The Instigator
Ockham
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
thehappy
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

God exists.

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 381 times Debate No: 105391
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (0)

 

Ockham

Con

The resolution is that God exists. Pro will be arguing that God exists, while Con will be arguing that Pro has not established that God exists and/or that God does not exist.

By accepting this debate, Pro agrees that they have the burden of proof to establish that it is objectively more likely than not that God exists. The rules for assessing this are the standard rules of logic, including the rules of deductive and inductive inference. For example, a deductive argument must be deductively valid and have premises that we have sufficient reason to believe are true, and an inductive argument must establish that the conclusion is the best or only explanation for the evidence cited in the premises.

God for the purposes of this debate shall be defined, by default, as an omnipotent, omniscient, all good person. I take this definition from the first paragraph of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Concepts of God." [1]

If Pro wants to use a definition other than this default definition, they should ask for me to approve it in the comments section before accepting the debate. The following types of definition are unacceptable: (a) Definitions that attempt to win the debate by defining God as something that obviously exists, like "God is love" or "God is the universe." (b) Definitions that attempt to define God as something radically different from the traditional Judeo-Christian God as conceived of by Anselm, Aquinas, Richard Swinburne, or other traditional authors.

[1] https://plato.stanford.edu...
thehappy

Pro

When it comes to proving anything one thing is needed. Physical evidence to support the claim. Unlike the natural world, the subject of the existence of God or any deity is left to every man's interpretation of reality. When asking the question to prove the existence of something, there is nothing one can due to convince another person of something he believes untrue.
Throughout history mankind has always had a religion or deity which they worshiped. Some contribute the devout worship of Christianity or religion as being from the minds of unenlightened people. Knowledge has unlocked our understanding of reality in the 21st century and therefore God does not exist. By claiming to know God does not exist is to claim we know every dimension of space and time. No person would argue that we have explored every inch of the sea much less reality. This leads to a frustrating dilemma, that something's existence is heavily tied to perception of reality. There is noway to prove to someone something exists outside their reality which is different for everyone.
In the next rounds of arguments, I hope to show that the possibility of God existing is real. Using the definition of God given by the opposition. I will also approach this argument as both a scientific and philosophical debate. I will be respectful of my oppositions beliefs as I am not trying to convert anyone to my conclusions. I will not use the Bible for any of my points unless asked for. This is because many do not believe it is a valid document so it holds no weight in a debate. I hope to have a civilized and educating debate with the opposition and learn from their points as well.
Debate Round No. 1
Ockham

Con

My opponent has, so far, provided no arguments for the existence of God. I welcome him to do this in his next speech. For now, since I have nothing to criticize, I will make a couple of clarifying points and an argument against the existence of God.

I'd like to begin by clarifying that the debate is over reasonableness, not absolute certainty. My opponent writes that "by claiming to know God does not exist is to claim we know every dimension of space and time." But this is only true if we claim to be absolutely certain that God does not exist. By contrast, if we are only claiming that the reasonable position is to believe that God does not exist, no such standard applies.

The problem of evil is a serious problem for anyone who wants to defend the existence of the God defined in round 1, so my opponent must also explain how he overcomes this problem. The problem of evil says that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good, we would not expect there to be gratuitous evil. But there does appear to be a lot of gratuitous evil in the world. People do terrible things to each other, people get horrible diseases and die of them, people drown in floods, and there are many other forms of apparently gratuitous evil. Therefore, the reasonable conclusion is that God does not exist.

In conclusion, I look forward to the case for God's existence that my opponent will presumably present in his next speech.
thehappy

