The Instigator
be_diligent
Pro (for)
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The Contender
DeepThought42
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Proof That God is Real

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 687 times Debate No: 84298
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
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be_diligent

Pro

Many are seeking proof that God is real. They stubbornly argue, "prove that God is real!"

My questions are these:

1.) What is it that I could say that would cause you to change your mind?

2) What exactly do you want God to prove to you?

3) Why do you think He has to prove anything to anyone?

One could argue about creation Vs. the big boom, or one could argue about the existence of things that can't be seen with the naked eye, like air or love.

Although these arguments are true and good, for the most part they won't change a persons mind.

Those, along with many other arguments have been going on throughout history, and I'm guessing that not many have been convinced.

The real proof is in a personal relationship with Christ Jesus, believing in Him is the first step, sincerely seeking the will of God is the next.

Those who know, simply know that He is real because they have that personal relationship. Yet, those who believe in Jesus are not seeking proof. They are seeking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus Himself addressed this, "proof," issue when He told Thomas this:

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

What kind of "proof," would make you believe? How many have attempted to "prove," to you that God is real? I'm guessing that if anyone takes this debate, that person will say that many have tried to convince him or her.

In the bible there is an account of a rich man and a beggar. Both die, and the rich man goes to hell. The rich man begs to have the poor man warn his five brothers of what lies beyond this life so that they won't end up where he ended up;.

The response was that "They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them."

The man replies,"Nay, but if one who has died went to them, then they would believe."

And the final response was:

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

I believe that those who are seeking proof really do want to know Him, and the answers are right in front of them yet they, like the brothers of the man in the above account haven't set their heart to seek the truth for themselves.

The odds are highly likely that nothing that I or anyone else says will produce the "proof," that will change a person's mind.

Why are you seeking proof through others rather than seeking it in Christ Jesus?

The truth is, one did die and was raised to life and still many do not believe.

Now, I can picture the arguments that will come up. I'm pretty sure I've heard them all.

But go ahead and set your arguments in order. Along with that, please tell me what I could say that cause you to change your mind?

If you have no interest in a debate that involves scriptures, then don't accept this one because every response will involve the written word.
DeepThought42

Con

Here are my responses to your questions:

1.) To change my mind on the existence of God, you would have to provide testable, scientific proof that supports the God hypothesis. I would expect the same treatment with any theory. Just as an anecdote, if someone told me that hot water freezes faster than cold water, I would want proof of this. They could show me one of several things: they could show me a scientific report on the Mpemba effect, they could show me a chart describing the Mpemba effect to provide a better visual of the molecular activity that explains this phenomenon, or they could always use a timer and two buckets of water to actually show me that hot water freezes faster than cold water. Any one of those things would change my mind on that hypothesis, so something with equal academic merit and scientific logic behind it would change my mind on the God hypothesis.

2.) Considering that I do not currently believe in a God, I do not expect Him to prove anything to me, I expect that the followers of God and those that truly believe in him to prove to me that God exists. I personally do not believe in fairies, so I wouldn't expect a fairy to prove their existence to me, I would expect a believer in fairies to prove their existence to me.

3.) As with the last point, I do not believe in a God, so therefore I do not believe it is neccessary OR even possible for Him to prove anything to anyone.

