The Instigator
Juan_Pablo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Lordgrae
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

God exist - and he speaks to each and everyone of us through experiences and coincidences

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Lordgrae
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,665 times Debate No: 37366
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (55)
Votes (2)

 

Juan_Pablo

Pro

God exist. The greatest evidence for God is the fact that he communicates to people through experiences and coincidences.

He uses all sorts of things to communicate things to us - from the time on the computer clock, to the numbers on a license plate that catches our eye on the expressway. The numbers, the letters, the symbols, the images usually have some kind of significance for us.

I find that God communicates to me daily using palindromes, which are words, phrases, and numbers that are the same forward as they are in reverse.

For example, my birthday is November 9 (11/9), and God has used various things in the environment to communicate things to me with this number. 11/9 backwards is 9/11 - which is the dial code for American emergency services and the date that terrorist Osama Bin Laden attacked the world trade center. God has used the series of numbers "911" to communicate to me past offensive sins I committed he didn't approve of. God has also used the number "222" to express disapproval of my past behavior (2/22 is the day of the year in 2011 that Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people).

God has also used the number "311" to communicate to me moments of sin (3/11 is the day of the year in 2011 when Japan was hit by a monstrous tsunami, killing thousands; incidentally 3/11 is exactly 6 months before 9/11).

Pope Benedict XVI has written articles on coincidences and synchronicity, exlpaining that this is a method God uses to communicate things to us.

"God speaks quietly," the Pope once wrote. "But He gives us all kinds of signs. In retrospect, especially, we can see that He has given us a little nudge through a friend, through a book, or through what we see as a failure - even through 'accidents.' Life is actually full of these silent indications. If we remain alert, then slowly they piece together a consistent whole, and we begin to feel how God is guiding us" [1].

Coincidentally (or intentionally), lightning struck the Vatican the same day Pope Benedict resigned [2].

But the knowledge that God communicates to man through coincidences and other experiences isn't exclusively a Christian concept. Around the world, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and others have also claimed personal and intimate messages from God via this route. Former television executive of Good Morning America Squire Rushnell has written a book on this topic, called When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coinidences. Its pages are loaded with heart-warming stories of personal communications from the divine. Some are also a tad frightening.

Perhaps God is speaking to you even this moment. Look at the time on your computer clock. Does it have any significance to you?


Con will begin his argument(s) against this assertion in the first ROUND. He will demonstrate using whatever methods he has at his disposal to show that God does not communicate to mankind through coincidences and experiences. I will demonstrate that God does in fact use coincidences to express his will and his love for us.


[1] http://www.spiritdaily.net...

[2] http://newsfeed.time.com...
Lordgrae

Con

I shall be taking the con side for this. I accept this debate challenge and shall try to disprove the existence of an omnipresent deity who speaks to us.

First of all. I am an atheist, I shall be using a partially satirical argument, so to clear up any confusions, I do NOT believe in any deity or higher power. Maybe the theory that god caused the big bang (or little phbbbbt) than left to smoke some pot or create parallel dimensions or something, but I do not believe there is any active higher power.

My first argument is a question. Simply why? Why does god communicate through numbers and dates? If he's god, then why doesn't he just show up and say," hi, I'm Yahweh, and you should worship my. Peace out!" It seems a little odd that he communicates through dates, that people have to look up, when a lot of the world doesn't have access to the internet.

" Osama Bin Laden attacked the world trade center. God has used the series of numbers "911" to communicate to me past offensive sins I committed he didn't approve of. God has also used the number "222" to express disapproval of my past behavior (2/22 is the day of the year in 2011 that Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people)."

I think that's a bit of a stretch. If you start flipping around the dates of course your going to find coincidences. That's what they are, coincidences. If you were free of sin, completely and utterly free, your birthday would still be the same. It wouldn't change, you would just look at it as "that's weird, it's 9/11 backwards, coincidence" or perhaps you would find some other meaning in it. People are inclined to find coincidences. It's natural.

You also said right before the quote that 9/11 is also the number for the police department. What if god is trying to tell you to join the police? It seems like a terrible way to communicate to me. God is all knowing, surely he recognizes the flaws in how indirect his IM's are.

"God has also used the number "311" to communicate to me moments of sin (3/11 is the day of the year in 2011 when Japan was hit by a monstrous tsunami, killing thousands; incidentally 3/11 is exactly 6 months before 9/11)."

Okay, so let me get this straight. Your birthday backwards, a birthday that wouldn't change no matter how free of sin you are, and won't change if you end all of your sin, somehow communicates sin to you because if you flip it around it is the date of a terrorist attack, then it so happens that a tidal incident in japan is on the same day of a different month, and that is also somehow god communicating something to you? Here's what I think. Your birthday just happens to be the reverse of the date of 9/11. 9/11 just happens to share the same day of a different month to a tidal incident in Japan. Does god determine you would sin, and then decide your birthday based on events that didn't occur yet?

