The Instigator
baggins
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
James.ticknor
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

God exists

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
baggins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,278 times Debate No: 8503
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)

 

baggins

Pro

I know this is the most fashionable topic of debate in this community – usually following a highly predictable pattern. But please don't run away yet. I believe my approach is a bit different. However, I digress a lot before coming to the argument. So I will plead for some patience.

Can we `prove' God exists? What kind of `evidence' are we looking for – which might confirm or deny God's existence?

I will differentiate between two kinds of proofs. I term them as the lawyer's proof and the scientist's proof. This classification is my own – so I will explain in detail.

When lawyer's debate in a court, they have a particular purpose before them – to uphold the law. Consequently there are some particular concepts which govern there working. For example the `burden of proof' [1] is on the plaintiff and the defendant is `presumed to be innocent until proven guilty' [2]. People cannot be forced to give evidence against themselves [3], and so on. These concepts are very important for the sake of a just society. However this is not the kind of evidence we are looking for. This is not a court. If it is – my submission is – the case is beyond its jurisdiction [4]! Moreover, whatever be its conclusion, this court is clearly incapable of enforcing its judgment!

I think what we are looking for is a scientist's kind of evidence. In Science – many of the law ideas are diluted (not eliminated). Often there are no well defined defendant and plaintiff. There is no `justice' to be upheld. Science works best when same person searches for both arguments and counter-arguments, and thinks of ways in which the thesis can be verified or rejected.

So what kind of `proofs' are considered as proof in science? I will explain with few examples. When did the scientific community start accepting theory of relativity? A certain scientist (Einstein) developed a certain theory (Theory of Relativity). He used it to predict something will happen (light will bend by this much under particular situation [5]). This was verified – and the theory was accepted. How do we prove gravity exists? Since the apple fell on Mr. Newton's head [6], (the story might not be accurate), something must have pulled it down. So gravity exists. How do we prove earth is round? Have a look at earth's photo from space [7]. That establishes the shape of earth.

So do we observe any phenomenon in the world around us, which might prove God's existence? What about our own existence! Since we exist, and since we did not create ourselves, God must have created us.

Of course – I am choosing ourselves as example just for the effect. In practice, I can pick anything. Look at a plant grow from a seed. Look how sun rises in the morning …

A note: In most `theist vs. atheist' debates, people start debating about scientific processes. I do not need that. Look at the examples I have chosen. We know a lot (not everything) about the processes involved in growth of plant. We know why sun rises every morning. But my argument is – isn't their existence itself proof of God's existence. Sure – many of the processes are `natural'. But doesn't nature's existence proves God's existence.

Organized complexity is additional evidence. However I don't want to pursue that approach. It usually leads to regions where our understanding of science is not yet developed – and unwittingly pits theists against some future advancement in science. More often – it just becomes a platform for showing oneself to be more knowledgeable than the opponent by providing links to incomprehensible sources – and pretending to understand it.

---

A small confession. These arguments are really some of my half – formed ideas. I have no idea, how my opponent might respond. I am waiting eagerly.

I don't want a syntactical debate. Please don't accept this debate if this condition is not acceptable to you.

Thanks to the person who accepts this debate.

---

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
7. http://www.physlink.com...
James.ticknor

Con

I thank my opponent. I would like to clarify that I am accepting this debate, because I am questioning my Christian faith and feel this may provide some answers to my questions and establish my faith, if any.

Since there is no specific God, Allah,-whatever, I will assume it is God in general.

My opponents case centers mainly around the point that, and I quote, "Isn't their existence itself proof of God's existence?" No. If there is such a sentinent being, who created him? If you entertain the idea of God just being there without creation, why can't you entertain the idea of me being here without creation?

I would also like to point out your interesting, and true, statement about Scientific evidence. Like the earth being round. I assume that you agree it is round. The Catholic Church declared it blasphemy to say that God's creation was otherwise. They would not accept the idea of it being round, because they THOUGHT it went against God. We can now prove that it IS round, and they were forced to change their views on it.

