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Pascal's Wager Fails to Support Theism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,574 times Debate No: 80293
Debate Rounds (5)
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Thank you for your interest!

The purpose of this debate is to discuss topics so as to better understand my own faith by understanding the criticisms of atheists and other through the use of defending my Catholic faith. The purpose is also to be able to debate more effectively while being more courteous, in addition to being more aware about saying things that the other person might not agree with.

For this particular debate, I would like to debate Pascal"s Wager as to whether it supports the Catholic notion of theism (or theism in general).

Lastly, if you have a topic you would like to challenge me on (vs. my Catholic faith), just post a comment or invite me to a debate.

Now, for those who accept the debate, I would like to hear what the other side says before I respond.

There are two objections to this argument I would like to give to the other side. Just remind me and I can post them. I don"t want to post them now in case the other side has a different objection than the two.

I am not picky about definitions, as long as the other side can understand what the first person is saying. Each side is free to define a definition in order to make the point they want to make. For example, one person can define belief to include knowledge, and the other can define belief as only having no reason. In addition, one can ask for clarification concerning that definition. I prefer this way because it is easier to talk about things one is more familiar with than otherwise.


Since my opponent didn't give an opening, just stating how the debate is, I'll wait for an opening and I'll simply state I accept. I'll be defending it not being a viable means of rhetoric and why atheism is better than both Pascal's Wager and the related notions.


Atheism: The lack of belief in a God or Gods.

Theism: My opponent can clarify if he wants, otherwise the opposing view of atheism on deities.

Pascal's Wager: The notion it's better to believe than to not believe. If you believe and there is no God, nothing happens. If you don't believe and there is no God. Nothing happens. If there is a God and you don't believe, you suffer for eternity. If you do believe and there is a God, you get eternal peace in heaven and salvation.

My Goal: To prove through successful rhetoric that notions like Pascal's Wager (P.W/PW) are fallacious and that it is better to believe in no deity.

My Opponent: He/She can clarify themselves, but I'll assume to do the opposite of my goal.
Debate Round No. 1


Due to realizing certain things, as mentioned in the comments, I want to give my own version of Pascal's Wager (and even my own critique of Pascal's Wager).
(Pardon for any improper double quotes, switched single to double)

Now, I claim that it is better to wager in a religion than to wager in atheism or be neutral.

Now, I want to begin by looking at Pascal's Wager, then simplifying it before going on to my wager. So, here is Pascal's Wager:

(1) There is a God, you choose God
(2) There is a God, you don't choose God
(3) There is no God, you choose God
(4) There is no God, you don't choose God

Options (3) and (4) are trivial, as it doesn't matter which one you choose if there is no God.

So, all that is left for me to try to show is that (1) > (2).

Before I look at that, I want to look at this question.

Why is it not that if you choose (2) you go to Hell, and if you choose (1) you go to Heaven?

It isn't the Catholic version. I actually have two Catholic versions I would like to discuss. Here is version A:
(1) There is a God, and you are open to accepting and choosing God if He exists and you end up meeting Him (after death).
(2) There is a God, and you are against choosing God and being with Him if He exists and you end up meeting Him (after death).

I talk about version A as version B will be measured by how successful it follows version A, which I would say is the main reason in Catholicism for following it. I just have to show how it is true.

Note that other religions likely have different wagers, since they have different objectives. That can be measured on a religion-by-religion basis.

However, what is more important is determining what the probabilities are for each religion. I have a method of dealing with this that I will explain later.

But before I do that, I want to answer the question of why the Catholic version is true over Pascal's version?

Now, I am assuming that Christians believe that God is Love and God is Justice. If that is the case, then God wouldn't be Love itself if God refuses to give Himself to everyone. For example, what about the Native Americans? What about the Chinese? What about those who didn't get to know Christianity that well? Also, if God is Justice, then how would this be unjust if they never had a chance to choose Christianity for what it is?

I think what is meant is the Catholic version. Christians (and Catholics) believe that only those who are baptized will enter Heaven. However if one says (1), what is to stop them from being baptized if they meet up with God as (1) says, after death? Otherwise, God wouldn't be Love itself, contradictory to what Christians believe.

Now, I will assume that my opponent agrees with version A. If not, I will be fine with giving my reasoning as to why (1) > (2). I'm also pressed for space, so that is also a factor.

Note that one can ask what one gains and loses by choosing (1) or (2).

Now, here is a way of determining what the probabilities are for each religion. My goal is for this way to use just reasoning. So, the question to ask is what are the probabilities? Well, one can start with a beginning probability: the probability that a religion is true based off a person's testimony. This should rightly carry little weight. Now, if there was no way to add more weight, then I don't know how I would convince an atheist to search for religions, as a few of them are terrible. I try to say that from the perspective of reason, rather than from my Catholic faith.

Here is what I mean. The way to add more weight to a religion (lots of weight) is for it to keep natural reasoning intact. It should also keep natural truths intact as well, like science. For example, human persons should be seen as valuable, with amazing potential, because all humans share in this ability, even though there may be roadblocks to having this potential realized. Lastly, the religion shouldn't internally contradict itself.

