The Instigator
Anti-atheist
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
philochristos
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

God does exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
philochristos
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,545 times Debate No: 28082
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

Anti-atheist

Pro

Round 1 is for acceptence
philochristos

Con

Although I believe in God, I've never participated in a debate in which I played devil's advocate and argued against God (or at least tried to show that the arguments for God were fallacious). I think there are certain weaknesses in some of the arguments for God that I have not been able to find satisfying answers to. Maybe this will be a good opportunity for me to pick your brain--to see how you will respond to what I think are weaknesses in theistic arguments. Of course you will likely bring up arguments that I don't find problematic, in which case I'll do my best to rebut them anyway. Good luck.

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Anti-atheist

Pro

Does God exist? I would say definitively yes, as it's a fact of nature. Such an inescapable fact.

1. The Ontological Argument

1. A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W; and
A being has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world.
2. It is possible that there is a being that has maximal greatness. (Premise)
3. Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists.
4. Therefore, (by axiom S5) it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being exists.
5. Therefore, an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being exists.

2. The Moral Argument

Do you believe in objective morality? I.E. an objective morality would be that something such as rape is always wrong. If objective morality doesn't exist then show a case where rape is right.

1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
2. Morality is objective and absolute.
3. Therefore, God must exist. If morality is objective and absolute,

3. The Christological argument
From carm.org/easter-story-true

3a. Jesus' Tomb was Empty (JET)

In additon to the crucifixion, there are numerous reasons to believe that the tomb was indeed empty on that Easter morning. This evidence can be summarized by the acronym JET: J - Jerusalem Factor, E - Enemy Testimony, and T - Testimony of Women. First, the disciples preached the gospel in Jerusalem in the midst of opposition. It would have been virtually impossible for Christianity to survive and expand in Jerusalem if the body of Jesus was still in the tomb. All the opponents of Jesus would have had to do was produce the body of Jesus and squelch this Christian movement.

Second, early enemies of Christianity never disputed that the tomb was empty. Instead, they argued that the disciples stole the body (Matt. 28:12-13; Justin Martyr, Trypho 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30).

Third, and perhaps the strongest evidence, the first witnesses to the empty tomb were women. Sadly, the testimony of women was not regarded highly in antiquity. The Jewish Talmud states, ""Any evidence which a woman [gives] is not valid (to offer), also they are not valid to offer. This is equivalent to saying that one who is Rabbinically accounted a robber is qualified to give the same evidence as a woman" (Talmud, Rosh Hashannah 1.8)." Furthermore, "Sooner let the words of the Law be burnt than delivered to women" (Talmud, Sotah 19a). However, in the Gospels, the apostles are the ones who are cowardly hiding from the Jews and the women bring them news of the empty tomb! If Christians were going to invent the empty tomb story, they most certainly would not have used women as the primary witnesses.

3b. The Transformation of the Disciples and the Emergence of the Christian Faith

The early disciples of Jesus did not expect their great Messiah named Jesus to ever face crucifixion and rise from the dead. In line with the current Jewish thoughts of the day, the disciples's Messiah was to triumphantly defeat the Romans and deliver the kingdom of God to the nation of Israel (cf. Acts 1:6). It is clear that the disciples did not expect the crucifixion. It was indeed an embarrassment to their faith. Their chief leaders had abandoned the faith and become skeptics and doubters. Of all people, women were the first to bring them news of the resurrection!

But, something happened to radically change these pitiful cowardly disciples from trembling doubters to bold proclaimers of this radical notion of a dying and rising Jewish Messiah in the midst of a hostile culture. These disciples were willing to die for their faith, and many of them would actually face death (all of the twelve apostles died by martyrdom except John). Radically, they changed their primary day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, they began to worship this man named Jesus while still claiming to be faithful Monotheistic Jews, something that was extremely radical and was blasphemous to the Judaism of the day. They did this all because something happened on that first Easter morning.