Your first site's main argument is the "supernatural" claim. It is a non-argument. It dispels any dissenters by saying that god is beyond our comprehension. Well, we've discovered some pretty amazing things, and we have supercomputers. I think we can understand a global conspiracy orchestrated by a higher power that's purpose is well documented in a book that thinks the earth is flat. (In Job, it says that's its circular like a clay seal, witch is flat.)

Your argument that everyone has had these messages from other religions destroys your argument. Hindu's are polytheists. I large majority of Hindu's, even ones who see these messages, stay Hindu. If they were from a Christian god, you would see these people get these messages en masse and suddenly convert to Christianity. Don't give me those incidental stories where a couple people have a vision and convert to Christianity because every religion has those.

"Perhaps God is speaking to you even this moment. Look at the time on your computer clock. Does it have any significance to you?"

Okay. I understand those "talk to the dead shows". They use a method called cold reading, where they start out with something simple, like "does the month of December hold any significance for you" and let the grief stricken person fill in the rest, then the reader verifies the person. If the person responded "My birthday was in December", than the reader would say, "your loved one says happy birthday". Had they said Christmas, or anything else it wouldn't have mattered, the message would have changed, the reader would be right. And if the reader is wrong, they can simply say, "the message must be for someone else".

The same goes for your clock theory. The time doesn't hold any significance to me, so you can say that "god must not be trying to communicate to you", and if it is significant than your still right. That's the problem with your argument. You see coincidences and you say their messages from god, but if you don't see coincidences than you don't think about it. We all run into funny coincidences now and then.

I wouldn't be skeptical if it was only one religion that seemed to see these messages, or only one religion that had miracles, but they all do. Every one of them.

Okay, so your second source can be chalked up to coincidence. The building is a tall building with a metal spire in an open area. If lightning were to randomly strike in that area, chances are it would hit one of the taller religious monuments with a tall thin metal piece on top. More than a hundred lightning bolts hit the Empire State Building every year, is "god communicating something with that?
Debate Round No. 1
Juan_Pablo

Pro

My opponent states the following:

"I wouldn't be skeptical if it was only one religion that seemed to see these messages, or only one religion that had miracles, but they all do. Every one of them."

Bingo. They all do. This is because no religion is entirely right or entirely wrong either. They all have important lessons to convey, and we're expected to learn from them. Our job is to discard the garbage from the useful stuff. This applies to the wisdom of Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and other religious founders. They all had genuine wisdom that can help mankind, but they also shared ideas that can be discarded as useless - even dangerous. Life is a learning experience; humans are expected to learn things. If we fail to learn things, we die. The pages of history are filled with examples of men and women, cultures, nations that died because they failed to heed important lessons. Many also died at the hands of abusers and murderers, who were later punished by divine providence.

There is no one true religion. They all have something to share, and something to blind you with. It's our job to seperate the good fruit from the bad. When people fail to do this there are consequences. Severe, painful consequences.

Besides the tools of logic and critical evaluation, man also has the tools of observation and written history as his guide.

Specifically, we're expected to learn the consequences of significant historical events. Thankfully these events are usually accompanied with divine coincidences to guide our judgement. I, like anyone else, am still learning how to interpret coincidences. I suspect that some of my interpretations may even be incorrect. Ultimately everyone has to decide for themselves how to interpret a personal, public, or historical coincidence. That is my disclaimer for the following sections.


The American Civil War.

As most Americans know, the Civil War was fought between Southern states and Northern states, after the former declared their withdrawal from the Union in a bid to protect the lucrative practice of slavery. Much of the Southern economy was centered around slavery; when the North prevented the expansion of slavery into western territories, Southern states saw this as a slight to their rights, and seceded from the nation. Southern troops took over Union forts in the South, and the Civil War was on. In excess of a million people were killed [1]; the South was left devastated. On April 9, 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrended his Army to the North, effectively ending the Civil War. A few days later President of the Union Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater. The day was Good Friday - April 14, 1865 [2].

Good Friday on the Christian Calendar is mourned as the day Jesus Christ was crucified on the roman cross; he is a symbol of a righteous martyr, who died for advising mankind to value equality and the concept of Paradise on Earth. The fact that the South lost and the North won indicates that God values human equality. That so many people lost their lives in this war is evidence of the Judeo-Christian concept that offensive sin is rewarded with death. The offensive sin being human inequality and slavery.


The deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing coincidences of history are the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler. Both committed unbelievable evil against civilian populations. Both were driven by beliefs of superiority and annihilative ideology. Osama Bin Laden's death was announced on May 1, 2011 - exactly 66 years to the day after the death of Adolf Hilter was announced to the world over German radio [3]. Both men died as foreign forces infiltrated their territorial boundaries.

