The Instigator
Badi-Nontheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KhalifV
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Great Truth Claim of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i Order)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
KhalifV
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 719 times Debate No: 60190
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Badi-Nontheist

Pro

Would love someone to debate, preferable BladeRunner, but I already messaged him and if he wishes he will accept my challenge. Unfortunately, in my previous debate, I did not express myself very clearly because he made some assumption of what I meant that were incorrect. Here I have attempted to correct some of his misconceptions:

P1. There is no proof that god exists.

P2. Description of God that He is supernatural are all made-up and imaginary.

P3. Bahaullah claims that reference to god was always a reference to him, not to some imaginary being. In other words, the people that made up the god story were thinking of an ideal that didn"t really exist, a supernatural ideal. He claims to be That Ideal who people dreamed of and made supernatural stories about.

P4. Proof exists that Baha'u'llah existed.

P5. Many people conceive Baha'u'llah as the Ideal longed for by all religions and poets and fiction authors and philosophers.

C. Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him) insofar as there is evidence that he, a natural being, existed, while there is a lack of evidence that god, a supernatural being, exists. Who else has made such a claim anyway?
KhalifV

Con

Pro has not adequately defended his premises, however even I was to grant:
P1
P2
P3
P4
and P5,
It is should be the case that by granting all his premises I should loose, but it's not because his argument is not logically sound.
His argument does not establish that Baha'u'llah is god. It would merely establish that Baha'ullah claimed to be god and some people believe him.


C1: It Does Not Seem To Be The Case That Baha'u'llah Claims He Is God.

Quotes from Baha'u'llah in which he seems to not refer to god as himself:
"All-praise to the unity of God, and all-honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the perils of ultimate extinction, hath received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. Nothing short of His all-encompassing grace, His all-pervading mercy, could have possibly achieved it."

"How wondrous is the unity of the Living, the Ever-Abiding God--a unity which is exalted above all limitations, that transcendeth the comprehension of all created things.... How lofty hath been His incorruptible Essence, how completely independent of the knowledge of all created things, and how immensely exalted will it remain above the praise of all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth!3"

Baha'u'llah does not seem to be talking about himself in these quoutes.

C2:Baha'u'llah's god is incoherent.

The Bahá'í Website defines god as follows:
"The Bahá'í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being. This Being, Whom we call God, has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as perfect and complete knowledge of it (omniscience). Although we may have different concepts of God's nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names--Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma--nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being."

C2b: Omnipotence is impossible:

P1)If God exists, then God is omnipotent
P2) It should be the case that there is nothing that god can't do
P3) There is something that god can't do
C1) God does not exists

P1 is true by definition.
P2 is a derivation of P1
P3) Is a contentious point, that if true shall negate P2
C1 necessarily follows from the premises.

Defense of P3 via syllogism:


P1) An omnippotent being can create an object it can't lift.
P2) If an omnipotent being can create an object it can't lift, it can't lift the object, thus it isn't omnipotent
P3) If it can't create an object it can't lift, then it is not omnipotent.
C4) Omnipotence is impossible.

C2c: True Omniscience is impossible:
God can't know if he was created with perceived omniscience.

C3: Many People Don't Hold Him As That Ideal:

1.Christian 33.39% (of which Roman Catholic 16.85%, Protestant 6.15%, Orthodox 3.96%, Anglican 1.26%),
2.Muslim 22.74%
3.Hindu 13.8%
4.Buddhist 6.77%
5.Sikh 0.35%
6.Jewish 0.22%,
7.Baha'i 0.11%

I would advice pro not to argue Ad Populum, because he will convincingly loose.

C4: Belief Does Not Equal Truth:

Pro says:" Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him "

The proposition X is true, is true to those who believe X is true.
The negation of X is true, to those who don't believe proposition X is true.
By law of excluded middle X or it's negation is true.
Just because someone believes something does not make it true.
It means nothing.

Conclusion:
1. P3 seems to be false
2. P5 seems to be false
3. C is a non-sequitur
4. The argument does not establish the truth of any claims, merely that someone made a claim and some believe the claim

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.bahai.org...
[3] http://info.bahai.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Badi-Nontheist

Pro

First I want to thank you for your response. This is the same exact level and kind of engagement I was looking for.

I appreciate you granting P1-5 and stating that it does establish that Bahaullah makes a claim and there are people that believe his claim. But I am working on taking this to the level, because given that in the P1-5 it is established that God is a manmade concept, it must follow that anyone that claims to be God is making an atheistic claim, and as a consequence, is make a truth statement. Given that it is a true statement, anyone else that believes in his truth statement has "ESTABLISHED" ("proof of establishement") his truth on earth and among mankind.

