God is everywhere!
My opponent has sole BoP to prove that "...this God thing is still here, and that it is tangible and real to all life forms."
I curiously await his arguments.
Hi The Russian,
Firstly I cannot concede to you the point that I carry sole BofP. The debate will show this to be true. I expect you to give answers that are logical and correct to all my questions which I will highlight in bold. I want to structure my submissions in such a way as to facilitate constructive interaction.
I propose to show that God is everywhere, that God is a real phenomena and that God reveals itself to us all at all times.
(a) Human beings are very perceptive. We have evolved within life to exist and compete on this planet with relative ease. We are a product of many millions of years of evolution. Our senses are acute and accurate and your emotive and subconscious awareness's are also highly evolved and reliable. We sense danger, we recognize anomalies, we empathize with events as they unfold before us. We have evolved these primitive abilities to a level where we now attempt to apply reason and morality to what we see.
God belief is something similar.
Why has mankind always perceived 'the existence of God'?
Why is this belief so actual that we have retained it and developed it without any indication of doing otherwise?
The answers to God are there for all to find. Here are two obvious and easy avenues of enquiry to explore.
(1) Study the ancient origins of 'God belief' as it manifested itself in its various forms during the course of human history.
(2) Study your world that has always exposed the workings of God to us and search for God yourself.
More to come later. I expect a logical answer to my questions and if I have deviated from the actual then I expect the error of my ways to be clarified for me. Thanks
I appreciate the argument you've presented here. While I will do my best to answer any and all questions you pose, it is YOU who has sole BoP because it is YOU that must prove something. I don't have to present any arguments of my own, as it is you who are making the claim.
I will first address your introductory paragraph before proceeding to try to answer your questions.
"Human beings are very perceptive"
This is a very subjective claim. If we are talking about physically, then we're actually kind of pathetic. There are many organisms that see better, hear better, feel better, smell better and perhaps even taste with more differentiation than we do. I suppose you could say our senses are well balanced, but that, again, is a very subjective claim that's impossible to prove. There is a massive range of natural phenomena (waves, particles, maybe dimensions etc.) that we don't detect.
"...compete on this planet with relative ease."
I must note that this comes from technology which comes from our single, best adaptation (well developed brain) rather than us being physically superior than any/all other organisms. If it wasn't for our brain, we'd be pretty pathetic and unfit for survival.
"...your emotive and subconscious awareness's are also highly evolved and reliable."
If my opponent could elaborate on this point a bit I would appreciate that, although it may not be directly relevant to the debate. What is meant by or what is an example of "subconscious awareness"? Isn't that a paradox, since our subconscious is what we're NOT aware of?
"We have evolved these primitive abilities to a level where we now attempt to apply reason and morality to what we see. "
Now to my opponent's questions.
1. Why has mankind always perceived 'the existence of God'?
We haven't perceived it. If we would've actually perceived it, then you and I wouldn't be having this debate right now. Perhaps I could slightly rephrase your question into something like "Why has mankind always believed in 'the existence of God?'". In this case, I think the answer is quite simple. To this day, there are many things we don't control in nature (most things), but long ago, we used to not understand these things either. This is where the concept of gods originated (indeed earlier belief systems were polytheistic, a deity for every phenomenon respected but not understood). For example, the ancient people didn't understand how lightning works, but it's powerful and uncontrollable, so they imagined that there is a force (super-powerful humanoid) that controls this phenomenon. Since then, many myths and legends have developed and grown from one another, intertwining in a complex fashion that result in religions and belief system with rather sophisticated stories. Plus, let's be honest, it is quite comforting to believe that there's some all powerful being that watches over us and listens to us and promises us life after death...who wouldn't want to believe it?
And so stories were passed down from parent to child and haven't been "removed" from our traditions.
