The Instigator
MikeyMike
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

It is illogical to refute the possibility of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,035 times Debate No: 20892
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (6)

 

MikeyMike

Pro

God: The one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

My opponent must logically prove that it is logical to refute the possibility that there is a God.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the debate.

C1) The Reverse Ontological Argument

This argument uses logic to refute the possibility of God.

1. God is a being who necessarily exists and is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.
2. Necessarily existent being are beings who exist in all possible worlds.
3. Anything that is not logically impossible is "possible."
4. It is possible that God does not exist, i.e. there is a possible world in which God does not exist.
5. If there is a possible world where God does not exist, then God cannot exist in all possible worlds.
6. God is not necessarily existent.
7. God does not exist.

C2) Definition of logical refutation

To refute an argument, an argument in favor of a proposition must first be presented. If my opponent presented an argument in favor of God, I can use the tools of logic to refute said argument, using common objections such as logical fallacies and by questioning my opponent's assumptions.

C3) Definition of God

My opponent doesn't bother to define his God beyond him being "Supreme," the "creator," and the "ruler." Many religions believe in a supreme creator/ruler god. It is perfectly logical to refute the other characteristics of such gods. Zeus is posited to live on top of a real life mountain - this can be logically refuted. The Christian God is posited to be omnibenevolent and omnipotent. This can be logically refuted with the problem of evil:

1. An omnibenevolent being must always perform the most benevolent act possible, cannot help not to do so.
2. An omnibenevolent being lacks free will and thus the power to make his own decisions.
3. God cannot be both omnibenevolent and omniscient.
4. God does not exist.

1. An omnibenevolent being can perform only good acts.
2. Inflicting suffering is not a good act.
3. God inflicts suffering.
4. God is not omnibenevolent.
5. The Christian God does not exist.

C4) It is logical to do illogical things.

It can be logical to attempt to refute the proposition that the sky is blue. In many ways, the blue sky is an illusion and blue is a subjective experience, as anyone with blue-green color blindness can tell you. Even if it were impossible to refute the possibility that there is a God, the academic pursuit of this task can still be logical for didactic purposes.
Debate Round No. 1
MikeyMike

Pro

By the very definition I put up, it is clear that I am referring to the God of Christianity, who is the Supreme Being of all. It can't be Zeus, because the Christian God is superior to him by his very traits; Zeus is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent, but the Christian God is, making him superior to Zeus, therefore "God" as defined in my first round, is the God of Christianity. Just to clarify which God I meant.

Your reverse ontological argument is worded in a rather confusing manner, but I deciphered it none the less. One sentence will suffice to rebut your reverse ontological argument. God is omnipresent, so he exists in all words.

My opponent himself stated that God is omniscient, potent, and benevolent. Clearly if God is omnibenevolent then anything he does is good automatically and by default. I really don't even need to say any more than that, but just to pass the time (currently in line at the post office) I will. God knows everything past, present, and future, so it stands to reason that he is a lot smarter than my opponent or any human being for that matter. He also has more insight and foresight, so logically he would be the authority of what is right and what is wrong. Whatever he does might not be good in your eyes, but eh what do you know, you're just a stupid little human compared to him. It would be like if something as insignificant as an insect were to try and make the case that it is wrong for us humans to make homes wherever we want because we're taking up their space. Or a more realistic example would be a toddler that is mad at his/her parent for scolding or punishing the child. The toddler thinks the parent is wrong for reprimanding him/her, but what does he/she know? The parent clearly knows better, and knows that punishing the toddler is for his/her own good.

It is logical for a person with blue-green blindness to say that the sky is not blue to him/her, but it is not logical for him/her to say it is not blue period, to all people. His/her experience does not hold true for everyone. It is especially illogical for him/her to make that statement if he/she is aware of his blindness (which he/she most likely is). It is logical to attempt to refute something that is logical, and it can be logical to do illogical things. However, this does not add any strength to your premise that it is logical to refute the possibility of God. The academic pursuit to refute the possibility of God is logical, but actually refuting the possibility of God is not. Just like the academic pursuit to refute the possibility of ghosts is logical, but to refute the possibility of ghosts with absolute certainty is not.

Now let's say the amount of knowledge in the world is quantifiable and is equal to 100%. If you were to try and quantify the amount of knowledge you had in relevance to the amount of knowledge there is in the entire multiverse, would you say that you possesses even 2% of that knowledge? I presume that you wouldn't. Now let's say that I have you pick who you think is the smartest human being on the face of the Earth, would you say he possesses even 2% of all the knowledge there is to know? I presume you wouldn't. Now let's go even further and quantify the knowledge of every single human being on the face of the planet and add it all up. Would anyone reading this debate say that this amounts to even 2% of all there is to know? I would presume not. What's my point? My point is that is it not possible that God exists somewhere in that 98% of knowledge in which we do not know? I encourage my opponent and readers to think about this.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the quick response MikeyMike.

