In order for my opponent to meet the burden of proof in this debate, he must provide valid evidence that this God posses all 5 qualities (all powerful, all knowing, all loving, intelligent, a creator) or else in the context of this debate, he does not exist. For example, if something is not two parts hydrogent and one part oxygen then it is not water. It must possess all required qualities and properties. Valid:
argument is valid if and only if its conclusion is
entailed by its premises, a formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation, and an argument form (or schema) is valid if and only if every argument of that
logical form is valid."
So if I interpret the evidence presented by my opponent in a way that indicates that it's not true then the evidence presented is not valid (of course my interpertation would also have to be valid, and we'll leave that up to the voters to decide).
All Powerful and All Loving:
There are 2 options when discussing an all powerful God.
1. He couldn't have created a world without: Earthquakes, desease, droughts due to whether conditions, hurricanes, tornadoes, asteroid threats ect.
2. He could have created a world without: Earthquakes, desease, droughts due to whether conditions, hurricanes, tornadoes, asteroid threats ect. but deliberately chose not too.
If my oponent selects option 2 then then it logically follows that either:
a) Only a being who wasn't all loving would create a world with: Earthquakes, desease, droughts due to whether conditions, hurricanes, tornadoes, asteroid threats ect.
b). This being is still all loving regardless of chosing to create a world with desease, droughts due to whether conditions, hurricanes, tornadoes and asteroid threats.
|Feeling or showing love or great care.
|The demonstration of love or great care.
adjective. fond - affectionate - tender - amorous
noun. love - affection - fondness
More info »Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster - The Free Dictionary
Option b) is not logical. Loving someone would be to handle someone's well being with care to be effectionate, there is nothing about preventable desease, tornadoes, hurricanes, asteroid impacts ect. that indicate that they originated with someone all loving.
God cannot be all loving and all powerful at the same time. All knowing:
"knowl·edge [nol-ij] Show IPA
1.acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition
1facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject:"
So judging by the definitions of knowledge, it is clear that the only way to obtain knowledge is to either discover or learn knowledge (there are no examples of knowledge that didn't derive from discovery/ learning).
There are 2 options .
1. If God is all knowing then it is not logical for him to be able to learn or discover anything because he already knew everything, making discovery/learning impossible. Since discovery/ learning are required for knowledge to be obtained it follows that God cannot be all knowing.
2. God can do illogical things like have knowledge of everything without discovery or learning involved), because he is all powerful
If you chose 2, then I would ask:
Can God create a rock so big that he himself would be unable to lift?
Whether the answer is yes or no, the option would still be something he could not do making him not all powerful. If the rebuttal to this is something along the lines of "God cannot do illogical things" then it concludes that you also believe that option 2 (God can do illogical things) is invalid, if this is the case then option 1 is correct (God is not all knowing).
If God can do illogical things then he should be able to create a rock so big that he himself is unable to lift. If he can, then part of him doing completing the task requires him not to be able to do something. If he cannot do something, then is he not all powerful.
If God cannot do illogical things, then he cannot be all knowing.
What are some signs of intelligence?
1. If God is intelligent then we should see signs of efficiency in the Universe but we don't. There are many solar systems, galaxies, asteroid belts ect. that will exist and be destroyed with any complex life involved at all which implies wastefulness if there is an intelligence behind it and the intelligent being's goal is to have a relationship with conscious life.
Natural Selection is also a very wasteful process and implies no effeciency, therefore no intelligent creator.
2. What problems can an all powerful God have?
3. a)This goes back to the section regarding knowledge. There are no examples of knowlegde being obtained that didn't occur due to discovery/ learning. If God has alwyas been all knowing then he cannot discover/ learn anything making knowledge impossible.
b) If God can know things through learning/ and discovery then there must be things to exist to discover/learn about. If there was a time where only God existed (before he supposedly created everything) then there would nothing to discover/ learn making it impossible.
Whatever produced the universe (if there is anything that produced the universe) and produced life, it was not intelligent.
There are no examples of creation that didn't involve the re-arrangement of pre-existing material.
.You cannot create a painting without a paint brush, canvas, and paint existing.
.You cannot create a human body without atoms (a vast majority of the atoms in your body are quite old. The hydrogen is almost all about 13.7 billion years old).
.You cannot create a wooden chair without trees
Basically, if there is a creator of the universe then he must have made it from something that pre-exists. If this is the case I would ask, how did the pre-existing materal get there? The answer cannot be he created them, because I already proved it's only logical that creation can only take place if there is something that exists previously to create with. If God simply willed materials into existence with his mind, I would ask how he learned/discovered how to do this if there was a time that only he existed? Since I already showed that it's illogical to think he could have knowlegde without discovery/ learning. I also already showed that if he can do illogical things due to being all powerful, then that cancels out the common rebuttal to why he couldn't be all poweful (can God create a rock so bif that he himself could not life it).
