The Instigator
Smithereens
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
Magic8000
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

It is not illogical to suppose the existence of God.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Smithereens
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,318 times Debate No: 30841
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (6)

 

Smithereens

Pro

Motion: It is not illogical to suppose the existence of God.


Intro: In this debate I will attempt to argue that it is logical for someone to believe there is a God. Con will present a case to establish his assertion of the resolution's negation. BoP is shared.

Definitions:
Illogical: not observing the principles of logic. [1]
Suppose: to lay down tentatively as a hypothesis, assumption, or proposal. [2]
God: Tri-omni creator of the universe.

Rules:
1) No semantics, trolling, exessive amounts of foul language or insults.
2) Forfeiture in 1 round results in conduct point loss, forfeiture in 2 or more is 7 point penalty.
3) Case must be coherent and in English.
4) Material may not be posted in comments, material from comments may not be used in the debate.
5) If 10 or more sources are used, they may be posted in comments section.
6) No redefining the defintions set, any clarifications must be sent in pm to me before the debate, clarifications may be made during the debate if absolutely necessary.
7) Use of copywrited material is not permitted.

Structure:
My opponent will be debating as Con.
4 Rounds
R1 for acceptance only
2 week voting period
72 hours to respond
8000 characters

Sources:
http://www.merriam-webster.com......
http://www.merriam-webster.com......
Magic8000

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Smithereens

Pro

I assume Con has accepted all given definitions. as we go on, God may require additional definitions, I do not mind if Con adds some to clarify his case, however, all definitions (of the theistic Christian God) must be reasonable and clear.


I shall be using the following arguments for a justification of belief in God in this debate:
1) Transcendental argument for God
2) Ontological argument for God
3) Kalam Cosmological argument
4) Pascal's wager


1) Transcendental Argument for the existence of God (TAG)
P1: Logical absolutes exist

P2: Logical absolutes and laws transcend physical matter and entities
P3: Transcendental Logical laws should not be able to exist without a similarly transcendent author.
C: This author is God.

P1 Justification
Logical absolute are the basics of logic, principles that are always true.[1] For example, the 3 classic laws of thought: The law of identity[2], The law of excluded middle[3] and The law of Non-contradiction.[4] These established laws of logic required to perform rational discourse have objective existence, they are true for everyone. This is because they deal with both conceptual logic and reality, things our minds cannot alter or change. To defend the law of identity as a transcendent law which I will be doing next point as well, The law of identity which states that A=A does not require matter or anything physical to exist as it also deals with conceptual thought. Like all of the laws, reality is subject to these laws but the mind is as well. An idea of a frog is not the same as an idea of a deer. Likewise the law of excluded middle is not the same as the law of negation as failure.

P2 Justification
Logical absolutes do not require the existence of humans to exist. The sun would not both exist and not exist regardless if we were here or not. Similarly, they do not need matter to exist. If we destroyed half the universe, logic would not change or be altered, If matter didn't exist at all, logical absolutes would still be unchanged. Also, If I were to go forwards or backwards in time, I would notice that logical absolutes stay the same, likewise if I travelled 20 light-years away logic would not be different. The fact that it is not reliant on matter and energy to exist, and is not physical, thus cannot be observed via scientific instruments. Logical absolutes are transcendental. I do not claim that all logical laws are not contingent on matter existing, since many logical laws deal with what nature must be like (fractal geometry etc). However the premise claims that there exist laws tha transcend the universe and must therefore be accounted for. If God didn't exist, we would have no reason to conclude that a transcendental law could exist. There is no reason for it being possible, and thus a transcendental mind that conceived these laws must exist.

P3 Justification
There is no possible answer for the existence of logical absolutes with the exception that a higher mind conceptualised it. The existence of the universe cannot explain the existence of something purely conceptual that doesn't require the universe to exist in order to exist. So we can rationally conclude that these laws were conceived and put in place by super-intelligence, as all thoughts conceptual need to be explained for their existence. A Similar Argument that justifies this premise is that thoughts reflect the mind. If the concepts were faulty or irrational, they would originate from an irrational mind, if they were rational, then vice versa. The conceptual logical laws that exist are transcendent, absolute and perfectly consistent. Therefore they reflect a perfect, transcendent mind.[5]

The Conclusion necessarily follows if all premises are true. There exists a transcendental mind that exists independent of the universe.


2) Ontological argument:

Model ontological argument: [6]
1)
God is that which nothing greater is possible, i.e. the greatest possible being.

2) It is at least possible for God to exist in reality. That is, whether or not God actually exists in the real world, He at least exists in some possible set of circumstances. So, God might have existed in the real world.

3) If something exists only in the mind but is possible, then that something might have been greater than it is. For example, a majestic mountain that exists only in the mind might have been greater: the mountain existing in reality.

4) Suppose God exists only in the mind and not in reality.

5) Then there is a possible being that is greater, namely God existing in reality.

6) So it is possible for something to have been greater than God.

7) Since God is that which nothing greater is possible, then it is possible for something to be greater than that which nothing greater is possible.

C: Premise 7 is not possible and therefore its negation is true, God exists.

In a nutshell,
If God exists, He exists necessarily.
It is possible that God exists,
hence He exists.

I have included a similar version of the model ontological argument in logical symbolism for easy reading:
[7]


3) Kalam Cosmological argument

P1: Whatever has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence

P2: The universe has a beginning of its existence
P3: The universe has a cause of its existence
P4: The cause of the universe must be uncaused, eternal, and infinitely powerful in order to exist and create the universe
C: This first cause is God.

