The Instigator
KostasT.1526
Pro (for)
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The Contender
JimShady
Con (against)
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Is religion a delusion?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 540 times Debate No: 103711
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
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KostasT.1526

Pro

Is religion a delusion?
By the term "delusion" one describes a belief which is not supported by any evidence, without that implying that it is necessarily wrong; it stands on pure faith.
The same goes for religion. Countless people believe in a higher being, only in order to comfort themselves; and that is to be expected, since religion promises its followers the fulfillment of their greatest wishes: a loving fatherly being which watches them, bestows justice and provides life after death, while it sets moral standards for the human society and explains the nature in its simple way. It is apparent why it appealed to the illiterate people of the era of it's creation, and thus it has been passed down to us. But, as mentioned before, there is no clear evidence of the existence of God. Even the theists' greatest argument against science, namely "everything cannot have come out of nothing, hence the big bang didn't create the universe", does not prove the existence of God, but the existence of gaps in our knowledge. It is remarkable how many events that were labelled as supernatural in the past have now been logically explained by science. That's what progress is for. And delusions such as religion stand as an obstacle to this.
JimShady

Con

No, religion is not a delusion because it does not fit into your definition of delusion "a belief which is not supported by any evidence, without that implying that it is necessarily wrong; it stands on pure faith."

Religion does not stand on faith alone. It might be a portion of it, but it also stands on evidence that cannot be dissproved beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, to say that religion appeals to (what you imply only) illiterate people has no proof whatsoever, please show me where you got that.
Theists have an answer to the existence of the universe, while atheists do not have have come no closer to proving that God DID NOT create the universe. Please give me your answer of how the universe started and then we can actually debate it.
It is quite remarkable that events were labelled supernatural in the past but have sense then been dissproven by science. However, it's even more remarkable the mircales that science has come no where NEAR explaining (they only have cheap, very unspecific answers to them). Please, I want my opponent to explain these events that I will list below.
1. A statue of the Virgin Mary in Japan started weeping tears. This happened for 6 years and had 101 reported occasions. [1]
2. On the tilma of Juan Diego in 1531, the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary appeared it was studied with infrared rays and reported that image was painted in one step without sketches or paintbrush strokes. Also, it was found that the coloring used was not from a vegetable, mineral or animal source. Her pupils when amplified 2,500 times, reflect Native Americans and Franciscan monks. [1]
3. The stigmata, appearing on multiple saints on holy people, are injuries similar to the ones received by Jesus on Calvary. They come out of nowhere and can heal almost instantly. [2]
4. Incorruptibility: Numerous saints and holy persons after they die do not decompose like people normally do. Some of their bodies are still on display and can still be flexible. Saint Bernadette, Saint Rita, and the Curare of Ares are just a few examples of this phenomena that's unexplained. [3]
5. Just rundown list- science has not explained the visions seen by people after they have died and cam back to life (and these visions are all of similar things), the too-coincidental-to-be-explained healings and cures at holy sights, and demonic possession and black magic/curses.
Laugh at me if you want, but until I hear reasonable respinses to these besides the usual "coincidence, coincidence" and "we don't know yet", I will shrug you off.
Sources:
Debate Round No. 1
KostasT.1526

Pro

It seems that you are rushing to conclusions. Never did I say that religion appeals only to the illiterate. It was you who misconstrued the content of my argument. What I said was that, in simplicity, the illiterate people of that era were very likely to be appealed by the psychological comfort religion offers, and so they did; but that does not mean that only an illiterate would do so. Do not distort my words to your likings.
Another misunderstanding of yours is to label me as an atheist; but I am an agnostic. That is the reason why the title of the debate is "Is religion a delusion" and not "Does God not exist" or so. What I am trying to remark through all this is that there is no evidence that God exists, not that he does not exist. Hence, I will not try to prove the latter, as you mentioned. You are the one who's supposed to prove that god does exist.
Moreover, I believe that in my first argument I clearly mentioned that claims that prove the existence of gaps in our knowledge do not account as proof for the existence of a God too. Despite this, you still challenged me to explain "miracles" - a crying statue, a mysterious painting e.t.c. I will give you explanations, but even if I could not, the usual "coincidence, coincidence" and "we don't know yet" would be much more logical than to ascribe everything to a magical being. Especially the latter of the two. And that is why I said that religion cannot be proven to be true and stands on faith alone - although sometimes being naive and narrow minded helps too (this is something I was able to figure out just by looking at how many theists believe in these so-called miracles without a second thought).
But anyway:
Concerning the miracles you mentioned:
1. Even the books of Sherlock Holmes describe how one can make a statue "weep tears". But perhaps you would like a more scientific explanation. The secret lies in the statue's shape and the material it is made of, as Dr. Luigi Garlaschelli found. Plaster, for example, promises satisfying results.
https://www.google.gr...
As I was looking into that, though, I came across something else that I found quite intriguing. Statues crying blood, that is. It may disappoint some, but this too can be explained; the "blood" is the result of the existence of bacteria.
https://www.google.gr...
2.The painting is not as miraculous as you think it is. What you mentioned was indeed the result of scientific studies. But newer researches found something else:
http://www.csicop.org...
3.I do not have much to say on this matter. But the fact that no stigmata have ever been scientifically examined should be enough, especially since their authenticity is doubted. For a more elaborate explanation, read the following:
https://www.google.gr...
4.Incorruptibility? Not at all. The bodies of the saints that are known for their non-decomposition are usually not in public view. What people see is bodies made of wax. But even when you see the real body, it could be - most of it - preserved for the following reasons:
"Things that can prevent decay:
Drying " By far the most common form of natural preservation, if a body is placed in a dry area or has air circulation, such as might be the case if it is not buried, the tissues may dry out. This stunts microbial activity and keeps the body from decaying.
Adipocere " Also known as "grave wax" or "mortuary wax", the process occurs when bacterial hydrolysis converts body fats into a stable organic substance composed of fatty acids. The material is described as being similar to wax or soap. The process occurs in cold damp environments and may be exacerbated by mineral activity.
Intentional Embalming - Embalming of one type or another has been around for centuries. Modern embalming is done primarily to prevent decay of a body while it is transported to burial or during a time that it lays in state. It includes the infusion of the body with chemicals such asformaldehyde, which can fix tissue and inhibit decay. This type of embalming has been around for more than a century.
Other environmental conditions " Numerous compounds and conditions are known to occur which may result in decay being inhibited. Toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury may have been used in years past in caskets or burial preparations and can inhibit microbial activity. Acidic conditions, such as those found in peat bogs are well known for their ability to preserve organic material. Other local minerals or conditions may play a role."
https://www.quora.com...
Please note that no so-called incorruptible body was ever scientifically examined.
5. i. The brain of a human can function up to three minutes after death. During this, visions that are affected by the individual's psychology, for example their religion and beliefs or strong wishes, can appear.
ii. Healings and cures can too happen because of psychological reasons. Proof of this is the faith treatment, during which the patient thinks he takes a medicine, but he is actually given mere water or some other substance.
iii. Demonic possession can be ascribed, for apparent reasons, to psychological factors too.
You also asked me to elaborate on my belief concerning the origin of the universe. First of all, I would like to mention that the big bang is proven to have happened. How? A good telescope, under favorable circumstances, should be able to observe foreign galaxies that have a faint reddish hue. That happens because of the Doppler - or redshift, in this case - phenomenon, which tells us, according to the studies of wave mechanics, that the wavelength of a wave increases as the wave source moves away from the observer, and decreases, as it gets closer to him. The above occur in light waves too, making it more red as the wavelenght increases (redshift) and more blue as it decreases (blueshift). This is so because the red and blue colours correspond to the highest and lowest wavelength of a light wave in the visible spectrum of light. Knowing this, one can deduce that all the galaxies are moving away from the observers - us - with an astounding speed, considering that the speed of light is 300.000klm/sec.
That may lead to the conclusion that our galaxy is the centre of the universe. But to quote Hubble: ...if we see the nebulae all receding from our position in space, then every other observer, no matter where he may be located, will see the nebulae all receding from his position. However, the assumption is adopted. There must be no favoured location in the Universe, no centre, no boundary; all must see the Universe alike. And, in order to ensure this situation, the cosmologist, postulates spatial isotropy and spatial homogeneity, which is his way of stating that the Universe must be pretty much alike everywhere and in all directions."
The following is Hubble's law:
1. Objects observed in deep space (extragalactic space, 10 megaparsecs (Mpc) or more) are found to have a Doppler shift interpretable as relative velocity away from Earth
2. This Doppler-shift-measured velocity, of various galaxies receding from the Earth, is approximately proportional to their distance from the Earth for galaxies up to a few hundred megaparsecs away.
The logical conclusion that scientists drew out of this is, of course, the expansion of the universe, which we ascribe to the big bang. But there is more evidence except than Hubble's supporting the big bang, such as the cosmic microwave background radiation and more.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
I have heard many Christians claim that the Bible had forseen the Big Bang before science progressed to the point to discover all the above. To be more specific, they claim that the big bang is mentioned in God's words "let there be light". Maybe some imagine the creation of light as a big explosion. But I hope I won't need to explain why this argument is not valid, especially after such a detailed description of the big bang and its supporting evidence.
Another argument, which, contrary to the previous, is quite logical, is "How can you know that God did not cause the big bang?". Indeed, I cannot. But I cannot be sure about the opposite, either, until there is evidence. But one thing is sure: up until now, God was never necessary for the explanation of the universe. Since you claim that you have evidence of his existence, though, let me see it.
JimShady

Con

It seems that you are rushing to conclusions. Never did I say that religion appeals only to the illiterate. It was you who misconstrued the content of my argument. What I said was that, in simplicity, the illiterate people of that era were very likely to be appealed by the psychological comfort religion offers, and so they did; but that does not mean that only an illiterate would do so. Do not distort my words to your likings.

Earlier: It is apparent why it appealed to the illiterate people of the era of it's creation, and thus it has been passed down to us.
Well, judging by what you wrote earlier, you can see why I jumped to that conclusion: you were unclear, so I acted on implication. If you say you did not mean "only the illiterate", then I'll take your word for it. Still, I hope you can see how your wording strongly implied this, which I took as an insult. But thank you for the clarification.
Another misunderstanding of yours is to label me as an atheist; but I am an agnostic.

I have no remeberance of calling you an atheist. If you took this line "while atheists do not..." as labeling, then forgive me. You are not an atheist. Thanks for being an open-minded agnostic, I am also agnostic on the subject of God (but strongly lean toward theism.)
Moreover, I believe that in my first argument I clearly mentioned that claims that prove the existence of gaps in our knowledge do not account as proof for the existence of a God too. Despite this, you still challenged me to explain "miracles" - a crying statue, a mysterious painting e.t.c. I will give you explanations, but even if I could not, the usual "coincidence, coincidence" and "we don't know yet" would be much more logical than to ascribe everything to a magical being. Especially the latter of the two. And that is why I said that religion cannot be proven to be true and stands on faith alone - although sometimes being naive and narrow minded helps too (this is something I was able to figure out just by looking at how many theists believe in these so-called miracles without a second thought).

You can call any proof I give for God a gap in our knowledge: I can do the same for your arguments. Coincidences are usually unlikely to planned procedures. You are very correct in saying that religion is cannot be proven scientifically. Science is uses evidence to prove the natural world, and God is supernatural. So although I can make attempts, it's impossible to both prove/dissprove God with science, which is why both sides resort to faith in him existing/not existing. I do not fit into your category of naivity as I often give second thoughts and try to remain skeptical on supernatural events (as does the Vatican when verifying miracles... they may be wrong on occasion, but they make a sincere attempt to weed out the fakes.)
1. Weeping Statue and Bleeding Statue: First off, this is not the Japanese statue I was originally inquiring about, but I will adress it nonetheless. Scientists examined a copy made from the same company, but lacked an entry hole and was likely meant to simulate a copy of the original. Also, the Lady of Akita is made of wood, not plaster, and is shown to have had human blood and human tears. The same goes for the statue of Jesus that weeps blood and multiple Eucharaistic miracles (two miracles 1300 years apart had the same DNA and blood type.) Also, the statue of Jesus recieved a CAT scan and was found to be hollow but have no internal liquids or mechanisms inside.
2. The scientific analysis of the painting did nothing to uncover what was underneath the painted portions of the tilma, and therefore it has discovered nothing. As for the eyes, the same 1/3 of an inch image was on both right and left eyes. Scientists have also affirmed that the eyes posses the effects of image refraction in a human eye, and the distortion responds to the eyes cornea. Also seen are contaction furrows cand vascualr supply which optomologists only discovered in the 20th century.
3. Science and the church have examined it thoroughly enough to reach a conclusion of un-explainability on an atheist's part or a miracle on a theist's part.
4. Multiple bodies of saints were discovered in environements that would cause deterioration even if they were embalmed. I'll admit that the Vatican can be very mysterious with the incorruptibility of popes, but early saints of the church. Also, embalmed bodies are not considered to be incorupt, so that rules out a huge part of your argument. As for natural processes that keep the body from decaying, why does this not happen to many people but almost exclusively to saints of the church? As for the wax covering the bodies saints do not stay incorrupt indefintely and will eventually deteriorate, but at a MUCH slower rate than usual.
5. ichi (1): Isn't it funny though that after death, the visions of people are stkingly similar in detail?http://www.near-death.com...
ni (2):This explains a very small percentage of them, and seems like a very effortless explanation.
san (3): True diabolical possession is not a mental illness, many phyciatrists have stated this. https://www.cmf.org.uk...
First of all, I would like to mention that the big bang is proven to have happened.
Did I ever deny that it did? The Big Bang story does not conflict with the existence of God. Also, you have resorted to using the Bible as a science textbook, a common mistake committed by atheists. It isn't a history/science book, it is a religious revelation. Not everything has to be taken literally.
You did a very excellent job explaining how the big bang happened, but science only answers the "how", not "why". So, we know how the big bang happened, now why did it happen? What created the big bang? The collapse of another universe in the multivers? How was THAT universe created? As you can see, an atheist/agnostic argument leads to the impossibility of infinite regress, while the theistic argument does not.
I never claimed to have evidence that God existed. I will be the first to admit that theists cannot prove his existence. I will also be the first to point out atheists/agnostics cannot dissprove him. This is because science is the study of the natural world, and God is supernatural. Thus proving either option is impossible. However, as I have demonstrated, the theistic stance on the universe's origin is more plausible than the atheistic.
Answer me this: if the universe has been in effect since basically its start, what was the cause? An effect needs a cause.
Debate Round No. 2
KostasT.1526

Pro

I'm glad we overcame the "illiterate" and "atheist" misunderstandings. I also noticed that you resorted to permanent agnosticism (the belief that we will never be able to prove the existence of God, considering that a supernatural being cannot be comprehended through natural means), instead of theism. It is quite a logical choice, although I, on the other hand, support temporary agnosticism, stating that, although for apparent reasons we cannot prove or disprove God yet, science may find the answer to this dillema in the future. And this too can be viewed as a logical option, considering how many mind-blowing discoveries has science made until today and will keep making as humanity itself progresses.
From all this, though, a problem arises; a problem concerning this debate. When I posted it, I claimed that religion is a delusion, giving a definition of "delusion": a belief which is not supported by any evidence, without that implying that it is necessarily wrong; it stands on pure faith. That means that choosing the role of the contender challenges you to either prove or disprove the existence of God, depending on your beliefs. By resorting to agnosticism, you accept that there is no evidence to support either of the two options, hence your statements contradict your role. I would suggest you clarified your beliefs on this matter again.
Furthermore, I would like to comment on your statement that I can call any proof you give for God a gap in our knowledge. Indeed, I can, for all the arguments I have encountered so far supporting the existence of God are gaps in our knowledge. That is why agnosticism is the most wise choice, and why religion is, after all, a delusion. Actual evidence, that cannot be logically doubted, do not exist - yet, that is. I do not doubt your skepticism, I do not have any reason to do so. But I do doubt that your, and everyone's knowledge of the universe would be enough to prove the existence of God, under the present circumstances.
I also want to remark my inability to fully and adequately explain the above miracles. What I have managed so far is to prove you that there can always be a logical and natural explanation. But finding it is quite a difficult task, as I cannot properly research a matter of which I had no knowledge before, through the internet. Information may have been distorted through the numerous websites, which results in different views on the same matter, as happened concerning the second and third miracle that you mentioned. Truth is, since I am unable to personally examine these miracles or to detect the false information in the websites, I cannot give a proper explanation which we can without doubt label it as one that perfectly reflects reality. But I gave it a try, and so will I do once more.
1. I know that was not the statue you mentioned, but I wanted to explain how a statue can "weep" in general, since I found no article that refers to the statue of the Lady of Akita itself. Since you claim that the description of a weeping statue as presented in my source does not fit the characteristics of this statue, I'm sorry, but I cannot find another convincing explanation. But, still, there is one more thing that draws my attention here; the fact that the Catholic church did not accept the statue of Akita as a miracle. This certainly does not account as evidence, but it is worthy of taking into account.
http://asktheatheist.com...
I also showed you how a statue can be seen "bleeding", and that is due to bacteria. I noticed that the wikipedia article you suggested me says the opposite, but the author's source concerning the "fact" that the blood has been examined and proven to be human is wrong, since it refers to another miracle that has nothing to do with the statue. And that source happens to be the second link you too used as a source concerning the same DNA type of the blood that appeared in two miracles. But that is about a different miracle, on which I am not going to elaborate, because I believe I have more than enough right now.
2. What do you mean, they did nothing to uncover what is underneath the painted portions of the tilma? The article I suggested you read explains everything to the detail, including the picture that is claimed to be seen in the eyes of the virgin Mary's figure.
3. I found something quite intriguing concerning this; many, or rather most of the stigmatics, appear to have the wound of a nail on their palms. The problem here is, Jesus was wounded on the wrists and not the palms. Even the famous Padre Pio's stigmata are said to have appeared on his palms. Some say that Jesus was indeed nailed on the palms and was tied with ropes so that the nail would not cut through the palm, as would normally happen. But that does not explain the appearance of wounds on the wrists of some who claim to be stigmatics. Others claim that the nails were originally placed on Jesus' wrists, but exited (due to their angle) the gap of the bone in which they were placed and reached the palms. But that would result in a wound quite bigger than that stigmatics have, since it would begin from the wrists and reach the palms.
Jesus is also pictured to have been wounded on the palms, perhaps because the Christian paintings are not really accurate. Hence, from what I know so far, I could logically either ascribe stigmata to psychosomatic reasons - since most Christians believe Jesus was wounded on the palms because of the paintings - or accuse the stigmatics of lying. I personally lean towards the former, but I cannot offer any evidence. The third link that you offered concerning the stigmata elaborates on the arguments of both sides, and leads us to the conclusion that both the scientific and the christianic hypotheses are yet to be proven, with which I agree. To quote the author: Whether that affliction is of a religious nature or a scientific one has yet to be distinguished and leaves the door open for continuous debate. If we cannot prove stigmata is caused by a legitimate disorder in the mind or body, is it reasonable for some to conclude that in those few extreme cases, perhaps there are genuine miracles at work? Or, as Humes suggested, are we then giving up all reason to believe in a hoax?
http://www.catholicherald.com...
4. Even if embalming is an invalid argument, there still are drying, apidocere and the environmental conditions. As for your statement, "why does this happen only to saints of church? ", simply it does not. Although, apparently, the church cares more about the bodies of the saints that remain incorrupt than those of common people. Not to mention that, when the body of a saint is found, it is treated with better care than a common body usually is, and that may help its preservation.
You are right about the fact that the wax covering the saints' bodies will deteriorate after a really long time, but, obviously, it has not done so yet.
5. i. No, it is not. I already mentioned that the visions can be based on the individual's beliefs, take religion for example. If someone is completely persuaded that after he dies, he will see God or a great light or the souls of his deceased friends or family members, that is what he will probably see. And I believe you know there are many people who believe in that. It is a result of the subconscious processes of the mind.
ii. No, it is not an effortless explanation, for it is the best one I can provide you with. And it does not explain a small percentage of them. Contrary to that, psychological treatment can bare really satisfying results in quite a great number of situations, as I proved with the example of the faith treatment.
iii. Whether it is a mental illness is still debatable. I search it quite a bit, and I saw that both sides have their arguments, while none of them can be said to be right. I will keep looking into it, though.
You also asked me to tell you what was the cause of the big bang. The answer, simple as the following; I do not know. I have absolutely no idea what caused or what existed before the big bang, while the hypotheses vary. Despite that, a theistic argument that I often encounter is that "the only logical answer is that God caused the big bang, since everything cannot have come out of nothing". I find that not objective at all, because, on the one hand, the universe indeed needs a cause, but on the other, in that way of thinking, God would need one too, if he was the Creator of the universe. This is an infinite loop of creators. Meanwhile, if one claims that God would not need a cause because he has always existed, I do not see why the same would not apply to the universe too. This is a question to which we cannot find the answer yet.
As for your claim that I used the Bible as a scientific textbook and interpreted it too literally, I should remind you that I was merely quoting the arguments of some theists. It was not my point of view, I just mentioned it as a counter argument to the big bang.
I hope to have answered your questions in a satisfying way, for that is all I can do. I never claimed to be all-knowing, therefore I cannot have the perfect answers on such matters. All I can say is that as science progresses, the gaps in our knowledge are gradually disappearing, and only in that way can and will we know the truth. But, as I have stated before, your responsibility in this argument is to prove either the existence or the nonexistence of God, or else religion will be accepted as a delusion.
JimShady

Con

It is quite a logical choice, although I, on the other hand, support temporary agnosticism, stating that, although for apparent reasons we cannot prove or disprove God yet, science may find the answer to this dillema in the future.
Sorry, but I can also identify as a temporary agnostic. I think one day we will be able to objectively prove God doesn't or does exist (whether it's some mathematical formula that falsifies him or a trip to the afterlife), but for the time being I'm agnostic.
From all this, though, a problem arises; a problem concerning this debate. When I posted it, I claimed that religion is a delusion, giving a definition of "delusion": a belief which is not supported by any evidence, without that implying that it is necessarily wrong; it stands on pure faith. That means that choosing the role of the contender challenges you to either prove or disprove the existence of God, depending on your beliefs. By resorting to agnosticism, you accept that there is no evidence to support either of the two options, hence your statements contradict your role. I would suggest you clarified your beliefs on this matter again.

I believe you are confusing evidence with proof. The two are very similar, but there is a difference. We have evidence to suggest that global warming is taking place, although this has not been proven. My religious beliefs on a God are supported by evidence but have not been proven. In the same way, your beliefs are supported by evidence but haven't been proven. By resorting to agnostisism, I accept there is no proof, but I don't except that there's no evidence.
...all the arguments I have encountered so far supporting the existence of God are gaps in our knowledge. That is why agnosticism is the most wise choice, and why religion is, after all, a delusion. Actual evidence, that cannot be logically doubted, do not exist - yet, that is.
All the arguments I have encountered so far supproting the nonexistence of God are gaps in our knowledge. Atheism also fills gaps by claiming there can be no God and that "religion is a delusion," because actual evidence that cannot be logically doubted (on the atheist side) does not exist, at least right now.
Truth is, since I am unable to personally examine these miracles or to detect the false information in the websites, I cannot give a proper explanation which we can without doubt label it as one that perfectly reflects reality. But I gave it a try, and so will I do once more.
I respect you for making a sincere effort to do so.
Ichi. Akita: The Catholic Church, like you and I, does not claim a miracle right off the bat. Often intense skeptisicm is practiced before hand, as it has been done with many miracles, and although the system isn't perfect, it usually can weed out considerable miracles from forgeries. The point is that, although it has not been confirmed yet, it's still under scrutiny from the church and has not been called a scam yet. https://en.wikipedia.org... (see approval section). This article also says it was actual blood. The others links I posted were to different miracles pertaining to miracles dealing with blood, since earlier you brought up bleeding statues. So they were differing articles that were to demonstrate it wasn't bacteria causing this.
Ni. What I mean is that they did not explain the image that was painted over and what exactly THAT looked at. As for the eyes, I admit the images are a little vague, but can still be made out and are at just the right place where the eye would sense the images. Sorry, my explanation is also lacking on this because like you, I am also not a direct witness.
San. John 20: 26-27:
"A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “'eace be with you!' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'" Other than this text from the Bible, it's pretty unclear where the nails actually punctured him. However, Psalm 22:16 read "For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet." The specific Hebrew word for hands is used here.", which also implied hands. Most stigmatas of saints are on the hands, so Jesus's crucifixtion can be presumed this way. I wouldn't say this makes all of the wrist ones fake, but it does shed some light on the issue. Also, it's not historically inaccurate that people were crucified by the palms, as the bones in the hand would be strong enough (combined with the feet) to hold the weight up.http://www.revelation.co...
Shi. Incorruptibility, again, doesn't last forever and is considered a gift from God rather than a full-fledged miracle now by the Catholic Church. So, I guess it doesn't really belong in this list, but since it implies the supernatural, it's allowed. It happens to a wide majority of saints and I know of no incorrupt peoples who were not embalmed, please point them out. You are right about the fact that the wax covering the saints' bodies will deteriorate after a really long time, but, obviously, it has not done so yet. I am assuming this is a mistatement because I did not say this, please rexplain it.
Go. Atheists and people of differeing religions have reported seeing oddly similar visions in the afterlife.
For people who have no expectation of the after life, this is very strange. As for phycological treatment with patients, this does usually not work with terminally ill patients who suddenly recover within a day or week, of which there are many documented cases. Just look up "terminally ill" miracles on Google. Diabolical possession is a tricky subject because it's often very popular to fantasize about it (what with all the movies of exorcisms and ouija boards), but stuff that demoniacs do, such as supernatural physical strength, speaking in tongues out of the blue, and levitation of random objects is hard to explain away.
Meanwhile, if one claims that God would not need a cause because he has always existed, I do not see why the same would not apply to the universe too.
I believe for something to have always have existed, it needs to be sentient and aware of its existence. So, if the universe some how has existed forever, it would need to be aware of its own existence (and thus it could be considered God). Also, your ideas conflict. It is quite obvious that there was a Big Bang, and thus the universe could not have existed forever. But, like you, I am still searching for answers and have found nothing objective yet. I do not share the complete views of Creationist Theists.
Again, the definition a delusion uses the word evidence, not proof. I have shown evidence for the existence of God, and therefore I think its safe to say the claims are not delusional. Thank you for reading and responding.
Debate Round No. 3
KostasT.1526

Pro

I believe that through this last argument I should reach a conclusion, and so should you.

I'm again sorry for labeling you as a permanent instead of a temporary agnostic. All I did was to deduce that by your statements. Anyway, the part of the agnosticism was the one I tried to remark through that.
Concerning the term "evidence", I will have to admit that it is one tricky word to use. Indeed, in everyday life, "evidence" usually has the meaning of "indication" and not "proof". But when writing my first argument, I had in mind the latter and more scientific meaning of "evidence" - it is one of the many examples of the scientific 'jargon', as the same goes for the term "theory"; used in everyday life for a claim of high uncertainty, but describing a proven and accepted claim when used scientifically, being the opposite of "hypothesis". To rephrase myself,
"In some fields of enquiry (Law or Science) a preponderance of evidence, and lack of evidence on the contrary, would be regarded as a proof of some statement or assertion. In others, no amount of evidence is a proof. "
When I asked for evidence, I asked for proof and not indications (a conversation about indications would be pointless anyway). But, instead of taking for granted that by "evidence" I meant "indications", you should have asked me to explain myself better via a comment or a message. I hope that you understand that, since a word has more than one meanings, it is proper to ask for a clarification instead of assuming it. And, through all this, the contradiction between your role of the contender and your agnostic statements remains.

evidence:
[ev-i-duh ns]

1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign.
3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
http://www.dictionary.com...

evidence:

testimony, data, confirmation, proof, sign, mark, indication, grounds for belief, ammunition, statement, attestation, witness testimony, witness, testimonia
WordReference application

evidence:

attestation,confirmation,corroboration,documentation,proof,substantiation,testament,testimonial,testimony,validation,voucher,witness
https://www.merriam-webster.com...

I will agree with you that the atheistic side lacks in evidence as much as the theistic does. That is exactly the reason I consider atheism as delusional as theism. And that is the reason I am an agnostic, too.
I would also like to mention something about the crucifixion: By "hands", one does not necessarily mean "palms". The Romans used to nail the hand on the wrist in order to support the weight. It would also increase the pain that way, and that was something they wanted to happen. Despite that, there are several hypotheses concerning this, which I mentioned in my previous argument.

