The Instigator
trust_jesus
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Sarai.K82
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

God's Not Dead

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Sarai.K82
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 383 times Debate No: 81406
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

trust_jesus

Pro

Before we begin, please do not categorize me with Islamic suicide bombers and child-molesting Catholic priests. Dismantling these straw men arguments would be a waste of time. Fanaticism is a human problem, not a religion problem. All religions are not the same. The god that told men to hijack airplanes on September 11, 2001 is not the same God that led Christians to travel to New York and help with recovery. Throwing every religion into the same pot and denouncing religion as a whole commits major logical fallacy.

First, when examining the evidence for God, you must know what you are looking for. God is not a physical element that you can measure, but rather the intelligent mind behind the universe. If you are looking for Bill Gates, you will not find him by dissecting a computer. True faith in Jesus Christ is not a blind leap into the dark. It is a result of considering the evidence as a whole. To say there is no evidence for a Creator is like saying a painting in an art museum could not have been painted because the artist is not visibly present in the gallery. To claim nothing exists outside the physical universe is a statement of faith and cannot be proven. Just because we know how a mechanism works does not eliminate the existence of its designer. Darwinian evolution teaches that life arose spontaneously from nothing, for no reason or purpose, guided by the blind watchmaker of natural selection, and that life and the universe are merely the product of blind, random forces. These ideas motivated atheist Communists and Nazis to slaughter millions of innocent people in the 1900s. In order to come to faith in God, you must step out and believe/acknowledge his existence. No true Christian, including myself, came to faith in Jesus Christ with having all our questions answered. Those answers came post-conversion while walking and growing with the Lord. And on my deathbed, I (nor anyone else) will have all the answers. Everyone has a worldview, which is a story that attempts to answer the questions about our existence. The early Christians told their story and confirmed it with the evidence that Jesus resurrected to fulfill all of the 365 messianic prophecies of the ancient Jewish prophets. An argument I am sure you will make will probably state that your religion depends on your birthplace. There is some truth to this, but it is not the full picture. Just because someone is born into a certain religion does not mean they will choose to remain in that faith once they are old enough to think for themselves and consider other worldviews. Skeptics prove this themselves because many were born into Christian families/cultures, but they chose to leave the faith once they got older. Statistics are currently showing that the rapid growth of Christianity today is occurring in regions of the world where Christianity has not dominated, such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Consider that Christianity originated out of the hostile Roman Empire, where willingly professing Jesus Christ could get you thrown to lions, burned alive, or crucified. Unlike other belief systems at the time, Christianity originally spread by an unknown force: love and grace, and people converted regardless of their birthplace. I, being born in the Christian culture of America, have an advantage that I am grateful and blessed to have. This advantage should not be ignored or dismissed. Science is the vast field of knowledge, and you and I both want to dig through that field to separate fact from fiction. But we both look at our universe of knowledge through the lenses of our worldviews. One of us must be fogged up and delusional: a Creator either exists or He does not. It is not what you do not know about God that hinders your belief. It is what you do know about God. Romans 1:18 tells us the problem: "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness." People do not like God's rules. Mankind's very nature does not prefer to be told what/when/where/why/how to do something. This is similar to attempting to push a beach ball underwater. The harder you push down, the more forcefully it resurfaces. Your God-given conscience convicts you of your need for a Savior. And I definitely need a Savior because I, just like every Christian, am the epitome of a hypocrite. Is it really over when you die? Atheism/agnosticism will never satisfy your mind and heart. But Christianity is not some unreasonable, wish-fulfilling crutch. Atheism is the ultimate wish-fulfillment because unbelievers do not want God to exist. No God means no accountability or morals. In a public debate, Richard Dawkins was once asked how much proof would be enough to convince him that God existed. This was his response:

"That's a very difficult and interesting question because, I mean, I used to think that if somehow, you know, great big giant, nine-hundred-foot-high Jesus with a voice like Paul Robeson suddenly strode in and said 'I exist. Here I am,' but even that, I actually sometimes wonder whether that would . . ."

This ridiculous and ignorant statement proves that if your mind is made up about what you refuse to believe, then no amount of evidence will persuade you.

"If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest one, contain at least some hint of truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most."
~ C.S. Lewis (Former Atheist)

Evil and suffering are explained in the fact that God created a world where you and I are free to make real choices to do good or bad that affect other humans around us. Without that choice, we would not be debating right now. God gave simple commandments to humanity, but we have mostly ignored them. Therefore, we are to blame, not God.

"Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver."
~ C.S. Lewis

The laws of mathematics, logic, and physics are constantly true throughout the Earth. This, as well as life's complexity, points to a transcendent morality and rational intelligence. The same concept applies to the apparent spiritual laws. Lying, stealing, and rape are immoral, no matter where you are in the universe. Violation of these spiritual laws separated each and everyone of us from God, and separation from the one who brings peace will naturally bring pain. I am willing to admit that I walk by faith, but atheism is a religion in itself because it is based on faith. No belief system of historical science can ever be proven unless we can confirm/rely on the recorded, trustworthy evidence of an infallible being who was there and was behind it all: God's creative declarations in His Word, The Holy Bible (so that we may know Him). Galileo confirmed the accuracy of the scriptures when his discoveries aligned with the biblical principle of the Earth rotating around the sun. Richard Dawkins, the world's most famous atheist, publicly admitted that the universe appeared to be designed, but he goes on to claim that it couldn't have been designed because we can ask the question: "Who designed the Designer?" Once again, God is supernatural (beyond the natural realm). You cannot attempt to explain the supernatural with natural reasoning. Every explanation does not require an explanation, especially when you are referring to an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent eternal Deity. This demand would establish an infinite regress, and no amount of truth could be known. If you found a turtle in the middle of the woods on top of a fence post, you could rationally conclude that it did not get there by itself. Someone put it there. Without an explanation of who/what/when/where/why/how, you could conclude that time/chance would not eventually cause this to happen. Imagine if the police took a week off. There would be no prosecuted crimes or enforced laws. This would result in the opposite of peace. If heaven does not exist, then good cannot be rewarded. Why care about anything or any future generation to come after you? Will terrorists get away with their ways in the end? Building society without God has been tried and failed many times. What if you were a talented singer, someone listened to the amazing songs you recorded, and then denied you were the singer of those songs or mistakenly gave someone else the credit. Would that upset you? What if you created a planet? How about a universe? God deserves the recognition for all of His creation. Knowing a Creator exists changes your whole perspective. This should cause us to desire a personal relationship with this Person. And guess what . . . He wants a relationship with you more than you or I could ever want a relationship with Him!

The good news is that God became a man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life you and I should have lived, and died the horrible death you and I deserved to die, in our place. He willingly came to take the punishment for the sin of humanity once and for all because of His infinite love for you and I. Three days later, He resurrected to verify His identity as the Son of God. He now offers complete forgiveness freely to all who will believe, turn from sin, and stop trusting in their own self-righteous efforts. He does not want you to be religious. He just wants YOU, and for you to come exactly as you are! Faith is actually holding onto what reason has led you to, despite your changing mood and feelings. Responding to the Gospel will change you from the inside-out, just like it did me. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, you will be born again if you repent and trust Jesus. Time is running out, my friend.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
~Psalm 19:1
Sarai.K82

Con

Thank you for presenting this debate topic and allowing me to engage you on it. I will do my best to be respectful and I certainly will not compare you to terrorists or criminals. Ideally, I will do my best not to engage in straw men arguments of any kind. If I do stray, I apologize in advance. But let me begin.

You have taken the pro side of the argument that "God"s Not Dead." I will argue the "con" side of that equation, but first let me define my analysis. For God to be dead, he first must have been alive. To be alive, God must have existed at some point. To the extent that I am arguing that God Is dead, I am arguing that the idea of God is dead. There is no God.

I am not arguing that there was once a living God and he has now passed away. I am also not going to argue against the existence of a "flying Spaghetti monster," though my arguments may well be applicable to the nullity of such an entity. I am instead going to focus more on the idea of the Christian God as a viable entity. In making these arguments, I"ll use the male pronoun out of convention.

So let"s start. You state that "to say there is no evidence for a Creator is like saying a painting in an art museum could not have been painted because the art is not visibly present in the gallery." But with a painting, we know there must have been someone who created this masterpiece. We know this from a lifetime of physical evidence and experience. But we also know much about the world around us today and how it came into existence.

Applying the scientific process to that physical evidence, we know that humans have evolved through evolution. We (and I speak generally as I"m an idiot when it comes to mathematics) have slowly gathered together an understanding of the universe and how it works. And our understanding tells us that we don"t need a painter to create the world around us. We may not know every detail of every nucleus in every atom, but we are narrowing it down. In doing so, we are lighting up the nooks and crannies in which God might be hiding. And it doesn"t look like God"s there.

The above is an argument against the existence of any Creator. One of the stronger Philosophical arguments against the existence of a benevolent, loving Christian God turns on the existence of evil. I include in "evil" the kind of random smash-a-life-in events that prevent a person from ever forming any opinion of God"s existence or not. Presumably, if there is a God, our time here on earth has some meaning or reason. God does not explicitly make himself visible, because he wants us to learn about him through the wonders of the surrounding world and come to accept him through faith. In other words, we are born for a reason that matters on some level to God and we are given free will, because we are going to have an opportunity to recognize, accept, and have faith in the existence of God and follow the rules he lays out for humanity in the Bible.

Now I need to lay out some assumptions for my next argument. They"re not critical, but I don"t want to put believes in your mouth without letting you reject them. I am going to assume for purpose of the debate that life begins at conception and a fetus is a human being in the Christian God"s eyes. Mind you, I am not conceding that God exists, but if he does exist, I presume those are fair assumptions.

So how is the Christian God served by having millions of souls, of people, flicker into existence only to be extinguished? If they are real souls, do they as in Monopoly go directly to heaven, do not pass go, by passing jail? And I don"t want to be disrespectful, but if death as an infant when you are too young to form any opinion as to the existence of God results in immediate entry to eternal salvation and heaven, then isn"t that a good thing for the children?

But of course, that"s an absurd argument. No one can argue that the death of an innocent child is a good thing (though you may argue as to whether a fetus is an innocent child or simply a clump of cells). So why would God permit it? If the millions of unborn children aborted do go directly to heaven, why not everyone? Of course, if aborted fetuses are not human, not souls, then abortion is not wrong. And if they are human souls, but don"t get to heaven, then that"s pretty horrific too. Also, don"t all miscarriages fall in the same basic category? It"s a conundrum.

It makes no sense to me. We can apply this argument to the Holocaust or any number of random natural events or man-directed atrocities. Why send us to earth at all for a flickering moment if a stray bullet can send a child directly to heaven without any sort of understanding or faith in God?

Epicurus put it this way,

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

So I don"t get evil and the sort of random chaos that takes a life. It makes this argued for Creator seem a lot like the mindless force of nature where things happen for a reason, but the reason is the laws of nature and not some logical, coherent intelligent creator.

Another argument against the existence of a living God is this. Why the mystery? Seriously, what does God gain by insisting on faith " especially as there is arguably a free pass on faith for anyone who dies before obtaining the ability to comprehend or have faith? If God did exist, why would he not make himself known to everyone not just some chosen people? Why did God harden Pharaoh"s heart rather than letting Moses open Pharaoh"s heart to the existence of God?

For that matter, doesn"t the whole "God hardening Pharaoh"s heart" motive undercut the entire free will argument?

So far I"ve offered two arguments. The first against the existence of any God. The second against the existence of a benevolent all-knowing, all-wise Christian style God. Now let me back up a bit and get "silly." Let"s say that God did once exist. Let"s say the Biblical stories are true and God once cast out Adam and Eve and worked miracles, set bushes alight, and answers prayers audibly. These things are not happening any more. Why would God give one group of people more evidence of his existence than another group of people? Is that fair? Is that just? Or is it more plausible to say that God, if he did exist once, is no longer alive. It might be time to knock on his door and do a wellness check?

I look forward to continuing our debate and reading your response to my points. If there is some specific point you want me to address, please let me know.

Sarai
Debate Round No. 1
trust_jesus

Pro

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

Scripture explains the tendency of the human heart to gravitate toward unbelief by suppressing the evidence for God. Unbelief can result from failing to remember why you believed in the first place. Jesus performed many miracles (feeding thousands from a handful of food, turning water into wine, healing the lame/blind/sick, etc.). His disciples had witnessed many of his miracles, and yet even they would forget His power as soon as they faced another challenge. The disciples' doubts was the result of unclear thinking. Secularists have limited truth only to what is scientifically verifiable. But science cannot explain all human conditions and expressions (physical or mental). Atheist Noam Chomsky admitted:

"Science talks about very simple things, and asks hard questions about them. As soon as things become too complex, science can't deal with them . . . But it's a complicated matter: Science studies what's at the edge of understanding, and what's at the edge of understanding is usually fairly simple. And it rarely reaches human affairs. Human affairs are way too complicated."

Therefore, we must look beyond science for guidance in the complex subjects of morality and justice. A man-made source of ethics is not easy to find. Science can't tell us what is right and wrong. Scientists can certainly have morals, but their morals were not derived from scientific experimentation. Instead of science attempting to determine ethics, ethics should be a guide to science. The mathematical order in the universe was discovered, not invented by man. This order allows us to explore and test our universe with confidence. It allows us to send probes into our bodies and outer space. Mathematics is the foundation of science, so you cannot use science (built on mathematics) to explain its existence. You must find a deeper source of origin. It would be like a house holding up a foundation instead of a foundation holding up a house. Natural selection would only have developed our survival abilities. Inanimate nature would not have produced the capacity for intelligent reason. To say that reason came into being for no reason is unreasonable. Science cannot tell us why we are here, why the universe was made, and why there is something rather than nothing. Dawkins (like any other secularist) would claim that asking the purpose of existence was a silly question, but before a public debate with John Lennox in Alabama, he stated, "My interest in Biology started with fundamental questions of our existence. Why we were all here." This question is fundamental to our existence. God and science do not conflict, but naturalism (the belief that nature is the only thing that exists, excluding anything supernatural (beyond nature)) and faith do conflict. "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" (Albert Einstein). We must follow the evidence wherever it leads, regardless of preconceived ideas, and not close our eyes to the obvious when it contradicts our worldview.

"I mean, in a way, I feel that one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how NOT to set up our values and social lives." (Richard Dawkins)

There must be an absolute if there are to be morals/real values. If no absolute exists beyond man's ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals/groups whose moral judgments conflict. Evil exists, plain and simple. And evil is becoming more prominent because of the decreasing presence of the knowledge of God in society. "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them" (Romans 1:28-32). This accurately describes the perpetrators of hateful acts (murder) who have learned how to shut down their conscience. When people dismiss belief in God as illusory, they tend to view the concepts of good/evil as illusory as well. God has ultimately blessed mankind by restraining our evil nature from being fully unleashed. Although evil exists, there is also a force of good that keeps evil at bay. God designed the laws of physics so that the more depraved people become, the worse consequences they suffer. This sustains His just and holy nature. The existence of good is actually a bigger question to answer than the problem of evil. If there is no God, there is no such thing as evil. There would not be a transcendent morality in existence that would give humans any reason to do good. Good and evil would simply be illusions, so it would come down to the opinion of the individual . . . whatever works. Where does our universal sense of right/wrong originate? C.S. Lewis said, "My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?" That is because these things are written on the hearts of every single human being by our Creator. Nonbelievers cannot describe the world we live in without borrowing the biblical concepts of good and evil. To say that all beliefs are equally valid is self-refuting. The existence of evil is not evidence of God's absence in the universe. It is evidence of His absence from our lives. Rejecting God will not necessarily make you a horrible criminal, and accepting God will not automatically make you a saint. As a Christian, I am a hypocritical work-in-progress, in daily need of salvation. Knowing that morality must be grounded in some authority, secularists desperately struggle to find an alternative other than God, so the real issue becomes identifying the basis for morality. Ethics falls under the category of philosophy, not science. Stephen Hawking states: "Philosophy is dead." Humanity can be good without God, but not because humanity does not need God to be good. When God made us, He put the moral law in our hearts. Without God, does morality boil down to judging your actions by whether they hurt everyone? Does this mean that if my actions hurt only a few, then I am okay? That is like a murderer pleading with a judge to consider all the people he did not kill. A better morality-judging question to ask could be: "What if everyone acted this way?" This is ironic because Jesus introduced the world to the Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31). The Golden Rule is a complete reversal of the survival-of-the-fittest mind-set. How could a blind process such as natural selection, which came into existence by chance, produce this universal sense of right and wrong? If life arose spontaneously from random chemical processes, we would have absolutely no moral obligation whatsoever.

"DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." (Richard Dawkins)

If DNA neither cares nor knows, then why can humans know and care if our genetic wiring is supposedly just the opposite? The worldview of Darwinian Evolution attempts to grant someone the freedom to live as they please. The atheistic movement toward violence/cruelty in the 1900s made it the bloodiest century in history. The communist leaders behind these acts had their moral restraints removed when they eliminated God from their thinking. You are probably wondering that if God is a loving Father, then why should He not be held responsible for not doing something about evil/suffering? If you are an earthly father, you must prepare your children to face evil challenges. In the same way, God has given us an instruction manual on how to live in order to avoid the maximum amount of pain. If we heed these warnings, we have a greater chance of experiencing peace/joy. To be angry with God for allowing evil is the same as being angry with Him for allowing you to be born and alive. Throughout history, He has supplied wisdom to advance science/technology in curing more diseases and leading more people out of slavery/poverty. But our ultimate enemy and his opposing forces (demons) live in the unseen world: Satan. There is great evidence of his existence in the inspiration/energy behind evil human activity. God created beings that were capable of failing. Because of His love, He gave us free-will to obey or not to obey. True love is not forced on someone. A robot society was not what He had in mind. Even the angels/Satan (former angel) were given free-will.
Sarai.K82

