The Instigator
AnsweringAtheism
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Magic8000
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

It is probable that God exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Magic8000
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,291 times Debate No: 44311
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

AnsweringAtheism

Pro



NOTE: I have borrowed these terms and introduction from Contradiction's debates.

I have made this impossible to accept. If you want to debate this topic with me, please comment.

TERMS


Resolved: It is probable that God exists.


Rounds:

1. Acceptance only
2. Opening arguments
3. Rebuttals
4. Rebuttals
5. Closing arguments/rebuttals




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. That is to say, I am not referring to any specific deity. Hence doctrines such as the incarnation and Trinity are irrelvant 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.

The burden of proof is shared. It is incumbent on me to show that God's existence is probable, and it is incumbent on my opponent to show that God's existence is not probable. It is thus not enough to simply refute my arguments. My opponent must also erect his own case against the probability of God's existence.
Magic8000

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
AnsweringAtheism

Pro

Logical Arguments

I will be presenting three logical (or philosophical) arguments to show that there are good reasons to believe that God exists and that atheism is self-refuting.

C1) Origin of the Universe

The universe exists. Is the universe eternal or did it have a beginning? Science has proven that the universe cannot be eternal, or static, as once believed. Indeed, with phenomena such as redshift, cosmic background radiation, and the second law of thermodynamics, those scientific facts all point towards the idea that the universe had a beginning.

In his book, The Beginning of Time, Stephen Hawkins states:

The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago.[1]

So what was the first cause of the universe? If my opponent states “The Big Bang”, consider that the website Talk Origins states: “The BBT is not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time.”[2]

In his debate with Stephen Law, William Lane Craig points out this philosophical absurdity of infinite regression[3]:

However, the obvious question is why assume that this cause is God? Since there is nothing prior to the cause of the universe, it cannot be explained by science. Moreover, this cause must be outside of matter and time in order to create matter and time. For example, if I create a computer program, I must exist outside that program in order to create it.

We are therefore warranted in our conclusion that God exists.

The argument is thus summarized as follows:

  1. 1. If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a transcendent cause
  2. 2. The universe began to exist (proven by science and philosophy)
  3. 3. Therefore, the universe has a transcendent cause.

C2) TAG: Argument from logic[4]

  1. I. Logical Absolutes Exist
    1. a. Law of Identity
    2. b. Law of Non-Contradiction
    3. c. Law of Excluded Middle
  2. II. Logical absolutes are truth statements such as:
    1. a. That which exists has attributes and nature
    2. b. Something cannot be itself and not be itself at the same time.
    3. c. Truth is not self-contradictory
    4. d. Therefore, Logical Absolutes are absolutely true. They are not subjectively true; that is, they are not sometimes true and sometimes false, depending on preference or situation. Otherwise, they would not be absolute.
  3. III. Logical Absolutes form the basis of rational discourse.
    1. a. If the Logical Absolutes are not absolute, then truth cannot be known.
    2. b. If the Logical Absolutes are not absolute, then no rational discourse can occur.

i. For example, I could say that a square is a circle (violating the law of identity), or that I am and am not alive in the same sense at the same time (violating the law of non-contradiction).

  1. IV. Logical Absolutes are transcendent
    1. a. Logical absolutes are not dependent on space
    2. b. They are not dependent on human beings

i. People's minds are different. What one person considers to be absolute may not be what another considers to be absolute. People often contradict each other. Therefore, Logical Absolutes cannot be the product of human, contradictory minds.

ii. If Logical Absolutes were the product of human minds, they would cease to exist if people ceased to exist, which would mean they would be dependent on human minds. But this cannot be so per the previous point.

  1. V. Logical absolutes are not dependent upon the material world
  2. VI. Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature
    1. a. Logic is a process of the mind. Logical absolutes provide the framework for logical thought processes. Therefore, it seems proper to say that Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature since Logical Absolutes are truth statements about Logical things.
  3. VII. Thoughts reflect the mind
    1. a. A person’s thoughts are the product of that person’s mind
    2. b. A mind that is irrational will produce irrational thoughts
    3. c. A mind that is rational will produce rational thoughts
    4. d. Because Logical Absolutes are trance dent, absolute are perfectly, and are independent of the universe; it then follows that they reflect a transcendent, absolute, perfect and independent mind.
    5. e. We call this God since a physical brain is not transcendent by nature because it is limited to physical space, and God is, by definition, transcendent.
  4. VIII. Only two options
    1. a. If we have only two possible options by which we can explain something and one of these options is removed, by default the other option is verified
    2. b. God either exists or does not exist
    3. c. Atheism cannot account for the necessary preconditions for intelligibility; namely, the existence of logical absolutes. Therefore, it is invalidated as a viable option for accounting for them. Therefore, the position that God exists is validated.
  5. IX. How does Judaism account for Laws of Logic?
    1. a. The Jewish worldview states that God is absolute and the standard of truth.
    2. b. Therefore, the absolute laws of logic exist because they reflect the nature of an absolute God.

i. God did not create the laws of logic because they reflect God’s thinking. Because God is eternal, so are the laws of logic.