1) The reverse ontological argument

Stating that God is omnipresent is not sufficient to disprove the reverse ontological argument. It is merely part of the definition of God; it does not prove his existence nor disprove any of the premises of the ontological argument. My opponent does not question any of my premises.

It is still valid if I add omnipresence to the definition of God:

1. God is a being who necessarily exists and is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.
2. Necessarily existent being are beings who exist in all possible worlds.
3. Anything that is not logically impossible is "possible."
4. It is possible that God does not exist, i.e. there is a possible world in which God does not exist.
5. If there is a possible world where God does not exist, then God cannot exist in all possible worlds.
6. God is not necessarily existent.
7. God does not exist.

Premise 4, which follows from premise 3, would also be sufficient to prove that God is not omnipresent.

My opponent's argument is essentially a tautology: God is omnipresent because he is omnipresent. My opponent tries to define God's omnipresence into existence.

2) The problem of evil

My opponent's response is another tautology: all God's acts are defined as benevolent because God is omnibenevolent. This is a logical fallacy. He is just begging the question.

His other response is that God is smarter than me so supposedly God has a good reason for killing babies with infectious diseases. However, the Judeo-Christian God tells us in the 10 Commandments that killing is objectively wrong. Yet he kills small children with impunity.

Some good and evil acts can be agreed upon objectively. A parent scolding a child is *subjectively* wrong in the child's eyes. However, killing a 1 year old child by infecting her with malaria is *objectively* evil.

Even if God's acts are benevolent in the end (in his grand plan), then my opponent still does not answer the argument that omnibenevolence contradicts omnipotence, since God is powerless to perform acts that are evil according to his master plan.

It is perfectly logical to refute the possibility of a specific God existing with specific characteristics.

3) My opponent's burden

I specifically said in the previous round that my opponent needed to offer a proof of God's existence so I could logically refute it by questioning its assumptions or its use of logic. He fails to do so.

Saying "refute X" when no propositions in favor of X have been offered is a logical fallacy called "demanding negative proof."

My opponent says it is illogical to refute the possibility of ghosts. However, given the properties of ghosts, it is logical to refute their existence. Ghosts are supposed to be the lost souls of people who were formerly alive. If you prove that the soul cannot remain on this Earth after death, you disprove the possibility of ghosts. If you disprove the soul, you disprove the possibility of ghosts. If you believe in empiricism and show that there have been no valid cases of ghosts contacting people, despite the need for the lost souls of loved ones to find closure, then you logically disprove the possibility of ghosts.

4) Unknown knowledge as a proof of God

My opponent essentially argues that because humans do not possess all knowledge, God could exist in the unknown knowledge. This is just a fancy version of the logical fallacy called the appeal to ignorance. For example, "Big Foot exists because no one has yet disproved his existence" is an example of the appeal to ignorance. It is equally valid to believe that God does not exist in the unknown knowledge.

In addition, by the very traits of God, he is unobservable meaning that no human knowledge can ever prove his existence. So even if humans knew 100% of the facts about the observable universe, this wouldn't mean we proved God's existence.

5) Definition of logical

Random House: logical = "reasonable" http://www.definitions.net...

It is reasonable to refute anything. Switch side debate in competitive debate forces debaters to endorse positions in which they do not necessarily believe. Debaters are forced to refute propositions in which they actually believe. It is reasonable to refute anything.

I still win my refutation that the sky is not actually blue. Blue is a subjective experience. Each person sees a slightly different shade of blue, so it is incoherent to even say that something *is* a certain color. We merely perceive it as such. In addition, the sky is blue for a different reason than a painting is blue. One actually has blue paint on it; the other has to do with the bending of light. So it is not actually blue itself.

The same argument can also be used against my opponent. It is logical to attempt impossible logical refutations or impossible mathematical proofs precisely because the correct proof may be sitting in the knowledge that humans do not yet possess. And we will not find these solutions without attempting refutations. So it is logical to refute even that which is currently deemed "impossible to refute."
Debate Round No. 2
MikeyMike

Pro

This debate is not about proving if God exists, It is about proving whether or not it is logically possible for God to exist

My opponent has a gaping hole in his reverse ontological argument. In the first two lines he accepts that God is omnipresent and is a necessarily existent being, which exists in all worlds. Then in his fourth premise he says that it is possible for God not to exist; this is a direct contradiction. If God is omnipresent, and is a necessarily existent being, which exists in all worlds, then God in fact exists in all worlds and there is no possible world in which he doesn't exist.