P1 Justification
This is intuitively obvious. and is not one of the premises that I would expect to be contested. Since we do not and beyond reasonable doubt will not ever see material objects randomly pop into existence, Con will have a BoP to claim otherwise. Osama bin Laden was not killed by a falling piano that materialised in the sky above him.

P2 Justification
Using this reasoning, we can also safely assume that like any material object, the universe did not spontaneously pop into existence, it was caused by something as per the law of causality.

P3+4 Justifications
The cause of the universe couldn't have been physical, since we are talking about the start of everything physical. Since It came before time, this cause is also timeless. A being transcendent, timeless, immaterial, powerful and knowledgeable enough to create the universe is what we will refer in this debate as 'God.'

If all premises are true, the conclusion that God created the universe follows necessarily.


Pascal's wager
Pascal's wager shows that it is infinitely better to wager that God exists vs that He doesn't exist.[8]

Theism:
1) If God exists, belief in Him would result in a small chance to gain an infinite reward.
2) If God doesn't exist, belief in Him would result in little or no finite loss.
Atheism:
3) If God exists, non belief in Him would result in a near certain chance to gain an infinite punishment.
4) If God doesn't exist, non belief in Him would result in little or no finite gain.

5) a small chance at an infinite reward is better than a near certain chance at infinite punishment.
6) It is illogical to choose a chance at infinite punishment over infinite gain.
7) It is logical to believe God exists.



Conclusion:
I have shown why it is in accordance with logic to suppose that there is a God. The Trancendental argument for God, the model ontological argument, the Kalam cosmological argument and Pascal's wager.

Sources:
[1] http://carm.org...
[2] http://www.classicallibrary.org...
[3] Frist Staal (1988), Universals: Studies in Indian Logic and Linguistics, Chicago, pp. 109–28 (cf, Bull, Malcolm (1999), Seeing Things Hidden, Verso, p. 53
[4] Dasgupta, Surendranath (1991), A History of Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, p. 110
[5] see source [1]
[6]
http://www.angelfire.com...
[7] http://debate.org...
[8] http://www.peterkreeft.com...

Magic8000

Con

Argument 1: Non Cognitivism

The Argument from Non Cognitivism is formed like this, [1]

1. There are three attributes of existants which concern us particularly, these being:

A. Primary Attributes: A fundamental character of a thing, may be defined as the basic nature a particular thing is composed of. What a thing is, specifically, that it may do particular things or affect those around it in a particular way. The following two types of attributes provided below can only be applied to a thing if they can be related to an existant's primary attribute and the primary attribute is positively identified [2]

B. Secondary Attributes: Secondary Attributes: the character traits or abilities a particular thing may enact or possess. examples: being generous, kind, powerful, wise. [3]

C. Relational Attributes.: An association of the character. I.E. King Henry the VIII. King is the relational attribute.

2. B as well as C are dependent upon and must be related to an existant"s A in order to be considered meaningful.
3. The term "God" lacks a positively identified A.
4. Because of this, the term "God" holds no justified A, B, or C. (From 2)
5. However, an attribute-less term (a term lacking A, B, and C) is meaningless.
6. Therefore, the term "God" is meaningless. (From 3, 4, 5)
7. Therefore, the god-concept is invalid.

A meaningless word can't have any proper concept. It would just be a meaningless sound coming out of our mouths. Until "God" is defined all arguments are proving nothing.

If someone said "A "Plorp" exists" we would need to ask what a "Plorp" is. Without a clear definition of a "plorp" any concept of it is invalid.

Argument 2: Argument From Correct Choice

This argument shows that choosing a theistic worldview is contradictory. In order to state you believe in God, a criteria of “correct choice” must exist. It is formed like so (with a little modifying done by me) [4]

1. Materialist apologetics is true, principles and absolutes are impossible to justify from the theological worldview.

1a. Theism implies divine causation is true.
1b. If divine causation is true, then all facts in the universe are contingent.
1c. All facts in the universe is contingent to God’s act of creation, and nothing in the universe is necessary. No principles or absolutes are possible (since the uniformity of reality is no longer necessary).

2. Any conscious choice implies a principle of correctness.
3. Choosing the theistic worldview is a choice, and therefore implies a principle of correctness. (from 2)

C. Choosing the theistic worldview is self-contradictory. Atheism is the only consistent worldview. (from 1 and 3)

Pro's arguments

TAG

See my argument 2. As it's kind of like an atheist TAG

The laws of logic are not contingent on our minds. They're contingent on existence itself, these laws are descriptions of this existence, and conceptual by nature. I will edit a bit from Matt Slick to show how

"Existence's attributes are consistent with the first Law of logic, the Law of Identity, which states that something is what it is: A = A. Since existence exists (Existence = Existence), then its attributes, which are dependent and necessarily a part of existence, also exist. It must also be unchanging, as if existence changed, it would be non existence. By way of analogy, I am six feet tall. My height (or whatever height I might be) is an attribute of my existence as a full grown man, and it cannot be separated from what I am. Of course height can be altered, but "height" cannot be removed from my physical existence. It is a part of my existence." [5]


Two questions.


If God didn't exist, the logical absolutes wouldn't exist, right?

If God didn't exist, nothing would exist, right?

Let’s say God doesn’t exist. Since God didn’t exist, the logical laws didn’t exist.

If God did not exist would it be valid to say nothing could both exist and not exist? Could this nothing then fade into something, which the logical absolutes would arrive? So according to your own logic, God can not exist and the absolutes can come about, or the absolutes exist regardless of any type of deity.

