No believer in any religion that includes an afterlife can provide me with a sound argument
My challenge is as follows. I want a follower of any faith that includes an afterlife to convince me that their faith comports with reality.
Thus Con will have the burden of proving that his or her belief system is factually correct. I will be responsible for finding flaws in the arguments.
The only rules are that you are only allowed to use rational arguments, faith based arguments are not allowed and you cannot post a new argument in the final round because I will not be able to respond.
Thank you, V5RED, for allowing me to debate you in this topic.
I will attempt to use sound arguments to justify the belief in the Christian religion.
The Existence of God- A Priori Arguments
Mind Over Matter
This universe consists of matter and energy. In the theistic understanding of the universe, mind is the originator of matter, as opposed to an atheistic and evolutionary stance- matter causes mind.
Before arguing for a mind to the universe, allow me to enter a third principle to the universe- information. To prove that information is separate from matter and energy, allow me to present an analogy:
If I write a certain collection of letters, like, “elhlo,” then the reader should not be able to make an understanding of those letters. However, if I rearrange the letters to “hello,” the reader should then understand the collection of letters as a word that conveys the meaning of a form of greeting someone. As you can see, matter was the medium used to convey the information. I would form the word “hello” on a computer, on a chalkboard, or on pen and paper. The material used would be different each time, that is, the medium to convey the information would be distinct, but the information would still be the same.
When dealing with information, there are two proponents needed. First, a sender, to form the information. Secondly, the receiver must be able to obtain and understand the information. To clarify “understanding the information”, imagine a Chinese person reading the word “hello.” If that person has no understanding of the English language, then they will not be able to understand the word “hello.” So, the sender must have an intention when delivering the information- that the message will be received and be understood.
Information, not matter and energy, is the underlying principle of the universe. From genetics, to language, to the physical laws of the universe, information is the critical component.
P1: Information is the underlying principle of reality.
P2: Information requires a sender.
C: There is a sender that caused all of the information (order) in reality.
The Prime Mover
As everyone would agree, there necessarily exists the first cause of everything. What my opponent and I will disagree about is whether that first cause is God, or quantum fluctuations, or what have you.
Everything that exists (besides the prime mover) is dependent on another part of existence. For example, the organism that is a cat is dependent on cells and structures, which are in turn dependent on molecules, which in turn are dependent on atoms, which are dependent on quarks, and so on.
The prime mover is not dependent on any part of reality. The prime mover exists through itself, not something that causes itself. As you can see from the text image, the prime mover would also be the simplest form/most fundamental of existence. As it is the most fundamental form of existence, it exists without boundaries.
To understand the significance of boundaries, refer again to the text image. The cat is higher up on the form of complexity. A cat cannot be both a cat and dog at the same time. It is limited to being a cat. However, cells are not limited to cats, and can be formed to exist in other animals. However, cells are limited to exist in that form. Atoms are not limited to animals- they form all parts of the universe.
As we travel farther down the simplicity of existence, the less boundaries exist, and the more forms can be created from these states of existence.
Recall the famous double split experiment, where a single photon behaved both like a particle and a wave. This is possible because boundaries decrease as we travel down the chain of existence.
So, the prime mover must be free from all boundaries. It is necessarily limitless. Also, because it is at the lowest point in the chain of existence, it can interact with all of reality. Not only does this prime mover interact with all of reality, all of reality is continuously depending on it.
The prime mover that intends to create order (information) in the universe, while also continuously upholding all of creation, can only be understood as the eternal mind that underlies all of reality. This is otherwise known as God.
(Because of space, an anticipated argument against God using the evidential problem of evil is expected, and will be dealt with in a subsequent round.)
The Rationality of Christianity- A Posteriori Arguments
The Historicity of Christ.
There are 12 historical facts that most secular (non-christian) critical scholars agree to. They are (1):
-Jesus died by crucifixion.
-He was buried.
-His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
-The tomb was empty (the most contested).
-The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus.
-The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.
-The resurrection was the central message.
-They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.
-The Church was born and grew.
-James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).
-Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).
There are three possible scenarios: The early disciples all had hallucinations of Christ at different times and places and were convinced that it was real; The early disciples hid Christ's body from the tomb, spread the lie that he was resurrected, and were tortured and killed to protect that lie; or Christ was resurrected by God and this is what the apostle's saw and preached.
The apostles directly denied that what they saw were hallucinations. (2) This either leaves the apostles lying and then dying for that lie, or the resurrection actually happened. I argue that Christ was really resurrected by God, because it is not reasonable to believe that they lied. If anyone objects to this (like my opponent), then they must give a motive for why the apostles would be tortured and killed for the lie- what was their benefit? Also, examples must be given for people who died protecting something they knew to be a lie (not examples of people dying for what they believe to be true, but what they definitely knew was false). If these two problems are not refuted, one must conclude that Christ was resurrected by God.
The Historicity of Genesis
This is the most controversial and misunderstood aspect of Christianity. The document of Genesis claims that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. It claims that Adam was the first man who ever lived, that he was created fully formed by God, that he lived almost 1,000 years, and that this happened around 6,000 years ago. It also claims that there was a flood that covered the entire earth around 4,400 years ago, and that the entirety of the human population was wiped out, save Noah and his family- 8 people- causing a genetic bottleneck.
What makes these claims controversial is that they are laughable in the academic climate of the modern day. Science is said to have proved these events demonstrably false. What makes these claims misunderstood, is that those who argue in favor of these beliefs are generally scientifically illiterate, and base their beliefs solely on an ancient text. It is those people that paint the picture for the type of person who holds these beliefs.
It is sad that this is the case, and it nearly destroys the possibility of a rational discussion regarding the nature of origins. And in me bringing this up, I destroy my own credibility- I must commit academic suicide. I hope that my opponent can put aside his pre-conceived notions about the nature of this debate, and face the arguments on their own merits, without appealing to straw-man and bandwagon fallacies.
It is worth noting that the critics of evolution go beyond mere religious people. (3)
Also, some of the current creation scientists were once evolutionary scientists who were persuaded by the evidence for creation before they converted to Christianity. (4)
Now, as the arguments that cover this topic are wide-ranging, and I am becoming very limited on space, I will bring to light just one argument that both destroys evolutionary theory and proves recent creation. (I am more than happy to cover more topics in this area in subsequent rounds, if need be.)
Dr. John Sanford is a geneticist who created the gene gun (5). He has written a book entitled: Genetic Entropy (6). As the primary argument for evolution is that we are slowly evolving and improving, this book demonstrates that there is no scientific evidence to corroborate that, rather, we are de-volving. Not only does this attack the evolutionary dogma of the current day, but it emphasizes a very scary and devastating point- all species are heading towards extinction!
Now, I would love for my opponent and any interested to read the book, but I recognize that it is asking people to spend money and invest a decent amount of time, so I will also reference a lecture on this topic, summarizing his thesis and main points: (see reference 7)
To briefly summarize:
The genome is subject to decay. With every new generation, new mutations are added. Species can only contain so many mutations before they reach the threshold and become extinct. Natural selection isn't good enough to weed out all of the mutations. Even "beneficial" mutations are subject to decay. Therefore, evolution is impossible, and perfect creation with decay fits the model.
(out of space, more detail later)
(2) Luke Chapter 24
You have no evidence for this. Additionally, your definition of information would be more appropriately termed communication. The words can make sense in a sense one can call information, but without minds, information as you defined it does not exist. You might reply with a definition that would be closer to calling things truths, but then the rest of your argument falls apart because truths exist independent of senders and receivers, they are just how things are.
