Is it Reasonable to Believe in a Creator?
Hello to everyone! Since I am a Christian, I normally hear people talk about how "it is unreasonable to believe in a creator of the universe". Otherwise known as "creationism", I'm up for a good thought provoking debate regarding this issue
I will not be arguing for a "specific" creator (I.e Yahweh, Allah, etc..) but if it is in fact, reasonable to believe that the overall encompassing definition of God: ( "the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe") created the universe.
1). No Trolling/Spamming
2). Mild/Experienced debater
3). No Inappropriateness
4). Needs to be Professional
Any disregard to the above regulations will be grounds for immediate forfeiting
Round 1: Personal Introduction/Acceptance (No opening statements/arguments)
Round 2: Opening Statements
Round 3: 1st Rebuttal
Round 4: 2nd Rebuttal
Round 5: Conclusion/Closing Statements
I look forward to debating whoever would accept the challenge.
Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate, I'm excited to dive into such a deep question. Lets begin,
I wanted the topic of this debate to be: "Is it reasonable to believe in a creator" for many reasons. The main being my conversations with atheist's and others that reject God alike that don't accept "Creationism" to even be a rational conclusion. I find this very upsetting, namely because I myself converted to Christianity after objectively examining the "clues" for God and found them to be perfectly rational. Let me explain the outlook of how I will be presenting my case.
To say it bluntly, There is no irrefutable proof for/against a creator. Much like anything else, we must look objectively at the evidence presented and ask ourselves: what is the best explanation of the evidence presented? What is more rationally justifiable? In the words of Timothy Keller, "Though there cannot be irrefutable proof for the existence of God, many people have found strong clues for his reality - divine fingerprints - in many places". In light of this thinking, let me lay out my main points:
1). God is the best explanation for the Big Bang
Since the dawn of mankind, our species has been prone to ask the question: "Why is there something rather then nothing?".. Well, while we still haven't answered that question, we have come closer to the edge with our understanding of the Big Bang. The theory essentially states that our universe is expanding explosively and outwardly from a single point. Steven Hawking wrote: "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."
So what brought the universe into being? Scientists do not have an answer. They instead retort the multiverse theory and other highly speculative scenarios to try and re-create an eternal past. These theorems are fraught with problems and I can address those further in my rebuttal if needed.
The fact of the matter is, everything we know "inside the box of the universe is "contingent" (has a cause outside of itself). Therefore the universe itself has to have a cause outside of itself. What would this supernatural entity half to be? Well, it needs to exist outside of time (eternal). It needs to exist outside of space (omnipotent) and it needs to be transcendent.
Thus we are left with 2 options: this entity is an abstract number/idea or a personal being. We know that abstract objects cannot cause anything. For example the number 4 does not cause anything. Therefore we are left with the personal creator of the universe.
2). God is the best explanation for the fine tuning of the universe to intelligent life
In order for organic life to exist in the universe, the fundamental regularities such as - the speed of light, gravitational constant, the strength of the strong and weak nuclear forces - need to have values (expressed in mathematical numbers) that fall into an EXTREMELY narrow range.
the scientist Francis Collins puts it in simpler terms in his book the Language of God. In it he states,"When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants - that have precise values. If any one of these constants was off by even by even one part in a million, or in some cases, one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually came to the point where we see it. Matter would not been able to coalesce, there would be no galaxies, stars, planets, or people".
This is known as the anthropic principle, where the universe is created for the existence of life. The values and constants can be analogized as a radio, where the values are all set to a specific value and if that single value was moved either direction, life could not exist. The gravitational constant for example, could be any number on a ruler spanning the entire universe but it just so happens to be the number that permits life, any other value would not allow for sentient beings.
Objections to this principle has atheist's and Richard Dawkins alike running to the theory of an infinite amount of universe's. I will further rebut this theory in my later rebuttal's if needed
3). God is the best explanation for the regularity of nature
This principle is baffling to modern scientists but remains a foundational principle in daily life. That is, why do things continue to happen as they do? How do we know that my water will boil on the stove tomorrow under the same conditions as yesterday?
We must use inductive reasoning in discussing this issue, we all as humans "assume" that things will continue to exist as they have in the past. I will be able to live tomorrow due to the same fundamental principles governing the universe that I experienced today. The funny thing is, we haven't got the slightest idea why nature-regularity is happening!
The existence of a personal creator who created the universe and set the laws in motion to continue in the pre-existing conditions of time and space is the MOST VIABLE answer to this question. Scientist still have no idea why this happens.
4). God is the best explanation for the moral duties and values that all humans share
Every human being has objective moral values embedded in them regardless of race, culture, and location. That is, every human being agree that it is morally wrong to eat babies or torture animals for pleasure.
For the naturalist however, there is nothing OBJECTIVLY wrong with this. sure morality to them is the effect of evolution and social conditioning but their is no objective meaning or value in anything. The atheist philosopher Alex Rosegnburg states:“there is no such thing as . . . morally right or wrong.” “Individual human life is meaningless . . . and without ultimate moral value. . . . We need to face the fact that nihilism is true.”
On the other hand, the theist grounds morality in God and the moral duties in his commands.
To conclude, I believe it is perfectly reasonable to believe in a personal creator of the universe in regards to the sheer weight of the combined evidence for his case.
I look forward to my opponents further responses.
The Reason for God - Timothy Keller
I would like to thank my opponent for the debate. I am almost the opposite from you. I was born a christian but then turned into an atheist. I just couldn't find myself to believe in, what i think, is a fairy tale.
Before i begin i must ask a question.
Is God omnipotent (all powerful)
If so then let us ponder about this dilemma. Can God create a Stone he cannot lift? If he can then he is not all powerful because he cannot lift the stone. If he cannot then again he is not all powerful.
Now that we got that out of the way i would also like to address something else
There is no proof of a God therefore it is unreasonable to believe.
Again let us delve into another scenario. Say you just made a cup of coffee and you put it down on the table and go to the bathroom. When you return it is gone. Would it be rational to say "God took my coffee"? Well according to faith based interactions it would be. It would be completely rational to say, without any proof, that God took my cup of coffee. Would you of course think that? No. You would say "Maybe my wife took it by accident.".
There is no evidence for a god because if there was it would not be religion. See religion is a faith based activity. If there was conclusive proof God existed there wouldn't be any faith. Faith ends when logic begins and vice versa.
Now let us get into the meat of the issue
1) If there is one God there must be only one version of him
There are an estimated 4200 religions in the world and any one of them COULD be correct. Now since my opponent is a Christian i might ask why did he choose Christianity? How can all these different people have different gods and not be correct. Ill tell you why. There is no God. It is culture that makes people believe in God not any thing else. I was born a Christian and many of my friends who were born christian have stayed christian yet you can ask any one of them a simple question and they will break down. Once your parents tell you something you believe it and you do not question it. Its why people still believe in Santa Claus. If only one religon is correct then 4199 religions are wrong and they will pay for their mistakes. If there was a god why wouldn't he do something to shift people in his views because right now there is not majority of the world that follows a certain religon.
2) Religion seems to get things wrong- ALOT
Religon often teaches us that the world around 1 million to even 6000 years old (biblical) however scientists have PROVEN that the world is 4.6 billion years old.
Here is a picture of what the world did look like when it was still forming
Billions of years later.........
Then after millions of years later......
However creationism teaches we just HAPPENED to be at step 3.
Creationism also teaches us that the world was 6000 years old so it would be impossible for plate tectonics to shift pangea in that time period.
Proof pangea was a step in earth's evolutionary time period
As we can see pangea in the first picture is one solid land mass
However as the years take its toll the plate tectonics seem to shift the continents apart however one crucial detail is being shown in steps 2-3
East South America was conjoined with West Africa. We can see that the continents fit each other like a puzzle and we still see it today.
Not only this but the fact that fossils from the coasts of both these continents are the same points to the fact that the pangea theory is true.
Scripture namely from the bible also seems to get things wrong quite often about the earth, namely it being flat
And finally onto one of the biggest misconceptions of all time: morality.
Morality is something that was not given by God or is just in religious people
The latter of which can be easily answered by this. If you find out that God isnt real tommorow are you going to rape someone? Are you going to steal a purse for some quick cash? Are you going to cheat on your exams? Exactly. You arent because morality is about the person itself and can vary
If morality was given to by God then people like Hitler who was a professed Christian would not commit the terrible things he has done. Catholic priests wouldnt molest young boys. Religion certainly cannot take credit for these things
I will rebutt claims made in r2 by Pro next round
Thanks again for my opponent for participating in this debate and responding with such a well thought out opening statement! it has not been my experience recently to debate with someone so well versed in their beliefs. I respect that immensely! On that note, lets begin with my first rebuttal.
My opponent lays out 5 main contentions as to why it is "unreasonable to believe in a creator"
.. Let me just clarify that this is not my first "walk in the park" with these objections. Being a Christian - turned atheist - turned Christian.. I've done my fair share of wrestling with these questions and ultimately, found them unwarranted... Let me show you why..
*quick note: It was not my intention to argue for a specific creator (Yahweh, Allah, etc. ) but to respond to my opponents arguments fairly.. I will need to reference to the Trinitarian Christian God (Yahweh) in order to object reasonably*
1). The omnipotence paradox
He begins by spewing the typical atheist argument of "can God lift a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?". This argument appears to have some weight to it and was one the main "blockades" in my quest for truth.. Looking at it from both a philosophical and biblical perspective however, crumbles the entire argument altogether. I will be answering this contention from a biblical standpoint as the philosophical objections would take up enough time for an entire debate..
The fact of the matter is, only the Christian conception of God is able to answer this question... The biblical God is triune in nature.. that is, He is 3 persons in 1 being. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.. Here is a diagram...
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is God incarnate.. He is fully God and fully man (Philippians 2:1-11).. We know that Jesus state of omniscience was limited (Luke 2:52).. and he was unable to carry his own cross after being brutally tortured by the Romans (Luke 23:26). So then, can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it? The answer is yes! Due to his ability to limit his omniscience although we know that Jesus was the creator of everything (John 1:3). Only the triune nature of the Christian God can solve this dilemma.
2). There is no proof for God, therefore he doesn't exist
I want to begin by stating the official definition of proof: a piece of evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement."
Now what my opponent is alluding to like most prominent atheist's (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris) is "strong rationalism"... That is proof MUST be empirically known and established before they can even accept a rational argument for God's existence... They insist on having 100% airtight proof or its a no-go.
The fact of the matter is... "strong rationalism" doesn't live up to its own standards. Timothy Keller puts it perfectly in his book "the reason for God".. "How can you empirically prove that no one should believe something without empirical proof? You cant, and that reveals it to be ultimately a belief"... Let me put it into their terms..
What if I asked my opponent to prove to me that evolution exists as biological phenomenon.. Would he give me 100% airtight proof that everyone knows is completely factual and true? No! He would give me evidence based on the fossil record, modern DNA testing. Etc... that formulates a case for the existence of evolution.. He would then ask me to look at the sheer weight of the evidence and facts and decide what is the most LIKELY conclusion.
Now, by using the definition of proof.. I build my case for the existence of God on evidence that we experience and is accepted by the scientific community.. Namely:
1). the big bang
2). the regularity of nature
4). fine tuning of the universe
Can I say its all built on 100% truth? No and quite honestly, that doesn't even matter.. My question is: Is it reasonable to believe in a personal creator based on the evidence we have around us? That's for you to decide. Same with any other argument that HAS EVER EXISTED, We must look as objectively as possible at the "proof" given. The atheist's arguments are not exempt from this simple truth. Everything is taken on some form of faith. Therefore, I find my opponent statements to be completely biased in nature and at its core, misleading.
3). How can one religion be true with over 4200 in existence?
My opponent begins by stating, "There are an estimated 4200 religions in the world and any one of them COULD be correct". This contention however, can be quite misleading..
Not every one of these "4200" religion are all worshipping their own independent set of different Gods.... Let me give you a brief overview:
Christianity/Judaism: Worship 1 God, forming different sects (Catholics, Protestants)
Islam: Worship 1 god forming different sects (Sunni, Shia)
Hinduism: Worship 320 million gods in the form of 1 god brahman
Buddhism: Differing sects believing in a divine Buddha or are completely atheistic
This is only SOME of the various religions.. The amount of "gods" being worshipped is far less then my opponent would contend.
Nevertheless, he states "How can all these different people have different gods and not be correct. Ill tell you why. There is no God. It is culture that makes people believe in God not any thing else.?"
This is another statement that in its essence is faulty in many ways.. We all know that absolute truths exist... If one says "all truth is relative" then that is an absolute truth within itself and is a self defeating statement... Furthermore, not all truth can be true because most belief systems contradicts one another!
Now atheist's will say: these religious claims contradict each other, therefore there can be no God! That's not true at all, it's perfectly reasonable to believe that the claims of religions in particular are false! Carm Apologetics puts it perfectly: All religious claims cannot all be true due to contradicting claims. If they cannot all be true, it cannot be true that all religions lead to God." There is no need to throw out God just because the different religions have different claims regarding the issue... Let me finish by giving an analogy.
Imagine that I look objectively at the claims made for the origin of the universe.. We have some scientists claiming that their is an infinite amount of universe's, some claim that the universe is eternal, some spew the oscillating universe theory... Now certainly ALL these claims cannot be true because they contradict each other! But we all would agree that ONE of these claims must be true!... What would my opponent do in this situation (to continue the analogy further)? He would say "well since there are multiple claims being made that contradict, its illogical to believe that the universe began to exist!
This common mindset among athiest's; that their are multiple religions and therefore, there can be no God; does not hold any weight to me whatsoever.
4). Religion (biblical doctrine) is false when compared to science
My opponent states: "Religion often teaches us that the world around 1 million to even 6000 years old (biblical) however scientists have PROVEN that the world is 4.6 billion years old."
My opponent is using the beliefs of a minority group of Christians known as "young earth creationist's".. They believe that the earth was "literary" created in 6 days and the earth is 6000 years old. I (any the majority of Christians) do not believe this is true at all! The Hebrew word used in the creation account is "Yom" which translates to "day" or "age"when used in the proper context. a complete and thorough examination of the biblical account shows how it can be illogical to use the typical 24 hour use of the word "day"... It is subject to interpretation but provides a logical explanation for the account of creation fitting with the reality of science.
I do not have enough time to thoroughly respond this question.. Here's a link for a more in depth explanation
He then gives a series of biblical passage that apparently show that the earth is flat... Lets look a little closer
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (KJV)
Lets remember that the Bible is not completely literally in every sense. It is filled with poems, songs, historical events, etc... For example, do you really think that God will sit on the flags (ensigns) of every nation? No, its a metaphor for what is to come... Same with the Book of Revelations, the entire book is a vision given to the apostle John and is riddled with symbols and metaphors.
Here's a quote from George W Bush:
Should we say then, the former president of the U.S believed the earth is flat? No! We would call it a metaphor pertaining to the entire earth.
13 That it might take hold of the ENDS OF THE EARTH, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)
Again, another great example of how my opponent will twist the passage to mean "ends of the earth" literally... You will see that in our own conversations.. We may say, "I will follow you to the ends of the earth" or other sayings that do not literally mean that I will eventually reach the end of a flat earth. This my friends, is obvious.
I will respond to the rest of my opponents objections in my second rebuttal due to a lack of space. I look forward to hearing his response.
Thank you Pro for your arguement now its my turn
Before i begin into more arguements i will provide SHORT rebuttals to his claims in R3
If my opponent feels that i was lackluster in my rebuttal i will provide more in depth analysis in R4
1. Omnipotence Paradox
Jesus is God, The Holy Spirit is God, The Father is God
All 3 entites are seperate but the same due to Christianity being a monotheistic religion
That being said then there are no distinguishing levels of power in each and every one of them
If the father was somehow stronger than the Holy Spirit or the Son then they would become completely different entities resulting in a polytheistic religion
However according to my opponents belief God (The Son,The Father and the Holy Spirit) is omnipotent
What does this mean? That my opponents rebuttal of the Omnipotence Paradox is at best misguided and at worst outright false.
If the Son is God then he is all powerful.
God cannot make himself into a weaker version of himself because that would defy my opponents own little picture. There is only one absoulete version of God and his power will stay the same. The only thing that diffenciates the entities is there description in the bible. Nothing in the bible indicates that any of these seperate but the same entites have different levels of power
So your rebuttal of the Omnipotence theory has no impact.
Not only this but my opponent brings up the fact that Jesus could not lift up his own cross:
Jesus had performed 3 major miracles in my mind:
-Raising of the dead
-Walking on Water
While Jesus was BORN man he was still God. He had the same powers and the same intellect because again he is God. Looking at your little picture we see that all are God. If they all were God then why didnt Jesus just use telekinetics and send everyone flying and escape?
That wouldnt fit the agenda God had for the world
"For god so loved the world that he gave his only son"
If Jesus just used his powers to escape what would be the point of Christianity?
He had to suffer as a human to forgive the world of his sins
2) Im about to break your heart...... but i dont believe in 100 percent truth
Richard Dawkins has never said that "you shouldnt believe anything thats not 100 percent true"
Nothing is 100 percent true. The scientific theory of gravity isnt 100 percent true, The scientific theory of evolution is 100 percent true. Nothing is in science
And thats the beauty of it. Because in faith nothing changes. But in science everything can change because as we grow to understand things in life we change our views.
However.....in your case there is not a shred of evidence to back up the spiritual claims of your religion. Now of course some people in the bible were probably there and some existed. But as for the miracles and the pillars of fire? Nothing
Nothing at all
3) 4200 religions
Of course some relgions overlap but they all have different endings or beliefs. The Jews dont believe the same thing you believe in and while you may be very similar in the end your praying to Jesus and they are just praying to God.
Now of course atheists dont just say "Hey lots of religons. Im right!"
No, they build on evidence and this is just another piece of evidence in his favor
4) 4 corners of the Earth
You cited George Bush. Thats not a good idea and ill show you why at the end
In the words of Neill Degrasse Tyson "Every single person that relies on the bible to make scientific claims fails. People said according to the bible they were on a flat earth. People said stars could fall out of the sky!"
The bible says 4 corners of the earth multiple times and alludes to the fact it is flat. Defending it is just another example of Christians covering up for some things in the bible. It amazes me on how Chrsitians think they know God's agenda and not anyone else. They will say "No hes just being allegorical" and then say "No hes being literal". In the end none of know what he meant so we might as well look at the passage and make an educated guess and not cover up things.
NOW onto the next stage of the arguement
1) The impossiblity of everlasting
Now this part will be a bit different. Im going to ask these questions and my opponent must answer them.
What did God do before he created everything?
What distrubed him in order to start creating things?
Was he lonely?
2) The impossiblity of the creation arguement
The creation arguement is basically this. God created everything. That is it. There is no explanation WHY god created everything. He just did
If a being is already perfect then it is complete. It needs nothing else and certainly does not need to create things to somehow make it better
Also another arguement.
If God created humans then they are fundementally required to be perfect
Nothing imperfect can come from something perfect. If humans are imperfect, and we know we are, then that will make God imperfect.
3) God intended us to suffer
If God intentionally made us to be imperfect then he did so to make us suffer. Without perfection God intends to make us dependent on him in order to make himself feel somehow better
However THIS ALSO MAKES NO SENSE! If God is a caring/loving God then he would never do this. Not only that! A PERFECT being doesnt need anything to make himself "better".
4) Because my opponent has chosen the Christian God for arguement sakes i will now show how the bible is full of mistakes and contradictions.
The Order of Creation
Genesis 1:11-12 and 1:26-27 Trees came before Adam.
Genesis 1:20-21 and 26-27 Birds were created before Adam.
Genesis 1:24-27 Animals were created before Adam.
Genesis 1:26-27 Adam and Eve were created at the same time.
Back to top ↑Other Issues in the Garden
Genesis 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.
Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"
Alright, thanks again to my opponent for stimulating this discussion! I must admit, I am a little disappointed in the plausibility of his objections.. Nonetheless, I appreciate his willingness to share his arguments.. I really do commend that!.. Lets dive in immediately..
I want to turn our attention back to my opening conjecture's:
1). God is the best explanation for the Big Bang
2). God is the best explanation for the fine tuning of the universe
3). God is the best explanation for the regularity of nature
4). God is the best explanation for the moral duties that we as humans share
My opponents only attack so far is to say that morality is personal.. Therefore, morality cannot come from God.
"morality is about the person itself and can vary"... Let soak on that for a moment..
Judging by what my opponent said, He believes that the holocaust was wrong... He believes the molestation of little children is wrong.. I need to ask: On what basis does he have to judge somebody morals if all morals are personal? Surely Hitler and the entire nation of Germany believed that the entire genocide of the Jewish population was right! Now, we all cringe at the idea calling it a moral abomination!
How are we to judge other culture's views of morality? We all would say that child sacrifice is an utterly reprehensible act, but why? If morality is personal to THAT specific culture... Who are we to judge?
The sociologist Christian Smith puts it this way: "Moral"... Is an orientation toward understandings about what is right and wrong, that are not established by our own actual desires or preferences but instead are believed to exist apart from them, providing standards by which we judge"
Guys.. This is obvious.. We all believe certain acts are wrong regardless of what others think on the issue.. (I.e Rape, murder). These things ARE NOT personal.. If they were, we could not judge what is truly right or wrong.
Therefore, God is the best explanation for objective moral values because evolution/social conditioning do not provide adequate reasons
"they show that the work of the law is written on their heart" - Romans 2:24
My 4 main contentions then, stand wholly un-refuted and stand as evidence for why it is IS perfectly reasonable to believe in a Creator.
Lets move on to my second rebuttal: *I'm going to keep these short due to my word count restraint*
1). Omnipotence paradox:
My opponent states: there are no distinguishing levels of power in each and every one of them
The Biblical view of the trinity describes an "economic" view of subordination rather then an "ontological" view.. What does this mean?
Well, the Bible teaches a relational form of subordination (economical) where the 3 Persons of the trinity voluntarily submit to each other in regards to creation and salvation but share the same divine attributes and nature.. (1 John: 40)... Very unlike the "ontological" view were the Persons are lesser/greater in nature.
This is where my opponent gets mixed up. He essentially implies that because their are differing roles in the Godhead.. They cannot be of the same nature. Not true whatsoever! As stated above, God the Son willingly limits his omnipotence in order to obey the Father and attain the salvation of human kind. This does not mean that He is not God..
He then states: "If the father was somehow stronger than the Holy Spirit or the Son then they would become completely different entities resulting in a polytheistic religion"
So Because God the father is stronger the Jesus.. Means he is a different being? That's not a very logical conclusion. Jesus and the Holy spirit willing Submit themselves to the Fathers will (1 John: 2) in order to play differing roles within the Godhead. That does not affect their divine nature or somehow make them lesser Gods...
Again he states: While Jesus was BORN man he was still God. He had the same powers and the same intellect because again he is God. Looking at your little picture we see that all are God."
I continually allude to the fact that Jesus limited his omnipotence.. Like me limiting my own strength when arm wrestling my little cousin.. That doesn't make me fundamentally weaker then my cousin because I allowed myself to become weak.. Therefore, I cannot agree with my opponents contentions that Jesus was unable to limit his own omnipotence and still be God
The "Omnipotence paradox" then, is unable to stand against the Christian God...
2). 100 % truth
My opponent claims: in your case there is not a shred of evidence to back up the spiritual claims of your religion.
My opponent then claims:I'm about to break your heart...... but I don't believe in 100 percent truth
This is a common element among most atheist's... That is, they say that theists have NO proof for God while disregarding the definition of proof (a piece of evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.")
In my earlier contentions.. I gave 4 pieces of objective evidence that contemporary science agrees were God is THE MOST PLAUSIBLE explanation.. *see top* and so far.. My opponent has done nothing to refute these but to give half hearted rebuttals that ultimately... Are attacking the Christian doctrine of God rather then actually deal with the subject: "Is it reasonable to believe in a CREATOR"...
3). 4200 religions
I've shown how it is perfectly reasonable for somebody to reconcile the idea of an overarching spiritual reality from the existence of multiple religions.
An atheist might say: There are multiple religions, therefore there is no God
a theist might say: there are multiple religions, therefore there is a God
All in all, both sides can use this simple truth in their toolbox and be perfectly justified.. Although which one is right? That's for you to decide.
4). 4 corners of the earth
Ladies and gentle men of the jury.. I have shown how these passages (4 corners of the earth" and "ends of the earth") in the bible are not only allegorical in nature, but are also common phrases that we use in everyday life..
My opponent slips up when stating: "In the end none of know what he meant so we might as well look at the passage and make an educated guess and not cover up things."
How then if "nobody knows what they meant" can my opponent attack my own "view" of the phrase? He cant, his rebuttal is ultimately.. Self refuting.
The fact is.. There are reliable ways to understand a biblical phrase. You look at the context... Original language used and try and piece together what the original author meant (hermeneutics)... Nobody claims to be perfect in interpretation (like myself) but certain phrases are quite obvious.
Likewise, an ancient person would not look at these phrases as being a statement for a flat earth.. Rather they would understand that God is speaking about bring every person from the whole earth together..
Does my opponent think phrases like this should be taken literally?
"let the skies rejoice and the earth be glad. Let the sea and everything in it shout" (Psalm 96:11)
I think an objective look at these phrases do not conclude that the biblical depiction of the earth is flat. That is for the audience to decide.
Overall, I do not find my opponents rebuttals to be convincing arguments against the existence of God... Especially since no plausible objection has been made to my above contentions... Therefore is IS perfectly reasonable to believe in a God.. I will briefly respond to his questions due to a lack of space...
1). Why did God create humanity
First God "needs" nobody to fulfill a lonely desire:
"The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything" (Acts 17:24-25).
Also, God had eternal company within himself due to his triune nature.. That is, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit enjoyed a relationship in eternity past.. He was never lonely.
The Bible describes that God created humanity simply because He wanted to. “All things were created by him and for him.”
2). The impossibility of creation
Again, an extremely misleading question... My opponent assumes that God NEEDED to create humans but rather, He WANTED to. I've already explained that in my last response.. This is easy stuff guys..
He then says: "Nothing imperfect can come from something perfect. If humans are imperfect, and we know we are, then that will make God imperfect."
This is an extremely complex question that requires an in depth response.. I cannot due that due to spatial restrictions so I will leave a link for further answers..
Nonetheless, God endowed his creation with "free will" that is, the ability to choose right from wrong and live with the consequence of their actions. In doing so, the creation chose "imperfection".. This does not render the "creator" as imperfect.. If a master toymaker willingly decided to create a toy with the ability to choose.. Does that render the master toymaker imperfect? No.
3). God intended for us to suffer
Nope. Again, a faulty statement...
God gave us a choice to choose Him or sin.. If he didn't.. We would all be robots worshipping a God out of forced love.. It is required to create being with free will in order for true love, worship and life to be had. We wouldn't say a programmed computer of A.I has life in it.. They are programmed beings.
That being said God does not wish any of his creation to turn from him... " He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
To say that God somehow doesn't care is downright wrong.. Biblical doctrine describes the God of the universe.. Stepping off of his throne and allowing himself to be ripped to shreds, mocked, and killed in so that his creation would be reconciled from their choices.
I respect my opponent for his objections but I don't find them very convincing.. I will respond to the alleged "bible contradictions" in my later arguments. Back to con.
Ah yes i compleltely forgot those 4 contentions and made my own points
Sorry about that. I will now rebutt your contentions now
1. God is the best explanation for the Big Bang
No he is not
There is another theory that perfectly explains the big bang and is created by one of the greatest minds of all time
The M-Theory also known as string theory
The M-Theory was introduced by Stephen Hawkings. It produces the idea that multiple universes are created out of nothing. For better clarification........
The M-theory posits that multiple universes are created out of nothing, Hawking explained, with many possible histories and many possible states of existence. In only a few of these states would life be possible, and in fewer still could something like humanity exist. Hawking mentioned that he felt fortunate to be living in this state of existence.
M-Theory like explained by Hawkings does not require a God because the universe created itself because it needed to. This removes the NEED for a god or the possiblity of a God.
This subject is actually quite complicated so if you really want to go more in depth i would advise you look at these links. Namely the second one since thats the one that goes really in depth about why the string theory is correct.
2. God is the best explanation for the fine turning of the universe
Basically this is your arguement: A life-supporting universe is unlikely. A powerful Creator who wanted such a universe would explain it. So the fact that we have a life-supporting universe makes it likely there was a Creator
"Another alternative is that there are a whole bunch of universes --- not just galaxies in our universe, but complete universes. Given a string of universes, one would expect the various combinations of parameters for basic physical factors to show up in endless combinations, just as one expects all of the individually unlikely combinations of hands to show up, if one plays bridge long enough. Are these hypotheses initially more or less plausible than the God hypothesis?"
" This depends on what would be required by the existence of such a Creator. Wouldn’t that in turn require the existence of a Creator-friendly universe, or proto-universe, with parameters set to allow for the development of such a powerful and wonderful Being, capable of setting the parameters for our universe? If so, it doesn’t seem we have gained much with the God hypothesis."
Not only this but the arguement that God is the one fine tuning the universe will only really sound plausible to people who think a creator is plausible.
"When magic can do anything, when there are not predictable costs for actions taken/energy expended, plot and pacing falls apart. There’s no rational way for people to judge the consequence of their actions in a world of constant flux. It’s hard to imagine any sense of causality or induction in such a world, and given this deficiency, hard to imagine any possibility of moral action or will at all.
A world without natural law or regularity seems much more likely to require a creator than the world we live in!. Even a world of smaller scale irregularities (miracles, smitings, etc) would be fairly persuasive evidence for an External Actor, if not a benevolent God. You don’t have to scale up all the way to full-on roiling maelstrom to imagine God(s) that undermine nature’s regularity; the supernatural interventions of the Greek pantheon fit the bill, and would require unnatural explanations."
Alright.. Due to space I will dive in immediately..
1). God is the best explanation for the Big Bang
2). God is the best explanation for the fine tuning of the universe for intelligent life
My opponents arguments against these contentions goes as follows:
a. The M-theory (multiverse) is a better explanation then creationism
b. We were just lucky..
c. a divine creator would need a "creator friendly universe" in order to exist
He begins by stating: "The M-Theory was introduced by Stephen Hawking. It produces the idea that multiple universes are created out of nothing."
I understand that running to a famous cosmologist in order to prove a point sounds like a grand idea.. I want to however quote Steven Hawking when being interviewed about the origin of life..
“The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like a big bang are enormous....I think there are religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the universe.”
Here's the link to that conversation: http://www.y-origins.com...
Nevertheless, the M-Theory IS NOT ACCEPTED by the majority of cosmologists and astrophysicists... There is a multitude of issues with the theory and is definitely not universally accepted within the scientific community.. Namely:
1. It defies the scientific principle of Ockmans Razor
2).It includes exemptions to Thermodynamics (mass energy conservation)
3). It essentially being undetectable
Nonetheless, I guarantee my opponent and I are not experts on this subject so take a look at these links for further reference
The fact of the matter is.. There is not any good evidence to support the multiverse theory... Its a theory to explain away the existence of intelligent design that otherwise... Has nothing to back it up..
The philosopher John Leslie puts it this way: He imagines a man who is sentenced to be executed by a firing squad consisting of fifty expert marksman. They all fire from six feet away and not 1 bullet hits him, Now its "technically" possible that all of these expert marksman could have missed from close range its also possible that all fifty just happened to miss... Its also possible that there are millions of different universes and in this specific one.. They miss. Would anybody conclude that? No.. This is what atheist do in light of the Big Bang and Fine Tuning arguments that ultimately don't cut the chase.. Nonetheless I will end this point with a quote..
"The whole question of why we’re here is not a scientific question; it’s a theological one. Whether the explanation is God, the multiverse, or some yet to be discovered mechanism of cosmic Darwinism, it will always be tentative and unprovable, because no matter how reasonable and robust the theory, there is no way of knowing that it’s in fact the way it happened. Thus, our favored explanation will always be a matter of faith, faith in our presuppositions of how the world is."
The reality is.. Both theories (multiverse/creationism) take tremendous amounts of faith to believe in.. Is it really a valid statement then, to say that it is "unreasonable" to believe in a God in light of all of this.? I'll leave that for you to decide.
My opponent then states: What if this was just cosmic luck?"
Guys.. The sheer amount of "cosmic luck" needed for our universe to exist with the life-permitting values that we observe is so astronomically large that it cannot be reasonably faced.
Here are some of the "constants" that govern our universe:
Speed of Light: c=299,792,458 m s-1
* Gravitational Constant: G=6.673 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2
* Planck's Constant: 1.05457148 x 10-34 m2 kg s-2
* Planck Mass-Energy: 1.2209 x 1022 Me
God by definition is eternal, omnipresent, and transcendent.. So by definition He is not bound to the physical/temporal realm that He himself created.. He is completely distinct. My opponent continues by saying "ccouldn't’t that in turn require the existence of a Creator-friendly universe, or proto-universe, with parameters set to allow for the development of such a powerful and wonderful Being," This assumes that God "developed" or came into being..
This is simply not true.. God by definition.. Always existed (eternal) He always was, and is, and is to come. The theist argues that Something (the universe) came from something (God).. The atheist says Something (the universe) came from nothing.. I wonder which is the more logical conclusion?
3). God is the best explanation for the regularity of nature
My opponent gave less than a favorable answer.. He gives no evidence in an atheistic worldview as to why nature forms regularities but instead replies that it is more likely that a God would permit an irregular universe.
This is not true.. God does not need to act according to supernatural means in order to interact with his creation. Both a philosophical and "common sense" approach dictates why this premise is completely false..
God is able to perform miracles that do not necessarily contradict the laws of nature.. Although by definition He could.. This does not mean that He does and it certainly does not object my contention that God is the best explanation for the regularity of nature..
The fact is, we live in a world dictated by natural laws that don't NEED to be the way they are.. They just are. Why? Well the atheist has no reasonable answer.. The theist however, grounds this observation in an everlasting God that created everything for a specific purpose. Which is more reasonable?
4). God is the best explanation for objective morality
It seems like my opponent isn't getting it.. My question is: how can YOU specifically judges somebody else's morals if they are all culturally based or personal?
Who's to say what is actually right or wrong.. If China issues a decree to kill over half of their population tomorrow.. How can we say there actions are wrong? If They're just another culture with other moral beliefs.. Therefore we should respect that decision right? NO! We would all say that they are wrong for taking innocent lives.
I want to ask my opponent a series of questions that he must answer:
1), are there things that you think are SERIOUSLY WRONG regardless of how other people see them?
2). If so.. How can you justify those values that you have are RIGHT if all morals are the result of culture or personal feelings?
If he says yes.. He must justify them using objective moral values which the atheist has no grounds doing living in an objectively "lawless" universe
If no then my opponent cannot distinguish between right/wrong deeming everything morally neutral
I hope you all can see the frailty the atheist worldview. They must borrow a theistic worldview (that is.. justify what is morally right or wrong to them) and then claim their is no such objective morality.
God IS the best explanation for the right and wrong values that we impose on ourselves and others.. We cannot expect others to act under right moral conduct while simultaneously believing that morality is "free floating".
Also, due to space I cannot contend the alleged "biblical contradictions that my opponent proposes.. Here's a link to some answers..
All in all, I enjoyed this debate immensely and I hope I was able to shed some light on the fact that a creationist does not just spout a bunch of hoopla.. I hope that we can all conclude that it is in fact REASONABLE to believe in a personal Creator and are faith is not built on blindness but rather solid evidence. My objective is not to convert anybody to a personal faith but rather.. Deal with the blind statement that "religion and faith cannot coincide"...
I'm interested that my opponent did not use his space in his last rebuttal to address my objections to:
1). The omnipotence paradox
2). His truth claims
3). His issues with their being multiple religions
4). and the flat earth hypothesis
I expect to see at least some plausible response in his conclusion as his contentions were not very satisfactory..
Thanks again to my opponent and audience for listening. God Bless!
P.S We all agree that Bush is not exactly known for his intellect.. I used his quote in order to show how "four corners" and "ends of the earth" are common phrases we see in our language that do not allude to the earth being flat.
Because this is the conclusion i will rebutt my opponents final claims because i have already presented my final claims in round 4.
My opponent starts out by saying that a large amount of astrophyscists oppose the M-Theory.
Thats funny because the vast majority of astropyshicits (over 80 percent) oppose the notion of a creator.
Not only that but the field of astropyshics is actually more likely to turn you into a non believer than any field
If you want to use that notion then your arguement has failed.
The idea that string theory somehow does not follow the law of conservation of matter or the law of entropy is also non-factual.
String theory actually follows these but has its own twist on them to say. What i mean is that the theory does not outright violate the laws but instead they follow them in a strange way. However your assumption that they defy the law is incorrect
My opponent also says that the theory has nothing to back it up. Hundreds of scienists still regard the theory as a good theory. Of course like all theories it needs work but the theory of a creator is also like ive stated above rejected by the vast majority of scientists
Also my opponent brings up cosmic luck. And he brings up a firing squad in comparison.
See the problem with this logic is it states that we would still be conscious if the accident did not happen. If the accident did not happen then we would not be debating right now and we would not be pondering this question.
This shows that an accident is an extremely plausible scenario.
My opponent also brings up our very narrow chances for having a life hospitable world. This is true. Its why nowhere in the universe except for earth (Which we know of) is not hospitable for life naturally. Would a creator really create a never ending universe and only make one planet hosptiable? No he wouldnt.
Now you may ask: How did we get lucky? We just did. If another planet was that lucky we wouldnt be having this conversation and maybe people on a different planet would.
My opponent brings up the fact that the universe did not need to exist for the Creator to be in. Then that brings the question where was God at?
My opponent also did not answer the question what was god doing before he created the universe. If God was eternal that means that there would be an eternity sized gap between the creation of the universe and God
Onward however my opponent still hasnt refuted the arguement of the regularity of nature. He bases his arguement that i said that the rules of nature would always be irregular if a god was present. However i never said that. All i stated was that the regularity of nature does not require a god. And if there was a god there MIGHT be irregularity in nature. Since we see no irregularity in nature then that states there is no proof there is or is not a god. This defeats his 3rd contention
Now onto the morality arguemnet. My opponent is really stretching. Cultures dictate what we think is right or not. As citizens of the USA we know that killing a sect of people is morally wrong. However 1940's Germany did not think that it was morally wrong. They actually thought it was morally right.
My opponent also didnt refute the fact that if he lived back in the biblical times he would also stone adulterers because they broke gods law.
Finally i would like to say something about why i didnt address the omnipotence paradox and other such claims. Those claims had nothing to do with the 4 contentions you gave and i wanted to stick to these 4 contentions so the voters would not think i just went off topic on a anti-theist rant.
Thank you Pro for the debate. I do think i lost this one but it was a fun debate regardless. Also since you realized George Bush was a stupid guy i wont post his terrible quotes
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