The Instigator
zanerad
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
120 Points

God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,168 times Debate No: 7711
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (34)
Votes (24)

 

zanerad

Pro

I think God is real because, what else would have made the world? The Big bang wouldn't work because, the meteors that created the world or the stars that exploded, where would they have come from? Something had to have created everything right?
Evolution doesn't make much sense considering what's said above how, where would the first things come from. There has to be something here first to be able to have this many things here now.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro doesn't provide a resolution for the debate. I assume the resolution is "God exists because there is no other explanation for the creation of the world."

I don't how the world (universe) was created. My contention is that there are a number of possible explanations that are as plausible as having a God. Positing a god does not help, because then we must ask what created God. Moreover, there is no need to have any explanation at all, so we can just leave the question unanswered rather than posit a god.

1. One theory for the existence of the universe is quantum fluctuation. Roughly speaking, nothingness is unstable, so that things can pop into existence randomly. Once something exists, the something suppresses further quantum fluctuations. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. Buddhism claims that the universe is recreated cyclically. http://www.geocities.com...

3. The Steady State Theory http://en.wikipedia.org... postulates that the universe always existed.

4. A current theory derives from M Theory. http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk... In this theory, the Big Bang was a consequence of a worm hole between two closely approaching membranes. The events occurred in higher dimensions spawning our four-dimensional universe. This happens all the time, creating new universes, but we can only see the universe in which we reside. M Theory is another theory in which something always existed http://wiki.answers.com...

5. God is more complex than the universe. He must know and be able to control the position of every particle in the universe. God either always existed or was created spontaneously. It is more plausible to suppose that the universe either always existed or was spontaneously created, because the universe is less complex than God.

6. Pro seems to believe that humans *must* be capable of understanding how the universe was created, and that we *need* to postulate an answer now. Neither is true. The concept of God is in this regard no more than a metaphor for that which explains something we cannot explain. Before people understood what caused the weather or volcano eruptions or various misfortunes, all were "explained" by attributing them to actions of a God or gods. Over time, gods were dropped as explanations for natural events. In retrospect, it would have been better to assert "we don't understand why weather (etc.) happens" rather than posit a god explanation. The same is now true of the explanation of the creation of the universe. Maybe we'll never understand it, or maybe one of the scientific explanations, like M Theory, will turn out to be provable. Now we shouldn't claim to know.

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The existence of the universe does not prove the existence of a god. Perhaps God may be proved by other means, but not by existence of the world. The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 1
zanerad

Pro

Well I don't disagree with anything you have argued but, in number 4, it talks about the "Big Bang" theory but where, or how were the worm holes created? In number 3, how could the universe always have existed?
God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism.

God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has also been conceived as being incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent". These attributes were all supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologian philosophers, including Maimonides, Augustine of Hippo, and Al-Ghazali, respectively. Many notable medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, attempting to wrestle with the apparent contradictions implied by many of these attributes.
I think there might be other gods out there, I think we may have gone through evelution, also i believe we may have past lives and go through cycles of our life but I think there is that one supreme God who made all of this happen.
RoyLatham

Con

If you don't disagree with anything I have argued, then we agree that the resolution is negated. hence we are now chatting.

3. Pro asks, "how could the universe always exist?" It seems to me that someone who believes in God must have some concept of "always exists" because God is usually thought to always exist. If God did not always always exist, then God must have been created, and presupposes a greater Creator. So the way the universe could always exist is then exactly the way God could always exist.

4. Pro asks, [with respect to M theory] "where, or how were the worm holes created?" I don't understand the theory, I just know that it is a scientific theory that explains the Big Bang in terms of higher dimensions. The picture I get is that there are objects (membranes) floating around in higher dimensional space and when two of them get close enough together, zap, a wormhole sparks over and spawns a new universe. I'm sure a physicist who understands the theory would laugh at my conception of it, but, hey, it's tough stuff.

A problem in trying to understand modern physics is that many of the concepts don't have parallels in our ordinary lives. For example, we know that light is simultaneously both a wave and a particle. When we look around in our everyday work, there is nothing like that. Since there is nothing like it, we can only understand it in a very abstract way. We understand it mathematically, but not in terms of common sense. It gets worse with modern theories of cosmology. For example, it now seems that 70% of the universe is dark energy, which is the energy contained in a vacuum. A vacuum has nothing in it, but it nonetheless has energy. Vacuum energy can be detected only by it's gravitational pull. The universe is expanding, creating more vacuum, and with it more vacuum energy. Or so it seems.

