The Instigator
mjbbfan
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dookieman
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

God exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Dookieman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,112 times Debate No: 73885
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

mjbbfan

Pro

Concerning this topic, I believe that it is more reasonable that theism ( a belief in god) is true rather than atheism. I will present 3 different arguments for the existence of God and the opposing representative for that will attempt to give arguments better than mine against god or tear down my arguments successfully and thoroughly. With that in mind I shall begin.

Firstly I would like to present my first argument for Gods existence.

1. Every being that comes into existence has a cause.
2. The Universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause (God) for its existence.

Now I will examine the first two premises. My first premise states that every being that begins to exist has a cause for since it came into existence one moment and all moments before that were the same then a cause is needed. This premise is quite hard to tear down considering the sound logic supporting it. The second premise has been supported by modern science and many atheist have admitted that there was a big bang where all matter, space and time came into existence (which parallels exactly with Genesis when God says "let there be light" considering the almost instant explosion of all matter into existence). This argument is airtight in the fact that the premises are commonly accepted facts of sciences that lead to the fact that there is a cause for the universes existence that created it.

My second argument is the one of the moral argument.
1. If objective moral values exist, God exist.
2. Objective moral values exist
3. Therefore, God exist.

Now the first premise is true because this is already a pre-supposed fact of the two sides of opposition and the foundation for which there arguments lay. If God exist then he is the source of of all good and there is good and bad and wicked will not go unpunished. And if there is no God then there is no objective moral values because you can even quote Richard Dawkins who is not only a genius in the scientific field but is one of the four horsemen of the "New Atheism" and in his book "The God Delusion" he says that humans are electro-chemical machines controlled by mindless genes. It cant be much clearer that this premise is true and that if objective moral values exist it adds to the list of evidences and countless arguments supporting the existence of God.
Now my second premise is quite involved with the audience of readers and that is because of this. Atheist argue that we are simply a collection of molecules with no meaning and that what is good and bad to us is only built through the trends of society and that there is no defining good and bad to prove there is more to us than what Dawkins described us as. But if that's the case then anything would be acceptable and it entirely is dependent upon the socio-relativism of what you grow up in. So I ask you if the Holocaust is unacceptable and evil to you and you agree then you already accept objective moral values for us humans recognize a consistent good and bad we adhere to that cant be changed through society because we all know the Holocaust is not acceptable anywhere but then you affirm moral values and therefore confirm evidence for the existence of the needed transcendent reality which thousands agree upon as God.

My third argument is simply the fine-tuning design of the universe. This just helps put into perspective the chances that atheism is right. Because if atheism is right then everything here happened by chance and I hope to end my opening statement simply for you to consider and ponder yourselves which is the probability of us humans having all the right proteins, and the earth being lined up exactly the correct distance from the sun for life on earth, the complexity of the eye was said by Darwin (a evolutionary biologist and an atheist) to be a mystery to him for it was so complex and so exactly set up in the one way for us to see that it marveled him.
When I took AP Biology in High school I was amazed at how if one of the thousands of proteins in our bodies was changed AT ALL then you would die. Our bodies complexity is amazing in such a way that Aristotle couldn't even put into words. In William Paleys works he speaks about how it is almost impossible that life should even exist by chance and it has been estimated by Astrophysicist that the chance of the proteins arranging themselves in such a fashion comes out to 1 in 10^250 power. So Id like to leave that figure with you and how that practically puts it out there the chances of athesims idea of how life came to be all through evolutionary chance (1 in 10^250) and the much-supported idea of an intelligent designer.

Id like to leave you with these arguments and so far I have shown through airtight logic and reason that theism is more reasonable than atheism and until an atheism tears down these 3 arguments entirely I see no reason to doubt theism. As an atheist you may think you have purpose in life but if we all are ultimately doomed to the grave then nothing ultimately matters. You may think living a "good" life with what time you have is worth it but in an atheist worldview there is no adequate basis for what "good" is and it doesn't matter because you may leave your mark on the world you think but the world is doomed to die and the universe is doomed and we are all awaiting our inescapable execution for which atheism supports. Life is absurd without God and you have no meaning when in the end you and everyone will cease to exist and your deeds mean nothing but God gives you meaning and purpose and value to your life and Iv given good reason to believe so and I testify to you all that theism is the answer to life's deepest questions and I hope you realize the logic behind this.
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for starting up this debate.

Introduction
First of all, I would like to welcome my opponent to Debate.org. This appears to be his first debate, so I wish him good luck. As you can tell by the title, this debate is about whether God exists. My opponent has taken the affirmative and will defend the resolution. Given the way this debate is titled, it seems reasonable to say that Pro has the burden of proof in our discussion. He must give us good grounds for believing that God exist. While Con has the much easier task of simply preventing his arguments from succeeding. However, I would still like to provide an argument of my own in defense of the claim that God does not exist. In this first round I will provide my own argument for atheism and in the next round will present some objections to the arguments put forth my Pro. With that said, let me begin.

Definitions


Theism:
the belief that God, so defined, exists.

Atheism:
the belief that God, so defined, does not exist.

Gratuitous:
uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.

I noticed that in the beginning of the debate Pro did not give a definition of God. So, I will provide us one. When it comes to defining God I believe the Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne provides a good definition.