(note here, this is not what I'm proposing.)

Ontological Argument

The ontological argument can prove anything if its reasoning is valid

Gaunilo's island

  1. The perfect Island is that than which no greater can be conceived.

  2. It is greater to exist in reality than merely as an idea.

  3. If the Perfect Island does not exist, one can conceive of an even greater island, id est one that does exist.

  4. Therefore, the perfect Island exists in reality.

Hercules refutation

  1. Hercules is the greatest warrior in history.

  2. A warrior that existed is greater than one that did not.

  3. If Hercules only exists in the mind, then we can conceive of a greater warrior

  4. Therefore, Hercules existed

that something might have been greater than it is.

I can conceive of a more powerful being that can eliminate the former ad infinitum. Furthermore if God is suppose to be the greatest thing that can be conceived. Yet 2 Gods would be better than 1 and 3 God better than 2 ad infinitum.

The Ontological argument can be defended, because "God" is a meaningless word. It works with any meaningless word

1. An "Orgh" is that than which no greater can be conceived.
2. It is greater to exist in reality than merely as an idea.
3. If the "Orgh" does not exist, one can conceive of an even greater thing exists or can be thought of.
4. Therefore, the "Orgh" exists in reality.

Pro needs to give "God" a meaning before we can discuss any arguments whatsoever, but specifically with the ontological argument.

Kalam

Even though the Kalam is invalid, I don’t really care, the argument is irrelevant unless it proves the cause was God. That’s what Pro tries to prove in premise 4. Without premise 4, the cause could just be some type of natural cause. The burden of proof is on Pro to prove it was God. So, let's look at the properties

immaterial, not physical

This assumes the only matter that existed ever is in our universe, however we’re unsure what was before the universe [6] -other than time via the laws of relativity-. So “immaterial” isn’t justified.

powerful

Would you claim the cause of a castle needs to have immense power? No, we know some castles that were built by one person [7]. It needs very little power if it’s done little by little. So there’s no reason to assume the cause has immense power.

Timeless.

Why would time be a prerequisite for something to exist? Since God has this property, yet Pro believes he exists. So why not something else other than God?

Transcendent

What do you mean by transcendent? It simply means “going beyond ordinary limits” [8]. At one time the cause of the rain was “transcendent” since our ordinary senses didn't go beyond it. When more about the universe is known, the cause would become a part of our senses and therefore not transcendent.

Knowledgeable

There's no reason to assume this. We don't assume a cause to usually have knowledge of what it's doing. Such as the cause of the rain.

It's clear, there's no reason to assume this cause is a god.

Pascal's wager

This wager is argumentum ad baculum fallacy. [9] It's also a false dichotomy. There's no dichotomy between Christianity and Atheism. There's many religions in the world, in which both I, Pro, and all the readers are going to hell. We need to base our decisions on evidence, not on wagers like these. The argument should be dropped, if the evidence points to a flying spaghetti monster not existing, we shouldn't believe in it because of a wager like this.


The argument can also be reversed in favor of atheism [10]


Sources in comments.

Debate Round No. 2
Smithereens

Pro

My arguments last round were made anticipating Con would copy material across from another of his debates. [1] So this will be fun. :)

Before I demonstrate why his rebuttals didn't work, I will be refuting what I regard as the most fallacious case I have ever argued against on DDO.

1) Con's Argument from Non-cognitivism deconstructed:
The argument from Non-cognitivism asserts that if the term 'God' does not meet a certain criteria of attributes (made up by atheists to refute God), it becomes meaningless. I hope you can start to see the fallacies immediately.

1.1 The argument defines God as a term; not a being
Pro admits that when he talks about God, he means a word. "A meaningless word can't have any..." However, the debate has a clear set definition of God as being Tri-omni creator of the universe. Con cannot ignore the definitions in order to discredit God. It is presupposed in this debate that 'God' is a being, not a word. We are arguing as to whether or not we should label 'existence' as one of his definitions.

1.2 The argument defines God out of existence
Since the argument does not allow God to have a definition greater than being a word, it concludes that such a word is empty and thus any being that correlates to the word is also meaningless. The problem with this is that words mean nothing; it’s the thing the word represents that has value. Does not knowing about a word mean it is useless? Far from it. I will be discussing this point in more detail further on.

1.3 The argument is formulated by subjective opinion over facts.
The argument from Non-cognitivism presupposes that everything in existence must have the 3 attributes mentioned in order to mean anything, since no justification could be made; it falls into the category of opinion and ideas.

1.4 The argument cannot be applied to anything immaterial (like logic)
The argument as an entirety is demonstrateably false when it is consider that many things that exist do not have any of the attributes. Logical processes, logical laws that I have already established in this debate have objective existence refute the argument. The argument uses logic to prove that logic does not exist. Self-defeating.

1.5 The argument has no supporting evidence or justification to make us believe it
I'm sure anyone reading this debate would have noticed that not a single premise let alone the conclusion was supported by anything at all. No reasoning, no logical justification and no evidence. Premise 5 for example, is easily dismissed without evidence since it was brought up without evidence: 'an attribute-less term is meaningless.' Why is that? The word 'idea' has no attributes whatsoever, regardless of the failure for the word idea to have an attribute, we know that ideas exist in reality. There is no correlation between the properties of a word and the object it represents.

