The Instigator
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Spock
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

God is smart; Religions are stupid

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 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,586 times Debate No: 24290
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

I'll begin by pointing out that there are different sorts of "smarts" and "stupidity". Religions can be called "quite smart" with respect to how their con-artist operation has been so successful for thousands of years. This Debate will not be about that variety of "smarts".

Instead, this Debate will focus on various claims made by Religions about God, and how they are stupid because they are self-contradictory, factually flawed, and/or irrational. This Debate will relate that connection to the overall Abortion Debate, so I would prefer that my opponent in this Debate be someone who opposes abortion at least partly on Religious grounds.

To begin (the abortion-related stuff comes later), Religious Fundamentalists, who agree that God is very smart and knowledge-able, also "say" this:

God did not know that the Big Bang could produce clouds of hydrogen gas, so He had to Create them, Himself.

God did not know that Gravitation could coalesce the clouds into galaxies and stars, so He had to Create them, too.

God did not know that if some of the stars were very big, they would shine very brightly, use up their hydrogen very quickly, create heavy elements in the process, and finally explode, seeding Space with clouds of dust, so He had to Create the dust clouds, Himself.

God did not know that the clouds of dust could mix with slower-coalescing gas clouds, and ultimately Gravitation could cause stars accompanied by Earthlike planets to form, so He had to Create the Earth Himself.

God did not know that when ultraviolet sunlight, geothermal heat, lightning discharges, and radiation from rocks bombard simple chemical molecules (like water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane, and various salts), and did so for millions of years, then complex organic molecules could gradually form, break, interact, reform, re-interact, rebreak, and reform in multitudinous ways.

Also, God did not know that some organic molecules are tougher than others, and could tend to persist.

God did not even know that less stable molecules could randomly obtain a degree of protection if they managed to loosely link to the more stable ones.

Certainly God was ignorant of the fact that loose groupings of molecules constitute a crude degree of organization, and that an energy-rich environment could naturally promote more stable organizations over the less stable.

We hardly need mention God's further unawareness of the simple fact that the more stable an organization is, the more complex it is capable of becoming.

Yes, it is entirely due to God's lack of knowledge of the principles of feedback (wherein simple chemistry, energy, and Time could combine to drive molecular organization toward enormously complex dynamic stability) that God had to Create Life all by Himself.

This same lack of information about the evolutionary process ultimately forced God to Create sexual reproduction and multicellular life, also; He merely made it look like a billion years or two had passed, before He got around to it.

Then there was all the experimentation with life-forms that God had to conduct, occasionally rejecting up to 90% of them at once with global extinction events, before finally populating the land masses with various mammalian types.

And God is so unoriginal with His Creation that He had to maintain the same amino acids and genetic code, from viruses to bacteria, through every plant and animal.

Further proof of God's lack of originality comes from the fact that the more closely two species resemble each other, the more genes they usually have in common.

Why, God only needed to alter 2% of chimpanzee genes to "Create" Man.

As if chimps and humans couldn't possibly have merely evolved 1% in different directions from a common ancestor.

If God is truly smart/knowledge-able, then God would have known that the Big Bang would inevitably lead to the Evolution of Man, without God needing to lift a metaphysical finger, at any stage along the way, to help the process along. Fundamentalist Religion Is Therefore Stupid, in calling God smart and knowledge-able, but describing the actions of an ignorant lout, to Create the Universe we see.

Next, and applicable for a wider group of Religions than merely the Fundamentalists, is the notion that God is behind-the-scenes of ordinary day-to-day events, causing them all to happen --including human conceptions.

There is a logical inconsistency right there. To believe God is in charge of the "miracle of conception" is to preclude believing that "sex causes pregnancy". One or the other claim could make sense, but not both. Because only an idiot would think that God is somehow forced by the sex act to cause a conception to occur! Not to mention that if you want to call a conception a "gift from God", you don't need sex to obtain it (see the "Virgin Mary" incident).

Then there is the fact that up to 50% of conceptions Naturally fail to survive (replace the initial dots in links here with standard web-address characters).
htt.../ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu/issues/su96/Feature/Feature-The_Facts_of_Life.html
God is supposed to be perfect, so it is Stupid to claim that God is in charge of conceptions that have, say, fatally defective DNA. Especially when the Law of Cause and Effect (as previously presented for many steps of "Creation"), is quite sufficient to both explain conception and the natural failure rate.

This brings me to "the lightning rod incident":
htt.....ww.miltontimmons.com/ChruchesVsLightningRod.html
The fact that "God's will" in terms of smiting people via lightning can so easily be thwarted simply proves that God's will is not actually behind the average lightning strike --and maybe not behind any lightning strike.

