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ChristusExemplar
Pro (for)
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Envisage
Con (against)
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Is Theism Impotent in Explanations?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,027 times Debate No: 62444
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ChristusExemplar

Pro

Summary of Debate:

Some have argued that God is "explanatorarily impotent" regarding the existence of phenomena. Though this argued in the context of natural phenomena (to speak more generally), we all too often hear of the atheist "God of the Gaps" accusation. For instance, Dawkins speaks of irreducible complexity: "Searching for particular examples of irreducible complexity is a fundamentally unscientific way to proceed: a special case of arguing from present ignorance. It appeals to the same faulty logic as 'the God of the Gaps' strategy. . . " (Dawkins 2006, 151).

This debate is an attempt to address that question: can God explain anything? I will be answering in the affirmative, using a case that builds upon similar methods employed by scientists to see what the best explanation of a given hypothesis is. This will be drawn out further in subsequent sections.

The negative (Con) may very well argue on the contrary, perhaps to make the claim that God is in fact explanatorarily impotent, and/or that God is employed where ignorance is prevalent. I'll leave this up to the negative to build his case.

Lastly, I am not taking God's existence for granted here. In fact, I intend to show that God is the best explanation for a number of things: (1) humans, (2) the world and its order and (3) miracles and religious experiences. Given that God is the best explanation for (1)-(3), I think we have a very robust argument for theism, traditionally understood by the major monotheistic religions. With that said, I will
summarize my case with a brief excerpt from Richard Swinburne (2010), "[W]e find that the view that there is a God explains everything we observe, not just some narrow range of data" (Swinburne 2010, 2).


The Concept of God

I would like to take a couple brief paragraphs to define some terms. To outline these terms, we can refer to them as follows:

  1. God;
  2. Explanation - (a) inanimate and (b) intentional;
  3. The Justification of an Explanation

First, I am working with a concept of God that may be traditionally conceived under the heading of traditional monotheism (*see note). While we may discuss attributes such as impassibility, impeccability, Pure Actuality, and so forth, I am sticking with the three major essential attributes of God: eternality, omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect freedom.

From these three attributes it follows that God is immaterial, or bodiless. That is, "For a person to have a body is for there to be a chunk of matter through which alone he or she can make a difference to the physical world and acquire true beliefs about it. But, being omnipotent, God can make differences to the world and learn about it without being thus dependent" (Swinburne 2010, 10).

It follows from God's omnipotence and bodilessness that he is also omnipresent; having no spatial extension or parts. Furthermore, God is the creator of the universe and is hence responsible (so to speak) for its existence, so as long as he proceeds to sustain its existence at each moment. Lastly, following from his omniscience and perfect freedom, God is morally perfect in that he will inevitably do "what he believes to be (overall) the best action and never do what he believes to be an overall bad action" (Swinburne 2010, 13).

To review the concept of God that we have established, God is


(a) Everlastingly omnipotent,
(b) omniscient, and
(c) perfectly free

From which it follows that God is also

(d) everlastingly bodiless,
(e) omnipresent,
(f) creator and sustainer of the universe, and
(g) perfectly good.

To conclude here, "If. . . there is a God. . . then he will be the ultimate brute fact which explains everything else. God is responsible for the existence of everything else besides himself and for it being as it is and having the liabilities and powers it does. . . God's own existence is the only thing whose existence God's action does not explain. For that there is no explanation" (Swinburne 2010, 18).


How We Explain Things

Brian Ellis in his essay "What Science Aims to Do" (1985) discusses what we may call a pragmatic thesis of science: "Science aims to provide the best possible explanatory account of natural phenomena; and acceptance of a scientific theory involves the belief that it belongs to such an account" (Ellis 1996, 169). How, exactly, do we explain things?

Swinburne distinguishes between kinds of explanations: (1) inanimate and (2) intentional (or personal) explanations. The former can be understood as initial conditions plus law of nature causing event. That is, initial conditions can be understood as something along the lines of asking the question, “why did the explosion go off?” and thus the initial condition would be: “Someone lit the gun powder causing the dynamite to explode.”

However, the law of nature aspect of this particular example of course is a local one, itself derivative from more generalized laws of nature. Initial conditions and their respective relationship with laws of nature are only one example of how to explain things.

There is also another form of explanations and that is in terms of the actions of persons. For instance, me walking to my computer chair is an intentional or personal action, in the sense that I have constructed actions and beliefs in order to reach this location.

Swinburne contends that the latter form of explanation is something that cannot be reached in terms of the traditionally understood forms of scientific explanations. Thus, let us consider the following:

  • (1) Full Explanation;
  • (2) Partial Explanation;
  • (3) Complete Explanation
Suppose we were to ask the question, "[W]hat justifies a claim that so and so is the cause of some event and such and such is the reason why it had the effect it did?"

A claim that some proposed law is really a law of nature, is justified to the extent by which:

  • (1) It leads us to expect (with accuracy) many and varied events which we observe (and we do not observe any events whose non-occurrence it leads us to expect).
  • (2) What is proposed is simple.
  • (3) It fits well with our background knowledge.
  • (4) We would not otherwise expect to find these events (e.g. there is no rival law which leads us to expect these events which satisfies criteria (1-3) as well as does our proposed law).
And to finish with this section, it is important to note that "In explaining some phenomena as caused by persons, we seek a hypothesis which leads us to expect the phenomena which we would not otherwise expect to find, as simple a hypothesis as possible, and one which fits in with background knowledge" (Swinburne 2010, 32-33).


God is the Best Explanation for Why Humans Exist

This isn't to mean that we are not cogent in holding to the truth of evolutionary theory. In fact, quite the contrary. While evolutionary processes are clearly the cause of the existence of humans and animals, there is surely more to humans than their material bodies. That is, humans (among the higher animals, too) are conscious beings.

Consciousness cannot be the property of a merely material body. Rather, it must be connected to something other than a body, which we might give the name "soul." That is, science cannot explain this connection that came about in our evolutionary history, but God on the other hand, can explain this. According to Swinburne,

"God, being omnipotent, is able to join souls to bodies. He can cause there to be the particular brain event-mental event connections which there are. He can do this by causing molecules when formed into brains to have powers to produce mental events in souls to which they are connected, and the liabilities to execute the purposes of such connected souls" (Swinburne 2010, 80).


