The Instigator
Robert.Aklyd
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MrJosh
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

God Probably Exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MrJosh
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 491 times Debate No: 54535
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

Robert.Aklyd

Pro

I have asked MrJosh to have a second debate on this topic. I haven"t been on this website much lately, but I have come across some points on which I would like the perspective of an Atheist, and I don"t know any in real life, so here we are.

I am going to argue that God probably exists, MrJosh, if he accepts (which he has already agreed to by private message) will be arguing that God probably does not exist. The debate will be four rounds: 1 is for acceptance, 2 for arguments, 3 for rebuttals, and four for conclusions and the wrapping up of loose ends.
MrJosh

Con


I would like to thank PRO for setting up this debate. I was planning on taking a break from DDO, but since the semester is just about done, I’d be happy to have a go at this debate. Just to clarify, I will be arguing that “God probably does not exist,” and the burden of proof is shared. I’m fine with this.


I have one point for clarification; are we talking about a specific God (as is suggested by your use of a capital “G” in “God”), or are we discussing the concept about gods in general?


Debate Round No. 1
Robert.Aklyd

Pro

I would like to thank MrJosh for accepting this debate. For purposes of clarification, we are talking about the Christian God, the God of the Bible.

My main argument is as follows:
The science of the big bang tells us that our universe had a beginning at some point in the past. We also know from the law of causation that this beginning had to have some kind of cause. Now, simple reasoning tells us that this cause must be outside of our universe, since both time and space were created with the big bang. Therefore, there must be an active agent of some sort outside of our normal experience; that active agent is God.

I look forward to your comments.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://www.hawking.org.uk...
MrJosh

Con

I thank PRO for his comments. Per PRO’s directions in R1, I will not be addressing his argument until Round 3. I will use this round to outline my own arguments in support of my claim that “God probably doesn’t exist.”

PRO clarified that we are speaking of the Christian God, but I still find this to be a bit broad. There can be no doubt that the God of the Catholics is vastly different from the God of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in between those two, there are numerous different God concepts with subtler differences. Any further clarification PRO can give would be helpful.

I will use this round to forward three ideas which support my claim. Those three arguments are Unintelligent Design, Occam’s Razor, and the hell dilemma.

Unintelligent Design

The Christian Bible is very clear that God created all things [1][2], including humans [3][4]. This God then noted that, according to his own standards, the creation was “good” [5]. There can be no doubt, that, according to the bible, God, the creator of all, thought his creation was good. Two more points I want to make are that God loves humans [6], and that he can do anything [7]. To sum up, God loves us, he created us, and he can do anything. Therefore, we should expect that we have bodies that are free from gross problems.

Unfortunately for us, this is not the case. We have a pharynx [8], a tube used for both eating and breathing, which ensures some of us will choke to death. Our breathing reflex is controlled, not by low oxygen levels, but by high carbon dioxide levels [9], which can cause oxygen deprivation at high altitudes unless an individual consciously increases their respirations. Our eyes are built backwards, with light having to travel through nerves and blood vessels before it hits the receptor cells [10]. Other issues with the human body are that our sinuses drain against gravity [11], our appendixes are more trouble than they are worth [12], we cannot synthesize vitamin C, like most of the rest of the animal kingdom [13], and the existence of extra parts, such as the plantaris muscle [14].

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor basically states that when deciding between competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions is generally preferable [15]. For instance, let’s say you are sick, and you choose to do two things: take medicine, and pray. A week later, you are better. To what should you attribute your recovery? If you attribute your health to the medicine, you need only assume that the clinical trials for your medicine are accurate, but if you claim that God healed you, you have to assume that 1) God exists; 2) the God that exists is the kind of God that answers prayers; and 3) your recovery fit in with that God’s divine plan, or God saw fit to amend his plan for you. To attribute your newfound health to a deity obviously violates the razor.

Extending the razor to the existence of gods, we need only realize that positing a god doesn’t have any explanatory value. If we don’t know the origin of the universe, and posit a god, we still have the same amount of unknowns (the origin of the universe vs. the origin of the god), but we have added an assumption. This is a violation of the razor .

The Hell Dilemma

I hesitate to use this argument because I don’t feel we have adequately defined the God about which we are discussing. However, even if this argument doesn’t apply, I would still like to get it out there to see what other think about it. This argument basically says that the existence of hell violates the Christian God’s justice.

The Christian God is claimed to be just [16][17]. Many Christians hold to a literal hell, consisting of literal fire, resulting in torture forever [18]. However, this is in direct conflict with the justice of the Christian God. Justice is about doling out a punishment that fits the crime [19], so there is no finite crime that can justify an infinite torture. Therefore, either God is not just, or he isn’t the kind of deity that would have a hell; either way, the specific God of the bible that is both created a hell and is just cannot exist.

Wrapping Up

I have shown that the God of the bible is unlikely to exist by demonstrating incompetant design, showing that he has no explanatory power and therefore should be discarded, and y showing that his alleged justice is contradicted by his creation of a hell. I look forward to both PRO's comments on my points as well as my opporunity to rebutt his points in the next round.

