The Instigator
calculatedr1sk
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
Happyreclusive
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Ontological and teleological arguments cannot accurately tell us whether God exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
calculatedr1sk
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,262 times Debate No: 33639
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

calculatedr1sk

Pro

Why this debate? Promenent theist apologists like William Lane Craig have spent tremendous amounts of effort polishing Ontological and Teleological arguments. I'd like to stop and ask the question - whether valid or not, does this type of argument reliably lead us to true conclusions and accurate knowledge in the first place?

Resolved: Ontological and teleological arguments cannot accurately inform humans as to whether God exists

First Round is for acceptance.
Second round opening statements.
Third and fourth round are for rebuttals.
No new arguments introduced in fourth round.

Parties agree to use definitions as they appear in Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Where there is confusion from multiple definitions, participants should volunteer which one they are using if prompted by the opposing side.

Burden of proof is shared
Forfeit is automatic loss of points for conduct and argument.
Happyreclusive

Con

Resolved: Ontological and teleological arguments cannot accurately inform humans as to whether God exists

The largest pitfall is the definition of God. Pro requires the use of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, and so I turn there for my definitions of God. From the first definition I take: "the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe" and from the second definition, I take: "a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically: one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality." Though I would not like to be wedded to the phrase "and to require human worship," instead preferring that worship is not required."

I think the ontological argument proves the existence of the God of the first definition. I have less faith in the teleological argument; I might invoke the cosmological argument, if permitted by the rules, to support the existence of God of the second definition.

In the comments, Pro writes: " . . . I am referring to a priori arguments, which I see as being quite useless." I disagree with his comment that a priori arguments are useless. (Of course, I agree that he sees them that way, but I disagree that he is right in thinking so.)

God is often thought to be a necessarily existing being. God exists, but he also exists with mathematical necessity. Whereas "7 + 5 = 12" is necessarily true, without exception, so God exists necessarily and without exception. The ontological argument begins with a conception of God as being perfect. And that his being perfect logically implies his existence. The argument is that the only thing more perfect than the mere conception of God is the existence of that God. Since God is most perfect, he must exist.

Before closing, I"d like to set out one form of the ontological argument. This argument comes from my interpretation of the first of Descartes" two arguments.

1. Do to the fallibility I observe in myself, I know that I am imperfect.

2. If I know that I am imperfect, I must know perfection so I can compare myself to that in order to know that I am imperfect.

3. I am unable to produce this knowledge of perfection within myself because I am imperfect. Even if I found perfection in my observations of nature, I could not judge that a thing is perfect due to my judging empirical matters is imperfect.

4. That knowledge of perfection, that tells me I am imperfect, does not arise from within me. It must arise from something outside of me.

5. That something causes the knowledge of perfection in me, and is itself perfect.

Therefore, a perfect thing exists. God's being perfect entails his necessary existence, being perfectly powerful, intelligent, and good.
Debate Round No. 1
calculatedr1sk

Pro

I thank Con for his acceptance, and look forward to what I'm sure will be an exciting debate. This is a topic that I've been looking forward to discussing (venting about?) ever since the first time I watched Harris vs. Craig battle it out at Notre Dame.

http://youtu.be...

My primary source for this round was the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I do not claim the ideas expressed here to be my own, save for the most ornery ones.

It is strange to me that theists such as William Lane Craig still bring up ontological arguments as part of their debate-level apologietics when they know full well that after being fully examined, one finds that these arguments aren't useful or persuasive, regardless of whether or not they are valid. More annoyingly, their opponents let them (him) get away with it. Craig routinely claims that unless this argument can be refuted, then his opponent cannot demonstrate the truth of Atheism, and thus he necessarily wins the debate. To unsophistocated or casual observers in the audience, it can look as if Craig has scored major points by offering arguments for which his opponent has no defense. Opponents like Harris tend not to sink to his level of intellectual dishonesty, for it is also the case that Ontological arguments can be used to disprove God just as readily, and with just the same validity, and just the same level of unpersuasiveness. Observe:

It is possible that God does not exist.
God is not a contingent being, i.e., either it is not possible that God exists, or it is necessary that God exists.
Hence it is not possible that God exists.
Hence God does not exist.

Convinced by that? Of course not, nor should you be. Nor am I, or any other skeptics, by theist versions. When extraneous and confusing arguments that amount to 2 + 2 = 4 are removed, the skeleton of all of these arguments tends to boil down to the incredibly hollow tautology:

If God (defined as "perfect being," "maximally great," whatever...) exists, then God exists.