Doing it this way should remove the bad religions while preserving the good religions. Religion shouldn't destroy man, but help man realize his potential. Now, one may ask me, "But what if one of those bad religions turn out to be true?" Well, I initially didn't know how to respond to that. However, I have come to the conclusion that using the reasoning that I gave in the last paragraph, if not all of it, at least the parts about science and no contradictions, should be evidence against a religion from being true. So, if it is true, it would be true despite the probability, not because of the probability.

Otherwise, we would be guessing in the dark. Not only that, but there is a rule in gambling probability that I made up that you don't gamble in the thing which gives the lowest value of this formula: probability * gain if won. Nevertheless, that last sentence sounds a bit unclear with referring to religions, and I am currently not interested in calculating an answer, so I don't want this counted in my argument. I just want to make the point that, assuming equal gains if won, it's not wise to pick the smallest probability.

Now, I gave theory, but I need to give at least one religion that can go above this, lest my argument be incomplete. I propose my own faith of Catholicism, at least.

Now, this is where my thinking gets narrowed down to my faith's perspective. So, imagine we were God of the Catholic faith, and we wanted to be known without revealing ourselves (as that seems to be the truth of the matter, at least while on Earth). Now, we as God would see the dangers of man-made religions based off of a claim of someone who has no right to do so. So, how would we get around that? Well, here is the system I would propose. (1) We should announce our coming, as many of the man-made religions don't have this. This means having it in writing, the more the merrier. (2) We should have that person we send do miracles. (3) We shouldn't contradict reasoning [I got this idea from Archbishop Fulton Sheen's work, "Life is Worth Living"].

Now, here is version (B):
(1) There is a God, and you search for God.
(2) There is a God, and you don't search for God.

If (B1) makes one more likely of achieving (A1), then (B1) > (B2).

Here is an explanation of this. If religion is something attractive, then people will be more likely to choose (A1). If religion is something repulsive, then people are more likely to choose (A2).

Also, if religion is something reasonable, then people will be more likely to choose (B1), which I think implies a desire for God, else why search, meaning that (B1) implies (A1), which is another way of saying the explanation in the previous paragraph (notice the link between "attractive" and "desire").

(Sort of) Concluding Section:
For the probabilities of each religion, if there are religions with a greater magnitude of a percentage of being correct, then those religions should be looked at in determination of this. What I mean here is that if there is a religion that can break above the sphere of merely a human suggesting an idea, then those religions should be in a higher category and labeled, "reasoned-probability religions," if there is a way to show that it is more than just a man's idea.

Now, if a religion contradicts itself internally, then that is a reason to put it on a lower plane of probability. So: Reasoned-probability religions (reason for, which includes having no reason against) > man's-idea religions (no reason for or against) > inwardly-contradictory religions (reason against). Note that the reasons here should be solid and practically, provably true. Probabilistic reasons make the comparisons more complicated.

So, I hypothesize that if one only looks at those religions which are "reasoned-probability religions," then it will be worth searching there. And yes, just trying to use reason without my belief in my faith took a decent amount of effort, and I'm not even confident that I didn't leave an implicit religious assumption in here.


Thank you, Matt. Before I begin, I wish to make clear this is only an opening. I have no intentions of addressing my opponent's last post and will, at most, bring up a few points. I only wish to state my stance. Because if we’re going to debate a topic, it’s best to know what we are debating and what our stances are. I have already done my definitions for those who wish to use them if needed. With that, I will begin.

Introduction: Rusted Pillars of Pascal’s Wager
One of the biggest failures of a brilliant mind that is used ad infinitum. There are many reasons why the archaic rhetoric does not work, and I will go further why an evolved one very likely does not. But first, an introduction into Pascal’s Wager and how the pillar supporting it have officially rusted from the long use of something that holds no water.

Blaise Pascal was born on June 19, 1623, Clermont-Ferrand, France. He was a brilliant mathematician and physicist. His name is known for the unit of pressure, known as Pascal. While a brilliant mind, as Dr. Tyson stated in the conclusional final episode of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, “And perhaps even the most important rule of all, remember you could be wrong. Even the best scientist have been wrong about somethings. Newton, Einstein, and every other great scientist in history. They all made mistakes. Of course they did, their were human.” This part is important as to give credibility to Pascal being wrong and to prevent simple arguments from authority (him being a mathematician and physicist as means to support his wager). And he was indeed wrong. He was ignorant of not only the God to which he believed in, apparently, but also every other god who has ever been worshiped. Pascal’s Wager, or anything like it, implies the God one speaks about is incredibly incompetent, childish, sinister, malevolent, sadistic, and cruel. And, of course, stupid. This, of course, if you believe there are consequences for not believing.[1]