Due to all of these factors, it is certainly reasonable to conclude with the former church persecutor, then turned Christian, the apostle Paul,

"Death is swallowed up in victory. 55'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Cor. 15:54-57).
philochristos

Con

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Although you've probably already seen a gazillion debates on the existence of God, maybe, just maybe, something will come up in this one that you haven't seen before, and just maybe it'll have some influence on your belief, or at least it will pique your curiosity enough to do a little more searching.

Let's get right to it, shall we?

1. The ontological argument

This argument hinges on the premise that there is a possible world in which maximal greatness is instantiated (i.e. it's possible that a maximally great being exists). Since maximal greatness is defined as having maximal excellence in all possible worlds, and since the actual world is a possible world, it follows that a maximally great being exists in the actual world.

The problem is that there's no way to know if that premise is true. In fact, if you begin with a different premise, you end up with the opposite conclusion. You could say, "There is a possible world in which maximal greatness is not instantiated," which would result in there being no maximally great being in any possible world, including the actual world.

Alvin Plantinga himself, who came up with this argument, said, "But obviously this isn't a proof; no one who didn't already accept the conclusion, would accept the first premise."[1]

2. The moral argument

The moral argument depends on a premise that is neither analytically true nor provable--that morality is objective and absolute. It may be that we percieve morality as if it were objective and absolute, but there's no way to verify that our perceptions correspond to reality. Iit's at least possible that morality is all in our heads. Since objective morality has no epistemological grounding, we are within our epistemic rights in doubting it. Pro must give us an argument for objective morality before the moral argument will go through. Since he hasn't done that yet, the moral argument does not show us that God exists.

3. The Christological argument

It is curious that Pro offers this section in his debate on the existence of God, but he never explains how the resurrection (if it hapened) proves the existence of God.

3a. the empty tomb

My opponent gives three arguments for why we should believe the tomb was empty.

J - Jermusalem factor

This argument is horribly weak because according to Acts, the disciples didn't start preaching until 40 days after Jesus' death. If Jesus' body was still around by then, surely it would've been unrecognizable because of decay. So nobody would've been able to use the body of Jesus to disprove the resurrection.

E - Enemy testimony

The earliest account of Christianity's opposition admitting to the empty tomb comes in Matthew, which by most accounts was written in the 80's, a full 50 years after Jesus' death. Matthew's community was unlikely to have been in Judea (much less Jerusalem) since it was composed after the Jewish war.[2] Matthew's neighbors could not have known whether the tomb was empty or not. They probably just took the Christians' word for the tomb being empty and attempted to explain it away. That's often how people react to things like that. For example, if a Mormon missionary came to your house and said, "Joseph Smith was an uneducated man who completed the entire Book of Mormon in just 90 days, which proves that he had devine help," your first reaction wouldn't be to doubt that he was uneducated or that he completed the BOM in 90 days. You'd probably grant that and come up with some other explanation, like maybe an example of sombody else doing something similar without devine help.

T - Testimony of women

This argument is irrelevent since neither the gospels, nor the apostles in acts, nor any of the epistles use the testimony of women to prove the empty tomb. The women finding the tomb empty was just part of the narrative. It wasn't part of a proof of the empty tomb. In all accounts, you have men verifying that the tomb was empty.

The tomb may have been empty, but so far Pro hasn't given a particularly strong argument in favor of it. There are at least a couple of reasons to be doubtful, though.

First, in the earliest records we have of the death and resurrection of Jesus (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15), there is no mention of an empty tomb. Paul gives appearance traditions, showing a desire to prove the resurrection. We'd expect him to appeal to the empty tomb, too, if such were known.

Second, it would've been unusual for anybody who was crucified to have been put in a tomb in the first place. The usual practice would've been to throw the dead body in a common grave with all the other criminals where it would've been decomposed or eaten by scavengers.[3]

3b. The Transformation of the Disciples and the Emergence of the Christian Faith

Pro explains that the disciples did not expect the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus since the messiah was supposed to "triumphantly defeat the Romans and deliver the kingdom of God to the nation of Israel." Since Jesus didn't do that, we need an explanation for why they were later willing to die for their beliefs, change their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, and worship Jesus even though Jews were monotheists. The reason for all this, according to my opponent, is that "something happened on that first Easter morning," presumably the resurrection.