Con

I appreciate the existence of scripture. But I do not believe the written word of any religion (Bible, Torah, Quran, etc.) provides evidence supporting the existence of a living God. It provides evidence of an ongoing attempt to set down a series of rules for life that are codified in a written book, which is given the aegis of "Holy authority" so that people will follow these rules. The whole process of how the Bible got bound together argues against it having any specific spiritual authority.

It appears to me that a group of people got together, called themselves the Council of Nichea and voted on which books would go and which wouldn"t. Now you can easily argue that they were guided by God, but that"s supposition and faith, not evidence.

When we want evidence, we do look toward science and the scientific process. And yes, it tackles incredibly complex, deep subjects. People who devote their lives to science pretty much live lives of skeptics and consider no subject sacrosanct. As you point out, science may not be able to answer every question. But also keep in mind the context of what Noah Chomsky was talking about when he made the quoted statement and he"s talking about human affairs.

Fair enough. But just science may not provide an answer to morality and justice does not mean that one of the Gods who wrote one of the holy books floating around the world does have the answer. If you go through the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament, it is obvious that morality as stated in the Bible has evolved over time. We no longer permit men to sell their daughters into slavery; I doubt any present day minister is going to sacrifice his son to God; and unlike during the pre-Civil War South we aren"t preaching the Biblical justification for slavery any longer.

In fact, even if science or philosophy cannot lay out a perfect set of ethical and moral rules, it doesn"t mean that God exists. It may simply mean that we live in a wild and woolly world where we DNA constructs have to work it out for ourselves as best as we can. And sometimes, the set of rules we come up with is going to vary from the set of rules another group comes up with.

In short, why must there be an absolute in terms of morality? Perhaps we live in a world where morality is relative. I like that world to be honest. If ethical morality was fixed in the Bible, I"d always be subject to my father or husband and I would have to be silent if I were to enter a church.

You argue that evil exists plain and simple. Is that a point in favor of the existence of God? I would say no. And if evil is growing more prevalent in society, because knowledge of God is fading, why does God permit it to fade? Is salvation dependent on the random time when a person happens to be born? Did God favor people born in the 1950s more than those born today, so he arranged it so people believed in him more then than now?

Or is this simply the ebb and flow of society over time? And if you say that if evil is simply a sort of random trial we have to go through, is God like a scientist in a lab sending rats down a shoot into a maze where the rats have to learn to navigate the maze to be saved. But a random segments of the rats are sent into an offshoot to be shredded and chopped without ever being given a chance to navigate the maze?

What is the point in such an illogical, random experiment? Even if I concede that putting rats through a maze is somehow moral and just, how can it be moral or just that a huge chunk of the rats are siphoned off through murder and abortion without ever being given a chance to find God (or the exit from the maze)?

If God gives us free will, then how can it be just for him to have hardened Pharaoh"s heart without letting him decide for himself whether to believe or not? I am sorry, but neither the Bible nor the existence of God or its set of codified rules appear to me to constitute evidence of his existence or living status. You also claim that Satan has free will. But from my recollection of the Bible, he seemed to snap to whenever God or Jesus uttered a command, e.g., (Matt. 4:10 and 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8).

In any event, I am not buying the argument that the random, chaotic nature of misfortune and evil in the world constitutes evidence that God exists or is alive. And I don"t certainly do not understand the argument that a God is going to give one person 80 years to come to faith who grows up in the Church and has studied God all his life, yet cut off someone else at age 14 in some horrible African civil war and only briefly heard of God from foreign missionaries and is too busy fighting to stay alive to think about it.
If that"s the kind of morality I"m supposed to cling to, I"m going to back away. Some eighty year old man dies in bed after a life of sin, but confesses at the last moment and he gets a gold key to Heaven"s gate while a 14 year old dies at the hand of an African Warlord having heard of God only briefly from some foreigner and he"s going to spend eternity in a fiery damnation?

Christianity may have had some value. It may have some future value. But it"s not a good argument for the existence of God. Actually, the fact that God used to take an active role in the affairs of man, but then suddenly went silent after the death of Jesus is an argument for the proposition that God (if he once was alive) is now dead.