May 1, 2011 relates the two mass murderers in additional ways. The day happened to be the America's Holocaust Remembrance Day - a day established to recognize the millions of Jewish victims who died at the hands of Hitler's Third Reich [4]. (Holocaust Remembrance Day is a floating holiday; it does not consistently fall on the same day of the year.)

Exactly 8 years earlier - On May 1, 2003 - President George W. Bush gave his famous "Mission Accomplished" speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, declaring that major combat operations in Iraq were over with the successful capture of Saddam Hussein, another human rights abuser and ruthless mass murderer [5].

That he made the speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln is also significant. The news of Bin Laden's death 8 years later was announced by America's first black President, Barack Obama, at the White House - an opportunity first set in motion by America's 16th President [6].


A multitude of meaningful coincidences exist throughout history. Some tragic, some life-affirming.

Two drafters of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who were also respectively the 2nd and 3rd Presidents of the United States, both died exactly 50 years after the Declaration was signed - July 4th, 1826 [7]. The important historical document was signed on July 4, 1776, proclaiming America's independence from Britain and the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and [pursuit of] happiness to the world.

God speaks to mankind through important historical events. But he also speaks to us everday privately. Look around and see if he's communicating with you too!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.when-is.com...
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://www.toptenz.net...
Lordgrae

Con

" They all had genuine wisdom that can help mankind, but they also shared ideas that can be discarded as useless - even dangerous."

Well that means that there were some philosophers in the past. You like some of what they say, and don't like other things, so you say that they were partly "divinely inspired". You say that societies collapsed because they failed to learn important lessons. What was that? The romans failed to learn about how to run an overextended military based empire when the military tries to halfway takeover, and the borders keep getting raided?

Or is it the lesson that the greeks needed to learn to thrive, which is to not engage in many autonomous centralized governments?

Or even the lesson of the Russians to not continue to allow your empire to fall behind because you will never 100% catch up?

Or is it the lesson to not engage Russia in a assault from the west?

These are the lessons that many people learned, and I fail to identify any divine influence in these events. They are simply the lessons of how to run a government. Not how to be good people, or pray to god. The romans failed after making Christianity a major religion.

Today I found a 20 dollar bill on the ground. Then when I got home it was exactly four twenty. This means that god wants me to get high and celebrate hitlers birthday. That's what I'm getting out of it.

You say that we are only beginning to understand it. Well, this is god. If he wanted to get messages across, he could just like facebook me or something. You can't find me if your not a friend of a friend, but he's god so I'm sure that won't be a problem. It's a little too convenient that we have to dig around for these messages. If they were so important, he could make them more obvious and more believable.

I have one question about this good Friday thing. When do you think someone would try to kill you, when your in your house with maybe 50-60 guards, or when your drunk at a playhouse with your family and significantly less security? Does it make more sense that Abraham Lincoln was at the playhouse because it was a Friday night and a holiday, and due to significantly less security and an easy escape route known to him, John Wilkes Booth decided to kill him there, or that god caused it to happen so the numbers line up? Isn't god supposed to give people free will? If he caused the assassination on that day, then he violated JWB's free will.

When you look at the entirety of history, some of the dates are going to match up with others.

It's just cold reading. You are given one or two hints then you fill in the rest. Everyone will interperate it differently. One time (there is a psych class in my school, they do a research project involving people) they gave everyone in my class a piece of paper. They told everyone that they have their horoscope, found by using their birthdays. They asked if anyone felt their horoscope applied to them. I think maybe one or two people in a class of about 27 said no. Then they asked us to pass our horoscope to another person. you want to know what's funny. WE ALL GOT THE SAME THING. You originally compared your birthday and added international tragedies, saying that it was all a message. Everyone with your birthday got the same message, or did they? They will each interperate the message to an answer that fits them. You could show these dates to many people and they would all get different messages.

Just ask your self something. is it more likely that some dates happen to line up every once in a while, and their correlations mean nothing, or that a super being is manipulating the universe to send hidden messages that can be interpreted in many different ways, so that there is no defined answer?

Why would a superbeing decide to communicate this way? Why would he send vague messages that can be interpreted to the answer that suits the reader, when he could simply communicate to everyone quickly and clearly?

What about the people with no access to computers or reliable history? How do they see these numbers? How can they interpret the message, when they don't have the numbers?
Debate Round No. 2
Juan_Pablo

Pro

My opponent brings up an interesting question in the "Comments" section of this debate:

"Why would your god choose to communicate in such a poor and inaccurate way that is easily misinterpreted?"

Answer:

Well, in short, it's because I believe he has no choice.

I don't believe that God is omnipotent (all-powerful). I don't subscribe to the popular view that God is omnipotent and omni-benevolent (unconditionally forgiving). God is restrained by natural limits - and because he is, he has to use whatever crude methods he has available to communicate to mankind. These natural restrictions also require him to be pragmatic with all life-forms he constructs on planet Earth. Thus when cultures and individuals threaten or reduce the qualify of life on Earth, God must respond in a way that will communicate divine anger: earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, droughts, famines, plagues will be used to alert humankind about its awful behavior and force it to change.