My point is that "God created the universe" has the superficial charm of being understandable in terms analogous to a person creating something. However, we now know that all kinds of things happen that have no analogy to what we see or experience. The creation of the universe is likely to be one more of those things that if we can understand it at all, it will only be through the math.

Pro points to traditional concepts of God. Some concepts of God can be disproved and others cannot. The concept of a God that is omnipotent, omniscient, and good is disproved by the Argument from Evil and the Argument from Nonbelief. However, Christians sometimes fix that by relaxing omnipotence, such as by having a Devil that is uncontrollable. I don't see how the Deist God (of Jefferson, et al) can be disproved.

I think belief in God per se does no harm, and religion as a cultural tradition is generally a good thing. The potential problem is allowing religious beliefs to trump reality, reality as reflected in science.

Enough rambling. The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
zanerad

Pro

I agree with some of that, but 3 says that "someone who believes in God must have some concept of "always exists" because God is usually thought to always exist," but I said how could the universe have always existed. God didn't have to create the universe, but he chose to (in my belief), to make life and joy and make a creation for organisms to learn. But if he hadn't have made the universe, it would be blank and life as we know it would not exist at all, which is impossible to feel that kind of nothingness until the end of life for each of us.
In 4, I understand how worm holes were made it's just that how or where do the materials/organisms needed to make a worm hole come from? It's unexplainable...but in my opinion only God would make sense.
So where do we come from? If there was or is evolution going on where did the first organisms come from? If there were membranes and meteorites and so on to make the big bang, where did those come from? Where did the first spark of light come from?
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I am a Christian and I do believe God has existed forever though.
RoyLatham

Con

I thank Pro for an easygoing debate on a controversial and often hotly contested topic.

Pro affirms that he believes God always existed, but he nonetheless maintains that the concept of the universe always existing is incomprehensible.

1. The concept of "existing" is a sensible concept independent of to what it is applied. It don't believe that ghosts exist, but the concept "ghosts exist" is perfectly sensible one. One might posit something ridiculous like "peanut butter sandwiches have always existed" and even though no one believes it true, just about everyone knows what it means. The idea that the universe always existed is in Buddhism, for example, so we know there are 600 million people who have no difficulty comprehending it. Hinduism has a similar concept of an endless procession of recreated universes, with something always having existed. I don't believe there is a defect in the Christian conceptual apparatus that makes the concept of "always existed" inconceivable. It is conceivable, they just don't believe it is true.

2. Let's suppose that "always existed" cannot be conceived. As I pointed, out we know that are a lot of things that cannot be conceived, like wave-particle duality, that are true even though they cannot be conceived. That's using "conceived" in the sense of meaning "can be related to day to day experience." Things that cannot be so conceived can nonetheless be described mathematically. So "always existed" means that time extends infinitely far in the past. Alas, it may be that time had a beginning. If so, that is something of which we definitely cannot conceive. Even so, it can be understood mathematically. In sum, there is no necessity that things need to be conceivable to be true.

Pro continues, "In 4, I understand how worm holes were made it's just that how or where do the materials/organisms needed to make a worm hole come from? It's unexplainable...but in my opinion only God would make sense."

The materials always existed. It's not necessary that it makes sense in analogy to the observed world.

Pro asks, "So where do we come from? If there was or is evolution going on where did the first organisms come from?"

That's a subject for a different debate. However, one theory is that the origin was in replicating molecules. In other words, evolution can work on non-living molecules. Random permutations that make a molecule better able to replicate would tend to survive, permutation that inhibit replication would "die out." Viruses are an example of replicating molecules:

"Viruses are non-living microscopic particles that attack healthy cells within living things. They do not have the characteristics of living things and are not able to metabolize food. To metabolize means to change food energy into chemical energy that the body can use. Viruses are not alive, so they do not have a need for food like living organisms. Viruses do not have an organized cell structure. They are so light that they can float in the air or water, be passed on to other organisms if touched, and fit anywhere. The virus injects its own DNA structure into healthy cells where new virus cells grow." http://library.thinkquest.org...

It's sometimes asked where the random variations that drive evolution come from. One source is cosmic ray ray strikes that alter molecular structure. The great majority of these variations will cause damage and subsequently not endure. However, a very few enhance survival, and those endure.

While organism are too complex to occur by chance, the simplest replicating molecules are not too complex to occur by chance.

"Now astronomers have detected an amino acid - one of the building blocks of proteins - in interstellar dust clouds in our galaxy. The discovery of glycine in space suggests that interstellar molecules may have played a pivotal role in the prebiotic chemistry of the Earth" http://physicsworld.com...