"A person without a body (i.e., a spirit) who necessarily is eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and the creator of all things." [1]

This is how God is usually defined in philosophy, and I have yet to encounter any philosopher or theologian that would disagree with this concept of God. For that reason, I think this is a proper definition of God for our debate.

Atheist Argument from Evil
In debates over the existence of God, there are two types of arguments from evil against the existence of God. One is the logical argument from evil, which claims that it is logically impossible for God and evil to coexist. The other is the evidential or probabilistic argument from evil, which claims that it is logically possible for God and evil to coexist, but highly unlikely. I will be using a probabilistic argument from evil NOT a logical argument from evil. My argument can be put forth as follows:

P1) If God exist, then gratuitous evil does not exist.

P2) It is likely that gratuitous evil exists.

C) If it is likely that gratuitous evil exist, then the existence of God is unlikely.

Defense of Premise 1
This premise is true given the definition of God. If God allowed needless evil to happen, he would not be morally perfect. Thus, it's pretty much impossible for the monotheist to deny this premise.

Defense of Premise 2

Unlike premise one, this premise here needs a solid defense. However, I believe there are good grounds for thinking that there is gratuitous evil. There are many bad or unpleasant things in the world and so we might want to divide up these different kinds of evils.

One kind of evil is moral evil, which are things that are committed by human beings. The other is natural evil, which are things like natural disasters that contribute to human and nonhuman suffering. The moral evils that exist include genocide, murder, rape, child abuse, animal cruelty, totalitarianism, and slavery. Some of the natural evils that exist include hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, forest fires, droughts and volcanos.

Given the vast amount of evil and suffering there is in the world, it seems intuitively likely that at the very least one of these events could have been prevented by an all-powerful and morally perfect God. If the monotheist is to deny premise 2 of my argument, he would have to argue that there has never been a single instance of preventable evil or suffering over the entire course of sentient history. And that, I believe, is a very strong claim that needs justification.


Therefore, given the fact that there doesn't seem to be any satisfactory answer to the many evils in the world, it seems like we have good reason to accept the conclusion of my argument.


Conclusion

In my opening statements I have given an evidential argument from evil against the existence of God. In the next round I will respond to the arguments made by my opponent and show that there are many difficulties with the view he defends.

Sources:

[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...;
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
mjbbfan

Pro

Id like to thank my contender for accepting this debate firstly and I am genuinely interested in how he will attempt to refute the strong arguments I laid out for why God exists. But now to move onto his argument against Gods existence. Here I think he already realizes that the logical argument is not probably the route he wants to take considering how he cant explicitly and with 100% confidence prove that god and evil are incompatible. So he goes to the probabilistic argument which I still believe can be shown to be false. Firstly, I think that my contender doesn't understand that we don't have a good position to attempt to assess the probability of whether God has the ultimate reason for why evil exists. We must remember that within our finite point of view we cant understand the whole framework which God has set out. Evil also is here in some instances according to the Christian doctrine I adhere to is that it can help us grow as people and come to know God through our sufferings and receive hope. This is described in the Bible in Romans 5:3-5 (NIV Version):

"Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God"s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

And concerning moral evil is an answer which is a profound and complete one. God gave us free will not only to do what is right but to do what is wrong. God gave us this free will knowing that thousands would chose wrong but he did it so that people would choose good because without darkness and evil you know no happiness. If you have read or seen "The Giver" it illustrates this well because it is a world without emotion, color or choice to lead a life you want to pursue and they control peoples lives completely but there is a man who holds the memories of the past world we live in currently. Jonas, the main character learns about the happiness of the world when receiving memories of the past world without l over their lives but also he learned of Cancer, Wars, Deaths and evil. But the beautiful thing about this is that it is what makes you happy and life worth living people is that we overcome trials and we experience what is evil and painful so that when we share love with one another then it truly is self-fulfilling joy for to me Theism provides me a basis for why there is evil in the world whereas atheism is actually the worldview that disturbs me for if atheism is true then ultimately at the end of all humanity a persons murderous actions would eternally and ultimately go unpunished and then you think about how atheism is a heartless world where I feel like has a problem of evil for it simply ends up being ruthless, unpunished actions. Whereas theism provides true fulfillment and true happiness for when I push through hard times in life I feel more united with God than ever.

Please watch these video all the way through. If you haven't seen the movie then the people receive all the memories of what the past was like with evil and what came out of it. The boy on the sled releases all the memories. This symbolizes the importance of evil and the importance of love and hope. I hope you can see the logic behind why it is more probable that evil and God co-exist.

The Giver-The release of memories Final scene-(Please watch all the way through)
https://www.youtube.com...

Sources:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Problem of Evil By C.S. Lewis
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for presenting your objections to my arguments.

Introduction
I'm not going to be responding to the various objections that were put forth to the arguments I advanced last round. I will leave that for the next round. Instead I will be responding to my opponent's opening statements. My opponent is essentially using the same arguments that the philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig uses in debates. On the face of it, these arguments seem quite powerful. However, I believe that after critical examination these arguments can be shown to be unsuccessful. With that said, let me begin.

The Kalām Cosmological Argument

If you remember correctly, the first premise of the Kalam argument claims that whatever begins to exist has a cause. This first premise seems right, but in reality it is not. This is because in our universe things do not come into existence, but rather materials that already exist are rearranged to form objects. For example, when we say that a worker caused a chair to exist, we don't mean that he created it out of nothing. Rather, we mean that this person worked with preexisting materials to form it. In other words, we observe formation NOT creation.

