The Instigator
Sketchy
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

God probably doesn't exist.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,494 times Debate No: 18138
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Sketchy

Pro

By Pro, I believe that God probably doesn't exist. For the purposes of this debate, God shall refer to the Judeo-Christian deity.

God - The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority

Exist - To have actual being (should be pretty obvious...this is mostly to avoid crazy semantics)

Con has the burden of proof, because they are attempting to prove the existance of God. For this reason, I will let Con start their argument in the first round, but I just ask that they leave their very last argument blank, so that we each have the same time for debating. I also request that my opponent state if God is omniscient and/or omnibenevolent, just to make the it go more smoothly.

You may quote and use the Bible as a source, but I will not accept it as proof for God's existance.

"Genesis says that God created the universe, therefore he exists!" = BAD
"This supports Genesis, because ______________." = GOOD

If you have any more questions, or would like me to change the rules in any way, please comment or message me. Thank you!
larztheloser

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for this topic. I haven't done a God debate in a while so I'm looking forward to a fun debate!

First, to clarify, I will not argue for an omnibenevolent or omniscient God. Also, as the title of the debate is "God probably doesn't exist," my opponent needs to prove this, as pro, to win the debate. That is his burden of proof, not mine - without compelling reasons for the non-existence of God, pro cannot win the debate. Even if he refutes all my arguments, that is only reason to believe that "There is no compelling reason to believe in God" as opposed to "God probably doesn't exist," which he needs to affirm. If pro fails to affirm the topic at hand, then I must win because no arguments for the motion have been raised. Just because I am trying to prove something does not automatically mean I have the burden of proof. My opponent is also trying to prove something - the motion - and he has the burden of proof because that's what the moot calls for. As per the rules, however, I will leave my last round blank.

My argument is very, very simple. It was invented by Rene Descartes and is stated most clearly in his 3rd-5th meditations. I have adapted it below for my opponent's definitions:

1. God is the creator and ruler of the universe, and source of all moral authority (pro's definition)
2. God exists if it has actual being (pro's definition)
3. It is impossible to be the creator and ruler of the universe, and source of all moral authority, yet not exist
4. Therefore God must exist

Therefore my opponent's own definitions already do prove God. All that is left for me to do is sit back, relax and watch my opponent rebut himself.
Debate Round No. 1
Sketchy

Pro

Thank you for responding so quickly. I still believe that you have the burden of proof because you need to show me why God does, or probably does exist. By stating that I have the burden of proof is essentially asking me to prove non-existance. I can't really prove that unicorns, fairies, dragons (the giant fire-breathing ones), and minotaurs don't exist, so why should I be the one proving that God exists? Therefore, in a debate I feel that it would make more sense for the proponent of God to attempt to prove His existance than asking a non-believer to prove he doesn't exist. Also, I specifically stated it in the rules.

My definition of God is what I wanted Con to prove existed. I was arguing that 'The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority' probably doesn't have actual being.

1. God is the creator and ruler of the universe, and source of all moral authority (pro's definition)
2. God exists if it has actual being (pro's definition)
3. It is impossible to be the creator and ruler of the universe, and source of all moral authority, yet not exist
4. Therefore God must exist

1. This definition of God is what you are attempting to prove to me. You fail to provide any proof that he exists; you simply state it as fact.
2. I agree.
3. I would agree if you actually proved that God existed.
4. See above.
larztheloser

Con

I must apologise for my slow reply. I felt the need to take a long nap.

First, I'm not asking you to prove non-existence, but rather that God probably doesn't exist. There's a difference. The motion requires that you prove God probably doesn't exist, not (as you assume) that I prove God definitely does. Regardless of how illogical defending pixies or fairies may be, you set a motion that required you to defend the probability of God's non-existence. If you think that's not fair, you shouldn't have set up a debate that requires you to do so. Just saying "I can't do it" is not enough to win you the debate (and if it is, then I can do that too, see - I can't do it). How dare you deny the existence of unicorns. Also, burden of proof is not a rule, it's a fact. I gave you strong analysis last round as to why you have the burden of proof.

Second, my opponent now abandons his first definition! This is a blatant contradiction which must be penalised! All my opponent has done is rebut his own definition by deleting it. He doesn't even know what God is, so he doesn't know what he's arguing against. However, I will continue to prove God anyway.