A tautology is "using different words to say the same thing even if the repetition does not provide clarity. Tautology also means a series of self-reinforcing statements that cannot be disproved because the statements depend on the assumption that they are already correct."(1) My opponent already assumed and stated that God is omnipresent so I am not at fault in anyway. It is also by the very definition of God that he is omnipresent, my opponent accepted that we are arguing about the Christian God so he must accept his traits.

2)My opponent, of his own accord, stated that God is omnibenevolent, before I even said it myself. Then he goes on to say that God commits evil acts, which is a direct contradiction of his statement that God is omnibenevolent. Apparently my opponent did not understand what he himself said, so I kindly broke it down for him. If God is omnibenevolent (which my opponent stated he is) then everything he does is automatically good because he is omnibenevolent and the very standard of morality, deciding what is good and what is not.

Then my opponent goes on to say more things he clearly does not understand, citing the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are rules set for human beings, not for God himself. That's synonymous to a teacher that tells her students "no cell phones in class" then the teacher herself uses her cell phone in class. The teacher is the supreme being of the classroom, and thus the rule does not apply to her. Why my opponent fails to realize this is beyond me.

My opponent then tries to refute my toddler-parent analogy, by saying that some moral acts are objectively wrong or good, due to popular census. There is no objectivity when it comes to morality, what is wrong to you, might not be wrong to another person. All of this does not matter anyways, since my opponent has already stated that God is omnibenevolent, so whatever God does is good.

Omni benevolence does not contradict omnipotence. The subject of God's omnipotence is an age old topic of discussion. The term omnipotence is an obscure one, having several different meanings.
1. God is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible.
2. God is able to do anything that he chooses to do.
3. God is able to do anything that is in accord with his own nature (thus, for instance, if it is a logical consequence of a deity's nature that what it speaks is truth, then it is not able to lie).
4. Hold that it is part of a God's nature to be consistent and that it would be inconsistent for said deity to go against its own laws unless there was a reason to do so.
5. God is able to do anything that corresponds with his omniscience and therefore with his world plan.

The word "Omnipotence derives from the Latin term "Omni Potens", meaning "All-Powerful" instead of "Infinite Power" implied by its English counterpart.

C3)My opponent attempts (and fails) to refute my ghost analogy; which is simply an analogy and not something that I even have to give a rebuttal to, but I will none the less.
My opponent states "Ghosts are supposed to be the lost souls of people who were formerly alive. If you prove that the soul cannot remain on this Earth after death, you disprove the possibility of ghosts. If you disprove the soul, you disprove the possibility of ghosts. If you believe in empiricism and show that there have been no valid cases of ghosts contacting people, despite the need for the lost souls of loved ones to find closure, then you logically disprove the possibility of ghosts." I couldn't even begin to tell you how erroneous of an argument this is. If science has no way of comprehending what a soul is, what it is made up of, and its physical properties, how can it be definitively said that there is no possibility of ghosts existing? My opponent stating that there are no valid cases of ghosts contacting people is an absolutely useless statement. There have been no cases of two identical snowflakes, but it is not impossible for two snowflakes to be identical, it is very unlikely that such would occur, but it is still a possibility.

C4)My opponent again accuses me of another logical fallacy, stating that I am guilty of appeal to ignorance. He attempts to liken my statement that it is "POSSIBLE for God to exist in the knowledge that humans do not possess", with the statement "Big Foot exists because no one has yet disproved his existence". These are two different things because in my statement I am arguing the possibility of something, while in my opponent's statement he is saying that something definitively exists. I agree with my opponent that it is equally valid to believe that God does not exist in that unknown knowledge; but the keyword in that statement is "believe" (think). Of course it is valid to believe that God does not exist in that unknown knowledge, but it is not valid to definitely state that for certain, God does not exist in that unknown knowledge. This means that the possibility of God still stands.

"by the very traits of God, he is unobservable meaning that no human knowledge can ever prove his existence. So even if humans knew 100% of the facts about the observable universe, this wouldn't mean we proved God's existence." This statement by my opponent can mean a few different things.
1. If by God's very traits he is unobservable, and no human knowledge can ever prove his existence, then it is also true that no human knowledge can ever disprove his existence.
2. So even if humans knew 100% of the facts about the observable universe, this does not mean that we proved God's existence, because God is unobservable according to what my opponent says. Again, this would not disprove God's existence because humans only know 100% of facts about the observable universe; God is unobservable, so it is still possible that God indeed exists.

The possibility of the existence of God is still upheld.