1.6 The argument has false premises including an invalid conclusion
A simple way to demolish the argument is to simply define the term 'God.' This however, defies the scientific principle of Occam’s razor, which states that one cannot apply more assumptions than what is absolutely necessary.[2] Is this a problem for my case? Not at all. It simply means that Con would not like me to use scientific practices in my search of anything transcendental or supernatural. This throws another ratchet into this already debunked argument. Systematically searching for a God is a science of origins, even though God Himself is not scientific. Even if the search for origins were not scientific, the scientific practice of proving/disproving the null-hypothesis would force us to consider God as a possible answer. [3] The argument from Non-cognitivism would see that we disregard scientific method in order to call God a useless term. Science vs. Cons argument? Science FTW!
Other premises that do not have any support that need support include premises 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7. In other words, all of them. Please explain.


2) Con's argument from correct choice deconstructed:
The first 4 words of the first premise in this argument make up the first reason why this argument is false. 'Materialist apologetics is true,' this argument presupposes that materialism is true even though I had demonstrated it as false in Round 2. Furthermore, this argument is simply just original research from a guy called Francois Trembley. The copied material can be found here: [4] Trembley, on his website had a page that argued that Materialism is true. He called this materialist apologetics, he then joined that onto the page where Con got his material from and basically said that since he had shown that his materialist apologetics is correct, then the first premise of this new argument he had made was justified. Not the case for this debate.
Furthermore, the justifications for each premise were found on the website, but Con did not copy them across to here. Each premise is therefore unsound. Since the first premise is false, (and a few others too, not enough characters to explain) and since each premise lacks any sort of logical justification, all are false until demonstrated elsewise.


Moving onto defence of my arguments.

3) In defence of the TAG
I read the rebuttal that Con copied nearly word for word from his last debate while I was formulating my TAG argument. To ensure maximum embarrassment and pre-emptive damage, I disproved the notion that logical laws were contingent on matter existing. Oblivious Con comes along and bases his entire rebuttal on the assertion that "They're contingent on existence," which was just refuted. He showed no evidence, and thus my pre-emptive rebuttal stands. Furthermore, he failed to show how logical laws exist without a similarly transcendent law giver; he simply tries to shift the burden of proof back by asking questions. This argument ties with the Kalam Cosmological argument, everything existing needs a cause, and Con will have to argue a better alternate cause than God to show that it is illogical to believe in God as per the resolution.


In defence of the Ontological Argument
I would like to point out that the ontological argument I used was not the one Con refuted. LOL!
Anyways, refuting the famous Gaunilo's argument, this argument is known to have serious mathematical flaws. The first one being that it substitutes an infinite non variable with a finite integer-representable entity. A Greatest possible being is infinite, a perfect island is a contradiction, as there will always be an island greater than it and that such an island has a subjective definition, unlike God.

1) There exists an island greater than the perfect island.
2) Such an island has no physical boundaries or forms
3) Such an island is capable of thought and being
4) Such a being is tri-omni
5) This tri-omni being is God.

We are unable to define a perfect island, but we can define the greatest possible being, that which nothing can be greater. Con didn't attack any premise, and used the wrong counter-arguments as the one I used was not actually affected by the Gaunilo's parody. Interchanging terms makes contradictions.

Furthermore, the parody arguments used by Con were unsound and committed the fallacy of false analogy, in Con's 4 premise version; the Conclusion does not logically follow the premise, a non-sequitur fallacy. This is because the argument I used was a valid reductio ad absurdum argument, it showed that the negation of the proposition resulted in a contradiction. The parody arguments actually confirm the negation however. "A perfect island does not exist."



I have run out of characters at this point, so I will be covering anything missed R4.






Sources:
[1] http://debate.org...
[2] http://math.ucr.edu...
[3] http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk...
[4] http://www.strongatheism.net...


Magic8000

Con

Non Cognitivism

I am just amazing at Pro's response. It's unlike any that I've seen and is so full of holes.

Before I get into that, I need to make an analogy and justification to reference.


If I say a computer exists and you ask “what's a computer”, If I define it as

“Having tons of information, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, it can talk if you tell it to, a great tool, has solved many problems, it can be bright and sometimes dim.”


Can you state you understand what a computer is and does it has meaning? No! We asked what a computer is, not what it can do, likes to do, or has done. When I ask "what's a computer", I'm not asking for secondary characteristics. I want to know what it is itself! To define something is


to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe...” [1]


It is also logically explained. The logical law of identity says everything that exists owns the nature of individually (A=A as Pro explained) Everything that exists has something in particular, this makes sure it can do certain things and to posses traits. [2] In order for a term to be meaningful, it must explain its identity, logically.


Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. [2]

1. God isn't a word, but a being.

First, the argument allows the theist to define “God”. Second, your definitions of God are secondary. Pro now did something that left me speechless. He conceded, then contradicted himself.

He said
“It is presupposed in this debate that 'God' is a being, not a word


Pro's agreeing with me! A word “god” isn't real! A word is defined as


a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning...” [3]


I'm in utter disbelief Pro would say that God has no representation or meaning. I'm in even more disbelief that Pro contradicts himself right after he said this.

We are arguing as to whether or not we should label 'existence' as one of his definitions.”

A “definition” is


the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc.,as found in dictionaries.”

So Pro wants to say God is not a word, but also wants to argue that existence is a part of the meaning in the word.


Furthermore, Please specify what a “being” is. Pro uses the word liberally, yet any research on it will show it's broad.

2. Defining God out of existence?


Again, the argument lets the theist define “God”


it’s the thing the word represents that has value. Does not knowing about a word mean it is useless? Far from it.”