Nor is an earthquake necessarily an Act of God, nor is a hurricane, or a tornado, or a meteor impact. Especially because, as our technology improves, we can acquire the means to prevent those things, much as a lightning rod can prevent a lightning strike.
htt.../science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/lightning7.htm

Large earthquakes, for example, can be prevented by "lubricating" fault lines, by injecting water and pumping it out again. The result will be endless swarms of tiny/unnotice-able quakes.
htt.../geology.about.com/b/2012/03/14/fracking-or-just-pumping.htm

The drawbacks begin with the fact that you don't want to start doing this on any existing fault that has significant stress on it, unless you would rather have a big quake now instead of a bigger quake later. And for some faults, you need to be able to drill 30+ miles underground to reach them (not yet possible).
htt.../geology.about.com/od/earthquakes/a/aa_deeEQs.htm

With respect to hurricanes (and tornadoes), both types of weather depend on lots of hot humid air for "fuel". In theory we could take that air and extract energy from it, thereby preventing it from being available for a hurricane or a tornado:
htt.../thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/05/27/206094/noaa-atlantic-hurricane-season-forecast-active/
Multi-mile-high towers need to be built to do that, however.

And preventing meteor strikes has been enough in the popular mind-set that I shouldn't need to do more than mention a Bruce Willis movie, "Armageddon".

Thus God is not behind-the-scenes, of everyday events; God doesn't do boring stuff all the time (and all over the Universe). The Law of Cause and Effect suffices! It happens automatically, because that's the way the Universe is "built".

In another Debate ( htt.....ww.debate.org/debate/23785/ ) I pointed out that immortal-soul-creation requires a special Act of God. My opponent, at the end of that debate, claimed that God does it as automatically as causing conception to occur. But, since there is absolutely no reason to think that God automatically causes conceptions (or lightnings) to occur, Religions are stupid to claim that unborn humans have souls.
Spock

Con

I am accepting this debate on a fatal flaw that my opponent has made. The resolution is "God is smart; Religions are stupid". And while my opponents argument is clearly in the con (Based off of his argument, merely God is not smart, ignoring the second part until the last few lines), however, my opponent is in the Pro. Thus his entire argument is negated.

Since I am in the con for the debate, I will be proving that God is NOT smart, and religion are NOT stupid.

God is not smart for several reasons. Accepting god as the basis behind intelligent (or in this case, unintelligent) design, we may observe God as an Engineer. Taking one of his most prized inventions, the human, there are several pressing flaws in our design, observed in two specific places: the mouth and genitalia. Countless people die everyday from having to use the same hole to eat, breathe, and converse. Would not a smarter engineer create a separate hole for each function ? Several organisms on this planet have different holes for each function, as needed.

Looking at the reproductive system, I know of no self-respecting engineer who would intertwine the reproductive and the waste disposal system so closely, if at all. Understanding these two flaws, we see that God, the intelligent designer, is not very smart.

Religion being smart also pretty much speaks for itself. Religions across the world have the ability to bind hordes of people together behind the most idiotic ideas and stories, and get them to throw tons of money away and do the most ridiculous things. They play on fears in order to move the masses, and have been able to do this since almost the conception of man.

For these reasons, I encourage you to vote con in this argument.
Debate Round No. 1
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

Thank you, Spock, for participating in this Debate.

I will start by disagreeing that my initial argument contains a fatal flaw. It basically started with the claim, made by various Religions, that God is smart/knowledgeable. I will admit that I didn't do much to provide support for that claim; I simply accepted it.

But then I went on to show how Religions describe stuff that only a not-so-smart-or-knowledgeable entity might do. Those descriptions are what prove Religions to be stupid, because those descriptions are not consistent with the primary claims about God.

Now, perhaps the Title/Resolution of this Debate should have been "If God is as smart as Religions claim, then Religions are stupid". However, the Title/Resolution is actually "God is smart; Religions are stupid", so I shall stick with that.

Nevertheless, I have not made the fatal flaw that Con claims I made; Con has merely misunderstood how my initial argument flowed toward at least the partial conclusion that Religions are stupidly inconsistent in their statements about God and God's actions.

Obviously, what I most need to do in this Round is show that God is smart. Before I get to that, though, it must be pointed out that Con's primary argument appears to involve accepting as True various claims made by Religions about God's actions (such as the idea that humans are a result of Intelligent Design).

Con actually helps my own earlier argument, because if Religions claim that God is the sort of Intelligent Designer Who made all the mistakes that Con pointed out, then how smart can Religions be, to have made such claims about God?

Next, Con also ignored something I wrote in Round One: "Religions can be called 'quite smart' with respect to how their con-artist operation has been so successful for thousands of years. This Debate will not be about that variety of 'smarts'." Therefore voters are encouraged to completely ignore that part of Con's argument.