However, when the monotheist uses the Kalam argument to claim that God is responsible for the creation of the universe, he is not saying God created it with preexisting materials. Rather, he claims that God created the actual material of the universe out of nothing. Once that is realized, it becomes quite clear that this is very different than what we see around us everyday. Therefore, the first premise of the Kalam argument cannot appeal to the material formation we see around us as evidence for something being created out of literally nothing.

Secondly, the Kalam argument rest on the idea that there cannot being an infinite series of causes. But Pro has given us no reason to believe that such a state of affairs cannot take place. There is nothing contradictory about there being an actual infinity of things, and thus it appears that the crux of his argument is flawed.

Thirdly, the Kalam argument is based on what's called Presentism or the A-Theory of time. Under this view of time, only the present is real. The past doesn't exist and the future does not yet exist. So, both the past and the future are non-existent and only this moment is real. By contrast, there is what's called Eternalism or the B-Theory of time, which is the view that the past, present and future are all equally real and all moments exist simultaneously.

If the B-Theory of time is true, then the Kalam argument will not succeed. This is because the universe would not actually have began to exist. It would be true that the universe would have a beginning, but it would not come into existence at the beginning. William Lane Craig, an opponent of Eternalism and the most well known defender of the Kalam argument, actually explains this view of time quite well. He says:

"On a B-Theory of time the universe never truly comes into being at all. The whole four-dimensional space-time manifold just exists tenselessly, and the universe has a beginning only in the sense that a meter-stick has a beginning prior to the first centimeter." [1]

When Pro put forth this argument, he did not give us any reasons for why we should accept the A-Theory of time. Therefore, we can reject his Kalam argument until he explains why we should believe in that particular view of time.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Kalam argument is not really an argument for the existence of God. This is because even if we accept the A-Theory of time, and think that there must be a first cause to the universe, this would not necessarily mean that God was responsible.

It's entirely possible that our universe came from what's been referred to as a multiverse, which is the view that our universe is just one in a vast number of other universes. This wouldn't be an absurd idea, because we already know that at least one universe exist. Namely, the one we inhabit.

Moreover, even if the multiverse hypothesis was shown to be mistaken and all other physical explanations were shown to be false, and we had to accept that a disembodied mind was the first cause, this STILL would not mean that the God of monotheism created the universe. For consider the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, and the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly evil God, and lastly an all-powerful, all-knowing, morally indifferent God. I would argue that these three types of Gods that I have just presented are all equally likely to exist, which would mean that the all-loving God whose existence we are debating over today can be reduced to 1/3rd the likelihood. But if that's right, then it would be unlikely that the all-loving God created the universe. This is why the Kalam argument is at best an argument for deism NOT theism.

The Moral Argument

If you remember correctly, the first premise of this argument claims that if objective moral values exist, then God exist. Pro says the first premise is true because both theist and atheist agree that it is. But this is false, because there are many atheist who believe in objective moral values without believing in God. Not only that, but just because people agree with something doesn’t make it true. The people in question might be wrong and have a false belief about the world.

He then says that if God does not exist, then there are no objective moral values. This is because in Richard Dawkins' book the
God Delusion he says that humans are chemical machines controlled by mindless genes. First off all, Richard Dawkins does not speak for all atheist. Indeed, there are many atheist such as myself that consider him a joke when it comes to philosophy. Secondly, this is an Appeal to Authority, since Dawkins is a scientist not a moral philosopher. The second premise claims that objective moral values exist. In support of this claim, Pro asked if we thought the Holocaust was wrong. This is a question, not an argument. As such, this premise is also unsupported. Moreover, Pro doesn't even define what an objective moral value is. If we are to believe in objective moral values, we first have to know what they are.

The Fine Tuning Argument

Pro gives us no reason for why we should believe this argument. He simply claims that it's hard to believe that life is here by chance. It might very well be the case that it's unlikely that life can arise. But if the multiverse is true, and there happen to be many different kinds of universes, then there might be a small amount of universes like our own that will allow life to take place. It's kind of like the lottery. It may very well be the case that it's unlikely someone will hit the million dollar jackpot given the fact that so many people play it. But despite this, someone will win the game nonetheless.

The last part of my opponent’s opening statements are not even arguments, but rather complaints about the supposed implications of atheism. Whether these implications are true or false has nothing to do with the existence of God. For that reason, I will not respond to them.

Conclusion

Pro's arguments for the existence of God suffer from many difficulties and should therefore be rejected.

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 2
mjbbfan

Pro

Thank you Con for your reasons you believe make my argument false and Id like to show the misunderstandings and twisted logic behind your attack on my arguments for the existence of God.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Your first objection is due to a clear misunderstanding and arguing about an entirely different premise. This premise simply affirms that anything that comes into existence has a cause for its existence. And here Con refutes this by saying that things don't come into existence in our universe but are already were here but this is already flawed because the first premise says nothing about our universe but simply states that if anything were to begin to exist then it has a cause and here Con is attacking the second premise of the universe beginning from entirely nothing which I will happily solidify that point next but after reading this refute against the first premise I see no actual reason to not believe in this first premise. Because my point pretty much is that I believe it is impossible for objects that BEGIN to exist have to have a cause and that objects do not merely pop into existence out of nothing but IF an object begins to exist then it has a cause. I am not talking about the universe beginning but am talking about something much simpler about all objects that the Con I confidently claim cannot refute and he is refuting the second premise and not the first which is logically sound.