To work out what God is, let's assume God did exist first. We're not trying to grapple with existence or non-existence here, but simply working out what God means. Would God, if God existed, be the "creator and ruler of the universe"? Yes. Would God be the "source of all moral authority"? Yes. If God doesn't exist, on the other hand, what is God? God is a construct that does all of the above, existing only as a figment of some people's imagination. I'm sure my opponent won't disagree with that. In other words, God is an imaginary source of all moral authority, as the imaginary creator and ruler of universe. So we're left with:

God = The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority (who may or may not be real)

As you can see, the definition is the same as yours, except for a little bit I added at the end. I'm just emphasizing that I'm not trying to prove whether the definition is true, but rather whether the definition refers to something real. That the definition refers to something real is only proven by the rest of the argument - but you can't prove something is real if you don't know what it is, right? Now let's dump that in to my formulation of Descartes' brilliant reasoning:

1. God = The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority, who may or may not be real
2. Exist = To have actual being
3. It is impossible to be the creator and ruler of the universe, and source of all moral authority, yet not be real
4. Therefore God must exist

Ah ha! Eureka! Same conclusion! What a miracle! Looks like God's telling you all to vote con.
Debate Round No. 2
Sketchy

Pro

I must apologise for my slow reply. I felt the need to take a long nap.
Understandable, I feel like that some days too. But, back on topic.

If you think that's not fair, you shouldn't have set up a debate that requires you to do so. I thought that someone might try and pin me with the burden of proof, but I specifically stated that you would have the burden of proof in this case. It doesn't matter who would normally have it in a debate (even though I am still not convinced that I should have it) because I wrote in the introduction. By accepting the challenge, you agreed to my rules and conditions, which includes the fact that you have the burden of proof.

Second, my opponent now abandons his first definition! This is a blatant contradiction which must be penalised!
I never abandoned my definition, I still stand by it. This definition is still what I am trying to show probably doesn't exist.

God = The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority(who may or may not be real)
It seems a little hypocritical that you blame me for abandoning my definition of God, while you go ahead and adjust it to further prove your point. Descartes argument still falls a little flat, because you claim that 'the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority' may or may not be real. This doesn't inherently claim that a source of moral authority/creator of the universe necessarily exists, it just explains what God would be if he did exist.

To be honest, I didn't think this would turn into a semantic argument.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for an enjoyable, clean and fun debate. This is my last round, so I will offer a summary of why I have won.

The topic of the debate is "God probably doesn't exist." No evidence has been put forward by the affirmative team in support of this assertion. No arguments have been made. In a debate, the affirmative (pro) team has the job to affirm the resolution. He has utterly failed in this respect. Even if everything he has told you is utterly correct and everything I say completely wrong, I should still win the debate because I have succeeded in preventing my opponent from doing his job. What's more, my opponent also foolishly made it a rule that he cannot do his job, and thus even if he satisfies the burden of proof in the last round, he should lose for breaking his own rules. On the other hand, I satisfied everything that was required of me in the debate and more. All I had to do is negate the probability of God's non-existence. What I have gone on to show is not just the probability of God's existence, but certain veritable proof that the God, as my opponent concieves him, absolutely must exist. Therefore I have fulfilled my role in the debate, as well as the burden of proof that the "rules" say I have.

What has pro done in response to my cogent analysis? In round two he laments that I simply state his definition as fact, implying that his definition is not a fact and therefore false, while in round three he flip-flops again by saying he now agrees with his definition again. That's probably because I gave you paragraphs of evidence in round two that the definition is, in fact, accurate. Then he says that I changed his definition. Let's compare them side-by-side:

PRO - The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority
CON - The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority (who may or may not be real)

As you can see, the two statements are exactly the same. The brackets at the end of my definition are, in context, assumed under pro's definition. Therefore this claim is entirely misguided.

