The Instigator
GodSands
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cliff.Stamp
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

It is illogical for someone to disbelieve in God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,244 times Debate No: 14610
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (58)
Votes (7)

 

GodSands

Pro

I love debating God's existence a lot! But in this debate I am going to make away with the premise that it is totally illogical for someone to be an atheist or rather, for someone to believe in atheism.

It is totally illogical to believe in atheism; all emotion aside, this is an emotion free zone, I want brutality here.

To know of God's existence philosophically, is it easier to start by assuming that God does or doesn't exists and then relate either one of those premises to empirical data, or is it easier by assuming that we can decipher whether or not God does exist by relating our beliefs about God's existence to empirical data?

My premise is quite simple, atheism is totally illogical!

We hear all the time about mythical beasts and creatures being used to bring out God's existence. I have heard a thousand times, "Do you believe in unicorns?" Given that I do not, I am then told that if I do really believe in God, I would be contradicting myself due to my seemingly inconsistent form of logical use. That the premise of God existing would have the existence of unicorn, fairs, dragons and hob goblins following along side with my presumption that...God exists

But if they who question my belief in God had any sense, they would realise that such creatures could exist, in that it is possible for such creature to exist, there is no evidence against them existing. So the smart among the atheist community will take a mythical creature and mould the concept into an analogy with a place or situation in which we are all most familiar with, say a bedroom or a back garden. Such places in correlation with the analogy used by atheists is of course our knowledge about the universe. But we do not assume that if God does exist, He would be hiding but rather God is directly undetectable in this analogy. However God is indirectly detectable, by that I mean God can be logically discovered, not empirically embraced.

So I have heard it used that God is like an invincible creature in and among somewhere familiar. Lets take a bedroom, I know almost everything there is about a bedroom, personally I sleep in one. If I were to abruptly make a claim to another saying that there are fairies which live in my bed room, the person probably wouldn't believe me. But for the sake of the argument, if the person asked for me to allow the fairies to be seen by him, then they would be clearly as darft as me. Being sincere about wanting to see something as absurd as fairies would mean you are some what either uneducated or perhaps insane.

Assuming however that as I showed them my bedroom and there were no fairies in sight, I would then, according to the analogy, state that the fairies are invincible, soundless, untouchable and simply undetectable in every physical way imaginable. Notice that earlier I made the premise that the familiarity of where such mythical creatures are based in, is in the real world the known universe.

We know things about the universe, due to our observations, I know glass shatters when dropped on hard surfaces or that gravity pulls things inwards instead of outwards. In those things alone, abstractly God is not to be found. Yet I could show you that glass shatters, in the same way, you could show me a bedroom, but you couldn't show me that there were fairies in there which are invincible, soundless, untouchable and simply undetectable in every physical way imaginable. This is because we are familiar with our observations, yet we are not familiar with what we do not know. How the universe came about is unknown in the sense that we do not know how it was created.

Yet to say there is no God, after pulling the mythical creature analogy out of the hat is quite a foolish thing to commit. It is far more reasonable and logical to make this analogy; to say there is no God is like saying an unknown object has an outer structure yet no inner structure. We can perceive this object from the out side, and because we cannot from the in side, we assume it has no inner structure. For if you were to get in side the object, it would seem as though there was no object at all. This is contradicting of course, and even more of course, illogical. We know that if something has an out side it will have an in side without having to observe the in side.

It makes far more sense in abiding by this analogy. For we know that we will never see inside of the object, thus we can only use logic to ensure that it does have an inside. Although we maybe some what familiar with the concept or experience of being in side something like a house, this only backs up my claim that it does have an in side. The atheist here in this analogy is saying there is no inner structure, which is like saying there is a universe which is empirical, just like the object, yet it does not have a creator, just like the object does not have a inner structure.

Playing back on the previous analogy that atheists love to make about the non-existence of God, it is illogical to recall God as a mythical creature, with all it's undetectable qualities. It is illogical because we do not look to discover God in known facts, but we look for God indirectly of these facts and observations. In the analogy God in there directly, you just cannot detect Him. God is everywhere of course, but not based on the fact that He is invincible, but based on that He is God.

In the analogy the mythical creature of which is undetectable is located in one place only. Due to the creatures undetectable qualities, it might be anywhere, but just because you cannot locate it, it does mean logically that it is everywhere - that would make no sense.

