The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
ninjafifa
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gods non existence more likely true than false

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 933 times Debate No: 69686
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Illegalcombatant

Pro

The Debate

I will seek to provide argument to support the proposition that it is more plausible (more likely true than false) that God (as defined) does NOT exist.

Con will at the minimum seek to negate Pros arguments.

Definitions

God - An omniscient, omnipotent, all loving, morally good, just, supernatural, personal being.

Unnecessary suffering - suffering which is not logically necessary for an adequately compensating good.

Rules

No new arguments in the last round

First round is for acceptance only, no arguments.
ninjafifa

Con

I will debate this topic with you by putting forth the arguments on why God is more likely too exist.

I will not be bringing up the Bible nor any other Religious texts so I would ask my opponent to do the same.

I accept the definition of God.

However, I do not believe the "unnecessary suffering" exists, which I will later explain in my arguments.

Thank you, and I am extremely excited for this debate!
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Ninjafifa for accepting this debate.

Definitions

God - An omniscient, omnipotent, all loving, morally good, just, supernatural, personal being.

Unnecessary suffering - suffering which is not logically necessary for an adequately compensating good.

God exists vs God does not exist

For my first argument we look at two mutually exclusive possibilities, the first where God exists (GE) and the second where God does not exist (GDE).

GE) We live in a world where God and suffering exists. Any and all suffering only happens if and only if God permits it. Also the suffering that God permits only happens if it is logically necessary for an adequate compensating good.

GDE) We live in a world where God does NOT exist but suffering does.

So how do we justify which world we live in ? For that we turn to occams razor which states..."Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor from William of Ockham (c. 1287 " 1347), and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected." [1]

Take pretty much any instance of suffering. A child tortured, animals eating each other alive, an earthquake causing bricks to fall on people. Every bone broken, every rib cracked, every person blinded every spine severed can be made compatible with the claim that God exists and God allowed these things to happen.

But these things are also compatible with the claim that God does not exist, and God did not prevent these things because it does not exist.

Seeing that both hypotheses explain the absence of such a Gods action equally well Occams razor enjoins us to go with the explanation that makes the fewest assumptions ergo we should go with the God does not exist option as it makes fewer assumptions.

Divine Silence

"God answers all prayers, but sometimes his answer is 'no" - Dan Brown

This would be a good response.......................if it were actually true. People don't get a "no" answer from God. Consider for example some one who is told that they have cancer and they pray to God to heal them of their cancer. Now here is the thing maybe they survive the cancer maybe they don't but at no point does God tell you "no" or "yes", God if it exists will allow some one to sit their in their terror and uncertainty as prayer after prayer is offered.

Now sure if such a person later on gets a good outcome the person may attribute the outcome as answered prayer from God and may even be encouraged from various religious believers that this is the case but on it's own this is just confirmation bias.

Sam Harris argues...

"Given all that this God of yours does not accomplish in the lives of others, given the misery that is being imposed on some helpless child at this instant this kind of faith is obscene. To think in this way is a failure to reason honestly or care sufficiently about the suffering of other human beings" [2]

So once again using occams razor why the divine silence ? The non existence of such a God explains the data using less amount of assumptions compared to the existence of such a God.

Moral Paralysis

If we operate on the assumption that God exists it leads to moral paralysis. Remember if God exists then unnecessary suffering does NOT exist because any and all suffering only happens if and only if God permits it. Also the suffering that God permits only happens if it is logically necessary for an adequate compensating good.

Should we release child rapists from prison ? should we cease to prevent by force those who would rape and torture children ? informing then we are sorry, we didn't realize that the suffering they caused was a necessary condition to bring about a greater good.

"Many babies each year are born with Down's syndrome. Most of these babies, with normal paediatric care, will grow up healthy. A significant number, however, have intestinal obstructions that will kill them if they do not receive an operation. Without the operation, dehydration and infection will cause these babies to wither and die over a period of hours and days. Today this operation is relatively simple, but not long ago these babies could not be saved . . . This baby (one born in the past with this) suffers for days, then dies." (3) (Sinnott Armstrong,2004, P84)." [3]

Should we seek to stop any and all medical treatment to children because their suffering is necessary to bring about a greater good ? Of course we won't....................well most of us.

It only makes sense and is more consistent to combat suffering if you work on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist, and thus by seeking to prevent suffering you are not necessarily preventing suffering which was logically necessary for an adequately compensating good.

But this can only be the case if God does not exist.

I look forward to Cons reply

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org......'s_razor

[2] https://www.youtube.com...

[3] God? Debate between a Christian and an Atheist, William lane Craig and Walter Sinnott Armstrong, 2004, Oxford University Press, p84.
ninjafifa

Con

I am extremely excited for this debate!