Concerning the miracles, I admit that it is difficult to provide a logical and satisfying explanation with the current scientific knowledge and the disadvantage of having to trust internet sources with information of unknown validity. Miracles may, by an aspect, be considered indications of God's existence, but not unshakable proof. Why is that so, you may ask? Because science makes discoveries that can change our view of everything; a few years ago, it was proven that the most high percentage of energy that our universe needs in order to have been formed as it is now, exists in what we call 'nothing' (most widely known as "dark energy", for its detection is the greatest challenge physicists are facing right now) ! Of course it is a bit more complicated than in the simple way I described it, and so I would definitely recommend you to read the book "a universe from nothing", by Lawrence Krauss, which, as the title implies, elaborates on how the universe could have - and, according to recent discoveries, probably has - been created out of literally nothing.
Furthermore, your belief that something needs to be aware of its existence in order to have no beginning reminds me of numerous philosophical hypotheses I have read about, but has neither a logical nor a scientific basis. The universe could have existed always, and the theory of the big bang does not contradict that, since it refers to an explosion of all the matter and energy that was concentrated in a tiny space and not its creation. Everything could have existed before the big bang too, but we cannot be sure about that yet.
To reach a conclusion, as promised in the beginning of this argument, I would like to remark that there is no proof of the existence of God. As for evidence, the situation is quite more complicated. Scientifically, there is not. The answer, however, varies depending on how one interpretes the term "evidence". I think it is now clear that when mentioning "evidence", I mean the scientific synonym of "proof" (although from now on I will try to use the latter, to avoid such misunderstandings). But it is up to you to ask me to explain the content of my argument before accepting the debate, if it is unclear.
Despite these, thank you for accepting the debate and responding to my arguments. If you wish the debate to continue, that can happen so through the comments or messages, as, apparently, four debating rounds are not enough to guide us to a proper solution to a matter of this significance.
JimShady

Con

So, this all boils down the semantics of the word evidence. You mean for it to be synonymous with proof, and I mean for it to be indications. It's true, we should've communicated the meaning of this word before hand, but I don't think it's fair to say this misunderstanding is my fault and that I should be the one to ask for the definition instead of assuming it. You are the instigator of the debate, therefore it is your responsibility to define terms just as much, if not MORE than me.

While we are on the topic of semantics, I would also like to debate your definition of "delusion." Earlier you claim it to be "a belief which is not supported by any evidence, without that implying that it is necessarily wrong; it stands on pure faith." So back then, when we didn't have evidence that dinosaurs didn't exist, were they delusional? No- just because you have not found evidence or proof of something, doesn't make it a delusion.

Historically people have been crucified on the palms, wrists, or were even just tied to crosses. Again, the bones in the palm are strong enough to hold the weight of a body.

If you are implying that the universe can be created out of nothing, I'd assume you are referring to quantum fluctuations. These fluctuations require the force of gravity, and gravity is not nothing.

I feel I've said this before, but I believe it's worth repeating. Science cannot prove or disprove God objectively because science deals with the natural world, not supernatural.

Also, I'd like to point out that objectively proving things without a doubt is insanely hard to do. In fact, as of right now, the only thing we can know is that we exist. Everything might be an illusion, but because we can think, we exist. So asking for proof of God is just as impossible as asking for proof of anything. However, evidence that suggests God or other things exist is possible, and although a lot is shrouded in mystery, I believe we can find good arguments for God's existence.

Thank you for setting up the debate, it was challenging yet fun. If you got any questions, just ask in the comments.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JimShady 4 months ago
JimShady
OK, goodnight
Posted by KostasT.1526 4 months ago
KostasT.1526
@JimShady
I did not mean to blame it all on you. I accepted that I should have been more clear, being the instigator. But I had to mention that it was a responsibility of yours to have asked me before the beginning of the debate too.
I will answer to the rest of your argument later, as I really have to get some sleep right now...
Posted by KostasT.1526 4 months ago
KostasT.1526
@JimShady
Do not worry, I'm on it. I'm currently checking the links you gave me about demonisation.
Posted by JimShady 4 months ago
JimShady
Please hurry
Posted by JimShady 4 months ago
JimShady
An wrong implication is a misunderstanding. If not, then I did not imply that you meant nonreligious people are uneducated, I just misunderstood you.
Posted by KostasT.1526 4 months ago
KostasT.1526
@JimShady
I did. Again, my fault, although I did not say that you insinuated anything. I was talking about a misunderstanding, not an implication.
Posted by JimShady 4 months ago
JimShady
Re-read your second paragraph in debate round 2
Posted by KostasT.1526 4 months ago
KostasT.1526
@JimShady
Ok, my fault. Although I did not say that you insinuated anything.
Posted by JimShady 4 months ago
JimShady
@KostasT.1526
No, I did not mean to offend you and did not insinuate that you are an atheist, as you mentioned. Don't put words in my mouth.
Posted by KostasT.1526 4 months ago
KostasT.1526
@Jim Shady
No, I did not mean to offend anyone and I did not insinuate that the theistic point of view is lack of education, as you mentioned. Don't put words in my mouth.
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