I appreciate the points you"ve made and tried to answer them as best as I could. I look forward to continuing our debate.
Debate Round No. 2
trust_jesus

Pro

Adding on to free-will . . . God allows the nonbeliever to express their beliefs. I am afraid you imagine God as a cruel dictator. In North Korea (where a true dictator actually rules), such an opinion would not even be allowed to be voiced. In God's world, you have that free choice to speak your belief. God did not create a species of robots that are forced to blindly obey Him because this would undermine the privilege we have to make free choices. God created a world that runs by laws, and in that world, free choices are allowed. He gave us moral laws to reveal His completely pure nature. These laws were designed so we could function properly and minimize damage in our lives. They are completely for our benefit, so breaking those laws result in natural consequences. We live in the best possible world, but it is not a perfect world because Adam/Eve forfeited its perfection. The imperfections in the universe do not point to the absence of an intelligent designer or poor engineering, but they rather point to the fallible nature of its inhabitants. Anything created that is finite is subject to death and deterioration. We are spiritual beings who live in physical bodies. Though the bodies decay, the spirits will live forever: Heaven or hell! The short lives we live here on Earth are by no means significant if this is all there is. God had three types of worlds he could have created:

1) No Free-Will/Choices; Automated (Robotic) Programmed Goodness
2) No Divine Intervention; Let Creation Take Its Own Course; No Natural Consequences; Survival-of-the-Fittest
3) Free-Will; Real Choices; God Enters People's Lives With Permission // Forms Personal-Intimate Relationship W/ Humans

We demand our freedom and then curse the fact that we have freedom so we can turn it around to blame everything on God. He is still in control, but allows real choices with real consequences. God is an actor in His own story.

"God created things which had free-will. That means creatures which can go right or wrong. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free-will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free-will? Because free-will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata - of creatures that worked like machines - would hardly be worth creating."
~C.S. Lewis~

There could be no knowledge of what good is without the contrast of evil. Would you know what light was if darkness did not exist? Hot without cold? By creating purely spiritual beings (angels, some rebelling and becoming demons) with free-will, they can and have inserted harm (disease) into humanity. But God has given us spiritual weapons (His Word and prayer) to combat these forces. God has defined evil for us in His Word. His commandments are not burdens, but rather merciful protectors of our well-being. And God has already defeated evil by becoming a man in Jesus Christ, living the perfect life we were supposed to live, and dying the agonizing death we deserve to die, absorbing our punishment, and providing full atonement and freedom from sin. And finally, evil, as a whole, will have an ultimate end. Out of His infinite love for you and I, he created the universe the way He did to be able to eliminate evil one day, once-and-for-all. Atheism is such a bankrupt worldview because it fails to deal with the true human condition: fallen and hopeless. God could get rid of all the evil in the world in a moment. All He would have to do is kill everybody. That is exactly why the flood of Noah's day took place, because there was not one mentally sane person other than Noah and his family. This story was not so much a story of judgment, but rather an expression of God's love for future generations such as ours. If God would have allowed this generation to multiply into our current spot in history, our lives would be nothing but a barren wasteland of dodging bullets. God has a plan to get rid of all the evil in the world without having to destroy us. He wants to remove all the evil in your heart. You and I both want to get rid of evil in the rest of the world, but we fail to look inward. We want God to stop evil consequences, but not our own evil actions. We want evil to stop happening to us, but not through us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing on planet Earth that can tell someone what is truly wrong with them. The source of our pain is separation from God because of our sin. The only bridge to cross this gap is Jesus Christ. The universally true moral law is written on every human heart. Good and evil are very real and can only be truly understood in light of the existence of a transcendent authority. Naturalism fails to provide a sound foundation for objective morals. If God does not exist, objective morality is not possible.

Moses knew something about the universe that Einstein did not: it simply began. The first verse in the Bible (Genesis 1:1 ~ In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth) was recorded over 3500 years ago. This claim is scientifically accurate, and would have been unknown to scientists a few centuries ago. From Aristotle to Einstein, the accepted view was that the universe had always existed. The notion that it is not necessary to look beyond nature itself for the answer to how everything began makes no sense. Our expanding universe, which explains the big-bang theory that all matter and energy once existed and exploded out of an infinitesimally small unit, demands that the Initiator of this event had no choice but to exist outside of time and space, which is exactly what is implied in Genesis. Many skeptics would rather downplay the idea of a definite beginning because of the extra scientific support this would give to back up the Bible.