For one, an all knowing, all powerful God would know if you are believing based on pseudo-reasons, such as simply gambling to save your own hide, or disbelief based on logical means. If so, no God with a capacious heart would turn you down unless you choose to follow his way simply to not be boiled ‘alive’ for eternity. Thus making Pascal’s Wager fallacious as your end result is only dependant on the God who turns out to be real if one. The rhetoric of it is old and no longer works with the knowledge we have at our disposal in today’s modern technological world. As Alan Dershowitz one said; "I have always considered 'Pascal's Wager' a questionable bet to place, since any God worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite."[2]

P1: The Number of Gods, Religions, and Probability Amongst Them
When it comes to Pascal’s Wager, or any kind for that matter, it must take into account every religion and option. The original concept, created by Pascal, was a false dichotomy. It was also religious hucksterism. If we take into account all the other religions, Hinduism, Shintoism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Scientology, the many Pagan religions, and even Jediism, and let us not forget the many secs./denominations/schools of the religions. Each teaching their own thing to the point they could be their own religion had it not been based on a similar concepts, such as Jesus and God of Abraham. So, and I will agree with Pro on this, a good way to go about it would be probability. However, you must take into account the text of the religion itself. The words, that is what matters, nothing else. If you wish to wager your entire life, determine how you live all based on one school of one religion among the thousands others, than you must also acknowledge that your religions probability based on the book itself must stand out to be more likely to be real than the other religions. After that, you must compare bit to an atheistic approach. Both agnostic and gnostic compared to your own agnostic or gnostic stance.

P1-A: Probability Amongst Religions
When it comes to the wager, you must measure the weight of each religion being possible. This includes comparison to science. If you wager Christianity, you must look to the text itself. Does it conform with reality? I will be blunt and say no. In short, creationism does not and neither do many of the pseudo-historical accounts, like Moses. Of course people will now tell you they are allegories, but only because they are clearly not true. This is a cop out by organized religion. If they were never proven to be false, you would still believe them to be real. Clearly the Holy Bible is not very clear in that, especially when Jesus refers to the old laws. In no way is it possible Genesis happened. It defies everything we know in modern science. Saying they are not meant to be literally taken is a means to deny the fallacious text of the book. That lowers the probability, and quite a bit with the way Genesis is written. [3][4]

The same applies to Islam. It had, out of the many grandiose claims, stated Muhammad split the moon in half and had even rode to heaven on a winged horse. Are there any horses with wings that can fly? No, and that is physically impossible. One reasons is blood boil that Muhammad would have suffered from going to high, that and space. The fact it claims he sliced the moon in half is also going to lower the probability massively. This comes from the Qur'anic verses 54:1-2. Some take it literally and others do not. It doesn’t matter, it’s in the book and impossible.[5]

What about agnostic or gnostic atheism? Well, gnostic atheism is simply stating you know God is fake or any God to be fake. The probability is low on that, I will say, because we know hardly anything of reality and thus have no gnostic truth about it. What about agnostic? Well, being neutral on the topic of there being any God shows you deny all the theistic claims due to a lack of belief and also would be willing to admit being wrong should you be wrong and if there is any evidence. Not only would an all knowing and powerful God who cares about his creation see this as an honest and logical position, but likely would have more respect to wait for true evidence for those who have not received it instead of making a wager on your entire way of life and picking a religion. A religion or way of life that could be wrong. Like Homer Simpson stated; “What if we are worshiping the wrong God? What if we are making him madder, and madder every time we go to church?”[6]

To conclude that, I would say that it is more logical to not pick and choose and wait for irrefutable evidence. If Gods of any type refuse to appear before everyone in a way that makes his or her or its existence irrefutable, than he or it or she can understand the stance of being an agnostic atheist as the one true logical position.

Cited Work

1) Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson Speech,

2) Alan M. Dershowitz, Letters to a Young Lawyer

3) Book of Genesis, The Holy Bible

4) Lack of Evidence for Jewish Slaves in Egypt and mass exodus across the desert,

5) The Holy Qur'an, verses 54:1-2.

6) The Simpsons, Episode 62, Season 4, October 8, 1992
Debate Round No. 2


Excellent point you bring up Berend. It is helpful to bring each other's points up first.

I would agree with you that Pascal's Wager is not Pascal's Proof, and that is important to keep in mind.

Yes, I do agree that everyone has been wrong, but I want to point out that there have also been people who have been wrong in claiming others are wrong. That doesn't mean you're wrong, it just means it's a fairly unsettled and complicated issue. As a side note, one could go on and on about person A saying that "Person B is wrong saying that person A is wrong saying that person B is wrong saying that person A is wrong saying that ..."

Now, I must add that those people who were remembered were remembered because they got something right, and hopefully something important right.

I totally agree with you that arguments from authority must never be assumed to be usable unless both sides agree to use said authority.

Now, I already said that I didn't want to continue talking about Pascal's Wager, though I did think my argument would be a derivative of Pascal's Wager. I don't think that it is though upon thinking about it some more, just that it is in a similar format as Pascal's Wager.