God is the Best Explanation for the World and Its Order

Surely, the existence of nothing at all would seem preferable to what we have now: no universe, no God, nothing! As Swinburne has written elsewhere: "Perhaps it seems a priori vastly improbable, if one thinks about it, that there should exist anything at all logically contingent" (Swinburne 2013, 152).

If you were to exhaust all of what this universe contains, everything will not have an explanation. However, the progress of science and all other intellectual inquiries demand that we postulate the smallest number of brute facts, even if we postulate a simple being that explains all of the many bits of the universe (even if that simple being itself cannot be explained).


God is the Best Explanation for Miracles and Religious Experiences

Swinburne argues, "[I]n the case of religious experiences, as in the case of all other experiences, the onus is on the sceptic to give reason for not believing what seems to be the case. The only way to defeat the claims of religious experience will be to show that the strong balance of evidence is that there is no God. In the absence of that strong balance, religious experience provides significant further evidence that there is a God" (Swinburne 2010, 118)



_______________________________


Works Cited

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. 2006. Boston, NY: Mariner Books.

Ellis, Brian. "What Science Aims to Do," in The Philosophy of Science: Oxford Readings in Philosophy. 1996. ed. David Papineau. Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Swinburne, Richard. Is There a God? 2010. Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Swinburne, Richard. "God's Maximal Simplicity," in The Mystery of Existence. 2013. ed. John Leslie and Robert Kuhn. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


________________________________

Notes

Edward Feser in his article "Classical Theism" (http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com..., Sept. 2010) has made note of the point that Swinburne is a "theistic personalist," a term invoked by Brian Davies in the third edition of hisIntroduction to the Philosophy of Religion (2004). For the sake of my argument here, Swinburne's conception of God I take to be uncontroversial.

Envisage

Con

Introduction

The resolution is fuzzy, I assume it’s just a misnomer on Pro’s behalf on the wording of the resolution. I will use Pro’s opening statement “I can God explain anything? I will be answering in the affirmative” and centre my opposition against this statement and affirm that God is impotent in explanations of reality.

God

First, take Pro’s definition of God:

"God: Eternality, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Perfect Freedom"

I assume that Perfect Freedom is synonymous with ‘Libertarian Free Will’. I am not too interested in Pro’s justification of these attributes for I am only going to address whether a being with such attributes can be potent in explanations, as per the resolution.

Pro provided a number of criteria by which explanations are generally prioritized, and general characteristics of what a ‘good’ explanation would consist of, I have paraphrased it for my own purposes:

  1. 1. Predicts with good scope the events/features that we observe
    1. a. Entailment
    2. b. Negation
    3. 2. Proposition is simple
    4. 3. Is in line with experience
    5. 4. Makes ‘unique’, or surprising statements of reality that may be tested

I have interchanged #4 with Pro’s #4 which was as follows:

  1. 5. “We would not otherwise expect to find these events (e.g. there is no rival law which leads us to expect these events which satisfies criteria (1-3).”

This doesn’t work well philosophically because virtually any explanation can be conjured to satisfy the events, however #4, being scientific and empirical goes a step farther, as it leaves itself open to falsification.

When these principles are applied to theism, we essentially break every single one of these criteria:

  1. 1. God does not necessarily/likely entail anything
  2. 2. Is a complex phenomenoa
  3. 3. Is by definition beyond experience and existing understanding of the universe
  4. 4. Makes no predictions about reality

And to satisfy Pro’s original ‘forth criteria’, God also violates this:

  1. 5. Competing naturalistic theories/hypotheses/explanations that predict these events exist

And lastly, even in the absence of any possible naturalistic theory (which I argue is not the case), it would be just as sound to just assert the fact as a ‘brute fact’ (such as the universe itself). I will defend each of these statements independently.

God does not necessarily entail anything

Recall the definition of God:

“Eternality, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Perfect Freedom

It is precisely because of this last attribute that God cannot possibly fulfil #1 of the criteria for a good explanation of reality. God is defined that he may choose to do, or not to do anything, and as such no predictions about what will and will not occur as a result of his decisions cannot possibly be made with any confidence.

Is the universe something we could expect God to choose to create? Are humans something we would expect God to choose to create? Would God choose to make the Earth a sphere or a cube? None of these questions can possibly be justifiably answered because God has ‘perfect freedom’ to choose to, or choose not to as he pleases. None of Pro’s assertions that God is an explanation for actually can be justifiably linked to something we would expect of God, for to do so would be to violate his perfect freedom.

One escape from this point could be to apply a nature to God, but this doesn’t solve anything because there is no justifiable ‘nature’ we can attach to God. Pro himself argues that God is the ultimate standard, and hence ‘Perfectly Good’, but this speaks nothing to what ‘Good’ actually is. Is creating a universe good? Is creating people good? To make this assertion we need to know what ‘good’ tangably is, and given that Pro has defined ‘Good’ according to God, it is by definition beyond experience (and arguably unknowable).

To give an analogy, we have an observation, which is a card with the number ‘42’ on it. Now we have God, who is a possible explanation for this putative ‘42’ card, but what we know about God is that he can freely deal any card between 1 and infinity (!). There is no way to say that assuming God, we would expect the ‘42’ card to emerge. If however we had an alternative explanation, which is a traditional physical card dealer, which deal cards numbered 40-45, then we have an explanation which much more precisely explains the ‘observation’ we have.

God is not Simple

Note that ‘complex’ doesn’t necessarily relate to concept complexity, but on the multiplicity of assumptions we make.

First consider, God has perfect freedom, so he can choose to, or choose not to do any action. To each thing posited by God, we can ask the question…. Why? Why would God create humans, the universe, planets? Why would God create the natural laws as they are, the universe in the configuration as we see them now, and humans with the type of consciousness they possess?

None of these automatically entail from the definition of God given, and hence additional explanations need to be added, which will inevitably be ad hoc and multiplies the complexity of God.

Secondly consider, God is omniscient. He knows everything that is and isn’t, and therefore we know God possesses a certain complexity in the information that his mind possesses. God would inevitably be at least as complex as the information he possesses within his omniscience. Moreover

he possesses perfect freedom, but in order to do anything with his freedom he needs knowledge (infinite knowledge, according to Pro), intentionality (otherwise there is no motion to ‘choose’), awareness (free will predicates consciousness, to which awareness is fundamental), and a ‘nature’.