Going by logic, not necessarily truth, it is logical to presume that God does exist. I believe this because like with my analogy which is for my argument, if there is a universe, there is a creator. In the same way, if there is an out side of something, there is logically an in side of something. Yet it is illogical to relate God to knowledge we know off first hand, or directly. This is because the whole debate, the whole deal about whether God exists or not is indirect to empirical data. If I believed God was direct to empirical data, that God could be seen like other empirical data can, but I've just decided that God is undetectable, then the atheistic analogy would be logical. Since that is not God's nature conceptually, to be physical like His creation since He is spirit, it is illogical in any case.

The two analogies cannot make sense if both are true, only one can be true and not the other. If the mythical creature analogy is a true perception, then logic doesn't exist. And the whole thing about the mythical creature analogy seemingly making logical sense, is contradicting to what it is trying to give evidence for. However that problem would be a problem at all, since logic wouldn't exist.

In the other analogy, if it is a true perception, then logic exists, and it would have to for the analogy to make sense. If logic does not exist, there is nothing wrong with contradiction.

I hope I have made my argument clear, look forward to sussing out what my opponent has to say in reply.
Cliff.Stamp

Con

Note in the following, after some definitions and general commentary, an attempt will be made to summarize the contentions for clarity, if a mistake is made then I would request of Pro, please make the required corrections so the discussion can continue with a proper foundation.

"it is totally illogical for someone to be an atheist or rather, for someone to believe in atheism."

First, it is required to define a few terms :

Atheism : to deny the existence of God[1]

Now here is where the first complication arises, deny has two common meanings[2] :

a) to assert something is false
b) to refuse to accept something is true

This distinction here is the difference between stating that God does not exist as opposed to stating that there is no evidence for God's existence, commonly known as hard vs weak atheism.

Now since the argument is one of "to believe in atheism" atheism will be used to mean hard atheism, where a position is taken and this position is that there is no God.

"This is contradicting of course, and even more of course, illogical. We know that if something has an out side it will have an in side without having to observe the in side."

It appears that the argument is (paraphrase) given what is known of the properties of the universe and what can be observed then God has to exist, to deny this is to deny either what is known about the universe or to not logically consider this information and reach the proper conclusion.

However there is even at this point a serious flaw even though what is specifically being used in the argument is still as yet unknown, and ironically this flaw it is present in the exact example used. Not everything that has an outside has an inside. A Mobius Strip has only an outside (or inside) :

This illustrates the problem of going from a sample to a population law, i.e., all ducks I see are white (unless you have seen all ducks you are taking a sample), thus all ducks are white (all meaning the entire population of ducks and would-be future ducks). This general problem has lead to the general question of how to tell the truth of a scientific assertion as deduction has obvious problems as you can never measure a population as you can never observe the universe (and would-be future universe obviously, and has-been past universe either).

"In the analogy the mythical creature of which is undetectable is located in one place only. Due to the creatures undetectable qualities, it might be anywhere, but just because you cannot locate it, it does mean logically that it is everywhere - that would make no sense."

The invisible unicorn argument is simply meant to illustrate that because you can not prove something does not exist does not mean you should assert it does exist.

"I believe this because like with my analogy which is for my argument, if there is a universe, there is a creator."

It seems this then is the main argument, since the universe exists, then it must have been created, something created it, this something is God. To take the position that this is not true one would have to deny either (or all) :

a) the universe exists
b) the universe was created (did not exist at some point)
c) the creation was a caused event (something did it)

And further to deny any (or all of these) would be illogical based on what we know about the universe (or in general how we at least think about the universe). Before a rebuttal can be made, clarification is sought on is this representative of the argument being presented. Finally, the last point of clarification is that for the purpose of discussion here, God is simply that which has created the universe.

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
GodSands

Pro

Thanks very much for the reply. I will also go by the definition of atheism which Con has presented, the type of atheism we are going by is hard atheism.

Going by hard atheism, I am to say that to believe in hard atheism it is illogical, if not arrogant. I will speak on this matter before I start to refute my opponents arguments. To say that God cannot exist is quite an assertion to make.

Given that an assertion is based on little or no evidence, to say God does not exist is poking a stick at arrogance. If you were to know everything about the universe, you could still not know whether God exists, this is because we translate facts by our own world views. But not only that, but also because God is abstract, God is not subjected to dictatorship of the physical realm, in other words God cannot be proved or disproved due to discoveries and finds of the physical realm. To say that God could exist, but I do not believe that He does, is a large step from saying, God does not exist. To say God could exist is to acknowledge that the universe is not directly in His power, and what I mean by that, is when odd and unusual things happen which cannot be explained by naturalistic world views. It is not to say God must have done it, yet God could have caused it in some way or another, or at least it is related to the realm that God also dwells in. In short, weak atheism isn't really atheism at all, rather agnosticism. If that is so, then hard atheism is simply atheism, and that is going back to my claim in the first round, atheism is illogical.

