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It is unreasonable to believe in God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 695 times Debate No: 62003
Debate Rounds (5)
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TOPIC: It is unreasonable to believe in God.


The eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe. (As previously agreed between both parties, it shall primarily, but not exclusively, be relevant to the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible.
Unreasonable: Not guided by or based on good sense.
Believe: To have faith, accept something that is true, without evidence. [1]

Debate Format:

R2: Opening Arguments.
R3: Rebuttal.
R4: Defense of Original Arguments.
R5: Summary and Conclusion


5 rounds. 10,000 characters. Open voting (7 point system) for a period of 3 months.


My opponent must in round 1 accept the conditions (definitions, topic, format and rules) set within this post. I wish him the best of luck.




God: I accept what my opponent said in his definition of God being, "The eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe", however this is only a third of the definition of the Christian God. The third which my opponent defined was the Father, however, there is also the Son and the Holy Spirit/Ghost which is also apart the Christian God (known as the Trinity) [1]. The Son (Jesus Christ) is the physical manifestation of a spiritual God who came down to earth to endure mortality so we could enjoy eternity [2]. The Holy Spirit/Ghost is the God within all of us who guides us.

Unreasonable: I accept this definition which my opponent defined as, "Not guided by or based on good sense."

Believe: I do not accept my opponents definition of believe (which came from the Oxford dictionary) because of where it says, "without evidence" which not entirely true, for many people become followers of God after witnessing a miracle in their own lives. However, we have discussed and decided to use's definition of believe where it stated, "tohaveconfidenceinthetruth,theexistence,orthereliabilityof something,althoughwithoutabsoluteproofthatoneisrightindoing so"[3].

I accept the rules, topic and the format of the debate. I wish my opponent good luck and I look forward to what I am sure will be an interesting and challenging debate.

Debate Round No. 1



I accept my opponent's requested alterations in the above post in order to avoid a squabble over semantics. I would like to thank him for accepting the debate challenge and I also look forward to debating him over the topic.

I have 3 main opening arguments which prove that it is unreasonable to believe in God.

A1: Incompatibility & Logical Absurdity

The traits of God (The Holy Spirit) are entirely incompatible with one another. The traits in question, as defined by myself and my opponent in the first round and in the Holy Scriptures of the Bible, include omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence. However, these three attributes of God are logically incompatible.

The first point of incompatibility is regarding the paradox of omnipotence:

"Can He [God], make something to heavy for the maker to lift? If He cannot, then He is not omnipotent. If, on the other hand, He can do this, He is not omnipotent since there is something (namely lift everything) which He cannot do. So in any case, He cannot, it would seem, be omnipotent." - J. L. Cowan [1]

From this it seems, God cannot logically be omnipotent. The same paradox is applicable to both physical and presumably metaphysical environments, whereby the Holy Spirit cannot do something that prevents Him from accomplishing another action, and as such defeating His omnipotence regardless of His choice or action.

To further prove this point, I shall now quote Evangelical theologian Henry C. Thiessen:

"God is all-powerful and able to do whatever he wills. Since his will is limited by his nature, God can do everything that is in harmony with his perfections." - [2]

There is a difference between having unlimited power (omnipotence) and doing what he wills. God can certainly do everything within his perfections (omnibenevolence), but cannot do anything outside of his perfections. That is something He cannot do, and therefore he does not have unlimited power and is not omnipotent.

The second point of incompatibility is regarding the paradox of omniscience and the Divine Liar Argument:

"Consider the following statement: A) God doesn't believe that A is true. Is that true or false? If it is true, God doesn't believe it and thus cannot be said to know all truths, and is therefore not omniscient. It must be true that he believes it. God therefore believes a falsehood." - P. Grim [3]

As such, God cannot be omniscient. Once again, such a situation is applicable to both physical and metaphysical realms, where relevant to such a statement. Logically, He cannot be omniscient based upon these grounds. Some argue that God is mostly omnipotent, and mostly omniscient, but then that therefore means God is no longer 'the ultimate being', but mostly ultimate. It is unreasonable to fully have devout faith in a God where there are so many paradoxes and logically flawed characteristics of such a God.

A2: Basis for Belief

The rationality for belief in God is further diminished when we analyse the cause of such a belief. We are specifically discussing the Christian God, and as such we will explore the socialogical causes behind belief in the Christian religion.

"Analyzing the data we found that being raised religiously, the respondent’s sex (women are more religious than men), and parents’ religiosity were the three strongest predictors of a high degree of current religiosity and belief in God. The three strongest predictors of lower religiosity and disbelief were education level, age, and the amount of conflict respondents had with their parents during child- hood. In other words, older, educated, men tend to be less religious, while women raised by religious parents in a harmo- nious environment are more religious." - M. Shermer [4]

The survey conducted by Shermer indicated that the primary reason for belief in a God came from religious upbringing. This is explains why religion, geographically speaking, remains in locations solely where it's adherents remain. Children born in the Middle East and North Africa are almost certainly going to grow up as Muslims, while children born in Western Europe and North America are almost certainly going to grow up as Christians. Furthermore, education level plays a major role in an individuals belief or lack thereof.