None of this fits what we conceive as ‘simple’, and indeed philosophy of mind, psychology and neuroscience have found consciousness to be a very complex manifestation indeed with many aspects to consider. Something that is not conscious at all, and possesses no ‘free will’ in a sense would be a substantially simpler entity than a conscious entity, and hence right off the bat God is at a tremendous disadvantage as an explanation.

Furthermore we need to make an assumption that all these attributes of God are coherent when applied to the same being. For example ‘perfect freedom’ and ‘omniscience’ has problems in the form of theological fatalism,[3] omnipotence and freedom has traditional problems with the paradox of the stone, and the Chinese spear & shield paradox.[2] Is it coherent to state something is both immaterial and omnipresent? God has a multitude of attributes, and a multitude of assumptions in the coherency of those attributes, God is complex.

God is Beyond Experience

When proposing explanations, it is significantly more preferable to appeal to what we already know than to appeal to what we do not know. If we have plausible physical explanations of tsunamis and lightning that are consistent with known science and observation, then these explanations are significantly more preferable to something that is completely outside any notion of experience. The reasons are rather clear, since we have excellent reasons to accept that these explanations are physically possible, and thus are candidates that exist in reality.

Even for objects that are obviously outside of what we directly experience, such as dark matter, dark energy and black holes, it is significantly more realistic to posit explanations that follow from, or closely resemble known physics (for example, black holes and dark matter is composed of….. matter, and mass, and have genuine gravity) than to appeal to something completely outside of experience (na immaterial entity).

By definition God is beyond anything we have experience of. We have no experience of immaterial entities that have causal action, we have no experience of things with omnipotence, omniscience, and we have no experience of virtually all other collieries of God. Ergo, we do not have the same grounds to state that the explanation is metaphysically possible in comparison to explanations that are within our realms of experience.

Makes no predictions about reality

This mostly follows from point #1, because we cannot make statements about what we would expect God to entail, it consequently means we cannot make predictions to test the ‘God hypothesis’ like we can with explanations that are limited in nature (such as the physical laws), ergo rather than God being an explanation of everything, God is instead an explanation of anything. Because anything can be made consistent with God, it renders him untestable.

This is not to state this makes God’s existence any less likely, it only makes the point that God becomes a worse explanation than other alternatives. A similar complaint is made against string theory, which gathers considerable criticism from the physics community. The fact that a hypothesis can explain anything is exactly what makes it a bad explanation, as it’s impossible to pragmatically verify/falsify it with specific predictions. Hence we have no way to tell if it’s just elegant math or formal proposal that has any relevance to reality.

Rebuttals

Pro needs to actually demonstrate that a separate soul exists before he before Pro can affirm God is necessary for the physical-immaterial connection. Many ontologies that do not invoke substance dualism (necessary for Pro’s argument to get off the ground), and none have gathered a strong consensus yet among philosophers, demonstrating this is a contentious issue.[1]


Why is God the best explanation for the world? God does not necessarily entail the world and order, God could well choose to make a ‘disorderly’ world if he so chose (why not?). Furthermore, it seems reasonable to just posit the laws of physics themselves as brute facts. The laws of physics are well within experience, exist in progressively simpler and more universal forms (cf. the putative theory of everything), and make precise explanatory predictions about reality.

References

  1. 1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
  2. 2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
  3. 3. http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
ChristusExemplar

Pro

I'd like to thank Con for his rebuttal. I take his major objections to be as follows:

1.1. God does not necessarily/likely entail anything.
(a) God's perfect freedom entails that he could not be a good explanation of anything (or reality), because "no predictions about what will and will not occur as a result of his decisions cannot possibly be made with any confidence."
(b) To expect anything from God would violate his perfect freedom.

1.2 God is not simple.
(a) Every action of God is not automatically entailed by the definition (or nature) of God. Hence, we will need to add additional explanations to God's action and thus, this multiplies the complexity of God.
(b) God "would inevitably be at least as complex as the information he possesses within his omniscience."

2.1. God is Beyond Experience
(a) When proposing explanation, it is (significantly) "preferable to appeal to what we already know than to appeal to what we do not know."
(b) God (by definition) lies beyond anything we have experience of. We have no frame of reference for immaterial entities with causal influence. Therefore, "We do not have the same grounds to state that the explanation is metaphysically possible."

3.1. Finishing and Concluding Argument:

"Why is God the best explanation for the world? God does not necessarily entail the world and order, God could well choose to make a ‘disorderly’ world if he so chose (why not?). Furthermore, it seems reasonable to just posit the laws of physics themselves as brute facts. The laws of physics are well within experience, exist in progressively simpler and more universal forms (cf. the putative theory of everything), and make precise explanatory predictions about reality."

_______________________________________

Response
:

Con has a fundamental misunderstanding with what is meant by God's perfect freedom. I am rather surprised that he would take issue with the concept of God, since I don't figure that it needs much attention with respect to our discussion. However, the audience should take note of his legitimate concerns here.

Regarding what is known as "Perfect Theology," the question theologians and philosophers have asked pertains to what properties can be deduced from God's perfection? Anselm, for examplee, understood God to be that than which nothing greater could be thought. Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz understood God to be a being who possesses all perfections. Alvin Plantinga more recently, has understood God to be maximally excellent in every possible world, which at least entail omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection (Webb, 2010).

However, from the four attributes I have listed above, a subsequent number of other attributes seem to follow: bodilessness or immateriality, moral perfection, omnipresence, and creatorship. Given how I have defined those four attributes, it reasonable to suppose that those other attributes would be found within the package of "theism." However, my opponent's objection to perfect freedom appears to be two-fold (see his argument above).

Therefore, my response is likewise two-fold. First, humans have their purposes influenced by prior desires, which in turn causes them to make such-and-such choice but not the other. These desires, for example, can be formed by our physiology as well as our culture.

We are free beings, but of course only to an extent that our desires have some [major/minor] causal influences on us. Otherwise stated, our freedom is limited. God on the other hand, being perfectly free, has no prior desires that might have causal influences on his choices. That is to say, God is perfectly free. Not that he can do "whatever" he chooses, but that he is perfectly free in making his choices. Hence, it is strange to say that we would "expect" anything from God.

Secondly, even his claim that we could never expect anything from God without violating his perfect freedom is not only a false but wrongly stated claim. God (at least according to the Christian tradition) has made promises to us and thus, is obligated to keep them. God, before creating anything (indeed, even us humans), has no other prior obligations to anything. Indeed, God has been said to have supererogatory obligations (Swinburne) where good actions go beyond obligations. God may do this whenever he creates other persons than just humans, for example.