Pro

If God exists there should be no evil. A divine entity such as God would be able to stop all evil. However, if God was allowing evil to happen does that not make God evil? If that is true the definition of God cited in round one by my opponent is false. God would no longer be all good. In order to understand the existence of evil one must first understand the nature of God and humanity. As there has been no recent interview with God it is hard to know who he is outside of reading the Bible and theologians.
The Christian apologist St Thomas Aquinas said, "Nothing which implies contradiction falls under the omnipotence of God" (Summa Theologica, I a, xxv, 4). This statement says that God can not contradict himself otherwise he is not God. He created humanity with the choice to love or to hate. How is this possible? If God dose not exist can morals exist? There would be no right or wrong. There would be no good in the world either. Everyone could choose to kill or steal and would have no reason to think of anyone but their own survival.
The fact that I have the ability to choose to open the door for someone or to rob them is proof that we have free will to choose good and evil. God is all good can not force anyone to be good or to be bad. Martian Luther said it best, "Now by "necessity" I do not mean " compulsorily" " a man without the Spirit of God does not do evil against his will, under pressure, as though he were taken by the scruff of his neck and dragged into it, like a thief or footpad being dragged off against his will to do punishment; but he does it spontaneously and voluntarily." (Martin Luther, "The Bondage of the Will").
Serial killers baffle studies as they seem to have no logical reason for their crimes. According to a behavioral study done by the FBI, "The majority of serial killers are not reclusive, social misfits who live alone. They are not monsters and may not appear strange. Many serial killers hide in plain sight within their communities. Serial murderers often have families and homes, are gainfully employed, and appear to be normal members of the community." (Robert J. Morton, Serial Murder Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators, p.3). Unlike the serial killers, God can not live two separate lives. He can not be creating evil or permitting and at the same time be all good. There has to be a force other than God that is creating evil. God allowing evil to happen is not the same as creating it. Many people admit the is a good force out there. However, an evil force is not often contemplated. Just as there are many Gods of peace and goodness there are also Gods of death and evil. This is a deep and complex discussion and I will try and simplify it.
Are we living in world of just death and misery that has always been? Or has the world at one point been all good? The fact that we feel joy when we get our first pet and horrible sadness when they die says that this is not natural. If we live in a world where nothing is good than I could careless if my pet dies. Why do we have a natural tendency to cry when someone we love dies? Why are these emotions even in existence? If we live in a world where God does not exist we should not feel guilt. One can not explain why we feel guilty. There is no guilt in natural selection. It can not have been a recent evolution of the human mind as we didn"t just start to feel these emotions from evolving. We have always felt these things but there is no rational explanation for the emotion outside of God. An interesting point to make is why do people get offended when they feel like their wrongs are being pointed out? If God does not exist there should be no shame or care of what others say and do. I myself feel anger and shame when someone points out something I know I should be doing right. Why is there something I know I should be doing right? That impulse should not exist in a world of evil because what is right?
C.S. Lewis says in his book "Mere Christianity", "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." (P.23)
Another quote from Lindsley says, ""Yet, if evil was real, then there must be an absolute standard by which it was known to be evil and an absolute good by which evil could be distinguished from good. Where could we get this infinite reference point, this fixed point above all our personal and cultural bias? Did that not demand a God as an adequate basis for absolute good?" (P.1) This quote a commentary on the Christian Theologian C.S. Lewis who also wrote the Chronicles of Narnia.
Just like the U.S. Constitution, there has to be an absolute good standard to define evil. If there is no standard how can we measure what is evil? Just looking at how much controversy there is about abortion shows the conflict. One side says it"s no big deal it is not evil the other says it is murder. Looking at a world where God does not exist there should be no opposition to abortion let alone an argument against abortion. The failure of International Law to prevent conflicts and disputes thought modern history shows laws created by humans have very little effect. China decided to build islands in the South China sea. To China what they were doing was right but to everyone else it was a breach of International Law. This is just a simple example of of humanity trying to impose morals that they can not police. Any order imposed by humanity never really lasts. Is this evidence that there is no God? It is, if one believes that God is creating evil so therefore he can not exist. But I again go back to the issue of free choice. If God is viewed from this point of thinking than all the evil in the world is the natural result of nations only caring for their self interest and survival. If the theory of the survival of the fittest is to be believed than we should have never developed the capacity for guilt, pity, or giving. We should not care if one nation dominates the globe as they were the strongest and so they are better. There is no place for guilt or pity for others as there would be no need for these emotions. Since we have emotions that drive us to help others it shows that evil is not natural. No one would argue that it is unnatural to be happy.
I am not trying to convert anyone that is not the point of this debate. I believe in free will and choice. It is honestly hard to explain a rational origin of evil without using the Bible. I am not preaching as I am not a pastor. I am merely making the case that in order to measure evil there must be a stable standard to define it. That our sense of right, wrong do not naturally fit in a world of evil so they might have come from somewhere else. With this concept of evil there is the reasonable possibility for God to exist.

