The Instigator
kohai
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
daley
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

It is probable for God to exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,748 times Debate No: 17902
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (33)
Votes (5)

 

kohai

Con

TERMS

Resolved: It is probable that God exists.

Rounds:

1. Acceptance only
2. Opening arguments
3. Clash
4. Closing arguments/clash



For the purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined broadly as to include the general attributes (ie: omnipotence, omniscience) commonly associated with Judeo-Christian monotheism. This definition primarily concerns general revelation, and hence special doctrines such as the incarnation and Trinity are not relevant to this debate. "Probable" will be defined as being more likely than not.

The time limit between replies is 72 hours. If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time. If one side explicitly concedes or violates any of these terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other. By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.
daley

Pro

I will be arguing that it is more proable that God exist than that there is no God.
Debate Round No. 1
kohai

Con

Thank you for accepting my debate challenge. I have seen many of your debates and couldn't be more thrilled that you accepted it. I wish you the very best of luck as I know this is going to be a challenge.

C1: The attributes of God are contradictory [1]

C1.1) Omnipotence-Omniscence

1. Anything with logically incompatible properties cannot exist. (This is not arguable)
2. Any God that knows the future is powerless to change it, and is therefore not omnipotent.
3. Omniscience is logically incompatible with omnipotence. (2)
4. God is described as having omniscience and omnipotence. (Given)
5. Therefore, God does not exist. (1) (3) (4)

Allow X to represent anything in the future. Now, let's assume that God is at least omniscient to determine whether or not the addition of omnipotence is possible.


1. God knows that X will occur in the future. (Given by God's definition)
2. In order for something to qualify as knowledge it must be factually correct. (This is not arguable)
3. The knowledge that X will occur is only factually correct if X actually occurs. (2)
4. The knowledge that X will occur logically necessitates its occurrence. (3)
5. The logical necessity of X occurring precludes the possibility of alternative outcomes. (4)
6. Omnipotence is impossible if alternative outcomes can't occur for a situation. (This is not arguable)
7. Omniscience and omnipotence are logically incompatible. (6)
8. Therefore, God cannot be both omniscient and omnipotent. (7)

C1.2) Just v. Mericful

Among many other things, God is often defined as both Just and merciful.

1. God is just (given).
2. God is merciful (given).
3. Mercy is getting less than what you deserve (by definition).
4. Just is getting exactly what you deserve (by definition).
5. Therefore, a person cannot be both all-just and all-merciful as God is defined.
6. Therefore, God cannot exist.

C1.3) Perfect v. Creation [2]
1. If God exists, then he is perfect.
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. If a being is perfect, then whatever he creates must be perfect.
4. But the universe is not perfect.
5. Therefore, it is impossible for a perfect being to be the creator of the universe (from 3 and 4).
6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

C2: Argument from Non-believeu [3]

Let set P be defined as the set of the following propositions:
(a) There exists the god of theism.
(b) The god of theism loves humanity, and
(c) This being wants each person to be saved by having certain
beliefs sufficient for salvation, such as beliefs P1...Pn.

1. If god exists, then god wants what is best for each person.
2. What is best for each person is that he or she is saved.
3. Therefore, if god exists, then god wants each person to be saved by having the beliefs of set P.
4. If god wants everyone to be saved by having the beliefs of set P, then everyone would have the beliefs of set P.
5. Not everyone has the beliefs of set P.
6. Therefore, god does not want everyone to be saved by having the beliefs of set P.
7. Therefore, god does not exist.

Premise 1 is unproblematic given God's definition of omni-benevolence. P2 is also unproblematic by definition.