"The prime mover is not dependent on any part of reality." Why do you say this? We perceive reality as the stuff in the universe, but if that is just an outgrowth or change in form of quantum fluctuations, then both the fluctuations and the outgrowth are part of reality, reality itself is just changing form.
"The cat is higher up on the form of complexity. A cat cannot be both a cat and dog at the same time." I can, however make many things out of cats and dogs like tennis rackets, chili, and a cat-dog.
" However, cells are not limited to cats, and can be formed to exist in other animals. " Cat cells are limited to cats, they are part of the cat DNA. We share many traits, but there will be differences in the genotype and phenotype of those traits.
"Recall the famous double split experiment, where a single photon behaved both like a particle and a wave. This is possible because boundaries decrease as we travel down the chain of existence." I am not going to accept your one sentence explanation of quantum physics without a source.
" It is necessarily limitless." Why?
"Also, because it is at the lowest point in the chain of existence, it can interact with all of reality. " Why would one assume that the prime mover be able to interact with all of reality? I could imagine a model of reality where the prime mover is a ball that perpetually pours out matter via magic. It would be sufficient to cause a universe, but it could never interact with the universe because the universe would be constantly moving away from it. This is not a factually accurate model, it is just meant to show that a prime mover need not be able to interact with all of reality.
"Not only does this prime mover interact with all of reality, all of reality is continuously depending on it. " Once a ball is kicked, it no longer depends on the kicker to keep it moving.
"The prime mover that intends to create order (information) in the universe, while also continuously upholding all of creation, can only be understood as the eternal mind that underlies all of reality. This is otherwise known as God."
1) Information is an understanding of facts by minds, not an intrinsic property of the universe. People often equivocate when referring to things like DNA as being information, but it is only information to us because we can understand it. Without minds, it is just some physical truths. Additionally, that you can translate some facts into a language does not mean that there is an intrinsic language to them, it just means that we can make models that we can understand.
2) The prime mover does not need to maintain creation as demonstrated with my ball example.
This argument rested on flawed premises, and this led you to an improper conclusion here.
To your Historicity of Jesus argument:
Even if you prove that Jesus rose from the dead, that does not prove that he was God or that there was an afterlife. It would just prove that he rose from the dead.
That said, I would think it significantly more likely that the historians are wrong about the lives of the apostles, than that a man was executed and rose from the dead. As Hume would say, I will go with the lesser mystery.
The source you listed for this section is a dead link.
To your Historicity of Genesis argument:
Even if you were to disprove evolution, that would not prove creation. To assert that it would is an argument from ignorance fallacy.
"It is worth noting that the critics of evolution go beyond mere religious people."
That is an argument ad populum, but since you made one here I will make my own. Creation scientist extends to only 3% of scientists. http://www.patheos.com...
"Also, some of the current creation scientists were once evolutionary scientists who were persuaded by the evidence for creation before they converted to Christianity. "
I am not surprised that some people who are bad scientists will go somewhere like AIG where they can be paid to use bad science to convince scientifically illiterate people that modern science is just a conspiracy made up by religion bashers. I am also not surprised that they would write books to sell to people who have already decided that evolution must be false and will buy anything that supports that conclusion.
"Now, as the arguments that cover this topic are wide-ranging, and I am becoming very limited on space, I will bring to light just one argument that both destroys evolutionary theory and proves recent creation. (I am more than happy to cover more topics in this area in subsequent rounds, if need be.)
Dr. John Sanford is a geneticist who created the gene gun (5). He has written a book entitled: Genetic Entropy (6). As the primary argument for evolution is that we are slowly evolving and improving, this book demonstrates that there is no scientific evidence to corroborate that, rather, we are de-volving. Not only does this attack the evolutionary dogma of the current day, but it emphasizes a very scary and devastating point- all species are heading towards extinction! "
Everything is subject to entropy and the universe will eventually vanish. As to there being a "limit" on the number of mutations, well I will need some proof of that. Natural selection and cell cycle checkpoints weed out deleterious mutations.
I would also need you to demonstrate that this would not be a phenomenon associated with highly complex DNA thus leaving evolution unscathed.
I find it unreasonable to expect me to watch a 2 hour lecture on the subject in order to get that proof. Perhaps you could point to some research articles published in a scientific journal?
Thanks, Pro, for your rebuttals.
A Priori Arguments:
Mind Over Matter
My opponent argues that all of the information in the world (or 'truths' or 'communication' as he would prefer) would disappear if minds did not exist.
As I showed, the matter in this universe is structured in specific ways. Matter obeys the physical laws, organisms rely on genetic codes for reproduction, and so on and so forth. Information is the underlying principle, and matter is the medium through which it is expressed. If minds didn't exist, the physical laws of the universe would still exist. What are the laws, other than the necessary ordering of information?
Of course, my opponent is a materialist, and does not want to accept the logical conclusion of this argument. But chaos does not produce order.
A weak rebuttal was produced, and this argument still stands. If my opponent wants to reject this, he must show how chaos can produce order or that the universe isn't structured in very specific ways.
The Prime Mover
My opponent argued that the prime mover is quantum fluctuations that have changed form since the start of the universe. This statement is simply false.
The prime mover is what caused everything to exist. It itself must be beyond space, time, and limitations. These are necessary, prima facie conclusions.
So, even if my opponent wants to argue that quantum fluctuations did cause our universe to exist, that still doesn't answer what he understands to be the ultimate first cause of reality, if it isn't God.
My opponent argued that he can take apart a cat and create different things out of it. Okay, but then you don't have a cat anymore. I argued that a cat can't be both a dog and a cat at the same time. I outlined an example of the structures of reality, starting with a cat, and going down to cell structures, atoms, and quarks. Apparently, my opponent did not follow this argument. Everything that exists depends on a structure that is less complex than itself, continuing down until the ultimate existence- that which is without limitations.
My opponent asked for me to provide a source from my argument from quantum mechanics. I was proving an a priori explanation to a well known principle in physics through logical reasoning- a source is only relevant in a posteriori arguments.
My opponent then makes the claim that the prime mover of all reality could be a ball. This is simply false: a ball must be made out of some type of material property, one possibility being plastic. That plastic is structured from specific elements, made from specific atoms, with quarks, continuing down until we reach the actual prime mover. A prime mover cannot have boundaries, be a part of the material world, or even be in perpetual motion. These are prima facie qualities of the prime mover, and this rebuttal is woefully insufficient.
This conclusion that the prime mover is the limitless and continual cause of all reality still stands. Since my opponent seems not to understand this argument, and I am unable to understand his method of thinking, I would like to ask him to propose his understanding of what the prime mover is. Hopefully this may clear up some confusion.
A Posteriori Arguments
The Historicity of Jesus
First of all, I would like to deeply apologize that my source didn't work. Some of the text must have been deleted when I copy and pasted it. Here is the link: (1)
My opponent argued that even if Jesus was resurrected, it does not prove that God or the afterlife is a reality.
