The Instigator
IvenMartin
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
james14
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

God does not arbitrarily manipulate the laws of physics and perform miracles.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
IvenMartin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,153 times Debate No: 64839
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (1)

 

IvenMartin

Pro

Defining God.
There are three commonly held views on God that can be broken down by category. In the first view God can and does interfere with the universe, arbitrarily manipulating the laws of physics and performing miracles. In the second view, God is part of the universe and works to the laws of physic- we may have observed God already but have a different name for it (e.g. nature). In the third view, God does not interfere with the laws of physics but may have spun things into motion. In the first view, God would have some useful applications, however his decisions would be completely arbitrary- thus we could only speculate his reasoning. In the second and third view the natural processes of the universe would work to the same, and God needs not to be a part of a model of the universe.

Premises.
Our Current views on the motion of bodies date back to Galileo and Newton. Previously, views on the motion of bodies dated back to Aristotle. Aristotle stated that the natural state of a body was at rest, and that it only moved if driven by force. This followed that a heavy body should fall at a higher velocity than a lighter one, because it would have a greater pull to the earth. Furthermore, he proposed the laws of the universe could be worked out by thought, and observation was not necessary. As a result, those who accepted the Aristotelian tradition never bothered to see whether bodies of different weights did fall at different rates of speed.

In fact nobody had tested his predictions until Galileo Galilei came along. Galileo demonstrated this belief to be inaccurate with an experiment. To explain, he rolled balls of different weights down a smooth slope, and found they landed at the same time at the same speed. In this experiment, Galileo found, that a body will increase it's velocity per distance fallen: X=(a*t")/2. These measurements were used by Newton as a basis in his laws of motion. In 1687, Newton made a publication, "Principia Mathematica" in which he stated that a body not acted on by any force, moves in the same direction at the same velocity. However, when acted on by a force, a body will change it's speed proportional to the force. In addition, he discovered that every body attracts every other body with a force that is proportional to the mass of each body. Therefore, it was governed by a few concepts, the mass of the objects and their distance apart.

An example would be provided by a car: the greater the engine power, the greater the acceleration, but the heavier the car, the smaller the acceleration for the same engine. On the other hand, a lead weight would fall faster than a feather, but only because it is slowed down by air resistance: F grav-F air/m2=a. Concurrently, David R Scott demonstrated that a feather and a lead weight does fall at the same rate on the moon, where there is no air resistance. Therefore, a heavier body will have twice the force of gravity pulling: F grav=(G*m1*m2)/d", but will also have twice the mass. According to Newton's second law, these two effects will cancel each other, so the acceleration will be the same in all cases: F grav/m2=(G*m1)/d"=a. Observation did not agree with the predictions of Aristotle's views, therefore they had to be abandoned, following the scientific method.

"It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing -- a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E is equal to m c-squared, in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa. The mass and energy were in fact equivalent, according to the formula mentioned above. This was demonstrated by Cockcroft and Walton in 1932, experimentally."- Albert Einstein Before 1915, space and time were thought of as an arena in which events occurred, and remained unaffected by what occurs in it. However, Albert Einstein developed the special theory in which he stated that E=mc^2 or in other words the energy of an object is equal to the mass of an object times the speed of light square. If we add kinetic energy in the equation then it would follow that E=mv^2/2+mc^2, in which the energy of an object is equal to the momentum and velocity of an object and it's mass times the speed of light square. To explain, the velocity of an object is added to it's mass, and it should therefore follow, (assuming Newton's second law of motion) that the velocity of an object should increase it's force of gravity.

"We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances." -Sir Issac Newton. Albert Einstein's special theory of general relativity suggested that spacetime is not flat, as previously assumed: it is curved, or "warped", by the distribution of mass and energy within it. In addition, gravity can be thought of as a hole in a body of water that stretches out forever, this hole would cause water to drain away affecting anything that falls within its distortion. In fact Einsteins equations had shown that space and time would be affected by the mass of bodies, and in turn, this would affect bodies in motion.

Conclusion.
"We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes "the world" is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics..." -Richard Feynman. Imagine we could figure out the rules of the game, then play it backwards to find an initial state. However, this would not be possible if God was to arbitrarily manipulate these rules. To explain why, the universe would no longer work to the same laws. Therefore, our methods become unreliable. As a matter of fact, we not only assume the laws of physics remain constant, we absolutely depend on it. In a universe where the laws of physics remain constant, we can make predictions for future observation. If however, observation does not agree with the predictions made, then we have made a mistake.