And Con is very, very wrong about claiming that an actual infinity of things has no possible self-contradictions. An actual infinity of things is very flawed and is not an actual possibility but only in our minds. David Hilbert, the great German mathematician gives a good statement for my position of an possibility of an infinite series of causes:

"The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought...The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea."

The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy in our universe constantly increases. And the law of entropy entails that over time the usable energy of our universe constantly decreases as energy is constantly converted into non-usable heat energy so if our universe were to go back for infinity and not have a beginning then technically since its an infinity by this point of the present we would have run out of usable energy by now considering you could go infinitely into the past. But this is something which we do not find to be true today. In reality an infinite universe is not possible.

And if you look at his refute of bringing up the A theory and B theory of time to dismiss the kalam cosmological argument then I perceive his argument here against my argument as blasphemy in the fact that I may have not provided evidence for a certain theory of time but he has not provided any reason to believe in the B theory of time. And since none of us have given any reason to believe in A theory or B theory of time we are left with my kalam cosmological argument versus no cosmological argument for atheism so I still have the upper hand when it comes to explaining why there is something rather than nothing.

Then he goes on about how the multiverse could ultimately replace the need of a God to cause our universe and he later uses this multiverse theory to refute my fine-tuning argument for God. But yet again atheist always talk about how they want evidence why God exists when there are many instances where an atheist is devout of evidence for claims he is forced to make. The multiverse is to me there last big attempt and trying to dismantle the powerful fine-tuning argument and kalam cosmological argument. But the fact of the matter is that Con has given us not one reason to believe in the multiverse and it is merely a theory and he has given us no evidence to believe in this theory. Also it is kind of amusing to me how if the multiverse theory were true there would be a permutation where God exists and moreover a permutation where a God exists who created a fine tuned universe and thus, we have came full circle logically back to the conclusion that God exists.His use of the multiverse theory to disprove God is futile.

And then he finishes his full objection to my cosmological argument by arguing that it doesn't support theism but at best deism when really the Kalam Cosmological argument would entail a personal God who cares about us and that is true because a God who created us would have a purpose for us so already the fact that he would have created us gives us reason to know that this kalam cosmological argument supports theism rather than Deism. His attacks on this argument are filled with his own lack of evidence for his objections and I hope you were able to be shown why his objections to the kalam cosmological argument were false and not grounded in evidence which atheist so vigorously support referring to. Because he asked me of evidence when he had none of it himself to believe God does not exist.

Firstly, I expected that the audience of the debate would be educated about the definition of objective moral values and I apologize for forgetting to give a thorough definition of what objective moral values are. Objective moral values are certain morals or values which you adhere to which are not affected by society and in any society the Holocaust would be evil even if they raised kids teaching them about how great the Holocaust was then if there was objective moral values then the Holocaust would still be morally bad in every society. And then when he proposes that my claim about objective moral values existing is not true he is making a grave mistake because he hasn't told me as to why there is not objective moral values and my question to the audience about the Holocaust is an argument because I think we can all agree upon the same answer that the Holocaust is evil and I simply used that as a rhetorical question for effect but I went on to explain how objective moral values exist despite the objections of socio-relativism so my moral argument still remains untouched.

Then he goes on to criticize my fine tuning argument by proposing yet again the multiverse theory as his only defense which I shown should be taken with as grain of salt considering the lack of evidence supporting it that he laid out. And he tries to say that I only am complaining about the implications of atheism when really I'm making a strong case for my claim at the start of the debate which is that I believe that theism is more reasonable or probable to believe in rather than atheism and the fine tuning argument gives you a clear idea of the chances and the probability of how such complex biological life could come randomly into existence through chance (1 in 10^250) and It gives tremendous support for the probability of intelligent design.

Cons objections to my arguments were merely a collection of misunderstandings and false objections without evidence and my arguments for God remain strong reasons with sound logic on why theism is still and always the more reasonable option than atheism. On the bottom of the page and in the comments section I site links to great videos if you want a some further yet brief and clear info on the 3 arguments for God I presented also.

Sources:
1.http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu...
2.David Hilbert "On the Infinite" 1964, pg. 141
3.http://www.truefreethinker.com...

Argument Overviews:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for responding to my objections.

Introduction
I will now respond to the objections that Pro raised to my argument. With that said, let me begin.

Atheist Argument from Evil
Pro objects to my evidential argument from evil by claiming that we are not in a good position to assess the probability of why God allows certain evils to take place, and that within our finite point of view we can't understand the whole framework God has set out.

This kind of response to the problem of evil is called Skeptical Theism, which is the view that we cannot know whether a given evil is gratuitous, because God might have a good reason for allowing that evil to take place. For example, God might allow a certain type of evil to take place in order to bring about a greater good.

But this objection to the evidential argument from evil is not satisfactory, for consider this example offered by the philosopher Stephen Law. Imagine there exist an all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly evil God. Like the morally perfect God, he is extremely powerful and wise, but he differs from the morally perfect God because he is perfectly evil. This being is maximally cruel and has the strongest desire to inflict suffering and evil in the world.

