The Instigator
Jabuticaba
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Dwint
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Life has more meaning with God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,295 times Debate No: 48849
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Jabuticaba

Pro

I am challenging con to this debate. I observed how he has done this debate earlier, and instead of me having to ask to debate about this, I decided to straight out challenge him. I will be in favour of life having more meaning with God (Christian God) than without him. There are a few rules I would like to establish however.

First of all, this will concern the Christian God.

You have 72 hours to debate, and a maximum of 10,000 characters

The debate round will go as the following:

Round 1
Pro: explanation
Con: opening statements

Round 2
Pro: opening statements
Con: rebuttals

Round 3
Pro: rebuttals, further contentions
Con: rebuttals, further contentions

Round 4
pro: rebuttals, further contentions
con: rebuttals, closing statements

Round 5:
Pro: rebuttals, closing statements
Con: types "no argument this round"

Accepting this debate, you are accepting the rules and guidelines established. Failure to comply to the rules established will result in a 7 point loss. I hope we endure a fruitful debate, and I urge to hear your opinions.

Good luck ! :D
Dwint

Con

Hello! I will try to prove life is more meaning without god. I will use the definition of meaning from my debate, as you didn't offer a different definition.

1) How significant is life?

Gods are strongly connected to religions. Every religion worships one or more gods, and there are no gods without a religion to worship them. So it is safe to say believing in any god means following a certain religion associated with that god. Religions give people what they wish the most: eternal life - every religion in the world guarantees the eternal existence of our souls. Theism means believing in eternal life.
Now, from a theistic perspective, life is a minor portion of our existence. Believing in a god means believing in the eternal existence of our souls, so all theists believe they are going to exist forever, not in their earthly form, but they will continue to exist forever. In this case, life becomes an insignificant portion of your existence, because life ends in under 100 years, but your soul has no end. According to any modern religion, after we die we continue to exist as the same individual, only our physical form changes, but everything else stays the same.
So, for a theist, life is just 0.(0)1% of his existence. So, how significant is life when you compare it to eternity? Think how significant is a nanosecond compared to your whole life - that is roughly the significance of life from a theistic perspective.

Now, from a non-religious point of view, there is no eternity, so our existence is the same as our life, because it starts and ends when our life does. This means life from a non-religious perspective is 100% of our whole existence, thus making life a lot more significant, as it signifies our entire existence as opposed to 0.(0)1% of it.

2) Why are we here?

The simple answer theism gives is : because god created us; So our life is the decision of a supreme being. Our life is nothing more than a creation of a greater being.
Atheism means life started from atoms. Without god, life is only possible in very few places compared to the size of the universe. From this point of view, life has no reason to exist, as it wasn't created, but somehow it exists and it is complex. There is no reason for us to exist, yet we do and we are fully aware of our existence. Life is a result of natural processes rather than a creation of a higher being.
So what is more meaningful? Life as the creation of a higher being or life as a result of billions of years of natural processes? Compare a painting painted by a human with a painting that appeared from leaves that fell from a tree. What do you consider more meaningful or significant: a painted that was easily created by a human or a painting that formed for no reason by a naturally-occurring process ?
Debate Round No. 1
Jabuticaba

Pro

Meaning

In this debate, we are treating meaning to also seem a bit like purpose. Meaning and purpose are quite similar in this case. People seek philosophy, science, and religion or to be more precise, a relationship with God. In the end though, Religion is the only one that can give a proper explanation of what our meaning is.





Life with God


Jesus of Nazareth, author of salvation. According to my beliefs, he made me, and he saved me. Jesus is God, the creator of the world, the heavens, and time itself. He is all powerful. He has more meaning than anything else. Following his law, and his plans are very complex. He has a plan for everyone, and not everyone will understand it, but that is fine.

It even states such in the bible:

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." [1]

So we have just realised 3 things from these verses, God has a plan, his plan is good, and he knows way more than us. A person who follows God believes their meaning in life is to follow God's plan. I urge people to remember this as I continue to my next statements.



Life without God

Life without God is a life a seeking. No one can ever understand the meaning or purpose of life. Because of such, people spend their lives either seeking the answer, or making one up. So they seek, and seek and seek. Even the greatest philosophers are unable to find an answer.

