The Instigator
ReaganConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
36 Points
The Contender
DucoNihilum
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

It is reasonable to believe in God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,814 times Debate No: 1721
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (14)
Votes (27)

 

ReaganConservative

Pro

I want to examine the common claim atheists make that Christianity is highly irrational, unreasonable, illogical, and so on. I find this notion humerous because atheists are dead certain that they are right, and we wacky Christians are a bunch of nut-cases who believe in fairy tales. Well, I am going to argue against that claim.

Atheism is a logical fallacy. In order to be a true atheist, one would have to be absolutely certain that there is no divine entity anywhere in the universe. In order to achieve that, one would have to be at every part of the universe at every time. In order to achieve that, one would have to be omniscient and omnipresent. If one were to achieve that, they would be God, which would contradict their initial claim.

Now, atheists I have talked with respond to that notion by stating that Christianity is the same way; that we Christians have to be absolutely certain that there is a God and in order to believe that, we would have to be everywhere in the universe and so on. In actuality, Christians do not have to be absolutely certain with factual evidence to support their claim, because we have faith that He exists. Atheists rely on concrete evidence to support their claims, not faith. Christians rely on faith that He exists and don't need factual evidence because, according to our faith, we see the entire universe as factual evidence of His existence. This is a little hard to explain and forgive me if I confuse you. Religious people don't need to be at every corner of the universe to know there is a God, because we know He exists in our lives and our hearts through faith, not concrete evidence. If atheists made the claim that they have faith that He doesn't exist, then we would have another argument. But they don't, they rely on concrete evidence, therefore atheism is a logical fallacy.

Now my next point is that atheists can't explain why humans are moral. Humans are unique in the fact that we are moral beings. It is morality that distinguishes us from animals. Conscience, according to C.S. Lewis, is nothing other than the voice of God within our souls. Conscience enables us to do what is right, instead of doing the things we want to do.

The Darwinian analysis does not explain morality. Darwinism does not explain why people "act good." The Darwinian project promotes the domain of self-interest and morality promotes the act of doing what we should do, not what we want to do.

Christians live in the knowledge that there is a reality greater than which we can comprehend. According to Immanuel Kant, we have no basis to assume that our perception of reality ever resembles reality itself. It is rational to believe in the higher being. Throughout history, there have been two levels of reality: the human perspective and the God perspective, which is reality itself. We can never see things as they really are because we live in a world of many appearances and all we can do is see things as how we perceive them. Christians have faith that in the afterlife, we will be able to see things as they truly are, in the God perspective. There is a greater limit to what humans can know. Human reason raises questions that are unanswerable. We seek to discover what the limits to those questions are.

Faith is the only way to discover truths that are beyond the domain of reason and experience. All humans, both religious and non-believers, rely on faith. Whether that faith consists of trusting your cab driver to drive you to the correct location or that the food you eat won't kill you, faith plays a vital role in our daily lives. The purpose of faith is to seek truths that are important, but we can't reach through natural means.

We can also look at Pascal's Wager. You have two options: you can believe in God and if it turns out He doesn't exist, then you don't suffer any consequences, however, if you choose not to believe in God and it turns out He does exist, then you face the consequence of eternal separation from Him. It is perfectly reasonable to believe in God.

Atheists cannot tell us why we humans are conscious, moral, and why the universe operates in the way it does. When you look at the intricacy and sophistication of the world we know and comprehend, you have to believe that there must have been a Creator. It takes a greater leap of faith to believe everything came out of nothing. Why are there laws of nature? Why do we exist on this very planet? Why do organisms and life in general obey specific laws? Why is life the way it is right now? When you look at the bigger picture, if one were to make the slightest change to the chain of life and the existence of the world, that slightest change would ultimately eliminate the existence of life as we know it. Life obeys a strict code of laws. The question is, why? A reasonable answer to this question is that God created it.
DucoNihilum

Con

Thank you for this very interesting debate topic.

Something I noticed was that you constantly brought up 'atheists', as if atheists are the only people who would call Christians irrational. I am not an atheist- and this debate has nothing to do with atheists, only whether or not Christian beliefs are logical. I will therefore ignore most of your arguments about atheists unless there is direct relevance to this debate.

You claim that atheism is illogical, rightly so, because they use the fallacious argument that "No god exists", which would indeed require omnipotence. However, in your attempt to show the irrationality of atheists you manage to exclude yourself for using the same fallacy- absolute knowledge without absolute proof. This is a fallacy of special pleading. Christians hold up by the same logical standards as everybody else- you can not exclude Christians from logic.

You use the argument on faith, that because you have faith- you are not irrational. It is ironic, and almost circular, because non believers tend to claim that faith itself is irrational, and this faith, or belief in god is thusly irrational. You yourself claim that faith is "Beyond reason"- which is in other words saying that faith does not hold up to 'reason', or 'logic'. That is simply irrational. Rationality, and especially reason generally correlate with logic- I try to rationally prove my positions rather than saying "They're correct, I am always right, do not defy me." Faith is inherently illogical, or as you might say "beyond logic".

While Christians might feel a special presence, and might have 'faith' in God, that does not make their beliefs any more rational- even though Christians themselves may feel that they are being very rational. Please remember that thinking you are rational does not mean that you are.