1.1 (a) God's Goodness.

Next, his discussion of God's goodness. To be clear, when we identify "goodness" in the metaphysical sense (not in the specifically moral sense) I don't mean goodness as some external or separate quality/property, but, like existence, it is something that transcends all categories of being (Helm, 2010). To quote philosopher Paul Helm at length:


(q) Goodness is a property which belongs to every contingent being in virtue of being created, but especially to humankind, created morally upright. Since according to Judeo-Christian theism everything that exists contingently owes its existence to the creator, anything, to the degree that it exists, participates in the goodness of its creator" (Helm 2010, 263. Emphasis mine).

Aquinas separates the order of being from the order of knowing: all goodness derives from God but we understand divine goodness by extrapolating from the goodness of creatures. For Aquinas, this requires an analogical (as opposed to an equivocal or uniquivocal) relationship between divine and human goodness (see Morley below).


To finish, God is said to be "good" in the sense that he has no moral deficiency. Goodness to the perfect degree is a necessary part of God's character as well as overall perfection. As St. Anselm put it, "You are only one supreme good, altogether sufficient unto Yourself, needing nothing else but needed by all else in order to exist and to fare well (Anselm 1974, ch. 22).


2.1. God is Not Simple

My opponent has made the claim that no action of God is automatically entailed by the definition (or nature) of God. Where did I make this claim and how is this relevant? This objection has a number of problems:

(1) This confuses what is meant (indeed, what I mean) by divine simplicity.
(2) It is two different things to (1) say or recognize that God created humans and (2) ask why God created humans.

(3) If God were to have perfect knowledge of the equations of physics (for example), it does not follow that God is also a complex being.

By simple I mean God is not a composition of parts. This can be otherwise stated with the four following claims:

(1) God cannot have any spatial or temporal parts.
(2) God cannot have any intrinsic accidental (i.e., nonessential properties).
(3) There cannot be any real distinction between one essential property and another in God's nature.
(4) There cannot be a real distinction between essence and existence in God (Stump 2010, 270).

I'll finish this section with a couple thoughts. God is said to be a substance who has infinite degrees of those properties which are essential to persons (Swinburne 2010, 40) - that is, knowledge, power, and freedom. The hypothesis that such a being exists says that such a person has zero limits to his knowledge, power and freedom. It is clearly a simpler hypothesis to say that his power is infinite rather than just very, very large. For instance, if we were to say that he was merely powerful enough to make a universe of such-and-such mass, but not powerful enough to make an even more massive one, we would be perfectly justified to ask as to why there was a limitation not only on his power but also in other attributes as well.


3.1 God is Beyond Experience.

Again, this is another confusion as to what is meant by an "explanation." It is almost as if my opponent has completely ignored my discussion of this. Let us ask a historically classic the question regarding the four criteria I mentioned in my first affirmative: Kepler's study of the motion of planets. How might criteria 1 be satisfied? For instance, Kepler wished to find out what law governs the movement (or path) of Mars so that it will enable him to make future predictions.

Kepler could mark on a map the path of the past positions of Mars, and hence, any law that governs the motion of Mars would be represented by a curve which passes through those positions. This law satisfies criterion 1: (1) It leads us to expect (with accuracy, although approximate) many and varied events which we observe ( and we do not observe any events whose non-occurrence it leads us to expect). The problem with this however is that even an infinite number of different curves will still satisfy criteria 1, which is why we might possibly stipulate a number of alternatives: (1) Mars moves in an ellipse; (2) Mars moves in a spiral, although somewhat still in a fashion of an ellipse, but not all the time; and so on. How do we decide?

The serious and best work of eliminating alternatives is to choose the most simple hypothesis, which in turn would satisfy criterion 2: (2) What is proposed is simple. Furthermore, "However well some proposed law satisfies Criteria 1-3, if there is an incompatible law which satisfies those criteria even better, since they cannot both be laws, the former must be rejected" (Swinburne 2010, 26). This is what is meant by criterion 4.

Due to limitations of space, I will leave my response as follows and allow Con his opportunity to respond.


___________________

Works Cited

Anselm, Proslogion. trans. J. Hopkins and H. Richardson. 1974. London: SCM Press.

Helm, Paul, "Goodness," in A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion. ed. Charles Taliaferro, Paul Draper, Philip Quinn. 2010. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Morley, Brian. "Western Concepts of God," http://www.iep.utm.edu....

Stump, Eleonore. "Simplicity," in A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion. 2010.

Swinburne, Richard. Is There a God? 2nd edn. 2010. Clarendon Street: Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Webb, Mark Owen. "Perfect Being Theology," in A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion. 2010.


Envisage

Con

God

Pro fails to demonstrate my misunderstanding of ‘Perfect Freedom’, nor do I see how it matters considering we are on the same page in that it entails Free Will. That is perfectly sufficient for my arguments to stand.

Note that some aspect of freedom, or will is required within the definition of God as one of the defining feature of God over secular explanations is that God is on some level sentient. While it could be argued that omniscience alludes to this, it is arguable that omniscience is not predicated by consciousness.

However, it is precisely because God has this attribute of free will and consciousness that precludes it from being a good explanation for essentially anything.


Moreover, just what is a ‘perfection’ (and for that matter ‘greatness’ and ‘excellence’)? What is the standard by which something is a ‘perfection’? It doesn’t follow that omnipotence, omniscience etc. follow from this, and one can easily argue that the maximal perfection is non-existence, or nothing prima facie.

Either the standard for perfection is internal to God, or external .Neither source works, especially given that such a standard must be objective in order to be meaningful. If the standard is defined within God, then it becomes arbitrary, begs the question, and remains undefined (and hence the attributes Pro gave do not follow).

If the standard comes external to God, then a standards which is not contingent on God, and in essence limits & supersedes God, and is still undefined.

Non-Cognitivism of God

Given my objections to Pro’s perfection arguments of God’s being, it seems appropriate to undermine Pro’s argument by addressing how God cannot possible be sensibly talked about in terms of ‘can explain X’.

In order for God to explain anything, we need an idea of what God will do, or is in some sense likely to do. For example to posit the eighth planet (Neptune) as an explanation for the perturbations of the orbits of Uranus & Saturn, we have a proposed primary nature of the object, which is that it is a gravitational source, and hence we can make precise postulations on how it will act when in certain places in its orbit, etc.[3]

However, with God this is not possible because we have not even established a primary nature yet. Pro has affirmed that God has ‘perfect freedom’, but this alone doesn’t postulate anything, and contrary to Pro’s assertions, it automatically follows we cannot reasonably predict, or expect what God would or would not do if he existed.