As the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains in section 4, after elaborating on various criticisms of the ontological argument:

Perhaps it is worth adding here that there is fairly widespread consensus, even amongst theists, that no known ontological arguments for the existence of God are persuasive. Most categories of ontological argument have some actual defenders; but none has a large following.

it continues,

Of course, all of the above discussion is directed merely to the claim that ontological arguments are not dialectically efficacious—i.e., they give reasonable non-theists no reason to change their views. It might be wondered whether there is some other use which ontological arguments have—e.g., as Plantinga claims, in establishing the reasonableness of theism. This seems unlikely. After all, at best these arguments show that certain sets of sentences (beliefs, etc.) are incompatible—one cannot reject the conclusions of these arguments while accepting their premises. But the arguments themselves say nothing about the reasonableness of accepting the premisses. So the arguments themselves say nothing about the (unconditional) reasonableness of accepting the conclusions of these arguments. Those who are disposed to think that theism is irrational need find nothing in ontological arguments to make them change their minds (and those who are disposed to think that theism is true should take no comfort from them either). [1]

In my mind, there are a number of important things that theists, agnostics, and atheists ought to be discussing with one another. That highly intelligent debaters like Craig resort to spending time on trivial things like the ontological argument is a disappointment. It is my hope that this practice will grow out of fashion as the awareness of the audience grows.

I thank readers for their time and pass the round over to Con.

1) Oppy, Graham, "Ontological Arguments", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu...;

Happyreclusive

Con

Unfortunately, Pro has peppered his comments with his feelings and so many fallacies, that I must set them aside first so we may get to the nut of the problem.

It is strange to me that theists such as William Lane Craig still bring up ontological arguments as part of their debate-level apologietics when they know full well that after being fully examined, one finds that these arguments aren't useful or persuasive, regardless of whether or not they are valid.

1. What evidence do you have that Craig knows “full well” that the ontological argument isn’t useful or persuasive?

2. I am not sure what you or Oppy mean by “persuasive.” A speech might be persuasive because it moves people emotionally to agree with the speaker. Or an argument might be persuasive because it is logically valid and the premises are true. You toss away validity too casually. If an argument is valid, that means premises produce a conclusion that follows. That’s an excellent first step in any argument.

Craig routinely claims that unless this argument can be refuted, then his opponent cannot demonstrate the truth of Atheism, and thus he necessarily wins the debate.

Since his argument aims to prove that God exists necessarily, it is impossible to prove atheism unless one can prove that God does not exist necessarily. If Craig’s argument is left untouched, then you have a foolish-looking atheist arguing that God does not exist in the face of uncontested proof that God exists and that he exists. Suppose you and I debated how many oranges there are in a closed box. I look in the box and declare there are 16 oranges. Your rebuttal is that there are eight oranges, but you don’t look in the box. The atheist needs to look in the box and show how Craig’s argument fails. Other than being annoyed, I don’t see any logical problem with Craig’s claim as you state it.

Opponents like Harris tend not to sink to his level of intellectual dishonesty, for it is also the case that Ontological arguments can be used to disprove God just as readily, and with just the same validity, and just the same level of unpersuasiveness.

Let’s call this the fallacy of name-calling. It is useful to paint your opponent as stupid, evil, or stooping to intellectual dishonesty. But Pro’s attack fails to prove that Craig is mistaken.

Observe:
It is possible that God does not exist.
God is not a contingent being, i.e., either it is not possible that God exists, or it is necessary that God exists.
Hence it is not possible that God exists.
Hence God does not exist.

Convinced by that? Of course not, nor should you be. Nor am I, or any other skeptics, by theist versions. When extraneous and confusing arguments that amount to 2 + 2 = 4 are removed, the skeleton of all of these arguments tends to boil down to the incredibly hollow tautology:

These comments make little sense. Pro’s argument dips into the wonders of modal logic. He mimics an argument trying to show that it is wrong. But mimicry is the tool of those who can’t that an argument is genuinely wrong. He can’t prove the argument is wrong, so he simply says its “extraneous and confusing” and an “incredibly hollow tautology.” Something odd about 2+2=4 annoys Pro, but leaves me quite confused, wondering why he is upset with mathematics.

If God (defined as "perfect being," "maximally great," whatever...) exists, then God exists.

Here is another attempt to parody a fine argument. His pseudo argument is “If God is defined as whatever, then God exists.” Let’s try that argument. “If God is defined as a unicorn [a whatever], then God exists.” Hmmm. Using his language, this argument makes no sense. I gave the real argument above. Maybe Pro would like to object to the argument as I wrote it.

