Debate Rounds (3)
Let's start with the most common definition of God: (n) God, Supreme Being (the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions) I will demonstrate that such a being almost certainly does not exist.
Let's start with the problem of evil. The problem of evil is most famously summed up by Epicurus as follows:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Taken to its logical conclusion, an all-powerful, all-loving God cannot exist.
Nevertheless, apologists do have some arguments to attempt to refute the above.
The most common is the free will defense. The free will defense entails that evil acts are our responsibility, not God's. We must have free will in order to love.
I have several objections to this:
1.I agree that we need free will in order to love. However, God is perfect. He doesn't require love. A perfect being by definition requires nothing. In fact, you could even argue that God needn't have created us at all.
2.This does not take into account things like natural disasters. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, sickness, etc. These things are totally beyond human control and yet they occur. Why? God could have created the laws of physics differently to ensure that these things don't occur. Yet they do. Why?
3.There is also the problem of gratuitous suffering. Gratuitous by definition means "more than necessary." William L. Rowe famously gives an example. "In some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned, and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering." What purpose is there for this?
4.God could have designed the universe in such a way as to make evil acts like murder, rape, theft, etc. impossible without removing free will. For example, when someone tries to stab you with a knife, God could have designed the laws of physics to make the knife bounce off human flesh, or he could have made sure that their were no materials on the earth to make weapons, or he could make the knife vanish, etc. There is literally an infinite amount of possibilities. And none of these would remove free will. All God had to do was design the laws of physics differently.
Next, I will argue from the problem of divine hiddenness.
This is one of the best demonstrations of this argument that I have seen:
(Note: D=Definition, P=Premise, C=Conclusion)
D1: God is defined as omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent
D2: Revelation is Gods disclosure of Himself to His Creation
D3: Evidence is propositional knowledge
D4: Revelation is experiential knowledge
D5: Resistant nonbelief is a disposition to incredulity
D6: Nonresistant nonbelief is a disposition to credulity, while being unconvinced
P1: God desires that mankind achieve a filial knowledge of Him
P2: God can be known propositionally and/or experientially
P3: Propositional knowledge does not entail, but may result in, filial knowledge
P4: Experiential knowledge does not entail, but may result in, filial knowledge
P5: If it is the case that God is omniscient then He is aware of states of affairs that would bring about filial knowledge of Him
P6: If it is the case that God is omnipotent then He is capable of actualizing states of affairs that would bring about filial knowledge of Him
P7: If it is the case that God has made His existence propositionally known in the past then such a state of affairs is logically possible
P8: If it is the case that God has made His existence experientially known in the past then such a state of affairs is logically possible
P9: God has actualized states of affairs that have led certain individuals to filial knowledge of Him
P10: God has not actualized states of affairs that would lead certain individuals to a filial knowledge of Him
P11: The degree to which Gods existence is known propositionally is at His discretion
P12: The degree to which Gods existence is known experientially is at His discretion
P13: There is a necessary state of affairs for individuals that would bring about their filial knowledge of God
P14: If it is the case that it is not logically possible for God to actualize a necessary state of affairs to bring about filial knowledge Him, then such a state of affairs is logically impossible
P15: States of affairs which are logically impossible do not entail culpability
C1: If nonbelief occurs it is either the case that God has not actualized states of affairs that would bring about filial knowledge, or it is the case that such a state of affairs is not logically possible (D1, D2, D3, D4, D6, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P10, P11, P12, P13 and P14)
C2: Nonresistant nonbelief is inculpable (from D6, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P11, P12 & P13)
C3: Resistant nonbelief is inculpable (from D5, P14 & P15)
P16: Inculpable nonbelief is incompatible with a God as defined in D1
C4: If it is the case that nonbelief occurs, God does not exist
I do have other arguments but I will save them for the next round to give my opponent a chance to make his/her case.
Firstly, we must establish a common definition of God and criteria to "prove" divine existence. I shall accept the definition that God is "the Supreme Being, the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe and also as the object of worship in monotheistic religions." According to this definition, then God exists as long as 1) it is a "supernatural being", 2) it is CONCEIVED as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the university, and 3) it is an object of worship in monotheistic religions.