I wait my opponent's opening arguments to try and convince me that God exists.
_________
SOURCES
1. http://www.debate.org...;(Freeman's debate).
2. http://www.infidels.org...
3. http://www.infidels.org...
daley

Pro

The argument that the universe must have a supernatural origin has been documented in peer-reviewed science journals. For example, "The Ultimate Question of Origins: God and the Beginning of the Universe," by William Lane Craig, has been peer-reviewed and therefore can be accepted by the scientific community as good evidence. http://www.leaderu.com... In this article Criag argues that everything which has a beginning must have a cause, the universe began and therefore was caused. But the beginning of the universe is the beginning of both time and space, therefore, the cause of the universe must be spaceless and timeless. It cannot be a set of necessary physical conditions, for such a cause could not exist independent of its effects, therefore, a conscious cause would be the only rational explanation in the absence of more reasonable alternatives. Criag shows all other models of the universe's origin wanting, which is why the Big Bang model is the one accepted by most astrophysicists today in comparison to the others. I would also personally add, that the universe itself is all of nature, so any cause of the universe would be literally "outside nature," would by definition would be "supernatural." Not bounded by natural law. Hence, we have good evidence for a timeless, spaceless creator of the universe.

Another peer-reviewed article, this time, of a historical nature, is "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," also by William Criag. http://www.google.com... Here he shows that the gospels are more valuable as historical documents in comparison to the classical writings of Greece and Rome for a number of reasons, including the fact that they are written by eyewitnesses or contemporaries of the events, and date back to within the first generation of the events, not allowing sufficient time for legends to replace the core historical facts. The vast majority of New Testament scholars today accept as historical Jesus' death, his burial by Joseph of Arimethea, his disciples saw appearances of him alive after his crucifiction, and the fact of the origin of the disciples' belief in his resurrection. "I want to emphasize that I am not talking about evangelical or conservative scholars only, but about the broad spectrum of New Testament critics who teach at secular universities and non-evangelical seminaries. Amazing as it may seem, most of them have come to regard as historical the basic facts which support the resurrection of Jesus." http://www.cbn.com... All other attempts to explain away these facts have been rejected by contemporary New Testament scholarship, leaving resurrection of Jesus as the best explanation of these four facts. Con must either deny one or more of these four facts, or present a better explanation than that God raised Jesus from the dead. Only the resurrection explains all the data, and yet, this entails that God exists.

The existence of intelligent life depends upon a delicate and complex balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang itself. We now know that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable? Well, the answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed into a hot fireball. (Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), p. 123) P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion billion zeroes, at least. (P. C. W. Davies, Other Worlds (London: Dent, 1980), pp. 160-161, 168-169) [He also] estimates that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by only one part in 10 raised to the 100th power would have prevented a life-permitting universe. (P. C. W. Davies, "The Anthropic Principle," in Particle and Nuclear Physics 10 (1983): 28) There are around 50 such constants and quantities present in the Big Bang which must be finely tuned for the universe to sustain life. And it's not just each quantity which must be finely tuned; their ratios to each other must also be exquisitely finely tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds cry out for a rational cause. Anything that has a chance less than 1 in 10 to the 50th power is dismissed by mathematicians as never happening by chance, therefore, the origin of the universe could not have been by chance, and in the absence of any evidence it's fine-tuning is due to physical necessity, it stands as good evidence of a creator for the universe, but this would mean that God exists.

In this debate, I'm not just arguing that any type of god exists, but rather, that the God of the Bible exists. As such, I must allow the pages of the Bible to tell me what God is like. Now Con might have successfully refuted "one" of the traditional interpretations of "in what sense" God is omnipotent, but has he refuted the Biblical account of what way God possesses this attribute? I don't think he has.

Terms are to be understood in the context in which they were given, otherwise, it leads to contradiction. For example; the Bible says "thou shalt not kill." (Exo 20:13) Did the person who wrote that mean that under no circumstances should one kill at all? Of course not, for it was given in the context of a body of laws which gave the death penalty for various sins, as well as authorizing the killing of animals. (Lev 20:11-13; Num 28:3-4) So in its original context, "kill" meant "murder," that is, the unlawful taking of life, but this doesn't mean there were not also lawful takings of life permitted by that law of Moses. A similar thing could be said about God being omnipotent. The Bible does teach is that God is all-powerful only within the context of his own nature. So being all-powerful, that is, having unlimited power to do anything he wants, doesn't mean he can do anything at all. The Bible says outright that God "cannot" lie. (Titus 1:2) So that's at least one thing God can't do; so Biblical omnipotence is not the ability to do anything at all, but rather, God having unlimited power to do what is in accord with his own nature. In fact, it is irrational to think that having any amount of "power" could change one's nature so that one is able to do anything at all. For example, how much power do you have to charge a battery with before it turns into a fish? It won't ever do that even if it had eternal power to light all the flash lights, bulbs, and radios in the world forever. So too, no amount of power can give God abilities outside his nature. So God does have limitations imposed by his own nature. He can't break a promise, for example, yet this doesn't diminish his power. He still is omnipotent, all-powerful, but he is limited by his nature in "how" he uses this eternal power. So it is fallacious to use the definition of omnipotence as being "a being who can do anything whatsoever," for the Bible does not describe God in such a way. Now that I have clarified my understanding of God's omnipotence, I shall proceed to rebut his opening argument in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
kohai

Con

I can tell this is going to be a tough debate. My opponent is arguing for the Biblical god to exist so he makes my resolution a lot easier. With all do respect for my opponent, I had a little trouble understanding your opening arguments so please forgive me if I misunderstand you.

My opponent first argues that the universe must have a supernatural origin and was documented in peer-reviewed science journals. This is the argument from authority (i.e. because these scientist believe it, that settles it). My opponent starts out as a form of a cosmological argument stating that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. This is false as there are things that begin to exist without a cause. Quantum fluctuations are completely random, uncaused events."...Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless spacetime can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature. ..." ~~Victor Stenger [1]


Secondly, my opponent contends that the gospels are more valuable as a historical document in comparison to the classical writings of Greece and Rome. I say that this is not true. We do not know for sure who wrote the gospels, furthermore, there are blatant contradictions in it!

According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This is impossible because Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place in 6 and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death [2]. Therefore, the gospels give different accoutns on when he was born. Furthermore, Luke contradicts himself!

I contend that there is no reliable evidence for Jesus' ressurection. The "empty tomb" is a historical fabrication and I can easily demonstrate that in the next round.

Thirdly, my opponent cites that it is improbable for the intellegent life to appear on earth. Note the word "improbable" and not impossible. The universe is 13 billion light years across; contains countless galaxies; and countless solar systems. Therefore, we can conclude that the universe is a "lottery" game. The more it is played, the better change we have at a winner. Who knows? There could be multiple worlds with life on it.

Since my opponent cited the Christian god as his god, I will present a new evidence:
  1. God is perfect (by definition).
  2. Therefore any decisions God makes must also be perfect
  3. Hence, God cannot change his mind.
  4. God changed his mind.
  5. Hence, he is not perfect and non existent.

P1-2 are self explanatory. If God changes his mind, he has found a more perfect solution to his original anticipation and thus originally made an imperfect decision. We see throughout the Bible God changing his mind such as God talking about "repenting" of the evil that he said he would do. I can get more in depth in the next round.

I am sorry to my opponent if I misunderstood your case.



______________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://www.infidels.org...
[2] http://www.infidels.org...


daley

Pro

C1.1) Omnipotence-Omniscence
"2. Any God that knows the future is powerless to change it, and is therefore not omnipotent."

As Con correctly points out, the future, by definition, is that which will definitely happen. God can't change it. Why? Not because he is not powerful enough to change events, for he can change any event he wants to. He is in the future right now, probably intervening to change events. But even his intervention itself is part of the future by definition. So this is not a proof that God's power is limited, but merely a clarification that the future is not the "possibility" of what will happen, but the "factuality" of what will happen. In effect, Con is saying that God can't change what he will do or what he will allow to happen, for any changes he does make must by definition be the things he will do or allow to happen. It is not in God's nature to fight himself over his own righteous decisions and actions, but this in no way infringes on the Biblical definition of omnipotence. So an attempt to change the future would be as contrary to God's nature as him lying, and hence, has no bearing on his omnipotence, that is, on how much "power" he has. Eternal power, or energy, does not imply a nature which facilitates any and all activities. So I don't agree that "3. Omniscience is logically incompatible with omnipotence."

"6. Omnipotence is impossible if alternative outcomes can't occur for a situation."

Not true, for example, God by nature cannot sin; there are no alternatives to God doing what is right without sin. Having endless power, that is, energy, no more changes God's nature into an anything goes kind of being, anymore than a gradual but infinite increase of electricity through a wire will give that wire the ability to become a boat. If we had an endless amount of vitamin C, that intake would not change our nature. So it's a fallacy on Con's part to argue that eternally vast levels of power (omnipotence) requires one to have a nature which allows one to do anything at all.

C1.2) Just v. Mericful
Justice is about restoring or preserving what is right, and if mercy is an aid to restoring what is right, there is no conflict between the two. I also don't agree that justice always means to give someone nothing more or less than what he deserves; rather, justices is doing what is "right" for all parties concerned. For example; let's say that a criminal deserved to die, but, this criminal had information that would save a thousand of innocent lives. He refuses to give this information unless he is granted a lesser sentence. Would killing this man be the "just" thing to do in such a situation? The law of God demands mercy, kindness, compassion, and love. (Matt 7:12) So it would be unjust by God's own law to ignore completely the plight of the innocent. The just thing, the thing in harmony with the law, would be to grant mercy unto that man for the sake of the thousand. This is why even our judicial system allows criminals to make deals when such deals turn out for the greater good.

C1.3) Perfect v. Creation
The word perfect means "conforming precisely to its definition and purpose." A circle is perfect if every point on the circle lies on the same plane and is equidistant from the center of the circle. The universe was created perfect for the purpose for which it was made; this does not rule out the possibility of objects in the universe being corrupted afterwards. So for example, if I build a house and someone burns it down, this burning in no way disproves the perfection of my work in building the house. Perfect doesn't mean indestructible or immutable, but simply being "right" for its intended purpose. So even an imperfect universe now doesn't disprove a perfect universe back at creation.

Further, God's perfection does not obligate him to exercise all of his attributes to the full extent possible in every situation. Just as a baseball pitcher is not obligated to throw 90 mph fast balls when playing with his 2 year old son, so God may refrain from fully displaying His power or justice in a given situation if He chooses.

C2: Argument from Non-belief
"4. If god wants everyone to be saved by having the beliefs of set P, then everyone would have the beliefs of set P."

This assumes that God always gets what he prefers. This is not the case. God's will is to save all who freely choose him. He would prefer that all men do chose him, but he doesn't force them to. God doesn't delight in punishing the wicked, but he is bound by his moral nature to do so. (Eze 18:23, 32) Because God has given us free choice, there exist the possibility of some not having belief of se P.

"5. Not everyone has the beliefs of set P. 6. Therefore, god does not want everyone to be saved by having the beliefs of set P."

Again, this assumes without justification that everything which happens must be God's will. Why? Just because I have the "ability" and the "desire" to go out and kill someone doesn't mean that I have to, why should it be different for God? Let's clarify, God wants everyone to freely choose him, but that won't happen because he choses not to force us to do so.

Being in peer-reviewed articles doesn't prove my arguments have to be true, for anything in peer-review can be challenged, but it does show that this is a position which the scientific community can take seriously, and is based on evidence. It also means that great scientific minds have examined and critiqued this position, and were unable to find sufficent error therein to exclude it from publication. It therefore carries just as much weight as any other empiricle fact or theory of science.