The gospels report that Jesus told them he would die and be resurrected (Matthew 16:21). They may not have been able to wrap their minds around that, but after Jesus was crucified, surely they remembered what Jesus said. That alone ought to have made them wonder if Jesus might rise from the dead, too. At the very least, it would've given them the idea that they could keep the movement alive by claiming Jesus did rise from the dead.

The evidence we have of their martyrdom comes too late to be historically reliable. Most of it comes from the third century or later. We really don't know what happened to most of the apostles since all the earliest records are silent on the matter. The only good evidence we have of any of them dying for their faith is the martyrdoms of Peter and James, the brother of Jesus. But if Josephus is to be believed, James wasn't arrested and tried where he would've had the opportunity to repent. Rather, he was killed by a mob. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob, too. Surely my opponent doesn't think Joseph Smith was telling the truth about the Book of Mormon just because he was killed by a mob. Peter, on the other hand, was crucified, but we don't know whether he had any trial or was given any opportunity to repent, so his death doesn't tell us anything about the strength of his convictions.

Pro's claim that the early Christians changed their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday is false. In the beginning, Jews who had converted to Christianity continued to go to synogogue on Saturday, which is evident throughout the first 13 chapters of Acts as well as in Jesus' prediction that they would be flogged in the synogogues (Matthew 10:17) and kicked out (John 16:2). Christians gathered on Sunday in addition to Saturday. The change from Saturday worship to Sunday worship was gradual, so clearly the change from Saturday to Sunday had nothing to do with the resurrection.

The worship of Jesus only shows that the Christians believed the story. It doesn't tell us anything about why they believed it.

So far, I've only rebutted Pro's case for the resurrection. I haven't made an argument against the resurrection. I'll do that in the next round if I have space, but since Pro has the burden of proof in this debate, I don't have to do that.

Conclusion

There you have it. Three arguments for God all rebutted.



[1] Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil, p. 112

[2] Kenneth G. C. Newport, "Gospel of Matthew," Anchor Bible Dictionary, Volume IV, p. 624

[3] John Dominic Cross, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, p. 153

Debate Round No. 2
Anti-atheist

Pro

1. The ontological argument

It's possible for god to exist as you haven't shown it's impossible. Since we don't have all knowledge we have to say "it possible." Yet when you say it's possible then it must exist if it's a great maximal being.

" . You could say, "There is a possible world in which maximal greatness is not instantiated,"

This fails since a great maximal being not existed is not necessarily true and cannot be.

" Juan Manuel Correa argued that the argument can be used to prove that God does not exist simply by affirming that it is possible that God does not exist:

A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W; and

A being has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world.

It is possible that there is not a being that has maximal greatness. (Premise)

Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being does not exist.

Therefore, (by axiom S5) it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being does not exist.

Therefore, an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being does not exist.

However, Forrest Baird argued that the principle of ontology always works toward reversing its opposite but doesn't work the other way around. In other words, anytime the Ontological Argument is reversed it leads back to inversion. But if one reverses a human being it does not. In this case Correa's reverse argument would fail in premise 4 because it is not logically incoherent (self contradictory) the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being, so its inexistence can't be considered as necessarily true."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument#section_2

2. The moral argument

So can you give a case where rape is Ok since it's not objective. We know it's objective based on the moral code written on our hearts.

Matt slick completely takes down the idea morality is not objective
by asking these questions

If you do not have an objective standard of morality

* by which you can determine what is right or wrong, then from where do you get your morals?
* how are your moral values not just based on your subjective opinions?
* then what gives you the right to make moral judgments upon Nazi Germany or the God of the Bible?
* then should anyone adhere to your moral standard of what is right and wrong?
* then who decided that your subjective standard is the one that anyone should follow?
carm.org/questions-on-standard-of-morality

"let's look at the five pieces of evidence that objective moral values exist. If objective moral values exist and we can intuitively perceive them, this hypothesis explains five pieces of empirical evidence

1.Nearly universally across human cultures, there exist the same basic standards of morality. In addition, there exist in all cultures truly altruistic acts which lead to no personal or genetic benefit.