2. "Why is this belief so actual that we have retained it and developed it without any indication of doing otherwise? "
I sort of addressed this in the previous answer, but I'll go into more depth here. I would first like to contest the last claim "...without any indication of doing otherwise" because we do indeed see atheist/agnostic movements rising in popularity. The belief is so actual because:
1) It's technically impossible to disprove (which is why BoP is on you)
3) Personal satisfaction/comfort
And so, I'm mildly disappointed as my opponent hasn't yet presented any arguments/evidence except that we believe and have believed which...isn't really an argument.
"(1) Study the ancient origins of 'God belief' as it manifested itself in its various forms during the course of human history."
Yes, and we come to the conclusion that there is definitely no need for a God to exist in order for people to believe, it's a naturally occurring process.
"(2) Study your world that has always exposed the workings of God to us and search for God yourself."
I have studied my world quite carefully and haven't found God anywhere. From what I've seen, there's no need for him anywhere.
And so I curiously await my opponent's response and "more to come".
God is an aspect of our existence, just like colour!
The Russian states:Perhaps I could slightly rephrase your question into something like "Why has mankind always believed in 'the existence of God?'". In this case, I think the answer is quite simple. To this day, there are many things we don't control in nature (most things), but long ago, we used to not understand these things either. This is where the concept of gods originated (indeed earlier belief systems were polytheistic, a deity for every phenomenon respected but not understood). For example, the ancient people didn't understand how lightning works, but it's powerful and uncontrollable, so they imagined that there is a force (super-powerful humanoid) that controls this phenomenon. Since then, many myths and legends have developed and grown from one another, intertwining in a complex fashion that result in religions and belief system with rather sophisticated stories. Plus, let's be honest, it is quite comforting to believe that there's some all powerful being that watches over us and listens to us and promises us life after death...who wouldn't want to believe it?
Thank You for your answer. You are saying that God belief amounted to a collection of things that early man did not understand or control. You also suggest that it particularly referred to aspects of nature that man feared, ie lightening.
This is a common explanation for the God belief phenomena but in my book this explanation appears illogical. Your careless add on to the above paragraph appears to me to be nonsensical. Tom Hanks invented Wilson on his island. Are you suggestion that man created God just to create a fictitious benefactor of sorts. Why would we do that and why would this sustain itself long enough to evolve into organized religion.
Let me give you my take on this.
God amounted to all that early man observed and felt. God is more apparent in that which man actually sees happening rather than in the mysterious and the unexplainable. Our early primate ancestors were observers, they observed the ways and habits of other life forms, they observed the military strategies of ant colonies long before they embarked on conquest. It is the fascination of acquired knowledge that intensifies our appreciation of what is there. Let me give you a simple example of this. Darwin was supposed to debunk Adam and Eve and the Genesis hypothesis. It did the exact opposite and this was quickly realized within the established, Abrahamic Churches. Millions of years of evolution and nurturing and progress were far more wonderful towards engendering awe for God than the original story ever was. We can now use dinosaur bones to travel backwards in time for tens of millions of years to the amazing spectacle of Jurassic Park. Our sciences move us outwards into the unimaginable vastness of the cosmos while their microscopes bring us down into worlds we can only imagine at. God is revealed in the potential of the known rather than in the vague trepidation of the feared. It has always been so.
I do not believe in a personable God and your introduction of same to this conversation is a diversion. ie you say'All powerful being that watches over us and listens to us and promises us life after death...who wouldn't want to believe it?''We need to stay on point on this.
We agree that the theologies of our modern religions have evolved into narratives that completely obscure their origins. Let me extract from these libraries of fiction, some simple truths. God is seen as awesome, omnipotent, all present in most if not all religions. God is a wonder and a mystery to mankind. If you go back to the origins of this phenomena you find early primate man attempting to contextualize his being within what he sees. I believe that all life forms do this in their own unique ways. I believe that these life machinations create 'a vibe' that is perceptible to all and that is shared by all. We share chemical affinities with the hard landscapes of our world and we share basic biological and psychological traits with many of the higher mammalian life forms. Early man attempted to build his perceived role within this cacophony that presented itself before him. Man felt God and he made his attempt to engage with it.