Science has established that God does not interfere with the laws of physics. Therefore, if a god actually exist he must be one of the remaining options available. If God is part of the universe and works to the laws of physics, we may have observed it. However, if this is the case then it's applications are not what Christianity claims it to be. Furthermore, if it God does not interfere, then (assuming Ockham's Razor) it should be left out of our models. Einstein's equations predicted that the universe had a beginning, and possibly an end, however we can only imagine what happened before the beginning of space and time, since General Relativity breaks down at a singularity. Correspondingly, if, as is the case, we know only what has happened since the big bang, we cannot determine what happened beforehand. As far as we are concerned, events before the big bang can have no consequences, so they should not form part of a scientific model of the universe. We should therefore cut them out of the model and say that time had a beginning at the moment of the big bang.
james14

Con

I object to your definition that God "arbitrarily" "interferes" with the universe. If you or I can have reasons for our decisions it is hardly fair to claim that the Creator of the Universe does miracles "arbitrarily." Miracles may seem arbitrary to you or me, but that is no basis from which to state that God has no reason for what He does.

Pro's argument seems to be this: we explain the universe based on discovered laws of physics. We depend upon the laws of physics remaining constant in making predictions. If the laws of physics weren't constant, then we wouldn't be able to predict or understand the universe. Science has established that God does not interfere with the laws of physics in that the scientific method has established the existence of scientific laws that have no exceptions.

The problem with this argument is that natural laws are descriptions of what happens, not prescriptions of what must happen. Natural laws don't cause anything, they only describe what regularly happens in nature. The four known natural forces can be---and are--overcome every day by intelligent beings. For example, when I throw a ball I am overcoming the force of gravity with the propelling force of my right arm. Now, many miracles can be understood in that sense. For example, the impossible removal of a massive stone too heavy to lift is not impossible if a Being stronger and more intelligent than us exists. But more to the point, natural forces could certainly be overcome (and the "laws of physics" overruled, so to speak) by the Creator of those natural forces. As a result, one must understand that supernatural intervention does not denote a suspension of the laws of physics but instead indicates the victory of God's infinite force over the created forces.

Referencing dimensions may be helpful. From a two-dimensional perspective, three-dimensional creatures would be able to do what would appear frankly supernatural, appearing, disappearing, changing shape, but actually no "laws" would be violated. The Flatlanders' understanding of physics is restricted to one plane and as a result is not sufficient to account for the workings of three-dimensional beings. Now, I will not state that God is a creature of a particular dimension(s), but certainly angels may be regarded as creatures of higher dimensions than ours, being also created beings. It is not unreasonable to postulate that such higher-dimensional beings would be able to appear and disappear at will and do other "supernatural" (to us) things as from their dimensional vantage point they would be able to utilize "natural," or "supernatural" if you prefer, laws that would enable them to do what would appear to be impossible to us. To quote, God does "manipulate the laws of physics." He uses them for His own purposes, and He achieves his purposes through forces impossible from our dimensional perspective and/or His own infinite force.

To summarize: Pro says that miracles cannot exist because the Scientific Method supports the Laws of Science. In other words, evidence supports the continuity of the immutability of forces. However, this does not preclude the existence of miracles. If evidence were to be found for the existence of miracles, then from the perspective of the Scientific Method one would be forced to believe in them and the existence of supernatural forces. If Pro claims that there is no evidence for miracles, that is a different matter, but his claim that miracles are impossible is unfounded. If God exists (view 1, minus "arbitrary") then miracles are possible. If miracles exist, then God must exist. I would claim that there is evidence for miracles, such as the miracles worked by Jesus and primarily his resurrection from the dead.

By the way,
Pro says "As far as we are concerned, events before the big bang can have no consequences, so they should not form part of a scientific model of the universe. We should therefore cut them out of the model and say that time had a beginning at the moment of the big bang."
I disagree. "Events before the big bang can have no consequence"? How about the big bang? I would argue that the Big Bang (and the existence of the entire universe) would qualify as a reasonable consequence.
Debate Round No. 1
IvenMartin

Pro

Natural laws don't cause anything, they only describe what regularly happens in nature. The four known natural forces can be---and are--overcome every day by intelligent beings. For example, when I throw a ball I am overcoming the force of gravity with the propelling force of my right arm. Now, many miracles can be understood in that sense."