If they change their beliefs, how can we say that their relgion is right, when it isn't concrete? It shifts to make way for logic and reasoning.

Also, in almost all religions, it says to have faith and believe in God. Where's the proof? If we just believe in one religion just to believe, why not jump around to all religions and believe? Believing without proof is illogical. Since there is no logic, there can be no real discussions, leading to religious intolerance. This can lead to acts like the Inquisition, in which the Catholic Church slaughtered people they thought were heritics (went agenst the will of God).

I'm not going to entertain the idea and ask my opponent questions about why God does what he does, because I'm sure he does not know anything but what he believes and is told, since this is a debate based on beliefs, so I will close and allow my opponent to speak. VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 1
baggins

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate. It appears that both of us are approaching this debate with relatively open mind (compared to some other debates on this topic). That should lead to an interesting discussion.

I am a bit overwhelmed by the range of response you have presented. In my post - I had presented only 1 argument. You have answered that in just a single, small paragraph.

You said:
" My opponents case centers mainly around the point that, and I quote, "Isn't their existence itself proof of God's existence?" No. If there is such a sentinent being, who created him? If you entertain the idea of God just being there without creation, why can't you entertain the idea of me being here without creation? "

I cannot accept that you exist without a creator, because you did not create yourself. You are not an all powerful independent, self-existing being who can create things out of nothing. Indeed this is how we can define God.

As far as this debate is concerned, this was the only relevant argument. What comes below is irrelevant to the debate. Indeed it is more of discussion. I would request voters to read it after casting their valuable votes.

---

You said:
Since there is no specific God, Allah,-whatever, I will assume it is God in general.

Allah means `the God'. We can use either for the debate. Arabic Christians address God as Allah only. On other hand, Muslims consider it as a proper noun also. But you are correct - we are not discussing any particular concept of God. We are just debating existence of God.

You have discussed the Catholic Church's blunders towards science. What those events proved is that the Catholic Church can make mistakes and has made mistakes. As far as Bible is concerned - the story is much more complicated. Even the biggest supporter of the Holy Bible accepts that the current English and Hebrew versions are at least twice translated copies of the original. How can such a text be used for scientific analysis? Moreover - the Bible never claims to scientifically accurate. Its meaning has to be understood with respect to the age it was meant for. (This defense is not valid for Quran - it is meant for the current age. It also claims to be free of contradictions - and challenges everyone to find them if they can [1])

Problem is - there are some other mistakes in Bible which cannot be explained away by these arguments. For example - Christ Jesus (Peace on Him) cannot have two different genealogies connecting him to Prophet David (Peace on Him) [2]. Especially when we know that he had a virgin birth!

While the Holy Bible may not be 100% word of God, it is not 100% rubbish either. It contains God's message.

You said:
"Also, in almost all religions, it says to have faith and believe in God. Where's the proof?"

God's existence can be proven. Indeed I have tried to do that here. Perhaps that is why all religions insist on it.

Can we prove other aspects of religion? That is a difficult question. I think the answer would be a partial yes. If there is any humble and sincere person, who believes in God, asks God for guidance, and searches for truth - we Muslims think that God will provide him with all the signs and proofs he requires. God willing, I accept Islam with knowledge rather than faith. But I admit - I cannot prove that before a court or a class.

You also said:
"I'm not going to entertain the idea and ask my opponent questions about why God does what he does ..."

I assure you - I have no idea as to what are God's motives. I doubt whether I am even capable of understanding the reasons. I can tell you what God wants human beings to do, based on my understanding of Quran. But that would be too much of digression.

Feel free to ignore all the secondary topics. If you must discuss them, at least separate them out from the main debate.

