The Instigator
doubter
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
gordonjames
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

I claim there is no God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
gordonjames
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,392 times Debate No: 33994
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (46)
Votes (2)

 

doubter

Con

This is another attempt at a fair debate.
No debaters with a 100% winning record
The first two voting catagories are:
1 "Agreed with before the debate"
2."Agreed with after the debate"
Those two do not involve points and you are welcome to vote on those.
You are NOT welcome to vote on conduct, grammar, arguments or sources.
Thank you.
Comment all you want, but ANY Vote that involves points will be considered a vote bomb.
I want a real debate, with FACTS, otherwise it's a waste of time.
The burden of proof is on those who make the positive claim (pro).
gordonjames

Pro

I want to start with a quote from Blaise Pascal;
"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadow for those who don't."

I am certain that no one can force you to believe in God or become a Christian against your will.
It seems to me that God loves giving freedom, and he will not force you to do anything.
He wants you to put your trust in Him, to get to know Him and eventually to fall in love with Him.
Because that is His desire he will not force you to believe.

With that said, there is lots of evidence for God's existence and activity in His creation.

CON claims "there is no God"
more properly worded, CON refutes my claim that God exists.

I will give legal / historical evidence for the existence of God.
It is evidence that meets the burden of proof in any court in my country.

I will give scientific evidence about the complexity of creation that points to an intelligent designer.
I assert that it takes more blind faith to believe that these things happened by chance than to believe in God.

I will give eye witness testimony of people familiar with God (Father, Son, Spirit and Angelic messengers)
The sheer volume of testimony of people who met with God is hard for an intelligent person to dismiss.

I will point to some of the philosophical evidence for the existence of God.
Some of these arguments are more compelling than others,
but the brightest minds over thousands of years have found them worth deep consideration.

If space permits I will give my personal experience of God's work in my life.
These are factual events from my life, and they are hard to explain if you reject God's work in His world.

Since CON initiated this debate
and is taking a minority position
I expect him to present his reasons for claiming that there is no God.

Also, Since CON initiated the debate I suggest that CON should give compelling reasons for 4 -6 billion theists to abandon what they know to be true.

For definitions, lets limit the debate to God as revealed in Christian and Jewish scripture.
As to proof, I am looking to give enough evidence
for a thoughtful and intelligent person to have a desire to know God better.

Belief in God is not enough.
Jesus invited people to follow him which is much more than a belief in the existence of a god.

I look forward to CON presenting reasons for rejecting what most of the planet knows to be true.
Debate Round No. 1
doubter

Con

First, I'd like to thank my opponent for taking on this debate. Since it's not for points or a "win", I believe it will be
more educational, rational and sincere than a debate that was intended for points.
I'd just like to say, on a side note, that I find it strange that in my opponent's bio, under "Religion" it says
"not saying", yet the shirt on his profile pictures says it all.

I'm glad my opponent chose to include a quote from from Blaise Pascal. He's the same man that came up with the famous "Pascal's Wager", which has already been debunked many times.

My opponent also claims I have free will to believe what I want.
Both God's foreknowledge and my decision must always match up. If I chose A then God's foreknowledge must be
A. If God's foreknowledge is A then my decision must be A.
If one changes, the other must also change. If I decide to do B instead of A, the foreknowledge will be B instead of A.
If the foreknowledge changes to B, then the decision has to change to B.
Now, once a decision has been made, you can't go back and change it. If I choose A, that choice must always be A.
God is almighty. He can force me to choose B, instead, change his foreknowledge to B or even go back and change A to B.
Since God has the absolute power to make the change and I don't, The moment God makes a change, I lose my free will.
In order for me to have free will, God must never make a change. Will God give up his almighty power
in order for me to keep my free will? No, because then he wouldn't be almighty anymore.
Now, if I somehow had the power to go back in time and change my choice, I would be changing God's foreknowledge,
thus rendering God to something less than almighty.
With this logic you can say that either nobody has free will, time travel is impossible and God is almighty
or God is not almighty, time travel is possible and we all have free will.

Now to what my opponent plans to do:
He will give legal / historical evidence for the existence of God.
Legal/historical evidence must be verifiable. If my opponent plans on using the Bible as historical evidence,
I will remind him that for evidence to be legal, it must be proved. Can the authors of the Bible be verified?
Can what is said in the Bible be proved to be true? Can the translation of the Bible be proved to be accurate?
Which version of the Bible is most accurate and why?

If there are other documents outside the Bible that can be verified, I'd be interested in them.

He will give scientific evidence about the complexity of creation that points to an intelligent designer.
Science has come up with theories that can prove that what exists can happen without any designer.
Even if a God existed, he would be a useless God, since he wouldn't be needed to "create" anything.
The old "something from nothing" arguments are not valid, since the Universe came from a singularity
(not nothing) and nobody has actually ever examined a "nothing" for something to come from.