One accurate thing you do state in your argument is that many have tried and failed to prove God's existence to me. One of the main reasons is because, like with your scripture examples, they often try and make their arguments based on morality. A common question posed to me and other atheists is "How can you have morality without God?" I answer that with "quite easily." I believe that my sense of morality doesn't have to come from a "God," but rather from myself and my philosophies. I choose not to kill not because God told me not to, but rather because I can see the consequences it will have for me and for the family of the victim and my own family. I choose not to steal, not because God told me not to, but because I know the circumstances if I am caught and the impacts that my stealing can have for the owner of the good. I choose to respect my parents, not because God told me to, but because I am appreciative of what they have done to raise me and know of the many sacrifices they have made in life for me. Personally, I see this as a higher stance for morality because it is based on one's own actions and one's own standard that they set for themselves, not so that I can please some grand creator because a book says what this person does or does not like his creations to do. However, I see no where in your argument where you offer any proof of God, beyond the story of a rich man and the beggar and your personal belief that "those who are seeking proof really do want to know Him." I personally would like to seek proof that would change my mind about God and, at that point, would like to know him, the same way that I would want for any scientific hypothesis. With the theory of evolution, for example, I once sought proof so that I could further to get know the theory. The difference between the theory of evolution and the God hypothesis, however, is that proof was provided to me towards evolution so that I could further my understanding of evolution; no such evidence has been provided as to proof of God's existence.

I would like to end my argument with these questions for you:
1.) Beyond Biblical scripture, what evidence do you have that God exists?

2.) What could I say that would change your mind to think differently as to God's existence?

3.) Do you approach your belief in God from a spiritual or a scientific standpoint? If you approach it spiritually, then from the very nature of science, God can neither be proven nor disproven. If you approach it from a scientific standpoint, then how do you account for the lacking evidence that would support the existence of God?
Debate Round No. 1
be_diligent

Pro

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"1.) To change my mind on the existence of God, you would have to provide testable, scientific proof that supports the God hypothesis. I would expect the same treatment with any theory. Just as an anecdote, if someone told me that hot water freezes faster than cold water, I would want proof of this. They could show me one of several things: they could show me a scientific report on the Mpemba effect, they could show me a chart describing the Mpemba effect to provide a better visual of the molecular activity that explains this phenomenon, or they could always use a timer and two buckets of water to actually show me that hot water freezes faster than cold water. Any one of those things would change my mind on that hypothesis, so something with equal academic merit and scientific logic behind it would change my mind on the God hypothesis."
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That is the point of my original argument. God is Spirit, and you want natural proof of His existence.

You are looking at science to prove the existence of God but He is the ultimate scientist. Creation itself testifies to this.

Science is ever changing, and proof today might be different tomorrow.

One example of that would be the Volcanism hypothesis. During the 1980"s most believed that what led to the extinction of dinosaurs was volcanic activity that spewed gas, ash and dust into the atmosphere over a long period of time so that it kept sunlight from reaching Earth's surface, which led to the loss of plant growth and ultimately led to the demise of the dinosaurs.

It wasn"t until 1991 that the famous Yucatan Peninsula crater was discovered, and this shook up the scientific community.

With that in mind, scientific evidence can not make the claim that theories are the, "ultimate truth." Science, (or at least our understanding of it) is always changing.
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"2.) Considering that I do not currently believe in a God, I do not expect Him to prove anything to me, I expect that the followers of God and those that truly believe in him to prove to me that God exists. I personally do not believe in fairies, so I wouldn't expect a fairy to prove their existence to me, I would expect a believer in fairies to prove their existence to me."
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If it were possible for us to go back thirty years in time without the knowledge that we have today, you would believe the accepted scientific evidence for the cause of dinosaur extinction. You as well as most people, would accept that evidence because science made the claim. But if you did have the knowledge and were able to present the now accepted evidence, the 1980"s era would most likely not agree with you and would dismiss the evidence that you provide. So now your only recourse would be to ask them to investigate it for themselves.

Now if we were to travel thirty years into the future there is a high probability that there will be completely different scientific evidence that explains the extinction of dinosaurs.
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"3.) As with the last point, I do not believe in a God, so therefore I do not believe it is neccessary OR even possible for Him to prove anything to anyone."
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I will argue that this is precisely the reason why most who doubt, won"t find the evidence you"re looking for. Even with scientific discoveries, all it took was one person who believed in possibilities beyond understanding.

Now I mentioned in my original argument that I would use the bible, and although you disregard it as being true, I would hope that you will consider the passage that I share.