Atheists can attack at the proofs seemingly made for the existence of God and say they are incorrect or irrational, but atheists cannot say there is no God, putting this into analogy it is like this; if two people were to argue that their lives were better than one anthers, each of them could argue that they had a life far better than the others, boastful as it may seem, this is just an analogy. So one of them could say, "My life is 4 times better than your life." The other could bring up a larger number, and say 5 times better and so on. And then there is always the classical, "My life is always 1 plus better than yours." To go as far as saying 100 times better is quite absurd, yet the argument is still valid. The point here is that no one can disprove God, and therefore hard, or just atheism is illogical. An atheist does not know whether or not God exists, they ultimately assume that God does not exist, yet it is irrational to assume such, an agnostic does not know whether God exists, so I would like my opponent to distinguish reasonably what the difference is between an atheist and an agnostic in round two.

To say there is evidence to show that God does not exist is absurd, for one, how does one give evidence for something not in existence? Of course that is the atheistic view, but it cannot be given credit for any evidence. The evidence which is supposedly coherent will just fill a void, an emptiness that ceases to find God, but that is not to say God does not exist. There is no evidence against God's existence.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RUFUTATION:

My opponent has posted a video which he thinks suggests not everything which has an outside has an inside. But this is simply fallacious. In the video, the paper cut out has no properties that suggest an inside or an outside, but rather one side and another.

Paper is flat, and in the video the paper has been twisted to create a illusion where if you were to draw a line down the middle of the strip, the line will join up. There is nothing to suggest an inside and an outside like in my analogy in my previous round.

My argument (to refresh) claims that if an object has an outside or inside, it must have an inside or outside. In other words, one cannot be without the other. I am relating the existence of God to this analogy in that if the universe exists (which it does) then God must also exist. Of course I am using an analogy, so keep that in mind.

I find it a struggle to see where my opponent is refuting my argument. My opponent has spoken on inductive logic, that, if it is the case that all the ducks I have seen so happened to be white I am therefore to assume that all ducks (even the ones I have yet to see) are white. I find it difficult to relate this to my analogy of, if an object has an inside or outside, it must have an outside or inside. In that, an atheist is the one saying that the object has no inside or outside, just because they have never experience an outside or inside before. The theist or monotheist is the one claiming there is an inside or an outside even though they too have never experience an inside or an outside. To say there is no outside to an object for example, is to reject the present idea of physicality and more so, the idea of logic. It is illogical (despite whether one has or has not experience an in or outside) to suggest that an object lacks one of those properties. In the same way, it is illogical to suggest that the universe spontaneously appeared with no cause. Whether by opponent wants to reject the idea of logic, that is up to him, but if he decides to, then my opponent should lose this debate.

If my opponent wants to reject the idea of logic, it would therefore to understandable for him to say the universe spontaneously came into existence without a cause. In that, it is possible that he could be right, yet that is to say logic is incorrect and incoherent.

My opponent must supply evidence that God cannot exist, and to remind, he must also distinguish what the difference is between weak atheism and agnosticism. By doing so, it will make it reasonable for someone to call themselves an atheist instead of an agnostic, and with hard atheism, I hope I have convinced you (the reader) that it is illogical.

Thank you.
Cliff.Stamp

Con

"The point here is that no one can disprove God, and therefore hard, or just atheism is illogical."

This is a common argument against hard atheism, and in fact it is almost always the opening argument used by Dr. William Lane Craig, one of the most prominent Christian apologists who in debates will commonly demand a case be made for atheism, i.e., do not just deny God, prove there is no God. This almost always degenerates into the invisible unicorn argument which is however only valid for weak atheism - i.e, there is no evidence for God, this can not defend hard atheism - there is no God.

It is very true, there is no way to falsify God empirically, assuming a Christian-like definition of God, however that is not the route traditionally used by a hard atheist. As an example of a logical argument for hard atheism, simply consider the stance of one of the most outspoken hard atheists, Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens will deny the existence of God, even in the condition that God was to directly manifest before him upon death.

This seems not only illogical but even delusional, but what Hitchen's is denying is that such a creature does not deserve the title of divine, is not worthy of worship, is in no way a God, simply very powerful. He describes such a being as akin to the over bearing parent, always watchful, always judging - a tyrant who does not wish for his children to be independent, but always expects, nay, demands fealty. This is an immature being, almost infantile who sits waiting with such gleeful joy to judge his creations for the faults that he himself created in them.