  1. c. Because God created man in his image, we are capable of discovering these laws of logic.
  2. d. Therefore, Jews can account for the existence of those logic by acknowledging that they originated from God and man is only discovering them.

Historical Evidence for God’s Existence

C3) The National Revelation at Mt. Sinai[5]

The Torah states the following:

[Moses told the Israelites]: 'Only beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld. Do not remove this memory from your heart all the days of your life. Teach your children and your children's children about the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horev [Mount Sinai]...

God spoke to you from the midst of the fire, you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.' (Deut.4:9-13)

Why do the Jews, after thousands of years, still hold to their-believe in one God? Very simple: we stood at the food of Mount Sinai and heard the voice of God. We were there when it happened. He revealed Himself to all of us, not just to Moshe.

In The Foundation of the Torah, Maimonades, the great Jewish leader of the middle ages, notes:

The Jews did not believe in Moses, our teacher, because of the miracles he performed. Whenever anyone’s belief is based on seeing miracles, he has lingering doubts, because it is possible the miracles were performed through magic or sorcery. All of the miracles performed by Moses in the desert were because they were necessary, and not as proof of his prophecy.

What then was the basis of [Jewish] belief? The Revelation at Mount Sinai, which we saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears, not dependent on the testimony of others… as it says, "Face to face, God spoke with you…" The Torah also states: "God did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us—who are all here alive today." (Deut. 5:3)[6]

Conclusion

The only rational conclusion is that God exists and it is the God of the Bible.



[4] Adapted with permission from http://carm.org...

[5] In Torah texts, Mt. Sinai is also called “Mount Horev” or “The Mountain of God.”

[6] Maimonades Foundations of Torah, ch. 8

Magic8000

Con

I would like to thank my AnsweringAtheism for instigating this debate. Before I present my central arguments, I want to say something real quick. If my rebuttals in R3 to Pro’s argument succeeds, then that would support my case too. Since it would obviously be more likely that God doesn’t exist to explain the argument’s faults. This would be incredibly rude to only have that as my argument. So, I’ll give three arguments that negate the resolution.


Contention 1: The Problem of Evil


This is probably the most well known,used, and simple argument against God today. It simply states that since evil exists, God does not. Put formally.


1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.

2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.

3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.

4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.

5. Evil exists.

6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.


C. Therefore, God doesn’t exist

From [1]

Contention 2: Modal Argument for Atheism

This argument was proposed by Ryan Stringer. It is formed like so [2].


A. It is possible that p.

B. Necessarily, if it is possible that God exists, then it is necessary that God exists.

C. Necessarily, if God exists, then it is not the case that p.

D. Therefore, it is not possible that God exists. (from A, B, & C)


We can use various plugins for P, like


1. Minds are dependant on the physical world

2. An evil deity exists

3. The universe was created by some non-god being

4. Being morally perfect is impossible

5. Gratuitous evil exists.

6. All free non-god beings always produce evil.

7. Being omnipotent is impossible.



Now, one could propose that theism is an analytic truth and thus P is not possible. However, since we can come up with more P plugins this makes P more plausible. There would simply be more ways for P to be true than God. So, while it may refute one P argument on its own, it does not refute the P arguments overall.

Contention 3: The Argument from Physically Dependant Minds

This argument is purely probabilistic, saying it is unlikely that there should ever be a physically independent mind.

1. If God exists, he is a disembodied mind.

2. If MBD(mind-brain dependence) is probable, then an existing disembodied mind is improbable.

3. MBD is probable

4. Therefore it is improbable for there to be a disembodied mind

C. God is unlikely.


Premise 1 is true by the accepted definition. Premise 2 is analytically true. If the mind probably must depend on a brain then by definition a mind probably cannot exist on its own. Premise 3 is known by many lines of evidence. After extensive research in this area, philosopher Michael Tooley gave 5 pieces of evidence to support the likelihood of mind brain dependence [3].

(1) When an individual's brain is directly stimulated and put into a certain physical state, this causes the person to have a corresponding experience. [4]

(2) Certain injuries to the brain make it impossible for a person to have any mental states at all. [5]

(3) Other injuries to the brain destroy various mental capacities. Which capacity is destroyed is tied directly to the particular region of the brain that was damaged. [6]

(4) When we examine the mental capacities of animals, they become more complex as their brains become more complex. [7]

(5) Within any given species, the development of mental capacities is correlated with the development of neurons in the brain [8][9]


Tooley concludes

All minds that it is generally agreed that we are definitely acquainted with ... are either purely physical in nature or else are causally dependent on something physical in nature."