To formalize:

P1) “God” lacks a positivity defined attribute (A)

P2) If “God” lacks a positively defined attribute (A), then secondary (B) and relational attributes (C) cannot be justifiably applied

C1) “God” lacks a justifiable attribute (A, B or C)

P3) All attribute-less concepts are meaningless

C2) Therefore, “God” is a meaningless concept

All of the properties that Pro has attributed to God are secondary, or relational properties. They are entirely contingent on what the primary nature of God is. However, even if Pro could provide a primary nature of god, it would necessarily multiply his complexity in concept.

In order to meaningfully describe something, the primary nature of an entity needs to be established, for example to state something has “10 lbs”, it is reasonable to assert “10 lbs of what?”. It is meaningless to then response “well, you know… 10 lbs!”. The weight of something is a relational attribute, and gives no information on what the essence of the entity is. Take a chair for example, a primary attribute would be “A wooden mass with a sitting base and four posts made of wood”, here we have the material and primary attributes of a chair, we can reasonably talk about both its existence and apply secondary and relational attributes to it. More importantly we can sensibly talk about what such an entity would entail on reality.

Now let’s have a look at the attributes of God:

  1. 1. Eternality
  2. 2. Omnipotence
  3. 3. Omniscience
  4. 4. Perfect Freedom

Omnipotence regards power, or ability, but isn’t an entity in itself. Omnipotence can be applied to anything (my sister is omnipotent) as a secondary attribute, but is meaningless without the primary essence. Omnipotence in fact is meaningless without a physical universe to relate to. The same applies to perfect freedom and eternality is either secondary or relational.[6]

“Atemporal” and “immaterial” are not attributes, and are precisely descriptions of what God is not. The statement “I am not Barack Obama”, gives zero information about my primary nature or essence. Sans an understanding of the primary nature of God, Pro cannot meaningfully postulate it and talk about it having explanatory power of anything, thus his arguments are futile.

‘Perfect Freedom’

Pro’s first defence of God’s Perfect Freedom undermines his whole position:

“First, humans have their purposes influenced by prior desires, which in turn causes them to make such-and-such choice but not the other…”

“God on the other hand, being perfectly free, has no prior desires that might have causal influences on his choices. Hence, it is strange to say that we would "expect" anything from God..”

Exactly my point!! How can a being have any explanatory power if we cannot make any rational claims about what his choices would be?!

Pro then attempts to contradict himself by appealing to a Christian Tradition God of the kind, that God is obliged to keep primises he has made to us.

Well this raises a plethora of objections:

  1. 1. Such an obligation would violate his ‘prefect freedom’
  2. 2. Why would God be obliged to keep promises in the first place?
  3. 3. It multiplies the complexity and parameterizes God (hence violating the 2nd criterion and Occams Razor), without good reason to believe such.

The most important is #3, as God can no longer be claimed to be a simple explanation with an assortment of assumptions hanging on to him.

God does not entail anything

Pro’s only rebuttal is against my objection that ‘goodness’, like God’s primary nature, is meaningless, and hence we cannot draw expectations from it, which would be required to fulfil criterion 1.

Pro offers up nothing concrete for what ‘good’ would entail, and hence is a useless attribute for giving God explanatory power. He affirms this himself:

“…it is something that transcends all categories of being”

Given this, how can God possibly be an explanation for anything if nothing arises from it? Pro attempts to contradict this again by appealing to a Judeo-Christian God (which runs into problems of unjustifiably multiplying his complexity) and his key point:

“…everything that exists contingently owes its existence to the creator, anything, to the degree that it exists, participates in the goodness of its creator"

Is Pro attempting to state that God’s goodness is contingent on his creation?! This would be a blatent contradiction of ‘perfection’ or God being a ‘brute fact’, which strongly implies God is both objective and immutable. This also runs into circular reasoning, as Pro is using the result to define the proposed parameters of the explanation. This is akin to me throwing a dart at the wall and drawing a bulls-eye around it, since God is at least partially defined according to the ‘result’ he is trying to explain.

Pro continues:

“To finish, God is said to be "good" in the sense that he has no moral deficiency. “

Define ‘moral’, for this just begs the question.


God is Not Simple

If one pays attention to what Pro was proposing that makes his God simple, Pro only defined God according to what he is not. Aspacial, atemporal, a’non-essential’, which again runs into serious coherency problems of God’s nature (which I addressed in Non-Cognitivism), moreover Pro ignores my arguments regarding omniscience (which necessarily makes God at least as complex as the universe), and the fact that God is on some level sentient (clearly a non-essential property), Moreover Pro ignores that the paradoxes entailed by both the omnipotence paradox, and free will & omniscience necessarily require the multiplication of God’s complexity. Pro has also made multiple appeals in this God to a more highly paramaterized God, which multiplies God’s complexity.

We can always posit the exact same explanation without free will, omniscience, omnipotence and yield a simpler entity, and thus a simpler explanation than God by default. Moreover I have already shown that God needs a primary nature, which will parameterize God further, lest God becomes inpotent in doing anything.

Pro’s other objection:

It is two different things to say or recognize that God created humans and ask why God created humans

Very true, but it is impossible to recognise anything created anything without postulating the ‘why’ explanation first. For example, to recognise that a gun was used in the murder, we know first-hand than guns holder bullets, which are unstable and hence will release projectiles which satisfies why we would think a gun could be an explanation for a murder.


God is Beyond Experience

Pro’s defence is an analogy with Kepler, who postulated a putative law governing movement, however a law by definition is not an explanation, it is a description. That is what a ‘theory’ is for.

Hence it is one thing to make descriptions of reality and make predictions based off of those descriptions (laws), but it is a completely different thing to postulate an explanation of those observations/laws.


“A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation”[1]

“A scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the universe.[2]

God is the best explanation for X

Pro has dropped his original arguments that God is the explanation for humans, the universe and divine experience and Pro has only shifted the burden of proof on divine experience.

References

  1. 1. http://tinyurl.com...
  2. 2. http://tinyurl.com...
  3. 3. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
ChristusExemplar

Pro

I will be omitting citations for the sake of space. Should Con or anyone else like to see the source of a passage I have referenced, feel free to message me or comment in the comment section for it.


