The Instigator
hayhen13
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Religion (Christ)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
hayhen13
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/26/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 628 times Debate No: 65890
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

hayhen13

Con

The idea of religion has guided humans throughout history, but is it real? My position on this matter is against the idea of religion since I read the Bible and it did not seem right. I then switched to atheist views and believe that the human instinct and curiousity has lead alll early peoples to need to know why things work. So they invented stories to explain these events. (Ex. Zeus creates lightning.) These myths helped all of the earliest people feel satisfied and safe and some even promised that if they are good then they can live luxuriously on clouds and become angels and fly everywhere. Almost every groups of people made their own religion and there are believed to be roughly 4,200 religions. This definately helped satisfy people and make them feel safe. But as our technologies become more advanced and we become samrter, we dont need myths and magic what to do, we can accept reality and what actually is instead of lies. But still the majority of people believe in these myths even though the plain facts are simple. I will mainly be questioning the christian branch of religion and would like to debate this topic with an intelligent person who supports religion.
1Credo

Pro

1. Acceptance

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I look forward to a good discussion!

I assume my opponent will be affirming the position that atheism as true, while I will be affirming the position that Christian theism is true. As such, the burden of proof in this debate is shared.

2. Rebuttal

My opponent began by presenting some of his own objections to Christianity. I'll attempt to address these objections one by one before moving on to give reasons to think that Christianity is true.

"I read the Bible and it did not seem right."

This isn't really an objection, but more of a statement. I'd like to ask my opponent what it is about the Bible (perhaps a particular passage or teaching) that "did not seem right".

"I then switched to atheist views..."

Why the sudden switch to atheism? It seems to me that even if one were to disprove Christianity (or merely lose faith) this would leave that individual at theism. So, why is it that you hold atheism to be true as opposed to theism?

"Almost every groups of people made their own religion and there are believed to be roughly 4,200 religions."

Surely the fact that there are many existing theories as to what religion is the true one does not discredit any one religion in particular? As an example, let's consider the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Suppose that there were 4,200 competing theories explaining how life on Earth became the way it is today. Furthermore, let's suppose that each of these 4,200 alternate views are just as nonsensical as 7-day creationism. Does the existence of such a numerous amount of views somehow discredit any one particular view (the theory of evolution by natural selection)? Of course not. The evidence for evolution by natural selection would be just as compelling if there were 4,200 competing views as it is now. In the very same way, the existence of so many religions does nothing to discredit the truth of Christianity (which I will get to later).

"This definately helped satisfy people and make them feel safe."

There seems to be a hint of the genetic fallacy here. I agree that religion tends to satisfy people and provide comfort. However, the fact that religion satisfies people and provides comfort for them does nothing to show that it is false.

"But as our technologies become more advanced and we become samrter, we dont need myths and magic..."

I agree that we don't need myths and magic. I would argue that Christianity is neither a myth nor magic.

"But still the majority of people believe in these myths even though the plain facts are simple."

Here you appear to be implicitly suggesting that Christianity is a myth. Please specify what parts of Christianity you believe to my myths. Also, what are the "plain facts" that you're referring to?

3. Arguments


I will provide a few brief arguments in support of theism. These arguments build a cumulative case for the existence of the Christian conception of God. I encourage my opponent to take these arguments into genuine consideration. Each argument's conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. This means that in order to deny the conclusion, one must object to a premise. Until each argument is knocked down, it seems to be that there is good reason to believe that Christian theism is more likely true than atheism.

i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Defense of P1: I will not spend much time on premise one, as it is fairly self-explanatory and relatively uncontroversial. Simply put, something cannot come from nothing. This is supported by reason as well as by experience. No one has ever witnessed a material object (say, a tree) pop out of nothing in front of their eyes. The idea itself is absurd, as everything within the natural world has a cause for its existence.
Defense of P2: There is both philosophical and empirical evidence that verify premise two. In order for this premise to be false, one must assert that the universe is eternal. This suggestion contradicts both science and reason. Let us start with the philosophical evidence for premise two. Reason alone can show us that the idea of an eternal past (with an infinite number of past events) is impossible. The absurdity of infinity is shown in this example:
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract an infinite amount of coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract three coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
In both cases, I subtracted the same exact number of coins from my original count, yet I arrived at contradicting answers. This, along with several other examples (i.e. Hilbert's Hotel) go to show that infinity does not exist in reality.
Now, let us take a look at the empirical evidence supporting this premise. Aside from the obvious Big-Bang model of cosmology, which estimates that the universe came into being from nothing about 13.8 billion years ago, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that any universe which is on average in a state of expansion (as our universe is) cannot be eternal.

ii. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1: Therefore, God exists.