2.The majority of people who explicitly deny the existence of objective morality still act as if objective morality exists.

3.There exists a nearly universal human intuition that certain things are objectively right or wrong.

4.The majority of philosophers recognize the existence of objective moral facts.

5.Many naturalists (like Sam Harris or Shelley Kagan) affirm the existence of objective moral facts, despite the problems inherent in grounding these facts in the natural world"

From www.shenvi.org/Essays/ObjectiveMoralValues.htm

3.The Christological argument
This is an argument for the existence of god since rising from the grave is impossible and would have to be a miracle. Since Jesus was claiming to be god made flesh this would prove god.

3a. Empty Tomb

J
After 40 days the body can still have identifiable parts [1]. Someone could've produced a shroud that clothed him.

E
Con doesn't address the full argument . The enemies wouldn"t coincide to an empty tomb sinceb it would hurt their case against christ.

T
The point is, they wouldn't of included the women"s testimony even in a naritive. It would've been useless to do it.

Con"s two objections to the resurrection don"t fly.

1. The absence of evidence of Paul mentioning a tomb is not evidence of absense.
2. A tomb burial was a common thing for upper class jews. The Romans wouldn't of resisted as he claimed to be a prophet and had a following

3b. The Transformation of the Disciples and the Emergence of the Christian Faith

Con uses hand waving to escape from this. The disciples really believed jesus rose. Con has yet to prove that wrong.

Con rejects the evidence of the deaths of the disciples because it's too late. Why do we need contemporary proof? As new evidence is appearing all the time from this era.

Con hasnt fully refuted the arguments. Nor has con proven atheism is true or correct. Con tries to do his best to defend the madness of atheism but no one can reasonably.

[1] Field, Brad "Facts about dead bodies" 2005.
philochristos

Con

At the end of his last post, Pro observed that I had not "proven atheism." I can only assume that I have not proven strong atheism, which is the view that no gods exist. It wouldn't make any sense to say that I had not proven weak atheism, which is just a lack of belief in gods, since in that case there would be nothing for me to prove. If he meant strong atheism, then he's right. I haven't even attempted to prove strong atheism. But he is Pro in a debate on the existence of God that he initiated, and he did not stipulate at the beginning that I would have to share the burden of proof or prove the opposite of what he's trying to prove. So I don't have any burden in this debate other than to offer rebuttals to his arguments. The burden is on him to show that God's exists. It's not on me to show that he doesn't.

The ontological argument

The soundness of the ontological argument depends on which of these two premises are true:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being [MGB] exists.

or

2. It is possible that a MGB does not exist.

If 1 is true, then a MGB necessarily exists. If 2 is true, then a MGB necessarily does not exist. The ontological argument does not prove that God exists unless you can show that 1 is true and 2 is false.

Pro gives three reasons to think 1 is true:

I haven't shown it's impossible.

Well, Pro hasn't shown that 2 is impossible either, so by his reasoning, 2 is true, which means God does not exist.

Since we don't have all knowledge, we have to say it's possible.

By that reasoning, we have to also say that 2 is possible, which means God does not exist.

An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being is not logically incoherent.

By that reasoning, 2 is true because the non-existence of such a being isn't logically incoherent either.

So far every reason Pro has given to think 1 is true equally applies to 2, which means that none of these reasons are sufficient to make us prefer 1 over 2. They still seem equal, which means the ontological argument fails.

Pro attempts to show that 2 is false with two arguments:

2 is "not necessarily true and cannot be."

Well, he hasn't shown that 1 is necessarily true either, nor that 2 "cannot be." So this argument fails.

His next argument is a cut and paste job from wikipedia. I don't totally understand what the argument is because I don't know what is meant by "reversing its opposite," "leads back to inversion," or "reverses a human being." But I do understand that he's basically saying the argument doesn't work in reverse and that it doesn't follow from 2 that a MGB doesn't exist. And he appears to be basing that on the fact that since a MGB isn't logically incoherent, then it's non-existence isn't true. But that's a question-begging argument. He's basically denying 2 on the basis that 1 is true, and I already addressed that above.