I actually believe that the universe is God. I believe the universe is conscious, super-intelligent, and can arrange itself at will (within natural limitations and a reasonable time-frame) to materialize some ambition it has. But it cannot do anything and everything at a blink of an eye. Humans fall in this same category. A human can alter its world tremendously, but there are natural limitations it simply cannot get around. A human can't fly, a human cannot construct some complicated machinery instantaneously, a human cannot distort his body in any infinite way without taking damage. God - the universe - has natural limitations that apply to him, too. I believe these limitations are synonymous to the fundamental rules of the universe - such as the conservation of matter-energy, the conservation of electric charge, the rules of thermodynamics. God simply cannot break these rules much in the same way a human cannot violate the cosmic speed limit (the speed of light). It's simply impossible. God is permitted to do many things within these limits, and therefore God has freedom - just like man. But God does not have all-transcendent freedom. Man doesn't either. The best way I can convey God's limitations is by illustrating our own.

Every human has a body. A human can do great things with his body, and put it to good use. A human can accomplish much with the body he has. But he can't do anything and everything. Well, God has a body too! The physical universe is God's body, and it also doubles as his brain. But he can't do anything and everything with his body.

So why does "god choose to communicate in such a poor and inaccurate way that is easily misinterpreted?"

Because God has no other way to communicate to any intelligent life-form. However, it is a fairly effective means of communication. I have found that God has used even my thoughts - unspoken - to communicate something to me that moment! It's fairly amazing. But it's still subject to error.

I have discovered that most of my interpretations with respect to divine coincidences were correct. But a few were wrong. Communication, as I explained in the "Comments" section, can be sprinkled with error. My human brain is exposed to so much detail at times that it's hard to determine what God is communicating to me. Sometimes I have to rely on logic and critical thinking to determine what I should do in a situation God has planted me in, in spite of any coincidence God may be handing me at the moment. Even more, there is a human element to divine communication - my biases, my prejudices can taint the message God is giving me.

I imagine that when God communicated to anicent people, there were prejudices there, perspectives there, wants there, ambitions there that simply made many things God showed them nearly useless.

Ultimately interpretting God's messages will be made easier with time, simply because humans will have gotten to know what it is that God wants from them as history unfolds.

Remember, this is a God that is both personal and public. He can use a private experience to communicate some vital lesson, but he will also use world history. In the 21st century, world history has so many lessons to share. We should meditate on its lessons to build the world that God - and man - has always envisioned and been fascinated with.

That is the message, I believe, that God most wants to share. It's a vision expressed by Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, Ghandi and a variety of others - which emphasizes heaven on Earth.

That world can be laid down - but it requires each and everyone of us to work on our character, and on our attitude, before we can proceed with larger, more ambitious steps.
Lordgrae

Con

Why would your god choose to communicate in such a poor and inaccurate way that is easily misinterpreted?

"Answer:

Well, in short, it's because I believe he has no choice."

That seems like as much of a cop out of an answer as the "supernatural" claim is. I shall attempt to use a basic argument technique

God is bound by natural law.
You claim that god messages people through earthquakes and storms. This shall be the premise.
God disrupts normal weather and tectonics to send messages to people
If god disrupts natural laws then he is unnatural.
When he disrupts weather patterns and floods the earth, that is unnatural.

If to refute this claim you said that he knew in advance and set the messages beforehand, than god would have to know the future. Being separated from the temporal states of cause and effect, and being able to see the effect before the cause is in itself unnatural.

You say that god uses things like plagues and draughts to communicate his anger. So what does god have against Africa?

"I actually believe that the universe is God. I believe the universe is conscious, super-intelligent, and can arrange itself at will (within natural limitations and a reasonable time-frame) to materialize some ambition it has."

The key word is believe. You are proposing an unfalsifiable hypothesis for a deistic god. You have no proof except a few coincidences. My grandfather died on 9/11 (on an anniversary, not on the actual fall of the twin towers). That would be a message, except that a bunch of people die every day, and his death was not out of the blue. We knew it would be soon. People die every day, my grandfather had to die in a small time frame (wasn't given long to live), the odds of him dying on 9/11 were pretty high. Someone has to die on any date, it doesn't mean anything.

"Because God has no other way to communicate to any intelligent life-form. However, it is a fairly effective means of communication. I have found that God has used even my thoughts - unspoken - to communicate something to me that moment! It's fairly amazing. But it's still subject to error."

"I have discovered that most of my interpretations with respect to divine coincidences were correct. But a few were wrong. Communication, as I explained in the "Comments" section, can be sprinkled with error. "

Well, if you, someone who is fairly experienced in reading these things, has trouble understanding the messages, than that's a bad way of communicating. It's like texting someone in Vulcan.