Out of nothing, nothing comes, therefore quantum fluctuations must come from something, for "nothing" could not fluctuate. There is an existing thing which fluctuates. Not knowing the cuase of such fluctuations is not the same thing as there not being a cause, just as when humans didn't know about gravity didn't mean there was no cause why every rock thrown up comes down and doesn't drift off into space. It's only in modern times we've been able to build machines which can detect things unseen to the eye such as viruses, atoms, electrons, radio waves, ultaviolet rays, gamma rays, etc. There may yet be other forces to be discovered from which molecules seem to appear, from which we get quantum fluctuations. Physicists seek to know the cause of spontaneously appearing objects because they, as human beings who have pre-scientific knowledge, know that nothing cannot impart being; for nothing has no potentiality whatsoever, because potentiality is a mode of being. Not knowing the cause of something is no basis at all for concluding that there isn't one.

The Gospel titiles name the authors. Second-century testimony is unanimous in attributing the four Gospels to the persons that now carry their name. This suggests that they received their titles early; otherwise, there would have been a great deal of speculation as to who had written them - a variation of titles would have arisen, as had happened with the apocryphal gospels. It's harder to believe that the Gospels circulated anonymously for 60 or more years and then someone finally thought to put authors on them, and managed to get the whole church across the Roman Empire to agree. For an anonymous author to have penned a Gospel, and have it accepted as from the hand any authoritative person, would required them to present it as the work of another; concoct some story as to how it came peculiarly to be in their possession; get around the problem of why a work by such a person disappeared or was previously unknown; then get the church at large, first in his area and then throughout the Roman Empire (and would not the claimed discovery of such a document cause a sensation, and controversy?), to accept this work as genuine. How were these difficulties overcome?

I'm out of space, more next round. Over to you Con.
Debate Round No. 3
kohai

Con

Many unforseen circumstances has arisen and did not allow me to continue to this debate. I am sorry and I wish to end this debate here. This is not a forfeit (although PRO clearly won).

I wish to thank him for his superb conduct and request that we finish the debate some other time.

VOTE PRO!

(again, this is due to unforseen circumstances, otherwise I would not have started this debate).
daley

Pro

I look forward to finishing this debate in the future. Thanks to Con for a great debate.
Debate Round No. 4
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
amen to that...maybe we should debate some time. why is your profile saying ur not accepting messages
Posted by Davididit 6 years ago
Davididit
Don't waste your time arguing with izbo, Daley. He's nothing but an ignorant troll who claims his logic os over everyone's head.
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
who is bozo?
Posted by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
I'd love to see a debate between bozo and daley
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
Comming from the guy who is afraid to make a defense of his beloved documentary hypothesis. He says Craig is laughed at by philosophers as if "who" laughs at you is proof of a weakness in your argument. Why don't those philosophers who laugh take on Crag themselves? I bet you couldn't do a better job izbo10...You say I was misusing logic, yet, you don't have the guts to take me on this same topic and who how I'm misusing it. In fact, I bet your fellow atheists won't even vote for you over me, for you are the one who misuses logic.
Posted by izbo10 6 years ago
izbo10
You said daley was winning the debate and what he was doing was completely misuse logic like he always does.
Posted by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
I was on vacation. This debate will be finished.
Posted by izbo10 6 years ago
izbo10
Its sad for all the self proclaimed smart atheists to give in to one of craigs intellectually dishonest arguments is always amusing. It makes you look like you have done no research as craig is pretty much laughed at by philosophers.
Posted by Winged 6 years ago
Winged
and nevermind, he's back already...
Posted by Winged 6 years ago
Winged
Wow, kohai is already deactivated....
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 1 year ago
KingDebater
kohaidaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: lol
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
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Reasons for voting decision: "Pro clearly won"
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
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Reasons for voting decision: LOL at ReformedArsenals' RFD
Vote Placed by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
kohaidaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was outmatched by far. He also forfeited, but he was headed for disaster anyway.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
kohaidaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Gasp! Kohai can't finish a debate?!? Was your unforeseen circumstance that he started to beat you?