I cannot be descriptive about God in a theological way. I am an atheist and I do not believe in any particular God. I can however experience and feel God in every action of my life, be it work, sickness, leisure or whatever. There is a cohesion within God, there is a magnitude within God that makes me appear insignificant and humble and there is a belonging in that all of God that presents itself before me is recognizable within myself,,ie be it chemical, biological, or emotive.
I will address more of your early submission later, but this is already becoming unreadably long. Thanks
"Tom Hanks invented Wilson on his island. "
I don't understand the reference, sorry about that.
"Are you suggestion that man created God just to create a fictitious benefactor of sorts."
I don't think it was purposely created as fiction. It's just that the thought comes "whoa, what if there's like...some bigger man somewhere up there that controls everything"...some observations happen "hey, look it's that guy in the sky doing it again!"...then people start asking (praying) to this powerful figure for good luck etc. and when the prayers actually happen, people's beliefs are strongly reinforced.
"Why would we do that and why would this sustain itself long enough to evolve into organized religion."
As explained, it's a natural process that sustains itself because there always were and always will be things we don't know and wonder about. To compensate for our lack of knowledge or to make ourselves feel better about not knowing, we give ourselves answers. This applies, for example, to things concerning afterlife. To make ourselves feel better, we believe in an afterlife (despite complete lack of evidence) because then we don't fear death so much. On top of that, we like to believe that if we're good in this life, we'll be rewarded in the next as incentive to be good in this life.
Organized religion is based on just...standardized beliefs such as those mentioned above based on ancient texts that it's difficult to really confirm or refute because, well, we weren't there so we like to think that a longggg time ago, some representation of God visited us humans out of the kindness of his spirit to "enlighten" us.
"It is the fascination of acquired knowledge that intensifies our appreciation of what is there."
I completely agree with you here, but while some people see God there, others look further and find other things as the cause. If we're going into personal anecdotes, I plan to be a scientist. I have done much research on a variety of science/biology related topics and have much amazement, interest and indeed appreciation for the world around us. However, I don't see God anywhere. This is partially why I don't at all connect with the anecdotes you present and the ideas that "we can all find God" because I've looked, but haven't found. This is also why I'm hoping/waiting for you to present more...objective arguments for his existence.
"I do not believe in a personable God and your introduction of same to this conversation is a diversion"
Not at all a diversion, you asked why people generally believe, and most world religions include a personal God and an afterlife, which is why I mentioned it as something one would want to believe if even given a shred of a reason.
"If you go back to the origins of this phenomena you find early primate man attempting to contextualize his being within what he sees."
Exactly my point. This is why the beliefs exist, and can't be used as proof.
"I am an atheist and I do not believe in any particular God. I can however experience and feel God in every action of my life, be it work, sickness, leisure or whatever."
No, you would be closer to a deist or agnostic. An atheist is one who claims that there is no God. Next, I, unlike you, do not experience God in anything and this claim can't really be used as evidence. In a way, I envy people who make claims such as yourself because I've never had such experiences.
"...this is already becoming unreadably long."
Not at all, feel free to use all 10,000 characters, they're there for a reason.
I'd like to note, sadly, that you haven't yet provided any evidence for God except beliefs themselves which...isn't really evidence. I appreciate your personal anecdotes, but as mentioned, they're not something I can really connect to.
My opponent calls my argument weak, but I didn't really see any effective counters to it. He says that modern religions are clearly wrong, and I'm not contesting that. But it's clear that religion/belief in God plays a role of giving people comfort in regards to death and giving them stimulus to live moral lives. Another delusion that we've "sustained and perpetuated" in human societies is the belief in Free Will. If my opponent would like, I will briefly explain why I'm convinced that we indeed don't have Free Will, but our society (all societies) depends massively on this concept.