Defense of P1: Here again, premise one is relatively uncontroversial. If there is no God, then we have no standard from which to deem particular moral acts "good" or "evil". In order for objective moral values and duties to exist, there must exist a perfect standard: God.
Defense of P2: Each of us have a sense of morality which tells us that certain actions are objectively "good" or objectively "evil". For example, I can clearly recognize that altruism (self-sacrifice in order to further the well-being of others) is objectively good. I can also clearly recognize that raping and torturing a child is objectively evil. I have no more reason to doubt the reliability of these moral senses than I do to doubt the reliability of my physical senses. In other words, for any argument given in an attempt to show that our moral senses are not valid (and objective morality is therefore not valid), I can construct a parallel argument to show that our physical senses are not valid (and the physical world we experience through these senses is therefore not valid). In order for one to disagree with premise two, one must believe that an action like rape is just as "good" as an action like generosity, and that no objective distinction can be made between the nature of "goodness" of the two acts.

I don't have the space necessary for more arguments, but I'd be happy to provide them in the next round at my opponent's request.

Thanks, back to Con!
Debate Round No. 1
hayhen13

Con

Intro: How I became “atheist”

To start my rebuttal, I will reveal how I assumed the position of atheist. My parents are agnostic but made sure not to impose any religious favor in any way (even atheist or agnostic.) They never mentioned religion at all and were very nonchalant about the subject. It wasn’t until I was in 3rd grade that I actually learned that there was such thing as religion. When I learned of where people went on Sundays through my friends I was curious and, in 5th grade I started reading the bible. It was kind of boring since I was so young so I will admit that I skimmed some and do not remember most of it and I am in the process of rereading it on my nook now. Do not believe that I am not mature enough to report on this topic because I know a lot about the subject through researching on the computer so the only component I lack is completely reading the entire bible. But as I will mention shortly how the bible explained life was impossible and could not possibly happen (that’s what I meant by, "I read the Bible and it did not seem right." I hope that answers your question and I do not know which specific passages were strange since I don’t remember everything am in the process of rereading it.) so as I was curious I wanted to know how the world was actually created and learned of the big bang and the evolution; in which the evolution they have bones showing the ape slowly evolve into the human for survival means as we have seen every other species on earth do to survive which with significant evidence, is proven (instead of a god suddenly deciding to make the world.) It is truly a beautiful thing the evolution of life and a spectacular feat by Mother Nature in every life form evolving to survive and creating the eye and such beautiful creations. But back to the topic, you said in your argument that Simply put, something cannot come from nothing.” And that the big bang can’t happen. Well to defend this theory is hard since I am no scientist and I do know much about the big bang but I do know that Stephen Hawking is, since he is regarded as the most intelligent man alive and the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. As he knows more on the topic than any other person including you and me I would trust his thoughts. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” Stephen Hawking. If you are still conflicted with this theory which I understand you would I would suggest researching it deeply for life is a confusing thing. “The beauty of science is that it does not claim to know the answers before it asks the questions. There is nothing wrong with not knowing. It means we have more to learn, and as I have said before, ignorance bothers me far less than the illusion of knowledge.” Lawrence Krauss

1. How religions are impossible and aren’t real

In this paragraph I am trying to make clear, the points in how the bible and other religions do not align with physical reality and as such, simply can’t happen. So as the bible says that a talking evil snake can happen, but it obviously can’t because of their vocal cords, so that part of the bible is a lie. That is what I referenced in my first argument as of “myths and magic.” I should have used different vocabulary and understand how that was unclear and apologize for that. I believe this answers your question, “what are the ‘plain facts’ that you're referring to?” The plain facts that I was referring to are the facts of life that are contradicted in religion and in the bible and that I thought it strange that people still follow religion even though the facts and true things directly contradict what they believe.

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” by Mark Twain. Now I understand that this quote from one of my favorite authors is very rude and I apologize for that, but I believe that it encompasses what my overall message for this section was; that the stories in religion directly contradict what actually in reality happens, and therefore religion is impossible.

2. Atheism Is Based Off of Facts and Real Things

Since I mentioned this earlier I will not spend too much time on this topic. I hope this will help reinforce my answer to your question of my sudden atheism. Since it did not make theoretical sense that an “invisible man in the sky” who doesn’t say who created him, is an all knowing omniscient being that we worship so that we are granted an eternal after-life sleeping in clouds with angels and luxury. I know this seems harsh but that is how I see it. This is fake and is designed to comfort people and answer the hard questions but at least for me

3. Then Why Is Religion Still Around

But I do realize that it saves many people from depression and turns their life around and does such good things for everyone and I see that religion can be a good thing. But then the religion that comforts them is a lie designed to explain how the world worked when we didn’t know, but now we know so why do we keep the religion. We have already satisfied the human instinct to know with the real facts not all knowing gods. I believe that this tough question is answered by this is that in the bible it always says to have faith. This phrase closes the eyes of all its worshippers and almost makes it impossible to separate them from their religion. If you have read the novel 1984 by George Orwell and I recommend it. It is almost impossible to separate the citizens from Ingsoc because it brainwashes them into not trusting anyone else and that Big Brother is always right. Therefore it is impossible to change the citizens into from worshipping Big Brother or God because they both tell their worshippers to never listen to anyone else and to put it in faith.”People don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” Friedrich Nietzsche.If the “put it in faith” part wasn’t in the bible, then when people heard reason and facts they would say “Oh, I get it now, I understand how things really are.” But they can’t because they have to “put it in faith” and everything else is wrong according to God, or Big Brother, or any other totalitarianism leader. “I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than closed by belief” Gerry Spence. There is a great picture that I saw on Pinterest that perfectly shows what I am trying to say, search this please: http://www.pinterest.com.... Where the leader is god and the followers are his worshippers only listening to him and closed off form the world and reason. That is my theory on why these religions are still around.