To counter that, I would argue that Jesus made very specific claims while he was living. He argued that He would be resurrected, that there was an afterlife, and that God would bring him back to life. So, if Jesus really was resurrected, it would be reasonable to conclude he was trustworthy about his claims about God and the afterlife. However, I recognize that my opponent doesn't readily concede that Jesus was resurrected. So, on to his arguments:
My opponent stated that he would rather believe that the majority of historians lack ability to do their job, then believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead. However, reality is determined by truth, not what we wish to be the case. My opponent argued that Jesus not rising from the dead is the lesser mystery, but I don't understand that train of thought. I exhausted all of the different possibilities of the interpretation of the resurrection. Are you arguing that the lesser mystery is that many people lied about a savior, then went on to preach to people so that they would be punished by cruel and unusual torture, rather than an ultimate God performing a minor miracle of raising one person from the dead?
Now, as my opponent did argue that he disagrees with the general consensus of historians (and I always approve of healthy skepticism), I would like to ask which of the generally accepted facts do you disagree with. (The reason I started with the general consensus of historians was because arguing for each proposition individually would have exhausted precious character space, this way we can have some initial starting point, and see where we disagree.) If I were able to know your specific objections, it would help me with knowing which historical writings and artifacts to reference to meet your objections.
The Historicity of Genesis
My opponent argued that disproving evolution does not prove creation. Okay, but I never made that argument. I would ask that my opponent not attack arguments that I haven't made. What I did argue was that the specific argument of genetic decay sufficiently disproves evolution, and to quote myself “perfect creation with decay fits the model.” Arguing that my paradigm is consistent with the empirical data is not a fallacy.
My opponent also argued that I made the fallacy ad populum. No, I argued that it was worth nothing that not all the critics of evolution were religious. That is not a fallacy. Again, please don't refute arguments I didn't make. My posts are very limited with space, and I don't appreciate having to waste most of them on countering fake arguments.
My opponent then attacked the character of those scientists who were persuaded by the evidence of creation, and left behind their evolutionary beliefs. Why attack people you have never met, that you have no idea of what their specific reasons were for changing their minds, and that did something that you seem to be so wholeheartedly against- recognize and opposing opinion, giving it a fair evaluation, and going where the evidence leads?
My opponent then argued that he needed proof for the argument that there was a threshold for the amount of mutations an organism can have before it reaches extinction. I did provide him with more than sufficient evidence, but he stated he did not find it reasonable to spend so much time watching a lecture for this debate. I did not personally find it unreasonable to expect my opponent to watch it, but I apologize for assuming my expectations would match is.
He then asked for a reference to papers published in scientific journals that corroborate this argument. Here is a link to a fountain of scientific papers on the subject: (2)
New Argument: Miracles
Because I have extra space this round, I will introduce a new argument: Miracles do happen!
Craig S. Keener (3) is received his Ph.D in New Testament Studies from Duke University. He has published a book (4) on miracles. Here is a brief, few minute interview (5) and a longer lecture for viewers of this debate who are interested (6).
The author researched the credibility of miracles from various cultures all around the world. There are over one thousand accounts in his book (he was very extensive and it took him many years to accomplish).
In the book, he provides examples of everything from simple medical healings to people being raised from the dead, all by people praying in the name of Jesus.
Also, 73 percent of American physicians believe in miracles, and 55 percent claim to have witnessed treatment results they consider miraculous (7).
I would argue that since so many people around the world now have documented evidence of their testimonies, and that well trained and educated physicians can corroborate the claims, it would be irrational to dismiss miracles as impossible or false.
And, if people are praying to Jesus and are being healed in ways that define medical explanation, even to the point where they are being raised from the dead, one should find it rational to believe that there does indeed exist a God who does interact with the world, and cares enough to answer the prayers of the faithful.
My opponent stated in the comments section that I should be prepared for the evidential problem of evil argument. I don't mind addressing it, mostly because I recognize how strong many people believe this argument to be. However, my opponent has not formally introduced the argument. I would prefer he posit his understanding of it, and how he believes it refutes the existence of God, so that I can adequately meet his objections.
So, since I have run out of space again, I will deal with the evidential problem of evil, and will hopefully also be able to bring to the table the (a priori) moral argument for God. I will argue that objective moral values exist, and that God is the only possible cause as to how that can be. My opponent may begin his objection next round in preparation for me (he can either argue that objective moral values don't exist, or argue that they can exist without God).
Good luck to Pro next round. I look forward to your objections.
That is Ad Hominem.
"Information is the underlying principle, and matter is the medium through which it is expressed. " No, Information is simply a description of the matter, not its cause.
" If minds didn't exist, the physical laws of the universe would still exist. What are the laws, other than the necessary ordering of information?"
The "Laws" are our way of describing events that occur regularly. Information, as you seem to want to define it, is necessarily tied to everything, but it has no causal power. I think you are equivocating legal laws with physical ones.
"A weak rebuttal was produced," A weak rebuttal? I showed that your premises are unjustified and thus your conclusion is unjustified.
What you have done is tried to argue that the wetness of water can exist without the water and then done some mental gymnastics to take that flawed separation and turn it into a god.
Let's re-examine your argument
P1: Information is the underlying principle of reality.
-As I showed, information, in the way you try to discuss it is just a property of reality, not its cause.
P2: Information requires a sender.
-Communication requires a sender, rote information exists whether or not it is being sent
C: There is a sender that caused all of the information (order) in reality.
-This does not work because you equivocated information between premise 1 and 2 and even if you hadn't premise 1 is false.
To your Prime Mover Rebuttals:
"My opponent argued that the prime mover is quantum fluctuations that have changed form since the start of the universe. This statement is simply false.
The prime mover is what caused everything to exist. It itself must be beyond space, time, and limitations. These are necessary, prima facie conclusions. "
If the quantum fluctuations are eternal, then they are a perfectly reasonable prime mover. What does beyond space, time, and limitations mean and why do you think that a prime mover must be unlimited? I do not see these as evidently true.
"So, even if my opponent wants to argue that quantum fluctuations did cause our universe to exist, that still doesn't answer what he understands to be the ultimate first cause of reality, if it isn't God." You would need a first cause for your god. Typically apologists do a bit of special pleading here by calling their god an uncaused cause, but I can do the same with quantum fluctuations.
"My opponent asked for me to provide a source from my argument from quantum mechanics. I was proving an a priori explanation to a well known principle in physics through logical reasoning- a source is only relevant in a posteriori arguments." I still reject this, it is ludicrous to give a one sentence explanation of quantum physics. That said, it isn't that important to your arguments.
"My opponent then makes the claim that the prime mover of all reality could be a ball."
I specifically said a magic ball. You must have missed that bit because all of your rebuttal is defeated by the magicness. The magic ball that pours out matter and energy is a perfectly fine prime mover. This once again shows that prime movers need not interact with all of reality(if you read my explanation in the prior round).
The prime mover is typically referred to as the uncaused cause, that which is responsible for all motion and/or matter in the universe. My magic ball pouring out matter and energy fits this without needing to constantly maintain its creations or being able to interact with them. It is apologists who add lots of bells and whistles to the prime mover to try to show that a god exists.
"Here is the link: " That is a really bad source. It is a random church with no citation claiming that most historians believe things that seem to support the beliefs of the church. I can make a very similar website and claim that no historians believe those things and call it a source.
" I would argue that Jesus made very specific claims while he was living. " Nothing he said was written down until hundreds of years after he died and it was not by anyone who had any direct encounters with him(if he existed at all). There is no way to verify his words, but even if there were it still would not prove that he was God or that there was an afterlife.
I will explain. In the popular series "The Highlander", there are immortals who can only be killed by decapitation. All other methods of killing are nonfatal to them. They appear to die, but after a period of time they revive. If such an immortal were crucified, his body would appear to die, then he would resurrect. If he made religious claims, those claims would be false despite his immortality.
I will try an even more direct way of saying it. If I claim X, Y, and Z and then prove X, it in no way proves or even implies that Y and Z are true.
" Are you arguing that the lesser mystery is that many people lied about a savior, then went on to preach to people so that they would be punished by cruel and unusual torture, rather than an ultimate God performing a minor miracle of raising one person from the dead?" Yes. I am arguing that people doing things that we have seen done and have mechanisms for is less mysterious than an all powerful magician for whom we have zero evidence. By the way, dying for your beliefs is not unique to Christianity. By this logic, pretty much every religion is proven true which is impossible since they are mostly mutually exclusive.
"My opponent then attacked the character of those scientists" I "attack" them because there are much better explanations for them espousing science that runs counter to the evidence and that is financial motivation.
"He then asked for a reference to papers published in scientific journals that corroborate this argument. Here is a link to a fountain of scientific papers on the subject:"
Most of these papers have nothing to do with the subject, but I will address a few of the ones that are at least relevant.
This one uses a computer model to test mutations on a hypothetical bit of DNA. They determine that as you get more complex, beneficial mutations become more rare. The conclusion was not that you cannot evolve to a human over billions of years, rather that using their computer model you can show that evolutionary rates of change slow as the DNA gets more complex. However, we are assuming that their computer model is a good one.
Another computer model we are assuming is good and that is being run properly.
A huge issue with all the studies that even remotely relate to the idea of genetic decay is that they have had almost no impact at all in science. You can use search engines like Google Scholar to determine if this research is actually used by anyone in the field. When I type random words into there I get studies that are cited thousands of times. The first article was cited 5 times. The second was cited 6 times. Most of these citations are the authors citing themselves. This tells us that people in science find no value in the research used to support this hypothesis. My opponent is bringing up fringe science rejected by pretty much all experts in the field. As I said before, there is a motivation for this. Creationist organizations will pay people who would otherwise not be very successful in science to produce studies like these regardless of whether they are even remotely true.
If you examine the history of science, when new ideas come around that challenge the mainstream, they are examined and either rejected or accepted based on their merits. Unlike religion, science is not some dogmatic practice where we start with an answer and look for evidence. Scientists start with evidence and follow it to an answer.There is no holy book of science. Science is constantly improving and reaching new conclusions. For example, quantum mechanics was thought to be crazy nonsense by some of our best scientists, but after sufficient testing and proof, the scientific community accepted quantum mechanics.
"perfect creation with decay fits the model" Of course magic fits as an explanation, but you need to demonstrate that is exists.
"I would argue that since so many people around the world now have documented evidence of their testimonies, and that well trained and educated physicians can corroborate the claims, it would be irrational to dismiss miracles as impossible or false. "Argument ad populum + Argument from authority=double fallacy. This is not proof of miracles, though it might be evidence of mistaken attribution of causation or confirmation bias.
I watched parts of the long video and all of the short one. All I am seeing is more mistaken attribution of causation and stories of miracles that mostly occur in 3rd world countries. I am not seeing anything that looks like a miracle.
If you want evidence of miracles, find a study showing that prayer correlates with healing and that it is specific to your religion(ie not a placebo). Find a person who had his head chopped off and grew a new one. Don't point me to things that have naturalistic explanations.
Evidential Argument from Evil:
This deals with an Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent, Omnipotent (4O) God.
1) A 4O god can prevent all evils that do not lead to a greater good.
2) A 4O god is aware of all evils that do not lead to a greater good.
3) A 4O god would want to prevent all evils that do not lead to a greater good.
4) Evils that do not lead to a greater good exist.
C) A 4O God does not exist.
Examples of evils that do not lead to a greater good:
AIDS(esp in babies)
Pain experienced by a person on his deathbed
Rape of children
A deer suffering as it burns in a forest fire
Thanks, Pro, for your further arguments.
Mind Over Matter
My opponent argued that I used the ad hominem fallacy. This fallacy is when a statement is mead about a person's character trait, and then claiming that causes their argument to be invalid. I merely stated that because my opponent is a materialist, he has motivations for not accepting my arguments. This would be akin to saying that because a person has a commitment to Judaism, then they would hold reserves from accepting Christian conclusions. I would ask my opponent to be more careful when making assertions that I'm committing fallacies, something I repeatedly asked last round.
My opponent still argues that information is simply a description of matter. This would be akin to saying that language is merely a description of sounds that we make. Whether you want to call it “information”, “description”, “communication”, or whatever, there is an underlying principle that causes reality to be ordered, so that it can function. If there was no order to the universe, we would not be able to be having a conversation right now.
My opponent claims he refuted my premise that: Information is the underlying principle of reality.
In order for him to refute that, he either needed to argue that the universe is not ordered (which is demonstrably false, as already proven), or that chaos can cause order. I stated this in the last round, and he did not argue for either of these. My conclusion still stands.
My opponent does not agree that the qualities of a prime mover include being beyond space, time, and limitations.
If the prime mover had the quality of space, that would be arguing that space caused itself, or that time causes itself, etc. These would be contradictions. This is why it is prima facie false. The prime mover necessarily is outside of space-time. So, even if you want to argue that quantum fluctuations caused THIS universe to exist, you still need to explain where that came from. Quantum fluctuations already include space, matter, and limitations.
In order to rebut my prime mover argument, my opponent asked us to imagine a magical ball with magical properties. This is supposed to be a discussion based on reason, based on the actual world. You cannot refute a logical a priori argument by imagining something that could not exist in the actual world. This is nonsense. This would be akin to me making the argument that a square circle cannot exist, with my opponent then rebutting with “but imagine a magical square circle, there, I refuted your argument!” My opponent then maid the claim that it is theists who add “bells and whistles” to God. The conclusions I made of God, or the prime mover, were all based on logical a priori conclusions- nothing was superfluous.
Historicity of Jesus
My opponent made a false claim about the link I presented. It is splattered with sources for all of the claims it makes.
My opponent argued that none of New Testament was written until hundreds of years until after he died. He gave no evidence to support this claim.
We have early church fathers in the first and second centuries that were already quoting texts from the New Testament, proving that the New Testament was at least written in the first century (1).
Another argument for the historicity of Jesus is the Nazarene Edict (2).
This edict prohibits people from stealing bodies from grave, especially for religious purposes. This law was enacted in the first century in Nazareth. Now, it is interesting that such a law would be established, unless there was significant event where a holy body had disappeared, and it caused enough controversy to establish the need to harsh precautions. I argue that the reason for this edict was Jesus' body disappearing.
I did not argue that Jesus being resurrected automatically proved his other claims about the afterlife. I argued that it was reasonable to trust his words.
My opponent then argued that it is not that unbelievable for people to die for their religion. Okay. But this is not what I argued, and I'm growing weary having to continually restate my arguments because they continually become straw-manned.
There is a difference between a person dying for what they believe to be true, versus dying for what they know to be a lie. If a Muslim believes that sacrificing himself will earn him a spot in heaven, that shows that he is sincere in his beliefs. Now, with the case of the apostles, they were the witnesses of Jesus. They were the first followers of the faith. If they were the ones that created the religion, as you are claiming, that would mean they knew that Jesus was a fraud. That also means that they continued to be persecuted, tortured, and killed for that lie. Why would anyone do that? I asked for you to show me a case where people will die defending a lie. You have continually failed to do so for two rounds. My arguments remain standing.