Pro tells us, once more, even though it is irrelevant to the debate, "I am a Christian and I do believe God has existed forever though." I have always wondered why Christian belief is so fragile that is must be endlessly affirmed. Note that Christians often assert that they cannot get through a whole school day without merely affirming their faith in silent prayer, but must have a formal prayer ceremony to make a greater affirmation. Muslims must be recharged five times a day. Generally, if one believes something to be true, it doesn't have to be endlessly reaffirmed. We do not recite the multiplication tables daily for fear that if we do not something will be lost.

Anyway, back to the debate. The question was whether existence of the universe implies that God exists. I offered six arguments as to why the existence of the universe did not imply the existence of God. Pro said, "I don't disagree with anything you have argued..." Pro never addressed arguments 1, 5, and 6 so they stand unrefuted. Arguments 2, 3, and 4 provided alternative concepts of a universe that always existed. Pro said that the concept of a universe that always existed was incomprehensible. However, it is perfectly comprehensible to Buddhists, Hindus, and many other religious faiths. It is certainly comprehensible to scientists. Beyond that, it can be true even if it cannot be related to everyday experience.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jake4d 8 years ago
Jake4d
Codename99, Don't be so sure you haven't changed anyone's mind about religion, or that debates like this are pointless. Sure, it is unlikely that someone will completely change their view of the nature of the universe during one of these debates, but the introduction of new ideas these debates provide can and does get people thinking about or even empathizing with their opponents point of view. This can lead to a gradual change in their beliefs until they eventually end up on the opposite side of the fence.

I have been in several heated debates where I refused to budge an inch, then later, while looking for ammunition to back up my beliefs, I found that the evidence supports the opposing side, so I changed my mind.

Just because people don't change their mind instantly, doesn't mean that they never change their mind. If we want to reach a consensus, debate is the best method of doing so. Even if it doesn't work instantly, it is better than doing nothing.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Code.., The point of the debate for religious people is understanding the basis of religion. Religion can be believed as pure act of faith, or as a matter of aesthetics, or as a possible logical conclusion from observed facts. People will still believe, but the grounds for believing may be altered by debate. The world would be a better place if religion were believed without rejecting science. For the atheists, the point is to better understand religion as a social phenomenon. American is current sweep up in a social phenomenon I've heard described as "secular spirituality." It includes Bush derangement syndrome that explains all the evil in the world as the product George Bush, scientists who don't believe in global warming crisis cast out as infidels, smoking as the embodiment of evil (except for marijuana smoking which is blessed), and a dozen other articles of faith. Secular spirituality has all of the relevant attributes of religion: quick, simple answers to complex problems; devils to blame; the psychological rewards of feeling morally superior to others; the joy of controlling other peoples lives "for their own good." A good debate helps sort out the logically valid from the invalid.
Posted by Codename99 8 years ago
Codename99
i dont mean to be rude or disrepectfull but whats the point in these debates. im an atheist and i've never changed anyones mind about religion so there's no point fighting about it... so people belive and thats fair enough idont push further to convert anyone. but debates like these are not things ppl should have to address in this site. no one ever really wins even though there's people more against than with but there is a help of a lot of ppl how belive in god.

Things happen take earthquakes... no one dosne anything to make them happen they just do. i dont think that someone was there thinking about making the univers because noone was alive to see it. and there wouldn't be any holy spirt or ANYTHING. Time was nothing time didn't exsist nothing was there to tell anyone.

religion is something we human made up if this planet was to disapper in the next 5secounds then it wouldnt change anything the planet is sooooooo small thing would even notice we had die if other life heard our radio signals. if we saw another planet with life on it through a telescope then what you would be seeing would have been in the past aznd the likelyness is that they would begone just as fast as use.

yeh i knopw ppl will prob be like 'how can u say that' and crap but i dont care u can cling to the idea that someone was there to start it off but until u have VERY AND I MEAN VERY conclusive evidence then please go away. VERYYY
Posted by Jake4d 8 years ago
Jake4d
thatguykody, I am trying to "dent" the existence of God.

Please don't take that the wrong way, but I grew up believing in God, then later became an atheist, while retaining my evangelical leanings. Now I am an "evangelical atheist" (if that is possible) but I am not dogmatic about it. I would love to see some proof of God's existence but I disagree with the statement;

"If there was tangible proof of God's existence then everyone would be a Christian, thus eliminating free will."

I think free will is strong enough to survive proof of god's existence. The devil is the best example of this. If you believe Christian teaching the devil once lived with God in heaven, therefore he had proof of God's existence, yet he still possessed the free will to rebel. If there was tangible proof of God's existence then I would be a "Christian" in the sense that I believed in God, but I would exorcise my free will and not fall down on my knees to worship him.