(P1): I would like to propose a probability system for all religions based off of the resolution that I gave towards this problem in my own wager (as a recap, I said to use reasoning as the judge, basing it on known science and self-contradictions). Oh, and I want to add a level, saying that if they do something that is highly unlikely, in my reference to Archbishop Sheen, then they get put on a higher level. Now, I want to start off with those religions and give the sum probability of the highest category I can think of, category miracle, they get a sum probability of 'x'. Then, the category that doesn't contradict reasoning or known science, category reason-friendly, they get a sum probability of x/100. Then, the category that hasn't been looked at, category unknown, they get a sum probability of x/100^2. Lastly, the category that provably contradicts reason (I mean that they say that 4 = 5, not that things can become invisible or appear out of nowhere) should have a sum probability of x/100^3.

Oh, and atheism can be compared with each of the four levels. My goal is to get a religion to the highest level, as that would stand the best chance against atheism.

Yes, the text must be taken into account of the religion itself. However, you can't take the words out of their true context. So, you can't just give your own interpretation of it. In fact, some of the texts aren't meant to be taken literally. However, they should be accountable when it is interpreted on a moral level.

Then, yes, the religion that is chosen out of that should be analyzed with atheism on its own, hence the 'version A' I gave. Note that version A is tuned to Catholicism (and what I think is the only rational interpretation of Christianity I am aware of), so it could change depending on which religion is selected.

From the definition I know of agnosticism, it seems to be defined as in between religion and atheism. I think the winner of the discussion between religion and atheism should get the agnostics. I don't know if you think that position works, so let me know. Also, I don't want to limit atheism to gnostic atheists, so tell me if you think otherwise.

Now, I just realized that I want to clarify on science. The rules of science can be broken if the religion gives sufficient justification. Of course, that actually takes out what I said about science previously as a test, because if God isn't material, then God isn't bound to material law, and if God created matter, then God could theoretically control matter, though there would have to be a sufficient reason, and I would have to think more about it before I could give a system for this, at least for the Christian God.

So, I would say that known science is assumed to be true, and that there would have to be an explanation to allow for the deity-system to be exempt.

It seems like we will go into a brawl determining whether the Christian God is any good or not. But before we do that, I want to make sure that the structure of my argument works if the Christian God was good.

You also seem to be attacking the Bible without understanding what the other side meant. You can't do that. That's a logical fallacy, assuming the other side is wrong, and then using that assumption to say that you proved that the other side is wrong. Also, Catholics don't adhere to creationism as a necessary tenet. They can "legally" believe in evolution and still be fully Catholic.

For your information: In Catholicism there are optional beliefs and required beliefs for the faithful (I think there are also subcategories within at least one of them). Hopefully, the required beliefs are easy to get to. I can try to get them if asked.

Also, I don't know which stories were true in the Bible and which ones weren't. Some of them are critical, others aren't. All I can do is start going at them case by case. What I will say is that I have heard nothing from Catholicism saying that all of the books of the Bible are literally true, or the vast majority of them are. Besides, it was meant to be more of a theological book than a historical book or scientific book. That doesn't mean it has no historical ideas which are true or scientific ideas which are true, it is just that this isn't the point of the Bible. However, I think I can say that the first chapter of Genesis must not be literal, as there is a contradiction with creating the sun on the fourth day, when the sun is needed to define "day" in our common term.

It would lower the probability if Catholicism intended for that part in Genesis 1 to be literal. However, that has to be shown true.

Now, as for the Bible, you are free to ask me questions about that, but no assuming it is wrong just because your interpretation of it is a bad one. You have to first show one of a few possibilities. You can show that it is the Catholic's interpretation which is required for everyone to believe, and then show it is a bad one. There are some other possibilities I think, but I'm not sure of them yet. Anyway, bring up some stumbling points and we can discuss them.

Now, Moses not existing doesn't disprove that the stuff he did couldn't happen if there is the Jewish God. So, if one can't disprove the Jewish God's existence, one can at least attack the reasoning to lower its probability.

I am no expert on the Muslim faith, so I would have to hear what they would say in terms of my probability system before they go against atheism, though you could put them against atheism anyway. So, I don't know about the Muslim faith, and Catholicism contradicts the Muslim faith, so you can't put them in the same subcategory within religion.

It does matter whether a religion decides a certain part is true or not, as long as they don't give a contradictory view in regards to things they absolutely believe in. Otherwise, their religion changed, which is still valid until proven troublesome again.

I find it impossible to be neutral on the topic of, "Does God exist?" A "no" isn't neutral. It wouldn't be a 1/2 yes and a 1/2 no, so I'm not sure a neutral position even exists. A neutral position can't deny atheism unless it also denies theism, which place doesn't seem to exist. Atheism would be a neutral position only if one was forced to pick a religion.

Well, what if God wanted to test us, and so He didn't reveal Himself as God in a clear way? This idea works in Catholicism. In addition, what if God wants us to have free will in not forcing us to choose Him? This can be explained if asked upon.