Firstly, I would like to respond that you have a slight confusion as to what my view on what scientific laws actually are. Thus you have made a complete straw man and unsuccessfully attempted to beat it down. Gravity follows Newton's second law of motion, which when we overcome it, violate no laws at all. To explain, Newton stated that an object in motion will stay in motion (at the same speed and in the same direction) until it is acted upon by some force. We serve as this other force when we pick up this object!

Secondly, laws are not just something that we observe occurring in our universe, they are a large collection of facts determined by experiment into a single statement. Scientific laws are strongly supported by empirical evidence, and are often quoted as fundamental controlling influences rather than descriptions of observed facts. In this argument, I have stated very briefly, that because of our views on space and time (see, the special theory of general relativity) we are led to believe that should these laws ever be violated, then predictions for future observation would become much more difficult. To explain why, somewhere down the line we would find a non sequitur in our search for an explanation on how the universe actually works (see my quote regarding Richard Feynman).

Thirdly, you provide a source in favor of the miracles of Jesus which is taken as authority only by a specific group of people (Christians). There has never been a single shred of evidence outside of the anecdotal claims of people possibly thousands of years ago. If for example, God could perform miracles, and we as humans could appease God and persuade him to heal the sick, as Christians claim, then why do we not have faith healers in the hospitals healing cancer patents and restoring amputated limbs? Would that not be of special interest to the public and the scientific community as a whole? The bible could be a myth in attempt to describe what the ancient people saw, however it is not an accurate description of our universe, nor is it a reliable source to predict future events. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson once said, the bible claims a star will fall to the earth and cause our waters to become bitter, those who wrote the bible had no clue what those little pin points in the sky actually were. And lastly, I would like to bring up the fact that they thought the sky could be rolled away like a scroll, leading up to another dimension beyond our physical universe where the kingdom of heaven lies.

Fact number one, snakes do not talk! Fact number two, the bible describes an event in which would have destroyed all of (plant and animal) life on the face of the earth, leaving Noah and his family stranded on the water with a bunch of hungry carnivores. Fact number three, there is a spruce tree in Sweden much older than your bible claims. And fact number four, the universe cannot support life without nuclear fusion. And lastly, the same God that will torture people for eternity, for not believing he actually exist and yet has provided us with no reason to believe is not benevolent as the bible openly states. Therefore, the bible is no credible source of information, and I am led to abandon it as an authority.
james14

Con

1) The Straw Man complaint:
I think Pro missed my entire point. My point in submitting the ball example was that if we, as finite human beings could serve as a force, surely God's infinite power would be enough to do miracles. Pro did not respond to my argument that miracles could be interpreted as supernatural force overcoming natural force.

2) " . . . should these laws ever be violated, then predictions for future observation would become much more difficult. To explain why, somewhere down the line we would find a non sequitur in our search for an explanation on how the universe actually works . . ."
Not so. We see examples in the field of medicine every now and then where doctors say they have no idea how a patient could have recovered from a disease or infection. For example, I personally have heard of a Christian's broken leg healing far faster than the doctors thought possible. Now, must the doctors throw up their hands at this and declare that they cannot make any more predictions regarding broken bones? No. They simply call it a "miracle" and move on, confident that in the vast majority of cases their predictions will come to pass. Accepting the possibility of supernatural intervention merely requires that scientists recognize that every once in a great while they may encounter something clearly impossible that nevertheless happens and further recognize that these exceptions are the work of God.

I never mentioned the Bible, Pro. Check again. The Bible is historically accurate, but Jesus' resurrection can be believed even without it. Secular sources all affirm that
1) Jesus lived
2) Jesus was crucified
3) Jesus died
4) Jesus' disciples claimed he rose again
5) Even when Jesus' disciples were killed for their belief, they refused to deny they were speaking the truth about what they had seen.
6) No one ever saw Jesus' dead body again.
7) Despite persecution, christianity grew rapidly and even the emperor became a Christian in the end.

