Gods actions can be unappealing, but man's actions are far more dangerous to life on planet Earth!
Debate Rounds (4)
God's actions can be unappealing to us. He has the power to hurt individuals and injure nations. His behavior can be cruel, can be interpretted as "unjust", and can drastically overwhelm communities on Earth.
But man poses the real threat. His immoral behavior, flagrant disregard for others and the environment is where the real problem lays. As a result God must act to eliminate threats on the planet. Intelligent humans can alter life on Earth to the point that the quality of life is greatly reduced.
God therefore must respond aggressively and destructively (on human perpetrators) when this is the case.
ROUND 1 is for acceptance only.
The Christian God, mainly of the New Testament, exists. I need nothing more, and I'm sure that this pleases you, but feel free to change the terms in any way you see fit. If you worry about my lack of religion, don't worry, I went through all the catholic rituals and I am well educated on Christianity. Fight the good fight,
The God I will be speaking of in this debate will be a pantheistic God as understood by the fine-turning arguments of the universe. The fine-tuning arguments present a universe that is very unique, in that they argue that the universe is just right for complex biological life to develop. Therefore God will be a God with limitations, that has struggled to create a universe with perceptible matter that has amalgamated to form planets, stars and galaxies. Using red-shift measurements of the expanding universe, astronomers currently understand that the universe is roughly 13.8 billion years old . Thus God will have invested quite a bit of energy and time up to this point to have created the universe in the present state it's in.
As for the meticulous work of God in the construction of of our universe, to house advanced biological life-forms like ourselves, I will consult the wise words of world-famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking:
"The laws of science, as we know them . . . contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron . . . . The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life ." According to Steven Hawking, our universe is just right for life. If the fundamental constants of this universe were slightly different, life would not be possible. This is a view that is now gaining strength in the scientific community. Physicist Paul Davies, who was once a critic of the fine-tuning arguments decades ago, but now acknowledges that they are legitimate, has this to say:
"There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects fine-tuned for life ." Additionally, he says this: "Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by 1 part in 10^40, then . . . stars like the sun could not exist. This would . . . make life impossible ." And then there is this: "If the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as 1 part in 10^60, the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. In either case, life would be impossible ."
That our universe is just right for life is accepted beyond reasonable doubt. Very few physicist now disagree with this view, though there are some that try to paint a perspective that many, alternative universes have the right conditions for unique forms of biological life. Nevertheless arguments arise concerning the stability of matter, as the parameters of our universe allow for the existence and stability of protons and electrons - the fundamental units of matter in our universe. If many of these parameters differed even by a little, a universe filled with matter (and thus with chemistry) would not be possible.
As expressed by world-renown physicist Paul Davies and Stephen Hawking, almost all scientists now agree that our universe occupies a very narrow place, by having just the right conditions for life, where matter can congregate to form stars and planets, where the liquid medium of water is possible, and where molecular chemistry exist because the proton and electron are unique stable particles. This discovery is a revelation about the true nature and real capacities of the God of this universe. It is not all that powerful, and it seems to be limited by rudimentary natural principles (whatever those may be), but that it has expended massive quantities of energy and massive care in the construction of this universe is beyond all doubt - if it in fact exist. The evidence shows that, if God does exist, it has meticulously created a universe just right for life, and therefore has a rightful claim to everything going-on inside of it.
It has taken God billions of years to carefully craft this universe, and ultimately to create complex cellular organisms that would evolve into intelligent, articulate organisms like ourselves. Like a man that has constructed a house for his family, God has special pride in his work. And when someone threatens to burn down his house or injure his family, God, who has invested heavily in a universe just right for life, must respond with clarified threats, aggressive behavior and destruction.
God's work is special. And destructive people must be put on notice. Thus the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. But should men follow through with their destructive habits and attitudes, God has no choice but to injure such dangerous men, cultures, and socities. Death and destruction will rain down upon those that make God's work vain!
I will defend this argument in the next ROUND.
   http://www.discovery.org...
and left little alive. Why? The dinosaurs were not dangerous, they lived a balanced and eco-friendly lifestyle, did they deserve death? Not only did that meteor hit Earth and smother the skies with ash, but God went on to shift the gravity of the planet, wiping out all the larger beasts who could no longer pump blood to their hearts, dying painful deaths.