"At first sight one might think the strong anticlerical bias of modern science would be totally at odds with western religion. This is far from being so, however. The big bang theory requires a recent origin of the universe that openly invites the concept of creation, which so-called thermodynamic theories of the origin of life in the organic soup of biology are the contemporary equivalent of the voice in the burning bush and the tablets of Moses."
~Fred Hoyle, astronomer, coined term "big-bang"~

Attempting to conceive the existence of anything before this definite beginning is mind-bending. The logic of connecting the evidence for the universe's beginning to a Creator is too challenging to ignore. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe had a beginning. Therefore, the universe had a cause. God is eternal, which means He had no beginning. The concept of eternity is beyond the grasp of human comprehension. Therefore, questioning the creation of God is a flawed argument because that violates God's very nature: eternal. In this "ex nihilo" (out of nothing) origins model of the universe ("ex nihilo" is quoted in Genesis 1 by the way) it is false to say something physical existed prior to this initiation. The cause of the universe must be uncaused itself, must exist outside of space/time, and it must be eternal and nonmaterial. These prerequisites point directly to God. Why does the universe appear to have the purposeful intent of supporting human life? But what is amazing is that this Creator is personal. He answers prayer, judges sin, and we are responsible and accountable to Him. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why are we here and why is anything else here? Either everything you see around you started itself, or it was started by something besides itself. This "why?" question drives many skeptical scientists, but when confronted with the question directly, they label it as silly. This is exactly what Richard Dawkins did in a public debate with John Lennox. When I ask a skeptic to define what "NOTHING" actually is prior to the big-bang, they describe nothing as something! These "nothings" can apparently do amazing things that still require God. How can order come out of chaos? There has to be some organizing principle. If everything that exists came from nothing, then the first trace of anything would have had to appear suddenly.

"Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing . . . Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
~Stephen Hawking~

From the above quote, Hawking believes protons appear and disappear without cause. However, this belief contradicts Newton's laws of physics, which assert that objects were set in motion because they were influenced by other objects. Without the laws of nature, nothing would take place at all. Skeptics want me to ignore the natural laws behind the universe, simply accept they are there, and quit asking about where they came from. There is either an eternal set of natural laws or an eternal Lawgiver. The fine-tuning of our universe to permit life demands the need for an Intelligent Designer. Astrophysicists teach us that dozens of physical constants/quantities had to be carefully adjusted (fine-tuned) for the universe to produce and sustain life. Imagine a sound board with dozens of knobs ranging from one-to-one-trillion. If each knob is not precisely set, life cannot happen. To believe this happens by chance requires an enormous amount of faith. "Knobs" would include gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the electromagnetic force, etc. (the list never ends). This fine-tuning, in a tight 0.1% necessary range, prevents all the stars from collapsing into black holes. No amount of overwhelming evidence can overturn the predetermined mindset of a skeptic unless they open their heart and mind.
Sarai.K82

Con

You posit that ""imagine God as a cruel dictator." I don"t. While at times, I wish I could find comfort in the idea of some benevolent, spiritual greater power guiding from above, the reality is I have yet to see any evidence that would lead me to believe in God"s existence or the fact that this all-knowing, omniscient is still alive even if he once did exist. You cite C.S. Lewis for the proposition that we have free will.

But tell me and you have failed to address this issue, what purpose is allowed by letting children die before they are old enough to form an opinion about God"s existence? If a fetus or even a toddler is not a human being and does not have a soul and cannot experience pain, then I suppose there is no ethical dilemma posed by God setting up a system where children die before they can accept Jesus into their heart.

If however, a fetus or toddler is human, does feel pain, and does have a soul, then what happens to that soul upon a death before they can "come to Jesus?" Do they go directly to hell? Not exactly ethical. Do they get a free pass to heaven? Not exactly fair. Do they cease to exist upon death? Not a winning argument either.

The relevance of the "evil exists" argument is that you have argued only God can provide an immutable, constituent and valid set of moral and ethical rules for living. Murder is wrong. Don"t take the Lord"s name in vain, etc. But if this is true, if God does actually exist, wouldn"t the rules then necessarily be consistent for everyone regardless of time or place?

So let me ask this, why one set of rules for pre-Jesus people and a second set of rules for people born after the death of Jesus? Why one set of rules in the Old Testament, but a new covenant in the New Testament?