As to the Homer Simpson remark, I do agree that this is a legitimate point, and have heard about it about seven months ago. I do have a response to it, but I'm out of room, so I will say it next round. (*1)


I don't have the time to write up a counter. I'll have to forfite this round due to time and work.
Debate Round No. 3


Matt532 forfeited this round.


Berend forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Ok, I understand. Oddly enough though, I had three topics on my mind which would take up this whole round.

There are two categories of deities: changeable and unchangeable. Now, the Christians claim that their God is the unchangeable one, as they believe that God is perfect, and change implies imperfection. Now, there can only be one perfect, infinite God, and not more than one, because if there were two gods, one would have to have something that the other doesn't, implying an imperfection and finitude, else they would indistinguishably be one God.

Now, if you look at the God who decides to change and go backwards, which is its own deity system which needs to be expanded to help show that it is reasonable (i.e. the details are hammered out), and is therefore not yet on the same level as the Christian God, whose details are more so hammered out. Now, as you said, your concept of a particular deity is one who decides to contradict itself (which requires imperfection and time, as it is a change). Now, if it contradicts itself and changes its mind once, what is to say that it don't contradict itself a second time? The same can be said for a third, fourth, fifth, and on and on to infinity.

Now, I think that it is practically impossible for you to allow the deity to change once, yet to prove that there could be no such deity system to where there is more than one change (In addition, this doesn't even begin to address an argument that I have which gives evidence that a deity wouldn't be able to change, an argument that begins with the principle of cause and effect.)

However, assuming it is true and assuming you can't show what I think is practically impossible, I have just nullified the negatives of any deity system which believes in a God or gods who changes their own mind on an issue.

However, I have to show that your deity system does so in the first place. Well, I would say that if your deity system started by creating the universe, and it assumes that man was created by God, and therefore man was created as good, then it wouldn't make any sense for it to get angry at man when it gave man free will and reasoning, and man doesn't contradict reasoning in going to Church, as there was no reasonable sign saying otherwise that can easily be found out about and understood. So, since it doesn't make any sense, then it seems like God changed His mind for no apparent reason, and can therefore change it again for another "no apparent reason".

As a side note, I also think Homer Simpson changes his mind for no apparent reason too, so I find it silly in how the authors (assuming they are pro-atheist) would try to give a serious point to practically the dumbest character that they portray.

Now, I also want to expand on my Version A wager to a Version C, anti-antitheist wager. I bring this up because some atheists are atheists because they are antitheists. So, here is the wager:

If the Christian God exists, it would be better to assume that God isn't evil than otherwise, until proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now, I say it this way because it is how the American judicial system works. Here is the reason why it works this way. Consider the following quote: "It is better for 1,000 guilty persons to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted." Why is that? Well, if one doesn't have a problem convicting innocent men, how big of an innocent pool would one be unwilling to convict for the sake of a guilty person? Wouldn't this become tyranny with leaders who want to take advantage of it to oppress their political opponents? In addition, it is unjust to convict an innocent man. However, it isn't unjust to unknowingly let the guilty man free, because if justice matters, it has to last past death. This can only occur with a just God. Otherwise, justice is frustrated by death and therefore loses its value.

Now, it is still possible to catch a guilty person in other ways, especially if they don't change. The purpose of the penal system ought to be to get the guilty person to change their ways, not so much just so we can punish them. If we punish for the sake of punishing, which easily becomes unjust, then why not just punish everyone? Also, if we punish out of anger, then since anger, and emotions in general, tend to stray from reasoning if they aren't guided by reasoning, become a means to causing injustice.

So, it more so sounds like you want to put God on trial. So, let me give this wager: assuming God exists, if you are right, that God does evil, then you are screwed anyway, whether you want to be with God or not, as you can't run or hide from Him. However, if you are wrong, then you are shooting yourself in the foot, and you end up acting like you know more than God, when you really don't, and you end up being dangerously irrational.

Lastly, saying that God is evil doesn't disprove the existence of God altogether, and you will hurt yourself, to where a slight modification of Pascal's Wager actually applies in this specific case, and you pick wrongly. So, it is imperative that you give solid reasoning that is beyond a reasonable doubt, which by its nature, must be easy to see for those who can reason, or if God exists, you better give Him a chance to explain Himself, or you'll be irrational in one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.

Now, I want to expand on the idea of an atheist criticizing the Christian God for being bad. On the front of it, scrutinizing over which God is true is necessary and important. Now, being an atheist is itself dangerous. For atheists, a basic principle of their position is the problem of death. Some atheists say there is nothing after death. This is the group I am really talking too.

However, for those atheists who say that there may be life after death, which position I recommend over saying that this doesn't exist, there is still the problem of explaining how this could be true, rather than having blind faith, blind hope. If you have blind faith in this though, then how would you be able to criticize religions just because they have blind faith? If you can believe in the existence of an afterlife, why not a particular afterlife (with the help of my criteria for picking the best religion)? If you have problems, that is still fine, just as long as you don't find any contradictions, meaning 2 2 = 5 and 2 2 = 4, but not necessarily that the laws of physics can't be broken, as how can you come back to life anyway without the laws of physics, especially if one's body decomposes in the meantime?