Now I would argue that the idea that such a being exist is silly, and in order to demonstrate that I would provide an evidential argument from good. There is too much love, laughter and rainbows to reasonably conclude that such a being exist. But if the evidential argument from good is sufficient to conclude that a perfectly evil God probably does not exist, then it seems equally true that the evidential argument from evil is sufficient to conclude that a perfectly good God probably does not exist.

Pro used Skeptical Theism as a way to save the perfectly good God from refutation. However, I can flip this objection around and use it to defend the existence of a perfectly evil God. To show this, let me modify some quotes from Pro:

"Firstly, I think that my contender doesn't understand that we don't have a good position to attempt to assess the probability of whether [evil God] has the ultimate reason for why [good] exists."

"We must remember that within our finite point of view we can't understand the whole framework which [evil God] has set out."

So, the point is that Pro may be correct in saying that a perfectly good God might let certain evils happen in order to bring about a greater good. But it seems equally true that a perfectly evil God might let certain goods happen in order to bring about a greater evil. Therefore, it looks like these two justifications cancel each other out, and Skeptical Theism is made meaningless.

The evil God hypothesis can also be used as a response to the free will objection Pro gave. I will now modify a quote from him a second time:

"[Evil God] gave us this free will knowing that thousands would choose [right] but he did it so that people would choose [bad] because without [brightness] and good you know no [sadness]."

Moreover, it seems quite clear that the morally perfect God, if he existed, could have given us free will without us choosing evil. For example, the morally perfect God could have given us both free will and moral perfection, thus resulting in us choosing the good in every situation. [1]

Even if the free will defense was true, it still wouldn't explain the many natural evils that happen in our world. Hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, forest fires, droughts and volcanos are not caused by humans acting on their free will. Rather, they are just the unfortunate way nature is set up.

After putting forth skeptical theism and the free will defense, Pro then goes on to talk about a movie called the The Giver. This explanation of the movie was not an argument and for that reason there is no need for me to respond to it.

Conclusion
Pro raises a number of reasonable objections to my arguments, but ultimately they are unsuccessful.

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 3
mjbbfan

Pro

Id again like to thank Con for his reasons to reject my response to the problem of evil. I will now analyze his points he makes and show they are insufficient to show that the problem of evil rejects God.

Firstly, the problem of evil does not affect my arguments for any God to exist like my fine tuning argument because for all we know the God of that argument could be the God of Christianity or of Islam or an all evil God. So already keep in mind that his problem of evil argument has absolutely no effect on any of my arguments for any type of God. Here we dive into him specifically raising objections to the Christian God who is all-knowing, all-powerful and morally perfect.

The response I would say to Stephens Laws Evil God Hypothesis is the following modified objective moral value argument which refutes the validity of the evil god objection.

1. If God does not exist then objective moral values do not exist.
2. Evil exist
3. Therefore objective moral values exist (some things are evil)
4.Therefore, God exist.

Premise 1 is true because without God there is absolutely no basis for objective moral values and objective moral values require a basis. And atheism gives you no basis because then atheism asserts that everything in our world is natural and not supernatural and atheism claims we don't have a soul or anything beyond the scientific processes that exist. But science cannot explain the immaterial things of life like moral values and friendship because molecular biology doesn't get down to the emotional and spiritual level of things on earth. So I can confidently say that without God objective moral values exist and I think that I have given a much stronger case for why premise 1 is true contrary to the reasons for why it is false that Con has proposed. Premise 2 is an obvious truth, because the evil God hypothesis already presupposes that evil exists.

Lets just say that an evil God does exists. Since this being is evil, that implies that he fails to keep to his moral obligations. But he has no basis for those himself as God. He then would need his own divine law giver so this is where the evil god hypothesis really starts to break down. Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil god and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to not abide to, a being which is absolute goodness Himself. In other words, if Law"s evil god exists, then God exists.

I believe that his argument is a weak attempt to defend that God does not exist.

Sources:
1. https://theosophical.wordpress.com...
2.Michael Bergmann and Jeffrey E. Brower, "The God of Eth and the God of Earth, " Think, (Winter 2007), pp. 36-7
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for putting forth more objections to my arguments.

Introduction
I will now raise more objections to my opponent's arguments. With that said, let me begin.

The Kalām Cosmological Argument

I'm not sure I understand Pro's response to my attack on the first premise of the Kalam argument. He says I misunderstood this premise, but the reasons he gave for why I was mistaken about it were unclear. Therefore, I don't feel like I can give a proper response to what he said.

Pro said I was mistaken about claiming that an actual infinity of things has no contradictions and that it is not possible. He offered no arguments for that claim. He simply appealed to authority.

Pro said that it is true that he did not give us any good reasons for why we should believe in the A-Theory of time, but that I also did not give any good reasons to believe in the B-Theory of time. Therefore, since we both did not give any reasons for believing in our particular view of time, we are stuck with accepting the Kalam argument.

But this line of reasoning is silly. Just because we both did not give evidence for our different view of time does not mean that therefore we should accept the A-Theory of time by default and believe in the Kalam argument. It means that we should suspend judgement until one theory of time is shown to be better than the other. Again, if Pro wants us to believe in the Kalam argument, he must give us good reasons to believe in the A-Theory of time.