Logically, why would the disciples die for something they knew to be false? They had nothing to gain from proclaiming Jesus alive if He was actually dead. And if Jesus was actually in his tomb why didn't the Romans and the Jews just open it up and show the Christians His dead body? (The tomb had been thoroughly sealed and guarded; it would have been impossible for the disciples to steal it. And why would they want to?)
And finally, why did Christianity spread so fast? Islam spread through persecution. Christianity spread despite persecution. One of the main reasons Christianity spread as it did was that people saw the miracles the disciples did in the name of Jesus.

How would Pro explain the universal presence of cultural tales of angels and demons?

Also, the New Testament is actually historically accurate:
The New Testament is an accurate copy of what was originally written. The time gap between the oldest original manuscript and the oldest surviving manuscript is only about 25 years, possibly less. This is considerably less than the gap that exists for many ancient authors such as Homer, Caesar, or Plato. Also, there are nearly 5,700 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The number of copies means that it is easy to reconstruct what would have been the original. Scholars point to "errors," but the majority or variants involve spelling or grammar, leaving a text that is 98.33 percent pure.

The New Testament is also historically reliable. Most, if not all, of the books of the NT were definitely written before AD 70, about 40 years after the death of Jesus. This is a reasonable gap. Historical research indicates that a myth cannot crowd out the truth while eyewitnesses are still alive. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, which are for our purposes the most important part of the Bible, were written by eyewitnesses that were present at the events they later recorded. Acts was written by Luke and contains no fewer than 84 historically confirmed details, such as place names, local regents, and local weather. Why would he be more careful with these than with the miracles and signs he also writes about? In the gospel of Luke, eleven historical figures are mentioned in the first three chapters, and all have been confirmed by non-Christian writers and/or archaeology. The other gospels are similar.

The New Testament Story is not a Legend. The gospels are historically corroborated and were written close to the events they describe.
New New Testament Story is not a Lie. The writers included embarrassing details about themselves that they would certainly not have lied about. They included facts their readers could check on and even provoked their readers to do so. And they endured torture and death for their story.
The New Testament Story is not an embellishment. The New Testament writers were meticulously accurate, as evidenced by over 140 historically confirmed details. They recorded miracles in those same historically confirmed narratives, and they did so with apparent objectivism, without apparent embellishment or theological comment.

The New Testament writers definitely believed what they wrote. And they wrote what they saw. They did not suffer a group hallucination, because group hallucinations do not happen. We are forced to conclude the resurrection and Jesus' miracles did happen.

Faith healer objection: I did actually once attend a church where they claimed that they had done thousands of miracles among the sick. However, the simple answer to your question is that healers cannot heal whenever they want. They can ask God to heal, but God may or may not answer their prayers.

The Bible IS historically accurate. Your complaint about the "star" falling to earth does not prove anything. We still speak of shooting "stars" that are actually meteors falling and burning in earth's atmosphere. This is probably what the Bible means.

Your point about another dimension is good. Did you not read my argument about another dimension making miracles possibly for the beings living there? I do not see a scientific problem with another dimension, as the dimension would obviously by its nature be impossible to detect--except through the miracles done by it.

In the Bible the Devil is referred to by several names. The "snake" is one of them. The Devil need not be a literal snake.

Floods do not destroy all plant life! A flood distributes seeds around the earth, and those seeds can grow when the waters recede.

We do not find trees older than the flood, in Sweden or elsewhere.

God is just. And He is benevolent in that He has provided a way to avoid hell.

Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
IvenMartin

Pro

I believe the key to an effective means of communication is the capability to accurately and elegantly convey information from one intelligence to another.

" My point in submitting the ball example was that if we, as finite human beings could serve as a force, surely God's infinite power would be enough to do miracles."

Con has made this specific objection in response to my statements regarding Newtonian physics, in which I assert that gravity as a force (F=ma in which the force of gravity is equal to the mass of an object times acceleration) acting upon an object can be overcome in accordance with newtons laws of motion that specifically state that an object in motion will stay in motion (in the same direction at the same velocity) until acted upon by some outside force. We may serve as this force by picking up an object and projecting it. Con asserts the existence of supernatural forces which acts in accordance with the scientific laws of the universe, and rejects the definition of miracles I have provided as the arbitrarily manipulation of the laws of physics in order to achieve desired results in the known universe. What we have accomplished is an understanding of the opposing speaker's personal views on miraculous events. However, I may ask, at which point does the supernatural forces interact in the known universe without being confused with the fundamental forces of nature.

