie impossible, and (2) it is conceivable and can be perceived . Consider this diagram I borrowed from Zmikecuber:
Therefore, minds are neither matter nor energy, meaning they are ‘mental’, and physicalism or materialism is false.
b) Interaction With the Physical
If q is mental, then q cannot interact with y if y is ‘physical’. Interaction between q and y assumes that dualism is true, therefore I shall refute dualism to affirm this premise. Under substance dualism, the mental and the physical are different, and the mind does not interact with reality. But consider the ability to make a choice--this refutes substance dualism.
Now, move on to property dualism, which holds that while mind and reality are separate, they can interact with each other, because the mind is a property of a physical. The problem is, this runs into non-cognitivism. If the mind is a property of the physical, it only acts as a relational attribute, therefore cannot exist independently--the mind as property of the physical means the mind is to the physical as ‘40lbs’ is to a rabbit that weighs that much. But solipsism is possible, so the mind is not a relational attribute.
c) Interaction With Reality
The mind does interact with reality. When I make a choice to touch something that is actually real, the mind tells me to touch it, thus the mind interacts with reality. Additionally, I can feel pain due to physical effects.
The conclusion entails. There is a mind that grounds reality--an all-powerful spirit that is the creator and ruler of the universe.
6. Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead. Principia Mathematica, 116-117. Cambridge: 1910.
I will split my argument up into two main sections. The first section being "why is there religion?" and the second, "why is atheism more probable than god?".
So, why is there religion?
Many people, rightly so, ask themselves "What created the physical processes that allow life to exist? How were matter and energy created?" The answer to both of these claims are, we do not yet know. Now, when someone does not know the answer to something they care about they will search for the answer. However, we human beings are not currently developed enough to be able to answer this question. We must not come up with an instinctual response and say, "oh, a greater power must have done it". No matter how much you believe that it does not make it true.
Side Note" I always wanted to ask someone who believes in religion, what created god, why was he around at the time of creation?
It was also created to keep the masses happy and provide the monarchy with greater power. For all those people that lived long ago and had a very low quality of life what is the point of living it, why not overthrow the monarchy and live a better life? Well because the bible would forbid that, what a coincidence. For example look at the "divine right of kings", it was created by a king and it basically says that the monarchy is the closest person to god, a sin against a king/queen is a sin against god.
Taking this into account we see that religion was created to sooth the mind of the many lower class citizens. At the moment neither atheism nor religion can be proved, so it seems smartest to take the most probable explanation.
Why is atheism more probable than god? / Why is god less probable than atheism?:
Despite the endless facts and proof that is provided to us many still believe in a religion. Have you ever prayed? If not try this prayer, I have not yet seen it work and maybe there is a reason for that"
"Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen."
Will it work? No, of course not. But strangely enough passage after passage Jesus says praying will work, so in this instance, and every instance, why doesn"t it?
Think about DNA for a second" No one encodes DNA, instead it was encoded by a process of natural selection acting upon random mutations. Millions of scientists have proved that this is true, furthermore, look at this letter that thousands of clergy men signed to show that they believe in this scientific evidence (https://en.wikipedia.org...). The odds of DNA forming are very high if you consider the huge number of evolutionary reiterations possible under huge number of environmental stressors. We were not created in god"s image by god, we were created as living creatures by the formation of DNA.
We know that there are many different religions to choose from and we also know that in multiple "bibles" we are told that it is a sin to believe in a different god. It is also seen that Christianity and many other religions have derived from pagan gods. Does that not make pagan gods more likely to be true than the Christianity god (as there has been less room for human error when it comes to numerous interpretations)?( https://en.wikipedia.org...)
Christianity: 2.1 billion
Islam: 1.3 billion
Hinduism: 900 million
Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
Buddhism: 376 million
African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
Sikhism: 23 million
Juche: 19 million
Spiritism: 15 million
Judaism: 14 million
Baha'i: 7 million
Jainism: 4.2 million
Shinto: 4 million
Cao Dai: 4 million
Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
Tenrikyo: 2 million
Neo-Paganism: 1 million
Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
Scientology: 500 thousand
Many people believe that religion is great for society. Look at the social dysfunction that religion causes. Whether it be the cause of 7% of the world"s major wars (http://www.catholic.com...) or the many people that die each year because they refuse lifesaving medical treatment. Sure it does collect money for the needy and provide a set of moral values. However, look how much money the Catholic Church is worth, those magnificent buildings don"t build themselves. Also, other than those people who are completely insane, who does not have any moral values, read the bible and then become valued contributors to society. Finally, the USA is one of the greatest believers in religion, but, for a first world country, they have one of the greatest problems with issues such as: homicide, juvenile, early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion (the bible condones most if not all).
