The Instigator
Conservative101
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
SkepticalDebatee
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Miracles do not violate science

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Conservative101
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 642 times Debate No: 53316
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Conservative101

Pro

Pro will argue that miracles do not violate science, while Con will argue the opposite. The BoP is on Pro. No forfeiting. No profane or discriminating language.

1st Round - Acceptance
2nd Round - Argument/Rebuttal
3rd Round - Counter rebuttals
SkepticalDebatee

Con

This is the definition of science. "The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."

Your definition of miracle that was posted in the comments "An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause." clearly violates science. "ascribed to a supernatural cause." is pretty much the opposite of "the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." Natural vs. supernatural. Ascribed vs. observation and experimentation.

Definition from Oxford: (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
Debate Round No. 1
Conservative101

Pro

My has opponent basically violated the template I typed above, which read "1st Round - Acceptance" by putting forth his argument in Round 1. By doing this it is now harder for him to win, so I would advise him to be careful about what he accepts to.

My opponent states that the definition of a miracle "clearly violates science" but has not shown how. How do miracles violate science simply because they do?


Main Arguments


Scientific laws are only assumed true through repetition.
No finite number of attempts can show that a law is applicable for every case in the universe. For example, long before Australia was discovered, it was believed in the West that all swans in the world were white. But when Europeans landed in Australia, they saw, for the first time, a black swan. What was considered a scientifically violable truth before had to be withdrawn. Let's look at another example. When Newton published his laws about the universe, they were regarded as incontrovertibly true for almost two centuries. They worked very well, and were endorsed as unrefutable. Then, Einstein's theories of relativity contradicted Newton. Despite common belief, Newton's laws were proved in important ways to be wrong or at least inadequate. However, these laws could be, in the future, proved erroneous yet again. By this we learn that Einstein's theories have the capability to be proved wrong and are therefore, not completely true, but our "best guess".


So how are scientific laws verifiable? They aren't. As we have seen above, scientific laws at our "best guess" of what we know about the universe. In this respect, we realize that miracles cannot violate science, because science itself does not verify what each instance will turn out to be. It only assumes what will happen based on previous tries. In his book What's So Great About Christianity, D'Souza writes that "scientific laws are not 'laws of nature.' They are human laws, and they represent a form of best-guessing about the world. What we call laws are nothing more than observed patterns and sequences. We think the world works in this way until future experience proves the contrary."[1] By this we determine that "An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause."[2] does not violate the assumed laws of science.


Another contention I have is that: if miracles by this definition are possible, then there must be a supernatural. In that respect, wouldn't the supernatural have complete control over science? If we assume the Christian God for example, how would he be bound by something he devised? He would have the power to alter the laws of nature if he chooses to, which are the very point of miracles themselves.


Sources

1. D'Souza, Dinesh. What's so Great about Christianity. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub., 2007. Print.

2. http://dictionary.reference.com...

SkepticalDebatee

Con

Sorry for jumping the gun there. Seeing that you have not provided a rebuttal for my arguments I will refrain from making any on yours for this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Conservative101

Pro

The BoP is on Pro. It is Con's job to rebut the arguments put forth in Round 2 rather than violate the boilerplate and put forth his argument made in Round 1. Even if that were not the case, I would not have had anything to rebut because Con has made no valid arguments and has only stated that the definition of a miracle "clearly violates science" without supporting any evidence or real argument for it. Vote Pro.
SkepticalDebatee

Con

"Scientific laws are only assumed true through repetition." Miracles are violations of scientific laws though. They can't be explained through the laws of nature. I don't even know why this is an argument here. Isn't this just god of the gaps stuff? What does it have to do with miracles?

"So how are scientific laws verifiable? They aren't. As we have seen above, scientific laws at our "best guess" of what we know about the universe. In this respect, we realize that miracles cannot violate science, because science itself does not verify what each instance will turn out to be. It only assumes what will happen based on previous tries." Science, when it changes things, reaches for new or updated laws, not "Whelp, God did it." Science is the study of natural laws not supernatural ones.

"if miracles by this definition are possible, then there must be a supernatural. In that respect, wouldn't the supernatural have complete control over science? If we assume the Christian God for example, how would he be bound by something he devised? He would have the power to alter the laws of nature if he chooses to, which are the very point of miracles themselves." A definition of something does not mean it exists. Otherwise dragons would exist. (Unicorns too! There isn't anything keeping them from existing.) You haven't given any examples of true miracles so this argument is invalid. Just assuming they exist violates science itself. I might as well say that, sense magic, by definition, is possible wizards must exist.

Because my opponent hasn't upheld his BoP, and just dismissed my argument showing the contradictions of natural laws and supernatural occurrences instead of actually attacking them I urge a Con vote.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Conservative101 3 years ago
Conservative101
Wow really Con? You forfeit Round 2 and then post your argument in Round 3 without giving me any chance to rebut. Good luck getting votes.
Posted by Conservative101 3 years ago
Conservative101
Miracle - An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. If a "miracle" is explained by science, then by definition it is not a miracle, it is a phenomenon, or a coincidence. My argument is not that miracles are explained by science, but that miracles themselves do not violate science.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Which miracles? Be specific about what's going to be discussed here. Many supposed miracles have been explained by science. Should we still regard them as miracles?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Conservative101SkepticalDebateeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: So I think this is pretty straightforward. Pro provided argumentation that showed that violations of science don't happen every time we discover something new that doesn't fit the usual paradigms. He also says that since God can create natural laws, that He can also violate them. I'm not sure I buy either argument strongly, especially the latter (since that requires an awful lot of assumptions), but these are the arguments that Con needed to hit in order to win this debate, and I don't think he does so effectively. Con tries to say that Pro hasn't met his BoP in the final round, but doesn't say what that BoP is beyond stating that it's necessary for him to present examples of miracles, which I don't see as a well-supported statement. The responses just aren't there, and Pro's arguments are easily the strongest in the debate. S&G goes to Pro because Con's was pretty awful at multiple points. Conduct also goes to Pro due to ignoring the rules in R1.