Now, as for showing that God is indeed smart: Let me begin with the overall notion that God Created the Universe. In Round One I pointed out how God only needed to "set the Universe in motion" with the Big Bang, so to speak, and because God is supposed to be smart and knowledgeable, God would have known in advance about certain inevitable consequences, such as stars and planets and Life beginning to exist, without any extra effort required on God's part.

Those consequences would have been inevitable simply because of certain "physical parameters" that are an intrinsic part of this Universe --and God specified those parameters as part of the "Let There Be Light!" Act (setting off the Big Bang, that is). For more information about those parameters, study something known as "the anthropic principle".
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

In the purely secular view, it is possible that there have been many many Big Bangs scattered throughout Infinity and Eternity, each with randomly different key physical parameters, and our Universe just happens to possess a set of parameters that allowed humans to evolve. We can ignore that view in this Debate, since here we assume God exists and explicitly specified those parameters.

The particular aspect of our Universe that I wish to describe, to show that God is smart, and which is different from what I described in Round One, involves certain discoveries made via Quantum Mechanics.
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle
htt.....ww.newscientist.com/article/dn16095-its-confirmed-matter-is-merely-vacuum-fluctuations.html
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_test_experiments

When Quantum Mechanics was first developed by human scientists, certain aspects of it assumed that total randomness was involved. Einstein didn't like that, and made a famous statement-of-belief to the effect that "God does not play dice with the Universe". However, the scientists also figured out ways to experimentally prove whether or not total randomness was actually there, at the foundations of Quantum Mechanics. All the experiments have refuted Einstein's belief.

Now, why would that be? That is, why would God play dice with the Universe? My answer is, "Because God is smart!"

In more detail, consider God before Creating the Universe. If it was a Planned and Deliberate Act, as is certainly implied by those critical physical parameters, then there must have existed some sort of Purpose, a rationale for doing it.

I invite you to try to put yourself in God's shoes for just a moment. You know vast amounts of stuff, including: You are able to exist eternally. What are you going to do, to stave off Infinite Boredom?

Now put yourself back into your own shoes, and recall the last time you watched logs burn in a fireplace or a camp-fire. To the best of my knowledge, everyone finds the flickering flames to be fascinating. I'm quite sure that if those flames were predictable in how they danced, the fascination would be short-lived. After all, how much time does anyone spend staring at the almost-unwavering gas flames of a stove burner?

Now imagine yourself playing a computer game --almost any computer game. You do know, don't you, that almost every one of those games has, affecting things behind the scenes, a random-number generator? It is the randomness that is built into each game that helps it stay interesting. (It doesn't even matter that computerized random-number generators are imperfect; all that matters is that they are random enough, to keep you guessing.)

Therefore it should now be obvious that God built total randomness into the Universe to make it unpredictable and non-boring. Sure, many things could be statistically probable and therefore strongly predictable, such as, for example, the evolution of humanity (and, just as likely, many other equivalent species throughout the Universe). But the exact details will be unpredictable.

Therefore does humanity have the flaws that Con described, as a simple consequence of the randomness associated with evolution. Even so, our bodies are well-enough evolved for them to qualify as "suitable vehicles for souls". And souls have Free Will, which also is something associated with total randomness! So, with large numbers of souls added into the mix, this makes the "Universe Show" even more interesting/non-boring for God to watch. Very smart, God most certainly is!

Meanwhile, Religions are still as stupid as I described in Round One, something that Con did not actually refute. "...this Debate will focus on various claims made by Religions about God, and how [Religions] are stupid because [the claims] are self-contradictory, factually flawed, and/or irrational." --Con wrote nothing to explode that part of my Round One post.
Spock

Con

First, let me provide the reason for my opponents R1 argument to be contradictory and thrown out.

1.) As my opponent states, the resolution created by him is faulty.

"Further proof of God's lack of originality comes from the fact that the more closely two species resemble each other, the more genes they usually have in common."

"Now, perhaps the Title/Resolution of this Debate should have been "If God is as smart as Religions claim, then Religions are stupid". However, the Title/Resolution is actually "God is smart; Religions are stupid", so I shall stick with that."

2.) My opponent is indeed attempting to prove that God IS Smart.

"Obviously, what I most need to do in this Round is show that God is smart."

Secondly, I will show that in the R1 argument, my opponent's arguments were clearly arguing for god's stupidity.

1.) My opponent goes on a long ramble about God's various ineptitudes .... quite lengthy, so I give only a portion here.

"God did not know that the Big Bang could produce clouds of hydrogen gas, so He had to Create them, Himself.

God did not know that Gravitation could coalesce the clouds into galaxies and stars, so He had to Create them, too.