My opponent brings up a extremely good question: If God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnivolent, then why does suffering for no apparent reason exist in this world? I will respond to why suffering exists and how God and suffering both co-exist from a philosophical/logical point of view.

Not only this but I will provide other arguments that show why God is more likely to exist than to not exist.

Next round I will directly attack my opponents arguments, but for now I will just build my own.

Suffering Argument using Augustinian Philosophy (11th Cent.)

Before I begin, let me make a few distinctions:

Definitions:
Evil: the privation of good (privatio bono) In other words, evil is not an entity in and of itself and its origin is free will.
Moral Evil: human originated i.e.. murder, genocide, cheating, etc.
Natural Evil: independent of human actions i.e.. disease, earthquakes, storms, etc.
Free will: the ability and freedom to make choices on one's own accord

Philosophical Principles:
Cause of Suffering: the root cause of suffering in this world is evil
The Fact of Finitude: the theory that there are a limited forms of existence
Principle of Plenitude: most rich and valuable universe is one exemplifying every possible kind of existence

The Idea of a Perfect World
Augustine points out the fact that the world is inherently good. In order for all the laws of physics, the laws of nature, and free will to exist, the world we live in must be inherently good. In other words, the Fact of Finitude and the Principle of Plenitude brings forth the idea that the world we live is actually perfect. Think about, can you (the reader or my opponent) create a better world than the one we exist in? A world that is governed my natural laws and can be explained through science as well as grants humans free will?

Moral Evil
Then if the world is inherently good, then why does evil (which is the cause of suffering) exist? Well, that is because of human free will. Humans choose to not do good. Humans are responsible for most of the suffering that exists in the world. From choosing to lie about homework, to rape, to genocide, these acts are committed by humans and humans alone. God, gives us full capability to not commit evil, for He did create us inherently good. In other worlds, the existence of free will means the responsibility of suffering and moral evil is ours, not God's. Moreover, many causes of suffering is when humans try to test the limits of the physical world. For example, we were never made to fly, but we have designed and built airplanes and rockets. When those fail and people die or become injured, that is because of human error, not God's error.

Natural Evil
The reason that natural evil exists in this world is because of the laws of the physical world. In order for this world to "work" or exist, and for us to exist, there have to be laws to govern them. The same rains that brings us much needed water for crops also brings storms. So it is not as if God is punishing us for our sins, or created an evil world where suffering exists for truly no reason; He, in fact, created an inherently good–Augustine world argue that it is actually perfect–world.

Impacts
This argument has two majour impacts.
1. It explains how a God who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnivolent can co-exist with suffering and evil.
2. Alleviates the responsibility and cause of suffering from God.

The Ontological Argument

Definitions:
Ontos = “being” - to exist

Argument this is a line of thought that leads to God existing.
God is:
“…that than which nothing greater can be conceived” (St. Anselm, 11th cent.)
“…the most perfect being” (Descartes, 17th cent.)
-In other terms, humans cannot think of something more perfect and bigger than God.

Existence is a perfection.
-The purist for of existence is perfection.

A God that does not exist is not perfect.
-If God doesn't exist, then God cannot be perfect.

Thus the most perfect being must necessarily exist.
-in other terms, in order for existence to literally exist then the purist form of that existence must exist and is necessary for the rest of of existence to exist. This purist form of existence, which is perfect, is God.

Therefore, God is more likely to exist than not.


The Cosmological Argument using Thomas Aquinas Philosophy (13th Cent.)

Now lets examine the world again. Notice that everything is contingent upon each other. It's existence can be explained through something else's exists. In its basic form, this is the idea that matter and energy is neither destroyed nor created–it just changes form. Therefore, we can logically trace everything in the cosmos back to an "unmovable mover" (this theory actually traces back to Aristotle's philosophy) that created this world. Simply put, because this world and everything that exists is contingent, then a non-contingent being must exist. Furthermore, that means this non-contingent being must be explained in and of itself, leading to the following characteristics put forth my Thomas Aquinas:

Thomas Aquinas five proofs:

1.God is first mover (Unmoved mover)
2.God is first cause (Causation)
3.God is necessarily self-existent (Contingency)
4.God is the standard of all goodness (Degree of Good)
5.God is the intelligent designer of the universe (Teleological Argument)

Impact
The nature of the cosmos itself brings us to the conclusion that God is more likely to exist than not

Blaise Pascal's Gamble (17th Cent.)

Here is a mathematically reason to believe why God is more likely to exist or not–something more tangible than, "I just feel it my heart."

We have two choices: to believe or not believe
Only two possibilities: God exists or does not exist
2x2=4 possible outcomes:
  • Believe in a god that exists; be rewarded in afterlife
  • Believe in a god that does not exist; suffer no consequences
  • Do not believe in a god that does not exist; suffer no consequences
  • Do not believe in a god that does exist; be punished in the afterlife
Therefore, mathematically, its better to live life believing in God's existence because you are either rewarded or receive no consequence (and possibly still live happily) than to not believe in God's existence and be punished or receive no consequence

Impact
This is not necessarily a proof for God's existence, but it provides a reason to believe in God's existence.

