The Instigator
zeromeansnothing
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TheRussian
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

God is everywhere!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 489 times Debate No: 90118
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (28)
Votes (0)

 

zeromeansnothing

Pro

I feel 'God' all the time. This is a strange declaration for an 'Atheist' to make. I do not believe in any particular described God. I do believe that there has always been a tangible real source for God belief and I am prepared to debate that this God thing is still here, and that it is tangible and real to all life forms.
TheRussian

Con

I accept.

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.
Debate Round No. 1
zeromeansnothing

Pro

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
TheRussian

Con

Hello zeromeansnothing,

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. "
Agreed.

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)
2) Tradition
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".
Debate Round No. 2
zeromeansnothing

Pro

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



TheRussian

Con

I thank my opponent for his timely response.

"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.
Debate Round No. 3
zeromeansnothing

Pro


The Russian states 'An atheist is one who claims that there is no God.''

Hi The Russian and thanks again for your participation. Here is what Wik states

'Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the
rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are
no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity
exists.

I am an atheist. I reject all existing defined notions of deity as they exist within theism. I know no God except that
which is. This is not intended to be wordplay but rather a statement that God can be experienced by all in an actual
and real way.

The Russian states '.... 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.'

You talk about these things but not me. If you have an 'orthodox' notion of what a God entails then that is yours to
deal with. I will talk more about this later.

The Russian states ' 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.'

I have looked for things(usually car keys) and never found them. Have you ever looked into those pictures that
contain another hidden image. You have to stay open to possibility in everything you do. An open mind will
eventually lead to revelations. I am old now and maybe that is why I feel that I can say these things .


Here are more of your 'orthodox' notions of what a God should be. The Russian states '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.'

This is all your stuff TR, and I can only highlight it to you, you have a God who travels with a benevolent agenda
that appears to be 'human specific'. With regard to the ancient and semi modern texts of theism, these are very easy
to refute as nonsense. They bear no resemblance to anything we have seen or know of. How could they possibly be
even close to truth. You need to go further back to the pre-history of these texts to find their real and actual origins
which are environmentally based.(ie real) We are not talking about theism here. We are talking about God that has
always been detectable to all life forms on this planet since the start of life . Many of the origin myths purport the
notion that God was 'pre-life' and I feel that this is likely accurate in that shadows move on the moon without life.
There may be potential in this, I do not know.

In short, The Russian's proposal that God belief was established as a form of delusional 'comforting' is a very weak
argument. What other delusions have we sustained and perpetuated within human societies.?

Is Time real?

I want to move my argument further. Consider Time for one moment. This is a generally accepted phenomena. We
use it as an entity in our sciences. We observe Time indirectly via change. We have no issues dealing with this
imperceptible 'thing'. I do not accept Time as real but others do. I will explain this briefly. Buddhism struggles with
the concept of 'orthodox' time and so do I. I find it impossible to encapsulate a specific moment or point of time. I
feel that events of the past are as real as events now. I cannot however project this notion into an unformed future.
Aborigines and Maori cultures independently have reached these conclusions , ie that the past is simultaneously
happening with the now. I cannot accept mathematical time and I feel that people allow time concepts to go on
uncontested. Would that their intellects would afford the same latitude to a God that has been used and recognized
as being there since we first became cognitive. Why the disparity?

I said God is what is. The Russian explains God belief almost as the use of a mathematical variable ie (x(God)
represents that which we do not understand or that which frightens us) In this scenario, reality would be (that
which we know +x) In this mindset, we chip away at x to achieve a level of perfect knowledge that will provide us
explanation and context. This is a simplistic and arrogant standpoint for a primate to adopt.

Imagine if you start with God as x and God being all that is. Our knowledge becomes insignificant to an infinitely
small decimal. We are lost within God. What fraction of what is, do we know. Can a scientist answer this? Where can
we go to improve our capabilities. Do we rely on ourselves? We are in a library that is so advanced that our best
option is just to sit and 'smell the books'

Deny reality if you want to and become an orthodox theist. Alternatively, ignore or deny reality and proceed as your
own will dictates. I cannot show you a picture of time but I can structure and present events using time. I cannot
show you a picture of God but when I tell you that God is everywhere, I have shown you where to look.