"Doctor. Hugh Moorhead, a philosophy professor at Northeastern Illinois University, once wrote 250 of the best-known philosophers, scientists, writers and intellectuals in the world,asking them, "what is the meaning of life?". He then published their responses in a book. Some offered their best guesses, some admitted they just made up a purpose for life, and others were honest enough to say they were clueless. In fact, a number of famous intellectuals asked Professor Moorhead to write back and tell them if he discovered the purpose of life!" [2]

So as you can see, people don't understand the meaning of life. Because of such, it is as if they don't even have one. So since they don't have one, of course their meaning of life is lesser then those of who believe in God. The reason they have no meaning is because they don't have one. So since they don't people keep searching for something they can't find. Only with God do they truly have a purpose, a meaning.

People can make up meanings, but they will never get them right. It's as if I said that my meaning in life is to eat bacon. I may think this, but this is not my meaning. Without God, no one has a purpose at all, because they are never able to understand what their meaning is in the first place.






So now we will compare life with God, and life without God. God has a plane for us, as mentioned, and our meaning in life is to follow this plan. Since God is all knowing, and all powerful, we are fulfilling his plan. His plan may seem of little meaning to us, but it is of enormous meaning. His plan for each person effects all nations. Because of such, our meaning is huge, since it is decided by the all knowing, and will effect everything.

Without God, we have no clear path on what we are supposed to be doing. We can make up ideas, or come up with our purposes, but they are never completely correct. Because of such, people keep searching for answers they will never find. It's as if they're purpose is to find a purpose. They simply have no purpose.

So with God, our purpose is huge. Without God, we have no purpose in the first place.

Sources:
1. The bible.
2. The purpose driven life: what on earth am I here for? - Rick Warren 2002
Dwint

Con

The debate is about what has more meaning. So, as a Christian "their meaning in life is to follow God's plan ". So if there is a god, the only meaning of life is to obey a set of laws and have certain beliefs in order to please an all-powerful, all-knowing being. We are nothing more than puppets, obeying divine orders, this is how you defined the meaning of life.

Without god the meaning of life is indeed hard to find. If you are searching for the purpose of life, atheism doesn't give you one. But that doesn't mean you can't make your own. Christianity limits the purpose of life to earning salvation. Without god, you can decide what you want to do in this life and then do your best to achieve it.

"People can make up meanings, but they will never get them right. It's as if I said that my meaning in life is to eat bacon. I may think this, but this is not my meaning. "

If there is no god, none at all, there is no actual meaning, so eating bacon is a worthy purpose, because there is no supreme being that is able to give us another clear purpose.

Don't forget the meaning of life also means the significance of life. With a god, life is merely a creation of a supreme being that can create anything, and we are simple puppets, trying to please our creator. We are an insignificant creation and we have an insignificant purpose.
Debate Round No. 2
Jabuticaba

Pro

Thanks for the response.


Rebuttals

"The debate is about what has more meaning. So, as a Christian "their meaning in life is to follow God's plan ". So if there is a god, the only meaning of life is to obey a set of laws and have certain beliefs in order to please an all-powerful, all-knowing being. We are nothing more than puppets, obeying divine orders, this is how you defined the meaning of life."

Yes, but behind this is much more. We follow the orders of a supreme being, of greatest power. Now we follow his rules, and he uses us, so basically our meaning is about following his plan. The meaning alongside this is to make the world a better place for salvation. We bring more and more people to Jesus, the one true God. So in doing so, our meaning is to change lives, to create more, and better meanings. So not only are we pleasing God, but much more. We create new meanings that are properly confirmed by God. The one I explained is just a peek through the key hole, which has many, many more meaning hidden behind.

"If there is no god, none at all, there is no actual meaning, so eating bacon is a worthy purpose, because there is no supreme being that is able to give us another clear purpose."

Think about it like this however. If in such a case we had no belief in God, we may believe our purpose its to eat the bacon, however this is not true. We can believe thousands of theories on what our meaning is, but we will never have true meaning without God.

To add on, when you eat bacon, do you actually think in a philishophical way to which we try to relate bacon to the meaning of life? Most likely not, I am convinced when you eat bacon, your only purpose is to taste bacon, and fill your stomach.




"Don't forget the meaning of life also means the significance of life. With a god, life is merely a creation of a supreme being that can create anything, and we are simple puppets, trying to please our creator. We are an insignificant creation and we have an insignificant purpose."