1.0 Clarifying the Question:

Frederick Copleston in his debate with Bertrand Russell was rather frustrated with Russell's inability to concede to the legitimacy of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing?" As Russell contended, "I see no reason to think there is any [cause of the existence of all particular objects]. The whole concept of cause is one we derive from our observation of particular things. I see no reason to suppose that the total has any cause whatsoever."

Copleston, frustrated with this contention (and offering no real argument against it), simply reiterates his argument as trying to show Russell this legitimacy of asking the question "how the total, or anything at all, comes to be there. Why something rather than nothing? That is the question." At least here insofar, Copleston is right. Why something rather than nothing?

There are a number of solutions to this question. In fact, Nicholas Rescher lists a number of possible responses:

I. The question is illegitimate and improper. (Rejectionism)
II. The question is legitimate
(1) but unanswerable: it represents a mystery. (Mystificationism)
(2) and answerable
(a) though only by the via negativa of an insistence that there really is no "answer" in the ordinary sense - no sort of explanatory rationale at all. The existence of things in the world is simply a brute fact. (The no-reason approach).
(b) via a substantival route of roughly the following sort: "There is a substance [viz. God] whose position in the scheme of things is one that lies outside the world, and whose activity explains the existence of things in the world." (The theological approach)
(c) via a nonsubstantival route of roughly the following sort: "There is a principle of creativity that obtains in abstracto (i.e., without being embedded in the characteristics of any substance and thus without a basis in any preexisting thing), and the operation of this principle accounts for the existence of things." (The nomological approach).
(d) via the quasi-logical route of consideration of absolute necessity. (The necessitarian approach)

I take the best and most reasonable solution to be of the route of (c) via a substantival, that is, that Mind/Consciousness as ultimate. Borrowing from Timothy O'Connor (2009),
  • "The reason that any contingent thing exists at all. . . is that it is a contingent causal consequence of an absolute necessary being, a being which itself could not have failed to exist, since that it is [sic] inseparable from what it is. . . The claim that there is a necessary being is the claim that there is a being whose nature entails existence, so that any possible world would involve the existence of such an entity."

I have demonstrated why theism presents itself as the best explanation for why something exists rather than nothing. Not only this, but that God is the best explanation for why humans (consciousness beings) exist, the world along with its order and religious experiences and miracles. I will be extending those arguments here.


2.0 The Problem With Con

What has Con offered us? We have number of arguments to suppose that not only is God a meaningless concept, but that perfect freedom (along with consciousness) entails that God could not be an adequate explanation for anything. Along with a plethora of other objections regarding perfection, goodness, and so forth.

I take his non-cognitivist argument to be rather irrelevant to the whole of the debate. The non-cognitivist
position is one not widely defended today since most philosophers (Christian and non-Christian alike)
take the theistic claim that God exists (classically or "traditionally" understood) as uncontroversial -
at least in terms of coherency. Entertaining Con's arguments for non-cognitivism would lead to a
tedious discussion regarding apothatic theology and religious language; one that is unnecessary for our
discussion here.

Lastly, Con in his objections has not offered an argument for why there is something rather than nothing.
Otherwise stated, he has yet to even offer an alternative solution in the rejection of my argument. For, let us
suppose that Con is right: God is a meaningless concept and cannot explain anything. What are we left with?
Because we have taken God out of the equation does not of course entail that the question of the existence of
humans (conscious beings), the world and its order and religious experiences are solved. I don't think Con
is maintaining this. However, in the defense of his case he has left us with more questions than answers.

_________________________

3.0 My Case, "Explanations Restated"

We must clarify what I mean by an explanation, since Con seems to not understand. I have distinguished
between inanimate explanations (i.e., initial conditions plus law of nature causing event) and intentional
explanations (i.e., events brought about intentionally by persons). The reason why I say it is "strange" that
we would expect anything from God is because I was reacting to Con's claim that if God were to be
an explanation of anything we would need some understanding of what God might do. It is incoherent
(strange, stupid, etc... you pick) to make this assertion given the distinction of affiliations I have given in
both senses of the term "explanation." I have not reiterated Con's point, as he so claims.

These two forms of explanations are inescapable in our thinking about the world. Regarding the personal-
explanation model, what we try to achieve makes all the difference to what happens. I say this to run contrary
to that old idea that persons and their purposes have no "real" causal influence to what happens; these are
just occurrences of brain events and nerve events that bring about bodily movement that further bring
about instances without persons and purposes making any difference. However, no one can consistently
think in this kind of way. Physics and chemistry, for example, work very hard (and well at times) to
provide inanimate explanations, while psychology, sociology and even detective work provide
intentional or personal explanations.


3.1 God is the Best Explanation for The World

The argument runs as follows: (1) If anything exists, there must be a sufficient reason
why it exists. (2) But this world exists and it is a series of contingent beings. (3) Therefore, there must be
a sufficient reason why this series of contingent beings exists. (4) But nothing contingent - and, in particular,
neither the existing series as a whole nor any of its members - can contain a sufficient reason why this series
exists. (5) A sufficient reason for any existing thing can only be in an existing thing, which is itself either
necessary or contingent. (6) Therefore, a sufficient reason why this series exists must be in a necessary
being that lies outside the world. (7) Therefore, there is a necessary being that lies outside the world.

In this case, what do I mean for something to be a sufficient reason? According to Leibniz, P is a sufficient
reason for Q just in case P fully accounts for Q. Otherwise stated, P is a sufficient reason for Q if and only
if "P is true" gives a full and definitive answer to "Why is Q the case?" Hence, according to this understanding
and the argument offered above, if there were no necessary being, there would be no answer to the question,
"Why does the world exist?"


3.1.2. God is the best explanation for the world and its order.

According to Aquinas regarding the orderly behavior of material bodies (i.e., their tendency to move towards
a goal), this was the basis of his Fifth Way: (1) Every agent - even a natural agent - acts for an end.
(2) Now what acts for an end manifests intelligence. (3) But natural agents have no intelligence of their own.
(4) Therefore, they are directed to their end by some Intelligence. This seems a rather uncontroversial
argument, should you accept the business of teleology along with other metaphysical factors at play here.
However, we do have good reason from experience to hold the conclusion as true.