Sources

[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[3] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[4] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[5] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[6] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[7] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[8] http://www.britannica.com...
[9] http://www.unm.edu...
[10] http://www.bartleby.com...
[11]Applegate, Edith. 2013. The sectional anatomy learning system: concepts and applications. Elsevier Health Sciences, St. Louis, MO: p. 143
[12] http://www.webmd.com...
[13] http://www.nature.com...
[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[15] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[16] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[17] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[18] http://www.newadvent.org...
[19] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Robert.Aklyd

Pro

Thank you for you comments this past round.

First of all, God judged his creation to be good immediately after he created it; before we sinned. Our own imperfections entered into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, and we inherited their imperfections, including the examples you stated. This is not the result of "unintelligent design," but rather the result of our own disobedience.

Occam's Razor is simply a guide; it does not claim that the simplest explanation is correct, it states that you should start with the simplest explanation that actually explains. Scientists can't explain the origins of the universe, but God can, so the God hypothesis has more explanatory power, and Occam's Razor doesn't apply.

Regarding hell, God doesn't send anyone to hell; we send ourselves to hell through our own sins. The bible is very clear that God loves us and that he offered us a lifeline in the form of Jesus Christ. Therefore your claim about hell is invalid.

http://www.biblegateway.com...

I look forward to your comments.
MrJosh

Con

I would like to thank PRO for his comments this past round, I will first address PRO’s main argument, and then his discussion of my own arguments.

I take issue with just about every point in PRO’s main argument. I ask that PRO correct me if I misrepresent him; I just want to lay it out a little differently to make it simpler to address. As I see it, PRO’s argument is:

The universe had a beginning;
That beginning must have had a cause;
That cause must be outside of space and time;
That cause must be an “active agent;”
Therefore, the Christian God exists.

The Universe Had a Beginning

This is a claim which is not supported by evidence. PRO’s own source notes that at the moment of the big bang, “all matter in the universe was contained in a single point” [1]. This doesn’t address the beginning of the universe, it addresses the moment the universe began to take the shape it presently has. The concept of the big bang doesn’t address where the stuff that “banged” came from; therefore, it is not a true discussion of the beginning of the universe. In fact, this whole argument fails because unless you can demonstrate that there was a beginning, there is no need for a first cause.

That Cause Must Be Outside of Space and Time

While I agree that space and time (as we know them) came to be at the big bang, there has been no demonstration that anything can exist outside of space and time. In fact, the whole concept of causation requires time in order for one thing to occur after the other [2]. Basically, without time for stuff to occur in, one thing cannot happen as a result of (after) another.

That Cause Must Be an “Active Agent”

This is a claim that must be demonstrated. If there was a cause, why couldn’t it be some natural cause of which we are ignorant? There is no connection between the alleged cause and the necessity for it to be an “active agent.” This is a fallacy known as a non sequitur [3].

Therefore, the Christian God Exists

I did take a small amount of liberty here, because PRO didn’t claim the Christian God in his argument, however, he did claim the Christian God when asked to be more specific. However, this differentiation is largely irrelevant; I include it only to make a more obvious distinction. Similar to the previous section, if we assume an “active agent,” there is no reason to assume that active agent to be a god, or even more so, the Christian God. This again is a non sequitur [3].

PRO’s Overall Argument

Not only has PRO’s first premise failed by being an unsupported claim, his 3rd, 4th, and 5th premises fail. Therefore, we need not address this argument any longer.

Counter Rebuttal-Unintelligent Design

PRO tried to counter my argument about unintelligent design with a claim that the imperfections we see in our bodies are the result of our sin. Not only is this claim unsupported, it lacks a mechanism. How does violating a god’s rules cause the pharynx to come into existence? It also doesn’t address the various examples of unintelligent design found in nature, outside of the human body [4]. PRO’s claim lacks explanatory power; it creates more questions than it answers.

Counter Rebuttal-Occam’s Razor

Here, PRO made the mistake of stating that claiming a god explains something. Even if we assume a god, we are not closer to understanding the HOW than we were before we made that assumption; all we have determined is the WHO. As I pointed out in my original argument, assuming a god needlessly increases the amount of assumptions, while not increasing the explanatory power, therefore it is a violation of Occam’s razor.

Counter Rebuttal-The Hell Dilemma

PRO failed to address my point that the infinite punishment of hell is just when compared to any possible finite crime. What PRO did was sidestep the whole issue and claim that God doesn’t send us to hell. This is dishonest, because, according to the bible, God created hell, and the rules by which one gets sent there. God also has the power to forgive. Therefore, God set the system up, and he could stop it from happening, but he doesn’t. He is responsible.

Wrapping Up

I feel I have adequately dispatched PRO’s argument, and supported my own. I hope PRO has some good points for the next round.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...(logic)
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Robert.Aklyd

Pro


I would like to thank MrJosh for his comments the past round.


I mostly agree with your breakdown of my argument, but you left something out between your last two statements, the bible. Once we get to the point that we recognize the existence of God, it is the Bible that shows that God to be the Christian God.


Regarding the beginning of the universe, it seems that you are claiming that things can pop into existence from nothing. If you want to talk about claims that have not been demonstrated, perhaps we should start there.