Think not just what has God done to man, but to all animals God has made with such "wisdom".
A fly with no mouth. Set to starve in just weeks. Metaphorically, a Saw style sewing shut of the mouth is a brutal way to go. God has not atoned for these actions, if the bible is to be followed he even sent his own son to be nailed to a cross to de for a species he designed to be tribalistic and tool using. At least humanity is now trying to repair the damage it has caused, curing diseases and trying to establish education and healthcare while cutting down on emissions, whereas God creates new diseases all the time.
I know I accepted that a God could exist for this debate, but if he were to exist, he would be the most brutal and cruel being known in the universe, I will end with a quote from Stephen Fry.
"You can"t just say there is a God because well, the world I beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths."
See you next round,
The world is most definitely a provocative place. Lions and wolves chase, rip, and eat prey for nourishment. Sharks eat large fish, birds and mammals to sustain their lives; ocassionally they'll also chomp down on a human surfer or swimmer.
Mother nature is interesting and can be very frightening. Humans, who consider themselves at the top of a respective food chain, eat plants and animals to stay alive. Entire farms of cows, turkeys, chickens, pigs, vegetables and fruits (and other goodies) exist to sustain the human population. We engorge on other living things to preserve our lives.
Before a chicken is to be killed, defeathered, and ultimately consumed by a human consumer, it has usually invested a lot of work in preserving its life. Chickens that are held up uncomfortably (usually before they are to be killed) squawk at their discomfort, acknowleding the pain of being held up incorrectly. A chicken being chased by a human darts about in panic trying to escape its human captor. Even then, humans eat and eat and eat other organisms without hesitation. We do so because we must consume them to preserve our own lives. We are all guilty of this, yet no one I know - even my opponent in this debate - has killed himself in protest to defend the right to life of the once-living food items we eat.
Long after this debate is through, my opponent will continue to eat and consume once-living food items all in the name of selfish self-preservation! Why, this act of evil cannot be overlooked. It is wrong. But my opponent will continue to do it, even in future acts of human courtship and love! He'll feed his lover, his future children, definitely himself, with once-living food items - all to preserve, evily, his own life!
But perhaps I'm going too far with this. After all, living things must eat to metabolize energy, grow, and repair damage they accumulate over time. It's the way of nature.
That organisms must take in organic carbon and other natural ingredients is undeniable. Organisms require amino acids and other organic ingredients (non-organic as well) to grow, reproduce and sustain their lives. The taking in of energy is a basic requirement of any living system to transform disorder into order. Plants and autotrophs get their energy from sunlight, but they require molecular ingredients from the surrounding environment to create sugar to use this energy. Animals and heterotrophs, who cannot fix carbon, take in vital amino acids from food items. Sugar is also obtained this way as a source of chemical energy.
There are alternative trophic groups in the natural world, but all require the constant intake of environmental ingredients to live. Furthermore, it is surprising that death is an inevitable process that all living things will have to endure. But not a single living organism on planet Earth over the last 4 billion years (since life began) has evaded death. All living things at some point will die. A cell's DNA overtime accumulates errors - errors that cannot be fixed, even though there is machinary inside virtually all cells to correct most errors. However, mother nature is not perfect. Unfixable errors accumulate. Genetic instructions stop working, or cause the cell to construct too much of something. From its inception, the cell is doomed. Nature has not been able to create a life-form yet that is capable of eternal life - and it's been 4 billion years since the first life-form began!
Our hope for eternal life just doesn't look promising.
But does that make mother nature bad? Of course not! She is good because she tries desperately to PRESERVE a world with (provacative) biological life in it! Mother nature is inventive. God is creative.
My opponent wants to portray God as the most evil, the most brutal, the most awful thing that ever existed!
I disagree. In the previous ROUND I demonstrated that God is probably limited, based on how well our universe is constructed for biological life to develop in it (really, for matter to exist in it, and for electronic chemistry to be a feature in it!). The arguments for fine-tuning which virtually all scientists accept as true present a view that would make a hypothetical creator very limited in what it is capable of accomplishing.