For the record:
I have numerous pieces of evidence but have only gone into these few. I will also briefly touch on this one to conclude as I like how the bible contains numerous pieces of hypocrisy. "Thou shall not kill" said by the lord almighty in one of his ten commandments. But what about these parts of the bible: Deut 21:18-21, Leviticus 20:13, Exodus 35:2 ect"
Also, on another side note, I would appreciate if my opponent would not use items from his key as I find that it confuses the argument.
Divine right of kings: https://en.wikipedia.org...
Have a look at this: http://www.dailysquib.co.uk...
== Rebuttal ==
: This doesn't link. Religion is irrelevant to God as defined -- while religions often *do* cling to a concept of God, that does *not* necessarily mean that religion is a result of God as defined here. I'm arguing nothing of that sort, so this is merely a straw-man of my position.
(1) First, Pro's argument is a defense. A “defense” is an argument that does not provide a reason to vote for one's own side, and rather mitigates the opponent's side. Per the Voting Guide, voters shouldn't vote on defenses anyway. Pro merely uses a red herring, saying “what created the universe?” is a common justification for God's existence. But it is *not* my justification, therefore voters can entirely discredit Part 1. Additionally, the “what created God?” question fails to negate, because it *assumes* the Principle of Sufficient Reason.  While religion could have been created as an explanation for this, it, nonetheless, is irrelevant to my stance.
(2) Once more, this *absolutely fails to link.* Even if religion was created to please the masses, which is a *bare assertion,* it completely fails to show how God does not exist. I'm not asserting that God created religion, so the argument just fails to negate at all. Additionally, voters can discredit this because it is a bare assertion, therefore is unjustified. Pro establishes a false dichotomy between atheism and religion. I am *not,* as I have previously mentioned, advocating for “religion.” In the debate, I'm debating in favor of *theism,* not religion. “Belief in God” is not synonymous with “religion.” Additionally, Pro asserts that neither of our positions can be proven -- but my arguments have *necessitated* God, therefore I have shown that God exists.
: This argument fails for three reasons -- it doesn't link at all, it is a defense, and I am *not* supporting “religion,” so this commits a red herring fallacy , and is a straw man of my position. 
(1) Once more, this is a red herring. God is *not defined* as a being that “answers prayers,” nor am I advocating for a God of the Bible. This doesn't link to the resolution at all, so the prayer argument can be discredit, because (a) God is merely the “creator and ruler of the universe,” *not* one that answers prayers, and (b) this isn't any religious interpretation of God, merely a *generic* one. Extend OV from (R1).
(2) The DNA argument does not link. God is not defined as the “creator of life,” therefore evolution *does not* hinder God's existence in any way. Evolution is a fact, and is undeniable.  Additionally, this is also a defensive argument, i.e. it only tries to mitigate my side, instead of showing that God likely does not exist, or providing any reason for voters to vote Con. This fails to negate because it does not link, and is a defense.
(3) This does not impact God's existence in any way. Extend OV from (R1) -- I am arguing for a *generic God,* not a God of any religion. Religion is irrelevant to the God mentioned here. The differentiation in religion is a defense, and *does not refute God's existence directly.*
== Summary ==
Con's arguments do not show that God does not exist. Con *concedes* there is no evidence for atheism, which is a key concession, and ensures that Con is unable to fulfill their BoP. Con presents two straw-man arguments that do not link to the resolution, or to “God” as defined, and only target religion. The majority of Con's arguments are defenses as well. Therefore, voters can presume Con.
== Sources ==
C1) Modal ontological argument
This argument is a nonsense. In its entirety it basically says "if god exists, he exists." Well, that is the question. Furthermore, I exist in one possible world, I don"t necessarily exist in all other worlds. There is no evidence to say that there are more than one world, there is also no evidence to say if you exist in one world you exist in all worlds.