Perhaps it is worth adding here that there is fairly widespread consensus, even amongst theists, that no known ontological arguments for the existence of God are persuasive. Most categories of ontological argument have some actual defenders; but none has a large following.

Why bother with rational argument? Let’s take a survey and the biggest number wins. As long as we have “fairly widespread consensus” and a “large following,” we don’t need to pursue the truth of things.

The suggestion that the number of people agreeing with you determines whether you’re right or not is absurd. Here's an example. Africans became slaves because a lot of people thought slavery was right. The truth is that slavery is wrong no matter how many people think it is right.

Finally, we get to something substantial. Maybe we can sort out the validity of the ontological argument now.

Sorry folks, it is not to be. Pro leaves with a long quite that he thinks proves his point. I encourage him to explain that quote and show us how it proves his point.

Of course, all of the above discussion is directed merely to the claim that ontological arguments are not dialectically efficacious—i.e., they give reasonable non-theists no reason to change their views. It might be wondered whether there is some other use which ontological arguments have—e.g., as Plantinga claims, in establishing the reasonableness of theism. This seems unlikely. After all, at best these arguments show that certain sets of sentences (beliefs, etc.) are incompatible—one cannot reject the conclusions of these arguments while accepting their premises. But the arguments themselves say nothing about the reasonableness of accepting the premisses. So the arguments themselves say nothing about the (unconditional) reasonableness of accepting the conclusions of these arguments. Those who are disposed to think that theism is irrational need find nothing in ontological arguments to make them change their minds (and those who are disposed to think that theism is true should take no comfort from them either).

So, I ask my fine friend here: “How does this quote prove your point?”
Debate Round No. 2
calculatedr1sk

Pro

I thank Con for his response. I’ve used non italics for his words, and italics for mine, just as he did, and suggest continuing that convention. I also abbreviated his comments to save space.

  1. What evidence do you have that Craig knows “full well” that the ontological argument isn’t useful or persuasive?

None. No evidence at all. I used an a priori bias to arrive at that intuition, and we all know how unpersuasive claims without evidence are – and ought to be – now don’t we? Consider the issue of what Craig knows to be withdrawn.

  1. I am not sure what you or Oppy mean by “persuasive.”...

It is a necessary first step of any argument, but validity alone isn’t enough. Con correctly identified arguments as persuasive which are “logically valid and the premises are true.” (emphasis mine).

Consider how inaccurate human intuition has been on any number of matters that are at least within the bounds of our universe. From heliocentricity, to relativity, to string theory, to dark matter, to any number of things, we have only just begun to peel back the mysteries of how the universe works, thanks to advances in math, science, and technology. Our intuitions about all these things are and have been frequently wrong. Especially without the benefit of technology, our brains are not up to the task of knowing about God’s existence one way or the other. Statements such as the one my friend offered, "knowledge of perfection, that tells me I am imperfect, does not arise from within me. It must arise from something outside of me” cannot be known to be true, and are thus overly presumptuous to use in “proofs”.

  1. Since his argument aims to prove that God exists necessarily, it is impossible to prove atheism...

Theists like Craig and my opponent pretend to have proved there is a God, and by the way they’re on chummy terms with him. The burden of proof for these claims is on theists to prove, not on atheists to disprove. Richard Dawkins points out that “we are all atheists with respect to Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realized that the biblical god is no different”. Harris argues that “no one ever need identify himself as a non-astrologer or a non-alchemist. Consequently, we do not have words for people who deny the validity of these pseudo-disciplines. Likewise, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. [1] Harris in particular dislikes the term. The link to his talk [2] is worth hearing, particularly between 10 minutes and 11 minutes, and 19:45 to 22:00.

  1. Let’s call this the fallacy of name-calling. It is useful to paint your opponent as stupid, evil, or stooping to intellectual dishonesty. But Pro’s attack fails to prove that Craig is mistaken.

I am not the first to consider Craig to be a dirty fighter. [3] However, as I said before, I’ll drop the line of attack against Craig, as I consider an examination of the man himself as being unnecessary to defending the resolution.

  1. These comments make little sense. Pro’s argument dips into the wonders of modal logic...

Con incorrectly identifies the source of my annoyance – it most certainly isn’t mathematics. I used 2 + 2 = 4 as a tacit admission that I am not challenging the logical validity of most ontological arguments, but also as an abbreviation for what I consider to mostly be uninteresting fluff.