Premises 4 and the conclusion follow necessarily. The resolution is negated.

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

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

[3] http://www.leaderu.com...

[4] One example is from the studies of Jose Delgado. He was able to control a person’s mind through the brain [http://www.biotele.com...] [http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...]

[5]http://www.cdc.gov...

[6] ibid

[7] http://facultypages.morris.umn.edu...

[8] ibid

[9] http://www.nature.com...

Debate Round No. 2
AnsweringAtheism

Pro

Thank you, Magic8000 for your reply.

Problem of Evil

Magic8000 needs to define evil in this context. What is evil? What is unnecessary suffering? Can you give me examples of those? Finally, can you prove that if God exists and is the three-omni God that he must stop evil? Moreover, upon what moral grounds do you have to call anything "good" or "evil"?

Modal Argument

It is possible that p.

An unsubstantiated claim. My opponent needs to substantiate the plugins for “p.” Simply stating that it is possible doesn’t mean that it is possible.

Physically Dependent Minds

This argument fails because it confuses God’s nature with man’s nature.

1) This assumes all minds are like human minds and that God, who is transcendent, and thus above space and time, bust think in a manner like humans and that which involves time. Because this argument is based on an assumption, it is invalid.

2) If God is ontologically prior to the universe, then time isn’t applied to God’s mind and the issue of temporal sequence of God’s thoughts do not apply.

Over to con.

Magic8000

Con

Cosmological argument

Pro starts with the cosmological argument. However, the argument assumes a certain theory of time. It assumes many of the A theories of time. Under the B theory and moving spotlight theory the universe does not become actual at the big bang. This is because all states of time exist. The definition of begins to exist is

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact. [1]

The B theory and MST do not fit. The obvious question is, do theories of time hold weight. Experiments in quantum mechanics demonstrate that they do. Experiments show entangled particles can be entangled through time [2]. They can be affected by the past. If the present can affect the past and the future can affect the present, they must all exist. Experiments also show time is an internal phenomenon. An external observer would see all states of time [3].

We can further rule out theories of time that claim only one or two states of time exist Modality. Time travel is conceivable and thus possible. Every episode of Quantum Leap proves that. However, the theories of time which the cosmological argument are based on rule out time travel. Time travel would be impossible in the actual world of the CA was true. Since time travel is possible, the CA fails.

Furthermore, there are many multiple alternative explanations for the universe's existence.

The universes could have been the result of an uncaused quantum tunneling event [4]. Since retrocausality has been demonstrated as a real phenomenon, the universe could have been born that way. It could have been born in the way of simultaneous causation. For example, atoms A,B, and C come into existence at the same time. Atom A, causes B, B causes C and C causes A all simultaneously. This makes it possible for there to be things coming into existence with a cause, but the cause can still be internal. It could be just some force that has almost all the same properties as God, but not sentient. The point is, there’s tons of ways to explain the creation of the universe without referring to God. Pro needs to prove God is more probable than all these. In fact, I’d say we should accept these naturalist causes since they assume less.

The argument is refuted.

TAG

Pro gives us a very slightly modified version of Matt Slick’s TAG. Technically this is “Aggregator” plagiarism [5] as it contains citations but almost no original work. I will say no more on this and will leave this up to the voters to decide what to do.


Anyway, I’d say atheists can account for the laws of logic. They are descriptions of the very nature of the thing itself. Its nature reflects the logical laws. Existence itself is existence (a=a) it cannot be existence and nonexistence. It seems even nonexistence contains these descriptions. It is still a=a. This means even if there were no God, there can still be logical laws. Furthermore, if nonexistence contained no logical laws, then there is no reason why logical laws couldn’t form. If they couldn’t then they would have to already have logical laws existing.

Pro tries to prove God is responsible for the laws because they’re thoughts and thoughts obviously reflect a mind. Even if I were to assume these laws are indeed thoughts, it is a fallacy of composition to conclude they’re from a mind. Human thoughts reflect a mind, but “transcendental” thoughts are completely different from human thoughts. We can’t instantly know a human thought but with a transcendental thought we can just look around. We can go on and on about the differences. This means it has not been demonstrated that God is the author of these laws.

Mt. Sinai

This argument begs the question and affirms the consequent. It assumes the Torah is true to demonstrate its truth. There is no reason to assume these events actually happened. This argument is similar to claiming because the Bible says people saw Jesus came back from the dead, he did. It affirms the consequent because God talking to people isn’t the only way for people to maintain belief. If it was, just about every religion out there would be true.