C2) Argument from idealism
First of all what even is this argument? You are saying that we are in a dream in which we interact with the physical world, therefore god is true. "To doubt the existence of the mind itself requires a mind. With this, I shall affirm that a mind is not physical." This is two sentences from your argument. You use these true statements as evidence, but using these statements as evidence does not prove your argument. This argument is as stupid as me saying "The laws of physics are based around what we discover, therefore we are gods." What a load of nonsense, right? "Therefore, minds are neither matter nor energy, meaning they are "mental"" Well your evidence is not really supporting this claim and if the mind is not matter nor energy, then it is mental you say? This is not a multiple choice question, there are many there possibilities. Additionally, this is a problem that we still ask ourselves today (how do we think?), your evidence is nonsensical and argument is not supported by saying this. Even later in your argument you say that we are interacting with reality. What is your point, are you teaching us basic neurology? When you make a decision your brain is telling your body to interact with the world around you. That is a known, is it not?
Thank you for your argument and I am looking ford to seeing your defenses. I mean no offence when I make these points but truly believe that these arguments you made are pointless.
C1) Modal ontological argument
Pro first accuses me of begging the question. This is unfounded, since I said that if it is possible that God exists, then God exists. I don't see how that is question begging, and Pro has failed to justify that assertion. Additionally, Pro *strawmans* my argument. I said if it is possible that *God* exists, then God exists. This doesn't mean if anything is possible, it exists necessarily.
The argument requires ‘God’ to be defined with a property of being ‘necessary’. I'm just adding to God's definition. X is considered "necessary" if it exists in all possible worlds. I explained what a possible world is -- if X, then it is impossible for X to *not* exist. Now, since God is defined as being necessary by this argument, if God is not necessary, then God *necessarily* does not exist. This is explained in the following axiom:
~G --> ~G
Now, let us analyze this axiom deductively, by using the following argument:
1) If God does not exist in all possible worlds, then God does not exist in any possible world
2) God exists in some possible worlds
3) Therefore, God exists in all possible worlds (1,2 modus tollens)
From this, we can infer that if is possible that God exists, then, necessarily, God exists. This argument is unscathd.
C2) Argument from idealism
Pro strawmans my argument against physicalism by taking the sentences out of context. The justification for the mind not being physical is *not* the ‘doubt’ argument. I gave an entirely separate justification, showing that if solipsism (the idea that the world is imaginary) is logically possible, then physicalism is false. Then, I refuted dualism. Pro *drops* both of these, and drops my links showing they entail God, just using random and false analogies that justify nothing.
“What is the point?”
The point is, if physicalism and dualism are false, what is mental can only interact with something else mental, meaning reality is grounded by a mind. If there is a mind that grounds reality, then it is omnipotent, and the efficient cause and controller of the universe.
Thus, I affirm.
I will, once again, put your headings above each of by differences. I will also have the Oxford definition of god below, which pretty much discredits all of your rebuttals.
"The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods"
This in no way is a difference, it is just merely saying that we can not yet prove either right. You mention that you are not arguing that god created the universe, well then what does it matter he exists? if he did not give us life what did he give us?Another problem with this refute is we are using the Oxford Dictionary definitions, however you use the opposite of what you say here in your refute in R2,1 and the definition you provided at the start of the debate. Also how does the 'what created god?' fail in any sense, i wanted you to answer that question but you claim that it does not relate to your argument. It does not matter if it was not relevant to your argument anyway, as this is my argument.
This argument does not fail in any sense. There is proof, which i mentioned within my argument, to show that god was to please the masses and make the monarchy more powerful. I do realize this does not disprove god, it just makes him less probable, as he has been exploited and done nothing about it. One quote from your refute is “Belief in God” is not synonymous with “religion.” Well under your rules we are to use definitions from the Oxford dictionary, and as seen above it pretty much destroys your argument right there as religion is the belief in god. If you say you believe in god, like you have, then you are religious. You in no way at all have proven god exists in your argument, like you claim. You have merely shown the lack of comprehension that religious many people behold. I say neither can be proven at the moment and that is true, as neither have been proven.
What a joke of a refute. I used the bible in many of my arguments as the people who believe in the bible are religious and believe in god. Many other religions have an equivalent of the bible that say similar things. The majority of the people who are religious believe in a book that is, or is similar to, the bible. As we are using the Oxford dictionary you told me that you believe in god, thus you are religious. Most of the religious people believe in a book similar or equal to the bible. I don't know, nor do i care what you believe in i am arguing against what the majority of people believe in. You can not pick and choose your beliefs to suit your argument. Did you expect me to argue against your beliefs even though you did not identify what they were. So my argument of how prayers don't work still exists.