God could not have created the universe if only he existed before any materials did.
- There are no valid evidence that an all powerful/ knowing/ loving intelligent creator exists, I now leave it up to my opponent to try and prove me wrong.
The resolution of this debate, which was not qualified in any way in round 1, is for me to provide evidence for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving intelligent creator (hereafter called The Creator).
Evidence: A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment.1
Nature of Evidence
There are several things to note when it comes understanding the nature of evidence properly. First, evidence is not in and of itself proof. Evidence, rather, supports a premise that alone or in conjunction with other premises logically leads to a conclusion. A prosecutor's premise—that the defendant was at the scene of the crime—is given support by the evidence—that matching boot prints were discovered at the scene.
Secondly, something is not always exclusively evidence for exactly one premise. For example, DNA between species has many similarities, and is considered to be evidence for speciation through natural selection. However, it could equally be considered evidence in support of the Biblical notion that creatures were created similarly, e.g., God created animals according to "kind." The evidence can support either premise even though neither premise can be simultaneously true.
Thirdly, evidence comes in degrees. Strong evidence is evidence that makes the premise far more likely than not. Weak evidence makes a premise a little more likely, but the premise will probably need to have more evidence to make it more acceptable. In fact, lots of weak evidence can be just as effective as a single piece of strong evidence in some cases.
Fourthly, there are different kinds of evidence. There is appeal to rationality, in which the evidence could come in the form of statistics, experiments, logic, facts, analogies, etc. Then there is ethical appeal—evidence that comes from the testimony of eyewitnesses, field experts, etc. Sometimes evidence is experiential, which might involve emotions or subjective experiences. Certainly rational evidence is considered to be of higher value, but that does not mean other kinds of evidence do not have their place. Even in court, all types of evidence are usually provided in order to make a stronger case.
So, when my opponent asks for evidence, I want to make sure he and the readers are both aware of exactly what evidence is and isn't. It is support for a premise. It is not undeniable proof for a premise. That is why a prosecutor can offer a lot of evidence in favor of his case and still lose.
Evidence for The Creator
The fact is, almost all believers (and I'll be sticking with Evangelical Christianity for simplicity's sake) have evidence for their belief.
1. The Bible
The Bible is an appeal to testimony. The New Testament contains eyewitness accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course, the testimony itself doesn't prove that Jesus Christ actually resurrected, but it is evidence. In fact, the New Testament was written for the precise purpose of being evidence to that generation's posterity.
Now, for those that consider the eyewitness testimony of the resurrection to be good evidence for the divine authority of Jesus, then those same people would consider the Bible as a whole to be an accurate depiction of God the Father as well since Jesus vouched for the Old Testament scripture's veracity.
The Bible testifies to the nature of God. He is described as an immaterial, eternal spirit. He is all-powerful—he created everything and has the power to do with it whatever he wishes. He is all-knowing—nothing escapes his notice. He is all-loving—he provided an atoning sacrifice through Jesus so that all people who accept his Son could enter into eternity with him. He is intelligent—having wisdom that far surpasses all his creation and clearly having the capacity to create such a grand cosmos. He is The Creator—having not only given our universe existence, but also sustaining its existence as well.
I know perfectly well that my opponent will be seething as he reads this. "It's just a book!" he'll say. Be that as it may, it's a book with better credentials than any other ancient document in our history, which happens to contain eyewitness testimony. Thus, it is evidence, even if my opponent would just as soon throw it out without hesitation.
Many believers have had experiences that most certainly constitute evidence for the God of the Bible. Some experiences are purely supernatural, such as being caught up into Heaven (this was the Apostle Paul's experience). Some experiences are physical, such as a miraculous healing. Some experiences are personal, such as a sudden change in behavior after becoming born again in Christ Jesus.
These experiences, as subjective as they may be, are still evidence; especially when those experiences cause the person to completely abandon previous convictions. I know of a man who never wore a seatbelt in his life until one day he couldn't shake the need to wear it. Minutes later he was in a terrible car wreck (that flipped his vehicle) and walked away with nothing but bruises. That man became an instant believer for life thereafter. I know another man whose experience was far less mystical. A lifelong atheist, his Christian wife was in a car accident. During her long recovery, he watched the members of her church lavish them both with care. To him, their love went beyond anything that could be explained by mere naturalism, and he became a lifelong believer thereafter.