"An atheist does not know whether or not God exists, they ultimately assume that God does not exist, yet it is irrational to assume such."

To assume would not be irrational, maybe arrogant yes, but assumptions are part of rational thought, we all assume for example, in order to function that existence is. However most hard atheists are not making an assumption about God, they are making some assumption yes, but it is usually much more foundational and then from that concluding there is no God, and some go as far as to conclude there could be no God.

Examples of such arguments are :

a) The argument from non-belief
b) the problem of suffering
c) the freewill conflict

All of these take a known observable (there are people who do not believe in God, but would given evidence) and then conclude from what is known about God (that it is all powerful/knowing/good) that the former should not exist given the latter and thus the latter does not exist.

Now, all of these arguments have a wealth of positional information on both sides and they are far from settled, but they are most certainly based on logic. In fact if one was to argue for illogical positions and arrogance, it should be to deny that such an argument could not be made is most arrogant, especially in spite of the enormous amount of discussion which has taken place, and continues to take place among the very people who are scholars of logic and in the institutions which teach the same.

"so I would like my opponent to distinguish reasonably what the difference is between an atheist and an agnostic in round two."

An agnostic is one who takes a position that it unknowable if a position is true or false. A weak atheist simply takes the position that there is no evidence for God.

"Paper is flat, and in the video the paper has been twisted to create a illusion where if you were to draw a line down the middle of the strip, the line will join up. "

Exactly right, and thus it has one side, but yet before it was folded it clearly had two. The point here is not everything has an inside and an outside, simply because everything that is seen has a property does not mean that everything which could be seen has that property.

Note that object is not the only such contrary example. For example consider the sun, it clearly could be noted to have an outside and inside (the surface is clearly the outside, and the core is on the inside), but what happens when it collapses to a black hole, does it still have an outside and inside, does it have any sides?

"I am relating the existence of God to this analogy in that if the universe exists (which it does) then God must also exist."

If the argument is as noted in the above, that everything which has been observed to exist has a cause, etc. therefore God, as noted, simply because everything we have observed to come into existence is caused does not mean it could be deduced that everything which comes into existence has to be caused, as noted this is the general problem of all ducks I have seen are white, therefore all ducks are white.

However the atheist need not stop here, as we know there are uncaused events. What causes for example radioactive decay? It happens, constantly, but what specifically is observed to causes it - nothing, it just happens. Quantum Theory (the Copenhagen Interpretation) is indeterminate by nature. On the most basic level quantum interactions among virtual particles can create matter, but what causes them? Nothing that has been observed, and thus there are things which we observe which are not caused.

In short there are two main contentions :

a) There is no way to logically deny God as God is transcendent.
b) There is no way to logically deny God as the universe exists.

Arguments have been given in the above to refute both claims and show that logic can, and is in many ways, utilized to conclude there is no, and further there could be no God.
Debate Round No. 2
GodSands

Pro

As a side note, I consider Mr Hitchens to be a foolish man, saying that he would rather go to hell than bow down to God. Hitches ideal god would be himself with the power that the Christian God has. Hitches comes across as a very arrogant, proud, overconfident, supercilious, self-important person, and his looks seem to match.

"To assume would not be irrational, maybe arrogant yes, but assumptions are part of rational thought, we all assume for example, in order to function that existence is."

This fallacious, to assume anything is irrational, despite what is being assumed. To assume that what is, is existence, although almost everyone does it, it is a bad example. A famous quote by Descartes suggests that existence is justified by thought and not by experience. "I think and therefore I am." is sufficient enough to correctly determine that to think or to have a thought rationally justifies that existence is. You can't hallucinate in your thoughts, but you can empirically.
So to have a presupposition doesn't make something rational, despite how many people do it, it does not make it anything other than irrational. In other words, to assume is to presuppose something is true before applying logical thinking to the assumption, for example; if I assume that everyone who lives in America eats McDonald's, then I am presupposing that there is evidence for my assertion without actually knowing what the evidence is, or for that matter, if there is any. And evidence works by logic and reason. My opponent has made a presupposition that atheists assume there is no God without any evidence, but being sure that the knowledge of giving proof that God does not exist, exists.