I will paraphrase a bit, and if you would like to read it for yourself, the passage comes from Luke Ch. 24.

In the account that is written, Jesus had been crucified and was in the tomb. The disciples hadn"t grasped what Jesus had told them, that He would raise from the dead after three days.

There are two disciples traveling together on the road to Emmaus (a city.) As they are walking, a man approaches them and walks and talks with them. They did not recognize the man nor even consider that this man was Jesus.

As they are walking, he begins to talk with them about prophetic scriptures and elaborating on those scriptures to them in a way that has their interest. They are approaching a city, and they ask this man to abide with them through in the city for the night.

The man agrees.

I"ll post the next two verses:

Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

There are a few hidden rules contained in the entire passage.

1. One will not recognize Jesus unless HE reveals who He is to them. These two disciples were believers but their eyes hadn"t been opened yet.

2. They recognized the knowledge and wisdom of the man who walked with them on the road, and they asked Him to abide with them.

Now Jesus did not reveal His true identity to everyone, but to those who believed.

The disciples on the road to Emmaus obviously believed because they recognized the wisdom in what the man said, and they asked him to abide with them.

As I stated in my original message, the only way for anyone to know for sure, is through a personal relationship in Christ Jesus.

Doubt is like a big blindfold. The more a person doubts, the more difficult it is to actually see.

To answer your questions.

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"1.) Beyond Biblical scripture, what evidence do you have that God exists?"
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A personal relationship, is my personal evidence. Along with personal subjective experience.
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"2.) What could I say that would change your mind to think differently as to God's existence?"
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There no human alive that could cause me to doubt what I know is true.
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3.) Do you approach your belief in God from a spiritual or a scientific standpoint? If you approach it spiritually, then from the very nature of science, God can neither be proven nor disproven. If you approach it from a scientific standpoint, then how do you account for the lacking evidence that would support the existence of God?
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I believe that the only approach is through a spiritual standpoint. A heart that is willing to ask, "God, do you exist, and will you help my unbelief?" Is the heart that will be changed from the need for proof to the desire to know everything about Him that a person can comprehend. A changed heart will bring that desire to want to draw near to God. With all of the uncertainty in this world, a heart that is set on Him will find the truth.

Thank you for your very thoughtful and intelligent response
DeepThought42

Con

Thank you for the quick and well written response.

I'd first like to address your point on science, how you state "Science is ever changing, and proof today might be different tomorrow." This isn't a folly of science, but rather an integral and important aspect of it. Our understanding of the world around us changes based on the new evidence that we are able to find. This is important because it allows our understanding of the world to grow and change as we learn new evidence and rethink old ideas. For many years, people believed in strictly the Biblical account of creation. However, Charles Darwin later found evidence and he created his theory of evolution. Science later found further evidence that provided proof that evolution is the best model for creation. This shows how our understanding changes from generation to generation with new discoveries and understandings. With the dinosaur extinction example you use, most of the evidence that science had pointed towards the volcanic eruption theory. Then, the Yucatan Peninsula was discovered and science incorporated the new evidence into their belief system. That is how science works. While some may say that this shows that evidence may later be found for the existence of God, that logic can be applied to literally anything. Currently, I don't believe in leprechauns, but why shouldn't I because proof may be found that point to their existence on a later date?

You state that you approach God from a spiritual standpoint, and that is a standpoint that I can respect. However, from this standpoint, God can neither be proven nor disproven. In fact, God can neither be proven nor disproven from a science standpoint. Science is understanding of the world based on discovered evidence, so by the very nature of science, science cannot disprove anything. Science cannot say that God is not real, but science can say that there is a large lack of evidence for the existence of God. I respect your stance that you will find God in your heart, but as I've mentioned before, this belief system can be applied to anything. I could say that I found salvation in fairies, but because I take a stance on it spiritually, you cannot prove nor disprove the existence of a fairy.