How can my opponent possibly show that this is not evidence at all? He may show that it is weak or circumstantial evidence, but it was his resolution that asked for evidence without clarifying exactly what that evidence entailed. Well, here is evidence.
Furthermore, experiential evidence is often given due consideration in court. It's not implausible to see it in environmental cases in which residents of a town experience previously unexplainable physical or psychological ailments that coincide with the arrival of a polluting industrial complex within or near that town (or near its water supply).
Since this is evidence for Christianity, it becomes supporting evidence for the Truth of the Bible, which is itself evidence for the resolution.
3. Worldview Superiority Evidence
Since everyone in the world has a worldview—a set of presuppositions about reality—the ability of the Biblical Worldview to better account for human experience than other worldviews is rational evidence. Atheistic worldviews cannot account for logic, human dignity, the rationality of moral obligation, and uniformity of nature (necessary for scientific inquiry). Every attempt of that worldview to account for these things ultimately requires the abandonment of fundamental presuppositions that make that worldview atheistic to begin with.
For example, in order for the atheistic worldview to account for logic, it will ultimately abandon the presupposition that the universe is all there is, which consequently makes atheism less likely. On the other hand, the Biblical worldview accounts for logic without negating one single presupposition. Thus, it is evidence that the Bible is a true depiction of reality. Ergo, it is evidence for the resolution.
My opponent is asking if evidence for The Creator exists. He may reject the evidence as much as he wishes, but it will not make it cease to be evidence. He might be able to show some evidence as weaker than others, but I will still have fulfilled my burden to show that evidence at least exists. I have provided evidence that I already know my opponent will reject, but it is evidence nonetheless.
I have not rebutted his arguments, not do I feel the need to. First, he says I have burden of proof. Secondly, the resolution does not ask for evidence against such a being. Still, if I have room in my last round, I will address at least some of the many glaring issues he raised.
Refutting my opponent's arguments:
"The resolution of this debate, which was not qualified in any way in round 1, is for me to provide evidence for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving intelligent creator (hereafter called The Creator)."
Wrong. The debate specifications say valid evidence, not just any evidence. There is evidence that the moon landing was a hoax, that doesn't mean it's valid evidence so lets get that cleared up right away.
"the testimony itself doesn't prove that Jesus Christ actually resurrected, but it is evidence"
But it's not valid evidence if I can interpret it in a way that makes the evidence not valid. Of course my interpretation would have to be valid as well, but that would be up to the voters.
Is Bible testemony valid?
I would say no, because it was written thousands of years ago before modern science meaning there is nothing to indicacte that the people of that time had the proper means to present accurate information regarding the origins of the universe.
What are things The Bible got wrong?
. The Bible says man came from Adam and Eve however science tells us that man evolved from a common ancestor we share with the great apes
. The Bible says that a sperpant talked but serpants don't have the proper jaw muscles or any other qualities which would indicate that serpants can talk like humans can
. The Bible says the earth was created in 6 days but science tells us it took millions of years for the earth to form.
There are 3 things I pointed out that The Bible got wrong, this shows that The Bible is not valid. If The Bible has incorrect information in it, then there is reason to believe that the testimony in The Bible is not valid especially considering the thousands-of-years game of broken telephone and the lack of scientific knowledge they had back then. So can the Bible be considered evidence? Yes. However, I have shown that it is not valid evidence which is the context of this debate.
"The Bible testifies to the nature of God. He is all-powerful—he created everything and has the power to do with it whatever he wishes. He is all-knowing—nothing escapes his notice. He is all-loving—he provided an atoning sacrifice through Jesus so that all people who accept his Son could enter into eternity with him. He is intelligent—having wisdom that far surpasses all his creation and clearly having the capacity to create such a grand cosmos. He is The Creator—having not only given our universe existence, but also sustaining its existence as well."
These are all baseless assertions (Pro basically saying that because a book says that God is an all powerful/ knowing/ loving intelligent creator then he must be). Also, what evidence is there that The Bible gives God all 5 qualities that I mentioned? Pro has only asserted that The Bible gives God all 5 qualities without presenting any verses.
I have already provided valid logical evidence in my first round that God cannot be all 5 things at the same time, my opponent has refutted none of them, therefore the above baseless assertions made by Pro hold no merrit.
""It's just a book!" he'll say. Be that as it may, it's a book with better credentials than any other ancient document in our history"
Baseless assertion. I have already provided 3 examples of why The Bible is not credible, it got many things wrong. It got more than 3 things wrong mind you, but for this round that was all I needed to prove my point.
While my opponent has succeeded and showing that The Bible is evidence, he has not provided evidence that The Bible gives God all 5 qualities.