Pro said that I gave no evidence for the multiverse hypothesis. But this objection misses the point. Whether or not there is evidence for the multiverse is irrelevant. The point is that even if we grant that the Kalam argument is true, it does not follow that the God of monotheism is the first cause of our universe. This is because the first cause could have come from a multiverse, not God. If forced to choose between God and the multiverse hypothesis, it seems like the multiverse is a more plausible explanation. Like I said earlier in the debate, we already know that at least one universe exist. Unlike the God explanation, we don't have to invent a new type of entity. We are just multiplying one thing we already know of.

Pro said that the Kalam argument does entail that the God of monotheism was the first cause of the universe, because a God who created us would have a purpose for us. But earlier in the debate I claimed that even if a disembodied mind was the first cause of the universe, this does not mean that it was the God of monotheism. This is because the first cause could have been an all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly evil God or an all-powerful, all-knowing and morally indifferent God. So, the Kalam argument does not show that the first cause of the universe was the morally perfect God of monotheism.

The Moral Argument
In response to my criticism about Pro not defining what an objective moral value is, he now provides an account of what he is talking about. Pro said that objective moral values are certain morals or values you adhere to that are not affected by society. But how is this even an argument for the existence of God? If this is what Pro means by objective moral values, it's not exactly clear how this gives us good grounds for believing in the God of monotheism.

Pro said that I claimed that objective moral values do not exist. But this is false. Nowhere in my objections to his arguments did I ever make such a claim. In regards to the first premise of the moral argument, I claimed that even if theist and atheist agreed on it, that does not mean it's true. This statement I made is clearly different than me explicitly saying objective moral values do not exist. So, again, if Pro wants us to believe in the first premise of this argument, he must give an argument as to why we should. Appealing to agreement among people does not in itself show why something is true.

Pro said that his question to the audience about the Holocaust is an argument because we all agree that it was evil. But, again, this is a question not an argument. The fact that people will agree with your question does not make it an argument.

The Fine Tuning Argument
Pro again said that the multiverse hypothesis should be rejected as an explanation for the fine tuning of our universe, because there is a lack of evidence supporting it. But, again, as I already pointed it in my objections to the Kalam argument, whether or not there is evidence for the multiverse is irrelevant. The point is that even if we grant that the Fine Tuning argument is true, it does not follow that the God of monotheism is the reason for why our universe is finely tuned.This is because the fine tuning of our universe could be because of a multiverse, not God.

Conclusion
Pro's arguments still have many difficulties and his responses to my objections are unsatisfactory.
Debate Round No. 4
mjbbfan

Pro

Id again like to thank Con for his response to my objections to his claims and now Id like to respond to his previous argument and why he is still suffering to a misunderstanding of the arguments and ignorance of many points I make in my arguments.

Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Firstly, He said that he did not understand how he misunderstood the first premise and my reasoning was unclear but if it wasn't already said clearly I repeat again that he was refuting the beginning of the universe not the fact that everything that begins to exist has a cause so simply put, Con argued against premise 2 and not premise 1 so my first premise remains entirely valid and reliable.

Then he says I simply appealed to authority in argument against a possible actual infinity of things. I did quote David Hilbert for reinforcement but he hasn't done anything to refute why the second law of thermodynamics prevents the actual infinity of things existing and the metaphysical absurdity of that proposal.

Con then goes on to explain his multiverse argument where he attempts to give a reason for us to believe in this theory. He just refers to saying that the multiverse is a more reliable explanation than God because your already multiplying something you have rather than creating a new entity of God but God is a timeless, transcendent reality and the multiverse theory is a pretty new and odd theory as itself. So he simply appeals to his own personal opinion of how he thinks one is a weirder idea than the other and a misunderstanding of the nature of how God is a timeless being. His multiverse theory is still a weak attempt devout of evidence to refute both my Kalam and fine tuning argument.

The Kalam Cosmological argument was something I argued that could entail a monotheistic God. But nevertheless, the Kalam Cosmological argument is simply put "a general argument for the existence of God" so my Kalam argument even if it maybe entails a different type of God supports the culmutaive case for God.

Moral Values Argument:
First of all Con quotes my added definition of what objective moral values are and claims that this is my argument and its insufficient. That was simply a clarification of a definition and not my argument so his remarks on how that affected my actual argument are futile.

Then he claims that I accused him of not personally believing in objective moral values but I never said that. In round 2 when Con gave his objection to my second premise of my moral argument if you read carefully he said that I only proposed a question only and that my support for the second premise (that objective moral values exist) is insufficient. I simply gave a response to why there is reason that objective moral values exist.

The fact of the matter is that objective moral values reside within people. If you affirm objective moral values then my moral argument for God is successful but if you don't believe in objective moral values then my argument is meaningless. But the truth is that we all know that even if kids were raised being taught about the greatness and goodness of the Holocaust that despite the different society that the Holocaust is still absolutely bad in all society's. If you affirm that then my moral argument is very strong and you have many times justified that you don't disregard objective moral values existence and you claimed yourself that many atheist affirm objective moral values themselves.

Fine Tuning Argument:
He again brings up his multiverse objection to my fine tuning argument and if you look back to my reasons why this multiverse objection of his logically weak then scroll back to where I explain that. And even if his multiverse objection is true it is completely in vain because then there is a permutation or universe where there is a God who fine tuned the universe for life so we go logically full circle back to the proposition that God Exists.