At the very end of the last round, pro tries to make a last-second comeback with his new argument: "This doesn't inherently claim [God] necessarily exists, it just explains what God would be if he did exist." That is true only if premise one is seen in isolation. So, if God does exist, God is the ruler of the universe. If my opponent has actually read the argument carefully, he would notice that there are not one but three steps before you got to my conclusion. The second was my opponent's assertion that anything that "has actual being" exists. So long as God actually is, therefore, I have won the debate. We know already that God is (after all, we defined him) but is he actual as opposed to imaginary? Seems like we'll need an extra step before we can reach our conclusion. Oh wait, there's one right there - the definition in step one cannot be correct if God is imaginary! Tertium non datur - the only options are either that pro's definition is incorrect (which it isn't, both by my opponent's claim and my analysis) or that God is not imaginary. Since God is not imaginary, God must be actual. Therefore, God has actual being. If we check back to premise two, we discover a most remarkable conclusion - God exists. Holy cow, that's point four of my logical steps! Well, looks like they did prove God after all.

Come at it another way. Presume God (creator/ruler/moral source) did not necessarily exist. My opponent needs to explain how this is possible. How is it possible that the creator and ruler of the universe, as well as the source of all morality, does not necessarily exist? It seems to me quite logical that to rule/create/be a source, one must exist. Certainly human imagination isn't ruling the universe, or else that unicorn horde I imagine trampling my opponent's avatar will soon appear. That's not semantics by the way, that's logic. Even if it was semantics (which it blatently isn't), just pointing that out is not enough to make it false.

I think I have stated my argument enough times with sufficient logical reasoning. My opponent offers no arguments, and no rebuttals aside from expressing uncertainty over the premises - premises that he wrote himself. With all that in mind, I'd like to urge voters to vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
Sketchy

Pro

I did not give evidence due to the fact that I wanted my opponent to give the evidence. Not every debate has to be exactly the same, and in this debate I wanted Con to show evidence. You did not proof that my definition of God must exist, you simply repeated the same argument in each round. You claim that no matter how you look at it, I must show evidence for the resolution, despite the fact that I clearly stating in the introduction that I wanted Con to attempt to disprove it. I never disagreed with my definition and I repeated the same things in each round.

The first two premises in your argument lead directly into your third premise, so if I were to simply disprove one, your argument would fall apart. You claim that either my definition is valid or God is imaginary, but when I look at the dictionary definition of Minotaur, 'A creature who was half man and half bull.'. I doubt the dictionary is stating that the minotaur exists, but it is rather giving a description of how mythology portrayed him.

'Presume God (creator/ruler/moral source) did not necessarily exist. My opponent needs to explain how this is possible.' Easy. There is no creator of the universe/source of all morality, or it is another deity rather than the Judeo-Christian god. I am not arguing that there isn't a god/gods, but rather that the God as depicted in the Bible probably doesn't exist.

Thank you for accepting my debate, and good luck!
larztheloser

Con

As per the rules, this round is left blank.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
It was unneccessarily confusing for Sketchy to to phrase the resolution that way, and then put the burden of proof on con.

But con knew what the terms were when he accepted the debate. That's bad conduct to accept a debate about whether god exists and then refuse to accept the terms of the debate or to actually discuss whether god exists.

If I could vote, I'd give all the points to Sketchy. If con didn't want to try to prove whether god exists, he should have left the debate available for someone who did.
Posted by Puppet911 5 years ago
Puppet911
agree with critical_tangent---you can offer other cardinal alternatives to the situation. Especially considering what was put forth by pro. just my opinion though
Posted by Critical_Tangent 5 years ago
Critical_Tangent
going con in this debate does not automatically mean arguing for God's existence.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Interesting argument from larz there. Seems like a double-bind.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by DetectableNinja 5 years ago
DetectableNinja
SketchylarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: This had potential, but turned into a bickering over who had the BoP. While I would personally see the BoP shared, it WAS stated explicitly that Con had the BoP--and to try and argue that he didn't showed very poor conduct. Neither side really had any solid arguments, but since Pro DID refute Con's only argument, I'll give him that as well.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
SketchylarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: I pinged Pro for shifting burden of proof to Con, if you don't want burden of proof in a debate... don't instigate as Pro. However, Con accepted those terms, and then tried to argue out of them, and therefore lost the argument.
Vote Placed by Cerebral_Narcissist 5 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
SketchylarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Actually the BoP does fall to CON, because that is the contract he made with PRO by accepting a debate which was predicated on that. I wish people would not attempt to re-write debates after taking them. Con fails spectacularly to meet the BoP and shows poor conduct.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
SketchylarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Terrible debate. The bop is shared