The Instigator
farran34
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
Ariesx
Con (against)
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0 Points

It is rational to believe in the Christian God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 286 times Debate No: 87478
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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farran34

Pro

This round is for acceptance.
I am new to this website (not sure about all the functions yet), and thought this would be a fun debate to start off with.

General information about the debate:
I will be arguing that it is rational to believe in the Christian God, and will provide arguments supporting this claim.
Ariesx

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
farran34

Pro

First I would like to thank "Con" for accepting to debate me. I unfortunately forgot to specify the form of the debate. If "Con" is willing, I would prefer the debate to take the form of:
Round 1: Acceptance (completed already)
Round 2: State case
Round 3: Rebuttals / responses to others arguments
Round 4: Closing statements, final thoughts

I will now present my case that it is rational to believe in the Christian God:
In developing the case that it is rational to hold a belief in the Christian God, I should further the concept of what I take a rational belief to be. In the context of this debate, I will not appeal to reformed epistemology, and I will accept the evidentialist claim that a belief is only rational if it has sufficient evidence backing up the belief. By sufficient evidence I interpret this to mean the evidence does not require an overly strong amount of evidence, in that we are within our epistemological rights of holding a belief as rational if
(1.) We have at least some evidence for holding this belief (this evidence being strongest for this belief and not another belief)
(2.) The belief is not logically inconsistent or there are not overly strong reasons to reject holding this belief
(3.) There is no competing belief that is substantially stronger and obviously true
I will provide one basic example in applying this: You come home from work one day (before your wife usually gets home during the day), and see your window is broken in a suspicious looking way, and an unfamiliar truck parked in your driveway. Your neighborhood has recently been burglarized, and you have been worried about your safety the last few days. You wonder what all this means, and come to the conclusion that it is very likely that someone is burglarizing your house at this very moment. It turns out when you go inside your house cautiously, expecting to see someone robbing your house, you see your wife and a man repairing your window. The window really broke from a branch falling off a tree, and your wife (who came home early this day) called a repair man to fix it, explaining the truck. Was your original belief a rational belief? I would argue this is a rational belief since, the broken window, unfamiliar truck, and recent burglaries, at provides some evidence for the hypothesis of a burglary, your belief did not have any logical inconsistencies, and there is no competing hypothesis that is significantly more supported, which should meet the three criteria listed above. Even though you were wrong, your previous belief still seemed rational at the time given the evidence you had (so would the hypothesis that something just broke the window, and you were unsure who the truck belonged to), and your belief that someone was robbing your house was a rational belief.

Now that I have given an introduction to what I take a rational belief to be, I will attempt to satisfy all three criteria I laid out for what it takes to be a rational belief for a belief in the Christian God.

First argument (argument for 1st criteria i.e. evidence for a rational belief): Fine-tuning of the universe
The claim that the universe has an appearance of design is not a very controversial statement among the majority of physicists. An example would be the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, who did not seem to be very sympathetic to the belief in God in his early writings, he states "the impression of design is overwhelming". Obviously one physicist's statement does not speak for the community at large, but upon request I would be very willing to present more evidence for this. Note I am not stating that the majority of physicists hold that there is a God, but that they do tend to believe the universe holds at least the appearance of design.
Some evidence for this design, or more specifically for the evidence of fine-tuning, are listed below (only a small amount are listed here):
1. If the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as one part in 1060 the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. In either case, life would be impossible. (This is comparable to firing a bullet at a one-inch target on the other side of the observable universe, twenty billion light years away)
2. Calculations indicate that if the strong nuclear force, the force that binds protons and neutrons together in an atom, had been stronger or weaker by as little as five percent, life would be impossible.
3. Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by one part in 1040, then life-sustaining stars like the sun could not exist. This would most likely make life impossible.
I could provide many more examples which point towards a universe finely-tuned for life, but hopefully these three should suffice (willing to give more upon request).

Now comes the actual argument itself in which fine-tuning makes belief in God rational.
1. The existence of fine-tuning is probable under Christianity
2. The existence of fine-tuning is improbable under atheism
Therefore, from premises one and two and the principle of confirmation it logically follows that the existence of fine-tuning provides to favor the hypothesis of a designer over the atheistic hypothesis.
(The principle of confirmation states that whenever we are considering tow competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis under which the observation has the highest probability (or is the least improbable. Many philosophers think this principle can be derived from probability calculus, and appears intuitively correct and I will assume its truth.)