Conclusion:
My arguments for God are strong and Con passes over many of my points. My arguments have mounted up to where belief in God is more logical and reasonable than the atheistic worldview and God provides the reasons for many things in our universe. I hope you all come to see this and remember the holes of his logic and objections and that God gives you ultimate meaning and purpose and value in life and that reason is not an enemy to God but only ends up strengthening the position further.

Thank you for the debate Con. It was very enjoyable and I respect your respectful manner of your arguments and appreciate your time and effort.
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for responding to my objections.

Introduction
In the last round of this debate I will defend my original arguments from objections raised by Pro and then conclude with my closing statements. With that said, let me begin.

Pro is right to point out that my evidential argument from evil has no effect on arguments for the existence of any type of God. This is because there could exist a God that is morally indifferent to good and evil. But if you remember correctly, the type of God whose existence we are debating over is morally perfect. As such, the evidential argument from evil is relevant to our debate.

The Moral Argument
In response to my evil God objection to skeptical theism, Pro has put forth a modified version of the moral argument in order to demonstrate that the evil God objection is unsuccessful.

The first premise of this argument claims that if God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist. By objective moral values we mean moral values that are true independently of whether people believe in them or not. [1]

In support of premise one, Pro claims that if God did not exist then there would be no basis for objective moral values. This is because If atheism turned out to be true, then only the natural world would exist.

Before I move onto my main objection to this argument, I would like to point out that Pro, like William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga, for some reason don't make a distinction between atheism and metaphysical naturalism. Atheism, as pointed out in the first round of the debate, is the belief that God, so defined, does not exist. Metaphysical naturalism is, roughly speaking, the view that only the natural world is real. So, if one is an atheist that does NOT mean that they are also a metaphysical naturalist. An atheist could believe in ghost, spirits, immaterial beings ect. as long as they believe that God does not exist. However, if one is a metaphysical naturalist, they will necessarily be an atheist. The reason for that is because God is a supernatural being and therefore could not exist if naturalism is true. With that misunderstanding corrected, I will now move on to my main objection.

My objection to this argument is going to be the standard Euthyphro dilemma. The Euthyphro dilemma puts pressure on the first premise of this modified moral argument put forth by Pro. In order for this modified moral argument to be true, the meta-ethical view of divine command theory will also have to be true. Under this view, an action is wrong if and only if God commands someone not to do it.

So, here is the Euthyphro dilemma:

1. Is that which is good commanded by God because it is good?

OR

2. Is it good because God commands it?

If we choose the first option, then morality will not be dependant of the existence of God. Things would be right or wrong independently of whether or not God exist. But if that's right, then the first premise of the moral argument will be false. This is because objective moral values could exist even if God did not.

If we choose the second option, then morality is subjective rather than objective. This is because God could decide arbitrarily whether or not a thing is right or wrong. For example, if God said that torturing small children for fun was morally good, then performing that sort of action would be right.

Either way, the Euthyphro dilemma shows premise one of this argument to be mistaken.

However, Pro may object that the Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma. He might reply that morality is not independent of God nor is it something that he arbitrarily creates. But rather God's nature or his essential properties is the standard of morality. In other words, it's not something he creates or appeals to but is something he is.

But this move creates another Euthyphro dilemma, which can be formulated as follows:

1. Does God have control over his nature?

OR

2. Does God not have control over his nature?

If God does have control over his nature, then God could choose his nature and therefore decide for himself what is good and what is bad. This would again make morality subjective rather than objective because God could arbitrarily decide what is right and wrong.

If God does not have control over his nature, then something other than God would be laying down what God's nature is. That would mean this external force would be the true ground of morality. Not God.

So, the Euthyphro dilemma provides strong reason to reject this modified moral argument.

Finally, Pro makes the claim that if the perfectly evil God exist, then the morally perfect God of monotheism must also exist. But this can't be correct. If you remembered correctly, perfectly evil God is omnipotent or all-powerful like the God of monotheism. So, given the fact that both the perfectly evil God and morally perfect God are omnipotent, they couldn't both exist at the same time. This is because there would be potential for conflicts of will between them. [2]

For example, perfectly evil God would want to bring about a great deal of evil in the world, whereas morally perfect God would want to bring about a great deal of good. If perfectly evil God could prevent perfectly good God from bringing about good, then that would show that he is the truly all-powerful being. Whereas if perfectly good God could prevent perfectly evil God from bringing about evil, then that would show that he is the truly all-powerful being.

As you can see by the example, these two types of Gods could not coexist. Since Pro did not give a satisfactory response to the evil God hypothesis, it remains a powerful objection to skeptical theism and does not get the monotheist around the evidential argument from evil.

Conclusion
In this debate I have provided an argument in defense of the claim that God, so defined, does not exist. I want the voter reading this to keep in mind that even if my argument against the existence of God is unsound, one will still be committed to vote for me if they believe that I kept Pro from meeting his burden of proof. I enjoyed this conversation with Pro and I hope he continues to engage in more debates on this site.

Sources:

[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...;
[2] http://link.springer.com...;
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
== Reason For Voting Decision | 3 points to Con ==

~ Kalam Cosmological Argument ~

The entire structure of Craig's cosmological argument as presented by the proposition is flawed. The first premise is very poorly justified, wherein Pro claims it is rationally intuitive and supported by 'sound logic.' Con attacks P1 by showing that causality is not required and is, in fact, based on the sheer assumption of presentism, which is doubtful in light of general relativity which entails the B-theory of time. The second premise is based on a *highly* flawed assumption of the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang is a cosmological model that describes the large-scale evolution of the universe, expanding from its infinitesimally small state as gravitational singularity. With this, Con employs Hitchens's razor to shift the burden of proof, and also draws a juxtaposition between *deism* and *theism*.