If a MGB exists in any possible world, then it exists in all possible worlds. So if there is a possible world in which a MGB doesn't exist, then a MGB doesn't exist in any possible world. So the non-existence of a MGB does follow from 2.

Moral argument

Pro thinks Mat Slick's questions "take down the idea morality is not objective," but a question is not an argument. What we need is an argument. If he can turn these questions into arguments, then I'll have something to respond to.

He also offers 5 pieces of evidence that objective morals exist (another cut and paste job).

1.Nearly universally across human cultures, there exist the same basic standards of morality. In addition, there exist in all cultures truly altruistic acts which lead to no personal or genetic benefit.

To be objectively true means to be true independently of human opinion. But here, he seems to think the objectivity of morality depends on human opinion, so he is confused. If all people liked ice cream, it would still be a subjective preference.

2.The majority of people who explicitly deny the existence of objective morality still act as if objective morality exists.

This is an ad hominem fallacy. It doesn't follow that because people who deny objective morals are inconsistent that therefore their point of view is wrong.

3.There exists a nearly universal human intuition that certain things are objectively right or wrong.

And it is up to Pro to demonstrate that this intuition corresponds to reality and is not just in our heads. Truth is not arrived at by counting noses.

4.The majority of philosophers recognize the existence of objective moral facts.

This is the fallacy of argument ad populum. Something isn't true just because most philosophers say so. Most philosophers deny the existence of God, too.[1]

5.Many naturalists (like Sam Harris or Shelley Kagan) affirm the existence of objective moral facts, despite the problems inherent in grounding these facts in the natural world"

People believe all kinds of silly things. It hardly follows that there are objective morals. This is a plainly fallacious argument.

The Christological argument

Pro thinks if the resurrection of Jesus happened, it proves God since if Jesus was raised from the dead, it would be a miracle and because Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh.

This argument is weak for a couple of reasons. First, because it's doubtful that Jesus made any such claim. Second, because there are other alternatives. Maybe Jesus was raised from the dead by a sorcerer. Maybe Jesus was raised from the dead by some spiritual being who is not God.

At the risk of neglecting to respond to every point Pro made, I want to make an argument of my own against the historcity of the resurrection of Jesus. Whether you believe in God or not, let's face it, a resurrection is an extremely improbable event. While we might think that the cumulative effect of the empty tomb and the disciple's willingness to die for their beliefs is strong evidence for a resurrection, we have to pit that against the prima facie improbability of a resurrection.

I grant that it's highly unlikely that somebody would willingly risk their life for something they knew wasn't true, but surely that is not nearly as unlikely as somebody rising from the dead who has been in their grave three days. Likewise, in spite of the historical evidence for the empty tomb, surely it is more likely that the evidence was fabricated than that a dead man came back to life after three days.

But Pro has yet to substantiate his claim that the disciples died for their beliefs. He asserts that the "disciples really believed jesus rose," and claims that I have yet to prove that wrong. But it's not up to me to prove it's wrong; it's up to him to prove it's right. He has the burden of proof in this debate.

It may be that the apostles were lying. Paul claimed that there were "false apostles" who wanted to be regarded as real apostles, so apparently, being an apostle was an attractive prospect to a lot of people in spite of the risks involved. So it is not unreasonable that the original apostles may have made up the story of the resurrection just to keep their status as apostles. The desire for power and influence has corrupted many people. Just look at all the people in the ancient world who wanted to be kings even though most kings ended up being assasinated.

On the other hand, it's possible that the apostles really did believe in the resurrection, but not because they had any good reason. Perhaps Peter was the only one who "saw" Jesus, but it was a hallucination. Nevertheless, he convinced a few of the others who then claimed (dishonestly) to have seen him as well, and pretty soon all 12 apostles claimed to see him as well as scores of other people. Everybody believed everybody else, and their faith was strengthened as a result.

We may not know what actually went down after Jesus died. It may be lost to history. But surely it's more reasonable to think there's a perfectly natural explanation for the origin of Christianity that we simply don't know about rather than to jump to the conclusion that a dead man came back to life.