Of course any cause of the origin of space and time must necessarily exist outside of space and time because they would have to exist somewhere before space and time were created.


Regarding the need for God to be an “active agent,” as you put it, this is intuitively obvious. God had to make a decision to create the universe; a “natural process” cannot make such a decision.


I have already explained how human imperfection are the result of mankind’s sinful nature, the imperfections in the animal world are related to the fact that the world is currently in the hands of Satan.


http://www.keyway.ca...


Regarding Occam’s Razor, neither suggestion has any more explanatory power than the other, so either theory is equally valid.


Regarding hell, God DID provide a way for us to avoid hell, Jesus. It is our failure to accept this lifeline (note: OUR FAILURE) that condemns us to hell.


I would like to thank Mr. Josh for this debate. It has been most interesting and I hope you would be up for another some day.


MrJosh

Con

I would like to thank PRO for his comments in this final round. I will do my best to address his points.

The Bible

PRO has made the claim that the bible takes us from his “active agent” to the Christian God. I’m sorry, but not only do you have to actually draw the line connecting those three dots, you also have to demonstrate the veracity of the bible; none of which you have done.

Outside of Space and Time

PRO suggested that the cause of space and time necessarily exists outside of space and time. While this does seem plausible, especially given modern theories regarding a possible multiverse, this is something else that PRO needs to demonstrate. It doesn’t matter is a thing is plausible, or even possible, to be believed, it must be demonstrated.

Active Agent

PRO’s argument in favor of the first cause being an “active agent” appeals to intuition, but it is demonstrably false. Does a rock have to be an active agent to make the decision to fall to earth? No. Does a tree need to be an active agent in order to decide to grow upward? No. These things are explained by natural processes, and unless the existence of the supernatural can be demonstrated, there is no reason to posit it as an explanation for an unknown event. This is an Argument from Ignorance Fallacy [1].

Sin

PRO’s claim regarding human imperfections being related to sin is a claim for which he has yet to provide evidence, or even answer the questions about it that I raised in the previous round. He has compounded his lack of evidence by making another unsupported claim in this round regarding the world being “in the hands of Satan.” Evidence or it isn’t so.

Occam’s Razor

PRO went on in this round to basically claim that two competing hypotheses are equal if they have equal explanatory power. This is against the very concept of the razor. The point is that if they are equal in explanatory power, the one that makes the fewest assumptions is preferred [2]. Positing a god is a violation of the razor.

Hell

Regarding hell, PRO has not addressed the points I made in the preceding round. Instead, he has chosen to make a theological claim regarding sin, which need not be addressed until the existence of PRO’s God has been demonstrated.

Something From Nothing

This was actually PRO’s second point in this round, but I chose to address it last. I never claimed that our universe came from nothing, what I claimed is that we don’t know that it had a beginning. There is a difference between saying that we don’t know a thing and that we are claiming the opposite.

A Final Wrap-Up

PRO forwarded a single argument, which was basically the Cosmological Argument, which I feel I have handled adequately. I brought up three points, Unintelligent Design, Occam’s Razor, and the problem with Hell. PRO has failed to counter my points.

Finally, I would like to thank PRO for this debate, I had a good time. I would be happy to debate him again in the future if he ever again needs the opinion of an atheist.

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

Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Cobo 2 years ago
Cobo
Comment for voting later.
Posted by dawndawndawndawn 2 years ago
dawndawndawndawn
aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
What Dawn?
You don't believe in Santa Clause??
Shame On You!
You will burn in Toyland Hell with molten plastic poured over you forever for not believing in Santa Clause!

:-D~
Posted by dawndawndawndawn 2 years ago
dawndawndawndawn
Well, if we follow this line of reasoning, Santa Claus exists too
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
God probably exists in my printer, it failed to print my Atheist T-Shirt Slogan.
Posted by Robert.Aklyd 2 years ago
Robert.Aklyd
I worded it that way because I wanted to share the burden of proof with my opponent; my apologies if you don't like it. Also, if we are going to be picky about the use of words, try your own capitalization, punctuation, and use of "to," instead of "too."
Posted by Jozza117 2 years ago
Jozza117
debate to easy, it shouldn't be probably, because either can be probably and unprobably in their own ways so it should be Does,not probably.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cobo 2 years ago
Cobo
Robert.AklydMrJoshTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: First, off this was a great debate all around. There were some slight things that bothered me but overall none of that determined the outcome of my vote. Both sides made claims without proof, but some claims do not require proof if they are philosophical based(Ex: What proof is there that the fewest assumptions would be positive) The reason con won this debate is because the pro simply either gave up of did not expect and actual debate. Pro could have said so many things and yet, did not really do anything at all. Con capitalized on this easily and won.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Robert.AklydMrJoshTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Raised many more arguments, used many more sources, and successfully destroyed Pro's sole real contention. Good debate.
Vote Placed by baus 2 years ago
baus
Robert.AklydMrJoshTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think that while the other points were evened out throughout the debate, the issue of an unintelligent design being more likely and the space and time issue of existence won Con the debate. Very well done to Con and Pro also.