~ Moral Argument ~

The objective moral values are, as shown by Con, within the human genome, as shown by biologist Professor Richard Dawkins. Furthermore, the argument from evil practically refutes the moral argument and not, as Pro assumes, vice versa.

~ Teleological Argument ~

The argument from design relies on the comparison between which is more likely: a multiverse, or the existence of God. But the existence of God is a "greater" assumption (Hitchens's razor, law of parsimony), as more universes are multiplying what *already* exists, as demonstrated by Con. This was more or less dropped by Pro.

Overall, Pro failed to fulfil the onus, and all their arguments were refuted. Thus, the victory is with Con.
Posted by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
It should also be noted that I didn't get to put forth objections to Pro's responses to my rebuttals of his arguments.
Posted by orangutan 1 year ago
orangutan
The problem of evil (though possibly not the problem of gratuitous suffering- we may distinguish the two) assumes that divine command theory is false or vacuous. For suppose it is the case that things are right because God commands them and things are wrong because God condemns them. Then. if God wills that a person dies from starvation or is raped or that the Holocaust happens, then the instance of a person dying is "good" because God wills it. That's why divine command theory has to fail in order for the problem of evil to go through. And it is in fact a common response by William Lane Craig to argue via the moral argument that the existence of evil proves that God exists, since if God does not exist then evil does not exist and we are arguing that evil exists, then God has to exist.

My point is that if Pro trots out the moral argument/ divine command theory, and you want to use the problem of evil, you really need to bring something like the Euthyphro dilemma out earlier in order to argue against divine command theory. If it is introduced in the last round, then your opponent cannot respond to it.

One way to avoid this problem might be to distinguish between the problem of evil and the problem of gratuitous suffering. So the atheist might say, okay, if God exists then a man starving might be good, but God is also said to be loving, and a loving person would not allow someone that He loves to intensely suffer from the Holocaust. But there might be similar "divine command theory" responses to this as well, for instance that there is no independent standard of loving apart from God, so God allowing people to die in the Holocaust is loving by a tautological truth.
Posted by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
@orangutan

I had to. He put forth that moral argument as an objection to the evidential argument from evil. I found it weird that he even used an argument as an objection to begin with. But, still, he did. He posted that moral argument during a round that he was supposed to just present objections to what I was saying. Most of the time people don't present a particular argument as an objection to their opponent's statements. Again, given the weird situation that he put me in, I had to respond to it in the way that I did.
Posted by orangutan 1 year ago
orangutan
Why would you bring the Euthyphro dilemma out in the *very last round* when it is a big objection to moral argument, one which your opponent did not have a chance to respond to?
Posted by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] STEPHEN LAW The evil-god challenge.
[3] The Miracle of Theism by John Mackie: Chapter 9.
Posted by mjbbfan 1 year ago
mjbbfan
For further yet brief and clear info on my arguments here are some great links which explain the arguments well for you all.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Posted by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] Naturalism: A Critical Analysis (Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Philosophy) page 232.
[3] http://www.nizkor.org...
Posted by mjbbfan 1 year ago
mjbbfan
I cannot "prove" God exists and neither can anyone else "prove" he doesn't exist. I argue that it is more reasonable to believe in God rather than not considering the evidence and logic I resort to. And by the way the Kalam Cosmological argument I presented is based upon mounds of evidence for the beginning of our universe in an event known as the Big Bang which is confirmed by many scientists who happen to be atheist.
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
bman7720
The biggest support is basically like G"del's incompleteness theorems. You cannot prove it, however logic stands to say it true. I do not believe in what cannot be supported by evidence.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
mjbbfanDookiemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A very interesting debate and good effort by both Pro and Con. I am usually quite forgiving with spelling and grammar, but the fact that Pro's paragraphs where mostly devoid of commas and periods made them very hard to read and understand. I actually couldn't comprehend some things that he wrote, because his sentences started with the paragraph, and finished at the end of the paragraph, without any grammatical structure or adherence to the rules of syntax. Now for arguments, I would certainly applaud Con for completely obliterating what was said by Pro. Pro actually misunderstood a lot of the arguments, and he attacked irrelevant statements. For instance, Con had no obligation to prove the Multiverse theory, only the possibility of it. However, I chose to ignore Con's last argument from Euthyphro's dilemma, because it was introduced in the last round, and thus impossible for Pro to refute. Nevertheless, Con's position still seems stronger, even if we disregard the last round.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
mjbbfanDookiemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by orangutan 1 year ago
orangutan
mjbbfanDookiemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's grammar is atrocious, with many run-on sentences. Pro's defense of his arguments is weak- he does not understand Con's argument against the first premise, and he does not convincingly argue against the multiverse in either the kalam or fine-tuning arguments. To his credit, Con does not dispute the argument via second law of thermodynamics. Pro's moral argument is also weakly defended, and it is refuted via the Euthyphro dilemma. As for the argument from evil, Pro relies on his moral argument to support his theodicies and skeptical theist positions. Con shows why this is an unconvincing move, so Con wins the argument from evil.