The Instigator
Paradox_7
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

No God = No Concept of God = No Believers in God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,142 times Debate No: 24928
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

Paradox_7

Pro

==Resolved==

If there is no God, there would be no concept of God, and if there were no concept of God, then no one would have any idea, awarness, or desire for this being, and therefore-- there should be no believers.


==Definitions==

God - the single deity in monotheism or the monist deity in polytheism. God is often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of humans and the universe.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


God - the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

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


==Rules==

1R - Acceptance
2R - Opening statements / (CON) Rebuttals
3R - Rebuttals
4R - Final Statements / Final Rebuttals / No New arguments

- Tasteful humor ok.


I look forward to a fun exchange; may the best debater win.


Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I accept. Present your case.
Debate Round No. 1
Paradox_7

Pro

In the beginning...

One of the most common and paradoxical assertions, of man and religion, is that as a primitive but growing species, man has by default, relied on the explanation of God for those less than obvious questions. Whether about life, the universe, or purpose, God has been the supplement to our ignorance. To some people, this supplement has actually acted as more of a poison, them a remedy, creating in human minds a justification to extreme actions or ideals; some leading to great reform, and some to tragedy.

Initially, my argument is faced with much opposition, and I recognize the task a head of me will be difficult, but in my humble opinion, it needs to be done.

My position, is that the idea of God, the nature of God, and the interest in God, would not be possible with out his existence. This personal being, whose power created the universe and whose wisdom guides it, but whose physical presence, has never been seen; who's powers have never been displayed; and whose divinity has never been experienced, must lead you to wonder: where have these concepts come from, and why did these ancient primitive humans attribute so much to them?



Man, the almighty.

To properly establish my argument, I must demonstrate that without God, and all the things he brings to the conceptual table, there would be no one who believes in him, or anyone who longs for him as an answer.

We must keep in mind, that in order to properly judge whether or not my argument is valid, we must start from scratch. Everything we know about the history of religion, everything that currently stands in the name of a God, mustn't be considered a reason, for why man would invent this being.

There are precursors to any concept, and before a concept is birthed, there is no thought of it. I will get into more detail regarding Concepts, and the very difficult task of establishing agreement on what exactly they are, in the next round. For now, simply imagine the development of mans cogent intelligence, via Evolution.

I am not extremely familiar with the process or different transissional phases in which man is supposed to have been thru, before he arrived to his current state, so I will merely paint a picture of a vague period in time, when man could communicate with each other, and form tribes or communities.

These beings, who've experience only the natural world, are beginning to learn and understand more, seeking ways to improve life; Tools, weapons for hunting, reliable shelter, etc. Then they may be searching for answers on how to keep tribes together, how to reduce murder among members, and even how to keep their infants from dying. Things that form the grounds for a society. While I do not see reason for morality without God, let's imagine it is still relevant and founded by basic reason and rationality: Society forms, and structured civilization is in production.

As these creatures grow, and learn, nothing out of the ordinary happens, surely no God appears, no angels, no spirits, no divine entities. Only the natural world, in all it's wonder.

Then, lets say there is a massive volcanic eruption! No one has seen this before, and no one knows what its smoldering contents will do. Once it's all said and done, and everything is burnt and destroyed, the people gather, and after much debate, decide these events were the cause of an all powerful and mighty Fire God, and that they must pray to him, to keep him from spilling lava all over there villages again!...

Sounds believable that these people would think that, right? Not so.

Though it's been etched in our brains, that the primitive resort to deities and supernatural answers, we've not seen the point in our existence, where the concept of deities would naturally form. After all, most atheists would agree, aside from personal experience and testimony-- there is no proof or good reason to believe a God exists in the natural world.


It seems apparent to me, given a purely natural existence, and purely observable mode of understanding, that everyone would be an atheist. They wouldn't be conscious atheists, but atheists by default.


Imagination

The ability to imagine is a striking capability of our minds, and with it we accomplish awesome things. Our brains produce a remarkable 70,000 thoughts per day(apprx)! Capable of incredible discovery, unparalleled by any other mechanism known to man! Used to control every part of our functioning bodies, and simultaneously used to think: to problem solve, to day-dream, to create. This critical instrument to our enigmatic existence, is truly amazing, BUT it is still firmly bound with limitations.

The mind builds off what it already knows, and creates nothing but manipulations of the may concepts it contains. Without the need to communicate, we would not speak; without the horse, we would not imagine unicorns; without lightning we would know nothing of electricity; and without a divine or spiritual being, we would not conceive of God. After all, how can a person conceive, the inconceivable? I understand to us, the idea of God, and the prominence of religion is all too familiar, we always encounter a person, commercial, or read that dabbles in the supernatural, or the spiritual. However we must ignore the impulses to refer to them, if an accurate understanding of my position is to be held.

Our minds process what we see, and they combine, assign, and differentiate our concepts. New concepts are produced of old concepts, and the many trivial concepts actually contribute to the important concepts; the beneficial concepts. If no where in human existence, from beginning to present, did a God, Spirit, or supernatural entity make itself known, where did the idea come from? What, in our natural world, could produce the idea of such a being or his attributes? The answer, is nothing could, but a Divine, Spiritual, God.


As this topic is bound to be semantical, I submit you this overview of the discussion at hand, and my position, so that you may possibly begin to think in terms of original concepts, and that even though the mind is an instrument of great power, it is limited by it's surroundings and experiences. A mind cannot conceive of a thing, that does not lie in a form of the natural world, and a God, that is no where to be found in the natural world, would not have been thought of or conceived of.


Thank you, and I await my opponents response.

-PRO-
Rational_Thinker9119

Con


In the beginning...

In this section of my opponent's opening statement, he outlines the underlining ideals of his argumentation. He states that man has always relied on God's existence as an explanation, and this is apparently is due to less than obvious reasons, assuming God does not in fact exist. This apparently gives pro the idea that he can jump from this initial claim, to the conclusion that the concept of God wouldn't even be possible unless he existed in reality. This seems to be founded on a baseless assumption. This assumption is that there are less than obvious reasons for why God's existence has remained an explanation for events we do not understand. Therefore, he must exist. This is clearly a non-sequitur. The only thing not obvious is how his conclusion follows from the initial premise.


Of course, I contest the point he is attempting to get across, to the furthest extent. I think the reasons are fairly obvious for why the concept of God would exist even if God didn't. Imagine a time when human beings knew virtually nothing about how natural processes within our space-time region worked. If you take this time period into account, it seems apparent that the only hypothesis they could use to explain things with would be intelligent minds who are able to cause things. Why is this? Of course, it's because they are intelligent beings themselves who cause actions to occur. Without being able to understand the non-sentient acts within nature, and truly relate to anything but minds and other conscious minds, it does seem extremely obvious why one would posit a conscious mind as a cause of something that there is no explanation for (especially the important life questions, due to emotional reasons involving purpose). Since this conjured up being obviously could not be seen (this being was just conjured up in the mind, after all), and natural beings around them can be seen, it seems that anyone positing this invisible cause, would assume the being is super-natural as a side effect.

The above is a plausible scenario in which the seed of the idea of God is planted with regards to the human race, without God needing to actually exist at all. One may then ask, why has the idea of God still remained relatively strong in light of all the knowledge we gain of science? This is because of a little mind trick called "Theology on the Edge" as John Shook puts it. Basically, it doesn't matter if science can explain A with B, theists can just claim that God is responsible for, or guided B. If we find out that it was actually C that was responsible for B eventually, theists can just say God was responsible for, or guided C (and so on and so forth).

Man, the almighty.


As far as this section is concerned, it's clear that I already refuted these assumptions in the section above. Pro tells us to imagine a time of ancient man. All they would experience is the natural world, so if a volcano erupted or example, there would be no reason for anyone to come up with a super-natural explanation. But, my argument in the section above addresses this very notion. These humans would only experience the natural world, however they would have virtually no comprehension of the explanations for the events that happen in the natural world. Since they are all intelligent beings who cause events it seems obvious that they would posit an intelligent being as an explanation for things they did not understand (consciousness and intelligence is what is most familiar, clearly). However, this being cannot be seen and obviously must be more powerful than us (these humans would not be able to cause a volcano to erupt). Thus, this concept of an invisible causal agent would be deemed super-natural.

This means, that so far, Pro's case is overwhelmingly faulty and without sufficient defense.


Imagination

Pro's argument here seemingly boils down to this:

"Without the need to communicate, we would not speak; without the horse, we would not imagine unicorns; without lightning we would know nothing of electricity; and without a divine or spiritual being, we would not conceive of God." - Pro

Basically, without a wolf actually existing, we would never imagine the idea of werewolves. Without a horse existing, we would never imagine the idea of unicorns existing. This contradicts Pro's whole case however. Pro tried to argue previously in the ("Man, the almighty") section, that man only experiences the normal world, and would therefore have no reason to conceive of anything out of the ordinary or super-natural:

"As these creatures grow, and learn, nothing out of the ordinary happens, surely no God appears, no angels, no spirits, no divine entities. Only the natural world, in all it's wonder...Though it's been etched in our brains, that the primitive resort to deities and supernatural answers, we've not seen the point in our existence, where the concept of deities would naturally form." - Pro

In this section however, he finds it perfectly reasonable to assume the super-natural from the natural, by citing how humans could conceive of a supern-natural unicorns (it's horn is conceived to have the ability to make poisoned water drinkable and to heal sickness[1]) just from the existence of a natural horse. This in an embarrassing blunder for Pro, because this is incoherent. Either you can derive super-natural concepts from observations from within a strictly natural reality, or you cannot. My opponent it seems, it trying to have it both ways without logical foundation.

Now, lets call whatever we know to exist x, and whatever idea we imagine based off of what we know to exist, y. Pro is trying to say that a divine being is x, and God is y. The problem? A divine being and God are more or less synonymous. It would be more accurate to say that x is natural, and y is would be supernatural (with y, once again, just being the concept or idea). Therefore, it would make more sense to say that without natural and intelligent beings capable of causation, the idea of an ultimate supernatural intelligent being capable of causation would not exist. Basically, humans being's existence is a necessary condition which needs to be in place in order for the the concept of God to exist. However, there is absolutely no reason to think God's actual existence is a necessary condition for the mere concept of God to exist.

Thus, my opponent continues to clumsily fail to meet his burden of proof in light of my objections to his case.

Conclusion

Pro presented an extremely weak case. His initial argument, is that all ancient humans would experience is the natural, therefore, there would be no reason to conceive of the super-natural. I debunked this notion by demonstrating that even though these beings would only experience the natural, this doesn't entail they know how anything naturally works. Due to being intelligent beings capable of causation (with consciousness and thought being all they experience), one could only imagine them positing an invisible and intelligent being capable of causation to explain the unknown due to being intelligent agents capable of causation themselves. Therefore, this conceived being would have to be invisible (the being is just conceived, so obviously they couldn't see the conceived being), and more powerful than us to cause natural events we see in nature. Humans could have called this being God, without him existing at all. This alone negates the resolution.

With regards to the second argument, this contained an example involving a super-natural concept deriving from the existence of a natural horse. It seems this statement is incompatible with his initial argument, making this a huge error on my opponent's behalf. Either way, I showed that one only needs to assume human being's existence for the existence of the concept of God to be possible. Pro presented no valid argument that God's existence is necessary for the mere concept of God to exist.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Paradox_7

Pro

Paradox_7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Paradox_7

Pro

Paradox_7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Hey, you may have some hidden trick up your sleeve. I'm just saying that unless you have some twist to your argument, this should be fairly simple. I'm not trying to disrespect you, good luck...
Posted by Paradox_7 4 years ago
Paradox_7
lol talkin sh*t already huh.. we'll see if this is as 'easy' as you think.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I know....Please, let me take care of it. I've been waiting for this debate lol
Posted by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
So easy to refute that I had to really stop myself from negating it right here lol.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Paradox_7Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, and Pro's argument is silly.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
Paradox_7Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited and thus conceded arguments.
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
Paradox_7Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Dat forfeit