I agree, but how do you know what that value is without a word? Especially if that value doesn't exist physically. No concept of the value can be given without a description. Otherwise we could claim any amount of meaningless things exist.


I understand what you're saying. If a cave man looks at a tree and can't come up with a word to describe it, this doesn't mean a tree doesn't exist. Does the same work with God? No, it would be making a category mistake between physical and non-physical. It would also be ignoring that we now have language and understand the law of identity.


If you choose to take this objection the only to prove god is logical to believe in, is to make whatever to is appear to me and all the readers. Same with an infinite amount of meaningless words.


3. Subjective?

I did justify it, in the beginning of this round. Since Pro accepted the law of identity, I didn't think this would come up.


4.
Logical Laws.

This is a false analogy. The laws of logic are used to describe material, which gives them meaning. This is an interesting objection, if the laws of logic didn't refer to anything that exists physically, how would we know what they are?


5.
Justification

I've shown it has by way of analogy and a law of logic.

Premise 5..dismissed without evidence

So, do you accept the law of identity? Which states


Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is [2]

Without saying what somethings specific nature is, no characteristics can be valid since they're a part of what it is.


Pro then says


"'idea' has no attributes”


An “idea” is


any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, oractivity.” [4]

How exactly is this attribute-less? It clearly says it's a conception.

There is no correlation between the properties of a word and the object it represents.

What? Please explain, if this true we wouldn't understand anything at all. I could be misunderstanding you, so explain,

6. Invalid conclusion

Pro says that defining “God” is violating Occam’s razor. Occam's is a non sequiter, I asked pro to define God. Why is Occam's razor (a way of selection theories) brought up? Theories assume facts with meaning. The razor can be brought up when “God” is defined and the selecting process has begun. Pro's objection here also assumes that "God" is meaningful. He says he can't exclude God as a possibility of creation, but what is God? How can Pro state this without giving a primary definition of God? This is section is a complete red herring fallacy .


All premises need justification

1 has been proven via analogy and logical laws, 2 is proven the same, 4 is proven by 1 and 2, Pro proved 3, 5 is again proved the same way as 1 and 6 follows from 3,4, and 5. Finally 7 is proven by the arguments above and basic logical law of identity! Say that 3 times fast!

Furthermore, Pro conceded in saying “God” is not a word.


Argument From Correct Choice

Pro ignores the argument here and goes off on an irrelevant rabbit trail. The argument is the same, but a shortened version, any one can see that. I'm in disbelief Pro would claim I didn't justify premise 1. Look under premise 1, you will see the justification labeled as “1a, 1b, and 1c” I did this so Pro wouldn't make this mistake.


TAG

Pro starts with a red herring fallacy. Pointing out I copied from a previous debate, like that's somehow wrong. Then Pro commits a strawman fallacy. If he read my previous debate he would know that I said existence doesn't have to mean matter. If existence=matter, then how can God exist if he's not matter. Clearly Pro doesn't think matter=existence, so why would he think so here? If I asked where God came from, Pro would probably state he always existed. Yet I can say the same, some existence could've always existed. Pro ignores my justification for saying LA is conceptual by existence. He also erroneously claims I tried to shift the burden of proof as an excuse to evade. Just read what I said, I was simply asking Pro to affirm his reasoning before I used it against him. No shifting done.

Ontological

Pro critiqued me for using a different form of the argument. I did this solely because of space, and they seemed essentially the same -see premise 2 on them-. So I hope you can get over it.


Pro attempts to say there's differences between a perfect island and God. He said there can always be an island better, yet the same can be said about God. There can always be a better God. I can show him his own objection.

Since an Island is that which nothing greater is possible, then it is possible for something to be greater than that which nothing greater is possible.


Above is not possible and therefore its negation is true, The perfect island exists.

Pro seems to think an island has subjective definitions, but not God. Pro needs to justify this. Some may think a great being would always stop evil, some may think a great being is one who just leaves the universe alone, some may think a great being is one who causes evil on those who they don't like, ect. Why should we believe God is that which is nothing greater?


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

[2] http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Smithereens

Pro

I have a nagging suspicion Con doesn't actually know much about his own argument on non-cognitivism. He treats it like a logical positivist would: assuming empirical implications. The argument actually seeks to discredit 'God,' as being an invalid term, something which I established does not actually exist; there is no such thing as an 'invalid term,' all terms are valid since words have no truth value. It’s also interesting to see how Con is constantly consulting a dictionary.

Strangely, Con didn't really refute anything relevant to my case, so I feel like he is somewhat out of his depth.

Argument from non-cognitivism:
1.1) I'm somewhat disappointed that Con did not understand my argument, instead thinking there were contradictions. My argument was that God is a being, not a word, and thus the argument could not discredit the existence of God.

However, the point where Con messed up was in assuming that I argued the word 'God' somehow didn't exist (In his argument last round, you would notice that when I said "it is presupposed in this debate that God is a word, not a being," that Con thought I said that the word God isn't real, which is completely wrong).

The word God has definitions, one of these which I am trying to argue as to having is existence. If God exists, then the word 'God,' can be defined as having existence. The argument from Non-cognitivism attacks God the word, not God the being. This means that God the being is not actually discredited. The resolution is in no way negated by this argument.

1.2) My point that the argument defines God out of existence visibly stumps Con here and understandably so. The first fallacy I see is where he answers my objection by stating "I agree, but how do you know what that value is without a word?"In science, we don't need words to know anything; everything has a numerical value of 1 or 0 similar to binary which is justified by the law of the excluded middle. 1=exists, 0=not exists. For simplicity, many things are written in logical symbolism [1] to avoid using words, since you end up making mistakes like Con.