Since the title of the debate is 'God Probably Exists' did it occur to you that i am proving that go is less probable as there is very little proven evidence to prove either side of the argument. Furthermore, it is the problem of your obscure beliefs once again. A lot of religious people (believers in god) use DNA as an argument for god, here is an example, "DNA is information. The amount of information encapsulated in a single strand of human DNA would fill 400 volumes the size of an Encyclopedia Britanica, and this information contains an exact blueprint for creating a human being. This information did not write itself. The creation of information requires intelligence. The creation of an encyclopedia requires an author - a creator. God is the creator of the information in DNA." Well you and i just agreed that that is incorrect and that is another proof that the common god is less probable.
Once again your uncommon belief that i was not made aware of comes up again. Well you said it yourself "not a God of any religion", well using the definitions that you wanted us to this is basically saying 'not a god of any beliefs in god' meaning that your god is one tat no one believes in. Well you believe in that god making this refute and your claim incorrect.
I don't know where your refute to part 4 is. I don't think you even wrote one.
I am sorry if i come across as rude but your argument and refute is ridiculous. If you were to win this debate it would have to be from bias voters or my English mistakes.
Con is arguing against a God of religion. But that absolutely does not link to the resolution. The definition provided in R1 is that God is a “creator and ruler of the universe.” Con, under a shared BoP, needs to disprove *this* God. Instead, Con is arguing against religion.
1) God did not ‘give us’ anything. God just created the *universe*, and not all life. Additionally, I don’t see how this argument refutes God -- it is a defensive argument, and mitigates my case, albeit I never presented this argument. Therefore, the argument fails. God needn’t have been created by anything -- the question assumes the Principle of Sufficient Reason, as already mentioned, which is yet to be justified. The refutation is *dropped* by Con.
2) As mentioned, the entire argument (a) does not link, and (b) is an unjustified bare assertion. Religion and this generic God are completely *irrelevant* to each other.
3) Praying won’t work, since this God does not answer ‘prayers’. As mentioned, I am arguing for a generic God, not a specific God of theism, etc. This deistic creator and ruler of the universe does not answer prayers, so this argument does not link either.
4) I concede this *entire* argument, but it fails to make God improbable. God created the universe, and not all life. Con asserts this argument makes God improbable, but this is a bare assertion.
5) Religion remains irrelevant. Con is arguing against a personal, theistic, religious God, while the definition mandates I argue for a more generic ‘God’. Per Rule 7, Con accepts all definitions, but Con is adding new resolutional definitions. This violation is enough to merit a loss.
6) I already mentioned that Part 4 fails because it, once more, is against religion and not God. This argument is entirely dropped.
Basically, Con’s case is one against religion, and is made of non-linking defenses. My case is unscathed since Con frequently straw mans my positions, et cetera. Therefore, I have justified a generic God and Con has failed to uphold their position under a shared BoP.
This is just stupidity. In both your argument and your defenses you stick to this point. I hope that I am not the only one who sees this as a joke. There is no proof that god exists so he does not necessarily exist. In fact it is more probable that he does not exist as can bee seen in my arguments.
"1) If God does not exist in all possible worlds, then God does not exist in any possible world
2) God exists in some possible worlds
3) Therefore, God exists in all possible worlds (1,2 modus tollens)"
Well there is no proof to say he exists in some possible world let alone there are other possible worlds. These arguments and points you make never cease to make me laugh. Time and time again you pick and choose parts of god that suit your argument, you lose all intelligence and make these senseless point that have no proof.
Did I 'Straw man' everything you say? Well I disagree with all of those 'Straw man' claims. This is not a matter of multiple choice. There are more possibilities than you have given. Such as reality exists on its own basis. Why would a mind need to ground reality? That is just philosophy without any intelligence or proof behind it.
Thus, you affirm. You affirm that your points are nothing but false. You affirm that your refutes are meaningless. You affirm that you are incorrect.
tejretics is great at sticking with the program when it comes to arguing pro god. He maintains, like most of his piers, the hypocrisy and unintelligent points. The hypocrisy when it comes to using the definitions from the Oxford dictionary, and the senseless point when it comes to his argument, refutes, defenses and the second refutes.
Thus I affirm.