Bad things happen in our universe, because God is incapable. But over billions of years God has also created incredibly life forms that can struggle to survive in this difficult universe. They struggle, reproduce, and they overcome.
Intelligent life has also emerged on this world. It exist, it creates, it loves. Yes, heterotrophs like humans must eat other living things to survive, and many of the experiences can be overwhelming and defeating to specific organisms. But will my opponent give up his life willingly in light of this? No.
He'll live and continue to do the things he loves doing. He'll eat, he'll work, he'll have sex, and he may also have children. He'll move into a house (that was built over some other organism's land), and he'll eventually die - most probably not willingly, and not at his own hand. He obviously enjoys life enough to choose to continue experiencing it. That is the situation we are all in.
God is most probably limited. Nature and evolution suggest it. The fine-tuning craftmanship of this universe indicates it. Is his universe unappealing? Yes. Are many of the experiences sad and gut-wrenching - yes. Is it evil?
No. If it is evil, then we are all complicit in this evil, because we all take part in it willingly, with our habits and our actions. To call the universe evil is to call ourselves - by extension - evil.
God is not evil. I disagree with my opponent. Bad things can happen in this universe with respect to human wants and human desires. Bad things happen when we break the law, when we overindulge, when we fail to respect the wants and needs of others! This is why morality and human laws exist.
My opponent believes that God is immoral because the universe isn't ideal and perfect. Many people subscribe to this view. But his understanding of immorality is wrong. Immorality isn't determined by perfection. It's determined by necessity. "Thou shall not murder" because it invites legal issues in a human community that demands legal fairness. It's not immoral to eat a chicken, but it is immoral to kill a human, because of human wants and human laws!
To call God evil is like calling a man evil because he must eat food to survive. It's silly. No. Evil only plays a part in choice, in actions that are not necessarily required. Humans engaged in a domestic fight don't have to kill each other, we have the intellect and the opportunity to avoid doing so. Should one of them murder the other that would be evil.
But a shark must eat, and if it engorges on a human surfer we don't call the shark "evil". That would be silly.
God is not evil. God is the most creative, the most provocative, the most hopeful thing that has ever existed. Even with its limitations, it has created a universe with life - life that wants to live!
You have said that evil only plays a part in choice. But God didn't have to create animals that had no mouths, he didn't have to hit the earth with a meteor, he chose to do that. You speak of God with limits, but the very notion that a being that can create things out of thin air, but can't foresee the consequences of his own actions? I said that I would allow the hypothetical existence of God for this debate, but your god still makes no sense in terms of his limits. Having limits on a God, making him seem creative, but then trying to say that the he only started the world and the rest took care of itself; you're trying to remove any responsibilities he might have for his actions. This entity would have to be smarter than every computer on Earth; infallible. God didn't provoke us; we provoked ourselves. And the universe is surprisingly empty; we're the only planet with life for light years to come. Please explain your God, as it makes little sense and only raises more questions.
My opponent doesn't understand my view of God, doesn't understand God's limitations, doesn't understand why he would create a planet with organism's that could die on it. Welcome to the larger, diverse world of theology. I'm a pantheist; specifically I believe in a God that is analogous to the universe. To me the universe is conscious, super-intelligent, and can arrange itself (within the limits of natural principles) to create the exotic stuff in the cosmos. God, like man, is limited in what he can construct, in what he can accomplish however. To better express the idea, man is a physical example of mind over matter, of space-time and cosmic forces wielding influence over particulates of matter that in concert interacts with the larger universe. My brand of pantheism argues that the larger universe is also composed of mind - besides matter. The science of quantum mechanics demonstrates that the behavior of all matter has a capacity for uncertainty. I chalk up this uncertainty and unpredictability to the influences of mind and choice.
The greater universe - God - has some freedom to do what he wants, but he is also restrained by natural laws, and so he can't do anything he wants. Man is in the same boat.