Back to the atheists who say that there is nothing after death, some atheists criticize the Christian God because the Bible says things of God which sound bad. Ignoring how true or false it is, there is a problem for atheists who say that there is nothing after death. Those no-afterlife atheists can validly attack Christianity, but they should realize that their position effectively destroys ultimate justice, and that it won't matter what one does because in the end death will prevent negative consequences. Therefore, an atheist can't say how unjust theft is without contradicting atheism, because atheism says it won't matter. No-afterlife atheists can still say an action is unjust, it is just that they would have to believe that what they are doing is absurd in order to be consistent with no-afterlife atheism.

That is a serious problem for no-afterlife atheists, because, though they don't encourage bad behavior, they can't discourage it in a reasonable way, a.k.a. avoiding absurdity.

So, a no-afterlife atheist can't attack Christianity as a no-afterlife atheist, as it must admit that its own arguments are absurd. However, the Christian doesn't have to admit this. Therefore, the Christian wins by forfeit (However, I don't want to win the debate so much as develop my thought on these topics, so my partner-opponent can stay).


Closing Arguments

I would like to thank Matt, as I enjoyed this debate. Sadly my third argument was unable to be done due to work. My shifts, as with other things had cut me off. As for my fourth, as explained in the comments, to which the entire unedited argument is, so please go there for it, I also explained that due to late night shifts and a rapid change in my sleep patterns with work, I was unable to finish it, but I was just about to post it when the timer went off.

Now I want to make this clear, this is a closing argument. I'm not going to refute anything as that is not the purpose of this argument. This is simply to reiterate my side, and in a more clear view for you to understand, the reader, in order to make my case.
  • CAP in this argument will mean Closing Argument Point.

CAP1 -
Due to the religions in my past argument, the creation, the very text and laws of the books, none of the religions show to be based around all knowing gods nor follow things based on any science. First off all the Abraham incarnations of the Jewish God do not follow laws an all knowing God would give, but bronze age men. Evidence is pointed to the mythos of Moses. Only 2 are real laws, if anything, and you'd think a all knowing God would say not to rape anyone, all sexes are equal and that what people do sexually is their own, like gay sex and marriage. To be tolerant of other faiths and to not rape or have sex or marry kids. To wait until Age X, when they can logically follow means to do so. Laws are created by men. Which in turn creates your subjective morals. God doesn't once say not to rape little kids or women, and even the NT God with Jesus is still sexist. Laws like murder and stealing were made the same way street fighting, animal abuse, selling humans, sexism, racism, child rape, rape in general, and pedophilia are wrong via most laws. Because we humans come up with them. You have laws on murder being wrong because I don't want to be killed. Matt likely doesn't either. So we create a nation or we rule one and agree to make laws to not kill, thus preventing it by some means. Same with stealing. Laws like you not allowed to shave, work on the sabbath, let women teach men, allow women who are bald to go uncovered, etc are not laws of our time, but bronze ages, and thus is why a book based on all knowing Gods has them.

So the probability of that God ever being real as compared to being an agnostic areligious atheist, like me, who takes on the position of neutrality, is more logical because we follow what scientific evidence shows us, that admits being wrong and tries to correct itself, and will change when wrong. As such, following the reality we know based on that is the most logical and is why all other positions, religion or Gods, is not. If you're wrong, you're wrong. You shouldn't wager your life just to save your butt. That's wrong and you know it and any God of modern religion would know that and would not accept you.

Why does 2+2=4? cause that is what mathematics tells us and we follow it. We don't disagree because of God or religion, we agree because the evidence shows us that two 2's are equal to the number 4. That is the fact of mathematics. As such, as of now, what we know, the brain is responsible for all the souls and spirits claimed to be. The idea spirits exist is silly and there is no evidence for it. So why would you assume they are? It would be best to deny they exist until more sufficient evidence arises, and as such the idea of any religion and God (including afterlife) should follow suit. You won't say otherwise because of religion, and you won't believe some guy on the street saying otherwise while claiming to be God with a book that is proven to be 500 years old written by some arbitrary man who might have write about him, because he really has no proof. Something being archaic doesn't mean it is right by right of age. Follow the evidence, wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgement.