  1. Here is another attempt to parody a fine argument...

Skeptics are usually the ones to ride heroically into the battle of absurdity atop a unicorn. Con is right that it makes no sense, but as far as I’m concerned, the ontological argument makes no sense even when you insert its intended language. Take for example Planinga's “Victorious argument” which describes an “entity which possesses maximal greatness.” My opponent would like to compare this kind of God to a number, and his earlier suggestion was, perhaps arbitrarily, 12 (I reference 5 + 7 = 12 from round 1). A more accurate analogy to an “entity which possesses maximal greatness” would be a “number which possesses maximal greatness,” would it not? But there is no maximally great number, is there? Even a child realizes that we can keep adding 1 to any number, no matter how large it gets. The idea of an “entity which possesses maximal greatness” is, so far as we know, equally incoherent. "Perfection" fares no better when mapped onto a number system.

  1. Why bother with rational argument? Let’s take a survey...

It is curious that my presumably Christian opponent would choose the example of slavery. If slavery were morally wrong, why would the God of the Old Testament make provision for Israelites to engage in its practice? [4] Divine Command Theory, which many Christians use for moral basis seems to encounter some very awkward questions here. But that's all for another time and another discussion. I agree with Con that the number of people who agree with a position does not by itself make a position true or false. I will note, however, that if Con wants to take a position contrary to that of the philosophical community, I hope for his sake he’s packing some pretty good arguments. I look forward to eventually seeing them.


  1. So, I ask my fine friend here: “How does this quote prove your point?”

I will once more draw upon SEP. “Plantinga himself agrees: the “victorious” modal ontological argument is not a proof of the existence of a being which possesses maximal greatness. [5]

The point, my friend, is that even your allies, the distinguished scholars who construct these arguments in the first place, admit that they are not proof of God’s existence! I certainly do look forward to seeing how you will try to prove them wrong.

Citations:

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

2)

3) http://www.patheos.com...

4) http://en.wikipedia.org...

5) http://plato.stanford.edu...

Happyreclusive

Con

I used an a priori bias [bias or basis?] to arrive at that intuition . . . .

I would gladly ignore the issue, if it didn't point to your misunderstanding of a priori judgments. My points here are vital because the ontological argument is a priori.

There only two ways of judging the truth and falsehood of any claim. The first is empirical. We know empirical judgments are true or false by observation. Most scientific judgments are empirical. Examples of these judgments: "my chair is green" and "there is a rabbit in my yard. The only way you know if these judgments are true or false is to come here and look. The curious thing is that all empirical judgments are contingent, or changeable. It was true that, "there is a rabbit in my yard," it is no longer true. If a judgment is not empirical, not known by observation, then it is a priori.

A priori judgments are known to be true or false but not through observation. They are known through reason or logic, if that's easier to imagine. Mathematics and logic are example of knowledge known a priori. I know that "7 + 5 = 12" a priori, without observation. Because my knowledge is not based on observation, I know that "7 + 5 = 12" is necessarily true, true in all times and places. Something that is necessarily true is known in modal logic as being true in all possible worlds. That is, you cannot imagine a world where "7 + 5 = 12" is false. Whereas empirical judgments are contingent, a priori judgments are non-contingent, or necessarily true or necessarily false. ("7 + 5 = 13" is necessarily false or false in all possible worlds.

I fear that casting aspersions on a priori is a mistake. Newton's discoveries about gravity are known a priori. The fact that nothing cannot produce something is known a priori; that every action has an equal opposite reaction; the principle of natural selection (that animals facing life-threatening conditions either die or change), and many more matters of science and mathematics are dependent on a priori knowledge. In short, and there is much more I should say about a priori judgments, a priori judgment are not without evidence; their evidence is simply not observable.

Of course, we first learn that "7 + 5 = 12" empirically. The teacher sets out a group of five pencils and a group of seven pencils and we count them. We do the same experiment with balls, children in the room, windows, etc. until we make the jump from knowing "7 + 5 = 12" empirically to knowing it a priori. And thus, we know it is true in all times and places. I know that seven moon rocks added to five more moon rocks equals twelve moon rocks, and I never seen and counted the moon rocks to make sure I'm right. I don't need to count them. Again, I can assure you that seven chitles added to five chitles equals twelve chitles, and I have no idea what a chitle is. I just now invented them. This understanding of empirical and a priori judgments helps answer Dawkins.