Historicity of Genesis
My opponent argued that creationists' claims are false because they are motivated by money. This is an actual ad hominem fallacy, as opposed to his false claim of me earlier. Also, I would like to ask my opponent: “Where are these creationists that are making such a financial gain?”
My opponent argued that science is what can be repeatedly tested and repeatedly proven to be true. There even may be times, like with quantum mechanics, where people were very opposed to it early on, but that didn't make it false. Ironically, he then argues that genetic entropy, while being in its early phases, must be false because it is not making much of an impact. Luckily, real science is determined by the data that can be repeated, not by the amount of adherents.
My opponent argued that the papers do not support the claims that I have made. Did he even read the papers?
On the paper of using natural selection to preserve biological information, it was shown that there will be deleterious mutations that will escape the “notice” of natural selection. These mutations will accumulate over time, resulting in continues erosion of genetic information. This is genetic decay. You would need to start with a perfectly ordered genome to decay over time to match the results of what we have today. Evolution is impossible, because the information is only decaying over time, not improving.
Imagine you had a novel. Every so often, copies would be made, and every new copy, there would be mistakes and errors. After a while, the book would eventually be unreadable. (Creation with moderate decay)
Imagine you had a book that had only one sentence. After just a couple copies the sentence would be unreadable. (Evolution could never get started)
This is what the results are showing.
My opponent falsely accused me of making the argument ad populum and argument from authority fallacies. I really wish he would be more careful about making false accusations, because it continually wastes my character space. Please. Stop. Doing. This.
The argument ad populum means that I'm arguing since the majority believe it to be true, then it must necessarily be true. I did not use this fallacy. I argued that since so many people around the world (and this is not even remotely close to the most people), it would be irrational to dismiss their claims, not that their claims are automatically true.
The argument from authority is when a person argues that since this authority figure believes this, then it must necessarily be true. I did not argue this. I argued that if educated physicians believe in miracles, we should not dismiss testimonies to be false.
My opponent raises the fair critique that the importance of understanding the miracle claims is understanding what the true causation is. He offered that the placebo effect may be a good explanation. I fail to understand how the placebo effect can raise someone from the dead. This rebuttal is woefully insignificant.
My opponent argued that miracles can't exist, and there will always be a natural explanation. He then ironically argues if a person with his head cut off grew a new one, then a miracle would be the best explanation. This is intellectual hypocrisy.
Evidential Argument of Evil
My opponent did not use the evidential argument of evil. He used the logical problem of evil. The logical problem of evil has been refuted for millenia now. It argues that there cannot be evil in a world with a god, but of course philosophers have continuously proven that free will necessitates at least some evil.
The evidential problem of evil states that there are excessive amounts of evil in the world, and that an all loving God would prevent a certain amount of those evils. The first issue with this argument is that it is impossible to prove that there are excessive amounts of evil. Secondly, with my miracles argument, I have shown that God does interact and provide miracles to those that pray to Him. Thirdly, the term evil needs to be defined.
A utilitarian would define good as pleasure and bad as pain. Thus, they would argue that there is evil in the world whenever they see pain.
A theist would argue that good is what is just and evil is sin. So, if people may go through painful experiences (emotions and physical harm is not evil) which results in then becoming a better person (soul building), then that would mean there is mostly good in the world.
My opponent would need to justify his stance that evil is that which is painful.
Morality is objective in this universe. Things like murder and rape are always wrong in any context, not depending on culture. If there was no god, morality would only be relative, and culture could only construct arbitrary laws stating what is “good” or “bad”. However, because objective morals exist, there is necessarily a moral lawgiver.
If my opponent wants to refute this, he must argue that morality is subjective, or supply an alternative explanation for objective morals.
"In order for him to refute that, he either needed to argue that the universe is not ordered (which is demonstrably false, as already proven), or that chaos can cause order. I stated this in the last round, and he did not argue for either of these. My conclusion still stands." I really don't, but I will point out that the universe started out as a mass at one point and will eventually become nothing due to entropy. All acts and changes increase the disorder of the universe, so your idea that the universe is ordered is somewhat correct, but that is because it started out that way. What you look at and call order(evolution, computers, cookies) is actually a net increase in the disorder of the universe.
I have now, in multiple ways, taken apart your first argument. Please stop repeating this invalid argument. It will never convince me that there is a god because it it not a good argument. The challenge was to convince me, not to repeat something that you find convincing over and over.
"If the prime mover had the quality of space, that would be arguing that space caused itself, or that time causes itself, etc." Or space and time always existed and the prime mover just worked within them.
As to the bells and whistles, he makes an argument that the prime mover must lack boundaries(which really just means is more simple, so it can be turned into more stuff) and then in his first set of arguments just tacks on the idea that the prime mover constantly supports all of reality and interacts with it. He then also just tacks on the idea that the prime mover can choose to do anything.
My opponent wants to argue for an all powerful magician, but he thinks my magic ball is improper? That is rather strange and he tries to straw man it by comparing it to a square circle.
"My opponent made a false claim about the link I presented. It is splattered with sources for all of the claims it makes." I thought those were just advertising links that you see on lots of webpages. That said, these sources are not helpful. They are just a bunch of people claiming in video form that biblical scholars believe parts of the bible. I have yet to see a source showing me that the majority of historians believe things like the resurrection or the manner in which the bible claims that the apostles were killed(which still wouldn't prove that those things happened).
"There is a difference between a person dying for what they believe to be true, versus dying for what they know to be a lie." " That also means that they continued to be persecuted, tortured, and killed for that lie. Why would anyone do that?"
People can convince themselves that they saw things they never saw. Memory is a terrible device to use to keep track of events. Maybe they believed it.
That said, I'm not convinced that any of the claims about the apostles are true since they never wrote any of it down and it wasn't written until well after the death of Jesus, if he ever existed.
That the bible is a little history with a lot of myth thrown is far more likely than either there being an all powerful magician or than people dying for a cause that they know is false.
We already know the exodus never happened. I see no reason to also doubt the apostle stories or anything else in this book.
"I did not argue that Jesus being resurrected automatically proved his other claims about the afterlife. I argued that it was reasonable to trust his words." My rebuttal was devastating to this point of yours and to your points about the apostles. If he rose from the dead, that only proves that he can survive a crucifixion. This would have convinced the apostles that he was god(as this unverifiable and unproven claim has convinced you). They would then be perfectly willing to die for the cause. Personally, I doubt all of the stories though there might have been a particularly charismatic preacher that became a legend.
As to evolution, my opponent is enamored with the research of people who are considered to be terrible at what they do by the experts in their fields. Neither of us have the education necessary to be sure of who is right, but it is reasonable to defer to the experts and the experts have seen and rejected the work of these people. The work, by the way, is just writing a computer program that tells them what they wanted it to tell them so they could "disprove" one of the most well proven facts in all of science. The "Ad Hominem" I raised was simply a rational explanation for why people would knowingly push bad science. I do, however, find it interesting that my opponent is so excited to try to show that mainstream historians back up his beliefs, but when the mainstream biologists do not support his beliefs, he goes to fringe biologists who have no credibility in the field.
"I fail to understand how the placebo effect can raise someone from the dead. This rebuttal is woefully insignificant."I never called a resurrection a placebo, for that I go to mistaken attribution of causation.
"My opponent argued that miracles can't exist, and there will always be a natural explanation. He then ironically argues if a person with his head cut off grew a new one, then a miracle would be the best explanation. This is intellectual hypocrisy." I never said these things. I asked you to give me good evidence, not the same weak garbage I have seen over and over that is easy to explain naturally. I am fairly certain you don't have any good evidence or I would not be getting this stuff that is clearly based in placebo, confirmation bias, and mistaken attribution of causation.
"My opponent did not use the evidential argument of evil. He used the logical problem of evil. The logical problem of evil has been refuted for millenia now. It argues that there cannot be evil in a world with a god, but of course philosophers have continuously proven that free will necessitates at least some evil." I did not use the logical problem of evil. The logical problem of evil states that god would prevent all evil. That one is refuted by pointing out that evils can lead to a greater good.
The evidential problem of evil has 2 forms. One form relates to the quantity of evil and the other to the quality. I prefer the one relating to its quality.
"My opponent would need to justify his stance that evil is that which is painful."That isn't my stance.
There are 2 forms of evils in philosophy, moral evils and natural evils. Moral evil would be me punching a guy in the face for no reason. Natural evils are AIDs in a baby or an earthquake. A 4O god would prevent many of the evils we see such as babies being raped or being given AIDs, but he just sits there watching and refusing to help. If you argue that he is allowing free will, well if he interferes with rapist he violates the rapist's free will and if he ignores it he is allowing violation of the rape victim's free will. Either way his choice will end up with a free will violation. If there is an all powerful god he clearly sides with rapists and is thus not 4O. Thus a 4O god cannot exist.
"If there was no god, morality would only be relative, and culture could only construct arbitrary laws stating what is "good" or "bad". However, because objective morals exist, there is necessarily a moral lawgiver."
This one has been debunked since Plato.
Is a law that god gives good because it is a good law or is it good because the god gave it? If the former, then the god is irrelevant to morality and if the later, then morality is arbitrary and just based on the decisions of the strongest being.
Objective morality is very simple. Christians define it as obeying their god(who sanctions slavery, rape, murder, and genocide(the flood))
The moral argument is logically unsound and if you look at the morality in your book, quite frankly you would be a monster if you followed it.
Secular morality is simple. An act is good or bad in accordance with its effect on the net wellbeing of those impacted by the act and relative to the choices available.(that last bit is you can't use this to justify stopping a gang rape then raping the girl yourself because technically it is a better situation than before) You might not call that objective, but I don't really care if you do
Thank you, Pro, for your next round of arguments.
Mind over Matter
My opponent and I are at an impasse. He is failing to understand my argument, and seems to think he can refute it without addressing my challenges.
Perhaps if I give an analogy, it will help clear the clutter:
Imagine we saw a bunch of letters in the sand, following a certain pattern that spelled out in plain english “Hello.”
I am arguing that chaos cannot produce order. When one sees this pattern in the sand, one recognizes that there was a sender, a person who ordered the matter so that a receiver could understand the message.
What my opponent would be saying, in this analogy, is that the way that the marks in the sand form is not information, but just a “fact of the universe”, it just came to exist on its own, through no intention.
I challenged him to propose a method in which chaos can give rise to order, and he has repeatedly refused to accept that challenge.
If chaos cannot produce order, then my argument stands: There is a sender who ordered the universe. If my opponent argues that he is not convinced, or still wants to state that I am making an equivocation fallacy, that is fine, as the intelligent voter will recognize that he has not attacked my argument.
I demonstrated to my opponent the impossibility that space and time could be eternal, and he yet still continued to assert that they are eternal. I ask the reader to question who really is the one continuing the same invalid argument, even when having been disproved multiple times.
My opponent finally understood the impact of my argument, that the apostles would not have willingly proclaimed the gospel to the point of persecution and death if they realized it was a fraud. And, since they were the witnesses of Christ, that either means they were delusional, or that they correctly reported what they saw. Since my opponent claims that the apostles convinced themselves of its truth. However, I already refuted this when showing that the apostles directly denied hallucinating.
Realizing the power of this argument, he then repeats the same argument as before, that the apostles didn't write any of it down, even though I refuted this with evidence.
He then argues that if Jesus was resurrected (without the means from the Christian God), it would give a reasonable answer as to why the apostles accepted him as some type of god. Now, my opponent is being very inconsistent in his arguments. I do recognize that he puts in trollish topics, and equates the Christian God to a magical ball (straw-man and false equivocation), which makes it difficult to take my opponent seriously, especially when he's requesting sound arguments.
My opponent also argues the Exodus never happened, again, without any evidence, and only making baseless assertions (he posts links to biased sources with no evidence, only more baseless assertions).
It contains links to a movie and many books on the subject, including an agnostic Egyptologist supporting the evidence of the Exodus event.
There were records of hebrew names living in ancient egypt, statues fitting the descriptions of biblical characters, reports of plagues from God destroying the cities that match the biblical descriptions, etc.
If my opponent wants to make more specific claims that the Bible is inaccurate in history, I welcome the easily refutable arguments and will tackle them in my final round.
Historicity of Genesis
My opponent argues that the “experts in the field of science” (no true Scotsman and appeal to authority fallacies) consider those who support genetic entropy as terrible. I would like to ask him to supply evidence so we can see which scientists are critiquing the arguments of genetic entropy, and what are the arguments that refute it?
My opponent argued it was interesting that I support mainstream historians, but not mainstream biologists. First, this is incorrect. Mainstream historians do not believe the interpretation of events in which Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Mainstream historians merely accept the basic facts of history, and they alter in the interpretations of events. This is like biology, creationists and evolutionists accept the empirical facts, but differ on the interpretations of it (specifically in reference to origins). He continues to argue that the minority position is automatically false (bandwagon fallacy), and continues to argue that creationists are motivated by money (ad hominem), still without showing evidence as to which creationists are making bank. Ironically, I would argue the inverse. Creationists are constantly attacked by the rest of the field, they lose their tenure, and end up losing vast amounts of money. I would ask my opponent, why would a rational person do this, unless they were convinced of the evidence of creation they continue to report?
My opponent argues that the explanation of someone being raised from the dead is a case of mistaken attribution. Okay. What is the correct explanation of events? If someone has been declared dead, and they are then prayed for in the name of Jesus, and they come back to life, and this has been reported multiple times, how is it then irrational to not at least consider the possibility that the correct explanation is God? To not even want to consider a possibility that has strong correlations seems intellectually sloppy to me.
Problem of Evil
I don't think my opponent correctly understands the difference between the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil, because his using the logical problem.
The logical argument states that God cannot logically exist.
I ask that my opponent clarify which position he is taking. If he is taking the logical, this has been refuted for millenia, and atheists concede to the arguments. This is why the evidential problem of evil was created.
If my opponent is arguing for the evidential, it does not prove that God doesn't exist, it merely argues that God is likely to not exist.
In the specific case that my opponent offered, that of rape, he argues that God ought to prevent the raper from committing the act. However, the results in violating his free will.
I would like to also acknowledge the Socratic and Stoic answer to the problem of evil: No evil happens to a good person. The argument is that we are entirely in control of our own free will. Events can happen to us, from other people or from nature, but we choose how we respond to the actions. A person can harm my body, but they can't harm ME (my soul, free will, what have you).