I would be pissed off if God provided tangible proof now, after eons of nothing but death and despair.
Posted by thatguykody 8 years ago
thatguykody
zanrad, I'm a Christian as well, I do not deny God, but you are only hurting your argument at this point. Your beginning to sound like a man's judge and jury,by generally stating that they are going to hell. People must come to Christ on their own. No one here is trying to dent the existence of God, only asking for some sort of tangible proof. To which there is none. If there was tangible proof of God's existence then everyone would be a Christian, thus eliminating free will.
Posted by unlikely 8 years ago
unlikely
Abrahamic Religious people hide behind a cloak of respectibility while spilling hate filled bronze aged nonsense (zanerads crazy comments below)....I think they kind of know its nonsense but its like a drug to them. In their defence some are genuinely deluded but others are malicious...debate with them is like walking in treacle. Just encourage them to have a lie down...........or read a book( with some science in it)
Posted by Jake4d 8 years ago
Jake4d
Here is a joke I heard about proof that illustrates how different people have different concepts of what constitutes proof;

A psychiatrist, a biologist, and a mathematician were riding on a train in Scotland when they saw a black cow. The psychiatrist exclaimed, "Well that proves it, all cows in Scotland are black". The biologist replied "That proves nothing of the sort, it only proves that there are black cows in Scotland. There could be cows of other colors in Scotland."

After a heated argument they ask the mathematician who is right. The mathematician replies, "You are both wrong. The only thing that proves is that there is one cow in Scotland, that is black, on at least one side."
Posted by Jake4d 8 years ago
Jake4d
RoyLatham, sadly you are correct, it isn't religion versus "brilliant calm intellectual objectivity", but I wish it was. I wander why more people cannot simply accept not knowing? I think if I had all the answers I would die of boredom. Personally I am glad the universe is such a complex place, otherwise we would have figured it all out by now and there would be nothing new to learn.

Now for "proving a negative"; I am not a logician or mathematician, but I think this is the method of "proving" a negative statement like "Six is not equal to seven".

1. The negative statement is converted into a positive statement that can be "proven" with logic.
2. That positive statement is then logically "proven"
3. We then *rationally* assume that if the positive statement is proven with logic, then the negative statement must also be proven.

The difference between "proof" of a positive statement and "proof" of a negative statement is in the type of proof. A logical proof is absolute proof, a rational proof is not absolute, it could be wrong. It is easier to prove something with reason than with logic, but a rational proof is not as reliable.
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
"Those who deny God's existence only have one opinion, that being whatever the world sasy is true."

What makes that any different from people who believe God does exist?

"Its very simple, God exists because nothing physical can bloke God from existing, what could? Answer that!"

What prevents 100 gods from existing? 1000 gods?
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Jake, Yes, there is a good debate topic lurking on the overall benefits of religion. I think that people in general always adopt some overall belief system that provides quick answers to complex problems. If you don't believe in Lucifer as the devil, then there is a really good chance you will believe in George Bush as the devil. Both provide an emotionally satisfying explanation of all the evil in the world. Recently the pollster Zogby gave lecture on the emotional satisfaction being obtained from the rise of "secular spirituality." Those who do not believe in a global warming crisis are *infidels*. Communism and all the other "isms" provide the same emotional satisfaction of quick certain answers. So it isn't religion versus brilliant calm intellectual objectivity. It is a choice of belief systems. Modern religion, as an evolved social institution, is among the better options. I'll try to formulate a topic.

Regarding proving a logical negative, how about "Six is not equal to seven." Most (all?) provable logical assertions have a corresponding provable negative version. I've heard the "you cannot prove a negative" many times, but it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense overall. People are probably thinking of things along the line of "There are no black swans." where it is tough to claim to have looked everywhere. (There are black swans in Australia, so the contention was false.)
24 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro pretty much ignored most of Con's arguments. Con offered what I thought were flawed arguments, but they were better arguments than Pro made.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: Easy win for Roy.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Zaed and the other voters who vote-bombed in Pro's favor. It's clear who won. Pro never offered facts, constantly used opinion and belief to "discredit" the alternative theories--M theory, the Buddhist concept of a cyclical world, and so forth. Even his beginning arguments demonstrate that Pro did not seek to argue, but rather question and his agreement with Con's views makes his case even weaker.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro assumes that since there are questions that science cannot answer, there must be a god. This is not true and Con provides many theories with ample proof and evidence which are far more likely to have occurred than god. Also Con very effectively refuted Pro's contention about the creation of the universe from Pro's perspective by showing how the universe can exist without a creator.
Vote Placed by KelchUSMC 6 years ago
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