Another good way to refute this point is by being born deaf. Deaf people don't think in words, while we do. This is a practical demonstration of the uselessness of words. Who cares if words exist or not? They don't change anything about reality. God could exist even if there were no words to describe Him.

1.3) Con doesn't understand this point either... The law of identity does not justify making up properties for words to illogically disprove them. Why must words have 3 different sorts of attributes? Since no justification could be made in the last round, this rebuttal also holds firm against Con's argument.

1.4) Logical laws don't describe reality as a primary function and are not contingent on reality, I have established this already. Furthermore, nothing which Con said was in any way relevant to this point. Please re-read with better care.

1.5) Premise 1 of the argument was the target of this rebuttal. I challenged Con to justify why everything needs all 3 different attributes in order to have logical existence. Con here apparently does not know what the law of identity is. "a statement (as a house is a house) in which the subject and predicate are the same is true."[2] Con went onto a website and copied the first sentence across, [3] which was a part off the introduction, not the law of identity. What a hilarious mistake.

Furthermore, anything that has existence not contingent on matter has no attributes, like logic. Con tried to refute my point by saying that my example of 'idea' actually does have attributes by going to dictionary.com and copying across a definition of idea to make it have attributes. So to refute this entire argument, I will go to that source exactly and do the same thing with God: 'the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.'[4] Tadaa, this argument is now invalid. Con must accept that his defence fails, and thus my defence wins, or that my example is wrong along with his defence, and thus my first argument wins. Checkmate.

1.6) Occam's razor says we should not accept theories with too many assumptions, my point exactly.

This argument from non-cognitivism is thoroughly dead.


Argument from Correct choice:
Con seems to think that I didn't address his point, which is strange since every word was an explanation as to why his point was incorrect. In simple English:

1) This argument pre-supposes the validity of materialistic apologetics made up by a guy on a website Con copied from.
2) Since materialism has already been established as wrong in this debate, the entire argument is invalid.
I also gave other reasons why the point was wrong.


TAG:
I seem to have been accused of a list of fallacies including red-herring fallacy, which I couldn't find in re-reading my own post. If you would read with care, you would note that every word was intimately related to the point I was pushing, that point was that con didn't put in any justification of his argument's premises when he was copying his argument over from his other debate.

Curiously enough, it is Con who has committed the red-herring fallacy; he actually hasn't refuted my argument if you take a close look. His rebuttal was a question: would the laws of logic exist if God didn't exist? The answer is unknown, yet the argument is not refuted just by asking a question. He also had an ambiguous counter-argument: laws of logic are contingent not on the mind but on existence. So what is existence? Existence of God? I'm going to interpret it that way. And since it’s the last round, no corrections can be possibly made by Con and this point succeeds in affirming the motion.


Ontological argument:
I was quite annoyed by Con claiming that he refuting the model ontological argument also refuted the unique one I used. IT DOESN'T!

I have demonstrated why all his rebuttals didn't work yet he persisted in claiming that my argument was the same as the model ontological argument. Gaunillo's criticism doesn't invalidate this argument since God is not mathematically interchangeable with anything representable by an integer in any of the premises. Con, I have produced a condensation of the argument into logically symbolism which I want you to use instead of the worded argument so as to avoid such mistakes in future: http://debate.org...


Defence of Pascals wager:
Pascal's wager is actually an ingenious mathematical argument; it takes into consideration that there are many gods, and thus the wager would not be 50-50. However, let’s assume that the wager is 99.99999% in the atheist’s favour of likelihood and 0.000001% in favour of the theist. The argument states the utility increases over the amount of time you spend in heaven if you won the wager as a theist. However, the chance of being correct while a theist is very low, so is it worth it? The answer mathematically is yes. Since heaven is inherently infinite, its utility is also infinite and so in an equation it would look like thus:

theist: low but finite number x infinite utility = infinitely good reward.
Atheist: high but finite number x finite utility = finitely good reward.

This argument cannot be reversed against the theist, since it is a wager against God, not no God. If it were a wager for no God, the results would still be the same. Making up a religion that states that believing in God will result in hell also is mathematically invalid, as it will not be as likely true as existing religions and would mathematically be cancelled out.



Concluding, not much of my material was understood, let alone refuted compared to the demolition of his arguments. Thanks Con for humouring me to this debate.



Sources:
[1]
http://philosophy.lander.edu...;
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...;
[3] http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com...;
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...;

Magic8000

Con

Non Cognitivism

It seems Pro is equivocating the word “word”. If Pro says God is a being, this would be trying to make “God” a word. Pro seems to think “word” is an attribute instead of a noun.


Pro then claims just because he said God isn't a word, doesn't mean he thinks the word "God" doesn't exist. This doesn't make the slightest bit of sense.


the argument from Non-cognitivism attacks God the word, not God the being.


Because God the being has no meaningful definition. I asked Pro to explain what he meant by “being” he hasn't responded, so I will go by the dictionary definition of it.


“the fact of existing; existence (as opposed to nonexistence).” [1]

"conscious, mortal existence;"

These are hardly primary attributes. Concscious just means having knowledge of self existence. This is secondary, since it's what something possess. We can't just define something as “existing”. What is a computer? It is a being! I'm asking you what this being is.