I on the other hand, have shown that The Bible can be logically interpreted as not credible, making my opponent's evidence not valid in my opinion. Since the context of this debate is valid evidence and not just evidence, I believe I have the upper hand in this debate.
"Many believers have had experiences that most certainly constitute evidence for the God of the Bible...Some experiences are personal, such as a sudden change in behavior after becoming born again in Christ Jesus.
These experiences, as subjective as they may be, are still evidence"
Yes they may be evidence, but you have not shown how they are valid evidence. My argument against the above is that these experiences can be interpreted as tricks of the brain. There is no valid evidence that these experiences are genuine unless you can logically show that they are not tricks of the brain.
"My opponent is asking if evidence for The Creator exists."
Wrong. I'm asking for valid evidence that an all knowing, all powerful, all loving intelligent creator exists, not just evidence that a creator exists.
"He may reject the evidence as much as he wishes, but it will not make it cease to be evidence."
While this may be true, if my refutations are logically sound then that makes your evidence not valid because valid is defined as true under every interpretation.
"I have not rebutted his arguments, not do I feel the need to. First, he says I have burden of proof."
The problem with this statement is even though you have the burden of proof, my first round refutations of God having all 5 qualties make your evidence invalid until addressed.
I have provided logical evidence that God cannot have all 5 qualities (all knowing, all powerful, all loving, intellgent, and a creator) at the same time. All you have done to provide evidence for these 5 qualities is to say that The Bible says that God has all 5 qualities (without actually provided evidence that The Bible infact gives God all 5 qualities). Since my first round logically refutes your first round claims of God having all 5 qualities, this makes your evidence invalid until my first round goes refuted.
All my opponent has done to attempt to provide valid evidence that an all powerful, all knowing, all loving intelligent creator exists is claim that The Bible says he has all these qualities. My opponent hasn't even provided evidence that The Bible in fact says the things he says it does regarding God's qualities.
Why does my opponent does not have the upper hand?
.He is mistaking evidence, for valid evidence.
.In my first round I provided logical reasoning to back up my claims that God cannnot have all 5 qualities at once
.Nothing in my first round went challenged
.Pro has not provided evidence that The Bible gives God all 5 qualities
.In this round, I have provided evidence that The Bible is not credible deeming his evidence for God having all 5 qualities, invalid (espeically considering there was no verses from The Bible sourced as evidence)
Quickly rehashing my case that there is no valid evidence that an all powerful, all knowing, all loving intelligent creator exists:
.God cannot be all powerful and loving at the same time (read "All Powerful and All Loving" in my first round)
.God cannot be all knowing (read "All Knowing" in my first round)
.Whatever created the universe/ life on earth is not intelligent because signs of intelligence are effieciency, learning and problem solving and God logically could not possess these qualities based on what we know about the universe (read "Intelligent" in my first round)
.God could not have created the universe if only he existed before matierals did (read "Creator" in my first round)
.The Bible is not credible because science has proved things in it horribly wrong. Therefore, I have provided a case that The Bible is not valid evidence.
I have shown that there can be no valid evidence that an all powerful, all knowing and all loving intelligent creator exists. My opponent has not refutted any of my arguments which show how his evidence is invalid, or provided Bible verses suppoerting his claims, therefore he has failed at providing valid evidence for a being with all 5 qualities.
Nature of Evidence
I suspected my opponent would attempt to say that my evidence must be validated. However, his quote from Wikipedia in Round 2 stated that "a formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation." Indeed, the Wikipedia quote said nothing about evidence in general. I, on the other hand, explained the nature of evidence quite plainly. It seems my opponent desires carte blanche authority over the validity of evidence.
He fails to see that evidence supports a premise, and as such it can be weighted as either very strong or very weak. The only way it can be considered utterly invalid is if the evidence is entirely unrelated to the premise in question. The photograph of a donkey is not valid evidence for the premise that the universe is expanding. It's just nonsense. But red-shift is evidence for an expanding universe, even though more evidence was come along since then to make the premise more certain.
So why am I going to all this trouble? I'm not trying to win this debate on semantics. Rather, there is an inherent danger in Con's understanding of evidence. A simple reading of his arguments shows that, given his view, evidence can be outright thrown out on a whim. Sure, he has his reasons, but they are clearly guided by presuppositions. His philosophy on this matter leads to an elitism in which anyone that has ever believed differently from him must have done so out of sheer stupidity. Such a position is anti-academic.