Support for premise #1:
The truth of this premise does not seem very controversial. Most atheists and theists alike would assume that if a God (such as the Christian God exists) the universe should be well-suited and fine-tuned for life with the elements of design underlying the universe. If you wish to dispute this premise I will defend it more, but for now I will assume its truth.
Support for premise #2:
Given atheism we have no reason to assume the universe would be fine-tuned for life. In fact, given atheism, we should greatly expect the universe not to be fine-tuned, given the extremely, incredible improbable chance for the universe to (for no reason) just happen to fall at the exact right parameters to enable life.
If con cannot adequately make some sort of objection to this argument, it seems that the fine-tuning argument provides at least adequate evidence to hold the belief in the Christian God as being the designer of the universe.

Second argument: The moral argument for God
I will not expand more than briefly on this argument, both due to my time constraints (I am incredibly busy at college and have little time to write), and because I find the best way to develop this argument is to defend it against critiques rather than attempting to cover the whole scope of objections at once.

The moral argument for God can be presented as follows:
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties most likely do not exist.
2. We have good reason to believe objective moral values and duties do exist.
Therefore, we have good reason to believe God exists.
I am prepared to defend the soundness of this argument, and assume con will provide some type of critique of premise one or two. If he cannot adequately refute this argument, it should provide us with adequate evidence to hold a rational belief in God.

Do to my lack of time, I will only be using these two arguments listed above as my main support for the claim that it is rational to belief in the Christian God. In order for Con to win this debate, he must either show atheism is significantly more probable than theism, show theism has no evidence which supports itself over atheism, or theism is somehow illogical. I look forward to hearing his case!
Ariesx

Con

Thank you Pro for creating this debate. Since, Pro has not offered definitions. I will provide terms:
rational-based on or in accordance with reason or logic:
believe-.accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of:
Powered by Oxford Dictionaries
I will be proving how it is irrational to believe in God, and will be providing verses that prove this reality.

How God gave his message-Now, I think that it is logical for an all-powerful, all-knowing God to show up to all six billion people around the world, and tell everybody he is real. But, he does not do this. This is how God choses to convey his message of existence.
1. The Covenant with Abraham-God goes to Abraham, and tells him that he is going to be the father of the Jewish people that will eventually be his chosen people. All of his descendants will receive a land of his own. So, God is saying that his family is going to eventually become a race called the Israelites. And, all of them come from Abraham. In the story, Abraham is very old, and his wife was very old. This means that he magically gave Abraham the stamina, and his wife the ability to stop having miscarriages.
2. Creation is a story about how the world was created in seven days, or in seven thousand years. God first tells the universe "Let there be light". So, apparently he could talk to the universe. He also just created Adam and Eve. This story just does not hold up anymore, because evolution has disproved this. Evolution has been scientifically proven. It has been proven through fossils, and looking at skulls that have been around for thousands of years. It has been proven that the first modern humans originated in Africa. We can see that in Africa, the ape's skull is changing gradually into a human. God had a very irrational and cryptic way of telling humans the story of evolution if it is true. Also, in order to be a creationist, you have to believe that dinosaurs were living during the time period of humans. This is nonsense, and further more proves that the Christian faith is irrational. Human beings have approximately 96% of genes in common with chimpanzees, about 90% of genes in common with cats (source), 80% with cows (source), 75% with mice (source), and so on. This does not prove that we evolved from chimpanzees or cats, though, only that we shared a common ancestor in the past. And the amount of difference between our genomes corresponds to how long ago our genetic lines diverged.
http://evolutionfaq.com...
3. The trinity is also another idea that Christians made to defend a delusional man. Jesus claims that there is a trinity where there is a father, son, and the holy spirit. Jesus says that all three members are actually one. Think about that. The Father is Jesus. This means that Jesus embodies God. Than, I have one question to ask pro. Is it logical for Jesus to pray to himself? Jesus said multiple times that my father is in heaven. Now, Christians like to say that the trinity is a great mystery that no one understands. Delusional people that have delusions are great mysteries that no one can understand. Jesus was not stating anything intelligent, but was just digging a hole for himself. He contradicts himself. Jesus has no reason whatsoever to pray to the Father that is him. The Father also still exists while the Son exists. But, there both the same thing. This is absurd.