In support of the third premise, whatever lacks knowledge cannot move toward an end, unless it is directed
by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom
all things are directed to their end (i.e., God). Furthermore, this argument - that the existence and regular
behavior of material objects to a God who keeps them in existence with the same liabilities and powers as
each other - satisfies very well criterion 2 (on this point see Swinburne 2010, 50). Given the goodness of
God and the existence of humans experiencing the sort of regularities that we find, we have good reason
to suppose that the regular behavior of material objects provide good evidence for the existence of God.


3.1.3. God is the best explanation for why humans exist.

The evolution of the mental life of animals involves the following: (a) there existing certain
physical - mental connections (certain physical events causing the existence of souls with certain mental
properties, and conversely); (b) there existing animals with brains whose states give rise to souls having an
advantage in the struggle for survival; (c) evolution selecting animals whose brains are wired in to their
bodies in certain ways. Darwinian mechanisms can explain (c), and possibly (b): but neither Darwinism
nor any other science has much prospects of explaining (a) (see Swinburne 2010, 79).

Theism, on the other hand, can explain this. God, being omnipotent, is able to join souls to bodies. That is,
he can cause there to be the particular brain event - mental event connections which there are.


Conclusion.

As I have so demonstrated, God is the best explanation for why something exists rather than nothing.
Vote in the affirmation.
Envisage

Con

Framing the Resolution

I find it patently absurd that Pro would only now at the end of the debate throw in his positive arguments, that God is why there is something rather than nothing. But not to be distracted, the resolution quite clearly is “Is Theism Impotent in Explanations?”, and I have quite clearly directed my arguments in a fashion that would affirm that Theism is inherently weak at explaining anything whatsoever.

Virtually all of Pro’s opening round was framing how we would go about determining what is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ explanation, and why God is defined as such. Pro’s only positive arguments for why Theism gives potent explanations is in his arguments from Miracles & Divine Experiences, from Human Existence and from the World & its order. Last round he has added a forth, why is there something rather than nothing. Given that these individual arguments are Pro’s only positive arguments to affirm the resolution in his favour, his failure to uphold these will lose him the debate.

God is inherently a Bad Explanation

There were four criteria Pro and I generally agreed on that would be the attributes of what we would expect of a ‘good’ explanation for phenomena, which I will list again:

1. Predicts with good scope the events/features that we observe

2. Proposition is simple

3. Is in line with experience

4. Makes ‘unique’, or surprising statements of reality that may be tested

All 4 of these are rather prima facie obvious and we haven’t disagreed on these. Pro concedes that Theism fails on #4, moreover Pro provides zero substantial argumentation for #1. Pro’s only rebuttals here are arguments regarding God’s goodness, but all his responses were question begging, and hence there is no reason why we would expect that God would create a universe. Nor would we expect any defining traits of the universe that would lead us to expect God did it (since he has free will).

The very fact that God has free will, and has an undefined nature precludes God from being a good explanation of anything. It is true that God could create the universe, etc, but that’s different to God being a good explanation of the universe, etc.

When you have a scientific theory for instance, we have a good idea of what we would, and would not expect within the explanation, and thus we can say with increased confidence with an increasing data set that the explanation is good. Even assuming Pro’s original wording of #1, God simply cannot fulfil this:

It leads us to expect (with accuracy) many and varied events which we observe (and we do not observe any events whose non-occurrence it leads us to expect).”

Pro’s only defence against my objections to #3 is a misunderstanding of what it means, moreover even assuming his objections were relevant I demonstrating his analogy completely fails, since he was postulating a scientific law (which only models the facts) as an analogy when only a scientific theory would suffice (which is an explanation).

I have showed last round that Pro’s defences for #2 themselves entail numerous assumptions that themselves multiply God’s complexity, moreover he offers no response to the most contentious assumption, that God is conscious which in itself is enormously complex, and also I argued is necessarily at least as complex as the universe given he is omniscient.

Given that Pro has completely inadequately respond to these arguments, that God and Theism fails on every single criteria of what a good explanation would have, we should rightly throw out Pro’s positive arguments and vote Con.

Non Cognitivism

This argument was made largely in support of my arguments for criteria #1. Pro completely drops these points, without a defined nature then Pro cannot reasonably assert what God would or could do. Pro cannot even affirm that God is coherent. His only response was an appeal to irrelevancy and appeal to authority/majority (which is unsubstantiated by Pro, too).

“Explanations”

Pro put forth two sources of ‘explanations’, inanimate and animate explanations, which is fine but I do not see how this helps Pro’s case. Note that this is not a true dichotomy since there are many other classes of non-intentional explanations that do not fit within the ‘inanimate’ category. Since it is easy to envisage some contingent of necessary explanation that is not a natural law, just something non-conscious that has potential, or is just merely ‘explained’, including brute facts.

However whichever category an explanation is in, it is irrelevant for determine what is a good or potent explanation. Just by being an animate explanation doesn’t suddenly make it exempt from the four criteria listed, this would just be special pleading.

Hence, Pro’s assertion that I misunderstand what he means by explanation is both false and irrelevant.

God is the best explanation of…

Miracles & Experiences

Pro drops this argument and my objection that it was just an unjustified shifting of the BoP. Why should God be the best explanation of religious experiences? Pro has not defended why. While secular explanations do exist, Pro is the one who needs to support his own arguments.

The World

Pro gives a seven point well-formed formula (wff) to argue from contingency, yet provides exactly zero support for any of his premises. First for instance, Pro’s argument fails immediately as it does not argue for God. A “necessary being” does not equal God, since it does not even distinguish between a sentient or a non-sentient explanation(!).

Moreover why should we accept premise 1, If anything exists, there must be a sufficient reason why it exists.”? Clearly God is not subject to this premise, so either this premise is false, or Pro requires special pleading for why God is the only thing that does not require a sufficient reason for why it exists (e.g. the universe, or laws of physics being a brute fact).

Lastly, Pro’s premise 2 is a classical fallacy of composition, since the world being consisted of contingent things, doesn’t mean the universe itself as a whole is contingent.

To give counter examples with these unproven premises, it would be that the universe is entirely contingent, yet unexplained, that the universe does have a necessary explanation, but that explanation is not God, that the universe is self-explained (due to fallacy of composition) etc.

