The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

People of sound reason do not cite scientific knowledge for their belief in God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,857 times Debate No: 2780
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (13)

 

HandsOff

Pro

For centuries greater minds have attempted to use logic, science and history to argue for and against the existence of God. So far each side has failed to meet the scientific standards required to make his case beyond a reasonable doubt. Intellectually honest people (from scientists to theologens) will be the first to admit that neither side has proven its case conclusively. The jury is still out, as I believe it will always be, due to the inherent limitations of using earthbound sciences in an attempt to prove or disprove the unearthly.

Faith, however, (whether blind or partially supported by historical facts and timelines) is a perfectly acceptable reason to believe in God, or in anything else for that matter. Just as the existence of God is no mattter for science, faith is no matter for the scrutiny of logic. Therefore, people of sound reason do not, and should not feel obligated to, cite scientific knowledge for their belief in God.
wingnut2280

Con

Why is faith free from the scrutiny of logic? I am allowed to make irrational and illogical conclusions and beliefs and have them be legitimized? I think people should have more constitution than to base their belief on 'because I just do' rationalizations.

When questioned about your belief, you should have more weight and support than 'I have a good feeling'.

While I agree that the jury is still out and probably always will be, we should at least attempt to have a deeper rationalization than pure faith.
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

That line of thinking suits me too. But do you think it's with deep contemplation and good solid reasoning that the majority of Americans decide to become Christians or that the majority of Israelis decide to become Jewish, or that the majority of Arabs decide to become Muslims? Do you really think each individual has seriously considered all possibilities (including the absence of God altogether) and somehow coincidentally come to the same conclusion as 90% of his fellow citizens?

Many believers will cite scientific knowledge and objective reasoning for making their religious choices, but most honest people of sound reason will not. Statistics prove that most people will end up observing the same spoon-fed religion that is predominant among their fellow citizens. Therefore their decisions are primarily based on immediate influence rather than solid reasoning.
wingnut2280

Con

I agree. People usually don't make objective or rational decisions regarding religion. I don't think that is the topic. You are arguing that pure faith is a legitimate reason for belief. I argue that people should have a deeper rationalization than simple faith. While we agree that the debate can't be settled, I think people should be able to ground their believe in something more concrete than pure faith.

I think that the debate has gotten a little fuzzy. So, if you could clarify in the next round if I have misunderstood, that would be great.

Thanks
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

"You are arguing that pure faith is a legitimate reason for belief."

No I am not. Do I believe that? Probably. It works for people who believe in astrology, voodoo and spells. As verified by the topic of debate, I am arguing that "people of sound reason do not cite scientific knowledge for their belief in God." So far you have asserted that people SHOULD credit more than just blind faith. But you have not defended the position that people OF SOUND REASON do cite SCIENTIFIC PROOF for their belief in God. To rebut my original claim, you would need to state that position and then defend it with good argument. Are you willing to do that?
wingnut2280

Con

In order to be of sound reasoning your logic must be cogent. I must have sound reasoning in order to be classified as being of sound reason.

You haven't refuted my claim that pure faith is an illegitimate basis for belief. In other words, without something deeper than faith, your reasoning isn't sound.

Therefore, people of sound reasoning, by definition, would have to cite something other than faith, like scientific knowledge. If they don't, they are automatically not of sound reason. So, to be of sound reason you MUST cite something other than faith, or scientific and logical reasoning.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TonyX311 9 years ago
TonyX311
Thanks Hands. When school finally settles down I'd like to debate you sometime because I think it would be fun to debate against someone who has good head on their shoulders. I have not begun one yet because I see too many ridiculous arguments on here and am afraid that any debate I would start would be reduced to a shouting match.

I should think it would be a pleasure to debate you. Win or lose.

Peace,

Tony
Posted by Ironduke 9 years ago
Ironduke
Faith is believing in something even if you can't see it. Which means, no, not every decision made in faith will be logical. Refering to the Bible, why would Ethster enter the king of Persia's throne room without permission. that would be punished by death. But she went in anyway, acting in faith. And that, is the fundamental part of your relationship with Jesus. Faith may ask you to do strange, and sometimes fatal looking things. But in the end, the pros far out way the cons.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
We may have stumbled on a good debate topic:

Is it possible for a person of sound reasoning to make a decision based on faith?
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Tony,
Good posts. I think believers can be people of sound reason as long as they are willing to relinquish sound reason as their cause for belief. Religion and logic do not belong in the same arena. If one realizes this and can compartmentalize his belief in God as being independent from his normal decision making process, he can qualify himself as a person of sound reason, while citing faith for this exception. I think this position is intellectually honest and more noble that wrestling to logically justify that which is not logical.
Posted by TonyX311 9 years ago
TonyX311
Hands, your definition of what it is to be a "person of sound reason" is reasonable. I would have liked to see that appear within the context of the debate. Philosophers debate constantly what it is to be "of sound mind" so clearly you cannot expect people to know what your definition is when there is no clearly obvious one.

Additionally, if that is your definition, then shouldn't people of sound reason doubt the existence of any God since they obviously cannot be even close to 100% certain of it? You are strengthening the argument against you. This definition seems to defeat your point that people of sound reason use faith to back their beliefs. Faith is a leap that seems to be against your definition.

"...[using] his mental faculties to come to certainty, or realization that it cannot certainty cannot be determined. He is one who does not claim to know that of which he has no certain knowledge."?

Shouldn't this entail that people of sound reason do not make leaps of faith, but rather use their faculties to come to their beliefs and avoid "claim[ing] to know that of which [they] have no certain knowledge?"

BTW, you got my vote in the debate, I just think both of you missed the point.

-Tony
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Had my opponent claimed that people of good reason do indeed cite scientific knowledge for their belief in god, I would have had to refute that claim by defining "people of good reason" and explaining that those who do are not people of good reason. I was hoping that would come up. I didn't want to fire all of my guns in the first argument, and as it turns out, an explanation was never necessary for this debate.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
Though I'm familiar with Pro's arguments and know what he is talking about/what he is arguing, I don't think he made it clear enough to the other voters and to Con. And as Tony below has stated, no one ever got to the most important issue of what it means to be a person of sound reason.

In response to Con, faith can be completely devoid of everything else. Your first argument

"I am allowed to make irrational and illogical conclusions and beliefs and have them be legitimized?"

is flawed. The answer is "yes", even though you are expecting a rhetorical "no". It depends on what you mean by "legitimized" and by whose scale. If you presuppose an objective scale that determines legitimacy (which you do, and that scale is logic/science) then this argument becomes a begging the question fallacy.

That being said, you don't have a supporting argument for your thesis:

"pure faith is an illegitimate basis for belief"

Which is a positive claim where the burden of proof falls on you.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Tony,
Did I assume too much? A person of sound reason is one who uses his mental faculties to come to certainty, or realization that it cannot certainty cannot be determined. He is one who does not claim to know that of which he has no certain knowledge.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Did I assume too much? A person of sound reason is one who uses his mental faculies to come to certainty. He is one who does not claim to know that of which he has no certain knowlege.
Posted by TonyX311 9 years ago
TonyX311
Neither of you actually got at what it means to be a "person of sound reason." Handsoff appeals to the average believers arrival at belief, while wingnut assumes that certain premises are correct that might justify his conclusion, without taking the time to provide evidence for them. Though I take the side of wingnut, I believe that handsoff has argued his point more thoroughly, though I believe neither of you really struck oil so to speak.
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