---

1. Quran 4:82 "Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity."
The Holy Quran can be accessed at http://www.islamicity.com...
2. Compare Matthew 1:1-17 with Luke 3:23-38.
The Holy Bible can be accesses at http://www.biblegateway.com...
James.ticknor

Con

James.ticknor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
baggins

Pro

It is a pity that my opponent has forfeited this round. I suppose it is due to busy schedule

I extend my arguments and hope that my opponent presents his rebuttal in this round.
James.ticknor

Con

I apologize for my absence, as I was not able to have access to a computer, summer vacation you know = )

However, I can still win my case.

You said: I cannot accept that you exist without a creator, because you did not create yourself. You are not an all powerful independent, self-existing being who can create things out of nothing. Indeed this is how we can define God.

I say: I didn't make myself, my parents did. Going all the way back, we can refer to the Theory of Evolution. Of course, you can find loopholes in it, but we can not explain everything. There is no need to revert to supernatural theories of magical aspects, since there is no such thing as magic.

Since you have declared my other points 'irrelivant', I will assume the most traditional point.

WE CAN NOT PROVE GOD'S EXISTANCE! If we could, we would end all polytheistic religions, which I don't believe it is just to condem them because they are not monotheistic. You can not, nor has anyone else, been able to prove the existance of God. We may be able to in the future, if there is one, but we can not prove it now, so my opponent should not win this debate.

I fail to see where my opponent provided adequet and concrete proof of God's existance.

I must ask the audience not to be biased in thier voting if they do believe in God, because I do personally as well.

VOTE CON and thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
"The tests are used to discover patterns, relationships, and consistency."

Yes, Yes and Yes.

I am afraid, I am begining to lose you again. The only observation / assumption I am making is that we exist. Do you disagree with it?

Even if we don't exist (whatever that means) - I don't see any harm in the assumption. In that case, the assumption does not exist as well.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
"Rigorous testing and experimentation are just observations of nature."

The tests are used to discover patterns, relationships, and consistency. Are your observations similarly reliable? What are they based on besides assumption?
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
"Rigorous testing and experimentation" are just observations of nature.

I am not against observations in science.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Observation is obviously a part of the scientific process, but only a part. The fundamental scientific laws you speak of have endured rigorous testing and experimentation, whereas your observation has not. Why would assumption-based theories be more adequate to explain existence than evidence-based theories?
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
Yeah this is much better.

"You said science was not sufficient to explain existence because it relies on observations"

Correct. But you did not tell me whether you agree that scientific laws are based on observations.

"why would your observations be preferred?"

There is no question of preferring one over other. I am not calling science as wrong. I am just saying that being an fundamentally observational - it is inadequate to explain existance. And my only observation is that we exist. In case it happens to be wrong - no harm is done :-)
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Sorry, I got carried away I guess haha. You said science was not sufficient to explain existence because it relies on observations. You follow that by saying you find proof of god through observation. Since the science is backed by laws, and you aren't questioning the laws, why would your observations be preferred?
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
Perhaps this is may help:
"If you are not questioning the validity of the fundamental scientific laws you mentioned"

I am not questioning their validity. I am saying they are based on observations about the way nature works. Do you disagree?
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
My sincere apologies, but I completely failed to understand what you are trying to say. It may be because I am not very clever, but can you rephrase. And do let me know if my statement before that is incomprehensible.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
You claim scientific explanations based in part on observation are not sufficient to explain existence, then go on to say that a god can be assumed through observation. If you are not questioning the validity of the fundamental scientific laws you mentioned, why would you ignore alternative explanations for universal origins in place of an observation-based assumption?
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
Let us assume there are scientific explainations for everything (which is an incorrect assumption). What these scientific explainations do is - they reduce the various problems to basic scientific laws. These laws are just observations of the way nature works. They do not really explain anything about existsence! That is why a self-existing creator is needed (and we humans are not like that).

Let me repeat an analogy from my post. You look at an object falling to earth, and conclude there is gravity. But when I look at you, wondering why the stone fell downwards, can't I conclude that God exists?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
bagginsJames.ticknorTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70