2. Pro ignores why God can't be defined this way. He also says we don't have words to define something in science. However things such as numbers describe existence! 1 comes from the observation of objects. Symbolism explains primary attributes in a different way, so that's a flawed response. A deaf person can see reality and apply the law of identity. It's different with God. I already explained this, which Pro flew over.




I'll respond to 3 in 5 Because it's the same.



4. Pro would be the first to argue if these logical laws didn't exist, reality would be skewed. They're meaningful because of existence.


5. Pro claims the law of logic doesn't justify the argument. He gave us the law of identity, yet he doesn't want to go further. A house is a house, this is giving it the nature to have secondary characteristics such as color. Something such as an idea doesn't have the primary attribute to have the secondary attribute of color. So telling us a secondary attribute (like color) without a primary attribute is just telling us nothing. Pro ignores the source by claiming I just copied from the intro. Why did it explain the very thing Pro just did (that everything has a specific nature) if it was just the intro? Looking at more of it tells us it's more than just an intro



“Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. "This leaf is red, solid, dry, rough, and flammable." "This book is white, and has 312 pages." "This coin is round, dense, smooth, and has a picture on it." In all three of these cases we are referring to an entity with a specific identity; the particular type of identity, or the trait discussed, is not important. Their identities include all of their features, not just those mentioned.


Identity is the concept that refers to this aspect of existence; the aspect of existing as something in particular, with specific characteristics. An entity without an identity cannot exist because it would be nothing. To exist is to exist as something, and that means to exist with a particular identity.”[2]


“a statement of an identity is the expression of an abstract relation of identity symbolized by a term (as A in “A is A”) that apparently refers in its separate instances to the subject and predicate respectively”[3]


This is simple elementary linguistics. If I'm asking you what the subject is, don't give me a predicate!


Pro then thinks that I think my objection to his “idea” argument is valid because the definition was from dictionary.com. No, it's valid because it gives us a primary attribute



He then defines God as follows


“'the one Supreme Being”


Secondary, as stated in 1.


“the creator”


Secondary, I didn't ask what God did, I asked what it was. This is clearly secondary


“ruler of the universe.”


Secondary, I didn't ask what God does. I asked what it was.


6. Pro ignores me here. We can only select theories if they have meaning.



Pro really didn't refute this one. He equivocates “word”, doesn't refute my justifications by logic and didn't even touch on the analogy justification, ignores me on many things and gives me secondary attributes. I've established “God” is meaningless, by the law of identity, it's just a belief in nothing.


“...to say, “A God exists” insofar as it attempts to construct itself as a proposition is false because the term “God” does not refer to an actual concept, and therefore to posit such a statement supposing that it does and that this referent exists in reality as something is an untrue positive declaration.” [4]




Argument From Correct Choice


Pro ignored this one from start to finish.


1) It was justified in “1a,1b, and 1c” I did this to prevent you from making this mistake
2) I don't see how this refutes the argument, as I responded to all your arguments.


Let's say I bring up the problem of evil and Pro brings up the Kalam. Would a valid objection to the Kalam be “well God has been refuted by the POE”? Would it be a valid objection after Pro responds to it? Of course not, but this is exactly what Pro is doing.


TAG


I already explained why it was a red herring. It throws us off topic (like it's doing now)


would the laws of logic exist if God didn't exist? The answer is unknown, yet the argument is not refuted


What!? “The answer is unknown”, but that's the very thing you're trying to prove. You basically said it's unsure the TAG proves God. The question alone doesn't refute the argument, but connected with the conclusion it does.


He also had an ambiguous counter-argument: laws of logic are contingent not on the mind but on
existence. So what is existence? Existence of God?


If it was a counter-argument to the laws being contingent on a mind, why did you say the existence could be God? Pro was talking about Occum's razor a while ago. Should we apply it to here, we can cut God out, as it's just an unnecessary assumption, since existence itself could've always existed. There could've been another universe in some other form, the many worlds interpretation could be true, ect. It's allowed by physics! There's no reason whatsoever to posit “God”



Ontological



Nothing to respond to here. No arguments were given, just Pro saying by response fails. Then an appeal to God claiming it's not mathematically interchangeable. I see no reason why.



Pascal's Wager


The wager is a complete fallacy. It's all based on the appeal to consequences of a belief fallacy and argumentum ad baculum [5][6]. Making it flawed. We can make this wager for anything


You must bow to Magic8000's profile everyday until you die and you will get an infinite reward. If you don't, punishment!


Let’s assume that the wager is 99.99999% in the Amagic8000 profile favor of likelihood and 0.000001% in favor of the believer.


Magic8000 belier: low but finite number x infinite utility = infinitely good reward.
Amagic8000ist: high but finite number x finite utility = finitely good reward.


The atheist wager is not that a God doesn't exist, but a traditional God doesn't and a non traditional God does. The non-traditional god sends theists to hell and atheists to heaven.

"it will not be as likely true as existing religions and would mathematically be cancelled out.”


The likelihood of a religion being true, is not dependent on the existing or tradition of any religion. I can also say the same thing


“Making up a religion that states that believing in God will result in heaven is mathematically invalid, as it will not be as likely true as existing religion that say you will go to hell would mathematically be canceled out.”


It gets us nowhere.



Now go forth and vote!