I would also like to address a theme I read in the comments, a point that I was actually going to make in my first argument: that you look at God only from the Christian standpoint and do not give merit to any other God. If you believe in the Christian God, what causes Him to have any more merit than the Islamic Allah or the Hindu God Vishnu? Richard Dawkins states in The God Delusion, "we are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." I would like to end my argument with the question I had above: what causes your God to have any more merit than the Gods of any other society and what proof shows that He has that higher merit?
Debate Round No. 2
be_diligent

Pro

First I would like to say thank you for being very considerate. This is actually the first debate In which I have ever taken part, and I"m excited that my contender is offering well considered points and perspectives.

I agree that science is an integral part of our learning about the world around us. Yet with ever-changing scientific discoveries and theories nobody can say at any moment that any theory is absolute truth. Which is why they are called theories.

Just to be clear, I did not refer to advances in science as being a "folly". However, the folly that I believe resides in the need for scientific proof alone is that there can"t be any solid proof in which a person can hold a firm stance. I am not anti-science. My own father passed away years ago after having heart surgery that was, at that time, very risky. Today, because of scientific and medical advancements, that same surgery is a simple low-risk procedure. So, I am thankful for the continuous advancements, which in my view, does not diminish from the existence of God, but speaks loudly to fact that God is far higher than us in every single way, and it is because of His very creation that we can attain to any advancements at all.

I am not one who believes that science will prove the existence of God. If the amazingly organized intelligent aspects of scientific discoveries hasn't caused one to recognize that there is a much higher force behind creation, then there's nothing that I can say that will change a person's mind. Just as I quoted in my original argument:

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

It is the same principle.

As with the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, and the anti-Christ opinions of many in this world today isn't it our individual responsibility to search out the truth personally? If, in the end we are wrong at least we can say that we did our best to search it out and did not rely on opinions and theories. Will a theory or an opinion make a difference in the end? I think not. What we find as being absolutely true, will.

Just for the sake of the argument presented, my take on evolution is this.

There are many who disagree with the theory of evolution. For each scientific "proof," or rather, theory, there are equally convincing arguments that offer "proof,' that is just as solid.

Charles Darwin had no understanding of genetic coding. This is not to dismiss his intellect, but while the theory of evolution was being "theorized," genetic coding was many years away from being discovered.

As you know, I"m sure, that genetic coding dictates the offspring that any living creature will produce.
For there to be changes in any genetic code, as Mendel"s laws of genetics demonstrates. (Although even Mendel's theory has been changed.) there are definite limitations.

There isn't any case where different species of animals have bred and produced an entirely different species. There definitely have been differences in specific animals bit those differences can even be observed by us today. Two different breeds of a dog would produce perhaps a small dog or a large dog, a long haired dog or a short haired dog. Yet, the dogs that are produced remain dogs as is the case with every living creature. The encoded genetics dictate what any creature will produce and its traits. In order for there to be an entirely new trait intertwined in an animal's DNA, there would have to be new genetics introduced. Although certain traits may lie dormant for unknown amounts of time I have never heard of any case where dogs produce a cow, or cats produced a mouse. I have no relatives that are monkey, (although that in itself is debatable.)

I would think that science today has the technology to introduce something new into an already genetically encoded string, but that would involve some sort of intervention and although there are recorded cases of genetic "flukes," even on those rare occasions, it takes a lot of speculation to form the idea that there is some sort of other species in a genealogical line.

If you look at a chart that depicts evolution we can start at the beginning, with a monkey.
There is no argument that there are still monkeys in existence today. We can look at the end of the chart which depicts man, and we can say with certainty that there are still men today. Where are all the creatures in-between? One would think that each one survived long enough to leave behind tremendous amounts of evidence of domination for a decent period of time, but the evidence is sparse at best. I don"t usually spend time researching evidence for evolution as I personally do not believe that it is accurate, but every ten years or so some single skeletal remains are found and science immediately jumps to the conclusion that they have found the ever-evasive missing link.