God did not know that if some of the stars were very big, they would shine very brightly, use up their hydrogen very quickly, create heavy elements in the process, and finally explode, seeding Space with clouds of dust, so He had to Create the dust clouds, Himself.

....

And God is so unoriginal with His Creation that He had to maintain the same amino acids and genetic code, from viruses to bacteria, through every plant and animal.

Further proof of God's lack of originality .... "

Clearly, a god knowledgable enough to create an ENTIRE universe, establish the physical laws that govern it, and still remain ignorant of the various statements my opponent puts forward, MUST be unintelligent. I see where perhaps my opponent had skewed his resolution (here, it is apparent: If God is truly smart/knowledge-able, then God would have known ... Religion Is Therefore Stupid". But my opponent has already conceded to argue the given resolution.)

Rebuttal to R2

1.) True various claims made by Religions about God's actions (such as the idea that humans are a result of Intelligent Design).

An error appeased by the poor wording of the resolution. If we are accepting God to exist (it was not stated that you were merely arguing the concept. I assumed you were arguing a theistic God that indeed exists, as you didn't really define the parameters of the debate).

2.) "Con actually helps my own earlier argument, because if Religions claim that God is the sort of Intelligent Designer Who made all the mistakes that Con pointed out, then how smart can Religions be, to have made such claims about God?"

False. The fact that Religions were able to do everything aforementioned without providing a detailed explanation for the holes in the God argument is actually ingenious. They basically uncovered conspiracy theory [1] , giving people a general picture that they themselves filled in.

3.)"Now, as for showing that God is indeed smart: Let me begin with the overall notion that God Created the Universe. In Round One I pointed out how God only needed to "set the Universe in motion" with the Big Bang, so to speak, and because God is supposed to be smart and knowledgeable, God would have known in advance about certain inevitable consequences, such as stars and planets and Life beginning to exist, without any extra effort required on God's part."

Understood. The flaws in the Universe and in life itself still provide for God's ineptitude. Take for example, the car. We have created the car, but it still is an extremely inefficient machine, that pumps disastrous amounts of pollution in the air, on the whole. The design itself is still pretty faulty, and it really didn't take much of a genius to create it. You can create something dumb initially that seems smart (ergo, the Universe).

4.) Now, why would that be? That is, why would God play dice with the Universe? My answer is, "Because God is smart!"

A smart man doesn't play dice. (I was going to go on derailing my opponents tenuous grasp of Quantum Mechanics, but I see no need, as the argument is a pretty out of place).

5.) "Therefore it should now be obvious that God built total randomness into the Universe to make it unpredictable and non-boring. "

Only a child would play with the Universe like it was a toy, to stave off boredom.

6.) " Even so, our bodies are well-enough evolved for them to qualify as "suitable vehicles for souls"."

I'm not sure that a smart man settles for "well-enough".

7.) "...this Debate will focus on various claims made by Religions about God, and how [Religions] are stupid because [the claims] are self-contradictory, factually flawed, and/or irrational." --Con wrote nothing to explode that part of my Round One post."

I responded here, pointing out that Religion understood that those flaws and contradictions would surface, but would iron themselves out because the human mind is designed to look for patterns and make things fit of their own accord. [1]

Sources:

1.) http://www.ted.com...

For these reasons, I encourage readers to vote con.
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Con has taken what I wrote in the first round out of context, which was:
'Religious Fundamentalists, who agree that God is very smart and knowledge-able, also "say" this: ...'

It is the Fundamentalists who claim God Created the Universe in detail, Act after Act after Act, when only an ignorant God would do it that way. And that is why the Fundamentalists are stupid, not God; their secondary claims are inconsistent with the primary claim that God is smart and knowledgeable.
Posted by roboris 4 years ago
roboris
You can't just put all religions in the same basket, how are we supposed to argue if you consider religions as a whole?

So what, we just need to prove that one religion isn't stupid and we win the debate?
Posted by Aayu 4 years ago
Aayu
Define 'God'. I'd debate this but people have such a illogical understanding of God, it's futile. People love to take literal translation of the texts and make fun of them.
Posted by waterskier 4 years ago
waterskier
hypothetically if god exists, he is stupid.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
Sounds interesting, but I don't want to debate it.

@Yuiri
So THAT'S what it was! I knew it was somebody I saw before, but I had no idea it was Mr. Bean.
Posted by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
This debate is redundant. Sorry but I would LIKE to challenge you, however, you cannot have it both ways.
Posted by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
I want to debate this, but... it's just so boring and assumptive!

*Also*
I clearly remember The Fool having a Navi Mr. Bean as his picture!

He has change it! How am I supposed to insult him now?!
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 4 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
The Fool: That is just too many topic for one debate man. You should narrow the focus down to a third of what you got there and save other parts for another debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.