Furthermore, why think it’s more probable that God spoke to the Jews than something like say aliens. It’s silly, but why think this argument proves God? Aliens are a simpler explanation. This is just citing an effect and asserting the cause by the effect. This doesn’t demonstrate the cause.


Now to Pro.

[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

[2] http://www.livescience.com...

[3] https://medium.com...

[4] http://www.gravityresearchfoundation.org...

[5] http://www.plagiarism.org...

Debate Round No. 3
AnsweringAtheism

Pro

AnsweringAtheism forfeited this round.
Magic8000

Con

Evil

Evil is simply defined as pain and suffering. What is unnecessary evil? Essentially that, but with no greater good coming about. All evil with God is unnecessary since God is all powerful, all knowing, ect. I would also be in support of William Roe’s inductive argument. Some greater good could possibly come about, but it is unlikely because it doesn’t seem like it. He asks me to prove a tri omni God must stop evil. This has already been done. Look at premises 2-4. He then asks on what moral grounds do I have the right to call something evil. This is irrelevant. I am pointing out a contradiction in Pro’s case. My position doesn’t matter. Even if I did concede evil does not exist in an atheistic position, all that matters is that Pro thinks moral realism is true.

This argument stands.

Modal Argument for Atheism

Pro says premise one has not been justified. P1 is a very modest claim and hardly needs justification. It is easily justified because all plugins of P are conceivable. Conceivability entails possibility [1]. If Pro wants to negate P1, the burden of proof is on him to demonstrate all plugins of P are impossible. I furthermore, did give justification for P1.

“However, since we can come up with more P plugins this makes P more plausible”

My argument still stands

The Argument from Physically Dependant Minds

Pro’s rebuttal here is a complete strawman. Pro tries to refute the argument from temporal minds, which I have used in the past. But I have not once used it in this debate. My argument is not arguing minds are dependent because of time, I am arguing minds are probably dependant because of what we have observed.

My arguments remain standing.


Back to Pro

[1] http://consc.net...

Debate Round No. 4
AnsweringAtheism

Pro

Because I forfeited the last round, as per the rules, I hearby forfeit the debate. School and work kept me away from DDO so if it is okay with my opponent, could we restart the debate
Magic8000

Con

Yes. We can reset the debate anytime.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
I guess you can try for defense and rebuttals in R5
Posted by AnsweringAtheism 2 years ago
AnsweringAtheism
Sorry computer trouble and was working.
Posted by AnsweringAtheism 2 years ago
AnsweringAtheism
Yes magic. This is a standard Lincoln Douglas debate
Posted by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
Is this a typical Lincoln Douglas debate format? Round 2 is just supporting your case and round 4 is defense of your original arguments and round 5 is defense of your rebuttals?
Posted by NPDAgeek 2 years ago
NPDAgeek
Fun! I can't wait to see how this turns out
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
The fact that religious people are trying to 'prove' that God exists shows that Atheism is winning. Religions rely on faith, not proof. Atheism relies on proof.
Posted by AnsweringAtheism 2 years ago
AnsweringAtheism
Link, the restrictions are just to prevent trolls from accepting.
Posted by Link_of_Hyrule 2 years ago
Link_of_Hyrule
Can't debate because of restrictions (I am an atheist).
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
philochristos
In that case, I won't accept it. You ought to see if UnitedAndy will debate you. He's a pretty smart guy, and he believes pretty strongly in the argument from evil, so he could fulfill his burden of proof.
Posted by deeliman 2 years ago
deeliman
I'd like to debate this with you. I'm an atheist.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
AnsweringAtheismMagic8000Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded a rule violation that warranted the awarding of 7 points to the Con. Not the biggest fan of such "all or nothing" rules, but in this context I'll respect the stated wishes (he violated his own rules, after all). In general, though, I found that Con's case was stronger--that may have been merely because of Pro's forfeit, of course, which prevented him from further rebuttals, followed by his concession/forfeiture in the following round. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
AnsweringAtheismMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff per rules
Vote Placed by Subutai 2 years ago
Subutai
AnsweringAtheismMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
AnsweringAtheismMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
AnsweringAtheismMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: The debaters agreed that all seven points should be awarded in case of a forfeit; that's not binding on voters, but I'll comply. Con's case was not the best, but his rebuttal's of Pro's case were very good. The argument from evil is that if God were omnipotent and good there would be less suffering than there is, say one child who died with less agony than observed. Drange's Argument from Non-Belief is, I think, stronger than the modal argument. Pro's rebuttals to Con's case were very weak. Con would have won if there were no forfeit.