My opponent then presents his views on the existence of time. I'm a little confused as to what the relevance of this is to the debate, but it's not really evidence of any sort. Once again, he merely presents his opinion. Time is something we use as a tool in our every day lives, and it is something that is used by scientists (particularly physicists, for example) to make ACCURATE calculations. Point being, time is used, it's practical, it's effectively real. None of those things can be said about God.
Yes, we are "lost within God", which is why people believe. There are still so many things that we don't know (especially having to do with death and the afterlife) which is why the belief in God is still very much alive. But this is the "God-of-the-gaps" arguments, and these gaps grow smaller and smaller. God becomes weaker and weaker, effectively. We used to think that God healed the sick, but no it's our own cells. We used to think that God sent down rain and lightning from the heavens, but no, it's a naturally occurring, explainable phenomenon.
My opponent has provided no real arguments. He has presented his opinion and that people have always believed in God. This is not evidence. It's like saying that most ancient cultures believed in a Flat Earth, and we see the flatness of the Earth from the ground, then the Earth is Flat. (Analogous to my opponent saying that people always believed in God and he himself "sees"/"feels" God everywhere).
I will conclude this debate by thanking, The Russian, for his participation.
I am not promoting God or asking anyone to agree with me. If I were to be truthful, I feel that The Russian's last submission was just 'more of the same. Let me show you why I say this.
Free Will is for another time. The concept is well scrutinized within the Genesis fable. The Russian seems to think that the human is terrified by the prospect of death and that they are vulnerably 'clutching at straws'. In truth the hardest part of death for us all is when people who are close to us die. There is a desire to hold on to them or to create a scenario where we can follow them and reunite with them in another place. This 'Heaven' thing is a human creation and is only linked to God in a fanciful way. I say this by telling you that this process is not to be observed in the natural world in any way imaginable. What dies and goes somewhere. We have as humans extended natural phenomena, ie like leaf fall, etc to create this 'resurrection' hypothesis. I feel that the sparrows in my garden hop to the same rhythm as the sparrows did in a Jewish market place in the first century. I can in truth rationalize a resurrection for me in the t my efforts now will contribute to the future. I am the future's past if you like and my legacy will be of some 'kind'.
I mention these things because my opponent appears to think that this 'fear of the afterlife' is what energizes 'God belief' How could it.
My opponent digs up the predictable, red herrings, ie a flat earth and superstition. The earth is essentially flat to all observations made by me and I have successfully debated a 'flat earth' on this site. We are all aware of the fact that basic 'god worship' has been hijacked for power and influence within our emerging societies. This usurping of the 'god longing' happened with the first witch doctors almost at the start of our cognitive development. It has now reached the bizarre levels of modern theological mumbo jumbo.
Once again, I am not selling the ever-presence of God here. The fact is that it is there. If you cannot concede to this point, it does not matter. Most people search for god and attest to some form of orthodox theism. Their collective instinct is to recognize the presence within their existence of this phenomena. If I were arguing from a minority position then surely I would need to present more proof.
Look for God everywhere, gardeners see God, climbers see God, soldiers see God..................Just look and hope that your engagement with God is rewarding and wonderful. Most hells are of man's own making.
SUICIDE IN THE TRENCHES..............By Siegfried Sassoon
I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
"...gardeners see God, climbers see God, soldiers see God..."
But I don't.
I was hoping for a more logic based argument, but indeed I think my opponent's arguments can essentially be boiled down to:
1) People have always believed
2) This is because we have a natural "instinct" to believe
3) Therefore, it must be SOMETHING that's causing this
4) Therefore, God exists
Not only is this argument, again, based solely on the fact that people believe, but I find it rather unconvincing.
I feel that my opponent hasn't fulfilled his BoP and unfortunately, I remain unconvinced.
Nevertheless, I thank my opponent for the interesting discussion.