The Instigator
HeartOfGod
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Telanian
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

It is rational to say that a higher power (AKA God) exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Telanian
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,060 times Debate No: 21543
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

HeartOfGod

Pro

I will argue that is rational to say that a conscious being of a higher power exists, and is most likely true.

Con will argue that it is irrational to say that a conscious being of a higher power exists, and is most likely not true.

fisrt round is for the contender to accept.

Telanian

Con

I am happy to take this on, and I thank my opponent in advance for what should be an interesting and enjoyable debate.

Before we start however, we should probably define the term 'higher power', because by itself the term could mean a number of different things. I therefore suggest that we should take the term to mean a being who exists outside of time and space, and who created the universe that we live in.

I hope that my opponent considers this definition reasonable, and I look forward to seeing his arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
HeartOfGod

Pro

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist (http://ssscott.tripod.com...)
3. The universe had a cause
4. This cause a personal being, because He chose to create the universe

There cannot be an infinite regress, someone must have started all existence and not some"thing" because only intelligence could create what we see because random chance is out the window. I now turn it over to my opponent.


Telanian

Con

I shall start by showing that my opponent's argument is not convincing.

Firstly, observe that statement 4 does not follow from statements 1 - 3. Even if we accept, for the reasons given, that the universe had a cause, my opponent gives us no reason to conclude that this cause was a personal being - he simply asserts this as a fact without meaningful justification. The justification he does give is that the cause chose to create the universe and therefore must be a personal being, but this is clearly circular reasoning - how does he know that the cause chose to create the universe?

Furthermore, I would not accept that my opponent has convincingly shown that the universe even had a cause. Even the source he has provided contradicts this view. He argues that the universe began to exist; however, the source claims that at the moment of the Big Bang, time itself (as well as space) came into existence. If time did not exist, then there was no 'before' in which the universe did not exist, and therefore it makes no sense to say that universe 'began' to exist.

So for these reasons, I would argue that my opponent has not given us convincing reasons to believe in the existence of a conscious being of a higher power. Now I shall justify why I consider a belief in such a being to be irrational.

If this universe were created by a conscious being of a higher power, then it should display evidence of having been designed. My opponent evidently thinks that such evidence exists, because he claims that 'only intelligence could create what we see'. If he is referring to the incredible diversity that we see amongst the millions of species on this planet, then this apparent design is explained perfectly adequately by the Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection, without the need to appeal to any kind of 'higher power'. [1] Given that the Theory of Evolution is broadly accepted by the overwhelming majority of the world's scientists [2] and my opponent has not chosen to criticise it, I see no reason to spend time in this response defending it in detail; but I will be happy to do so in my final response, should my opponent take issue with it.

I will bring up a related issue however. Can my opponent explain, if this universe were in fact designed by a conscious higher power, why that design is so clearly full of mistakes? For example, why do human beings have an appendix? The appendix serves no function in the human body, and can be safely removed without any ill effects. [3] Why would a conscious higher power give us a body part that serves no function, and which we do not need? Of course, the Theory of Evolution gives a perfectly sound explanation - namely that the appendix served a purpose long ago in man's evolutionary history (namely that of digesting tough material) but that due to our evolutionary development, we now no longer eat such material and thus do not need it.

But at least the appendix, in general, does not harm us. Can my opponent explain the existence of genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis for example, which is caused by harmful genetic mutations, and for which there is no known cure? [4] Why would a conscious higher power include such diseases in his divine creation, and even if he somehow made a mistake and included them by accident, why does he not correct his mistake and remove them? For a being outside time and space who created the universe, eradicating genetic disease should not be a challenge.

Finally, can my opponent explain the existence of asteroids that have the potential to wipe out mankind, should they collide with our planet - in the same way that one asteroid collided with earth 65 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs? [5] Again, like genetic mutations, there is surely no reason why a conscious higher power would include these things in his creation, and no reason why he wouldn't remove them, had they been created by mistake.

For these reasons therefore, I claim that not only is it not rational to believe in a higher power, but that it is positively irrational to do so, given that the universe we live in is not what we would expect it to be if it had indeed been designed. A far more logical conclusion, therefore, is that there is no conscious being that created the universe that we live in.

[1] = http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[2] = http://www.talkorigins.org...
[3] = http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[4] = http://learn.genetics.utah.edu...
[5] = http://science.howstuffworks.com...
Debate Round No. 2
HeartOfGod

Pro

"If time did not exist, then there was no 'before' in which the universe did not exist, and therefore it makes no sense to say that universe 'began' to exist."

The theory is that God is timeless and created time, why would God be bound by something he created?