Insignaficant? I think not! God uses us, but however not like puppets. See he gives us freedom to make our choices, however we must prepare for the consequences. He does not control us completly. As it as said it the bible.

"Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Our meaning is great, and huge. We are meant to do great things with the light the lord gave us. Now with God, our meaning is great, without God we have no meaning. Because of such, life with God has much greater meaning that life without God.

Dwint

Con

1) Blindly following the plan of a superior being doesn't give our life too much meaning. You said our purpose is to bring people to Jesus, but why? Most Christians don't even study about other religions and never even think that another religion could be right. For 5 billion people, this is not a noble purpose. Most people don't believe the purpose of life is bringing people to Jesus or following his plan. Does that mean a Buddhism monk has less meaning for his life than any random Christian? You are arguing that the purpose or meaning of life is to follow Jesus. This means there are only 2 billion people out there who know the true meaning of life. When you reduce the meaning of life to a single religion, you reduce the meaning of life to a single doctrine, a single purpose, you basically give life a single, strictly defined meaning.

2) Maybe eating bacon is not the meaning of life, but without a meaning that is dictated by a supreme being, it's up to us to decide what the meaning of our life is. If God exists, then the meaning of life he gave us is 100% right, because he knows everything and is the one who created the meaning of life in the first place. If there is no God, there is no omniscient supreme deity that can give us a clear meaning, so we have to make something up.
Of course, when you compare the meaning of life given by a supreme deity with the meaning of life given by an ordinary human, the first meaning seems a lot better. The thing we have to consider is that in a non-theistic universe, where there is no god, there is no deity-given meaning of life. In this scenario, we are the only ones capable of giving life a meaning.
So, this is the reason why I wanted to debate this: there are 2 possible scenarios:
I. God exists. Life has ONE and only ONE meaning
II. God doesn't exist. Life has INFINITE meaning.

In a god-less universe, anyone can decide the meaning of life. Every human that ever lived and will ever live can come up with a huge number of meanings. Eating bacon might not be the best meaning, but take a look at Buddhism. In a universe with no God, the meaning of life can be to attain enlightenment. Buddhism gives a huge meaning to life without the need of a god. It's a great example of how meaningful life can be without any supreme deity.

The meaning of life is not conditioned by God. Life can still have meaning without God. Even more, without a clear meaning defined by a supreme being, we are free to give life as much meaning as we want.
Debate Round No. 3
Jabuticaba

Pro

Thanks you once again for the response. Now to begin.

REBUTTALS

1) "Blindly following the plan of a superior being doesn't give our life too much meaning. You said our purpose is to bring people to Jesus, but why? Most Christians don't even study about other religions and never even think that another religion could be right. For 5 billion people, this is not a noble purpose. Most people don't believe the purpose of life is bringing people to Jesus or following his plan. Does that mean a Buddhism monk has less meaning for his life than any random Christian?"

The debate was whether life had more meaning with or without the Christian God. So in this debate, if someone were to believe in the Christian God, and all things in the Bible are true to him, then he has more meaning. We are not debating weather or not Christianity is right or wrong.This argument is irrelevant because of such. Our meaning is to follow him, and many more inside of this, which makes it much more than without a God.

So in our case where someone believes and Christianity, and that it is correct, see a clear understanding on what the meaning of life is. There is so much meaning with God, which I will later explain.


"2) Maybe eating bacon is not the meaning of life, but without a meaning that is dictated by a supreme being, it's up to us to decide what the meaning of our life is. If God exists, then the meaning of life he gave us is 100% right, because he knows everything and is the one who created the meaning of life in the first place. If there is no God, there is no omniscient supreme deity that can give us a clear meaning, so we have to make something up.
Of course, when you compare the meaning of life given by a supreme deity with the meaning of life given by an ordinary human, the first meaning seems a lot better. The thing we have to consider is that in a non-theistic universe, where there is no god, there is no deity-given meaning of life. In this scenario, we are the only ones capable of giving life a meaning.
So, this is the reason why I wanted to debate this: there are 2 possible scenarios:
I. God exists. Life has ONE and only ONE meaning
II. God doesn't exist. Life has INFINITE meaning."