Look at flies under a tree, look at pavement litter, observe your own mental ramblings before you sleep, think about
events in your childhood, consider the plight of your cousins, incarcerated in the zoo's of the world, consider the
story of a large rock near you house, what would it be like to be a whale.........................

I am confident that the element that made our primitive ancestors declare God as real is still here for us all to find
and engage with. God is beyond anything we could do to make it disappear. What do you think? I will answer any
questions that I can. I am joyous and comfortable within a 'God' and some day I will be absorbed into it like a mouse
that dies in a ditch. We must accept our 'smallness' within this amazing thing.
TheRussian

Con

"The Russian's proposal that God belief was established as a form of delusional 'comforting' is a very weak
argument."
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).
Debate Round No. 4
zeromeansnothing

Pro

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,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

TheRussian

Con

I don't think I have much more to say.

"...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.
Debate Round No. 5
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: SkepticalAtheist// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I ultimately have to side with the Pro on this note: The argument that God is instinctive was easily refuted by the pro, as well as the pro having pointed out red herrings in the Con's logic. This led me to a safe vote for the pro side.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Sources aren't explained. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter has to specifically assess arguments made by both sides, and though the voter refers to an argument made by Con, its effectiveness is only determined by a response from Pro. That would be fine, but it's not clear what made that response successful or why that decided the debate. Pointing out red herrings may be a part of that explanation, but all that shows is that Pro knocked down Con's arguments, not why Pro is winning the debate.
************************************************************************
Posted by zeromeansnothing 7 months ago
zeromeansnothing
I absolutely agree, it does not matter if we are the only two people on the planet that see this. Well done, for staying with it to the end.
Posted by TheRussian 7 months ago
TheRussian
Sure haha, but it's not about the votes man, it's about the truth and what we've learned
Posted by zeromeansnothing 7 months ago
zeromeansnothing
If we can get someone to vote on this it would be great/ I will see who I know.
Posted by TheRussian 7 months ago
TheRussian
Of course! The longer the better, take your time but be aware of the time limit!
Posted by zeromeansnothing 7 months ago
zeromeansnothing
Thanks for your excellent response The Russian, I will be back but it will take a few days and I have an initial feeling that the response will be lengthy in i.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 7 months ago
zeromeansnothing
vi_spex states

belief=unknown
knowledge=known

I cannot accept this and I feel that you identify the nub of the question here, well done. Would that life were so 'black and white'. If 80% of the worlds population indulge in an attempt to assimilate a tangible entity ie God , if there has always been this indulgence throughout human history , regardless of time or location then surely this is enough proof of there being an ingredient to our existence that is real beyond doubt, and that is labeled as 'God'. Surely this is knowledge and superior in its validation than most, if not all scientific conjecture. What do you think? Ask yourself why 'god' has always been with man??? God is as verifiable as gravity..It just needs to be measured and examined.
Posted by vi_spex 7 months ago
vi_spex
belief=unknown
knowledge=known
Posted by zeromeansnothing 7 months ago
zeromeansnothing
Hi missmedic, and thanks for your participation here. You state 'Knowledge, observation, rational thinking, curiosity, and skepticism trump beliefs every time.'

Is this not a little 'preachy' in itself. Most of what you mention is 'subjective' in its process and in its direction. It is belief by another route. When I say 'I believe.............' I mean that that I have reached conclusion based on deduction of observable fact. I will address this in my first submission. Here is an example, I believe that there is a perceived inevitability to our existences that must be consciously resisted to achieve the 'surprising. What do you think?
Posted by missmedic 7 months ago
missmedic
A few points to understand before owning beliefs.............
Beliefs and faiths do not establish "truths" or facts.
Even at its most benign level, beliefs can act as barriers to further understanding.
Preconceived beliefs coupled with the lack of information can lead to false conclusions.
Without belief, I can question a proposition before arriving at a conclusion.
Knowledge, observation, rational thinking, curiosity, and skepticism trump beliefs every time.
No votes have been placed for this debate.