"my opponent gives us no reason to conclude that this cause was a personal being"

Yes I did, because he chose to create it. The universe could have turned out many ways, most likely lifeless, but it didn't, so someone personal MUST have been involved. Also, even if a non personal God exist, that would still fall in line with my resolution.

"If this universe were created by a conscious being of a higher power, then it should display evidence of having been designed"

The fine tuning argument pretty much adresses this.

http://www.godandscience.org...;


"Can my opponent explain, if this universe were in fact designed by a conscious higher power, why that design is so clearly full of mistakes?"

Mistakes are subjective, so this argument is void.

"For example, why do human beings have an appendix? The appendix serves no function in the human body, and can be safely removed without any ill effects."

Maybe he has a purpose for it that we are unaware of. Think about it, if there ia a conscious being with more knowledge and intelligence than we can imagine, what makes you believe that what we view as pointless is pointless to him?


"Can my opponent explain the existence of genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis for example"

To make people appreciate life. If you were around your family all day, it wouldn't feel the same as if you worked all day and came home to your family, sometimes bad things happening is what makes us appreciate the good things. This is God's way of teaching us to appreciate life.


So assuming that God is timeless and created time, we know that things beginning to exist have a cause. Since the universe began to exist it has a cause. Since random chance cannot account for the complexity of what we see, and intelligence must be behind it!

Even if im WRONG (which my opponent has not shown), it's still rational to say.
Telanian

Con

It seems that my opponent has little answer to the issues raised in my response.

Let's start from the beginning. I'll be perfectly honest and say that I do not understand how my opponent's question - "why would God be bound by something he created" - is remotely relevant to the issue I raised. My opponent is seeking to show that the universe 'began' (and therefore, according to his logic, had a cause.) It's no good asking a question relying on the characteristics of god before he has provided convincing evidence that this god even exists.

Now, my opponent continues to falsely assume that just because something has a cause, then the 'creator' chose to cause the said something. Of course, we can think of many counterexamples. The sun provides the earth with heat and light, thereby causing plants to grow, but the sun itself didn't choose to do anything, because it has no mind with which to choose. Similarly, my opponent fails to address the possibility that maybe the universe came into existence as a result of a similarly 'unchosen' cause. He makes the assertion that it must have been this way because the universe isn't lifeless, but he provides no evidence with which to support this assertion.

Now I don't know about anyone else, but the link provided doesn't work for me. I am aware of what the fine tuning argument is however, and I would have been happy to respond to it had my opponent actually articulated it; but since he seems to be relying on another website to make his case, I see no reason why I should do so. Sources are for backing up claims of fact, not for making your argument for you.

My opponent then goes on to provide very weak replies to two of my examples of a poorly designed universe - namely appendices and cystic fibrosis. (I notice though that he has no answer at all when it comes to asteroids.) He essentially gives up when it comes to the former, saying that maybe they have a purpose of which we are unaware. That argument might have held a tiny little bit of weight if we had no idea what the appendix was used for in the past (digesting tough material) but seeing as we do, this argument has no legs at all.

Furthermore, his explanation that Cystic Fibrosis and other such genetic diseases 'make people appreciate life' is equally flimsy. For a start, you cannot appreciate life when you're dead. Now, it's a pity that my opponent will not get a chance to make a further response, because in light of this explanation, I would have liked to ask him whether or not he believes in the existence of heaven, or some kind of perfect afterlife. If, as I imagine it would have been, the answer were yes, then I would have questioned why suffering and pain are required to appreciate this life, yet not heaven.

My opponent ends with the familiar circular argument, namely that if god is timeless and created time, then things beginning to exist have causes. Sadly, since he is trying to show that "things beginning to exist have causes" implies the existence of god, this clearly gets us nowhere. I also note, having got to the end of his argument, that he has not chosen to dispute the Theory of Evolution, which does destroy most of his entire argument single-handedly. I claim therefore that he has presented you with no solid reasons whatsoever to believe that a conscious being of a higher power exists, and that he has completely failed to come even close to refuting my claims that if such an entity does exist, then the universe should be completely different to how it actually is.

For these reasons, I claim that we have solid reasons to consider it exceedingly irrational to believe in a conscious being of a higher power, and I urge you all to vote against the motion.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by DakotaKrafick 4 years ago
DakotaKrafick
HeartOfGodTelanianTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: That was the worst representation of the Kalam Cosmological argument I've ever read. Pro hardly justified any of his claims and even ended with "Even if im WRONG (which my opponent has not shown), it's still rational to say." He said in the first round he would argue that it's most likely true and he simply failed to do so...
Vote Placed by Islam_Forever 4 years ago
Islam_Forever
HeartOfGodTelanianTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was offensive
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
HeartOfGodTelanianTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made some familiar claims, but he didn't support them. Con did the best he could with what Pro gave him, but you can't do much when you have to imagine a case for your opponent.