Second, I shall demonstrate satisfaction to the stated criteria. Evidences to the second and third criteria are quite abundant across the globe. The conception of God fitting the second definition is observably shared by religious groups and the practice of worship supports God's status as an object of worship. The only remaining requirement of proof is God's supernatural nature. According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, "supernatural" is defined as "of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe." In another word, the very fact that my opponent sees no visible and/or observable evidence of God supports to God's supernatural nature. But God, whether as an ideal, a list of cardinal rules for moral behaviors, or a figment of imagination, most certainly exists in the mind of all his believers. Therefore, the existence of God is proved by the very existence of his followers.
Finally, let us review my opponent's arguments. He first questions God's existence through the existence of evil but without any proof or evidence to the existence of evil as a visible or observable entity. If he shall agree that evil's existence can be recognized without visible and observable proof, then he must also agree that God can exist without visible and observable proof. If he denies evil's existence, however, then God is allowed to exist because evil does not. But regardless of his arguments or problems from either free will or divine hiddenness, none of which conflict with God's existence. As long as people can find their own justifications to the happening of their surrounding yet maintain the belief of a "supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the university, and is an object of worship in monotheistic religions," then God exists. My opponent's personal inability to accept such conflicting attributes of God does not deny God's existence among all other religious followers.
In conclusion, I have derived clear criteria to measure God's existence in accordance to my opponent's argument. I have also demonstrated God's existence as a "supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the university, and is an object of worship in monotheistic religions" through satisfaction of the aforementioned criteria. Most importantly, I have shown that my opponent's personal questions and doubts to God's nature or aptitude are irrelevant to God's existence and therefore outside the scope of this debate. Therefore, I urge you agree with the affirmative.
/2) it is CONCEIVED as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the university
There are four definitions of the word "conceived" according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary.  The definition I gave was referring to the third definition. 3 : to apprehend by reason or imagination : understand
/In another word, the very fact that my opponent sees no visible and/or observable evidence of God supports to God's supernatural nature.
It doesn't go one way or the other to proving God exists. Does the fact that we can't see invisible unicorns lend credence to the fact that they exist? Just because supernatural is defined as "beyond the visible observable universe" does not mean that anything invisible automatically lends credence to the idea that the object or entity in question actually exists.
/Therefore, the existence of God is proved by the very existence of his followers.
The existence of Santa Claus is proved by the existence of his followers? God may exist as an idea among his followers, but an idea and actuality are two entirely separate things.
/But regardless of his arguments or problems from either free will or divine hiddenness, none of which conflict with God's existence.
My entire argument for both o these problems was showing how God is incompatible with His existence. If an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good entity exists, evil should not. If he is all-powerful, he has the power to stop evil. If he is all-knowing, he has the knowledge that evil exists. If he is all-good, he would want evil to be exterminated. With all of these attributes in his arsenal, evil cannot exist. It is incompatible with His nature.
Same goes for divine hiddenness. An all-powerful God has the power to reveal His existence. An all-knowing God knows that there are certain people who will not believe in Him unless proof is given. An all-good God would want to reveal Himself to these people to prevent them from going to hell. With these attributes, God cannot remain hidden. It is incompatible with His nature.
I will save my other arguments against God's existence for the next round. I hope everyone is enjoying the debate and please leave a comment if you have a question.
2) My opponent has mistaken my wording. I meant exactly what he is referring to. The word "conceived" does not refer to the creation of God but merely indicates the attributes associated with it. Following my opponent's definition, God is also a supernatural being without "visible" and "observable" traits. In another word, God, or the concept of God, must possess the following attributes:
a. perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe
b. an object of worship in monotheistic religion
c. existence beyond visible observable universe
Since God's existence lies beyond the visible observable universe, then the focus must lies in the existence of the concept of God fitting all aforementioned attributes.
3. Many things that are beyond the visible observable universe exists among us. Love, loyalty, friendship, to name a few. In many cultures, each of these concepts takes form in supernatural being (or Roman gods/goddesses/fairies/spirits) throughout history. While visible observable trail of their physical being should not and must not directly observed due to their supernatural attribute, the manifestation and effect of their existence can be readily observed in our daily lives.
4. The actuality that Santa Claus exists to his follower is certain. Since all supernatural beings must remain beyond visible observable universe, it is rather silly to demand "physical" trail of these beings. Rather then physical actuality, both Santa Claus and God are very real within the conceptual actuality of their respective proponents.