My opponent is heeding towards the recurring Demon, a philosophical term to describe our problem with foundationism. What do we base the legitimacy of reality upon? Is the question, my opponent is suggesting it is something which can only be assumed. I differ greatly, I would argue that at least God (but I really know it to be the Bible) is the foundation of reality where no presupposition can be applied to assume. Empiricism, morality, logic, etc all have presuppositions attached to the credibility of their legitimacy to them being sufficient enough to demonstrate knowledge. In other words, they themselves cannot account for knowledge, but they directly supply necessary uses in finding knowledge given that they are based on a foundation which is not designed for any presuppositions.

If atheism is true then one can only go by their own presupposition of what logic is or isn't, and to encounter a credible conclusion, one must include all possible realities and then disprove all of them until he is left rationally believing atheism is true. For example; to irrationalise solipsism would be considerably difficult for an atheist, this would be due to the atheists understanding that he or she has presupposed something as true before rationalising that it is true. You cannot irrationalise a belief that includes the very thing you are trying to disprove. Solipsism includes the idea of logic, it in fact runs off of logical thinking, yet to say it is incorrect by presupposing that it is, is irrational, you must first give reason for why logic is legitimate in the search for knowledge. So to say God cannot exist, with that in mind, it is by far arrogant, yet more importantly, very irrational. It would be far easier and rational to believe in God, not only does the belief in God go by logical thinking (which I will explain later on), but it eliminates all other possibilities of possible realities. God and solipsism cannot both exist, since God is an external from the mind, the none existence of God isn't necessarily.

Dr. William Lane Craig, as my opponent rightly said, uses the very argument that I used in my last round. The argument, I believe, is very valid. Hard atheists assume that God cannot exist, or in other words, they assume that God does not exist, and as I have already discussed, to assume is to presuppose something without reason. To say there is no evidence for God, isn't a reason, it is a perception, this is philosophically proved by people concluding two or more conclusions from the same thing. If it was a reason, then it would justify that God does not exist, but it doesn't justify that, rather it justifies that people can conclude different things from the same thing.

Hard atheism rather, cannot exist. Since it makes the claim that God cannot exist, therefore pointing to the prospect that God doesn't exist, but to assure that God doesn't exist, would need evidence. This hits a problem, since you cannot find any evidence that would disprove God's existence, then there is no reason to presume that God cannot exist. An atheist has every right to believe that God cannot exist, however because an atheist decides to believe that, it doesn't mean logic and reason will follow his assertion that God cannot exist.

Still however, my opponent hasn't made a good enough distinction between agnosticism and weak atheism. In fact my opponent has made a fallacy in his distinction, he said that an agnostic is someone who believes that something is unknowable, and that a weak atheist is someone who suggests that there is no evidence for the existence of God. But this is simply false, an agnostic can also say that there is either no evidence (or is evidence) for God and against God, yet still be an agnostic and assume that God existence is simply unknowable. Of course some agnostics will favor there being evidence for or against God, yet they will say, "Just because there is evidence against God, doesn't mean evidence for God doesn't exist or that God doesn't exist." They are just saying that it is unknowable with the current evidence for or against God to claim and know that either God does or doesn't exist. Note that hard atheism suggests that God cannot exist, but hard atheism must therefore give knowledge to suggest how God cannot exist, this would mean that according to their logic, there is knowledge that God doesn't exist.
An agnostic can still have an opinion on the matter, saying it is either more or less likely for either case to be true. This therefore debunks my opponents definition of weak atheism. Therefore causing weak atheism to be no different to agnosticism. However, if weak atheism is no different to agnosticism, then agnosticism is no different to weak theism, meaning weak theism is no different to weak atheism. Ultimately meaning the logic used in both sides are being used in the same way, just that two different conclusions are being with drawn. But this of course is assuming that logic is legitimate in finding and discovering objective claims (knowledge).

Therefore to have objectives, there must be a mind behind the rationalising of the objectives being legitimately true. Otherwise the objective claims would merely be subjective claims seeming to be objective claims. Therefore to rationalise a claim, one must entice the workings of logical thinking, that one must be God, thus atheism is false, and theism is true according to logic and reasoning, making atheism illogical. To test this against truth, it must be true according to reasoning and logic that God really does exist. If God does not exist, then truth is subject, which makes no sense, thus being irrational, subjective truth is really objective. In that, the truth is that there is no truth, this is contradicting and self refuting (the same claim refuting it's self). Therefore for subjective truth to exist, logic and reason cannot exist.

Thus if there is no God (atheism is true), then logic and reason do not exist either, concluding that atheism is illogical.

Personal note: I personally believe that the Christian God makes my argument make total sense, but since I am arguing for any old god, my argument seems less convincing. Please take note of this when voting, thank you.
Cliff.Stamp

Con

In closing, I would suggest that for further debates the scope of strictly reduced significantly. In this debate Pro has brought up, just to name a few arguments :

a) The classic cosmological argument (the universe exists, all things are caused, ergo GOD)
b) The nature of logic implies the nature of God
c) One can not disprove God and thus atheism is illogical

and other arguments, and simply moves from one to the other as fast as arguments are brought up to oppose them. Each of these ideas themselves can, and have been, and will continue to be discussed in some detail. It is a disservice to them and to any discussion to throw them about with such frequency and hope that the argument is won simply as it were by hitting a bulls-eye by firing a thousand darts. It is impossible to give them the respect they deserve both in presentation and as well in a rebuttal when there is a limit of a couple of paragraphs for each.

"Hitches ideal god would be himself with the power that the Christian God has."

Not in anything I have seen or read would lead to this conclusion, Hitchen's characterization of himself as a father is explicit in the nature of fact that at some stage he moves from beyond one who has control over his children, past judgment, past even influence even and simply one of appreciation. This is the attack he makes on the Christian God, it never reaches this point and treats humanity as if it is always in the infant stage and needs forever watching and judging. Though that being said, it would be curious to know exactly what he would think regarding on how the nature of the universe should be if there was a God, defined simply as a being that is worthy of divine worship - though it is likely he would content that is logically not possible given inherent free will.

"So to have a presupposition doesn't make something rational, despite how many people do it, it does not make it anything other than irrational."

Of course, and who ever argued that a presupposition is inherently anything, it is simply a presupposition, what is or is not rational is the argument which comes after the presupposition, this is in the nature of logic. An observation is not logical, it simply is or is not. The conclusion which comes from the observation is or is not logical. The nature of a presupposition and what it implies to knowledge would be as part of a theory of epistemology.

"I differ greatly, I would argue that at least God (but I really know it to be the Bible) is the foundation of reality where no presupposition can be applied to assume."

Except of course for the presupposition of the existence of God and the presupposition of its foundational nature, it is what it is because it is what it is.

"Empiricism, morality, logic, etc all have presuppositions attached to the credibility of their legitimacy to them being sufficient enough to demonstrate knowledge."

Empiricism is a way of gaining knowledge through information, justification of that knowledge could be foundational, or it could be through coherentism. There is a difference between application and justification.

" ...you must first give reason for why logic is legitimate "

Yes, and indeed it is a non-trivial problem and this is why there is considerable effort by mankind into theories of epistemology which attempts to answer the question of how to we know that we we know really is known? Can a claim even be made for objective morality, or even truth for that matter? [1]

"Hard atheism rather, cannot exist. Since it makes the claim that God cannot exist, therefore pointing to the prospect that God doesn't exist, but to assure that God doesn't exist, would need evidence. This hits a problem, since you cannot find any evidence that would disprove God's existence, then there is no reason to presume that God cannot exist."

Again, the arguments for hard atheism were noted in the above, they are not empirical in nature, they use the nature of the definition of God to show that it is either inherently contradictory or that the observation of existence is not what would be expected if there is a God.

"In fact my opponent has made a fallacy in his distinction, he said that an agnostic is someone who believes that something is unknowable, and that a weak atheist is someone who suggests that there is no evidence for the existence of God. But this is simply false, an agnostic can also say that there is either no evidence (or is evidence) for God and against God, yet still be an agnostic and assume that God existence is simply unknowable."

Yes, again there is a distinction here, atheism is a position on if an assertion (there is a God) is true or false, agnosticism is a position on if the truth of assertion is known or further can be known. [2] [3] Thus yes, one could be an agnostic theist, or a gnostic atheist or any other combination.

"Thus if there is no God (atheism is true), then logic and reason do not exist either, concluding that atheism is illogical."

To quote :

"Logic is the discipline that studies this distinction—both by determining the conditions under which the truth of certain beliefs leads naturally to the truth of some other belief, and by drawing attention to the ways in which we may be led to believe something without respect for its truth. This provides no guarantee that we will always arrive at the truth, since the beliefs with which we begin are sometimes in error. But following the principles of correct reasoning does ensure that no additional mistakes creep in during the course of our progress. " [4]

Is God anywhere required for that?

To end dealing with certainty, logic and what is and what is not - I will quote from a man who inspired me, among others, to take the path I did, Richard Feynman :

"Some years ago I had a conversation with a layman about flying saucers — because I am scientific I know all about flying saucers! I said "I don't think there are flying saucers'. So my antagonist said, "Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it's impossible?" "No", I said, "I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely". At that he said, "You are very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible then how can you say that it's unlikely?" But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible. To define what I mean, I might have said to him, "Listen, I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence." It is just more likely. That is all. " [5]

[1] http://www.rep.routledge.com...

[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...

[3] http://atheism.about.com...

[4] http://www.philosophypages.com...

[5] http://en.wikiquote.org...
Debate Round No. 3
58 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"I didn't mention any Christian theology, so why assume I was speaking of the Christian God?"

From a combination of what you argued and what you have written. For example if you are refuting a claim of atheist who makes an argument for the problem of evil, you can not claim deism as God to refute that position as that is not what the atheist is rejecting (a-theism not a-deism).
Posted by GodSands 3 years ago
GodSands
"Yes, note as well that I could extrapolate because of Godsands comments in the forums, so I knew he was talking about the Christian God."

I didn't mention any Christian theology, so why assume I was speaking of the Christian God?
Posted by GodSands 3 years ago
GodSands
@Meatros I understand what I wrote quite well. I'm sorry if your atheistic mind set didn't quite get what I said. The mobius strip is fallacious, it has NO enclosed area, there is no in or out side to it. It's a illusion, un like a room, which has in and out side properties.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"I think this is Cliff's primary weakness as it seems that, in more then one instance, *Cliff* had to extrapolate GodSands meaning, with regard to argument."

Yes, note as well that I could extrapolate because of Godsands comments in the forums, so I knew he was talking about the Christian God.
Posted by Meatros 3 years ago
Meatros
GodSands starts his rebuttal with a meandering on the subject of strong atheism being arrogant. There is no reason to do this and it's only a waste of time and confusing, to be frank. His reasoning is poor, by claiming that we have to be omniscient to declare that something cannot exist (does he believe circular spheres could exist?). In this tangent of GodSands, there is ripe and fertile grounds for tearing the rampant assertions he makes apart (equating lack of belief with a positive 'does not exist', for instance). Whatever the case, this portion was just poorly executed.

GodSands then continues on with a rather strained argument that is meant to show that because an atheist cannot disprove the existence of God therefore their position is illogical. This is a bad argument because if it were true, it would show that any position (including theism) that is not deductively certain is illogical.

GodSands then confuses empirical evidence with rational evidence - making a mistake that the only evidence that should be considered is the empirical.

Skipping ahead a bit, it seems as though GodSands continues to introduce ill-argued for points.

In his closing, I think Cliff is far to generous when he credits GodSands with 'bring up' a few arguments. I think this is Cliff's primary weakness as it seems that, in more then one instance, *Cliff* had to extrapolate GodSands meaning, with regard to argument.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
The problem in the debate was with the definitions of "God" and "atheist." It impossible to disprove the existence of God who does nothing that is testable. For example, the ancient Hawaiian volcano goddess was believed o cause an eruption if anyone entered the crater without the required offerings to the goddess. A Hawaiian queen disproved the goddess by failing to make the offerings, with no result. On the other hand, the Deist God of the Founders seems to me unable to be contradicted, because the God does nothing to interfere with human affairs.

Atheism includes, for example, the Buddhist notion that "it is unwise to consider the question of the existence of God." The idea is that one's time is better spent considering the resolution of moral questions. That's a logical position that presumes that morality can be deduced from human nature, akin to the Deists. One may disagree, but it's perfectly logical.

The point is that debates on the existence of god need to be very carefully defined as to what the properties are of the "god" at issue and what constitutes denial.
Posted by Meatros 3 years ago
Meatros
Cliff.Stamp starts his debate with defining some key terms, which GodSands probably should have done. I congratulate Cliff.Stamp for sussing out GodSands meaning with regard to his 'inside/outside' analogy. He properly refutes the assertion with an appeal to a mobius strip.

Cliff also asks for clarity on the cosmological argument that GodSands seems to have presented.

All in all, a good opening statement, considering the first opening statement didn't really give much room to move, due to it's lack of cohesion.
Posted by Meatros 3 years ago
Meatros
GodSands opening statement: I found GodSands' opening statement a little disjointed. It almost seemed as though he/she enjoyed saying that atheism was illogical. After that bit he brings up mythical beasts being use to try to disprove God's existence. I'm not sure of what the relevance of pointing out such non sequiturs from prior discussions is for GodSands and he doesn't make it clear.

His next point about fairies almost seems relevant, if he is trying to say that we should ask to see evidence of them as opposed to just dismissing them out of hand. I'm not sure that's what he's trying to say though. He rambles on to say that if no one could see the fairies that somehow justifies that the fairies are invincible (did he mean invisible?).

After these tangents it appears as though GodSands makes an argument, he writes:

"to say there is no God is like saying an unknown object has an outer structure yet no inner structure. We can perceive this object from the out side, and because we cannot from the in side, we assume it has no inner structure. For if you were to get in side the object, it would seem as though there was no object at all. This is contradicting of course, and even more of course, illogical. We know that if something has an out side it will have an in side without having to observe the in side."

I'm not sure how any of this follows, to be frank. It seems confused. if there is an 'unknown object', I'm not sure how we can make any inferences to what it's structure might be.

GodSands writes this: "Going by logic, not necessarily truth, it is logical to presume that God does exist. " Does he mean going by inference? In any event, he follows this up, not with an argument, but with a statement about his personal belief. He says that he believes this because the universe exists and that means there has to be a creator. Of course he is missing some crucial premises here, since a creator at this point is not necessary...
My head hurts reading this
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Also I think I have built myself a reputation that tells people I will not make a lot of sense, despite if they think I have, they will still vote against me to be sure that they themselves won't also be seen as an fool like me."

While it is obvious that people are influenced by the position they agree with, and their feelings towards another person, I do not think it is fair to automatically judge people as being biased simply because they disagree with you, though that is the first reaction.

As an example, I recently debated the legality of hunting, RoyLatham voted against me, noting that my arguments were weak. Now my first reaction to that is to assume that Roy was biased and simply voting to support his position - that is just human nature, but if I assume that it gains me nothing and just puts a block in my mind between myself and Roy labeling him as biased.

While I believe he is wrong, it does nothing productive to hold this position so intead I assume he is right and evaluate my arguments to see where they could be improved as they always can be of course, this is not the easiest thing to accept but it is the most productive.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Hitchens opinion doesn't give any objective, absolute claims whatsoever, so it isn't evidence or at all convincing, rather it is simply an opinion."

Note that Hitchens and Dawkins, two of the most well known secular apologists, are very clear in that they do not advocate concepts such as absolute morality, Dawkins even will go as far to say that not only would be not advocate it, he would not wish it to be true.

Hitchens agument is an opinion yes, but that is all anyone can make, even those that are clearly making an empirical argument, you present data, give your opinion of what it means and present a conclusion.

Hitchens is very clear that based on his interpretation of the acts in the Bible, he would not only reject that God exists (as an omni-character being) but if the Christian God did exist it would not even be worthy of the title and thus he denies both the existence and even property of said being.

To counter this argument it would have to be refuted that such a being would be worthy of the label divine, and further still that humans should worship such a being and further that such a bring does exist in spite of the arguments made against it - Hitchens normally starts with things such as the problem of evil, or the lack of fine tuning, etc. .

If you want to see how it can be refuted, William Lane Craig has a decent counter to Hitchens argument, there is a further counter to Craig's rebuttal of Hitchens though as well.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 3 years ago
quarterexchange
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro could not show at all how atheism was illogical while Con showed how reasonable it actually was as well as used sources in the final round
Vote Placed by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con used more sources and pro kept misspelling the word invisible which lost him the spelling vote. Pro showed in no way that atheism is illogical and did not refute any of con's aarguments for the nonexistence of god.
Vote Placed by tigg13 3 years ago
tigg13
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides were amicable and well mannered. Pro had good arguments and Con was a bit sloppy at times, but I think Con still won out overall.
Vote Placed by WillMurray 3 years ago
WillMurray
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
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Vote Placed by RougeFox 3 years ago
RougeFox
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Although Pro presented a better attack than I usually see on atheism, it wasn't enough to prove that atheism is illogical. Sources weren't important in my opinion so that is a tie. Both sides were readable although there were a few mistakes it was okay, so I tie on that. Conduct was great by both sides.
Vote Placed by rogue 3 years ago
rogue
GodSandsCliff.StampTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not convince me that atheism is illogical. He merely proved that you cannot disprove God and asserted that God must exist because the universe is here. Could there not be other explanations for the universe. Secondly, Con stated many arguments for hard atheism that were logical and were not refuted adequately by Pro. I think Pro often mistake the word "invincible" for the word "invisible". This is why I gave Con the spelling vote. Only Con used sources so that one was a given.