"First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices." - M. Zuckerman, J. Silberman, J. A. Hall [5]

The meta-analysis of 63 studies, the basis of the above conclusion, saw that people with higher levels of education tended to critically evaluate, analyse and ultimately reject religion. This helps explain why, with constantly increasing levels of education and access to information, secularisation continues to grow, while religiosity is in decline. Another important aspect discussed in the meta-analysis and also by M. Shermer was the mental (emotional) manifestation of such beliefs.

Our “sense of self,” says Persinger, is maintained by the left hemisphere temporal cortex. Under normal brain func- tioning this is matched by the corresponding systems in the right hemisphere temporal cortex. When these two systems become uncoordinated, such as during a seizure or a transient event, the left hemisphere interprets the uncoordinated activity as “another self,” or a “sensed presence,” thus accounting for subjects’ experiences of a “presence” in the room (which might be interpreted as an angel, a demon, an alien, or a ghost), of leaving their bodies (as in near-death experiences), or even of seeing “God.” When the brain’s amygdala is involved in the transient events, emotional factors signifi- cantly enhance the experience which, when connected to spiritual themes, can be a powerful force for intense religious feelings." - M. Shermer [4]

Ultimately, within the human condition, there is a widespread tendancy to believe. Not in the Christian God, not in the Muslim God, but in some form of supernatural explanation for events. The development of organised religion stems from such an emotional inclination, and today modern religioun takes advantage of this mental state.

We conclude from that information, that belief in God (or a number of Gods, or some other form of supernatural being) stems from a huge combination of upbringing, level of education and a universal mental inclination to believe. Is this a reasonable way to believe? No, it is not, because all of these modes in the development of belief are thrust upon ourselves unwillingly, without reasonable thought. Modern advances in science, education and wealth have diminished the afforementioned tendancies, and as such we are witnessing a steady decline in religion in developed countries. As such, it is unreasonable to believe in God based upon the general causes of such a belief.

A3: Lack of Empirical Evidence

While many argue that it is impossible to provide material evidence for a supernatural, invisible God, you would expect that historical events in the Bible would have archeological remnants. Despite that, there is NO geological evidence of a flood (and the logical absurdity of Noah's ark and the flood is laughable). Furthermore, many claims of acts of miracles (on wounded, sick people) and others, have been thoroughly debunked over the years. I will be interested to see what my opponent offers in terms of "evidence" for miracles and acts of God. If God, as claimed by my opponent, so frequenty intervenes and makes miracles happen, why is there no conclusive documented proof of these things happening? Why is he so selective about when he enacts miracles and when he stands back and lets people suffer?

Another area of contention is the efficacy of prayer where relevant to medicine. In a study conducted by F. Galton, it was found that prayer had no effectiveness or impact on an individual's health (where patients had sole medical treatmant, and where patients had sole prayer from their family and friends) [6]. This explains perfectly why you do not find hospitals filled with pastors and priests, but rather doctors and surgeons.


All 3 arguments have clearly explained why it is unreasonable to believe in God. With logical absurdity of the characteristics of God, combined with the socialogical condition of belief and finally the distinct lack of empirical evidence of the existence of God, it is unreasonable and not guided by good (subjective) sense for an individual to believe.

I patiently await my opponent's arguments.

[1] J. L. Cowan, “The Paradox of Omnipotence,” Analysis 25 (1965/supplement): 102-108 Reprinted in M. Martin & R. Monnier (eds.), The Impossibility of God (2003), pp. 330-36

[2] H. C. Thiessen, "Lectures in Systematic Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), p. 82.

[3] P. Grim, "The Being That Knew Too Much", International Journal for Philosphy and Religion, (2000): (141-145) Reprinted in M. Martin & Monnier (eds.), The Impossibility of God (2003), pp. 408-21;

[4] M. Shermer, "Why People Believe in God", Public Perspective, (2000) (via. the Roper Center)

[5] M. Zuckerman, J. Silberman, J. A. Hall, "The relation between intelligence and religiosity: a meta-analysis and some proposed explanations", (2013)

[6] “Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer.” By Francis Galton. Fortnightly Review, vol. 12 (1872), pp. 125-35



shabowow forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately my opponent was unable to post his argument before the due date. As such, we have agreed to continue on with the debate, and my opponent will rebut my opening arguments and also attempt to make opening arguments in Round 3. As such, the original agreed upon structure is now void.

I hope to see my opponent response this time.


shabowow forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


AdamCass forfeited this round.


shabowow forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


AdamCass forfeited this round.


shabowow forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by AdamCass 2 years ago
Such a hard-fought debate, Sebastian. GG.
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