Now here, is where I explain and clarify everything, and pretty much destroy your entire argument.
So let's summarize what you just wrote (paraphrased.) Basically, with God, we know what are meaning is. Without God, it is up to us to dictate what is can be. So then we look at your 2 main points.

"I. God exists. Life has ONE and only ONE meaning."

Now here is where you are completely wrong. So look, the main meaning is to follow God and his plans. But there is much much more. Our meaning is also to love God, because we need to love our holy creator. This is also a meaning. We also need to love God's creation, we need to love others, and bring them back to God. We need to not commit sin. So our meaning is also to live a good life. Living a good life has so much meaning in it, including being nice, having character etc.. This and so much so much more. Much more meaning than the stars in the sky. So much meaning we can't understand, but God knows is 100% correct.

So since God's plan is amazing, and his plans are eternal, and infinite, so is our meaning of life. I have already mentioned a very very little few of what I can understand of the meaning God gave me. There is an infinite amount more, than we can know is 100% correct.

So with God, we have an INFINITE AMOUNT OF MEANING.


Now your second one was "II. God doesn't exist. Life has INFINITE meaning."
Once again false. Do you see the error? I do. It should really be

"II. God doesn't exist. Life has INFINITE meaning ."

So instead of meaning, it is possibilities. So we have already agreed on the fact that without a holy omnipotent leader, we cannot create a proper meaning of life, therefore without a God there is none in the first place. We can make them up, and we have so many possibilities.

Allow me to make an analogy. Take this as a multiple choice question on a test. There are so many possibilities, but that does not mean the one you choose is correct. You will never truly 100% know which one is correct, or if any are correct in fact. It's just like this case. You can make up thousands of possibilities, but that doesn't mean they are your meaning.



So here is the new equation.

With God, Infinite meaning.
Without God, infinite possibilities, no true meaning.

So look at it closely. What is more, infinite, or nothing? Obviously infinite. I have proved, and poetically explained how with God, we at least have meaning. Without God, we can make meaning, but we cannot have meaning.








Dwint

Con

1) My argument wasn't about Christianity being right or wrong. I said most people don't share the same beliefs and therefore have a different meaning of life, and it is unreasonable to claim most people live with no real meaning because they follow a wrong religion. Claiming the meaning of life is given by the Bible is claiming only Christians know the meaning of life and for everyone else (5 billion people) life doesn't have a meaning at all. I hope you can understand my argument now and debunk it next round.

2) "Our meaning is also to love God, because we need to love our holy creator. This is also a meaning. We also need to love God's creation, we need to love others, and bring them back to God. We need to not commit sin. So our meaning is also to live a good life. Living a good life has so much meaning in it, including being nice, having character etc.. "

Look at how many times you used the word "God" to describe the meaning of life. For a Christians the meaning of life is dictated by the Bible. A Christian has no meaning for life without the Bible.

"With God, Infinite meaning."
True, if by infinite you mean limited by the Bible.

"Without God, infinite possibilities, no true meaning."
By true meaning, you mean divine meaning, or a meaning given by a god. In the scenario I presented, there is no god, and therefore the idea of a divine meaning doesn't exist in the first place.
This is very similar to objective morality. Objective morality can only exist if there is a god to provide the moral code. In a universe with no god, objective morality can still exist, but not as a divine moral code, but a man-made one. If there is no god at all, there is no one to give us that moral code, so we have to make one up. With or without a god, our moral code would be the same and it would have the same significance.
The same goes for the meaning of life. If there is no god, there is no divine meaning, but that doesn't mean we can't find our own meaning of life, just like we can find our own moral standards without divine guidance.
To use your text analogy : A teacher gives you a text with a single question and 100 possible answers. If the question has a clear answer (2+2=?), then you only have one correct answer, just like God gives you only one meaning. But if the question doesn't have a clear answer (How many atoms are there in the universe?) then any answer would be correct, because there is no way to ever have a clear answer to that.

The meaning of life without god is not precise, witch make any meaning true if you believe in it.
Debate Round No. 4
Jabuticaba

Pro

I thank my opponent very much for accepting, and going through this debate. I would like to remind him that he cannot write anything next round besdies "thanks for the debate". If he continues, and writes anything else including rebuttals or arguments, he will automatically lose 7 points.