At this point rebutting the rest of my opponents premises is just out for fun and out of courtesy. I don't know why my opponent made his statement about switch side debates and defending what you do not believe in, so I will not even waste my time with that as it does not matter.

My opponent is correct that everyone sees a slightly different shade of blue, but it still stands that they are seeing the color blue. Those that do not see blue have vision deficiencies. Color is not just a subjective perception, but colors also have corresponding objective wavelengths(2). That's why it is correct to say that certain colors of light work better for certain plants because color corresponds to wavelength, and that is objective.

In the pursuit of knowledge and edification it is logical to attempt to refute the possibility of something, but until actual evidence is found, it is illogical to definitively refute the possibility of that something, and since there is no actual evidence that it is impossible for God to exist, then it is possible he does exist.

Since this is my last round, I will not be able to rebut anything that Con says after this. If my opponent fails to rebut a single one of my arguments that is possible that God exists, then I have won. Do the right thing, vote Pro

I thank my opponent for an interesting and enjoyable debate :).

References:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
bluesteel

Con

Thanks MikeyMike.

My opponent unfortunately doesn't understand the difference between a definition and an assertion.

1) Reverse ontological argument

I'll explain the function of each line for clarity.

1. God is DEFINED as a being who necessarily exists and is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. [from the definition of God]
2. Necessarily existent beings are beings who exist in all possible worlds. [definition of necessary existence]
3. Anything that is not logically impossible is "possible." [definition of logical possibility]
4. It is possible that God does not exist, i.e. there is a possible world in which God does not exist. [from premise 3]
5. If there is a possible world where God does not exist, then God cannot exist in all possible worlds. [from premise 4]
6. God is not necessarily existent. [from premise 5 and 2]
7. God does not exist. [from premise 6]

My opponent keeps saying "but bluesteel already conceded that God is omnipresent and necessarily exists." This is not true. Bluesteel said that the definition of God REQUIRES him to have those traits and then goes on to disprove one of those traits.

I'll offer an analogy for clarity.

Logical argument:

Premise 1: Zombies are undead beings that exist. [definition of zombies]
Premise 2: Life after death is impossible.
Premise 3: Undead beings cannot exist.
Conclusion: Zombies do not exist.

Just because premise 1 says that zombies exist does not mean that the conclusion is invalid. And just because premise 1 says that zombies are undead that doesn't mean that it's possible to be undead.

The reason my opponent's argument is a tautology is because he uses premise 1, by itself, to proves God's existence. So his counter-argument to the ontological argument is essentially:

Premise 1: God is a necessarily existent being who is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.
Conclusion: God is omnipresent.

My opponent is merely restating the definition of God. He is essentially saying "God is omnipresent because he is omnipresent" or rather "God is omnipresent because bluesteel said the definition of God includes omnipresence." This is illogical. If I define unicorns as "beings with horns who exist," then using the same style of argument, unicorns must exist because their definition includes existence.

My opponent hasn't refuted the reverse ontological argument AT ALL. He doesn't question any of the premises or the transitions between them.

2) Omnibenevolence

Again, my opponent confuses the definition of God with what I agree to. When I say "God is omnibenevolent," I mean that the definition of God requires him to be omnibenevolent, not that I agree that he actually is or can be.

My opponent commits another tautology here: "all acts that God commits must be benevolent because God is defined as omnibenevolent." This is clearly flawed. I can define bluesteel as an omnibenevolent being, but that doesn't mean that if I kick a puppy, that act is benevolent. In fact, kicking a puppy would prove my definition is flawed. In the same way, the problem of evil proves that the definition of God is flawed and thus he cannot exist as posited.

My opponent goes on about the 10 Commandments, but he clearly doesn't understand the idea of objective morality vs. subjective morality. There are certain acts that are objectively wrong, such as killing someone. Yet God kills people all the time, striking them down with diseases, cars, and bullets. My opponent claims all morality is subjective but across all cultures, murder is viewed as wrong.

My opponent then cuts and pastes an argument about the different types of omnipotence. He never says which of these versions he is advocating so you can't really accept this argument.

I never liked the argument that "God's omnipotence only allows him to do things that don't contradict his other powers, thus nullifying his existence." But regardless, my opponent never explains this argument so it's unfair for you to vote on it.

At the end of the day, evil exists in the world and God can prevent it. If he is omnipotent, he could prevent evil and chooses not to, making him not omnibenevolent. If he is unable to prevent the evil, then he is not omnipotent.

3) I don't really want to argue about ghosts anymore.

4) Unknown knowledge

My opponent agrees here that is is possible that God does not exist in the remaining human knowledge, which means he agrees to premise 4 of the reverse ontological argument, which leads to the conclusion that God does not exist. Once my opponent agrees to premise 4 of the reverse ontological argument, he can't win.

Regardless, observations and logic are not the same. The reverse ontological argument and the problem of evil are logical arguments, not arguments based on observation and empiricism, so my opponent's arguments here about the observable universe and the scope of human knowledge do not apply.

If omnipotence and omnibenevolence are contradictory, then it doesn't matter if we don't know everything, God can't exist.

Lastly, even if there is an unobservable omnipotent and omniscient being lurking in the "unknown," there is no guarantee that this being is omnibenevolent. Most of the arguments for God could still work if he were omni-nefarious ("all evil").

I don't intend to keep arguing about ghosts and the sky.

5) Definition of logical

Logical just means reasonable. As long as human knowledge has not all been discovered, it is possible that a proof exists even if something is currently thought to be "impossible to prove." So even if my opponent wins that it is impossible to disprove the possibility of God, refuting said possibility is still "reasonable" because we believe that we may discover a yet unknown proof that *will* disprove God's existence somewhere in the unknown knowledge. In the same way, mathematicians still attempt "impossible" proofs in the hopes they will somehow discover how to solve it. So even if my opponent wins, he loses, since he doesn't respond to this semantics argument. It is always "reasonable" to refute the possibility of God.

Whether or not you like the above argument, you need to vote on it because my opponent drops it and thus concedes to it.

6) Burden or proof

My opponent could have presented the Ontological argument or the Cosmological argument to prove God's existence, but all he does in this debate is demand negative proof. He doesn't present a case of his own. This is an illogical way to argue and is an independent voting issue.

For all these reasons, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MikeyMike 1 year ago
MikeyMike
Lol I got reamed.. how sad. Due to a stupid blunder on my part, but no less of a loss.
Posted by wiploc 2 years ago
wiploc
Con's ontological argument would have been bulletproof unless Pro evaded by declining that definition of god. Pro did not evade, but rather re-emphasized that god has to exist in every possible world if he is to exist at all.

Con wins persuasion by showing that that god cannot possibly exist.

Pro equivocated by arguing that logic isn't significant when Con does it, but acting like logic still works when he's the one using it. This is the fallacy of special pleading. Calling your opponent a "stupid little human" gives offense, even when used in a logical fallacy.

Con wins conduct.
Posted by MikeyMike 2 years ago
MikeyMike
lol Dakota, stop spoiling stuff

I got this
Posted by DakotaKrafick 2 years ago
DakotaKrafick
There are so many logical fallacies in that reverse ontological argument, I would commend Mike for even bothering...
Posted by DakotaKrafick 2 years ago
DakotaKrafick
It's impossible to prove that something as equivocal and imperceptible as a deity doesn't exist. Add, perhaps, just one more significant characteristic to your definition and likelihood of that being existing diminishes remarkably, possibly to nothing at all depending on the characteristic.

For instance, if I was allowed to ask you just two or three simple questions about the details of this deity, your answers would most certainly cause it to be impossible to exist.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 2 years ago
DakotaKrafick
It's impossible to prove that something as equivocal and imperceptible as a deity doesn't exist. Add, perhaps, just one more significant characteristic to your definition and likelihood of that being existing diminishes remarkably, possibly to nothing at all depending on the characteristic.

For instance, if I was allowed to ask you just two or three simple questions about the details of this deity, your answers would most certainly cause it to be impossible to exist.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't refute Con's reverse Ontological argument and misinterpreted Con's definition of god as omni- as a concession. Con showed through his unknown burden argument that it is just as logical to assume that god didn't exist as it is to assume that god exists. Pro also did not present an affirmative case making this debate a clear con win.
Vote Placed by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro makes a very big mistake by claiming his definition was of the Christian God. By doing this he gave Con the opportunity to use specific traits which show that this definition of God poses logical contradictions, thus making it illogical to believe in his existence. Pro was not able to counter these arguments as he completely misunderstood that Cons premises were not concessions, but rather examples of such contradictions.
Vote Placed by wiploc 2 years ago
wiploc
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 2 years ago
THEBOMB
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not present a case. Con did.
Vote Placed by Ricky_Zahnd 2 years ago
Ricky_Zahnd
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: rather onesided
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 2 years ago
royalpaladin
MikeyMikebluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a very clear Con win. Pro clearly lost the Reverse Onotological argument since his only response was that God is omnipresent. Bluesteel cleared this up with the zombie example; the definition of God does not automatically mean that he exists because the definition merely states his properties. Pro also did not present any case of his own, so he did not fulfill his burdern of proof. This was a very clearn Con win.