Aristotle believed that all of matter in the universe was made up of four basic elements- earth air, fire, and water. These elements were acted upon by two forces; gravity, and levity. In addition he believed that matter was continuous, that is, one could cut a piece of matter into smaller and smaller bits without limit. On the other hand, the Greeks, such as Democritus, held that matter was inherently made up of large numbers of Atoms. (Meaning "indivisible" to the Greeks.) For Centuries the arguments continued without supporting evidence on either side. Later, in 1803 British chemist and physicist John Dalton pointed out that the fact that chemical compounds always combined in certain proportions could be explained by the grouping together of atoms to form units called molecules. However, this argument was not settled in favor of atomists until 1905, by Albert Einstein. Before his paper on special relativity (not to be confused with the general theory of relativity) Einstein pointed out that what was called the Browning motion- the irregular random motion of small particles of dust suspended in liquid- could be explained as the effects of atoms of the liquid colliding with liquid particles.
By this time there were already suspicions that these atoms were not, after all, indivisible.
Trinity College, J.J. Thomson. http://www.biography.com...
1911, Ernest Rutherford. http://www.biography.com...
Cambridge, James Chadwick. http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk...
Before 1969, it was thought that protons and neutrons were elementary. However, experiments indicated that, they too were made up of smaller particles- called quarks.
Caltech physicist Murray Gell-Mann. https://the-history-of-the-atom.wikispaces.com...
http://m.particleadventure.org...
So the question is: What are the truly elementary particles, the basic building blocks from which everything is made? Since the wavelength of light is much larger than the size of an atom, we cannot hope to "look at the parts of an atom in the ordinary way. Quantum physics tells us that all particles are in fact waves, and the higher the energy of a particle, the smaller the wavelength of the corresponding wave. (http://www.pitt.edu...). So the best answer we can give to our question depends on how high a particle we have at our disposal, because this determines how small a length scale we can look. These particles are measured in units called electron volts. (https://www.princeton.edu...). In the nineteenth century, when the only particles that people knew how to use were the low energies of a few electron volts generated by chemical reactions such as burning, it was thought that atoms were the smallest units. In Rutherford's experiment, the alpha-particles had energies of millions of electron volts. More recently, we have learned how to use electromagnetic fields to give particles of at first millions and then thousands of millions of electron volts. And so we know that particles that were thought to be "elementary" are, in fact, made up of smaller particles.
Using wave/particle duality, everything in the universe, including light and gravity, can be described in terms of particles. These particles have a property called spin. One way to think of spin is to imagine the particles spinning on it's axis. However this can be misleading, because quantum mechanics tells us that particles do not have any well-defined axis. (http://spinningparticles.com...).
The matter particles obey what is called the Pauli's exclusion principle. This was first discovered in 1925 by Australian physicist Wolfgang Pauli- for which he received the Nobel prize in 1945. (http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu...).
A proper theory of the electron and other 1/2 spin particles did not come until 1928, proposed by Paul Dirac. (http://www.nobelprize.org...), and ( http://www.pha.jhu.edu...). We now know that every particle has an antiparticle, with which it can annihilate.
In quantum physics, the forces or interactions between matter particles are all supposed to be carried by particles of integer spin" 0, 1, or 2, which, as we see, give rise to forces between the matter particles. What happens is that a matter particle, such as an electron or a quark, emits a force carrying particle. The recoil from this emission changes the velocity of the matter particle. This collision changes the velocity of the second particle, just as if there had been a force between the two matter particles. It is an important property of the force carrying particles that they do not obey the exclusion principle. This means that there is no limit to the number that can be exchanged, and so they can give rise to a strong force. On the other hand, if the force particles have no mass of their own, the forces will be long range. For more information see http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu... and http://grandunificationtheory.org....

Con states that, " Accepting the possibility of supernatural intervention merely requires that scientists recognize that every once in a great while they may encounter something clearly impossible that nevertheless happens and further recognize that these exceptions are the work of God."
Con provides an anecdote in support of his claims, which ultimately is the topic of this debate. Unfortunately, for con, his example provided is not impossible, nor is it's occurrence limited to a group of people with a specific set of beliefs. And I quote, " For example, I personally have heard of a Christian's broken leg healing far faster than the doctors thought possible. Now, must the doctors throw up their hands at this and declare that they cannot make any more predictions regarding broken bones? No. They simply call it a "miracle" and move on, confident that in the vast majority of cases their predictions will come to pass." On the other hand, his example is an appeal to hearsay in which I would argue direct from Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, "Question everything."