My opponent mentioned that God would have to be incredibly cruel to have wiped out 75% of all life millions of years ago - including the dinosaurs. Well, it all depends on how you look at it. Yes, it's my belief that God did intentionally wipe out 75% of all life then, and he's been doing it ever since life first emerged on this planet. God has a hand in natural selection, and it would make sense that he would favor organisms capable of surviving in harsh conditions on Earth. If God's aim is survival of capable organisms, natural selection, which happens all the time, would certainly play a part in it. Dinosaurus died out, as did other creatures - but mammals thrived as a result. Organisms capable of adapting and surviving have always been the champions in these events. Even then, life on Earth has always thrived since its inception. Life has continued.
Now, my opponent argues as if the death of animals is wrong - and so we should hold this up as an example of God's injustice. In the previous ROUND I demonstrated why things will inevitably die - all things! No living thing will achieve eternal life, due to the natural accumulation of errors and entropy. Billions of years from now, even the universe will experience a heat death, and beyond that point it will be incapable of constructing complex macromolecules anywhere in the universe . Life in the universe will come to an end . God has limits.
But let's review the death of animals, and the moral implications my opponent wants to place on that. Since his inception, my opponent has consumed life forms to preserve his own life. Currently he's a teenager, and at this point he has consumed tens of thousands of other lifeforms to preserve his own life. Tens of thousands - at least! He's taken life from thousands of others to sustain his own. He's also killed life forms for other reasons too. Since his birth, his body- his internal system - has killed millions of micro-organisms to keep him alive. He's also bathed countless times in his life and has killed billions of micro-organisms to keep himself hygenically clean. Other examples come up. But will my opponent sacrifice his own life to preserve the life of numerous organisms he will undoubtedly kill in the future. Almost certainly not. If my opponent wants to throw this moral implication at God, he must apply to himself as well. But I assure you he will ignore it - overlook it - to carry on with his life. Like the God he shames, my opponent has murdered hundreds of billions of other organisms at this point in his life. He has been the asteroid that ended their's, all while most struggled to preserve their lives! And my opponent will continue killing - and he will justify it on selfish, philosophical grounds. He is more complex, he is more intelligen than them he will say. He will use this "status" to justify his continued massacring of other organisms. On this basis he is practically no different from the God he shames.
But unlike God who has worked to preserve biological life on Earth (in spite of the impending heat death eons from now), humankind poses a threat to the quality of intelligent life on Earth. It also has the capacity to eradicate all life on the planet. Global warming poses a significant problem to mankind - if allowed to continue unimpeded (with the addition of CO2 emmissions from human activity) the planet will continue to be altered. The extent of this problem includes a diminishing of life on Earth, as global warming will alter landscapes and transform eco-systems; biological life requires a range of suitable temperatures to survive, due to important metabolic and life-sustaining chemical processes. If the Earth becomes too hot, life will be eliminated, and the Earth will become like the planet Venus, covered in thick green houses gases, unable to support life.
It's no wonder that God has imposed laws and morality on mankind, being that humans are stewards of the Earth. Morality and laws are intended to keep the quality of life high for intelligent beings like ourselves. No, I don't believe that the Bible is infallible or that its writers were even free of dangerous prejudices and heinous beliefs, but as a pantheist I do believe God has communicated to man throughout history, and instructed the species to live within a system of self-imposed laws to prevent unneeded tragedy and extinction. Do not murder. Do not steal. Be fair. Seek justice. Take care of his creation.
When man fails to accomplish these things, he becomes a menace, and God must attack societies as a surgeon attacks cancer in a patient. He must kill the threat (certainly put it on notice) and guide communities so that they change their ways. God will use a lot of things at his disposal to achieve this. An outbreak of STD alerts people that they need to be more chaste with sex; a nation repeatedly hit by hurricanes and tornados is advised that it needs to be more mindful of its contribution to global warming; vicious unemployment is used to tell a continent that it must be more austere with its economic behavior. Humans have the capacity to destroy life's quality, to promote misery, and encourage death.
Human inequality and a failure to respect fairness in the world has always added to its misery. Whenever nations rise to promote these philosohies, God must respond with severe penalties to remind mankind that certain action will be met with largescale death and loss.
Yes, even the innocent can be victims. But it's intentional.
The blameless Jesus Christ died for man's sins. He died in place of a murderer, who was guilty.
In an imperfect universe, the actions of the guilty kill the innocent. We're meant to think on that!
  http://en.wikipedia.org...
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