Your morality debate, and other discussion of atheists is irrelevant. You have shown no proof for the existence of god, morals are not proof- you have failed to provide a casual link between morality and God, and you have failed to provide a casual link to god and the creation of the universe. It would be a fallacy to say 'because there is no proof for anything else, god did it'- assuming you were correct in all of your assertions.
Debate Round No. 1
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Quizboy 9 years ago
Quizboy
This argument is based upon a few absurd principles:

1. Claiming that a deity exists somehow answers every question ever asked rather than posing even more questions such as: Why does God exist, who made God, who made that entity etc.

2. Science/evolution/atheists/whatever have to have omniscience to make logical sense. Lets take the "theory" of Gravity for example: although we are not an omniscient species, the sheer evidence and compounding theories in favor of the theory of gravity means that you don't have to go to every part of the world to know that you still fall on your face when you trip rather than fly out into space. By the same token, Non-belief in a deity can be rational without being absolute. An atheist can be for all intents and purposes (mostly) sure that there is no God without being 101% sure with some sort of magical knowledge.

3. Is the argument about whether atheists are illogical or Christians are illogical? If it is the later (as it claims to be) then the refutation is far more simple if one uses a derivation of the aforementioned pascal's wager.

Let us assume that you are choosing which religion to believe in and that the only qualification for being a religion is that you believe in a set of ideas based purely on faith (as opposed to evidence, because using evidence to prove faith that is sort of self-defeating). There are an infinite number of possible religions, the only limit being the human imagination's ability to think up new mythologies. Most religion's core tenets include that belief in other religions is not acceptable and that theirs is the only true faith. If we accept the premise that only one religion is the "true faith" then practicing one religion gives you one divine lotto ticket that may or may not be the "true faith". Thus 1 chance at salvation divided by infinite possible religions = 0% chance of believing in the correct religion.

Hence the illogic of believing in any religion.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Resting on a burden of proof claim, dismissing arguments, and conceding a clearly misguided hateful screed is no way to win a debate. Also, it is generally believed to be reasonable to believe in God. Despite the burden of proof, it is typically the job of the Con to show fault in the status quo position.

And he did give argument for his side: Kant, Pascal's wager, the irrational nature of those who disagree with the topic (atheists, equivocated with strong atheism), morality, afterlife. Despite the fact that all of his arguments are flawed, they are arguments and most of them were not addressed. On top of that, you tried to rest your case on burden rather than actually being contrary to the topic.

You honestly lost.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
The burden of proof is not on me. He has to prove that a belief in god is rational- he attacked atheists a bit, but failed to prove that.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
I don't think caving on one point just to ignore the others is justifiable. You didn't seem to have an argument against God. You had an argument that one of his argument was circular. Very unimpressive.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
"The topic is "It is reasonable to believe in God" -- That question is extremely pointed as far as atheism goes. ReaganConservative offered some arguments, flawed as it may be, and weak as E Colucci noted... but DucoNihilum never refuted anything and showed that he doesn't understand what atheism is. Atheism is not a belief that there is no God, it is not a belief at all, it is not having a belief in God: without theism, a-theism.
"

I know what atheism is. Atheism is seen by the general public (especially reganconservatives type) as'strong atheism', and as you can see the OP described 'strong atheists' (OP claimed atheists held the knowledge that god 'does not exist')- rather than getting into a semantic debate I simply accepted his definition of 'atheism' uncontested.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
See the problem with you is that you argued against atheists to prove your point. You absolutely can't do that. Atheists being irrational does not suddenly make Christians rational. The entire atheist argument is really irrelevant.

Atheists, even if their beliefs are totally wrong, are not at all relevant to your argument.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
The topic is "It is reasonable to believe in God" -- That question is extremely pointed as far as atheism goes. ReaganConservative offered some arguments, flawed as it may be, and weak as E Colucci noted... but DucoNihilum never refuted anything and showed that he doesn't understand what atheism is. Atheism is not a belief that there is no God, it is not a belief at all, it is not having a belief in God: without theism, a-theism.

Sam Harris, in Letter to a Christian Nation, put it thusly, "Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for those who doubt that Elvis is still alive of that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to "never doubt the existence of God" should be obliged to present evidence for his existence--and, indeed, for his benevolence, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day."

http://www.amazon.com...

The fact that, it is not reasonable to believe in God is the strongest argument for atheism today. To discount any relationship is to be amazingly naive. Though, it is correct to note that attacking atheism doesn't help his case he did offer some arguments for the topic which you never refuted.

Vote: Pro

You both did horrifically badly. Reagan Conservative, please offer me this same debate. I'd love crush your argument for all to see.
Posted by ReaganConservative 9 years ago
ReaganConservative
You're right, atheists aren't the only opponents. But atheists make up the majority of the people who argue against Christianity.

"It's very possible that atheists/and/Christians are irrational."

-In reference to half of that statement, thank you for agreeing with me.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
But atheists aren't your only opponents. You can't prove your point by saying "Oh well these people who are against me are wrong"- it's all irrelevant.

It's very possible that atheists /and/ Christians are irrational.
Posted by GBretz 9 years ago
GBretz
Hard to choose a winner, neither seemed to gain the upper hand. I'd like to see this debate prolonged, it is very interesting.
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