Let"s examine the world religions. The bible acknowledges the existence of different religions even in the very first book (Genesis.) So today's mixture of religions is really nothing new.

The bible states this:

Isaiah 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

If you research world religions and different time frames, all have a documented beginning, (and some have a documented end.) Christianity and Judaism both adhere to the belief that God has always existed and directly conveyed His will to mankind at the very foundation of the earth as the above verse shows.

If you research all the way back to Nimrod and Babylon, the separation and divisions that took place and the religions that have formed since that time, you will see that there are similarities today that tie directly to the different religions that have formed on this earth throughout history. The bible bears historical record of many different beliefs systems, from the followers of "Dagon," to followers of the "goddess Diana." If you feel drawn to research these different belief systems, you will even find that many times there is a common denominator that involves a serpent symbol and in other cases, a moon sliver and a star. I can even name a so-called Christian denomination that uses the serpent symbol as part of it"s base system, and refers to it as the "white snake," or "quasi quatro," I will leave that to you to look into. I certainly hope that you will because if nothing else, you will have even more knowledge than you"ve already displayed in your wonderful and well thought-out responses.

I must add that in the bible, the other different religions that were present were never once considered to be based on the same God. For there is only one God and His name is Yahweh.

This brings me back to my original statement. "There is nothing that I could say that would cause a person to believe."

Ultimately, the burden of proof comes down to each person seeking it out in Christ Jesus for themselves. If it"s proof that a person seeks, then ask HIM sincerely.

Thank you for taking part in this debate. I look forward to your final response.

A big thank you to all who added comments and brought forward great points for consideration.
DeepThought42

Con

I would also like to thank you for being very considerate and civil with this debate. I would also like to give my sympathies about your father, and I know how painful the death of a close one can be.

I would like to make my final argument with these points:

1) While it is true that Judaism and Christianity were early monotheistic (one God) religions, they were in no means the first. Most religious historians will point to Zoroastrianism as the world first monotheist religion, so again, what puts the Christian God above that God or the God of any other religion? Personally, I would say nothing, and it comes down to cultural differences that makes you say that the Christian God is the true God, much the same that if you had been born in Iraq you would believe that Allah and the Islamic principles are the one true God and one true religion.

2) I have no qualms about someone using God and religion as a source of morale guidance and as a spiritual center, but I do take issue with someone seeing God as the ultimate creator. That does a huge discredit to science and what we have discovered about the natural world. We have discovered so many amazing systems that allow that govern the universe and allow it to continue its ever going change and expansion that just saying "God did it all" almost makes it seem unimpressive in comparison. To think that billions of years of evolution lead to seems so much more awe-inspiring and poetic than to just think God snapped his fingers and man was made.

3) While there are certainly issues with the various scientific theories as to the origins of life, they hold much more weight for most scientists than the God hypothesis. The fact that Charles Darwin had no concept of genetics does not discredit his theory of evolution, if anything, it further shows how much weight the theory has, since genetics was actually able to provide a vehicle for the changes we see in species from generation to generation. Meanwhile, there has been no evidence beyond blind faith that would support the existence of God. This is surprising because there are many, many ways that other theories could be disproven. For instance, if just ONE fossil was found in a geographically incorrect place, then basically the entirety of evolution would be thrown out the window, but that hasn't happened.

In conclusion, thus far, we have found very little, if not zero, proof that would point to the existence of God. It is simply illogical and in the face of theories that have been tested and peer reviewed, the God hypothesis is a failed theory that exists on blind faith and belief alone.

Once again, thank you for this debate and I look forward to see how the vote turns out.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by be_diligent 11 months ago
be_diligent
Sorry, I meant to post this on another debate comment.
Posted by be_diligent 11 months ago
be_diligent
Here are two scientific studies that lend credence to the biblical account of Noah's flood.

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.newscientist.com...