For example, a 16-year-old girl sleeps with a boy in Old Testament times. She"s found out and knowing that it is wrong to lie, she tells the truth about her sexual transgression. In Old Testament times according to Deuteronomy 22:13-21, the men of the city are supposed to bring the girl out to the doorway of her father"s house, and stone her to death because she played the harlot in her father"s house." Is this the absolute morals/real values that you are talking about when you argue that God must exist or the morality of man will be subjective?

And if Deuteronomy was right back then regarding what should happen to a girl who slept with a boy outside of marriage, have the rules changed? Or does she get a chance to repent now?

Returning to the idea of free will, which you have argued justified the natural and man-made evil that exists in the world (which I have argued cuts against the idea that some sort of benevolent all-powerful God exists), you haven"t answered or explained then why God "hardened Pharaoh"s heart." Isn"t that the opposite of free will?

And if people have free will, didn"t God stack the debt against the non-chosen people initially? Does it make sense for God to play favorites?

So let"s look closer at your three points that you use to sum up your argument:

1)No Free-Will/Choices; Automated (Robotic) Programmed Goodness (like when God hardened Pharaoh"s heart or when God put fear in the hearts of the Cannanites so they would be destroyed or when he stirred Cyrus"s heart so that he would release the Israelites from captivity or when God turned Nebuchadnezzar"s mind into that of an animal).

2)No Divine Intervention; Let Creation Take Its Own Course; No Natural Consequences; Survival-of-the-Fittest (like we have now in the post-active God period when he no longer audibly appears before people and talk to them in the form of a burning bush or sends down direct plagues or grants big fireworks style miracles; e.g., the post Jesus time frame when God stopped actively interfering in the world and essentially became like one dead).

3) Free-Will; Real Choices; God Enters People's Lives With Permission // Forms Personal-Intimate Relationship W/ Humans (in other words, we have free will to do what God says or burn in eternal hell and if he wants to send us to hell, he"s free to reach down and harden or heart or put thoughts in our head so we toe the line?)

Again, you point out that "there could be no knowledge of what good is without the contrast of evil." But how does a person get to know light from darkness or hot from cold when God sends down a flood and cleanse the earth of the non-chosen children and babies? Oh yeas, but as you point out the children and babies at that time were all whacked out and crazy and evil and deserved their fates, so God was free to exterminate every living thing on earth except for Noah, his family, and the 2x2 crowd. What happened to forgiveness and love they neighbor and second and third and seventy times seven chances to be forgiven? Oh yeah, they were born at the wrong time. What did they really learn from their short, all-too brief life on earth? What chance did they have to exercise free will?

And what about the pain and suffering of animals? What purposes does their suffering serve if we are to believe in this benevolent just God?

To sum up my point, the random, chaotic nature of the world negates the idea that there is some objective just and fair moral code imposed by a supreme being.

If there is such a God, then he"s the of the select and chosen. Don"t apply if you were born with homosexual tendencies or are destined to get squashed like a bug before your old enough to decide whether or not you believe in God or if you were born before Jesus died and lifted the cruel, unreasonable and illogical rules of the Old Testament or were born into a section of the world that is too dangerous for missionaries to venture and end up as a child warrior in some dictator"s army and die "unsaved," etc.
Debate Round No. 3
trust_jesus

Pro

trust_jesus forfeited this round.
Sarai.K82

Con

God is dead.
Debate Round No. 4
trust_jesus

Pro

trust_jesus forfeited this round.
Sarai.K82

Con

God continues to lie there without giving us a sign. I check his pulse. He's dead.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
god=dead=not real
Posted by Lexus 1 year ago
Lexus
I like your God to Bill Gates example though I disagree that God is findable at all. GL
Posted by V5RED 1 year ago
V5RED
If the debate is about whether or not god is dead, I am not sure who would take the side of con. Believers think that their god is immortal and thus can't die and atheists don't think he exists, so he can't die.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 9 months ago
U.n
trust_jesusSarai.K82Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by famousdebater 10 months ago
famousdebater
trust_jesusSarai.K82Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 10 months ago
Blade-of-Truth
trust_jesusSarai.K82Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited two rounds at the end of this debate, which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar. Arguments - Con. Pro had the burden of proof in this debate, and failed to uphold it. Not only did Pro essentially drop every argument raised by Con with the last two forfeited rounds, but more so Pro's arguments had little to no real evidence. Con was able to show, via the scientific method, that God is Dead, or at the very least - non existent due to a lack of evidence. All of which culminates in a solid win for Con in regards to arguments. Sources - Tie. Neither utilized sources aside from biblical scripture or un-linked references.