I never mentioned the Bible, Pro. Check again.
And I quote, " I would claim that there is evidence for miracles, such as the miracles worked by Jesus and primarily his resurrection from the dead." Implications of the bible is directly cited from the mention of the resurrection. However, now he attempts a different approach in support of his claims: " 1) Jesus lived
2) Jesus was crucified
3) Jesus died
4) Jesus' disciples claimed he rose again
5) Even when Jesus' disciples were killed for their belief, they refused to deny they were speaking the truth about what they had seen.
6) No one ever saw Jesus' dead body again.
7) Despite persecution, christianity grew rapidly and even the emperor became a Christian in the end." May I see a source of information, that when traced back to it's original source, does not rely upon the authority of the dogmatic claims of the bible?

Logically, why would the disciples die for something they knew to be false? Assuming that in your next post, you can provide me with a reliable source of evidence in support of your claims, I would like to recognize the validity of your question. https://www.aclu.org... may be a good place in search for your answer.

"And finally, why did Christianity spread so fast?"
I see that you were homeschooled, so I'm not really sure what kind of information you were presented with, but in public school, I was presented with a history of Christianity where "holy wars" and crusades occurred. http://www.usu.edu...

How would Pro explain the universal presence of cultural tales of angels and demons? And I respond, "Pure imagination!"

"However, the simple answer to your question is that healers cannot heal whenever they want." Firstly con presents me with yet another anecdote- same objections. However, his objection presented has a major issue for reliability. We are looking for a method in which can be repeated following peer review. As I mentioned above, his arguments have ultimately curled back around in attempt to support God's decisions as arbitrary originally opposed by himself. And I quote, " I object to your definition that God "arbitrarily" "interferes" with the universe." Concurrently, con goes to explain his objection, "If you or I can have reasons for our decisions it is hardly fair to claim that the Creator of the Universe does miracles "arbitrarily." Actually, I think you may be slightly confused as to what it means to arbitrarily make decisions. Let's say for example, I go to work and I have a detailed checklist of things to do for that day. If I follow that checklist, my actions are defined as in accordance to my tasks. If, for example, I automatically say, "f**k this, I'm going home." then my actions would be defined as insubordination and my decision as arbitrary. So, in other words, your God has made a choice to either heal or not heal an individual with no real way to determine why, and therefore we can only speculate his reasoning. The only way to avoid arguing against the existence of a god who's decisions are defined as arbitrary is to give a short explanation that would allow us to understand what decisions he will make in the near future and why.

"We still speak of shooting "stars" that are actually meteors falling and burning in earth's atmosphere."
Since your objection to a talking snake falls under the same line of logic I will kill two birds with a single stone. Firstly, the bible makes many preposterous claims when taken with a literal interpretation of it's content. In contrast, you do not accept that a snake can produce vocal vibrations that can be understood by humans through means of communication so you state that Satan has manifested himself in the form of a snake in order to deceive eve, in the early chapters of Genesis. However, your objection to a star falling to the earth is a lack of information itself. I would respond that gaining information about the future, especially from a form of intelligence that is omniscient, then I should be able to gain enough information to help me understand it as well. And if this intelligence is omniscient, then he would also understand the importance to be able to accurately convey this information.

" A flood distributes seeds around the earth, and those seeds can grow when the waters recede." I'm not sure if you realize this, but the floods mentioned in the bible would have never receded below the top of Mt. Everest, and I would cite Genesis Chapter 7 verse 19-24, "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.. Fifteen cubics upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of ever creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: And in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was on the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth:"" and as incredible as this story is, it continues to say that Noah and all that were on the ark with him survived, and even populated the whole earth.

We do not find trees older than the flood, in Sweden or elsewhere.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com... I highly doubt you did your research!
james14

Con

"However, I may ask, at which point does the supernatural forces interact in the known universe without being confused with the fundamental forces of nature."