The above paragraph, I am hoping, is logical and sound. As you can see, I have not made any supernatural claims so I need no supernatural evidence. If not, (if you uncover a flaw in my thinking) in future rounds I will be able to fine-tune it and perfect it, I feel. Because of Bladerunner's debate which took place first on this same topic, I am in a better position to respond to the rest of your counter-arguments, the reason for which I don't really understand because you already conceded for the sake of argument that my P1-P5 were already correct, I addressed these here:

1. In C1, you state that it does not seem to be the case that Baha'u'llah claims He is God. You first quote from Baha'u'llah directly praising "God" in the third person. You also imply this by referring to the Baha'i website which make mention of God as apparently a third party for whom Bahaullah is a "Manifestation". My defense is that in fact Baha'u'llah is talking about himself in the third person, and the Baha'i website are either intentionally or unintentionally either dissimulating or merely using Baha'u'llah's own tactic of sometimes referring to God in the third person. Here is what I mean:

Elsewhere in his writings he has claimed to be the Essence of God (which is the subject of the quote you provided showing that a third party "God" exists according to Bahai writings). One example is this from an authoritatively translated tablet of Baha'u'llah:

"From the letter "B" He hath made the Most Great Ocean to appear, and from the letter "H" He hath caused His inmost Essence to be made manifest." [1] Here, Baha'u'llah is very clearly claiming to be the inmost Essence that is mentioned in the quote you provided. Also, as a clarifying point, the letter B and H are used by Baha'u'llah as a signature of his own name "Baha". This was actually common practice among the people of his time to use acronyms or short form of their names like this. In the third to last paragraph of the Kitab-i-Iqan Baha'u'llah signs the "letter" using the same two letters: "Revealed by the "B" and the "H."" [2]

Secondly, there are vast numbers of examples in Baha'u'llah writings where he talks about himself in the third person, in the second person, and in the first person. There are also many many quotes where Bahaullah speaks of "God" in the first person, in the second person, and in the third person. The conclusion is this: just because he is referring to someone in second or third person does not rule out that he is really referring to himself using a "voice" of a third or second party. What's more, Baha'u'llah switches between third and first person IN THE SAME SENTENCE in some cases, or in the same paragraph. Here is a striking example of this latter. I have used *** to highlight the striking shift:

"Beware lest ye speak of duality in regard to ***My*** Self, for all the atoms of the earth proclaim that there is none other God but ***Him***, the One, the Single, the Mighty, the Loving. From the beginning that hath no beginning *** I *** have proclaimed, from the realm of eternity, that I am God, none other God is there save ***Me***, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting." [3]

Clearly, Baha'u'llah claims to be God here in both first and third person!

C2: I agree with you that the God mentioned in the Baha'i website is incoherent if you read it assuming that that God is actually being referred to. This is why I don't think such a God exists, and this is consistent with Baha'u'llah's own claim anyway, as I demonstrated above, so as such, God is only a reference to Baha'u'llah. This is why in my premise I already stated that "God" is a manmade concept.

C2b: Agreed.

C2c: Agreed.

C3: This is a good point. But it is only necessary for one person to believe in him to sustain his atheistic truth statement. and 0.11% of the population is a lot more than that.

C4. No, not belief. My reasoning is not belief. My reasoning is "Establishment". That which is established must be true at least for those among whom it is established, especially if the underlying beliefs are supportable. And by not making a supernatural claim, I only require my existence (as a follower of Baha'u'llah), to prove my case.

Back to you, sir. And thanks again to Bladerunner for the first debate on this topic.

[1] http://reference.bahai.org...
[2] http://reference.bahai.org...
[3] http://reference.bahai.org...
KhalifV

Con

Hmm, that was interesting.

" But I am working on taking this to the level, because given that in the P1-5 it is established that God is a manmade concept, it must follow that anyone that claims to be God is making an atheistic claim, and as a consequence, is make a truth statement. Given that it is a true statement, anyone else that believes in his truth statement has "ESTABLISHED" ("proof of establishement") his truth on earth and among mankind."

I agree that god(S) are a manmade concept, but it does not follow that they are making an atheistic claim.
They are a making theistic claim, but merely referring to themselves.
I don't know what it means to claim X, but entail the negation of X.
That would literaly be saying:
P1) I am god
P2) God does not exist
and what's C?
C) I don't exist
It's completely incoherent.

"This is a good point. But it is only necessary for one person to believe in him to sustain his atheistic truth statement. and 0.11% of the population is a lot more than that."
No.
I think X is true and X is true are two different propositions.

I don't know what else to say since you have not offered any reason to accept his claims.
The fact that he claimed something and some people believe him does not establish the truth of his claim.

Debate Round No. 2
Badi-Nontheist

Pro

Here I present my concluding statement. I have set up a logical argument in three parts that (1) Baha"u"llah makes an atheistic claim which cannot be rejected by logic or reason. (2) Since a community is formed around this claimant, (3) it is proof that the claim (which does not violate logic and reason) is true.

Your final object was that you reject the claim of Baha"u"llah because you cannot agree that in fact he made an atheistic claim. You go further and say this incoherent thinking on my part. You set up an equation as follows:

P1) I am god
P2) God does not exist
C) I don't exist

There many examples in language where literary devices are used to convey a powerful meaning without that device being literal itself. You are using the word in a literal sense above, which leads to an incoherent conclusion that "I don"t exist". As soon as you eliminate the false assumption that the word "God" is literal, the argument become a truth statement. So this is how the true argument is formed:

P1) God doesn"t exist
P2) He is god
P3) I am god
P4) This NOT a duality
C) Since P2 and P3 are a duality because "He" and "I" are dual realities, it must follow that "God" is a literary device.

Here are some examples of literary devices found at http://literary-devices.com... Literary devices include Allegory, Allusion, Amplification, Analogy, Anecdote, Anthropomorphism, Antithesis, Archetype, Authorial Intrusion, Circumlocution, Inversion, Irony, Juxtaposition, Metaphor, Motif, Oxymoron, Paradox, Symbol. The purpose of this exchange is not to determine which of these Baha"u"llah had in mind, but to propose that this is much more likely than a reference to a god for whom there is no proof to exist.

Your conclude my stating that:

"The fact that he claimed something and some people believe him does not establish the truth of his claim."

The correct construction of this sentence should be that because a community has been established around Baha"u"llah, and since Baha"u"llah makes straightforward provable claims, this establishment is a proof of the truth of his claim. The same can be said of other logically sound, and established truth, such as tree are plants, gravity pulls matter toward it, and "hot" is a higher temperature than "cold", as a few examples.
KhalifV

Con

How can someone claim to be god , but be making an atheistic claim.
That's like me claiming I exist, but claiming I don't exist?
I never heard of a sound proposition entailing it's negation.

" P1) God doesn"t exist
P2) He is god
P3) I am god
P4) This NOT a duality
C) Since P2 and P3 are a duality because "He" and "I" are dual realities, it must follow that "God" is a literary device."

What?
The conclusion would actually be that he and I don't exist, because he and I are god and god doesn't exist.
All A's are B and all B's are C, A doesn't exist, so neither B nor C exist.


"The correct construction of this sentence should be that because a community has been established around Baha"u"llah, and since Baha"u"llah makes straightforward provable claims, this establishment is a proof of the truth of his claim."

Ok, once again pro claims, because people believe it, it's true.

Baha'u'llah is god.
This statement is either true or false by law of excluded middle.
Group X believe it to be true, Group why believes it to be false.
It can't be both, so it is one or the other, but neither has been established.

In the way in which pro uses god to mean no less than some vague device, in that case literally everything is god and not god, it's incoherent.

Pro has failed to affirm the resolution, vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Thanks Khalif was great.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
The sentence "Your conclude my stating that:" should read "You conclude by stating that:" Sorry for the typo
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
The awakening (i.e., the salvation) of any individual (gnosis) is a cosmic event.
Posted by projector 2 years ago
projector
Baha'u'llah claimed he was God. Apparently, a very weak God. He gets his bottom side kicked on the charge of collaborating to assassinate the Persian King and is thrown in a dungeon and is kept there until the Russian ambassador to Iran saves him. He also used to read books to gain knowledge. Baha'u'llah, the OmniWeak, the OmniFeeble, the OmniIgnorant.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Okay, it is all yours. Good luck to you, and good luck to me :)
Posted by KhalifV 2 years ago
KhalifV
That did not answer the question, but if he doesn't accept, I will.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
such most beautiful traits, such a pure claim.
Posted by KhalifV 2 years ago
KhalifV
what traits does this Baha'u'llah have?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Badi-NontheistKhalifVTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm not too sure what happened. Pro seemed to agree with a load of stuff and drop arguments....and most of his arguments seemed to be based on beliefs rather than actual facts. Con wins?