Conclusion
  • God can co-exist with suffering and evil because evil is caused by human, or because of the Fact of Finitude and the Principle of Plenitude.
  • The very existence of existence means that God is more likely to exist
  • The nature of the Cosmos leads to the existence of a God being more likely
  • Pascal's Gamble provides a reason to believe in a God other than "I can feel it in my heart"
These are my arguments in their most basic form. I would like my opponent to not direct his arguments at this conclusion, but at my arguments above.

If you have any questions about my points/arguments be feel to ask in the comments section. I would be more than happy to answer them.

I am using various readings of Augustinian Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas's Philosophy, Aristotelian Philosophy, and Blaise Pascal.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to my opponents arguments!

Bon chance!
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their response.

A perfect world and/or an inherently good world ?

According to Con..."Augustine points out the fact that the world is inherently good. In order for all the laws of physics, the laws of nature, and free will to exist, the world we live in must be inherently good."

Unfortunately we just don't live in a world where those things just exist. We live in a world full of "evils" Cons words, not mine, where Con says..."Natural Evil: independent of human actions i.e.. disease, earthquakes, storms, etc."

Hardly perfect eh ?

But what about inherently good ? The history of mankind is the history of one particular species of mammal surviving in a cruel and indifferent world. We could create a very long list of suffering and once again in Cons words various "evils" so I will repeat what Steven Fry recently said when questioned about a hypothetical of meeting "God"...

"Yes, the world is very splendid but it also has in it insects whose whole lifecycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes. Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation in which that did not exist. It is simply not acceptable." [1]

Neil Tyson points out some things about our world which I think support the negation of Cons claims about living in a perfect and or inherently good world...

Earth

1) Earth quakes tsunami's, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, lighting strikes
2) Mass extinctions, disease, climate shift, killer asteroids
3) 90% of all life that ever lived is now extinct

[Humans]

1) Aggressive child hood leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's
2) We eat, drink, breath though the same hole, guaranteeing some of us will choke to death each year, more common in babies & children. [2]

If some one was to claim this world is perfect and or inherently good, I don't know what your talking about and I suspect you don't either.

First mover/first cause arguments

Even if it was agreed that there is a "prime mover" or an "uncased caused" it would not establish the existence of the GOD I defined as " God - An omniscient, omnipotent, all loving, morally good, just, supernatural, personal being.

As such I counter that even if it is established that a first cause/mover exists that is not enough to justify the claim that it is "necessarily existent" and/or "the standard of goodness and/or "the intelligent designer" of our universe.

There is a reason the first mover argument by Aquinas isn't used much anymore that is because it has an internal contradiction. It claims that everything that exists needs something else to "move" it. But ends in the conclusion of something existing that does not need something else for it to move eg, the first mover, prime mover, God, etc

The Ontological Argument

I love a good ontological argument for the existence of God. You see God is perfect, and if God didn't exist then it wouldn't be perfect, but of course by definition God is perfect, and that which is perfect necessarily exists, ergo God must necessarily exist, ergo God exists..........check and mate atheists !!!

Most people get the feeling that something isn't quite right here, but trying to find the fault in such arguments can be tricky.

Allow me to try and break it down, first it must be understood there is a gap between "conception/what is imagined" and what is reality.

This is simple to demonstrate imagine a unicorn in your room farting rainbows, now just because you can imagine it does that mean it exists ? of course not, pretty much no one will take issue with this.

What if I claimed that unicorn is a perfect unicorn thus it must exist cause if it didn't exist it would not be perfect but by definition it is perfect................now does it exist ? of course not.

What if I told you about a God who is perfect, but if it didn't exist it wouldn't be perfect now would it ? But God is perfect and thus exists necessarily thus exists. Does this means God exists ? no.

Imagine X is perfect ergo it must exist does the fact that you imagine X to be perfect mean in REALITY it exists ? no.

It applies to unicorns, it applies to "X", it applies to "God".

Pascal Wager

Pascal's wager doesn't even attempt to justify the belief that God exists in the usual manner of reason/evidence, logical deductive arguments, inference to the best explanation etc etc rather it is presented as a well you can't lose only win if you believe in God ergo you should believe in God.

I don't believe this is a good argument because God here isn't defined therefore it gives you contradictory results and if some argument gives you contradictory results we should not regard it as a good argument.

Believe in God it says ? well believe what exactly ? A God who does or does not take an interest in human affairs ? A God who wants everyone to read the bible/quran ? A God who wants you to believe that Jesus is the son of God or is not the Son of God ? A God who wants you to use moral reasoning and or your own moral compass or a God who wants various rules obeyed regardless of what you think or fell about them ? A God who wants you to persecute homosexuals or a God who doesn't want homosexuals treated any differently ?

