The Instigator
shawnburton
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Mangani
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

If you are certain that there is a god, then I am certain that you are delusional.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Mangani
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,145 times Debate No: 6211
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (42)
Votes (8)

 

shawnburton

Pro

The gods I am referring to, are those that are mentioned in the organized religions around the world. I would like to focus on Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament. Many creations are certain that their god exists. If you claim to be certain of this, then I am certain that you are delusional. I would like to debate a contender that claims that the existence of god of the Old Testament is a certainty. My contender can start the debate.
Mangani

Con

I believe in the God mentioned in the Old Testament as the Creator of the Universe, and the Creator of man. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Ezekiel, Jesus, and Mohammad.

I am not delusional. I cannot prove I am not delusional, as I have never sought the counsel of a psychiatrist that would certify this, but the burden to prove that I am delusional lies with on my opponent. I await my opponent's argument that would prove I am delusional before I present any rebuttals.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
shawnburton

Pro

Someone is delusional when they are certain of something without authentic evidence to prove that certainty, or when they are persistent in their belief in the face of contrary evidence.

Since the question of god is simply unanswerable, and you claim to be certain of its existence, you are by definition delusional.

If one makes a claim that god exists, the burden is upon them to prove it. If I said that Michael Jordan lives in my back yard under a rock, it would be up to me to prove that he lives there. If I could not prove it with certainty but still persisted that he was there, then I am deluded. If you went out and lifted the rock and showed me that he was absolutely not there, then this strengthens the fact that I am delusional.

One does not have to seek a psychiatrist to find out if they are delusional. Being delusional does not mean that one is psychotic. People can be deluded about the entire world, which disrupts daily living. These people seek therapy because they have met a criterion of psychosis which requires professional help. Others have less severe delusions which does not disrupt life in such a way that demands professional help. For instance, when I was five years old, I was certain that there was a Santa Claus. I was deluded about this, but I was not psychotic. I believed in Santa Claus because my parents told me about him, I learned about him in school, and on Christmas day the cookies and milk were gone. I was lead to believe something that was untrue, thus I was delusional about the existence of Santa.

You are delusional because you claim that there is a god which cannot be proven. You also assert that god of the old testament was the creator of man and the universe. This claim strengthens my argument that you are delusional because your belief is persistent in the face of evidence to the contrary. Genetic, and archeological findings have shown that man evolved from a more primitive primate that shared ancestry with the great apes.

Even if evolution was proven false, it does not by default mean that man was created by god. And even if god did create man, there is no certainty that it was god of the old testament. It could have been hercules, krishna or some other god. If god happened to exist, it is impossible for us to define what it is, or its powers.

Trying to disprove evolution will not win you this debate. You have to prove with certainty that god of the old testament exists. You have now put yourself in a position to prove that he created man and the universe. These claims are impossible to prove. And since you are persistent in your belief, when there is no certainty in these matters, you are by definition delusional.
Mangani

Con

1. I will cite a couple of sources regarding the definition of delusional. Dictionary.com defines a delusion as "a false belief or opinion". If we use this definition, it is Pro's burden to prove that I have a false belief or opinion. In this case he would have to prove that God does not exist. The same source defines delusion in psychiatry as "a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact". If we accept this definition my opponent must first prove that God does not exist, then he must prove that I am resistant to the factual evidence he provides as proof that God in fact does not exist. My opponent has done none of the above. Merriam-Webster defines delusion as "something that is falsely believed or propagated", and "a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary". If we accept this definition my opponent must provide indisputable evidence that God does not exist, and follow that up by proving that I maintain my belief in God despite this indisputable evidence. As stated above, my opponent has done no such thing.

2. My opponent claims that the question of God is simply unanswerable. He does not specify "which" question is unanswerable. Indeed his own lack of belief in God would provide bias to any answer given, and therefore his opinion cannot be considered as evidence that the question is unanswerable. He claims that my certainty of God's existence, despite Pro's lack of an answer to the "question of God", makes me by definition delusional. The definition fits no such criteria. My opponent has provided no indisputable evidence for the non-existence of God, and therefore cannot claim that my belief in God is delusional.

3. My opponent claims that it is my burden to prove the existence of God. Were the existence of God the subject of debate then indeed it would be my burden, but alas, it is not the subject of debate. The subject of debate is my belief in God being cause for proof of my being delusional. It is the burden of my opponent to prove this delusion, and in doing so, he must prove the non-existence of God.

4. My opponent claims that being delusional is not being psychotic. Delusional disorder is, by definition, a mental disorder. (http://www.webmd.com...) My opponent's belief in Santa Claus would not qualify as a delusion because he was encouraged to believe in Santa Clause by his parents, and society. This is not the definition of a delusion. His own story cites he was presented with what a five year old would consider proof of his existence, not proof of his non-existence.

5. My belief that God created man and the universe is not an implication that I do not believe in evolution. In fact, I believe in evolution from subatomic particles, in the complex beings we are today. I believe God's natural laws enabled this. Not enough room to explain.
Debate Round No. 2
shawnburton

Pro

This debate is very simple. Regarding the first definition that my opponent posted, he said that I must prove that he has a false belief or opinion. That is simple, to be certain of an uncertain subject matter is a false opinion. If I said that I was certain of the flying spaghetti monster's existence, I am holding a false opinion because its existence is impossible to prove, and likely a myth. So you see, since there is no certainty in the matter, and most likely a myth, to be CERTAIN that the monster exists, would be a false opinion, and thus a delusion.

I am saying the following, one can believe in god and not be delusional. But in their belief they must be open to the possibility that god may not exist. Since they would then be leaving other options on the table, they would be thinking more logical, and thus, would not be deluded. One cannot be CERTAIN of god's existence, and if they say that they are, then yes they are deluded about this matter. That does not mean that they have a disorder. Many people are deluded about many things, but in order to have a disorder, the individual's delusions must meet a criterion.

One can either have false beliefs or true beliefs. For a belief to be true, there must be authentic evidence to prove the truism. Some things are unknown, such as the existence of god. So a simple belief or non belief cannot fall into the two main categories of true and false beliefs. This is the case because the answer is not known. However, if someone claims to be CERTAIN, without doubt, about the existence of something that cannot be proven - they have now become deluded.

The title of this debate concerns somebody that is CERTAIN about god's existence, not just belief in god.

According to my opponents profile, he is an agnostic. Thus, he is obviously uncertain about the existence of god, since this is the agnostic position. However, since he choose to challenge this topic, I must assume that he is CERTAIN that Yahweh of the old testament exists. I cannot prove that God do not exist, the same as I cannot prove hercules, krishna or the flying spaghetti monster do not exist. My opponent rightly pointed out that if this debate were about the existence of god, the burden would be upon him to prove it. I argue, that since the existence of god cannot be proven, it is delusional for someone to claim that they are CERTAIN of god's existence. You cannot be certain about this.

So to reiterate, in reality I do not believe my opponent is delusional since he is an agnostic. However, if he claimed to be certain of god's existence, I would then believe that he is delusional regarding that matter. That does not mean that I believe this would reach a criterion to be considered a disorder.

I thank my opponent for the lively debate.
Mangani

Con

Wow! My opponent's conclusion is full of contradictions, false assertions, and confusion. To be clear, the premise reads: If you are certain that there is a god, I am certain that you are delusional. To elaborate, my opponent begins with a contradiction. "The gods I am referring to are those that are mentioned in the organized religions...", and then "I would like to focus on Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament".

This is a two part premise- Con must be certain that God exists, and Pro must be certain that this certainty is proof that Con is delusional. My opponent claimed "you are by definition delusional". He has not proven that I am delusional. He has not even attempted to argue that point based on the true definition of delusional. He gave examples of what he considered delusions- a five year old believing in Santa Claus: not a delusion because he was taught to believe in Santa Claus and was never presented with indisputable proof that Santa Claus does not exist, and the "flying spaghetti monster".

I made a personal claim to the certainty of God's existence. That is my only criteria to fulfill that part of the Con premise. Now Pro must prove this makes me delusional. He does not. He does not even try to prove that God does not exist. He claims it is un-provable. If something is un-provable, you cannot present indisputable proof that it does not exist, and therefore belief in such a thing is by definition NOT a delusion. He asserts the following: "one can believe in god and not be delusional"; "yes they are deluded/does not mean that they have a disorder"; "So a simple belief or non belief cannot fall into the two main categories of true and false beliefs"; "in reality I do not believe my opponent is delusional". My opponent claims there is a criterion to declare a delusional disorder, but does not elaborate. I did elaborate: I elaborated on the definition of delusion from several sources, and on the definition of delusional, which IS in fact a disorder. My opponent has not proven I meet the criteria, and he has presented no indisputable proof that God does not exist in order to evaluate whether or not I meet the criteria.

My opponent has no argument. His argument is completely moot. My belief in God is a certainty, and what I consider evidence may not be accepted as evidence by others, including him. In the end he would have to admit he cannot prove the non-existence of God, and I would affirm that what I see as evidence of his existence is sufficient evidence for me to be certain of his existence. He would not, however, be certain of his non-existence. Is my opponent delusional because he does NOT believe in God? Of course not. Just as I am not delusional because I am certain that God exists. There is proof that the Earth is not flat, but before that proof it was believed it was flat. That was not a delusion- that was ignorance. IF I am ignorant, then so be it. I am certainly not delusional.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by shawnburton 8 years ago
shawnburton
Mangani: Given your idea of god, and how your definition of god can change, I am not in opposition to your view. And I certainly do not think you are delusional. I think those that are certain that there is an all loving man up in heaven looking down on every person etc, etc.. are delusional. I think bible believers are delusional. I think people that pray to god and ask for forgiveness are delusional. Your view of god is certainly not the typical view.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Umm... "though I am sorry you are offended, I stated what I meant to say in the manner I meant it to be understood".

What part of that is not owning up to my words???
Posted by gibsonm496 8 years ago
gibsonm496
Mangani: Obviously you will not own up to your words. I'm done.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
You just quoted my statement which clearly states "the bible cannot be evidence of the God it declares to exist...etc. etc. etc." I did not misunderstand your statement, and though I am sorry you are offended, I stated what I meant to say in the manner I meant it to be understood. The bible is NOT evidence of the existence of God, and to claim that "Religious people have EVIDENCE. Such as the Greek gods. For Christians we have the bible" is a declaration of a lack logical thinking in one's belief system. You can believe wholeheartedly in the existence of God and in your religion based solely one the writings, but when there is hard evidence to support your faith- to ignore it, and rely solely on the writings is to do yourself and your religion a disservice.

I am not a Christian, but the bible says, for instance, that Xerxes was the son of Darius. There is evidence external to the bible that supports this, and to claim to believe this out of faith in the bible is to be ignorant to the evidence supporting this. Xerxes is the son of Darius as chronicled in Persian writings, Greek writings, Egyptian writings, as well as the bible. To have faith that Xerxes is the son of Darius based on the bible's proclamation is ridiculous because there is hard evidence that should transform that faith into certainty. I am not saying the entire bible can be corroborated through physical scientific evidence, but because there is evidence for such things outside the bible a Christian should not say the bible is the source of all his/her belief, or all the "evidence" they need for the existence of God. Just as the existence of Darius and Xerxes can be corroborated, the existence of Adam and Eve as the sole parents of all humanity can be disproven. The bible disproves this itself when all of a sudden Cain has a wife. The bible is not evidence because it cannot be proven in its entirety. It is a testimony, and that private testimony should be corroborated by public fact.
Posted by gibsonm496 8 years ago
gibsonm496
Mangani: I did not respond to your topic. You responded to my comment in an insulting way.
"As for the bible as PROOF of the existence of God, that is the most RIDICULOUS statement a believer could ever make. The bible cannot be evidence of the God it declares to exist no more than a Spider Man comic is proof that Spider Man exists. Blind belief is the problem here- on both sides."

You insulted me while putting words in my mouth. My words were.
"Religious people have EVIDENCE. Such as the Greek gods. For Christians we have the bible."
I never said anything about proof. My latest comment was no longer on the topic "If you are certain that there is a god, then I am certain that you are delusional," but rather correcting your false statement. I hope in your next comment you will get it right.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
The bible is no more evidence of the existence of God than it is proof. If you replace my statements regarding proof with the word "evidence", my argument stands. The bible is not evidence of the existence of God, it is merely a chronicle of the beliefs of those who have believed in him before us. The bible CITES evidence, but does not claim to be evidence in and of itself.
Posted by gibsonm496 8 years ago
gibsonm496
Mangani: My words were EVIDENCE I did not state that the bible was proof. Do investigators investigating a murder find a fingerprint and throw the person in jail? No. I did say that ,"I had my proof," but for some the bible is enough to believe in. But for others they need more. So my statement involving the bible was EVIDENCE.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
For Christians to claim the bible is all the proof they need of the existence of God is to deny the vast greatness of his existence- therefore nullifying the use of belief. You can have faith that a bus will arrive at a certain time, but when you have access to the schedule, faith is useless, and is replaced by certainty of belief. I am certain God exists- I do not have faith he does because faith is the belief and certainty of that which is not confirmed to exist. The existence of God is confirmed within me. I am certain that there is scientific evidence available to the public en-masse that serves as evidence of his existence- the bible is merely the testimony of those who were certain before me.

Fanatic Religiousity is no more superior to Fanatic Scientific Atheism, and vice versa. A closed minded approach to Agnosticism, Shawn, is not Agnosticism. Agnosticism is, by definition, open mindedness. The one thing my mind remains closed to is the possibility that God does not exist because, as I have stated before, my definition of God may change, but my belief remains constant. The Universe was created by a process, and no matter if you adhere to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek Mythology, or Science- there is a process, and the process involves similar steps. The belief in the origins of that process is the simplest form of belief in God. If you do not believe the process had a beginning, your belief is illogical.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Shawnburton,
Disregarding all the bigotted, intolerant, and self-righteous responses, I will address your statements concerning Yahweh and the spaghetti monster.

Your statement is as ignorant as you paint any religious fanatic. You are certifying that the belief in something you yourself cannot disprove, and do not say "does not exist" to something you made up completely of your own volition. If you can justify the comparison, you are certainly delusional.

As for Yahweh, I have already addressed this. Yahweh is not the name of ANY god, let alone that of the Old Testament. There were four consonants left in place of the alleged name of God, and those letters are translated into English as "YHWH". Many have felt the need to fill in the blanks, and have applied the name "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". Neither of these names are correct, as the intent of the Ancient Hebrews was to disguise the name of God so that no one would know it. To say "Yahweh" does not exist is a no brainer. It is not the true name of any god. As for the Creator- this is who Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad all worshiped. This is the God I am certain exists. If you read my previous statements on the consciousness of the Universe, the statement "I Am, that I Am" is the ultimate declaration of consciousness from the Supreme Being. This is the God of the Ancient Hebrews, the God of the Old Testament, and the God that I am certain exists.

Your claim that certainty in the existence of this Supreme Being is akin to belief in the flying spaghetti monster is a declaration that you are either delusional, or uneducated.

As for the bible as proof of the existence of God, that is the most ridiculous statement a believer could ever make. The bible cannot be evidence of the God it declares to exist no more than a Spider Man comic is proof that Spider Man exists. Blind belief is the problem here- on both sides.
Posted by shawnburton 8 years ago
shawnburton
gibsonm496: I am not judging someone for what they BELIEVE in. I said that simple belief is not delusional. I said being CERTAIN of Yahweh is delusional. Perhaps my Santa Claus story was off base. My point is that belief is fine, but absolute certainty is not. Also, I have never said that 'there is no god'.
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