Miracles may be distinguished in that they are done intelligently (God is intelligent) for an intelligent purpose. They are clearly supernatural. And in the case of Divine miracles they will be for the promotion of good; e.g. healing, helping, etc., although it could be argued that evil supernatural forces (such as Satan) may also involve themselves in our world.

My example about the broken bone healing I see as a miracle. In my opinion, that was impossible. But even if that particular incident was possible, there are others that can certainly be said to be impossible, such as an amputee's missing limb growing back or lame men walking.

1) Jesus lived
2) Jesus was crucified
3) Jesus died
4) Jesus' disciples claimed he rose again
5) Even when Jesus' disciples were killed for their belief, they refused to deny they were speaking the truth about what they had seen.
6) No one ever saw Jesus' dead body again.
7) Despite persecution, christianity grew rapidly and even the emperor became a Christian in the end
"May I see a source of information, that when traced back to it's original source, does not rely upon the authority of the dogmatic claims of the bible?"

Yes you may. Josephus, the Jewish (non-Christian) historian recorded all these facts, as did other historians of the time .http://en.wikipedia.org...
(6) is a fact of omission, in that if Jesus' body HAD been discovered, the Jewish leaders would surely have paraded his body around to subdue the wave of Christianity that was spreading through Judea and the Roman Empire, and as a result Josephus and other historians would have recorded that fact too and Christianity would likely have died out. Christianity's rapid growth in the face of persecution is historically confirmed by even today's historians, as are actually all 6 points.

Christians were persecuted. http://en.wikipedia.org... And many did die for their faith. Why would Christians, especially the first ones who claimed to have seen the resurrection, die for a belief they had just made up? After all, according to the Bible these first Christians weren't very brave. Peter denied Christ before the crucifixion, so what made him so brave AFTER the crucifixion? The logical answer would be that the disciples believed what they said happened, namely that Christ did rise from the dead.

I don't know where YOU went to school, but the crusades did not happen until the Middle Ages, or 1095 BC to be precise, about a millenium after the start of the Christian faith. http://www.history.com... There was plenty of persecution between the start of Christianity (with Jesus' death) and 330 AD when the Edict of Milan made Christianity popular and safe.

Pure imagination? Tales of supernatural beings are universal, ranging from African demons to Chinese spirits to Arabian djinn. Witch doctors still exist in many primitive cultures and are revered by the local population for being able to interact with spirits. The widespread presence of these beliefs is testament to the fact that there is a spirit world which man can attempt to interact with.

Pro complains that if miracles do happen, then they are arbitrary because we do not know why God does some miracles and doesn't do others. However, just because there is no way for us to know God's reasoning in every case does not mean that God has no reasons for what he does. It just means that His ways are higher than our understanding.

I didn't say Satan became a snake. I said that "snake" was a name for Satan. Satan is called "dragon" elsewhere in the Bible, which does not mean that he became a mythical dragon. The Bible talking of a "star" is not reflective of God's ignorance. It is reflective of God working through man and to man. The Bible could not have said "asteroid" for that was not a word at the time for them. When John wrote "star," he was communicating a concept that was most clearly represented by that word. Clear enough?

My Bible refers to all "flesh" dying on the earth: animals, birds, etc.. Plants are not mentioned. Noah and co. are obviously excluded. Pro's very quote betrays him. "And in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in dry land, died." Noah and family were not on dry land; they were in a boat. Plants cannot (at least from Noah's perspective) be said to breathe, at least not in the same way that we do. So Pro's argument from the Bible fails.

OK, there are some old trees out there. However, first, Carbon Dating is not always accurate. To date accurately using carbon, we need to be able to have a good idea of how much carbon was in the atmosphere at the time dated. If the flood took place, then the amount of carbon in the atmosphere might quite possibly be quite different from the amount present now. As a result, our estimates could easily be off thousands of years. Second, we do not have a solid date for the flood. As a result, I do not find apparently ancient trees troubling to the theory of the flood.

To summarize:
The Bible is highly accurate and the events depicted in the gospels are historically confirmed. Why believe the writers depicted everything accurately except the miracles and the resurrection? The disciples died for beliefs that Pro thinks they made up. In the end, the truth is that if God exists, miracles are possible. God could alter the laws of physics if He wanted to (as Pro seems to prefer putting it that way) or He could simply exert His own supernatural force. He could also work through angels operating from another dimension. This should be obvious. So, the extent to which my arguments make sense will probably depend on the extent to which you think a belief in God is reasonable. The evidence I have shown does indicate that the resurrection in the Bible did happen historically, which would mean God does exist and that miracles are possible.

I am glad this debate is over.

Thanks, Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
I enjoyed it.
Posted by james14 2 years ago
james14
Iven, it was really nice of you to thank me for my time. I appreciate that, as I must have spent several hours typing these arguments. So thank you.

And commenters, I hope you will vote. Thanks for the debate, Iven.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
Do you think the writings Josephus is a reliable source? Place your votes and let me know what you think. Thank you for your time, firstly to the contender, those who was involved in discussion, and those who will read through the information and leave their thoughts.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
Oh really? Then there must be some kind of conspiracy to cover these miracles up? I've never seen anything like that occur, I'd like to see the dead come back to life!
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Just because the medical profession dismisses it does not mean it doesn't happen. I have seen doctors treat people that are grossly overweight with pills instead of sending them to Jenny Craigs.I have a friend that has lots of physical problems. He has a lousy diet, smokes and drinks. Not once did his doctor address those. Just gave him about 20 pills to take daily.And YOU put YOUR faith in that mess. Good luck, you certainly will need it.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Where have you been. Lots of healing miracles.I have been healed many times till I learned to walk in health.Millions all over this planet go to healing services and walk off healed.How many healing services have YOU been to? Even people raised from the dead. It doesn't happen that often. Why would a person once removed from this mess want to return?There free will is not taken away. I know when I leave it will be goodbye till we return to stop those who think like you from completely destroying all life.

Like I said, even if you saw one raised from the dead, you would still mentally challenge it. That has happened before. After Jesus raised Lazurus from the dead, the religious folks sought to kill him as well as Jesus.Miracles will never produce faith. Just mental ascent. And that does not last very long.That is why Jesus told the pharasees, " if you will not believe Moses ( the first covenant) then neither will you believe though one rose from the dead.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
"He came to prove any man can do those things if they walk in the covenants laid out in the Abrahamic covenant." You dismiss the issue of repeatability, claiming that if we walk upright in the convenant laid out in the Abrahamic "convenant" (though what I believe you meant to say was something on the lines of doctrine) then we too should be able to raise the dead and heal the sick. Why is it not occurring? Are we just that stubborn that nobody has yet to actually perform these types of miracles in today's society? Because there are no statistical records in support of faith healing at all!
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
My apologies in the last post, where my intentions were to support my arguments with links and information. Upon analysis, I have discovered some information that was obviously on my mind and never made it to the post, due to my hasty decision to write and post without a thorough analysis of the information I was submitting. However, I hope I did clear some of your questions and confusions up a bit.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
The very definition of a law is it works every time. Every time lift is applied to an airplane wing, it flies. As long as all the properties in that law are in force.I did not say the law of lift got rid of the law of gravity. Just let those engines fail and the law of gravity was there all the time.

Or take the law of electricity. It was there for thousands of years of man's history. Until someone discovered the properties that made it work, it was just there.

My point is, there are also spiritual laws. They also have to be put in motion, or they are just there. The bible is a handbook on how to get them to work in a man's life.Jesus walked perfectly in those spiritual laws. And nothing could get to him. A raging sea was simply calmed. Dead were raised. Sick were healed. They tried to kill him several times before Calvary. He just walked off.

Jesus did not come here to prove he could do those things. He came to prove any man can do those things if they walk in the covenants laid out in the Abrahamic covenant.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
Lift is a force.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
IvenMartinjames14Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con tries to prove the historical accuracy of the bible in order to prove that God is real an can perform miracles. He fails miserably. There is very little evidence to back up the stories about Jesus outside of the bible, and Jospephus does not offer the proof that Con tries to claim he does. Where Con really loses me is in two places: 1) When he claims that doctors should just accept unknown events as miracles and move on. Scientists/doctors should keep trying to understand the unknown so that they can learn more and be better at what they do. 2) Con says God is predictable in that he always does good, but that Satan might do bad. Since God is all powerful and all knowing, he could stop Satan. Since he doesn't, he is basically responsible for those supernatural events as well. But ultimately, there is no proof of any divine intervention, so miracles are just unexplained events. It's anti-intellectual to just attribute everything we don't understand to an all-powerful god.