The problem I have heard others mention about Pascal is that when he presents the argument to believe in God what he really means is believe in the God HE believes in. He just took that for granted.

The free will defense

Con has made some claims about God existing and how it has given free will. Suffice to say I don't accept the bare assertion that God exists and free will how ever understood is given by the God as defined. I would also add that coming up with rationalizations doesn't mean they are true nor likely to be true.

I don't really have the time in this round to go into more detail on "free will" but hope to in the later round time and character count permitting.

Arguments for the plausibility that God does not exist

Con makes the point that God and suffering can co-exist, but remember concerning my arguments on suffering and divine silence the argument wasn't that those things where logically incompatible with the existence of God but rather it was more plausible that God as defined did not exist using occams razor.

Recall where I said..."Seeing that both hypotheses explain the absence of such a Gods action equally well Occams razor enjoins us to go with the explanation that makes the fewest assumptions ergo we should go with the God does not exist option as it makes fewer assumptions."

Con has not disputed the more plausible explantion using occams razor that being that God as defined does NOT exist.

Moral Paralysis

Also recall the argument about moral paralysis and how the argument concluded..."It only makes sense and is more consistent to combat suffering if you work on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist, and thus by seeking to prevent suffering you are not necessarily preventing suffering which was logically necessary for an adequately compensating good.

But this can only be the case if God does not exist."

Con did not dispute the logical incompatibility of the existence of God and unnecessary suffering nor disputed that by seeking to prevent suffering only makes sense if you operate on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist.

I look forward to Cons reply.

Sources

[1] http://www.theguardian.com...

[2] www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oEl9kVl6KPc#!
ninjafifa

Con

ninjafifa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Pro

Free will defense

Seeing Con did not reply in the last round I will just make a quick note on the free will defense. "Free will" is often used as a rational of a greater good as to why God would allow or not allow something.

For example if it is pointed out some child is raped and tortured and has a limb cut off in the context of arguing against "God" it will be claimed that is because God has given free will and in that case the child rapist/torturer/limb hacker was allowed to do such things by God because had God stopped such a thing it would be a contradiction in this divine given free will.

So consider the assumptions you have to accept in order to make this work.......

1) God makes a decision to value the free will of the child rapist to rape the child over the well being of the child.

Well that an interesting choice isn't it ? Also notice that the child has a will too, the will not to be raped so............

2) God allows the will of the child rapist to rape the child over the will of the child not to be raped.

Logically possible sure ? plausible ?...................nah.

Notice the assumption used in the free will defense and the inconsistency of such people who advocate the greater good of God given free will.

No one complains about the child rapists God given free will to rape children being restricted. Imagine a rapist who is caught just about to rape and torture a child upon being apprehend and claims, you should not stop me. You see we have this thing of God given free will, this free will to rape the child is of a greater good than the childs well being cause if it wasn't God would not let me rape the child in the first place now would he ?

No one would think we should let him rape the child even if he invokes God given free will, no one thinks that the God given free will to rape children supersedes the well being of the child.

It makes more sense to prevent the rape of a child if you operate on the assumption that the child's well being is a greater good than the (allegedly God given) free will to rape children.

Arguments for Gods non existence

I remind the reader about the plausibility of Gods non existence using occams razor and the moral paralysis argument.
ninjafifa

Con

ninjafifa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Illegalcombatant

Pro

Another forfeit by Con and seeing there are no new arguments to be made in the last round I guess this ends the debate.
ninjafifa

Con

ninjafifa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Bahamute619 2 years ago
Bahamute619
I want to comment about the natural evils that have been discussed but I will wait.
Posted by Bahamute619 2 years ago
Bahamute619
I was simply stating that there is the monotheistic God, and there are the polytheistic Gods. There is also the ancient African God Yahweh. So all of those Gods should be valid too.

In addition you said however God is defined, I could define God as an all powerful alien race which brings us to the Ancient Gods, most noted in Egyptian culture.
Posted by Leo.Messi 2 years ago
Leo.Messi
hmmm...more likely not to exist? This will not be a debate on whether he exists, but whether he is More likely to exist? Am I correct?
Posted by Illegalcombatant 2 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Well the debate here is about the existence or non existence of the "God" as defined.

To ask me about whether this applies to the christian God would depend on how one defines the christian God, as would the same apply to the Islamic God or any God.

I guess this would apply to most christians and muslims.

Once again it all depends exactly on what they conceive of when they speak about "God".
Posted by Bahamute619 2 years ago
Bahamute619
Just to clarify you are trying to show how it is more plausible for the Christian monotheistic God not to exist?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
IllegalcombatantninjafifaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
IllegalcombatantninjafifaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
IllegalcombatantninjafifaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Ff