The Instigator
Zetsubou
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
annhasle
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points

Ones surroundings give you certain knowledge of the existence of a Deity.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,166 times Debate No: 12705
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (9)

 

Zetsubou

Con

Ones surroundings give you certain knowledge of the existence of a Deity.

In this thread ->Bible... a question - http://www.debate.org... <- (post #164), user annehasle claimed that from her surroundings she could prove the existence (or lack) of a Deity.

"My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but not a divine being."

This debate is annehasle's chance to prove this statement.
annhasle

Pro

I thank Zetsubou for the Debate Challenge and the chance to explain myself. I am slightly confused of why the burden of proof is laid upon me since usually the one stating "there is" something or another has to prove it. For example, if I were to say that faeries existed in gardens, I would have to prove there are faeries. Not the person who says there is not. But, regardless of my confusion, I will still post my argument out of respect to Zetsubou.

I am an atheist and a strong believer of natural selection, evolution and the Big Bang theory. Although my family always pushed that the Bible was a legitimate reason for my existence I never agreed.
Here's why;

a) the implausibility of there being a God who watches my every move, listens to my every thought, judges my life and can/will send my soul to a place of eternal suffering or bliss,

b) science can explain the world's existence along with my own with facts and figures instead of just one book and a horde of "believers"

c) the sheer number of religions before and after Jesus's appearance.

Reason A started my doubt since the basic idea of a God seemed unnatural and superstitious. I couldn't fathom why a God would exist let alone why it would even be concerned with my life.

Reason B presented an alternate explanation for existence which had been proven beyond a single doubt in my mind. It was easy and logical to understand at a young age and then comforting and reasonable as I grew older. The idea that our universe was created by the Big Bang was accessible and well explained by leading cosmologists over the years. Hubble's Law, Expansion of Space, Cosmic Background Radiation experiments (WMAP), Primordial elements, Galactic evolution and expansion and also Radiometric dating were used to help prove such a complex theory. And all reservations for such a theory based upon problems have been studied through experiments which are still underway even today. Natural Selection has been proven through evolution of species shown in fossils and skeletal structures from millenniums ago. Science has been explaining mysteries for thousands of years and each day we grow closer to more discoveries.
But in regards to religion, I never saw science and religion as being homogeneous. Science is about pushing boundaries and challenging the unknown with skill and knowledge. But religion was about accepting what we don't know and living with the mysteries as God's work. It seemed like a cop-out to me. As though the scientists went, "I don't know what this is or why it acts this way so God must have done it." What was considered God's work thousands or even hundreds of years ago have been explained by theories now. Why should our existence be any different? If they thought disease came from sin back then, how can they be trusted for explaining our origin?

Lastly, Reason C definitely showed fallacy in the idea of any religion. How can you accept one religion as truth when there have been hundreds of ones before it and then after it? Societies will condemn religions like Scientology as foolishness. But those who believe in it have just as strong conviction as Christianity, Judaism or Islam. Also, what about the Roman or Greek Gods? They were pushed aside by monotheistic religions but for thousands of years these ideals were law and reality for these people. In all societies, especially ones not corrupted by modernization or westernization, you will almost certainly find a religion, one that will stretch back through generations. They might believe in multiple spirits, sacrifice, possession by demons, etc. And when they are found, the majority of the world will laugh at the implausibility of their beliefs and stories. But why are the Abrahamic religions so easy to accept? Aren't they just as puzzling as the ancient religions?

When I look around and see other people, trees and buildings, I do not see a God's work. I see biology and architectural work by man. I see the products of evolution. I experience scientific phenomena like gravity everyday. Our hydrogen balls dubbed stars are not made by a God. Our oceans filled with life are not made by a God. My life was not given by a God. I look towards science for the reasons why and there I find the truth and logic.

Since hundreds of religions have different explanations for the origins of different species of life, how do you pick one as truth? Like I have explained before, based upon the implausibility of a religion and then the discrepancy of religion itself, along with the available scientific explanations, I will see biology. Not a spirit, or a gift of God. So Zetsubou, as a Christian, when you see a tree or a human life, how do you explain it?
Debate Round No. 1
Zetsubou

Con

Annhasle has accepted the change of resolution to:

Ones surroundings give you certain knowledge of the existence (or lack) of a Deity.

Little mistake I made.

Your surroundings do indeed prove some of the laws of biology and physics as objective, fact given that those claims are testable, however unless with absolute certainty(evidence) you cannot make claims about anything else.

I'll follow Pro's idea that the belief of in deity is implausible.
Implausibility does not equal impossibility. If you want to talk fallacy it is an argumentum ad probabilitam(unconventional) or argument from probability. What is likely or rational is not always true. The resolution does state that from ones surrounding you can be sure, certain even, of the existence or non existence of a God, how so? Nothing in the known world shows with absolute certainty and with objective evidence anything about that which appears to not exist.

To use your example(Dawkins') fairies at the bottom of the garden, you can't proven without a doubt that there are not fairies unless you go to the bottom of the garden.

RESOLUTION NEGATED

Sorry for the semantics, I thought you knew.
annhasle

Pro

Thank you for the timely response. Let's begin.

I want to start out with saying that I'm disappointed in the response I received. I understood beforehand that proving 100% that there is or is not a deity would be extremely difficult. But I was placated by the assumption that Zetsubou would also have to argue from such a hard position. When I put forward my argument, it was in hopes that he would then answer with how the world does prove a deity. But that did not happen. The only response I received was that I could not prove with absolute certainty that there is no God based on my surroundings. Then why challenge me? Why put forward such a debate when in the first round you were planning to state, "Sorry, can't happen" and then move on? With all due respect, I am confused on why I wrote such a response to your challenge and then you did not have to.

Regardless, I also want to respond to your statement. Implausibility does not state that it is impossible. It merely states that it is difficult to believe and on that basis, I drew doubt. I never stated that it was impossible so I will continue to argue from implausibility of a God and not probability like you suggested. When I stated that my surroundings could prove biology or physics and not a deity, I was not intending to state that with absolute certainty that there is absolutely no God based upon my surroundings. I was implying that, of course, my surroundings could be scientifically proven but could not prove a God. To prove there was a deity based on surroundings (like a tree or building) is (or at least pretty close to being) impossible.

However, since I cannot prove with absolute certainty that here is no God based upon my surroundings like Zetsubou believed I should have in this debate, I believe it to be over then? If not, I would gladly continue but with some minor adjustments. It would be a more fruitful debate if Zetsubou argued from the counterpoint, "your surroundings can prove a deity". And that absolute certainty should not be the deciding factor but maybe "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Zetsubou

Con

I'll start this round to answering annhasle's questions.

>When I put forward my argument, it was in hopes that he would then answer with how the world does prove a deity.
I was 'Con' to a statement/position you made, unless this was duel burdened debate(which I must have stated as so in the opening round 1), I see no way you could take it upon you

>The only response I received was that I could not prove with absolute certainty that there is no God based on my surroundings. Then why challenge me? Why put forward such a debate when in the first round you were planning to state, "Sorry, can't happen" and then move on? With all due respect, I am confused on why I wrote such a response to your challenge and then you did not have to.
This debate revolved around your original statement on the forums which in order to be true requires the certain non existence of god. Your an intelligent person and I was sure that was not what you had intended to mean in that statement; I didn't even expect you accept but you did. Here's the comment again

"My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but not a divine being."

With the use of the word "definitely" and how many times I used the word "certain" in the first round one would assume you knew what I meant.

>"It would be a more fruitful debate if Zetsubou argued from the counterpoint, "your surroundings can prove a deity""
No.

==========================================================================

I agree with most of Pro's argument, there just a two minor mistakes.

"Of course, my surroundings could be scientifically proven but could not prove a God."
No they can not, seemingly proven to the nous of healthy humans yes but not to everything else, our senses form the limit to our faculties; our senses are inaccurate, they do not PROVE anything. Sorry but metaphysics is messed up like that.

"And that absolute certainty should not be the deciding factor but maybe "beyond a reasonable doubt"?"
Reasonable is Subjective.

==========================================================================

Annhasle has forfeit, resolution negated,
Vote Con.
annhasle

Pro

"The only response I received was that I could not prove with absolute certainty that there is no God based on my surroundings. Then why challenge me? Why put forward such a debate when in the first round you were planning to state, "Sorry, can't happen" and then move on? With all due respect, I am confused on why I wrote such a response to your challenge and then you did not have to."

>This debate revolved around your original statement on the forums which in order to be true requires the certain non existence of god. Your an intelligent person and I was sure that was not what you had intended to mean in that statement; I didn't even expect you accept but you did.

How does my argument require the non-existence of God? I am stating that by surroundings alone, no one can prove there to be a God. You can prove science though. A God could still exist, but exist outside of time and space like some claim. I cannot prove a God by looking at a tree. Neither can you... but you could prove biology.
And why would you be surprised that I accepted? If the debate is centered on something that I said, it's only logical that I would want to defend my statement.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

"My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but not a divine being."

> With the use of the word "definitely" and how many times I used the word "certain" in the first round one would assume you knew what I meant.

Yes, my surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics....but not a divine being. See the separation there? Maybe I should edit a little more so it can easily be understood, without any of this aggravating confusion: "My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but cannot definitely prove a God." See my intentions? And if you actually think about it, where's the fault in that statement? My surroundings cannot definitely prove a God. If they could, do you think we would be having this debate? Of course not. However, they can definitely prove biology or physics. And if you want to debate that point, feel free to re-challenge me.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

"It would be a more fruitful debate if Zetsubou argued from the counterpoint, "your surroundings can prove a deity""
> No.

Why?
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

"Of course, my surroundings could be scientifically proven but could not prove a God."

> No they can not, seemingly proven to the nous of healthy humans yes but not to everything else, our senses form the limit to our faculties; our senses are inaccurate, they do not PROVE anything. Sorry but metaphysics is messed up like that.

"When I look around and see other people, trees and buildings, I do not see a God's work." -From Post #1

"To prove there was a deity based on surroundings (like a tree or building) is (or at least pretty close to being) impossible."- From Post #2

I was very clear about what I was referring to when I said "surroundings". But I will explain once more. When I say surroundings I mean "a person, tree or building". And based upon this definition of surroundings (which you did not argue against once), yes it can be scientifically proven. I can prove the existence of another person when I see them. I can prove the existence of a tree when I am touching it. I can prove the existence of a building when I am in it.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

"And that absolute certainty should not be the deciding factor but maybe "beyond a reasonable doubt"?"
> Reasonable is Subjective

Do you really believe that our conceptions of reasonable would be so different? But, since this is the end, I will ignore that statement and move on.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annhasle has forfeit, resolution negated,
> Vote Con.

Me forfeit? Ha, you wish.

Vote Con? If you vote Con, you are, in a sense, agreeing that you cannot prove your surroundings or God to exist by science (i.e. physics or biology). Yes, you cannot prove a deity by surroundings alone. But you can prove your surroundings by science.

Through this entire debate, Zetsubou has had "minor problems", ONE after the first post and then TWO after the second post... How has he won? All of his "problems" have been answered accordingly and he has yet to find any reason why my statement is wrong, that I cannot simply answer by logic alone.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
OrionsGambit
Oh alright. Because at the beginning of his post he seemed to be arguing pro yet was supposed to be con.
Posted by annhasle 6 years ago
annhasle
@ OrionsGambit Haha wow, this is from three months ago... I forgot about it! Anyways, in one of the forums I said. "My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but not a divine being." And then Zetsubou disagreed and challenged me to prove it. :P
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
OrionsGambit
*scratches head* I only skimmed, but...what exactly is each side debating? Both sound like they are on the same side of the debate.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
lol, oh well.
Posted by annhasle 6 years ago
annhasle
Feel free to challenge me...but after this one has ended.

And I know you didn't have to disprove it...it just would have been a better debate. It doesn't matter, really.

I misunderstood the topic at first but I still answered every point. So what's your problem?
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
Next debate:
Your surroundings can DEFINITELY be scientifically proven.
??

Also:
"My surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics but not a divine being" doesn't mean I have to disprove that your surroundings can definitely prove biology or physics, I can but I don't have to.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
You admit you misunderstood the topic so why?
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
You admit you misunderstood the topic so why?
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
We see the effects but not the holy spirit/godhead cause.
Posted by the-good-teacher 6 years ago
the-good-teacher
We are taught in scripture that by simply looking aound we see God' in action.

Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse":
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
ZetsubouannhasleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The semantics where just wrong from Zetsubou especially in a debate where you are actually trying to get to the bottom of a situation and not just get a win under your belt. I honestly also believe Ann's stance (of course by stating that by our surroundings we can know Go exists) But over all everything considered, Ann is the obvious winner.
Vote Placed by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
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Vote Placed by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
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