Sometimes I cannot figure out if Dawkins knows where he goes wrong and so set out tricks, or if he is completely in the dark. He claims that the biblical god is like those of Zeus and Thor. Ancient Judaism is probably the first theology to suggest that God is a single entity rather than an assemblage of gods. As the Bible develops, especially from the Old to the New Testament, the concept of God shifts from being like Zeus or Thor to something resembling our modern conception of God. That is, the concept develops from something empirical to something a priori. In Genesis, for example, God talks, walks, smells, hears and sees things. This conception is empirical. By "empirical" here, I mean that God can be seen not that God is seen, much like the descriptions we have of Zeus and Thor. As monotheism develops, so does the concept of God. At least since the time of Anselm and Aquinas God is known only a priori because the concept of God is of a being that exists necessarily. (He is also perfect, omnipotent, etc.) When Dawkins claims that anyone who believes in God, our modern conception, is as silly as anyone who believes in Thor, he fully misunderstands the development of our concept of God.

Now we can see how the conception of God leads to the ontological argument. If God exists necessarily, then he can be known only through an a priori argument. That argument is the ontological argument. Pro suggests that a priori judgments and their arguments are without evidence and they are virtually without value. If he is right, then he destroys much scientific and mathematical knowledge, as I argue above. So if there is a problem with the ontological argument, that problem does not lie in the assumption that a priori arguments are void of substance and meaning. The problem with the ontological argument occurs elsewhere, a fact that Pro has yet to identify.

I fully understand Pro's frustration with the ontological argument, especially when he referred to Russell: there is something about the argument that makes one think it's wrong, and yet it is more difficult to find the flaw. Somehow, you must find that flaw.

It is curious that my presumably Christian opponent would choose the example of slavery.

Oh, that’s not nice. Now you’re just baiting me.

. . . even your allies [i.e., Plantinga], . . . admit that they are not proof of God’s existence! I certainly do look forward to
seeing how you will try to prove them wrong.

I don't think Plantinga's conclusion is a bit more complicated than that, but let’s assume it for the moment. If you think I am taking on Plantinga all by my lonesome, you’re frightfully mistaken. If anything I’ve said opposes Plantinga, what I have said is supported by Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz (sometimes), Norman Malcolm, Richard
Swinburne, and Fr. Copleston. If forced to choose between "Team Plantinga" and the bench of heavy hitters I’ve just listed, I’ll side with the latter any day. (P. S. So would Plantinga)

Debate Round No. 3
calculatedr1sk

Pro

As we begin the final round, I will remind readers of the original resolution: Ontological and teleological arguments cannot accurately inform humans as to whether God exists. Burden of proof is shared.

Since Con admitted that he did not have sufficient faith in Teleological arguments to come to their defense, we both decided to ignore that type of argument. I would put forth the motion that readers should disregard the teleological aspect of this debate entirely, and judge only with respect to Ontological arguments. I think this especially appropriate since the rules state we are not to raise new arguments in the final round, but can only clarify, bolster, and summarize what is on the table already.

On A Priori Premises

I do not mean to contend that all a priori propositions must necessarily be false, or that they must be automatically rejected. What I will say is that we ought to be skeptical. Consider again, the a priori premise which tends to be my own intuition: “There is no God.” However we might personally feel, we should be very careful about making such unverifiable assertions and using them in proofs. So too should the theist. A priori argumentation does not provide us with uncontestable evidence, and thus not accurate knowledge. At best, it establishes a theory which may or may not be useful, and which we may or may not ever be able to prove or disprove. Even well-established scientific principles with considerable predictive ability and supporting evidence are still only given the status “theory.” “Theory of Evolution”, “Theory of Relativity”, “String Theory”... no one speaks of these as being matters of truth, at least not in the way that my opponent tries to insinuate. The existence or non-existence of God is similarly still not known. Thus, for the most part, these ontological arguments are doing little more than begging the question. [1]

Together We Stand, Together We Fall

My opponent would have you believe that the ease with which one can offer up ontological parodies does no damage whatsoever to his case, and that the only way to defeat it is to show that the logic is invalid or the premises are false. I actually have done that, but regardless he is wrong that this is my only path to victory. With respect to parodies, the biggest problem I see for my opponent is that parallel Atheistic Ontologies such as the one I presented earlier are on equal footing epistemologically with the kind he provided. This is absolutely devastating to the credibility of Con’s case, and he gives himself license to brush off an obvious double standard only by special pleading [2]: “These comments make little sense. Pro’s argument dips into the wonders of modal logic. He mimics an argument trying to show that it is wrong. But mimicry is the tool of those who can’t that an argument is genuinely wrong.” Observe that his comments backfire on him when we see that he can’t disprove my parallel Ontological Argument! I am not claiming that it actually tells us anything worthwhile, in fact I don’t think it really does, and so the burden is not on me, the burden is instead heavy on Con to explain to us why his should stand while mine should not. If he can’t manage to successfully disentangle them, then either both stand, which is nonsense, or both fall, and I have won.