Lindsley, Art. 2017. Cslewisinstitute.Org. http://www.cslewisinstitute.org....

Douglas Gates, The Diplomat. 2017. "International Law Is Under Siege In The South China Sea". The Diplomat. https://thediplomat.com....
Debate Round No. 2
Ockham

Con

My opponent makes two main claims:

1. The free will defense refutes the problem of evil.
2. Morality requires an absolute standard, which is God.

Let's consider each of these in turn.

The free will defense says that God is not responsible for evil because evil is caused by the free will of human beings. My opponent invokes this argument when he says that "God is all good can not force anyone to be good or to be bad. " There are two problems with this argument.

First, God could have provided everyone with free will, but still made it so that no one chose evil. Christians believe that Heaven will be like this.

Second, the argument does not account for natural evil. There is a lot of evil that is not caused by human free will, like the damage caused by earthquakes and tsunamis. The free will defense does not account for this evil.

Moving on, my opponent claims that morality is based on God. It is true that morality requires a standard, but there is no reason why this standard would need to be God. Atheists have provided many moral standards which do not depend on God, like utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, and rational self interest. My opponent provides no objections to any of these standards for morality.

I conclude that my opponent has failed to meet his burden of proof.
thehappy

Pro

My opponent says in his very brief response that God could have provided everyone with free will, but still made it so that no one chould be evil. Saying that God COULD made us this way is not an argument when he did not. Reality is that you have free will. It is like saying, well the U.S. could have been a part of the Soviet Union. Ok, it could have been put it is not. I have given quotes from thological sources to support my position.
My opponent also said, "There is a lot of evil that is not caused by human free will, like the damage caused by earthquakes and tsunamis. The free will defense does not account for this evil." Also, how can one determine if a hurricain is evil? Is a flood a living person seeking out to kill humanity? One can not name events evil because they kill. Was the 2.1 earthquake evil? Or was it evil only once it got to 8.4? How is free will connnected to the natrual forces of the world? We can not control them and they are not alive like humans.
Christians believe that Heaven will be like this." Providing someone the option to chooes only one thing is not free will. This is not a sound argument or logic. If God programed programmed an Eagle to fly at 10 feet off the ground and no higher is that free will? Even with all of the space above? Free will is having the ability to go as high as you like to dangrous or not. There is no free will if you create something to follow your orders. That is what a military is. God is not a general and he does not dictate who should belive this or that. By saying "Christians beleive heaven is like this" is generalizing a very complex doctrine. Not all Christans believe the same thing or in the same way. Some view God as a dictator others a friend.
The opposition claims that God is not needed for standerds. He did not adress my points about abortion nor did he even attempt to explain how humanity is struggling under secular laws. All of the western civilizations laws have Judeo- Christian origins or influnces. Communism is based on Athism's world view and laws and that has not worked out for humanity. My oponent did not give any sources or quote any authors to prove his points. Instend he just answered my points with, you are wrong so there. I wish my opponent gave some quotes and refrences to support his claims about my argument insted of I know so, so it is so. As my opponant said himself in the first around. "'I'd like to begin by clarifying that the debate is over reasonableness, not absolute certainty." That was my impresson when making the argument but you dissmiss it with absolute certainty. My opponent has failed to proove that it is unreasonable that God does not exist.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 month ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: Con by default.

[*Reason for removal*] Not an RFD.
************************************************************************
Posted by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 1 month ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
Good debate.
Posted by Ockham 1 month ago
Ockham
You have one hour left. Please post something before time runs out.
Posted by thehappy 1 month ago
thehappy
I have 10 hours still. I could honestly write a paper about this lol.
Posted by Ockham 1 month ago
Ockham
Well?
Posted by Ockham 1 month ago
Ockham
Are you going to post an R2 speech? Just checking.
Posted by Ockham 1 month ago
Ockham
No problem.
Posted by thehappy 1 month ago
thehappy
Oh ok sorry this is my first time using this platform.
Posted by Ockham 1 month ago
Ockham
Mine is already up. I am waiting for you to post your argument so that we can go to round 2.
Posted by thehappy 1 month ago
thehappy
Yes I am. Are you going to post yours?
No votes have been placed for this debate.