[1] http://philpapers.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
Anti-atheist

Pro

Con says he doesn't have to prove atheism is true. Hmmmm if you don't have proof of it then it's a faith! Con cannot back up FAITHeism. Fail

1. The ontological argument.

" By that reasoning, we have to also say that 2 is possible, which means God does not exist."

Wrong since"god doesnt exist" is an absolute statement. Saying it's possible god does isnt absolute.

" By that reasoning, 2 is true because the non-existence of such a being isn't logically incoherent either.

So far every reason Pro has given to think 1 is true equally applies to 2, which means that none of these reasons are sufficient to make us prefer 1 over 2. They still seem equal, which means the ontological argument fails."

Wrong 2 fails because it cannot be necessarily true for a god to not exist in every possible world. If god doesnt exist in 1 world it can"t be extended to every possible world. A being existing would extend to all worlds and would necessarily be better than one not existing. As in every possible world a being must be possible, however this being would be the greatest maximal being therefore in a world where god doesnt exist wouldnt be possible. The ontological argument cannot be reversed.
That is the simplified version of what WP said.

2. The moral argument

Con uses hand waving and magic to escape from Slick"s questions I posted. He then complains that they're not arguments. Well since this is the last round I know he did this to escape from my rebuttals.

Con runs from this argument. If morals arent objective prove a case where rape is right.

Where do you get your morals from if morals are not objective. Why should you judge Nazi Germany if morals are not objective. If morals are subjective why should anyone follow your standerd.

1. This proves morality is objective. Because of the sense in cultures would have to be an objective standard in our minds
2. It's not an ad hominem. As people who deny objective morality follow a morality that is objective.
3. I've demonstrated it.
4. Not an ad populem. As the Philos know whats up.
5. So atheists believe silly things? I know that.

3. The Christological argument

Con runs from my arguments and tries to win by presenting an argument of his own.

Sure rising from the grave is improbable if there is no god. So to say it is improbable is begging the question and circular.

Con straw mans the die for a lie argument. It's not someone died therefore it's true but since they died something they saw must've convinced the it's true. We have evidence they died from later dates,however these are based off other evidence found at that time and records. There's no way it can be fabricated.

Con says they could've lied, however there is no way. As matt slick proved

" It is very unlikely that the disciples faked the resurrection of Christ. In summation, this is why:

1.They would need an elaborate plan involving many unpredictable elements: guards, other witnesses, etc.
2.There is a large problem in developing a motive to deceive that would be greater than the consequences of that deception. Remember, the disciples would be risking their security, safety, families, and their lives for their beliefs.
3.The guards at the tomb would have to be bribed, but the only bribing we see is from the Jewish leaders (Matt. 28:11-15) who had a very strong motivation to finish what they had started with Jesus.
Various witnesses not involved with the disciples would have to be obtained in order to validate the story. But this means that a strong incentive would have to be offered to the additional witnesses since their story would likely get them in deep trouble with the Jewish leadership.
4.The apostle Paul. He is a wild card. What illegitimate thing would motivate him to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus when it didn't happen? Remember, he was a heavy persecutor of the church. Something happened to change him. According to him, it was the appearance of the risen Lord Jesus. "
carm.org/disciples-stole-jesus-body-and-faked-his-resurrection

Then states that it could've been a hallucination.

This fails hard for these reasons

" First, the claim that Jesus had returned from the dead wasn"t natural at all. Some of the Jews of the time believed that there would be a general resurrection, a resurrection of everyone, at the end of time, but none of them expected an individual to be resurrected in the present.

Second, some of those to whom Jesus appeared certainly weren"t expecting him to come back from the dead because some of those to whom Jesus appeared weren"t even disciples of his. Some were converted to Christianity by their experiences of the risen Jesus; those experiences cannot have been produced by their faith, because they didn"t have any faith until they saw him.