CAP3 -
Do you know why I am comfortable with nothing after death? Because I've come to understand that there is no reason to fear you live once and when you die, everything turns off. I get it, it's scary. I know, because I've had to deal with it for a while now. But you don't need it. We are rational people. You don't need a nightlight to help you find your way through life, especially one that makes the most absurd rules, like not shaving, or a God who created this vast universe (study the universe as I have for college and you will see how massive it is) and that on this one planet, we were the special creation and that this all knowing, all powerful God cares enough to have a book to explain who he is (and this is more specifically to Christianity) and be wrong about almost everything, have no actual science, have a fable of a creation story, and laws that make no sense and actually care about where you stick your male sex organs. And cares enough to test you, when he knows what you think. Punishes you for thoughtcrime. Creates you sick and demands you on pain and suffering to be well again all while demanding you give him thanks for things he did not do. Or that he will give you money or help you win a game that you can't explain, yet won't cure aids, lets babies be born with deformities, like that one in India who had been labeled the Frog Baby and had a liquid brain and had no real life. That cares about what you do and will kill you if you do it, condemns thinking about a girl your neighbor has, which you can't completely control, nor sexual urges, stealing and murder, yet not enough passion to tell his people to not raid villages, make people walk for years based on petty, asinine crimes against him, like worshiping a 'false' god. Or telling his people to not rape other people or marry and or have sex with little kids while giving logical scientific reasons and ordering them not to do it. No, instead he gives basic bronze age rules. There is no way, based on probability, the Christian God is even close to be the most logical of them all. Buddhism is more likely to be a realistic religion than Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

CAP4 -
Not only do you have to compete with the 40,000 or so schools of Christianity, and all the preachers teaching people heir interpretation of the book, but you have to compete with: [1]

1 Abrahamic religions
1.1 Bábism
1.2 Bahá'í Faith
1.3 Christianity
1.3.1 Other Christian
1.3.2 No-longer-extant Christian groups
1.4 Gnosticism
1.5 Islam
1.5.1 Sufi and Shia Sects
1.6 Druze
1.7 Judaism and related religions
1.8 Black Hebrew Israelites
1.9 Rastafari movement
1.10 Mandaeans and Sabians
1.11 Shabakism
2 Indian religions
2.1 Ayyavazhi
2.2 Bhakti movement
2.3 Buddhism
2.4 Din-e Ilahi
2.5 Hinduism
2.6 Jainism
2.7 Meivazhi
2.8 Sikhism
3 Iranian religions
3.1 Zoroastrianism
3.2 Gnostic religions
3.3 Bábí movement
3.4 Yazdânism
4 East Asian religions
4.1 Confucianism
4.2 Shinto
4.2.1 Shinto-inspired religions
4.3 Taoism
4.3.1 Contemporary Taoism-inspired religions
4.4 Other
4.4.1 Chinese
4.4.2 Korean
4.4.3 Vietnamese
5 African diasporic religions
6 Mesoamerican religions
7 Indigenous traditional religions
7.1 African
7.2 American
7.3 Eurasian
7.4 Oceania/Pacific
7.4.1 Cargo cults
8 Historical polytheism
8.1 Ancient Near Eastern
8.2 Indo-European
8.2.1 Hellenistic
8.3 Uralic
9 Mysticism and occult
9.1 Esotericism and mysticism
9.1.1 Western mystery tradition
9.2 Occult and magic
10 Modern Paganism
10.1 Syncretic
10.2 Ethnic
11 New religious movements
11.1 New Thought
11.2 Shinshukyo

CAP5 & Conclusion -
Neutrality (agnostic atheism) is the logical choice to wait for evidence, all while the others claim to have knowledge about something they do not. How can I be sure? Because I do not know and neither do you or does anyone else. Vote Pro. Thank you.

Cited Work
Debate Round No. 5
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Matt532 2 years ago
Ok, I've been trying to make the argument clearer for the past day or so. In a previous debate, I gave the argument, and the guy was confused. He then said I did "some nice mental gymnastics." Yeah. The place where you do mental gymnastics is called Mathematics. It is so true.

I just posted my argument in an open debate. You can comment or debate.

The question my opponent had was, "We can't we ask about God's existence?" What I was trying to do over the past day is to give as logically tight and understandable of an answer as I can. I initially thought of Balam's Ontological Argument and its use of denying an "actually occurred in the past" infinite time. I wasn't satisfied with either the argument nor the criticisms. However, I think the clarification I found would also clarify Balam's argument. However, instead of infinite time, I want to argue against an infinite cause-effect chain, as I guess both hinge on the sub-proof for God I was trying to find.

I actually remembered that I had such a proof from my Natural Theology teacher, and that I used the explanation of an infinite-domino chain to help me understand how the proof would work. I just needed to find a way to deal with any possible valid objections with that proof, so I tried to make clear where the problem is.

If my argument works, then I think it should work against an infinite-past, an infinite domino-chain, and an infinite cause-effect chain.
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
If you have it, by all means, send it my way.
Posted by Matt532 2 years ago
If you're busy Berend, you don't have to keep the conversation going. I can figure something else out. This (and other similar conversations) have helped me become more aware of the contested points, which is the beginning of trying to defend one's side (there is no defense without an offense, at least in this sense).

And yes, in my proof of God, I would argue that I am using a science, I just realized, a few minutes ago. It is probably the ugliest and most beautiful science. It is ugly in terms of trying to understand it, and beautiful once you understand it. It is Mathematics. I must admit a great interest in Math. My only problem with it was how narrow or useless it seemed, compared to the most important things of life. That was until I realized I could use the math proof/logic techniques in those areas which are the most important to life.
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
Half the comment was deleted.