Sources.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.strongatheism.net...
[5] http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
[6] http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Smithereens 3 years ago
Smithereens
Furthermore, I would like to answer your question you asked to muted: "@Muted How is thinking an argument is illogical, not a good reason for voting against it?" If everyone voted based upon their opinions, then we might as well not have a voting system. There was a recent movement here on DDO i participated in which sought to gather up good voters to do the majority of voting on the site to ensure all debates were voted fairly. There is also a thread dedicated to incidences where people vote on opinion and not fact, just to answer that question.
Posted by Smithereens 3 years ago
Smithereens
While it is up to your to decide who presented the more logical arguments, it is not up to you to decide if an argument was illogical. Your RDF was based on an assertion that my arguments were illogical, which means that you either didn't read the debate, or didn't understand the debate. I'm inclined to think it was the first. However, this is irrelevant, you as the voter must be neutral and objective, so instead of voting on arguments that seem to make no sense, you vote on the debate and outcome of the debate. In this case, you consider each argument, and not just the TAG argument. In your RDF, you said that 'Pros argument made no sense.' However, the argument does make sense but regardless of you or me being right or wrong, you cannot vote on that since you are unable to judge it as being right or wrong. What you can judge is whether Con established that argument as right or wrong, then vote on that. Giving 5 points for a few words in an RDF is clearly not the way to do go about doing it. Detailed RDF's are therefore made to ensure that the voter votes with integrity and not by personal bias. The voter that gave the same vote as you in my favour has not been criticised since she was negating your vote. I also have not been able to comprehend why you chose to gave Con the sources vote. In the debate, I discredited his primary source. This is why I disbelieve that you actually read the debate. Normally I wouldn't have a problem, but voting on a debate you haven't read or completely understood is somewhat rude.
Posted by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
@Smithereens It's up to me to decide who I think presented the most logical argument, in this case Con. I thought that several of your arguments were illogical, Con pointed out these flaws, hence I voted in his favor.

As for RFD, nowhere in the DDO rules does it say to provide an in-depth justification for your vote. If you've ever been to a professional debate where the audience votes, you are not asked for a detailed explanation of your vote, simply for your subjective opinion on which side was more convincing.
Posted by Smithereens 3 years ago
Smithereens
Orwell, its not up to you to decide whether an argument is logical or not, that is debatable, what you vote on is whether Con established that my arguments were illogical or not, not what you think. In fact, nothing in your RDF spoke about the debate itself, it was just your opinion of the arguments I used.

Furthermore, I',m not sure how Con has the better sources, I debunked his sources as being conflicting with his case, if you read the debate.

If you want to vote, I highly recommend writing a detailed RDF in the comments outlining why such a party deserved to win and your analysis on the mechanics and outcome of the debate.
Posted by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
Firstly, voters are not required to rebut arguments, they are simply supposed to vote based on which arguments they found more compelling. Secondly, I DID justify my vote; "logical laws are simply descriptions of the natural world, so would not exist if nothing else existed". Thirdly, you yourself abused the voting process by using it to respond to another voter, as opposed to doing so in the comments.

As usual, the debate has descended into a back and forth vote bombing match.
Posted by Muted 3 years ago
Muted
Firstly, I think my vote was removed, but that's not a problem. It's not a question of illogicality. It's a question of voting for the same opinion that you hold, that was espoused in the debate, despite the arguments. You didn't specify HOW the Pro case was illogical. In the same form, I can also argue that the Con case is illogical, and that the Pro case is perfectly logical, which is indeed what I do, to show your RFD rubbish. This is a case of gut feeling votes (or a votebomb), am I not right?
Posted by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
@Muted How is thinking an argument is illogical, not a good reason for voting against it?
Posted by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
@Magic8000 Yea, even though this also applies to me, it's interesting that everyone voting is favoring the side defending their religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
Posted by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
@Smithereens People vote based on who they think put forward the best argument. If I think one side's arguments where illogical, then of course that's going to affect my voting decision.
Posted by Smithereens 3 years ago
Smithereens
KRfrounier and Ryuu were the best, they are also very prestigious debators, lets just consider their votes, anna and Orwell cancel each other out.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Billdekel 3 years ago
Billdekel
SmithereensMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was the superior debater. Pro insisted on equivocating "word" with "being" to his own detriment. His TAG was ipse dixit. His rebuttal to Kalam was awesome. In all, Pro failed to show up. He also was falsely called out in mishandling his sources. Your RFDs are bad! You all should feel sad.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 3 years ago
KRFournier
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was the superior debater. Con insisted on equivocating "word" with "being" to his own detriment. His rebuttal to TAG was ipse dixit. His rebuttal to Kalam was dismissal. In all, Con failed to show up. He also was caught in mishandling his sources.
Vote Placed by Muted 3 years ago
Muted
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's first argument was a brilliant logical discourse. Logical laws can only exist if there was a logical basis, aka. a God. I've heard the arguments against God way too many times. They have too many logical fallacies. At least Pro's arguments were logical, so Arguments to Pro. (Yes, I'm parodying Orwell. I wouldn't want such a rubbish RFD, based on the voter's opinion, in my own debates, or in any one's else)
Vote Placed by annanicole 3 years ago
annanicole
SmithereensMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Thought that pro's arguments overall were better, with the exception of Pascal's Wager which, in my little opinion, is about the worst "proof" ever devised. Sources even, but giving them to Pro offsets the prior vote. As far as con's arguments, not bad - but I've seen parts of them word-for-word before.
Vote Placed by Orwell 3 years ago
Orwell
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's first argument made no sense; logical laws are simply descriptions of the natural world, so would not exist if nothing else existed. I've heard argument 2 many times before, a complete non sequitur, containing too many logical fallacies to go over. At least Con's arguments were logical, so Arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 3 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
SmithereensMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.