Third, and most conclusively, they add, the appearances of Jesus that were claimed just aren"t of the kind that can result from hallucinations. Hallucinations are individual affairs, but the appearances of Jesus were before groups of people. Group hallucinations do not happen, there must have been something else going on than this. Again, then, it is concluded, the naturalistic theory doesn"t do justice to the historical data."
from www.existence-of-god.com/resurrection-evidence.html

Con has so many fails to prove and defend atheism. Jesus is the risen God as I have proven 100% beyond shadow of a doubt. Some atheists may even convert reading this debate. Jesus rose and God exists it is a fact and should be taught in science class in public schools.
philochristos

Con

Thank you, Anti-Atheist, for completing this debate. If I had known you forfeited so many debates before, I probably wouldn't have accepted, but I'm glad you stuck with this one.

The ontological argument

I showed in the last round that every argument Pro used to prove that a MGB exists equally applies to the non-existence of a MGB, and his responses are barely coherent. After ignoring my argument for the non-existence of MGB, he advanced an argument in an attempt to show that I couldn've have possibly done such a thing. One of the premises in his argument is that "If god doesnt exist in 1 world it can"t be extended to every possible world." However, I showed that if a MGB doesn't exist in one workd, then it can be extended in every possible world. A MGB can only exist if it exists in all possible worlds. So if there is just one possible world in which a MGB doesn't exist, then a MGB doesn't exist in any possible world at all.

The moral agument

Pro engaged in motive-mongering, saying I avoided Matt Slick's questions so I could escape his rebuttals. However, it's not fair to ask a bunch of questions of your opponent. It takes a lot more characters to answer questions than to ask them, so I judiciously chose only to respond to arguments.

I'll briefly address these questions, though, since I have a little room:

Where do you get your morals from if morals are not objective. Why should you judge Nazi Germany if morals are not objective. If morals are subjective why should anyone follow your standerd.

The last two questions commit the fallacy of complex question. They assume there is an objective standard of right and wrong, which I do not grant. Why should I judge Nazi Germany? There's no "should" about it. Why should anybody follow my standards? There's no "should" about it. In answer to the first question, my sense of morality comes from my own conscience. You don't have to believe in objective morality in order to value people anymore than you have to believe in objectively good food in order to appreciate ice cream.

After refuting Pro's five arguments for objective morality, this is how he responded to my refutations:

1. This proves morality is objective. Because of the sense in cultures would have to be an objective standard in our minds
2. It's not an ad hominem. As people who deny objective morality follow a morality that is objective.
3. I've demonstrated it.
4. Not an ad populem. As the Philos know whats up.
5. So atheists believe silly things? I know that.

3-5 are non-responses. They don't grapple with what I said, and they don't advance any argument, so they can be ignored. 1 reveals Pro's confusion about what it means for a moral statement to be objectively true. It does not depend on whether anybody believes it or not. 2 reveals Pro's confusion about what an ad hominem fallacy is. You cannot refute a person's view by pointing out an inconsistency in how they live.

The Christological argument

Pro thinks I begged the question by saying the resurrection is improbable since it's only improbable if God doesn't exist. But that is not why I say it's improbable. Even if God exists, it's still improbable. How many people has God raised from the dead in the course of human history? Even if you grant all the claims of resurrections, they're still extremely rare compared to the number of people who have died in the last 4000 years. And let's be honest, even if you're a devout Christian, you're going to have a hard time believing it if somebody tells you that your dead relative has come back to life. What are the chances of that?

If Pro denies that resurrections are improbable on the basis that God exists, then he is the one who is begging the question.

I did not straw man the die for a lie argument. I did not say anything like, "According to the die for a lie argument, if you die for some belief, then it must be true." It's actually Pro who is strawmanning me since I never said that.

Pro gives a four reasons for why it's unlikely the disciples lied about the resurrection (another cut and paste job from Carm):

1.They would need an elaborate plan involving many unpredictable elements: guards, other witnesses, etc.

They didn't start preaching the resurrection until 40 days after the event. Guards would've been a non-issue at that point. Other witnesses would've been unnecessary, but it was a happy accident that other people started claiming to have seen Jesus, too.

Pulling off a hoax is not that difficult. Joseph Smith got several people to sign a statement saying they saw the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was supposedly translated. But those plates never existed, and none of those people saw anything.