"both have had the post count to give and opening, closing and rebuttal with enough to give a vote on a debate without a FF as there should be plenty of context to go by."
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
While that is true, and I'm not sure if anyone has argued its validity, both have had the post to give open enough to give a vote on a debate without a FF. Especially when each user really only FF'ed one argument round. Unless there is a significant amount or no context to go by, a simple FF shouldn't be a penalization in my eyes nor has it ever been so to me. But of course his vote is valid.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
The vote is valid ( and I'm an atheist ). Whilst it could have been explained better by the voter, the number of forfeits affects the number of rounds that both sides get to argue.
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
OK, I'm home. And yes, he is Catholic, and that can seem bias, but I wouldn't make his vote invalid. I will say that marking anyone a winner based on the number of forfeits is wrong and unfair. Especially hen one is done out of fairness for the other not having an argument or to give time. Or one in which the user post saying they have to give the round up due to lack of time, and the other one simply due to time running out as you type the counter. So I personally do not count the vote, but votes don't matter to me. I'm here for a fun debate on the topic an possibly change minds via rhetoric. If he wants to choose a winner simply based on FF's, that is his move. I find it dumb, but that is his to make. I'd do it if there were FF's and no reasoning for it or even an attempt to try. Otherwise, I'd use the basic style. Who had more convincing arguments? Who used more reliable sources? Who X and so on?

This FF voting is one downside I have to the site, but it's just a vote and a debate and just another number. I'm not going to waste time talking to a mod, especially when his vote isn't really illegal.

Also, Matt, I do want to reply to your comment arguments, and arguably your debate ones head on. But I'd need to do that in a thread, a PM, or I'd do it via a document and send you the link. Assuming you do want that or would like an opposing view to your comments since you challenged my closing argument.

Also, for your proof of God, I do want it. Scientific evidence to support said God is overwhelmingly true. I hold a scientific mind, so that is how I take my evidence. personally.
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
I'll post tonight after work about his vote, but aside my innate competitive me, I don't care about who wins. I like to argue religion with people and you presented me with an interesting debate. That's all I wanted.

Good discussion, mate.
Posted by Matt532 2 years ago
Just to let you know about dsjpk5's voting. Two points.

(i) I noticed that he says he is neutral on the subject. The ones who don't lean either side probably aren't interested in voting, so it is very unusual for someone to be neutral on this subject, though it is technically possible. Looking at dsjpk5's own profile though, he self identifies as a Catholic, so this looks confusing.

(ii) He friended me telling me, "Us guys should stick together." Not that that's bad. I just think that people shouldn't base their decisions based on how people voted, on who the winner is, but on an objective analysis, listening to both sides, though one can listen to the voters.

So, I think that merely winning an argument by votes isn't the way to convince people to become theists or Catholics. The best way is to understand the issues that the opponent has, look at possible defenses, and see what that opponent has to say. If nothing else, as long as one stays logical, one's arguments will become more compelling if they properly address the opponent's grievances, which tend to have a point or have some truth to them.

One has to be open to being wrong at times, and that debating an argument can cause one to develop a greater understanding of their side and the opponents, and so one should seize those opportunities, as that is what will make a person as their side stronger. One should also explicitly point out the weaknesses in one's own argument, so to not be ignorant of them, and to be thinking of them in the back of one's mind so that one maybe one may have a greater understanding of that point, either in saying there is a potential solution, or admit that the weakness can't seem to be refuted, and understand why that is so.

Shoot! When I said, "threw out the ideal" in the last comment, I meant if God showed those people his ideals.
Posted by Matt532 2 years ago
Round 5 comments:
Woah! What a bombshell you threw off in round 5! I didn't get an opportunity to talk about God and the Old Testament laws.

I'll do so here. Actually, I think you are right in saying that those laws were bronze laws. The question I would pose is that is this God's ideal, or is God permitting it, because if He threw out the ideal those people would downright reject it?

If God is permitting it, it is more so the bronze law. One example of this is with divorce, in that in the Old Testament, Moses allowed divorce (I heard because the men were killing the wives just so they could remarry, and man is more important than the law, the law was meant for man and not man for the law). However, Jesus came to fulfill the law, meaning give the ideals back to the laws.

Now, this would work if those bronze laws were better than the laws in the surrounding countries. I have heard that this is true.

As for wagering my life, I'd lose my life anyway because of death if there is no afterlife, so unless there is easy and clear proof disproving God's Existence or God's goodness, it won't hurt to believe in God. It technically won't even hurt to believe in God if there is no afterlife, though it would be pointless if this were true, though everything else would be just as pointless, so it wouldn't hurt.

I can see why you say that atheism is neutral (in regards with anti-theism), but I don't see why it is true (with regards to belief in God or not).

I don't know that the brain is responsible for all the souls and spirits, though there has to be at best a unity-dualism, and not any type of dualism.

You ignored my free-will argument against materialism, as well as my other argument against materialism.

It is not best to say that spirits don't exist, because that means life is absurd, unless there is a way for there to be an afterlife with only materialism.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff more rounds than Con, so conduct to Con.