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Posted by Edlvsjd 11 months ago
Edlvsjd
What if one could groove the earth was a stationary plain with a dome and waters above just as it is described in the bible, nasa(aka satan, Google their logo, snake tongue can be shaped into a t, and Google the origins of nasa(operation paper clip)) is hiding God from you.
Posted by be_diligent 11 months ago
be_diligent
All of the attributes that you listed are based on your own understanding. Even in this world in a court of Law accusations have to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You said that you will never embrace the Christian God. (The true God.) So then you really have no right to talk about Him.

I've been where you are and can reason based on that, but all of your reasoning is as baseless as the claims that you make about God.

There really can't be any debate when the person attempting to debate a subject hasn't even honestly and sincerely looked into it.

Would you take a college course from an instructor who never studied the subject in which he or she teaches, and who never even read the text book? I doubt it.

Let me know when you have studied it sincerely and with an open mind. Then I would be happy to debate you.

Sincerely wishing you the best. It was nice talking with you.
Posted by missmedic 11 months ago
missmedic
I will never embrace the idea of a Christian god, it is to imperfect. What kind of god has human attributes, the ones invented by humans. The Christian god has Hate, revenge, jealousy, capriciousness, injustice to innocents, murderous, punishing, nationalism, irrational, hypocritical, neurotic, secretive, and mendacious. The bible use guilt, shame, fear and hatred as motivators. The best path to knowledge, understanding and world peace will never be religion or faith.
Posted by be_diligent 11 months ago
be_diligent
Yes, I do quote the bible, and I do believe that it is 100% true. Sometimes people who consider themselves intellectual are more closed minded than those who they accuse of being closed minded!

You are not alone, as I said. The majority of people hold similar beliefs as you.

Belief in the one true God is absolutely necessary. Other wise the "truth," is all your faith is in yourself, and that will not get a person anywhere.

You mention being "good." lol I'm sorry I used to think that the good things that I did were the measure of my almost self-martyred greatness.

The truth is, once you get a good look at your own heart and the scales are right in front of you, you'll see how mistaken that line of thought is. It's really amazing because after I recognized it in myself I can recognize it in an instant in others.

Your own "goodness," will not get you anywhere. Sure, you might have the praise of men, but that's where it ends.

God's goodness is where it's at.

It's no marvel, every single one of us has at some point or another leaned on our own understanding. Some of us have come to know that God is far greater than any of us will ever be no matter how "good," we think we are.

I'll say it one last time.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the FATHER but by HIM.

That is the truth, and all of the arguments in the world will not change it. One day you will know it too. I guarantee it.
Posted by missmedic 11 months ago
missmedic
You keep quoting the bible as though you are certain of its writing being true. However the intellectually honest person knows the bible does not meet the criteria for a credible source. Belief in gods is unnecessary for any pragmatic, important part of one's life. If God is real and good, he won't care if you believe in him, as long as you were the best person you could be. And if there is no god, then it's worth being good for its own sake: because we have compassion for other people, and because being good makes our world a better place, for ourselves and everyone else. The god of the bible is a capricious, egoistic, insecure jackass whose lessons on how to act are so unclear we're still fighting about them after thousands of years, so we have no way of knowing what behavior he's going to punish or reward, then we might as well just be good according to our own understanding. Because faith has no value when it comes to evaluating whether a religion is likely true or not.
Posted by be_diligent 11 months ago
be_diligent
continued:

Jesus extends an open invitation to all who will believe.

Even the disciples who walked directly with Him asked Him questions, and He answered them plainly.

Jesus referred to Himself as the bread from heaven, the "manna."

The word manna means, "What it is."

Manna
4478 man mawn from 4100; literally, a whatness (so to speak), i.e. manna (so called from the question about it):--manna.

So it's not about a building, or a denominational doctrine, it's about seeking everything out in HIM.

There is a true church, I've met members from all over the world.
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