2.The disciples had no motive to lie, especially since it meant risking their lives.

I already responded to this. The motive is honor, power, and prestigue. People frequently risk their lives for vain ambition.[1] Besides, it's at least more plausible than a corpse coming back to life.

3.The guards at the tomb would have to be bribed.

No, they wouldn't. Remember, they didn't start preaching until 40 days after Jesus died. Besides, Pro never showed that there were any guards at the tomb. Matthew is the only one that mentions them.

Various witnesses not involved with the disciples would have to be obtained in order to validate the story.

Not necessary, as I've already explained.

But this means that a strong incentive would have to be offered to the additional witnesses since their story would likely get them in deep trouble with the Jewish leadership.

People love to tell fantastic stories. That's why there's so many people claiming to have seen UFO's. And this assumes wide-spread Jewish persecution from the very inception of the church, but according to Acts, very few people ran into trouble with the Jews. It was mostly just the leadership, and even with them it was rare. We find them preaching in synogogues week after week without being harmed.

4.The apostle Paul. He is a wild card. What illegitimate thing would motivate him to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus when it didn't happen? Remember, he was a heavy persecutor of the church. Something happened to change him. According to him, it was the appearance of the risen Lord Jesus.

A couple of things could've motivated Paul--a desire to become a respected apostle, guilt for the persecution, or maybe he had a vision or hallucination of Jesus that convinced him Jesus had risen. Who knows? We don't have to answer that question to have reasonable doubt that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Pro did another cut and paste job to answer my hallucination scenario (I feel like I'm debating everybody on the internet except Pro).

First, he says nobody was expecting Jesus to rise, and Jews only believed in a general resurrection. That's false since Jesus predicted his resurrection, and many Jews thought Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead (Matthew 14:2).

Second, he pointed out that some people who were converted because of an appearance were not initially followers of Jesus and so couldn't have expected him. But that is irrelevant to my scenario in which Peter is the only one who saw Jesus and after convincing others that Jesus had risen, they, too, began to claim to have seen Jesus. They were converted by Peter, not by seeing Jesus themselves.

Third, he claims that hallucinations are individual and cannot happen in groups. But that is irrelevant to my scenario in which Peter was the only person to have a hallucination. Besides, people sometimes do see things in groups that aren't there, e.g. Marian apparitions, faces in clouds, or Mother Theresa in a cinnamon roll.

In the end, Pro said:

Jesus is the risen God as I have proven 100% beyond shadow of a doubt. Some atheists may even convert reading this debate.


Well, you have to admire his optimism.

Conclusion

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Please vote.



[1] Over half of the Roman emperors were murdered. http://www.allempires.com...
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by alvarezd41 3 years ago
alvarezd41
Hi everyone,
I would like to give you hope and tell you what I have been revealed by our creator. 1st let me start by saying that we are our creator's most treasured and beloved creation. We are all extremely valuable and we all hold the knowledge of creation inside each and everyone of us.

God is inside everyone of us. We are all eternal beings, this means we have always been and will always be. When in doubt look inside of you and you will find the truth. It has always been there. Our true self exist beyond this existence. If you truly want to know god all you have to do is remember and let the truth come out and embrace your true self for we already know god and have always known him.

Don't get caught on the lies of this materialistic world.

We are already closer to our creator than anything else in existence but we must learn to look inside and trust for he exist within you.

Peace and love be with you my eternal brothers. I truly love you all.

We are all connected.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 3 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
Anti-atheistphilochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con breaks pro's premises. Pro's case necessarily falls apart. Also, initial votebomb was cancelled.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 3 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
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Reasons for voting decision: Ontological argument - Con. A lot of things are said about what is necessary, but no-one knows. The reverse formulation is just as plausible. Moral argument - Con. Pro does not establish there are objective moral facts. Christ argument - Con. It's a weak argument anyhow and Con rebuts Pro's arguments. Con on all three = debate to Con
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 3 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: I believe in God too.
Vote Placed by pdog 4 years ago
pdog
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: i belive in god