Evidence for The Creator
1. The Bible
Con claims there are three things the Bible got wrong. This means he has already rejected all evidence for the resolution in advance. Thus, he engages in question begging here. He says science disproves the Bible, which could only be done with evidence, of course. If he gets to invalidate my evidence by citing his, could I not just return the favor? This is what I was getting at when I stated that we can have evidence for two opposing premises. Even if one premise is deemed correct (or more supported), it does not invalidate the evidence for the opposing premise.
Furthermore, my opponent failed to grasp my argument. It matters little that Genesis conflicts with current scientific consensus if in fact Jesus was resurrected. If Jesus was raised from the dead, then it follows that the rest of the Bible is true. Now, I didn’t prove that Jesus was resurrected; I just cited the testimonies within the New Testament as evidence. It supports the idea that the Bible is true, which describes God as having the qualities in the resolution.
Note also that Con does not understand the meaning of credentials. By credentials, I meant that the Bible is reliable in terms of its preservation. Contemporary scholarship has confirmed that the writings have changed little over the generations, far beyond any other document of similar ages. For instance, historians agree that Plato's writings are genuine, yet there are far fewer copies found long after the original writings. Because the Bible is so excellently preserved, it serves as evidence—even if there are readers of this debate that feel the evidence is not enough to elicit belief.
As for verses:
- All powerful. [Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8]
- All knowing. [Rom. 11:33; Psa. 147:5]
- All loving. [John 3:16]
- Intelligent. [Gen. 1:1; Rom 16:27]
- Creator. [Gen. 1;1]
My opponent simply writes this evidence off. But what gives him that authority? He says they are tricks of the brain, but where's his evidence for this? Indeed, the nature of experience is that it cannot be invalidated. It might not be considered the best evidence, but if you were to hear thousands of testimonies of conversions, it would have to be considered some kind of evidence.
I must point out my opponent's error in round three. I said in round two, "My opponent is asking if evidence for The Creator exists." To this he replied, "Wrong. I'm asking for valid evidence that an all knowing, all powerful, all loving intelligent creator exists, not just evidence that a creator exists." I ask the readers to note that in the beginning of round two I stated, "The resolution of this debate, which was not qualified in any way in round 1, is for me to provide evidence for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving intelligent creator (hereafter called The Creator)."
3. Worldview Superiority Evidence
My opponent did not respond to this evidence, so I extend to into this round as well.
As I said in my previous round, I would rebut my opponent given room in my final round. I do think it's a bit unfair to place the burden of proof on me only to condemn me for running out of space in order to refute his premises. Do I have burden or not? Had I spent all of round two rebutting his arguments, would he then have condemned me for not fulfilling my burden? Seems a bit suspicious to me.
God cannot be all powerful and loving at the same time
To say that a loving God would prevent earthquakes, disease, etc. is non-sequitur. At best, it proves that we can't comprehend why a loving God would allow such things, but it does not prove anything. My kids don't always understand that I punish them because I love them. Regardless, Con's evidence against the resolution does not automatically negate my evidence for the resolution. They support different premises and must be weighed accordingly.
God cannot be all knowing
This argument suffers from the fallacy of equivocation. Con has defined knowledge with a narrow meaning and then used it to make The Creator an impossibility. Almost anyone else on this website would understand all-knowing—in the context of the definition of God—means that God already has all knowledge. If that is Con's definition of all-knowing, then perhaps omniscient is better, which means One having total knowledge.
Whatever created the universe/ life on earth is not intelligent because signs of intelligence are effieciency [sic], learning and problem solving and God logically could not possess these qualities based on what we know about the universe
The problem with this position is that it's entirely based on Con's opinion. He says the largeness of the universe shows that it is inefficient. However, back when humanity thought the universe was much smaller, people used to say that God was not very powerful if he couldn't create a bigger universe. So, what makes this objection absolute? Nothing whatsoever. It's just conjecture on his part.
Besides, the fact that we are talking about a creator of the universe implies intelligence. It logically follows that the more complex the design, the more intelligent the designer. Even if my opponent thinks the universe is wasteful, it's still so vastly complex that many of its inner workings continue to fascinate us and compel us to learn more about it.
God could not have created the universe if only he existed before matierals [sic] did
Here Con engages in a straw man argument. By insisting God must be matter, he then refutes that he could possibly be the creator. No serious theologian believes this. The Bible clearly states that God is immaterial spirit.1
I will remind the readers again that I am tasked to show that evidence for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, intelligent creator exists. I have shown that such evidence does exist, which is why so many people choose to believe in his existence. Of course, there are also many that reject the evidence, but that does not make it invalid.
I appreciate my opponent's time taken to see this debate to the end. I also want to thank the readers for reading the debate and voting responsibly.