The Instigator
Boris7698
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AJB1053
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

God definitely does not exist, and the agnostic view is wrong.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 555 times Debate No: 99175
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Boris7698

Pro

God is claimed to be a supernatural being, not merely an alien being from another planet who is powerful. Supernatural means beyond nature. But nature is all of existence, which places God outside of existence, which is impossible. Therefore the concept of God is invalid, because it leads to a contradiction. Everything that exists is part of existence, and therefore is natural.

I will debate any Agnostic who grants that God may exist, but no evidence has been provided.
AJB1053

Con

The agnostic viewpoint is that we don't know what to believe. Nobody can be 100% sure of whether or not a god does exist or not. We believe in science and the idea that science is the only way to solve any phenomenon that we don't know. While not probable, completely disregarding any possibility for a "supernatural" being without scientific backing as to the lack thereof should not be argued. Also according to the Oxford Dictionary natural is defined as "The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations:" Therefore your argument that God is considered supernatural and therefore beyond existence is not valid unless you can provide a better source for your definition. However my definition perfectly represents where in the universe or beyond people believe a God exists or existed which would be outside the physical world. (supernatural) I am not advocating that a God does exist. In fact it is unlikely. However, to completely rule this possibility out without any proof of the lack of existence is pointless. We shouldn't believe in a God nor should we disbelieve in him. No evidence has been provided for the existence of a God or a lack thereof. If a God does exist, in my opinion it would be unlikely that he directly created life or specifically created anything after his original creation.(Big Bang) Many people believe(including myself) that the big bang was the start to the universe as we know it. (I don't necessarily believe that God caused the big bang) According to Theoretical Physicist Stephan Hawking, this big bang was the start of time, and that the law of physics could have changed from before the big bang. (http://www.hawking.org.uk...) This means that there could have been a god before which caused the big bang, and then the laws of physics changed to disallow such a being. Unlimited similar possibilities such as this theoretical one I just came up with can exist. As a agnostic, we don't advocate for or against the existence of a god, but it is more logical to say that you don't know what to believe rather than completely rule out one side or the other. As an agnostic as I've stated before there is an unlimited amount of possible explanations about the start of the universe, and the continuation of the universe. However we don't rule out or unconditionally believe in any particular thing either. There is no evidence for or against a god, and therefore Agnosticism is a more logical belief than atheism. However, this is my opinion (obviously) and I look forward to further discussion on this topic. If you can provide concrete evidence against the existence of a God then you will win. The burden of proof lies with the affirmative and in this debate especially, an agnostic doesn't have proof for either side, and therefore can't and shouldn't take a side.
Debate Round No. 1
Boris7698

Pro

My opponent challenges me on the definition of "natural". First of all, the definition of "natural" that is cited by my opponent is self contradictory if followed through to its ultimate meaning. People are creations of evolution, and are part of nature just as everything else. So are ants, bees, beavers and bacteria and all the effects of their activities.

Also, please note that I don't equate nature or "natural" with just the material universe. I equate nature with everything that exists, including anything that we haven't yet discovered that exists. Note that nature also includes immaterial things such as "thoughts": they exist as processes of our minds. In conclusion I use nature as equivalent to everything that exists, the universe.

The claim that God is supernatural is precisely using the term "natural" in my sense, and not in the sense of the definition my opponent cited.

However, despite that definitions may differ for the concept of "natural", this doesn't change the essence of my argument that God is claimed to be outside of natural existence.

I will restate my argument slightly to remove the ambiguity, and to move our discussion away from the definition of "natural". God is supposed to be outside of everything that exists, because he was supposed to have created everything that exists. In other words, God is expected to be out-of-existence -- contradiction.

Please note that even if God was an immaterial being, like a ghost (although this assertion is arbitrary, it lacks any evidence), he would not satisfy the tall order that God is supposed to be. For even such a being would be an alien from a realm in existence, not more. Furthermore, this being could not have created existence because he is part of it. He at best could have created material part of the existence, the physical universe. But that's not good enough for what God is supposed to be. Even such a "ghost" is part of nature (nature would include even the ghostly beings), but God is supposed to be beyond that.

My opponent asks me to present evidence that God doesn't exist. When one reaches a logical contradiction, no further evidence is required. Evidence is required when there is no observed contradiction and a theory is plausible. Another example of a statement that requires no experiment to be declared as false is the statement "I do not exist".

Furthermore, my opponent cites the Big Bang and physics theories, but these are irrelevant to discussion. However, I will just state that no theory can assert that universe was created out of nothing. As mentioned above, nothing can be created out of nothing. Any theory that claims the contrary, is wrong in that aspect.

Also, my opponent talks about belief. Belief is not a valid method of knowledge. If he wishes to believe a theory, it is his prerogative, but he can't rely on it as part of a rational discussion. He may only rely on what he knows, not on what he believes in.

In conclusion, my argument is that the concept of God is flawed philosophically, on logical evaluation alone. No further experiments are required. I challenge my opponent to address my logical argument.
AJB1053

Con

My opponent says that the definitions are not important and shouldn't be added into this debate. Although the definition isn't entirely important, I would still like to see a better source for natural, meaning everything in existence. As you attack me later in your rebuttal for stating what I believe, I attack you here for you perception of what natural means. I will admit that the second half of the definition I used was not relevant. However the first half talking about the physical world collectively is valid. Using supernatural in my sense means if a God does exist he would exist outside of the physical world including the universe and everything inside. The differing definitions are valid because with your definition God is outside of existence, while with my definition he would be outside of the universe in "heaven" or wherever else. By using your definition you are saying that God can't exist outside of existence. While that may be true, this doesn't outlaw his presence inside of existence but outside of the physical world as seen in my definition. Just because he may not exist outside of existence doesn't rule out the existence of a God all together. Also in the same definition you say that this is what he is believed to be, which is supernatural. People's beliefs don't dictate his existence or where he exists either. Furthermore, by claiming that the definition isn't relevant is true because however we define it, it doesn't change whether or not he exists. However, the definition of supernatural was a big part of his opening statement so this is why I attacked it.

My opponent even states that "God may have created the material part of the universe, but that's not good enough for what God is supposed to be" I am not claiming that God is supposed to be any way, and even religious people who are claiming that God is a certain way may be wrong, however as you've said there may have been a God. Just because the God isn't as many people perceive him to be doesn't mean that no God exists. Once again however, as you've rebutted me for believing in a theory (Which I don't) this theory that God could have only created the physical world is also a "belief in a theory". This goes against your argument that a God definitely does not exist.

My opponent claims that a logical contradiction out rules the need for evidence. I would like a source on that statement, unless it is something he merely believes in. Also, why does my theory that there could have been a God before the laws of physics changed, a logical contradiction, need evidence. An agnostic viewpoint says, we don't know for sure, so we can't believe in anything. If you can provide a credible source saying that evidence is no longer needed just because someone comes up with a logical alternative then I will think more about it. However, logical contradiction will always be inferior to concrete evidence. This evidence is impossible to get either proving the existence or lack of existence, and therefore we shouldn't believe or disbelieve. By making an argument that no God exists is not backed by facts, while making the argument that a God may or may not exist needs no evidence because it is not a belief. Therefore making a logical contradiction is not enough for absolute disbelief in a God. If someone said that they don't exist, you wouldn't need evidence to prove that they do because they are standing right there. However, to disprove the existence of a God entirely, would have to fall on evidence. I agree it isn't logical to believe in God, but I also don't rule out his existence all together for it has not been disproved.

I cited Big bang merely because it was the start of the universe as we know it. We don't know what was here before, and therefore, being that the laws of physics changed, there could have been a god which created the physical world or something similar. My opponent even says that he may have created the physical world, which goes against his argument.

Once again, my opponent attacked me on belief. I do not believe in God, nor do I disbelieve in him. I, as my opponent has done in this debate as well, was simply giving a possible explanation as to how there could have been a God based on his definition on where this god has to exist. The only reason I mentioned this theory was because my opponent claims that it would be impossible for him to exist outside of existence. By stating that he could have existed before our universe is a logical contradiction to his statement. Also as I've mentioned before, just because the God does not fit into people's belief, does not mean that he doesn't exist at all. Claiming that a God does not exist because of people's impossible beliefs is contradictory of two of my opponents main arguments. Firstly, that God can't exist in the commonly perceived supernatural and out of existence way. And secondly that beliefs are not valid in this debate. In conclusion saying that beliefs are not valid in this debate means that my opponent can't base the fact that God doesn't exist off of people's beliefs. Just because it is commonly accepted that God may be supernatural even in my opponents definition, does not rule out his existence entirely.
Debate Round No. 2
Boris7698

Pro

My opponent states that a "logical contradiction will always be inferior to concrete evidence" and also asks me for a source supporting my statement that "a logical contradiction out rules the need for evidence." I believe this is the most important point in this debate, on which everything else depends, and so I will address it first.

Logic is the primary tool of cognition; its rules were discovered by Aristotle. All science depends on using logic. For instance, an observation of reality becomes an evidence for something only when it is attached to existing body of knowledge, by using logic. In other words, logic is more fundamental than science. It is science that is built "on top" of logic, not the other way around.

If there are two premises, and logic shows that they contradict to each other, then one of them must be false. No amount of new observations of reality (what my opponent calls "evidence") will change this fact. You must reject one of the premises.

The reason for this is the Law of Identity, a law of logic that was stated by Aristotle in the form of "A is A". A contradiction is when one is brought, from some premises, to the statement against this law, namely "A is not A".

In our particular case, logic tells us that the premise that "God exists" is in error, because it contradicts prior premise of "nothing exists outside of existence". No amount of new observations will resolve this conflict. Logic tells you that one of the two premises is false. Which one? Clearly the new premise is false, because the former one can't be wrong (it is an axiom), as my opponent admits.

Another analogy that may help to make this even clearer is an algebraic equation that is proved logically to have no solutions. For example, the equation 3*Y = 3-X has no integer solutions except X = 0, Y = 0, by logic alone. No amount of trial and error to find a solution, by plugging in values for X and Y will be able to deny this conclusion. If Y and X stand for integer quantities, for instance number of atoms in a certain experiment, then the equation is a contradiction. It shows that the experimenter made an error in the premises concerning analysis of the experiment, and that those premises caused him to write that incorrect equation down.

Finally, adherence to logic is not an issue of belief. It is the only method of cognition available to Man, and everything we know is derived using this mechanism, starting from some observations. The observations are "plugged-in" as input premises into our logical faculty, called "reason", and what comes out of it is new knowledge.

I will now address other points that my opponent made. He states that we can downgrade God to be an alien, ghostly being outside of material universe. A one who lives in some sort of immaterial "heaven". But this does not apply to our debate: it would be a subject of another debate if an immaterial being can exist. Certainly, there is no evidence of something like this in reality, because consciousness does not exist as apart of a person possessing it. (Consciousness is the only immaterial aspect of reality that has been observed.)

Instead of debating alien beings, we must constrain ourselves to debate God as is postulated by religious people. Let's take the Judeo-Christian God. This God has created everything because he is all powerful. This includes immaterial things such as thoughts and the "heaven". Therefore, the "everything" must refer to the whole universe, not just the material universe.

Furthermore, the requirement that God has created everything also means that God must have created himself too, which is impossible and is another logical contradiction. (If he has to create himself, then he didn't exist before he started creating himself: contradiction)

Although I entertained the possibility of the existence of an immaterial part of universe as apart from material part of universe, this division is only mental. A physical division like this is impossible. Matter can not be created out of nothing, it has to be created out of something. Therefore, that something is just another form of matter.

For instance, lets say that what we observe as matter is an intersection of some energy fields. Then, we could say that all that there is is a collection of energy fields. Matter is just a manifestation of an aspect of other entities. (After all, we can't physically separate the aspect of color from entities possessing it, we do it only mentally --- color is just a concept.) Therefore, when we say "universe" we must include all of existing things in this universe, not just part that we know how to measure.

All in all, the requirement that God is supernatural places him outside of nature, therefore the universe, therefore existence. Therefore the concept of God is a myth, a metaphysical impossibility.
AJB1053

Con

My opponent states that logical contradiction is important in this debate. I do agree that logic is important in science. However the context you used logical contradiction seemed to me to express an alternative possibility to the existence of God not logic in general. You claimed that logical contradiction out ruled the need for evidence to disprove the existence of a God. This is because it it not logical. While not logical, this does not necessarily mean that a God doesn't exist at all. In science, Logic and evidence go hand in hand. There is no evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a God. If you were debating a Christian or a religious person, the arguments on both sides wouldn't be based on scientific fact. However in this debate, my belief or lack thereof doesn't require evidence because I am not making a definitive statement as you are. Yes you need to be logical in science but you also need evidence. Throughout history, what was thought to be factual and logical was disproved by fact even when talking about Aristotle.(I know you mentioned him for another reason) Copernicus and Galileo proved him wrong using evidence AND logic.

My opponent once again brings up that nothing can exist outside of existence. This is firstly, only one belief among many as to where God may be. The topic of this debate is that agnostics are wrong. We don't believe that God exists outside of existence. By challenging our beliefs, by first claiming that we believe in a out of existence god, and then citing Judeo-Christian beliefs is not relevant in this debate. The topic of the debate is not that Christians are wrong and that THEIR god doesn't exist but that NO God exists. Therefore, since you claim that no god exists at all, you can't narrow down the broad subject of where he exists, whether it be outside of existence, or just outside of the physical world etc., or what type of god he may be. As an agnostic, I am not saying that he is supernatural, nor am I even stating he exists outside of the physical world. I am merely saying that without concrete evidence to back up the logical conclusion that no god exists, I cannot rule out his existence all together. Why should we "constrain ourselves to debate God as is postulated by religious people" if we are not debating religions but the lack thereof. This is more scientific than religious. Many of your arguments in this debate including that last one would be better served against a Christian or another religious person. You said you wanted to debate an agnostic, so you will not be able to narrow down what type of god to debate about. I am simply saying that a god, anywhere, in any form MAY exist, because no scientific evidence has disproved or proved this. I am also not stating that the existence of a god is logical. However, it is not entirely impossible either. The entire concept of our universe is about as overwhelming and logical as the existence of a god. This is because as you've stated you can't create nothing from nothing. Just like we don't know for sure if a god exists, we aren't even entirely sure how the universe started or what was here before that, and before that etc. It is logical to say that the universe as we know it started with the big bang, but what was before that is unknown. There is an endless amount of possibilities as to how the universe may have started. Just as there is an endless amount of possibilities as to where a god may be, or what type of god he may be. One of these possibilities is your belief that no god exists at all. As an agnostic we believe that anyone of these possibilities may be true. You believe concretely that one is true, without any scientific backing.

My argument that God may exist in heaven was restating my previous argument that he may exist outside of the physical world. This was just an example of where he would be if he were outside of the physical world. However, I can't be sure as to where, or what type of God there is, or if there even is one. I never stated that God created everything. It can be assumed for the sake of this debate that he created the universe as we know it, just the earth or nothing at all, and just exists in the universe somewhere. As an agnostic I do not know what to believe as I've repeatedly stated (sorry for repetition). I also don't necessarily believe in a god at all. However I don't make definitive statements about the existence of a god because no evidence exists against this belief.

My opponent challenged an agnostic to this debate, but claims that God cannot exist outside of existence. As I've stated many time before, agnostics don't believe in the either. We don't know what to believe until scientific fact tells us otherwise. Therefore in this debate alone, my opponents arguments are not valid because they do not reflect the beliefs of the people he challenged to this debate. I'm sure he will do excellent in a debate against a Christian, however, I do not agree with his arguments against an agnostic. I do understand where he is coming from, as I have presented a few potential locations where god may exist, and some potential types of gods. However, these are simply possibilities, and do not reflect mine nor any agnostics views. This is why my opponents arguments are not valid against agnosticism.

In conclusion, my opponent is very well read, and served to be an excellent adversary. Had I been religious he would have beat me big time. However, this being said, the whole topic of the debate shouldn't have been about agnosticism but rather Christianity or another religious teaching's view on a specific god. While debating an agnostic, he repeatedly strayed away from the beliefs or lack thereof, of agnostics, and tried to focus on the beliefs of the majority of religious people. As I've said before, just because it is a majority belief that a god is supernatural within his definition, doesn't fall into a debate with an agnostic who doesn't have an unconditional belief of any type of god in any setting. This is why I believe that my opponent lost the debate, simply because he focused on the beliefs of people he wasn't debating. Claiming that NO god exists in any setting is impossible to agree with because it alone eliminates unlimited possibilities without any scientific backing. It was a pleasure debating you, and good luck to you and your opponent in the comments ;)
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Boris7698 1 year ago
Boris7698
Alright, let me finish this one first.
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
kwagga_la
@Boris7698 If you do the same debate looking for a Theist then I would like to debate it.
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