He will give eye witness (sic) testimony of people familiar with God.
Eyewitness testimony is not very reliable, You can have 5 eyewitnesses to a car accident, for example, and
get 5 different versions of it.

The claim that "The sheer volume of testimony of people who met with God is hard for an intelligent person to dismiss." is a logical fallacy known as "ad Populem" (an appeal to the majority).

He will point to some of the philosophical evidence for the existence of God.
Philosophy is just that; philosophy...not evidence. Interesting thoughts, but nothing else.
"Deep consideration"...still isn't evidence.

Also, personal experience is not demonstrable evidence. It may be proof for an individual, but useless
to prove something to others.

My opponent also says, "I expect him to present his reasons for claiming that there is no God."
First of all, I'm not claiming there is no God. As my opponent pointed out, "CON refutes my claim that God exists".
The rules of the debate state that "The burden of proof is on those who make the positive claim (pro)."
My reasons for refuting any claims for a God is the lack of evidence.

"I suggest that CON should give compelling reasons for 4 -6 billion theists to abandon what they know to be true."
That's another ad populem fallacy. Also, they don't KNOW God to be true. They BELIEVE God to be true.

So, I do have an honest desire to know God better. I look forward to the evidence my opponent wants to present.
If my opponent can truly prove that a God exists, I'm sure he will be eligible for the next Nobel Prize.
gordonjames

Pro

Greetings Doubter.

Legal / historical evidence for the existence of God.

For legal / historical proof you give the evidence, and the jury decides if the evidence is convincing. Your comments about the "ad populem fallacy" doesn"t apply here. The jury I have chosen here is the world population. In a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center they found Christians (31.5%), Muslims (23.2%) and Jewish (0.2%) believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac & Joseph make up 55% of the world population.
http://www.pewforum.org...

One thing that might interest you is that Unaffiliated (16%) were a divers group with various beliefs. "Religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys. However, many of the religiously unaffiliated have some religious beliefs. For example, belief in God or a higher power is shared by 7% of Chinese unaffiliated adults, 30% of French unaffiliated adults and 68% of unaffiliated U.S. adults. Some of the unaffiliated also engage in certain kinds of religious practices. For example, 7% of unaffiliated adults in France and 2 7% of those in the United States say they attend religious serv ices at least once a year. And in China, 44% of unaffiliated adults say they have worshiped at a graveside or tomb in the past year.10 "
http://www.pewforum.org...

SO
Using the world as a jury for evidence for the existence of God, 55% weigh in with the Abrahamic view of God, other theistic views account for 20% or more with more that 75% of adults the planet weighing in on the "I believe in God" side of the Jury.

Estimates for atheism alone (as a primary religious preference) range from 200 to 240 million out of 7.086 Billion, or 3% http://www.adherents.com...

On a jury of 100 people only 3 would claim "There is no God"

Remember - the legal standard of proof IS the opinions of the jury based on the evidence they have seen. I could go into much greater detail but in light of your forfeit (via the comments) I don"t want to give this more time.

Scientific evidence about the complexity of creation that points to an intelligent designer.
It takes more blind faith to believe that these things happened by chance than to believe in God. This is not so much a proof of the existence of a particular God, but it is evidence that the random chance view that seems to go with the claim "there is no God" is a type of misguided religious fanaticism akin to the person who yells "There is no God but Allah" and then blows himself up.

I see two kinds of evidence (not proof, but evidence)
- The complexity of living systems that can not begin to be explained by random chance.
This is the whole intelligent design debate.

- The balance and apparent fine tuning of the physical universe where even a slight change to
many of the constants would not give us a world capable of sustaining life as we know it.

My problem in choosing evidence here is that there is so much.

First a concept you have probably heard of if you have considered the evolution / creation debates - Irreducible complexity.

The concept of Irreducible complexity is well covered in the wiki -
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Behe"s description is as follows.
"An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional."

There are so many biological systems that cease to function if just one part is removed that it takes less faith to believe in God than to believe in the billions*billions of chance events that would have to happen just right to produce just one link in the chain to produce life.

It makes me smile when brilliant people working with the best of equipment work for years to produce one organic molecule. Sidney Fox created microspheres, and claimed that these microspheres closely resembled bacterial cells (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

If you look at the research you see that it was a great first step, only billions more to go.
An intelligent designer working with the best science tools to create an artificial environment and he succeeds in making a bubble of fat. The complexity of life is so amazing that it takes more faith to believe in accidental creation rather than God.