My human brain is exposed to so much detail at times that it's hard to determine what God is communicating to me. Sometimes I have to rely on logic and critical thinking to determine what I should do in a situation God has planted me in, in spite of any coincidence God may be handing me at the moment. Even more, there is a human element to divine communication - my biases, my prejudices can taint the message God is giving me.

Exactly, the "messages" are 100% fabricated. As I explained with cold reading, you create the message by being given a small feed of coincidence.

You talk so much about believing. You however have done only the act of explaining what you believe. You have not provided any evidence to support your belief. You are presenting the positive affirmation. Please try providing some evidence soon.
Debate Round No. 3
Juan_Pablo

Pro

My opponent, Lordgrae, stated this in ROUND 3:

"I shall attempt to use a basic argument technique [to discredit your arguments in this ROUND]:

God is bound by natural law.
You claim that god messages people through earthquakes and storms. This shall be the premise.
God disrupts normal weather and tectonics to send messages to people
If god disrupts natural laws then he is unnatural.
When he disrupts weather patterns and floods the earth, that is unnatural."

My opponent states this to discredit my claim that God is natural, and therefore to assert that God is not restrained by fundamental natural limitations.

Of course he is wrong about this - and humans serve as a wonderful example. In fact, uncertainty and unpredictability (which is observed in weather phenomena) is quite natural, and is even observed at the most tiniest scales in the universe! In Quantum physics, sub-atomic particle's do not always trace out predictable paths and frequently exhibit uncertainty in their behavior [1]. This causality-defying behavior of particles has been attributed to their wave-like nature. Instead, scientists speak of particles in terms of "probability"; the chances that a particle will be found at a given location in the atom is determined by the square of its relevant psi function [2].

Humans, of course, are made of particles. Now there are a number of rules that apply to particles. And there are basic rules that apply to large systems of matter (which is made up of particles). It is a widely-held belief that the rules of physics and chemistry establish the apparent laws and rules observed in more complex sciences, like molecular biology, cellular biology, and physiology. This is called (scientific) reductionism [3], and it was a popular belief more than a century ago. But it is no longer all that clear that it is valid, and there is some indication that it might not be [4]. To compensate for this difficulty, many scientists now speak of something called "emergence" - where greater complexity of systems give rise to new laws, new concepts, and new generalizations [5]. The old reductionist principle doesn't always appear to work. In fact, there are some scientific disciplines (such as cybernetics and systems theory) that espouse a non-reductionist view of the universe [6]. The general concept is that complexity yields entirely new phenomena with new rules. Complexity yields something new.

Humans exhibit something like this, with respect to consciousness. Now virtually all scientists will agree that humans are incapable of violating certain natural laws. The laws and rules of chemistry still govern our molecular interactions, because we require the intake of chemical energy (through food) for internal metabolic processes to take place [7]. And the rules of electricity and magnetism still apply to humans because physiological processes are dependent on those phenomena to take place. Likewise the fundamental property of mass definitely exhibits influence on humans, as does the force of gravity.

But consciousness is a funny thing, because with it humans can cognitively interact with the larger world. Through consciousness, humans can engage with the world and alter it - constructing such architectural wonders as olympic stadiums and skyscrapers; technological marvels can also be constructed, such as airplanes and power plants. Humans therefore have the capacity to transform the world around even though they are restrained by natural rules and laws. A human can't teleport miraculoulsy through space, but he can pick up a broken dish, ride a bicycle across town, or build a space shuttle that will rocket him to the moon. God is in the same exact boat.

God - the universe - cannot construct a human being from dust instantaneously on a barren planet. But he can create a human life form after 3 billion years of arduous evolution and trial and error. God like man, requires time, to construct things. He is also restrained by physical limitations.

As we know, humans are composed of matter interacing with forces (electricity, magnetism, gravity, etc.). It has been proposed by philosophers, that consciousness is a rudimentary, all-pervading quality of the universe. This is called panpsychism [8]. The famous English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead has argued that the indeterminancy (unpredictability) observed in Quantum physics is best explained as an effect by a rudimentary consciousness that exist in nature; he has proposed that consciousness is a natural feature that arises in the mechanical interactions between two or more particles [9]. This would suggest that virtually all interactions in space and time yield conscious experiences, including those within the atom. This is similar to what I believe. I call my model (which I'm working on with old university friends) Hylopathic Mechanics, but I'll spare you the details.

If consciousness is a rudimentary, all-pervading natural feature of the universe, then God (assuming he would be intelligent) would certainly have the capacity to call up hurricanes and tornadoes at will and direct them where he believes it appropriate. A conscious, intelligent universe invites that possibility.

Humans, or any other intelligent life forms in the universe, would now be considerably less smart than the most intelligent - God.

And there is some indication that God is substantially smarter than any of us!

(At this point I'll introduce an old post:)

As expressed by world-renown physicists Paul Davies and Stephen Hawking, almost all scientists now agree that our universe occupies a very narrow place, by having just the right conditions for life, where matter can congregate to form stars and planets, where the liquid medium of water is possible, and where molecular chemistry exist because the proton and electron are unique stable particles.

Over the last 3 decades, evidence has demonstrated that our universe is just right for life - that it's been fine-tuned.

As Dr. Stephen Hawking has mentioned:

"The laws of science, as we know them . . . contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the by Text-Enhance" href="../../Gods-actions-can-be-unappealing-but-mans-actions-are-far-more-dangerous-to-life-on-planet-Earth/1/">electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron . . . . The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life [10]."

According to Hawking, our universe is
just right for life. If the fundamental constants of this universe were slightly different, life would not be possible. This is now the growing view in the scientific community. Prominent physicist Paul Davies, who was once a critic of the fine-tuning arguments decades ago, now acknowledges that they are genuine. He has this to say:

"There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects fine-tuned for life [11]."

He also says this:
"Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by 1 part in 10^40, then . . . stars like the sun could not exist. This would . . . make life impossible [12]."

And then there is this: "If the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as 1 part in 10^60, the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. In either case, life would be impossible [13]."


My opponent, Lordgrae, also stated this in the last ROUND:

"So what does god have against Africa?"

Right now, many African economies are growing and doing better than economies elsewhere (have you heard Europe's troubles?). Yes, Africa needs more economic growth.

But in the past calamity and disaster have happened everywhere.
Lordgrae

Con

"My opponent states this to discredit my claim that God is natural, and therefore to assert that God is not restrained by fundamental natural limitations."

I apologize, my argument there was flawed. I concede that that was a poor argument.

You still have not provided any evidence for your belief in the existence of god. I will concede that you have shown rational evidence for the natural deistic god over its theistic counterparts, but that is only evidence under the premise that god exists, which is not a premise of this debate. While I will not debate the existence of a theistic/deistic god, I will debate the god theorem in general.

The problem with your argument is that you continue to accept the premise that a god exists. You have provided no evidence for the existence of any deity. I have taken several deistic arguments seen elsewhere on the web, and attempt to argue against them.

1) You cannot disprove the god hypothesis

That is all that god is, an falsifiable hypothesis. However, one could make any number of these claims with as little evidence as they see fit. I could claim that I had a invisible giraffe that couldn't be heard, touched, smelt, or captured. Then anytime someone put forth evidence against it, I could change its properties to better fit its new scientific and logical boundaries. Such is the same with the deistic god that you propose.

2) The universe couldn't have been an uncaused cause.

The uncaused cause argument has been used time and time again. The problem with this argument is that there are either a finite or infinite number of causes. If there are an infinite number of causes, then you cannot have a god, because there would be a cause before god, and therefore god would not be a god, simply a large being. If there are a finite number of causes, then you would most likely propose that god was the original cause, perhaps I am wrong. If the universe is a super complex place that demands a cause, god is a super complex being, a being so complex and intelligent that it too demands a cause.

3) Purpose to life

Why does there have to be a purpose to life, why can't it just be random? I know its a hard truth to face, but in the end would you rather have a celestial bearded guy staring at you on the john, or know that this is it, and we should make the most of our time?

I couldn't find any others. Good luck in the final round. I won't post any new arguments in round five. My main complaint is that you have provided no evidence for a god, just evidence for your god, under the premise that a god must exist.
Debate Round No. 4
Juan_Pablo

Pro

My opponent, Lordgrae, states this in the Comments section:

"Please post some evidence for god. I stated about three times that your argument is only arguing for the existence of your god under the premise that their has to be a god. You have provided no evidence to disprove the theory of no god."

I'll direct him to my opening statement in ROUND 1, where I state:

"God exist. The greatest evidence for God is the fact that he communicates to people through experiences and coincidences."

Yeah. My position is that this serves as evidence for God. The fact that God uses things in our environment to communicate messages to us serves as evidence that he exist. And of course God doesn't just use personal experiences either, but world events! God uses the great variety of things on this world to communicate that he exist - and to communicate his will. For millenia, humans have been trying to interpret his will, with limited success. I'm of the belief that as time proceeds, humans will become far better at understanding God's plan for intelligent life on this planet.

And of course there is circumstantial evidence that can be used to indicate God exist; evidence such as that provided in ROUND 4 (fined-tuning of the universe) shows just how precise our universe has been constructed for the narrow possibility of biological life. Our universe is just right for its existence and development.

And now onto the enumerated points my opponent makes in ROUND 4.


(1) "You cannot disprove the god hypothesis."

Well, actually you can prove that specific Gods do not exist, but you cannot disprove that all Gods in the set of All things that can be God do not exist. This is a logic and soundness argument.

To clarify, let me provide a syllogism to demonstrate what I mean. "If God is real, I'll levitate in my computer chair within the next five minutes. I did not levitate in my computer chair in those fives minutes. God is not real."

This syllogism is valid, but its soundness can be criticized. I'm using a condition (my levitation in a computer chair) to determine God's existence. This may be an ineffective way of determining God's realness. However, the syllogism is still useful with respect to the God presented in it. "If God is real, I'll levitate in my computer chair within the next five minutes." I failed to levitate. Conclusion: This specific God is not real. The God presented in the syllogism therefore cannot true.

The syllogism therefore did provide useful information about the God existence of the God in the syllogism. It isn't real. Now a God may exist and he may even be able to levitate things, but the God in the syllogism was shown to be false. That God did not exist.

We use this sort of thinking to discredit the Gods presented in holybooks. It is a valid way of determining the nature and character of a God that might exist. True: it can't be used to prove that all Gods in the set of All things that can be God do not exist. But it is a legimate way of determing what kind of Gods do not or can't exist.

A perfect example of this can be found in Matthew 21:21 of the New Testament, where Jesus says [1]:

"...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Well, tiny faith cannot move a mountain. Conclusion: This specific condition of faith described here in this quote by Jesus cannot be real. The insinuation is that the God attached to this condition of faith cannot be real, either. Thus the God revealed here is not factual. Of course other statements made by Jesus can be regarded as possible to demonstrably true, so the God of Jesus can be considered, at best, an approximation of a factual God he came to know. But the specific, described God explicated by Jesus cannot be true.

Should a personal God in fact exist, Jesus only knew this God approximately.


(2) "The universe couldn't have been an uncaused cause."

My opponent clarifies this statement with this:

"The problem with this argument is that there are either a finite or infinite number of causes. If there are an infinite number of causes, then you cannot have a god, because there would be a cause before god, and therefore god would not be a god, simply a large being."

Of course there is no conclusive evidence to show that there is a cause for God, no more than there is conclusive evidence to show that there is a cause for the universe. (The Big Bang is a model that explains how the universe evolved in its first moments. It does not provide an explicative cause for the universe.)

However, my opponent is relying on a definition of God that requires him to be the first cause of all that exist. This may be an auxillary description of a category of Gods believed by some people, but there are defintions of God that are much more general. Here for example is the second definiton of God as provided by thefreedictionary.com, an online dictionary resource:

"A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality. [2]"

God has a variety of definitions. To the pantheists, in example, God is defined as the totality of the cosmos. Whether God had a cause or not has no bearing on his classification as a God, as God still exerts influence on everything within the universe.

This is from New World Encyclopedia's page on pantheism:

"Pantheism...refers to the religious and philosophical view that everything in existence is of an all-encompassing immanent God, or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent....In equating the universe with God, classicial pantheism . . . still believ[es in] a personal God. [3]"

My opponent makes the error of setting a "first cause" condition to define God. Definitions of God are quite diverse, and so a hypothetically conscious universe, with the capacity to alter itself at will would still satisfy a variety of definitions for God. The subject of theology, after all, is fairly broad on this topic.


(3) "Purpose to life."

As with the second point, my opponent clarifies this final point: "Why does there have to be a purpose to life, why can't it just be random?"

For most life on planet Earth, life is a daily struggle. The only purpose there seems to be to life is to survive and to reproduce. Life is primarily brutish, nasty, and short...and intimidating.

Intelligent biological life poses a new challenge for the universe. Because life can take on so many more meanings, it also requires added responsibility. Intelligent life must now be taught personal and social ettiquette (morality and ethics) and laws, so that the living experience isn't reduced into an elaborate form of misery and carnality. Humans with the capacity to alter the Earth must now be taught limits and restrictions. They must also be taught consequences - and so legal justice has a place in this new picture.

The randomness my opponent craves will have a place. But life cannot be entirely random. Order will be required. Guidance. Rules and laws. Consequences.


Because this debate revolves around the importance of coincidences, I will end my arguments by revealing a devastating, life-altering coincidence that happend to me on February 9, 2009. I live about an hour away from the university I was attending, and on my way home, in a rainstorm, the car I was driving hydroplaned off the freeway into a desert, flipping and cartwheeling when it did so.

I was lucky to be alive, but spent a day in the hospital because of lacerations to my head. I was badly bruised; the car was mangled - the windshield, ceiling were crushed in, the trunk tore off, 2 tires ripped off. It was purely weather related. The paramedics informed me other cars went off the road at the exact spot!

But I attribute the accident to something greater...a divine judgement.


[1] http://biblehub.com...;
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...;
[3] http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...;
Lordgrae

Con

"God exist. The greatest evidence for God is the fact that he communicates to people through experiences and coincidences."

I also explained how these messages are worthless. how, like cold reading, you take one or two minor coincidences, then fill in the blank with the message you want to see, making the entire message not provided by some higher authority, but by you. You made an example by lining up your birthday and name to international events. That means anyone else with either your name, or birthday sees the same message.

"And of course there is circumstantial evidence that can be used to indicate God exist; evidence such as that provided in ROUND 4 (fined-tuning of the universe) shows just how precise our universe has been constructed for the narrow possibility of biological life. Our universe is just right for its existence and development."

That's a logical fallacy that deists and even worse, theists use to defend their god. There are many, many planets with the potential for life. Think of it this way. Every second we pass through an uncountable number of decisions and variables, each send us into an alternate reality where those variables and decisions occurred in a certain way. If one of those choices or variables were different, our reality would be different. Although the chances were slim of us experiencing any combination of these are incredibly low, yet one of them has to happen. The same with earth. It was random, and even though the odds of any of them happening were low, one of the possibilities had to occur. If things were different they would be different. We wouldn't be here talking about the world being fine tuned

Again, you spend the rest of this showing how you can't disprove all gods, but whether or not something can be disproven Is no evidence of a god existing.

(2) "The universe couldn't have been an uncaused cause."

I have a problem with your belief in pantheism. Although it is somewhat more rational than theism, it is still an non-disprovable hypothesis. Since that is so, it is up to you to provide concrete and empirical evidence, not just mere observation and a couple dates that line up. That does not qualify as work.

(3) "Purpose to life."

"Humans with the capacity to alter the Earth must now be taught limits and restrictions. They must also be taught consequences - and so legal justice has a place in this new picture."

We created the judicial system as a evolutionary pack instinct. Even before we built sedentary society we had chiefs who ruled us. Wolves have pack leaders too, and apes have a great sense of social rights and wrongs. Our judiciary instinct comes from a desire to work together, coming from years of depending on the group for survival. We created god as a power behind the judiciary system to enforce it better than we could, and to justify a authoritative leader. God didn't need to exist to create our judiciary system, we created god to enforce to judiciary system.

"The randomness my opponent craves will have a place. But life cannot be entirely random. Order will be required. Guidance. Rules and laws. Consequences."

I know this is round 5 and he can't respond, but why? He provides no evidence to back this claim that life can't be random, and since his proof qualifies as coincidences, I will assume that he has

I don't have enough characters to include the rest of what you said so I will summarize. You say that divine judgment caused you to slip off the road and flip your car. So? You have no proof to back this claim. So you got into a bad car accident, so what? You drove in a storm and that increased the raw chance that that would happen to you. Since there are no other connections between you getting hurt and a super being ruling over us, I shall dismiss this. There is no evidence to back this claim and I fail to see how this relates to your evidence of god.

I shall list my problems with his arguments

Your evidence is based around dates lining up. So what? I fail to see how this is any form of communication, and I explained how its the same as cold reading techniques, where you fill in all of the information that you want to hear, regardless of the small prompt you were given.

You listed a coincidence that occurred to you where you almost died. So what? You fail to explain how this in any way shows the existence of god.

Your argument is deistic. it cannot be disproven and yet you fail to show and real evidence for it and force me to try to prove a negative, which in this case is impossible.

You spent much of the time not explaining why your god exists, but why your god is more rational than other gods, which I explained only works under the premise that their has to be a god.

Please vote for me, I thank my opponent Juan_Pablo, for this was an interesting debate, for I was expecting a Christian Fundi who I could easily smack down with some scientific articles, then spend a couple rounds debating their legitimacy, then end with the conclusion that I'm going to hell and the fundi is going to Pastafarian hell. So thank you. I don't have any problem with you, or your belief, and I do accept that out of the million gods created by man, yours is more rational than most.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com...-
Debate Round No. 5
55 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Pretty much, XLAV. Though I am given a choice to either proceed in my current situation and try to make the conditions of my life better and share it with all of you or to go bonkers and do something really self-destructive.

So there is a choice involved. LOL.
Posted by XLAV 2 years ago
XLAV
God is controlling Juan, lol.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Nope, Garrett. I'm being perfectly honest. My advice is that you try to become the best person you can be. You don't want God to make your life hard. Trust me.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
lol wtf Juan_Pablo = troll?
Posted by Gs325jcbd 3 years ago
Gs325jcbd
wow
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Sorry about the bad word depicted by asterisks. I stated that in a moment of anger, which wasn't good.

I apologize.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Or maybe live backwards is "evil" because evil things wont keep us alive. I wish God would just ******* speak in PLAIN LANGUAGE!!!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
God = evil . . . which makes sense since live = evil backwards.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I'm sorry for doing this to those of you who are experiencing coincidences now . . . God is hold me hostage and forcing me to do things I do not agree with.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I said: "Well, fun, I have been known to be wrong . . . and in this case I actually hoped I was."

I take the last part of this back. God is real and his methods are frightening. But it's meant to make humankind think on its behavior.

I apologize for this retort. (At the time I was mad at God and let this slip.)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
Juan_PabloLordgraeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments did not prove that God existed in the first place.
Vote Placed by yay842 3 years ago
yay842
Juan_PabloLordgraeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: great effort with this debate.