“God” - What Does That Even Mean?

A potentially fatal attack which my opponent did nothing to counter was the issue of whether God is even a coherent idea in the first place. He squandered the last round criticizing Dawkins and name dropping famous thinkers who agree with him, but most of what my friend discussed is beside the point. At any rate, my opponent believes God is necessarily perfect, and compared it to 5 + 7 = 12. I suggested that the “maximally great number” is a better analogy for God, but uncomfortably, such an idea is incoherent since there is no “maximally great number”. Perhaps God is better thought of as being incoherent as well. I also noted that “Perfection,” his preferred word, “fares no better when mapped onto a number system.” Let me elaborate further on why God may be incoherent by using a quote from Wikipedia’s article: “The ontological argument assumes the definition of God purported by classical theism: that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.[20] Kenneth Einar Himma claimed that omniscience and omnipotence may be incompatible: if God is omnipotent, then he should be able to create a being with free will; if he is omniscient, then he should know exactly what such a being will do (thus rendering them without free will).” [3]

In Conclusion

My opponent has been unable or unwilling to adequately defend against several arguments which seriously undermine his position. He has instead squandered his rounds lecturing on topics which are only tangentially relevant. Of those, the most damaging arguments I have presented were conflicting ontologies, and the incoherence of the God idea. With respect to these my opponent dropped the argument by not responding at all to coherance, and in my mind doing a poor job of it with respect to parodies. Here is DDO’s ruling on that:

Drop - An argument is dropped when it is not responded to. Arguments that are dropped are usually considered true for the remainder of the debate. You must respond to an argument once it is made, you cannot wait until the next round. [4]

Since we're both new, I offer this: if my opponent leaves coherence unanswered, that should cost him dearly in the argument category. On the other hand if he addresses it now, then it should cost him the conduct category, while the argument category would be graded with no penalty. In the end, voters will decide using their best judgement. Good luck to my opponent, and thank you to our readers.


Vote Pro!

1) http://en.wikipedia.org...

2) http://en.wikipedia.org...

3) http://en.wikipedia.org...

4) http://www.debate.org...

Happyreclusive

Con

Happyreclusive forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
While waiting for my opponent to finish, I thought I would mention that if you're enjoying this debate, you may want to check out some of the other debates I'm involved in:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

I'm finishing those up now, so I will be open to new challenges if anyone has a topic that they would like to explore.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
The round 3 numbering on the paragraphs seems to have changed when I copied and pasted from word. My apologies for the confusion that they are all 1, 1, 1...
Posted by Happyreclusive 3 years ago
Happyreclusive
Thank you. Rest assured that I am in no hurry.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Thank you, happyreclusive, for your acceptance. I won't be able to post just yet, and I also am new to this site, so I am not totally familiar with the norms and conventions, but regardless I very much look forward to this discussion with you all the same.

I'll try to post tonight, but it may be a day or two before I am able to. In the meantime, best wishes and well met.
Posted by Happyreclusive 3 years ago
Happyreclusive
This debate is my first on this forum, so please let me know if I do something wrong.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
@happyreclusive yes, I am referring to a priori arguments, which I see as being quite useless. If someone here think's I'm mistaken about that, then I look forward to an exciting discussion. Part of what I expect will make it exciting is that my opponent will probably be a lot more skilled than I am at debate if he is confident enough to take on this position.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
I agree. But if these arguments cannot convincingly and reliably be used to tell us whether or not God exists, then why do theists such as Craig still use them in debates? More importantly, why do we let theists get away with it, instead of calling them out as I am now?
Posted by Happyreclusive 3 years ago
Happyreclusive
When you refer to "this type of argument," what do you mean? If they are of a type, are you thinking of a priori vs empirical arguments, that these arguments provide no knowledge of existence, and thus they are useless in proving the existence of God?

It sound like you are not looking for someone to support those arguments against your objections. Is that correct?
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
It would be rather foolish to accept this debate, because it is surely the case.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Vulpes_Inculta 3 years ago
Vulpes_Inculta
calculatedr1skHappyreclusiveTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF