Irrelevancy of God
Before I begin my arguments for the debate, I must state my position on the subject. Though I myself do not believe in God, I will entertain the idea of his existence for this debate and I do not wish to offend anyone. Additionally, if any conclusive scientific evidence is found for God's existence, I will accept it.
My position is that God's existence (as described by basic Christian principles) is irrelevant to the future of this universe. Christianity says that God is perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. This means that before God decided to create the universe, he had the intention of creating a universe perfect for humanity, knew what the perfect universe for humanity would be, and executed this plan perfectly.
With this, we can determine that the universe, no matter what we decide to do, is either currently an ideal universe, or will eventually be an ideal universe for humanity. This ideal universe will have no interaction with God beyond the instant in which it was created due to God creating a perfect universe that requires no divine intervention.
Now that I have stated my position, I will leave the determination of whether or not I am correct to the voters and my competitor. My intention here is to share my ideas and see what ideas people wish to share with me, and to learn from the experience. I promise that I will vote for or against my competitor based upon whether or not he or she and the commenter have changed my opinion.
I thank my opponent for challenging me with this debate.
I will attempt to distill my opponent's argument:
[God's existence as described by “basic Christian principles” is irrelevant to the future of the universe. This is so because God's perfect nature (Omni- etc,...), would mean any universe created for man would be ideal, and therefore require no divine intervention, or will develop into an ideal universe for man that will require no divine intervention.]
I will assume by “basic Christian principles,” you are referring to the descriptions of God offered in the Bible: Law, Prophets, New Testament. I am familiar with these, and I see you are saying that for this argument, the Bible is assumed correct, but by logic, statements given in the Bible imply God is not necessary beyond the initial creative act.
The first assumption you make that I must ask you to question is who the universe was created for. Of course God doesn't need food, so the nutrition from all the plant varieties he made are not for his health. Those were obviously for the benefit of us. But God ultimately created the Universe for himself. All things were created by him, and FOR him:
The Letter of Paul to the Colossians 1:16
“For by [Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight...”
We can also see that not only was the Universe created by God, but it's very existence is sustained by his constant interaction:
“The moon marks off the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then man goes out to his work,
to his labor until evening.
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all,
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number-
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which your formed to frolic there.
These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
They are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.”
If the Universe is really ideal or will become ideal, why does it need constant vigilance from God?
Since God is the only non-created, eternal object in existence, it would be logical that creation by God would require his sustenance since there is nothing else eternal outside God that would support creation.
The ideal tree would still need water, the ideal dog would still need to be fed, and the ideal bicycle still needs a rider. If it rode itself, is it really a bicycle?
Bicycle: n. A vehicle consisting of a metal frame mounted on two wheels, one in back of the other, having a saddle, handlebars, and pedals.
By it's definition from Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, we can infer that it is not self propelled, and to function it requires a rider to sit in the saddle and steer the handlebars. Furthermore, we see from the definition of “vehicle,” that it was created for someone else's enjoyment and use through interaction, not it's own enjoyment.
Vehicle: Any contrivance fitted with wheels or runners for carrying something; a conveyance, as, a car or sled.
You cannot say it needs to be self-propelled to be an ideal bicycle. If you put a motor on it, it would no longer be technically a bicycle, but still a vehicle, created to transport something else for someone else. Self-propulsion would not make a bicycle ideal, it would only redefine it into a non-bicycle.
Even if you created a robotic motorcycle that drove itself, it would still have been ultimately created for the creator's own purposes, and not it's own. An ideal universe does not discount constant interaction by it's creator. Furthermore, we can see from the Bible constant interaction by God.
I would argue partially for your second point, that the world is not ideal, but will become ideal for us as humanity, but not for all of us, and not as an end, as if we humans were the primary reason for the universe's existence.
“There came a man who was SENT FROM GOD; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that GIVES light to every man WAS COMING into the world.
HE WAS IN the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He CAME TO THAT WHICH WAS HIS OWN, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, HE GAVE THE RIGHT to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but BORN OF GOD. The word BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US.
I capitalized the actions by Christ (who is God) to redeem his own in order that they might be given the right to come into the ideal universe that God will make. Without this action by Christ, no one will ever see the ideal world.
But even when the ideal universe comes into existence it will still be sustained by God, and actively enjoyed by him.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
In conclusion, I argue that you have misunderstood what the purpose of the universe is, and therefore what would make it ideal.
Sherman_Flipse forfeited this round.
Sherman_Flipse forfeited this round.