Note that it is not for me to postulate an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing, as Pro carrys the burden of proof. That is not to say I haven’t given possible reasons (brute facts for e.g.), and I have definitely demonstrated each point why making the lesser assumption of a non sentient (hence non-God) explanation is significantly better. Pro complains:

Because we have taken God out of the equation does not of course entail that the question of the existence of humans (conscious beings), the world and its order and religious experiences are solved. “

Perhaps, but so what? Just because there remain open questions doesn’t mean we cannot start ruling out bad answers (God).

…The World and it’s Order

Pro appeals to the Goodness of God as to why the world would exhibit order, but shows no logical progression (he has also failed to address that God’s ‘goodness’ is undefined and question begging).

Pro provides zero support for the first and second premises of his argument (which we should accept as bare assertions and hence reject them). If either P1 or P2 are false or unsound, then the whole argument fails.

First, premise 1 is false, since we know that the world is not necessarily deterministic. We know that each ‘input’, or cause will not necessarily reach an ‘end’. For example take 218Po, there is no specific ‘end’ at any time, it can either do nothing, or it can decay into 218At, or into 214Pb, completely by chance and at random.[1] The result of the decay is not affected by external factors, if there was an ‘end’ to the state of affairs then there would be one and only one possible outcome, yet there are three in this specific case.

This is a property of the entire universe as we know (due to quantum mechanics), and generalizable ends are only observed on larger scales (when statistics become significant). In fact, the only real ‘end’ that the universe and the things in it apparently possesses is to increase entropy, which is entirely a statistical phenomenon (and unintelligent). Hence P1 becomes either false, or rather very useless.[2]

P2 is also entirely unsubstantiated, and relies heavily on euphemisms to imply some ‘purpose’ in things that occur, and makes the additional assumption that actions were ‘directed’ to a specific end as opposed to the bottom-up explanation that the ‘end’ is just a result of the conditions in place at the time.

God is the best explanation for why humans exist.

Pro only restates his original argument, that God is the best explanation for physical-mental connections(?!). However this argument presupposes the existence of a human soul, and assumes substance dualism, and he completely ignored my rebuttals to this. I gave a plethora of mind ontologies, and the only ontology where this is a problem is in substance dualism.

Materialism, Neutral Monism, Monistic Idealism, Property Dualism, etc. do not share this problem (which God is supposed to explain) and Pro has given exactly zero reasons to accept substance dualism over any other ontology.

Ergo, Pro is presupposing a problem with contentious existence. Hence his argument is unsound.

Conclusion

Pro drops this debate on multiple fronts, by failed to respond to arguments demonstrating why God cannot be potent in explanations, and by giving virtually no reason to accept why God is intrinsically a good explanation for anything. Theism violates every single criteria of what we would expect from an explanation and Pro’s positive arguments are rushed and are largely unsubstantiated.

Given this, the resolution is negated, please vote Con.

References

1. https://www-nds.iaea.org...

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
RFD part 2.
In round 2 we see Pro defending the God concept and saying in essence this should not be necessary as its within the description of the debate. Here Pro makes an error as this was not in the debate proposition and as such Con has every right to attack this premise.

However after Pros rebuttals Con comes straight back with "Given my objections to Pro"s perfection arguments of God"s being, it seems appropriate to undermine Pro"s argument by addressing how God cannot possible be sensibly talked about in terms of "can explain X"." This is in a way a final nail in the coffin as it explains clearly the error with the debate proposition as I have laid out above. But Con proceeds to show errors in logic by citing specific examples given by Pro which support Pros arguments.

Onto final arguments and hoping Pro can save himself. Well not really, as Pro has to assume Con is incorrect in his arguments for his arguments to work. In fact he also points out that Con did not meet any arguments for alternative explanations. Let us not forget though that it was Pro who gave himself such a huge BOP and not Con. As such Con really does not have to do what Pro says needs to be done.

This Con asserts in his final concluding statements. In effect sealing the debate as Pro has yet to prove the case. Not much more to say really except argument points to Con.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
RFD part 1.
Firstly, I would recommend Pro works on his resolution and naming of the debates. I had to read the intro twice just to understand what position each debater was taking. I am glad not only I was confused by this but seems Con was as well.

As another important note. Cons arguments were easier to read than Pro. It seemed like Pro was as the Partially Examined Life folks put it "Fetishising a bunch of dead philosophers". Basically, just try keep it simple.

Now after the rant, let me decide who won and ward some points.

First up Pro gave himself an incredible BOP, by saying he will prove God is the best explanation for humans, world order and miracles. It was astonishing really as it made Con's case easier straight away just by debating propositions of arguments. Additionally, Pro does presuppose a lot of things (omniscience, omnipotence, etc) about God that are not proved and as these are even more BOP for Pro. As such I see an enormously difficult task set for Pro by himself. As such we reach the end of round 1 with multiple assertions by Pro and a massive BOP yet to be fulfilled.

Con starts round 1 and straight away destroys the arguments by attacking the propositions and showing the contradiction of just the God concept. So at the end of the round Con has destroyed Pros argument for God. And at this point this means Pro has proved nothing and failed in all the mass of BOP beside the God concept i.e. God is the best explanation for humans, world order and miracles all went unproved.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Atheism is the impotent one. Not having a clue on the origin of life.And never mustering even a remote theory on how it happened. Just some thrown together conjectures that have no possibility of ever being implemented , let alone proven.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
Whoops.... you joined a year ago.... nvm XD
Posted by ChristusExemplar 2 years ago
ChristusExemplar
Also, correction: * i said "three major attributes" when I listed four. My mistake!
Posted by ChristusExemplar 2 years ago
ChristusExemplar
Uchiha, who?
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
woahhhh it's a legit noob :D
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
*Cracks Knuckles*
Posted by republicofdhar 2 years ago
republicofdhar
I'm looking forward to following this debate :D
Posted by ChristusExemplar 2 years ago
ChristusExemplar
I have changed the debate topic to hopefully make the content of the debate more clear.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
ChristusExemplarEnvisageTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
ChristusExemplarEnvisageTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had good conduct throughout. S&G - Tie. Neither made any major grammatical or spelling errors. Arguments - Con. Pro committed several fallacies throughout the debate including fallacy of composition and appeal to authority. On top of that, Pro dropped points where counter-arguments were needed for him to maintain the line of argumentation, which can be witnessed throughout the debate several times. Due to Pro's failure to maintain his BOP in affirming the resolution, I award these points to Con. Sources - Tie. Both shared numerous sources to validate their arguments. I will commend Pro for his formatting of the works cited though. Overall, I feel this is a clear win for Con.