Rebuttals

"1) My argument wasn't about Christianity being right or wrong. I said most people don't share the same beliefs and therefore have a different meaning of life, and it is unreasonable to claim most people live with no real meaning because they follow a wrong religion. Claiming the meaning of life is given by the Bible is claiming only Christians know the meaning of life and for everyone else (5 billion people) life doesn't have a meaning at all. I hope you can understand my argument now and debunk it next round."

Sorry for the misconception, and I thank my opponent for further clarifying his previous argument. This debate is whether there is more meaning with or without God. These other people also believe in a God. Though the debate mainly focused the christian God, other gods could be considered as well. They all have a God, which means they have a clear meaning which is written in their holy books. So they all have clear understandings of what their basic meaning is.

Now since other religions are included, we would look at people who don't believe in God.

"Overall, 84 percent of the world's inhabitants, which it estimated at 6.9 billion, identify with a religion, according to the study entitled "The Global Religious Landscape" issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life on Tuesday." [1]

So only 16 percent of the world is not connected to religion, and don't believe in a God. These people have no understanding on what their meaning is, as I have already explained, and proven. So they have no meaning at all. People who believe in a God will have more meaning obviously, considering they actually have one.

"Look at how many times you used the word "God" to describe the meaning of life. For a Christians the meaning of life is dictated by the Bible. A Christian has no meaning for life without the Bible."

This is irrelevant. Yes we need the bible for meaning. So what? We have meaning with the Bible, and that's what we know. Without the bible, or any other holy book, we have no meaning at all.

"True, if by infinite you mean limited by the Bible."

But the meaning for our life in the Bible is infinite. There are billions of hidden explanations, and expectations for our plan, and what our meaning is. Just because something is dictated by something else, doesn't make it any lesser.

"By true meaning, you mean divine meaning, or a meaning given by a god. In the scenario I presented, there is no god, and therefore the idea of a divine meaning doesn't exist in the first place."

Yes but in a scenario to which we believe in God, there is much more meaning than without God.

"This is very similar to objective morality. Objective morality can only exist if there is a god to provide the moral code. In a universe with no god, objective morality can still exist, but not as a divine moral code, but a man-made one. If there is no god at all, there is no one to give us that moral code, so we have to make one up. With or without a god, our moral code would be the same and it would have the same significance."

Yes but in a world without God, objective morallity would be decided by man. Now if man were to decide, everyone would have different ideas. Since there is no single meaning that leads to an infinite amount, everyone would have a different one. If everyone had a different one, we would not have any meaning, since we are just making things up. We know they aren't true because everyone else has their own idea, so there is never a right one. Without a right one, there isn't one at all.

"The same goes for the meaning of life. If there is no god, there is no divine meaning, but that doesn't mean we can't find our own meaning of life, just like we can find our own moral standards without divine guidance."

But divine guidance is proof. Without such guidance, we would make things up. We can make anything our meaning, but it doesn't make it true without proof.

"The meaning of life without god is not precise, witch make any meaning true if you believe in it."

It does not matter if it is precise or not. At least we have meaning with God. Without God, we have no idea what it is, so we create various incorrect possibilities. And your second argument is completly false. Witches can't make any meaning true, because witches aren't real.

Closing statements

In conclusion, with God, we understand what our meaning is. Our meaning is to please God. To do this, we need to do various things, such as be a good person, not rely on our own understanding, bring people back to God etc. All these things we need to do bring so much meaning behind pleasing God. Because of such, our meaning is infinite, making it huge, and impossible to overcome.

Without God, we have no idea what our meaning is. We can make one up, but it will never be true, because you can't be sure. Since everyone thinks the meaning is different, we have no idea if our meaning is even resonable. Even the best philosiphers in the world had no idea what the meaning of life is. Since without God, we can't find our meaning, or understand what it is, we don't have one in the first place.

With God: Infinite meaning.
Without God: Infinite possibilities, but no meaning at all.

Thanks for the debate. If you continue and rebuttal, you will lose 7 points.

Sources:
1.http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Dwint

Con

Thank you for this debate. I enjoyed debating this with you. Good job and good luck.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Many Atheists were trained Theologians and even preached God, but thanks to The Clergy Project to help them assimilate into their new lives, they found far more meaning without God.
How? You may Wonder?
XD~
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