The second scientific evidence I want to highlight is the fine tuning of the universe.
The wiki article is reasonably good, and editors have had the chance to debate on the talk page.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects "fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires."

Eye witness testimony of people familiar with God (Father, Son, Spirit and Angelic messengers)
The sheer volume of testimony of people who met with God is hard for an intelligent person to dismiss. You can look at the recent writings of people who spend time with God or you can look at writings from antiquity or any time in our history and find people who tell of their encounters with God.

Personal - I grew up in a home where God is worshiped and our lives are full of joy that seems to overflow in our time with God. Although I knew the teachings about God from childhood, I first met with God around age 11. It was a year of great change (moving to a new country, new school, growing up) and I asked God to make Himself real to me. He did, and ever since that time I have been getting to know God better. Through all the challenges and successes in life He has been my constant companion, and the source of my contentment and joy.

Recent History
- I thought about what kind of Theists to include in this list.
Someone put a list on the net of "famous Christians"
http://www.christianadvice.net...
As I prayed about who to include I chose the following
First, a list of real life current eye witness accounts of their relationship with Jesus
- http://christianity.about.com...

One that made a difference to me is musician Kerry Livgren from the rock band Kansas

Remember, this is about eye witness testimony

I would point to the Bible as a well accepted and well studied collection of opinions and eye witness testimony. I assume that DOUBTER does not want to accept it as evidence so I will limit myself to one quote.

2 Peter 1 :16-18 (NIV)
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

I had planned to point to some of the philosophical evidence for the existence of God.
Doubter has dismissed these so I will not bother. Some of these arguments are more compelling than others, but the brightest minds over thousands of years have found them worth deep consideration.

I respond to DOUBTERS round 2 in the comments
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

DOUBTERS dislikes scripture so

There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See: - 1546 John Heywood
Debate Round No. 2
doubter

Con

doubter forfeited this round.
gordonjames

Pro

To recap
CON presents his position that "There is no God."
He states "I want a real debate, with FACTS, otherwise it's a waste of time."

I gave the outline of my argument that there is compelling evidence for the existence of God

I gave legal / historical evidence for the existence of God.
I gave scientific evidence about the complexity of creation that points to an intelligent designer.
I assert that it takes more blind faith to believe that these things happened by chance than to believe in God.
I gave eye witness testimony of people familiar with God

I did not cite philosophical arguments for the existence of God as CON showed disdain for philosophy and logic when he says
"Philosophy is just that; philosophy...not evidence. Interesting thoughts, but nothing else.
"Deep consideration"...still isn't evidence."

My biggest difficulty in presenting a theistic position was choosing from the vast amount of evidence for the existence of God within the limits of the debate format.

My biggest difficulty in the debate was the way CON refused to debate.
He states "My reasons for refuting any claims for a God is the lack of evidence."
He then ignores the evidence presented or claims that no one piece of evidence proves the existence of God. He missed many points in the debate including, that the sheer volume of evidence points to the existence of God.

I do not have any round 3 arguments for response since CON forfeited round 3 and said
"I forfeit this debate and my membership to DDO forever."

I would have liked CON to answer some questions in more depth.

What was the point of including a "debunking" Pascal"s Wager in a debate about the existence of God. It was not a point I brought up, and it does not directly pertain to this debate.

Your comments on free will and God"s foreknowledge were similarly unrelated, and show a lack of understanding with the literature on both those topics.

CON writes off the Bible as a source for eye witness reports even though it is the best documented evidence for anything in it"s time period by every standard of history and ancient document reliability / accuracy. Since the Bible dos not concern itself with proving the existence of God it was not needed for my part in the debate, but I would like to know what ancient documents CON is willing to accept as eye witness reports.

"Can the authors of the Bible be verified? Can what is said in the Bible be proved to be true? Can the translation of the Bible be proved to be accurate? Which version of the Bible is most accurate and why?
If there are other documents outside the Bible that can be verified, I'd be interested in them."

CON states his interest in documents that can be verified, but does not seem to understand the concepts of document reliability or of eye witness testimony or of the judicial standards of evidence.

At the end of the debate I am left with only one conclusion.

CON is very religious
His god is Science.
He believe that "Science has proven there is no need for god"
He is not willing to look at any evidence contrary to his FAITH in Science.

CON gives the core of his Belief when he says
"Even if a God existed, he would be a useless God, since he wouldn't be needed to 'create' anything."

CON dismisses eye witness testimony with the statement
"Eyewitness testimony is not very reliable"
This is the best he can do to refute Legal / Historical evidence?

I hope those reading the debate give thought to the issues.
I hope you can see that this debate has a clear winner. PRO

Thanks for taking the time to read this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
46 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
Continued from prior comment.

"If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer. This is because the New Testament documents are better-preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings.
http://carm.org...

There are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

I wanted to close with the scripture from Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

In light of DOUBTERS approach to ancient wisdom I will go with a more modern quote.

There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See: - 1546 John Heywood
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
I want to respond to some of DOUBTERS comments in round two

I believe he misunderstood the point of my quote from Pascal
- a person UNWILLING to believe the evidence will always choose not to believe.

I am glad he brought up Pascal"s wager.
It doesn"t apply to the debate of the existence of God, but it is worth considering.
He says it has been debunked, and posts a video, but all the questions remain about infinite loss if you reject Jesus and salvation.

He also brought up some confused beliefs about free will.
This makes me think he is similarly confused about other things.
If DOUBTER wants to discuss free will we can do it elswhere.

DOUBTER states "I will remind him that for evidence to be legal, it must be proved."

Here he is clearly wrong. Proof (in math or science) is about repeatability.
History is not repeatable in that sense.
More accurately, legal proof is ample evidence, and it needs to convince a judge or jury.

DOUBTER asks a host of off topic questions. I would be glad to take these up one at a time.
>> "Can the authors of the Bible be verified?
>> Can what is said in the Bible be proved to be true?
>> Can the translation of the Bible be proved to be accurate?
>> Which version of the Bible is most accurate and why?"
>> If there are other documents outside the Bible that can be verified, I'd be interested in them.

Since the New Testament is the best preserved and most verifiable set of ancient documents on the planet, I"m sure he would not accept any ancient sources.

see part 2 in next comment
Posted by ishallannoyyo 3 years ago
ishallannoyyo
I like how that is almost exactly what Qopel said before he "left" too.
Posted by doubter 3 years ago
doubter
gordonjames: Believe what you want. If you can't deal with reality and the thought that there's no afterlife, do what you have to do to try to comfort yourself. Convince yourself there's a God.

I forfeit this debate and my membership to DDO forever.

I don't want be associated myself with a sick place that is a magnet for high IQ losers that can't use their abilities to fit in with the real world and society.

I have a life and I'm not going to waste it here.

Peace
Posted by doubter 3 years ago
doubter
@Vulpes_Inculta: I'm not looking for weaker debaters. I'm looking for equal debtors.
Posted by Vulpes_Inculta 3 years ago
Vulpes_Inculta
'No debaters with a 100% win percentage.'

Right, take on the weaker debaters on the opposing side.
Posted by doubter 3 years ago
doubter
@gordonjames Thank you for accepting my debate.
Yes, it's impossible to prove there is no God. That's why it says, "The burden of proof is on those who make the positive claim (pro)."

Any physical proof that a God exists will be acceptable, if it's real.
Eyewitness testimony is the least reliable evidence, but it is still evidence.
Historical "proof" has to be verified with real evidence, not just words in a book.
If the author of those words can be verified, and what they say can be measured as reasonably true, fine.
Posted by doubter 3 years ago
doubter
@Rational_Thinker9119: You haev 91 debates...way more experience than I have. Maybe later when I gain more experience. I want it to be fair.
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
I'm wondering what kind of "proof" you want?
- The negative assertion (yours) is impossible to prove.
To confidently say "there is no God" you must look everywhere possible for this God in this nearly infinite and be sure you have not overlooked Him.
OR
You must set your definition in such a way that he existence of God is a logical contradiction to an established fact.

- The positive assertion is easy to prove to a high confidence level.
Remember, our proof will be less like a biological proof of bring back a specimen or a photo,
it will be more like a legal proof where we look at the weight of evidence.

If you were to try to prove that I exist you would look for evidence
1. Records of my interactions with people - eye witness reports.
2. Records of my actions (Birth records, school marks, graduations, driver's license)
3. Since I have a physical body you could ask for physical evidence (blood sample, fingerprint etc)

If after all this evidence you were to claim I do not exist because you have not seen me in person,
people would assume you are being intentionally obtuse by refusing to believe the evidence.

Looking at God's existence
1. There are records of His interactions with people. Thousands of years of eye witness reports.
There are billions of people on this planet who say they interact with God daily or occasionally.
2. There are records of His actions.
Jesus in the Flesh.
Holy Spirit working in people and in miracles.
God the Father working in history and in the present.
3. Jesus is the only aspect of God to be seen "in the flesh"
There are eye witness accounts of touching him, being beaten by him, beating him.
For the Father and Holy Spirit aspects of God you see not A physical manifestation,
but we see his actions in the physical world.

If evidence of eye witnesses and historical proof is not enough you may be intentionally blind.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Ok, since you agree that I so meet your requirement....Why will you not open the debate to me?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
doubtergordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
doubtergordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit