The Instigator
LearnLoveLiveLife
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
BrownEyedAlto932
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

God did not create the world and does not rule over the universe.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,281 times Debate No: 4745
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (11)

 

LearnLoveLiveLife

Pro

==Conceptions of God vary widely. Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of God since the dawn of civilization. The Abrahamic conceptions of God include the trinitarian view of Christians, the Kabbalistic definition of Jewish mysticism, and the Islamic concept of God. The dharmic religions differ in their view of the divine: views of God in Hinduism vary by region, sect, and caste, ranging from monotheistic to polytheistic; the view of God in Buddhism is almost non-theist. In modern times, some more abstract concepts have been developed, such as process theology and open theism. Conceptions of God held by individual believers vary so widely that there is no clear consensus on the nature of God.
(http://www.hds.harvard.edu...)

==American survey data show that even the most religiously devout individuals—as measured by religious practices and stated belief—seriously question their faith from time to time.
(Using data from the 1998 General Social Survey, we find that nearly half of those with a belief in God can still have their faith shaken by world events. Approximately 49 percent (49.4) of those who believe in God report that personal suffering has caused them to doubt their faith at least sometimes. About 47 percent (47.4) have had their faith shaken on occasion by evil in the world.)

==There are many philosophical issues concerning the existence of God. Some definitions of God are sometimes nonspecific, while other definitions can be self-contradictory. Arguments for the existence of God typically include metaphysical, empirical, inductive, and subjective types, while others revolve around holes in evolutionary theory and order and complexety in the world. Arguments against the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Conclusions reached include: "God exists and this can be proven"; "God exists, but this cannot be proven or disproven" (theism in both cases); "God does not exist" (strong atheism); "God almost certainly does not exist" (de facto atheism); and "no one knows whether God exists" (agnosticism). There are numerous variations on these positions.

==Stephen Jay Gould proposed an approach dividing the world of philosophy into what he called "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA). In this view, questions of the supernatural, such as those relating to the existence and nature of God, are non-empirical and are the proper domain of theology. The methods of science should then be used to answer any empirical question about the natural world, and theology should be used to answer questions about ultimate meaning and moral value. In this view, the perceived lack of any empirical footprint from the magisterium of the supernatural onto natural events makes science the sole player in the natural world.
(Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Great Britain: Bantam Press. ISBN 0-618-68000-4.)

==Another view, advanced by Richard Dawkins, is that the existence of God is an empirical question, on the grounds that "a universe with a god would be a completely different kind of universe from one without, and it would be a scientific difference."
(^ Dawkins, Richard. "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". Retrieved on 2007-01-10.)

==A third view is that any statement/question which cannot be defined is nonsense and which cannot be tested is non-science, on the grounds that only statements/questions that are either theoretically justifiable and/or empirically testable are appropriate for scientific attention (which may or may not include a position on whether or not theology is nonsense).
(falsafiability: http://en.wikipedia.org...)

==I believe God to be not an omniscient being, but a belief created by enlightened thinkers in order to help others achieve enlightenment. I do not believe the bible was meant to be interpreted literally, I believe it was meant to guide people in a path to reach this enlightenment.

==Enlightenment broadly means wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception.

==Many individuals have claimed to reach a state of enlightenment, including many famous yogis and meditation masters from well-known spiritual traditions. Mahatma Gandhi was said to be an enlightened seeker of truth. Mahavira is believed by Jains to have attained Kevala Jnana or Omniscience that is the highest state of enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is believed by Buddhists to have reached the "ultimate state of enlightenment" or "pari-nirvana."

==Some individuals who are said to be enlightened did so without any visible tradition or lineage like Dave Oshana, John de Ruiter and Barry Long (dec'd).

Osho is said to have achieved enlightenment at the age of 21 after many years of spiritual, religious and academic indulgence.

Nārāyana Guru (1856–1928), the prolific poet, philosopher, and social reformer is believed to have attained enlightenment (i.e., an absolute state of wisdom) after his several years of education in languages, the scriptures of the different religions, yoga, and experiences with ascetic life, culminating in his long and meditative recluse in Maruthwamala hills in South India. Nārāyana Guru's philosophical masterpiece "Atmopadeśa Śatakam" (100 verses of self-instruction) is primarily the Guru's poetic expression of his philosophy of universal love, emanating from his experienced state of primordial knowledge of the Universe, and his consequent ability to view the human race as one of a species, in unqualified equality and without any racial, religious, caste, or other discriminations whatsoever.

Dr. Richard Bucke, in his 1901 book Cosmic Consciousness, names a few dozens of people who, in his studied opinion, had experienced some degree of enlightenment, including Walt Whitman and Blaise Pascal. Bucke also attempted to analyze what commonalities these personalities shared. His study has become part of the foundation of transpersonal psychology. There are some thinkers such as U. G. Krishnamurti, who refute any existence of the very concept of enlightenment (despite being considered enlightened by his followers).

Spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle is said to have attained enlightenment at age 29 after suffering long periods of depression.

Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba is said to have become enlightened after defending himself from the attacks of an exceptional swordsmen with only his bare hands.
BrownEyedAlto932

Con

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for presenting this topic for debate... it is, in my opinion, one of the most controversial and interesting topics to discuss.
Secondly, I would like to advocate that I am in no way religious, but I enjoy a challenge and am capable of overcoming my own personal beliefs for the sake of debate. I ask only that voters do the same. Please make your decisions based upon our argumentative skill and not your personal opinions.
And with that, we begin :)
..................................
Before I address my opponent's arguments specifically, some brief analysis on the resolution. Because of the way that LearnLoveLiveLife has worded the topic, she must prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God did NOT create the world AND does not rule over the universe. The only way to do this is to prove with certainty and with no room for doubt that God does not exist. Her wording is her burden, while the Con must simply negate. Unless my opponent can do this, we must default to Con because no such burden exists for the negative side.

"Conceptions of God vary widely... there is no clear consensus on the nature of God."
With my opponent's first paragraph, all that she truly asserts is that different cultures have a different conception of God. Very good, but this does nothing for her side. Remember, to win the debate, LearnLoveLiveLife must prove that God did not create the world, and to do so must PROVE that such a God does not exist.

Paragraphs two and three deal mainly with the fact that skeptics exist and the existence of the "entity" of God has been widely debated... again doing nothing for the Pro side. My opponent has thus far established nothing that is not known, she has proved that God is still a mystery. No offense there, either.

"==Stephen Jay Gould proposed an approach dividing the world of philosophy into what he called "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA). In this view, questions of the supernatural, such as those relating to the existence and nature of God, are non-empirical and are the proper domain of theology. The methods of science should then be used to answer any empirical question about the natural world, and theology should be used to answer questions about ultimate meaning and moral value. In this view, the perceived lack of any empirical footprint from the magisterium of the supernatural onto natural events makes science the sole player in the natural world."

What my opponent effectively says with the fourth paragraph is that because the theological world cannot be seen or felt, it thus has no bearing upon the empirical world. She advocates that we turn to science to answer questions about the "natural world". However, science has yet to provide us with a truly legitimate answer to the question of existence. Through science we have evolution, we have growth and regression, we have carbon dating and the Big Bang and lots of wonderful advancements that dance AROUND the subject of existence but do not truly touch upon it. Until science can provide us with a 100% accurate, legitimate account of existence, there is no reason why we should reject philosophy and theology as a viable means of explanation. For example, I can no more feel the process of evolution working upon me than I can explain why some people are intrinsically good and others intrinsically bad, yet no one can say that these three things are not true. Until we can rely fully upon the empirical (which we cannot), my opponent provides us with no reason as to why we should reject the theological.

The remainder of what my opponent says within her post deals with the reaching of enlightenment without divine intervention. She also touches briefly upon the subject of taking the bible literally. However, her first paragraph deals with the conclusion that different cultures have a different interpretation of God, and as not all of these interpretations are conclusive to the bible's adaptation, we can ignore that particular argument.
As to the reaching of "enlightenment" without intervention, this too does nothing for her side. Just because a human can achieve happiness and spiritual peace by themselves does not mean that God does not exist. My opponent doesn't offer that conclusion, so we reject the rest of her argument.

Allow me to make a quick observation: My opponent's arguments are not truly arguments. What she has done is taken snippets of what other people have written and then attempted to apply them to this topic. At no time in her argument does she actually analyze what it is she is advocating, and at no time does she actually argue: what I have just refuted are the words of other people. Her entire argument consists mainly of different people advocating nothing other than God *may* not exist, but as I said earlier, because my opponent has worded her resolution so harshly, "God may not exist" is not sufficient reason for her to win the debate. Until she can prove 100% that God DOES NOT exist and DID NOT create the universe, the Con will always win.
Debate Round No. 1
LearnLoveLiveLife

Pro

To prove that God does not exist, then, one only has to demonstrate that the concept of God is inconsistent. Traditional theism defines God as a supreme being-a being than which none greater can be conceived, as St. Anselm would have it. We know, however, that there is no supreme number because such a notion involves a logical contradiction. Every number is such that the number 1 can be added to it. If there were a supreme number, it would be such that the number 1 can and cannot be added to it, and that's impossible. Many believe that the notion of a supreme being is just as incoherent as the notion of a supreme number.

Consider, for example, the claim that god is all-good and thus both perfectly merciful and perfectly just. If he is perfectly just, he makes sure that everyone gets exactly what's coming to them. If he is perfectly merciful, he let's everyone off. But he can't do both. So the notion of a supreme being may be internally inconsistent.

This is just one of many inconsistencies that have been found in the traditional concept of God. For a more complete review of them, see Theodore Drange, "Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey" in Philo (Fall/Winter 1998). Theists, of course, will claim that, properly understood, there is no contradiction. What if they're right? What if it's logically possible for the God of traditional theism to exist? Does that mean that one cannot prove that he does not exist? No, for in order to prove that something does not exist, one need not show that it is logically impossible. One need only show is that it is epistemically unnecessary-that it is not required to explain anything. Science has proven the non-existence of many things in this way, such as phlogiston, the luminiferous ether, and the planet Vulcan. Scientific proofs, unlike logical proofs, do not establish their conclusions beyond any possibility of doubt. But they are proofs nonetheless, for they establish their conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt and that is all that is needed to justify them.

Phlogiston, the luminiferous ether, and the planet Vulcan are theoretical entities that were postulated in order to explain various phenomena. Phlogiston was postulated to explain heat, the luminiferous ether was postulated to explain the propagation of light waves through empty space, and Vulcan was postulated to explain the perturbations in the orbit of Mercury. Science has shown, however, that these phenomena can be explained without invoking these entities. By demonstrating that these entities are not needed to explain anything, science has proven that they do not exist.

God is a theoretical entity that is postulated by theists to explain various phenomena, such as the origin of the universe, the design of the universe, and the origin of living things. Modern science, however, can explain all of these phenomena without postulating the existence of God. (When the French physicist Pierre Simon de Laplace explained his theory of the universe to Napoleon, Napoleon is said to have asked, "Where does God fit into your theory?" to which Laplace replied, "I have no need of that hypothesis.")

In the words of Laplace, science has no need of that hypothesis.2 By demonstrating that God is not needed to explain anything, science has proven that there is no more reason to believe in the existence of God than to believe in the existence of phlogiston, the luminiferous ether, or Vulcan. This may explain why more than 90% of the world's top scientists disbelieve or doubt the existence of God.(E. J. Larson and L. Witham, "Leading Scientists Still Reject God," Nature 394 (July 23, 1998).)

Scientists prefer natural explanations to supernatural ones, not because of any metaphysical bias on their part, but because natural explanations produce more understanding than supernatural ones. As Plato realized, to say that God did it is not to explain anything, but simply to offer an excuse for not having an explanation. (Plato, Cratylus, 426 a.)

The goodness of an explanation is determined by how much understanding it produces, and the amount of understanding produced by an explanation is determined by how well it systematizes and unifies our knowledge. The extent to which an explanation systematizes and unifies our knowledge can be measured by various criteria of adequacy such as simplicity (the number of assumptions made), scope (the types of phenomena explained), conservatism (fit with existing theory), and fruitfulness (ability to make successful novel predictions).

Supernatural explanations are inherently inferior to natural ones because they do not meet the criteria of adequacy as well. For example, they are usually less simple because they assume the existence of at least one additional type of entity. They usually have less scope because they don't explain how the phenomena in question are produced and thus they raise more questions than they answer. They are usually less conservative because they imply that certain natural laws have been violated. And they are usually less fruitful because they don't make any novel predictions. That is why scientists avoid them.

The realization that the traditional God of theism is not needed to explain anything-that there is nothing for him to do-has led a number of theologians to call for the rejection of this notion of god. In Why Believe in God? Michael Donald Goulder argues that the only intellectually respectable position on the god question is atheism. (Michael Donald Goulder, Why Believe in God? (London: SCM Press, 1983).)

In Why Christianity Must Change or Die, Reverend Spong, former Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, argues that the traditional theistic conception of God must be replaced by one grounded in human relationships and concerns. (John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die (San Francisco: Harper, 1999).)

Both agree with Stephen J. Gould that religion should not be in the business of trying to explain the world. (Stephen J. Gould, Rock of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life (New York: Ballantine, 1999).)

What if there was no plausible natural explanation for some phenomena? Would that justify the claim that god caused it? No, for our inability to provide a natural explanation may simply be due to our ignorance of the operative natural forces. Many phenomena that were once attributed to supernatural beings such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and disease can now be explained in purely natural terms. As St. Augustine realized, apparent miracles are not contrary to nature but contrary to our knowledge of nature. (St. Augustine, The City of God, XXI, 8. )

Given the inherent inferiority of supernatural explanations and the incompleteness of our knowledge, theists would be justified in offering a supernatural explanation for a phenomenon only if they could prove that it is in principle impossible to provide a natural explanation of it. In other words, to undermine the scientific proof for the non-existence of god, theists have to prove an unrestricted negative, namely, that no natural explanation of a phenomenon will be found. And that, I believe, is an unrestricted negative that no theist will ever be able to prove.

---------------------
1.How do we know that God does not answer prayers? We simply pray and watch what happens.
2.How do we know that God did not write the Bible? We simply read the Bible and note how uncomfortable it is in so many places.
3.How do we know that Jesus was a normal human being? We can ask this simple question: If a man were to proclaim himself to be the son of God today, what would we do? We would ask to see incontrovertible proof. Jesus does not get a pass because he lived 2,000 years ago.

God is imaginary.
BrownEyedAlto932

Con

BrownEyedAlto932 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
LearnLoveLiveLife

Pro

Um.
I'm done.
I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my debate.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand
my post had to be 100 characters.
BrownEyedAlto932

Con

BrownEyedAlto932 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Xera 9 years ago
Xera
Con should have been able to win this one. It's a no brainer, the resoltuion requires that Pro PROVE God did NOT create the world OR that He does not rule the world. Since conclusive proof either way does not actually exist, it should have been a slam dunk. To bad. Pro gets my vote for showing the up, that's a rare commodity these days.
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
I like the just/merciful part.
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 9 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
"2L, I haven't been a Christian all my life. The relationship w/ drugs you HAVE was my passion for 15 years and it STILL plays a big role in my everyday life. I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO THINK bc if you're right, nothing changes, but if Im right everything does."

Actually, I have no relationship with drugs. I quit everything cold turkey. Marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, cigarettes.

Uhm, If you're right, nothing changes. I still live my life a good person trying to help others and preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the truth.

If I'm right, the basis of your entire beliefs is completely overturned and you have nothing left but simple "faith".

And, I'm not trying to convince you not to be a Christian. That's great I'm sure you'll be a great person living the Christian life.
But I bet I'll be just as good of a person without God to show me the way.
Posted by Casiopia 9 years ago
Casiopia
2L, 2L, the first 2L, Lord is the King of Israel,(sang in the tune of the first Noel)
In your reply to my comment you said …
"Just because you have faith in something is not evidence to it's truth, it is simply evidence of human ignorance. IN MY OPINION: (protected by the first amendment, not flaming) I bet you're happy. Ignorance IS bliss."

I have changed your name from 4L to 2L,
I'm leaving out the L's for love, and learn b/c I definitely don't feel the love and it seems you are(as I stated in my comment below)not opening up your mind to any other ideas.
You said yourself it's your opinion protected by the first amendment and I respect that. You then go on to say that my faith in God or faith in anything for that matter is ignorant.
Faith comes by hearing/testimony/experience & everyone exercises faith at some level so to label "faith as evidence of human ignorance" is ridiculous. Faith is active; it demands a response. Unlike reason, which bows down faithfully to the evidence, faith is prejudiced.
"Suppose a policeman came to me and said they just captured my wife in the act of murdering thirteen neighbors by chopping off their heads, and they have witnesses. I would laugh at him. I would say, 'No, this cannot be. You do not know her as I do.' He would say, 'Where's your evidence?' I'd say, 'It's of a different kind than yours. But there is evidence that this could not be.' So I'm prejudiced.
"However, my prejudice is a reasonable prejudice bc it's based on the evidence I've gathered in my very real experience. So someone who knows God has evidence--and therefore prejudices based on that evidence--which someone who does not know God does not have."
The Case For Faith:Lee Strobel.

2L, I haven't been a Christian all my life. The relationship w/ drugs you have was my passion for 15 years and it still plays a big role in my everyday life. I just want people to think bc if you're right, nothing changes, but if Im right everything does.
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 9 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
You're trying to prove that I'm closed minded and not considering a truth, and that my reasoning is not sensible?

"This is faulty reasoning, and anyone with any appreciation of "critical thinking" should see this."
I agree... I didn't mean for you to take it literally.

"What if God only chooses to work miracles that COULD be chalked up to coincidence (however unlikely such coincidences are) & does NOT choose to perform miracles that would leave absolutely NO doubt as to His existence? Why would God do this? To call us to faith. "

Well, if God did this, then it would be quite the coincidence. That WOULD lead no doubt as to his existence... However, this has NO logical basis. Just because you have faith in something is not evidence to it's truth, it is simply evidence of human ignorance.
IN MY OPINION: (protected by the first amendment, not flaming)
I bet you're happy. Ignorance IS bliss.
Posted by Casiopia 9 years ago
Casiopia
Hi L4,
Again...interesting.

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

The assumption is that God "provides no miracles" & does not answer the prayers of amputees. This is based on the premise that "amputated legs do not regenerate as a result of prayer." If we accept this framing of the question & argument as presented, this is indeed an interesting & seriously troubling question.

The website of course sets out to immediately undermine ANY explanation as a creative "rationalization." Thus, any answer I provide here will be chalked up to such a rationalization & likely dismissed. If you're the type to do that (to dismiss any answer to this question as a rationalization), then nothing I say will change your mind.

For the rest of you....here are my answers to this question:

First, God's refusal to heal an amputee does not speak to God's reality or existence. You cannot immediately jump from the premise that God heals some (a faith-based assumption) and not others (in this case, amputees) and therefore God doesn't exist. This is faulty reasoning, and anyone with any appreciation of "critical thinking" should see this.

Second, the question presumes EITHER to know WHY God heals some and not others (amputees in this case) OR that God's rationale is irrelevant. Here's a possibility...What if God only chooses to work miracles that COULD be chalked up to coincidence (however unlikely such coincidences are) & does NOT choose to perform miracles that would leave absolutely NO doubt as to His existence? Why would God do this? To call us to faith. The book of Hebrews makes clear that "without faith, it is impossible to please [God]." If God started regenerating limbs on amputees, it's clear that our conception and understanding of "faith" would be significantly altered.

P.S. I'm not into books that Oprah endorses. Case in point is James Frey: A Million Little Pieces.
Also, from what I've read..self enlightenment/New Age psychobabble. Finite mind infinitely reaching
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 9 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
P.S.
I bet if you read this book you will be surprised.
http://eckharttolle.com...
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 9 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
Casiopia:
Tell me this...
Why won't god heal amputees?
http://www.whywontgodhealamputees.com...
Posted by Casiopia 9 years ago
Casiopia
Hello 4L's...Very interesting ideas...By demonstrating that God is not needed to explain anything, science has proven that there is no more reason to believe in the existence of God than to believe in the existence of phlogiston, the luminiferous ether, or Vulcan. This may explain why more than 90% of the world's top scientists disbelieve or doubt the existence of God.(E. J. Larson and L. Witham, "Leading Scientists Still Reject God," Nature 394 (July 23, 1998).)

I believe that 90% from 10 years ago is about 50% and falling in 2008.

http://www.cnn.com...

"Some have asked, doesn't your brain explode? Can you both pursue an understanding of how life works using the tools of genetics and molecular biology, and worship a creator God? Aren't evolution and faith in God incompatible? Can a scientist believe in miracles like the resurrection?

Actually, I find no conflict here, and neither apparently do the 40% of working scientists who claim to be believers. Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things."

Below are more updated scientist belief statistics...
Depends on what kind of scientist.

One study from Rice University found that 2/3 of scientists they interviewed believe in a god.

Nearly 38% of natural scientists - people in disciplines like physics, chemistry and biology -said they do not believe in a god. Only 31% of the social scientists do not believe.

41% of the biologists don't believe, while that figure is just 27% among political scientists.

From another study at the University of Chicago, released in June 2005, 76% of doctors said they believed in a god and 59% believe in some sort of afterlife.

http://www.snopes.com.......

http://www.livescience.com...
Posted by AbhisekGhosh 9 years ago
AbhisekGhosh
Thanks but I just said what I believe in. I think this is just not mere coincidence that there are many more people in the world who follow this philosophy and have succeded in their respective fields because it is of prime importance to believe in oneself to succeed.
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