5. In no part of my opponent's proposed definition must God follow my opponent's proposed framework of logic. In the aforementioned attributes, satisfaction to 2a is highly subjective to the individual believer and is satisfied as long as that individual finds God, or the concept of God, satisfying the criteria of 2a. 2b is clearly observable as a manifestation of God's existence. 2c is satisfied since neither my opponent nor I can find physical evidence to negate the supernatural nature of God. For as long as these three criteria are satisfied, God's existence requires no evil-slaying or love-seeking evidence put forth by my opponent. My opponent can question evil's existence as a function to God's work ethics, but such question does not negate God's existence.
In conclusion, this is not a debate asking for physical evidence of God. Physical trail of his existence denies God's very own supernatural attribute and therefore being. Rather, the resolution seeks manifestation of God as a non-physical being let it be a spirit or an idea fitting the very definitions put forth by my opponent. Since my opponent already agrees that God, or the concept of God, exists as an idea among his followers, all judging criteria of this resolution have been satisfied and therefore the readers shall vote in favor of the pro.
/Following that line of thought, then it is clear that this debate does not demand production of PHYSICAL EVIDENCE to God's existence (else God can't be a supernatural being) but rather MANIFESTATIONS of God as a conception fitting the proposed attributes.I never once said that God's revelation had to be physical. God could give us an internal awareness that He exists. Doing so would not violate free will.
/4. The actuality that Santa Claus exists to his follower is certain. Since all supernatural beings must remain beyond visible observable universe, it is rather silly to demand "physical" trail of these beings. Rather then physical actuality, both Santa Claus and God are very real within the conceptual actuality of their respective proponents.This may be so, but it doesn't go one way or another to proving Santa Claus' or God's existence. Without some type of evidence, it is irrational to believe it, regardless of whether or not it actually exists.
/For as long as these three criteria are satisfied, God's existence requires no evil-slaying or love-seeking evidence put forth by my opponent.My response is the same as above. This may be so, but it doesn't go one way or another to proving God's existence. Without some type of evidence, it is irrational to believe it, regardless of whether or not it actually exists.
Now for a couple more arguments against God's existence.
There are hundreds of different religions each with a different conception of God. The odds of choosing the correct religion are very, very low. There are 22 major religions and 12 minor ones. There are over 38,000 Christian denominations. Also, hundreds of ancient religions existed in the past and are no longer practiced. Who's to say those religions aren't correct?
Although this argument does not negate God's existence, it does show that God is inconsistent in His revelation, which I've already shown is incompatible with His nature.
Religion is dependent upon one's birthplace. If you are in India, you will most likely be Hindu, in the Middle East a Muslim, in the United States a Christian. There's no religion that's universally widespread. In Africa and South America, most people still hold to tribal religions and (assuming those religions are wrong) will almost certainly never gain knowledge of the correct religion. There's no reason why God couldn't have started a religion as soon as the first humans were put on the earth. Instead the first religion, whatever it was, has died out and now we have all new religions. In 10,000 years, we will almost certainly have all new religions and on and on until the end of human existence. My point is that if God existed he could have revealed Himself to us from the start and guided the religion throughout all of human history.
If a religion in the past is true, then all of us today are unsaved according to it's doctrines. If a religion in the present is true, then all of the people in the past are unsaved and all people in the future will likely be unsaved. If a future religion is true, then all of us living today and in the past have no chance of redemption.
In short, it's all just a big dice roll. Pick your religion and there will be a substantial amount of people who don't believe it. The popularity of a particular religion has nothing to do with whether it's true or not. If Christianity is true, then 70% of the people in the world today are unsaved and going to hell. If Islam is true, 80% of the population is unsaved.
It is impossible to prove a negative. God, due to His apparently unrevelatory nature, is a claim based on no evidence. There are arguments for His existence, but no actual proof.
In short, your entire argument in this debate has been showing me that just because my arguments have not been satisfied, it does not necessarily negate God's existence. I agree with you (as long as we're not talking about the Christian God or any other God that follows my definition). But you haven't been able to show me any definitive proof that God necessarily exists. For this last round, I would like to see you attempt to do that.
In closing, I must admit that you were better than I expected. I still disagree with you on a lot of issues, but this has been a very good debate and it would be an honor to debate you in the future.
leisuredebater forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was very polite, whereas pro forfeited.
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