Given the stoic response to evil, I have successfully refuted the objection that bad things happen to good people. No evil touches a good person.
My opponent attempts to use the Euthyprho dillemma to refute my moral argument for God.
Recall the argument to the prime mover. Whatever it is, it is the first thing that has ever existed. It is necessarily eternal. Because of this, ontology gives birth to teleology. The prime mover exists (ontology), and continues to do so (teleology). As teleology is the study of purpose, morality falls under this principle. Since the nature of existence is to continue to exist, this is then the essential principle of morality.
Morality isn't above God, or God doesn't arbitrarily define morals, rather, morality is part of the nature of God (the prime mover).
This is an objective definition of morality found by logical conclusions.
On the other hand, my opponent subjectively defines morality with no premises to justify his definition. He then states that he understands his definition is subjective. If that's the case, then my opponent is arguing that all morality is relative.
Given this, I can easily demonstrate that my opponent cannot consistently live out this conclusion.
If morality is relative, he then cannot object to anyone else's own definition of morality. So, if another person defines morality as doing what ever they want, he then cannot refute their claim. He must accept the validity. If somebody wants to steal from him, he can become upset that he lost possession of an item, but he cannot attempt to correct the other person from their “wrongdoing”, because there was no moral crime done. But people do not act this way. People become upset when others disobey intuitive moral guidelines.
At the end of the day, who would you find as more trustworthy? Someone who considers that the entire universe was created by chaos, that death is the finality of everything, and that morality is relative, or someone who believes in God, works on becoming a better person, and believes that everything they do has an eternal consequence?
Some of us believe are brains are intelligently designed, others, not at all :)
Good luck to Pro for the last round of arguments. I look forward to replying to your challenging conclusions!
My opponent was like a broken record with his first argument. I clearly demonstrated that the premises are an equivocation, a refutation he dodged from the very beginning. I also showed how his idea of how to defeat his argument is fallacious because the universe is becoming more chaotic, not less. We started with maximal order. I think my opponent was not prepared for rebuttals that go off his script and is now scrambling with his clearly bad logic.
My opponent also liles to claim to have proved a thing without doing so or with having his proof clearly refuted. He has no proof that space cannot be eternal, he is making it up. Just like he made up and never backed up his claim that information can exist without matter or minds. My magic ball works perfectly well as a prime mover, and I suggest my opponent educate himself on what the idea of a prime mover is. I gave a brief description but he clearly can't understand it. Notice how I can just as easily claim my opponent lacks understanding?
My opponent also needs to learn about psychology (or read the link I gave). People with false memories won't realize it is a false memory. Saying they denied being deluded is a non starter. Deluded people don't realize they are deluded.
My opponent then makes some incredibly dishonest moves. He has basically just posted videos of people from religions making claims without any hard proof for most of his sources and what little "hard proof" he offers comes from people known to be terrible scientists who just made up a computer program to support their irrational beliefs. These are highly biased sources. He then complains about my sources being biased. The archaeologists who proved the exodus never happened were Hebrews, if anything they were biased to your side and they still disagree with you. He has no evidential legs to stand on with the bible. Your book is fairy tails without backing and even if it had backing i showed how it would not prove a god existed.
My opponent also clearly did not apply his own style of reason to his rebuttal of my rejection of his pseudoscience. He likes to try to prove a thing by showing that the other options are silly(he failed at this, but he tried). Let's apply that to his pseudoscientists. What is more likely, that there is a conspiracy across all fields of science to hide the truth or that bad scientists lose their jobs and can only find work where people care more about being able to claim that a guy with a phd believes their nonsense than the truth? As to why I use the research impact, my opponent committed the snow plow fallacy. He tried to overwhelm me with piles of sources that were is unreasonable to expect me to need to sift through, so I use a junk filter and nothing he gave was able to survive. It is all junk research that is just done by fringe scientists. Even so, I showed how his evolution rebuttal in no way proves creation. I feel no need to specifically dissect sources that are shown to be garbage by their impact and do not help my opponent even if true.
My opponent gave no serious rebuttal to the problem of evil. Claiming it is refuted is not refuting it nor is claiming he would call it something else. Additionally, his claim that free will is so good that evil must be allowed contradicts the bible, which I doubt he has read. If he had read the Exodus, he would know that god hardened pharaoh's heart, ie interfered with his free will directly by taking it away. Additionally, all orders from god are a type of removal of free will. Basically, he does not understand the problem of evil. He also clearly did not read my reply because in my reply I pointed out that the refuted argument says "all evil", not "all evil that does not lead to a greater good". Like I have said a few times, you can see where my opponent has just memorized refutations or is googling them because any argument or rebuttal I give that is not available on places like william lane craig's website is not responded to. My opponent just pretends they didn't happen or calls me a troll. I hope the audience is smart enough to see this nonsense for what it is.
Also, con clearly skimmed my part about rape. I explained that whether or not a god interrupts a rape, free will is violated so any choice he makes results in a free will violation. A rather weak rebuttal by con.
Maybe this cartoon can explan how his free will idea is a fallacy.
Something my opponent also does not understand is that I attacked his position on multiple levels. My rebuttals only seem in conflict if you are unable to understand a reducio ad absurdum. I started by accepting his evidence and showing how it fails, then I went on to normal rebuttals and showed how all of his evidence is refuted, weak, and or both.
As to the moral argument, he fails again. Calling goodness god's nature does not solve the dilemma. It just shifts it. Now you ask if his nature is good because it is his or if it is good because it promotes good things. If the former then it is arbitrary, if the latter then morality does not depend on a god. I have read this shift before on william lane craig's webpage.
Con's stoic point is a non starter. I reject stoicism. It is some ideas based on bad psychology. Pointing out stoic ideas is not a proof that bad things do not happen to good people. If I have AIDS, I have had a bad thing happen to me. I would love to see con argue that raping a child is not bad, well he kind of did, but this just shows the level to which he will go morally bankrupt to support his false beliefs.
As to who I trust, I trust the people who are intellectually honest and who do good without an all powerful magician forcing them to do it. Christians ignore good evidence, cling to bad evidence, and get their morals from fear. I do not trust amoral people and the stance of following a book's list of rules for ethics is not a moral position, it is blind obedience.
Atheists follow good evidence and get morals from an innate sense of goodness backed by evidence. I pointed out that I don't care if my opponent rejects this as objective which clearly went off his script since his reply only makes sense if I claim to be sure of moral objectivity, which I have argued in the past is a badly defined term. Also, it is ridiculous to assert that I can't label people as immoral. I have an immoral framework and am free to use it. I don't care if you don't agree with me doing it, it makes sense and promotes wellbeing based on evidence. Your morals poison and corrupt the world. Read the bible, learn your rules. If an unwed virgin is raped she either marries the rapist or is executed. What a great system you have. So fair, so ethical. It is absurd to get morals from a god, but your god is a monster. It is beyond absurd to claim to get morality from the bible. Don't make the moral argument, it just makes your position look even weaker.
I notice that con has essentially said he is in favor of rape, murder, and slavery. He believes the bible as literal truth and law from a good go,d and the bible condones all of those things.
On the topic of a good god, con has made a whopping error made by most believers. He calls the god good and also says that we have no reference standard outside of god to determine good. How did he determine god is good if he can't know goodness without god. He basically defines good as god's nature which is a perversion of the idea of goodness.
Since I have lots of space because con didn't give me anything new and just ignored the rebuttals that don't fit the apologetics he seems to have memorized, I will use this space to give con some real evidence or just fun quotes.
Proof of the age of the earth (thus crushing con's young earthers)http://www.asa3.org...
General proof of evolution(in the snowball fashion my opponent seems infatuated with)
An expert here basically explains how creationists operate: https://youtu.be...
There is no serious scientific debate about whether evolution occurred. The debates relate to its mechanisms and its future.
The bible is a book of fairy tales and false history, it will not help you prove there is a god.
Honestly, this might have been my most annoying debate. Con ignored most of my rebuttals and rebutted points I never made. When he could not grasp my points, he accused me of not understanding him. I would be more politic, but the fake politeness with veiled or direct insults throughout con's replies was a bit much. I feel like I am playing chess with the proverbial pidgeo
I accepted this debate with V5RED because he proved honorable and intelligent in a previous debate. I was excited for a great exchange of thoughts, which diminished each round as he constantly made weak arguments and false accusations. Finally, in the last round, he discarded all sense of rational discussion with his blatant attacks:
He committed the act of blaming the victim when accusing me of making fallacious and absurd arguments. This is coming from a person who used an argument of a “magic ball” in response to logical deductions in relation to the prime mover.
He made a blatantly detestable false accusation of me, and I quote: “con essentially said he is in favor of rape, murder, and slavery.” It is accusations such as this one that truly show the character and commitment to truth that a person holds.
My opponent claims that I am ignorant of my own belief system. This is ironic, as the only argument he offered was the evidential problem of evil, but then mistakenly used the logical problem of evil.
My opponent argued that I used a “snow plow fallacy” and overwhelmed him with sources. My opponent had three days to respond to each debate round, and in each debate round I never sourced more than a few articles and a lecture (and my references never went over 7). If my opponent truly doesn't have enough time for minimal research, he shouldn't be debating complex topics.
Ironically, my opponent then “snow plowed” me with multiple arguments that are too complex for me to cover in conclusion round, and is especially distasteful after we agreed on no new arguments in the last round.
My opponent accused me of having a certain script. This is just disingenuous. He accuses me of being incapable of crafting me own arguments, and slanders me by stating that I am a plagiarist.
My opponent continually accused me of committing various fallacies (which I would then demonstrate how those claims were false), and then would ironically commit those same fallacies when attempting to refute my arguments.
Well, then, let's examine each argument and see the final conclusions:
Mind over Matter:
I argued that the universe is ordered (information is an inherent principle), and that requires a sender. My opponent argued that the universe just magically started off ordered (he did not explain how this is so), and conceded that the ordered universe becomes more chaotic over time. My next argument, the prime mover, demonstrates how the universe can start out ordered.
Through logical deduction, I argued that the prime mover must be beyond space, time and limitations.
My opponent argued that the prime mover could be a magical ball (inherently meaningless) or quantum fluctuations (necessarily contradictory).
Historicity of Jesus:
My opponent argued that it is in the realm of human psychology for multiple people at different times and places to have the same exact hallucination, and then all be so convinced of said hallucination that they will die for their beliefs.
I argued that the best explanation for the apostles dying for their beliefs was that they were convinced of what they saw to be true, and it was this integrity that caused the initial growth of the Christian religion.
Historicity of Genesis:
My opponent committed the bandwagon fallacy, arguing that because Creationists are the minority, they must be wrong.
I offered a credible scientist, the inventor of the gene gun (someone making important contributions to science and obviously understands his field), who has proposed a thesis consistent with his observations: genetic entropy. This thesis demolishes evolution and is consistent with creation.
My opponent did not respond to my arguments made in the 4th round. I expect this to mean he realized he had no valid refutation, and my arguments for the likelihood of the existence of miracles still stand.
Problem of Evil:
My opponent has an incoherent view of free will. If people are able to make free choices, there will necessarily be suffering in the world.
He then argues that if someone rapes someone else, this violates the victim's free will. No, this doesn't, and its absurd to think so.
Free will is the ability to make choices. The man may choose to rape a woman, and the woman may choose to prevent that from happening. Clearly, the person with the stronger force will achieve their desires, but this does not mean the person not obtaining their desires lost their free will. This would be akin to saying, “I want to fly. Since I can't, my free-will is violated.” No, my physical options, or lack there-of, do not take away my free will.
My opponent then argued that God took away Pharaoh's free will in regards to the Exodus event. No. Again, this Bible claims that God had a causal role in the physical options (i.e. the pharaoh had a higher desire for resistance in regards to the Hebrews), but again, physical options do not take away the free will.
Pro: “Calling goodness god's nature does not solve the dilemma. It just shifts it.” No, you presented a false dilemma, and your inability to understand the third option does not negate its truth value.
Example: If the nature of the law is that you cannot go past 60mph while driving, your subjective belief that the law is unjust does not negate the value of that law. You will get a ticket if you speed over the limit, and the officer will not be persuaded by your arguments that the system is unjust.
The understanding of God is that he is the prime mover who created all things. This is an eternal being creating purpose, consistent with his nature. Morality necessarily derives from the prime mover, as ontology gives birth to teleology.
My opponent argued that he rejected stoicism. Okay. I also reject stoicism. This should be obvious as I'm defending the Christian religion. A paradigm can be wrong but still have specific principles that are correct.
Socrates argued that evil doesn't touch good people. People can only cause their own evil. If a thief robs someone, the evil resides only in him, not the victim. He argued this before he was put to death for demonstrating critical reasoning skills to his society.
Allow me to give an analogy:
There are two women. Both of them get raped by the same guy. The first women becomes bitter, she pushes away many male figures in her life and resents that guy. The second woman forgives the guy; she pleads with him to become a better person. She uses that opportunity to relate to others in her situation, and shows them the way to happiness. If you understand the second person as a good person, you then understand that no evil touched her.
My opponent conceded that atheism cannot claim an objective moral stance. He then contradicts his paradigm by claiming that he can still hold others accountable to his subjective paradigm. If one person acquires good evidence that the best way to deal with thieves is to kill them on the spot, then according to your arguments, he is justified in immediately killing anyone who steals from him.
If you have your own sense of morals that you hold others accountable to, you have to recognize that others will also have theirs, and they will be contradictory to your system. Whose system should win, when one of you wrongs the other?
This is why society would collapse if atheism was true, and why it is demonstrable that people act according to an objective standard, above their personal opinion.
My opponent falsely accused me of a snowball tactic, then ironically uses the same tactic he criticizes.
He uses lots of articles to make arguments against biblical inaccuracies and the creation/evolution debate.
If one wants to consider themselves as an intelligent and open-minded person, it is important to evaluation the claims by both sides of an argument. One intellectually dishonest claim a person can make is that there is no debate to be had. This is generally said by people who don't want the evidence from the other side to be evaluated. If one wants to be sloppy and simply agree that there are biblical inaccuracies, and that there is no legitimate evidence for creation, then please don't listen to theologians and historians who spend enormous amounts of time replying to the critics, or to the scientists who supply evidences for a young earth.
I clearly need to be better at choosing others in which to spend time discussing complex topics with. There are people that respect the truth as much as they respect others. It is sad that so few of those people exist, but I hope to find them.
I do thank my opponent for the opportunity to present some arguments, and for the opportunity to deal with the pressure of such an impolite person. I hope that one day he becomes more respectful.