Heaven and Hell: This is the idea that there is a heaven for the believers, and a hell for the non-believers. Here are a few problems with this belief.
1. Jesus Christ died for Christians. This always seemed extremely unfair to me even when I was religious. The idea that the acquaintances that I had were all going to heaven, because of the lucky probability they were born into a Christian family. This is unfair for the other 4 billion people that have either never heard of Jesus, or believe in their own delusional religion. I do not get how if a Christian kills, masturbates, and lies will go to heaven when a person like Ghandi is going to go to hell. If Christianity is right, than that means there are 4 billion people that will burn in hell including me.
2. Free will does not exist in mind. I believe that this statement is an empirically proven philosophy. A human being is bound to the coding that is in their own DNA. The coding in the over 6 billion genes documented by the Human Genome Project, predict what personality and behavior you are going to have.
3. Circumstances also effect your ability to think. Hence, if I was born in an extremist environment where all my role models were Islamic fundamentalists. I went to school that taught me that Jesus was evil, and that Islam was the right way. They also taught that I must do anything necessary to spread Islam even if it required force, because it was honorable to God. I bet that if any individual were put under these circumstances; they would eventually become committed jihadists. It is all a matter of circumstances. This can also be proven in Nazi Germany. Are you really going to make a statement saying that the Germans that supported Hitler were all evil. No, you are not. History shows that Germany faced the Versailles Treaty which had a significant impact on the German people. There was hyper inflation, and millions of people were unemployed. Hitler brought the idea of making Germany great again, and giving people jobs. His rhetoric and propaganda convinced millions of people to believe in his cause. He also gave almost everybody in Germany jobs, and a living wage. People worshiped Hitler, and his ideology at that point, because they knew Hitler was going to take care of them. As a result, they would do anything he asked, and believe anything he said. Circumstances have a significant impact on what you are going to do. If you are poor and your dad is a drug dealer, you might end up becoming a drug dealer too. Statistics already state that the poorer you are, the more likely you will commit crimes. That is unfair to the people that have to live under those circumstances. If they were exposed to the circumstances of the "morally perfect Jesus loving" family, than there personality would go through a significant change. This is common sense. In almost all of these cases, the "bad guys" who are poor, and come from unstable families will go to hell for it. This is as irrational as it is unfair.
How God is irrational and illogical:
Establishing weird covenants with old men that have zero proof that it was followed through.
Telling people it took seven days or seven thousand years to create the universe when it actually took billions of years.
Sending people to hell when circumstances prevented them from making better decisions.
Sending people to hell just because they were indoctrinated in another philosophy.
God wants to by cryptic, and not show himself in the day and age of camera.
God is Jesus, and Jesus is God. That means Jesus should PRAY TO HIMSELF, when stating Father.
With all this evidence, I believe it is fair to say that it is irrational to believe in the Christian God. The only reason why people have such strong beliefs in God is because of they were born in that particular belief.
Debate Round No. 2
farran34

Pro

farran34 forfeited this round.
Ariesx

Con

Extend all points
Debate Round No. 3
farran34

Pro

farran34 forfeited this round.
Ariesx

Con

Ariesx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
farran34

Pro

farran34 forfeited this round.
Ariesx

Con

Ariesx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by farran34 11 months ago
farran34
I apologize for not responding to the debate. I timed this debate terrible, as it was right before my spring break (I was traveling with my college tennis team in Flordia playing matches everyday). I also forgot my laptop on the break, and did not want to try to respond on my phone. When I came back I had 2 mid-terms to study for, and did not have the time to properly write a response. Since I did not respond, Con should obviously win.
Posted by farran34 12 months ago
farran34
Just noticed this was a 5 round debate (thought it was four). Round 4 can be response to rebuttals if you prefer, and round 5 closing statements. I don't really care much about the format, if you prefer something different or it to be more informal.
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