4. How It Would Help the World

It would help the world a lot if we were not limited by religion, “I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future." Bill Nye. If all of the millions of churches that are used to worship a god that has been proven to not exist were given to the homeless and the poor and the 3 billion people suffering in poverty, the world would be a much better place. We are spending so much money on gold ceilings and holy water while people in Africa are starving to death. And this God that we are doing this for has been proven not to exist. Just think about that.

Conclusion

I have so much more to say about this subject but I feel like this is getting very long and I have a life to get to and stupid math homework during Thanksgiving. Anyways, remember to check that picture on Pinterest and research the Big Bang. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

1Credo

Pro

I applaud your sincerity and I think it is very good that you are continuing to read the Bible in order to obtain a better understanding of it's content. I trust that you have done your own research but I wonder if the sources you have read through have been biased. I would suggest researching into both sides of the argument (Christianity and atheism). I would highly recommend reading C.S. Lewis' book titled Mere Christianity if you are interested in learning more about the Christian faith outside of the Bible (as I'm sure you understand that the Bible is not the sole component of Christianity.

You stated that you "wanted to know how the world was actually created and learned of the big bang and the evolution". It seems that you're implying that there is some sort of conflict between the big bang/evolution and Christianity. I don't think that there is any such conflict. As a Christian, I belief that the Big Bang was the mechanism through which God created our universe and that evolution is the mechanism through which human life was brought about. Both of these beliefs are consistent with the Bible and mainstream Christian doctrine. Even the Pope, the universal leader of Christians on Earth, has stated that he believes both of these theories to be true (http://www.usatoday.com...).

You mentioned Stephen Hawking's views on the origin of the universe and quoted his saying that the universe can create itself from nothing. I'd invite you to consider a quote from mathematician John Lennox: "Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists." However, I would say that I think Stephen Hawking is referring to a singularity in the quote you mentioned. Stephen Hawking believes that singularities (the center of a black hole) eventually lead to new universes. This is perfectly plausible, and I have no objection to this. However, it does not solve the problem of the "first cause", for one could simply ask "Where did the first singularity come from?" To my knowledge, Stephen Hawking has given no answer to this question.

I'm going to divide the next few paragraphs into sections 1-4, each representing the respective paragraph you posted in your last argument.

1.
In this paragraph, you claim that "the Bible and other religions do not align with physical reality..." I disagree; I do not see any conflict between the Bible and physical reality. You state that "the Bible is a lie" due to the story of Adam and Eve and the snake. By no means is the Christian held to the view that there was a literal man named Adam, a literal women named Eve, and a literal talking snake. I myself do not believe these things to be true, and most Christians (with the exception of fundamentalists- which is admittedly a large exception) do not believe these things to be literally true either. Stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, and Jonah and the Fish should not present a barrier to belief in Christianity. One is perfectly justified in believing these stories to be nothing more than stories with some sort of significant lesson or meaning behind them. I would also add that ancient Jews did not take stories like Jonah and the Fish to be literally true either. It is the modern Protestant fundamentalists who choose to interpret every word of the Bible literally, but please consider that there is no reason to think that these sorts of views are necessary in order to be a Christian.

2.
This paragraph still does not answer the question of "Why atheism?" Even if you choose to disregard specific religions (Christianity, Islam, etc.) it seems to me that you still must at the very least consider deism (the belief that there is a creator but that this creator does not intervene, has no contact with humanity, and is not represented by any religion). The jump from disregarding Christianity to affirming atheism is a radical and unwarranted one. The road of naturalistic atheism (which is what you seem to currently affirm) leads to nihilism. Let me share a few beliefs that you must hold to if you follow atheism to it's end:
-There is no such thing as truth
-There is no such thing as right and wrong
-There is no such thing as consciousness
-Humans and other organisms have no value
-Life has no meaning or purpose
-There is no such thing as intentionality (you cannot think about anything)
-Everything is predetermined
-You and I do not actually exist

These are the sorts of beliefs that lie at the end of the road of naturalistic atheism. If you are prepared to affirm naturalistic atheism, then you must also be prepared to affirm each and every one of these beliefs.

3.
I don't really have much to say for this section; I agree with your comments on blind faith. I think far too many Christians (and other religious people) look at the world through the lens of blind faith, when they should be looking through the lens of both faith and reason.

That's a clever pinterest picture- as I said, I agree that there are far too many people like this. But again I would say that it is not necessary to be this way. Christianity is perfectly consistent with both reason and science.

4.
I don't agree that the world would be better off without religion. Religion has, throughout history, done very good things and very bad things. For example, at the moment Islam is a clear example of a religion which the world would be better off without. However, I invite you to consider the good that has come about through religion (specifically the Catholic Church) including the education of 2.6 million students everyday at a cost of over 10 billion to the Church, 230 universities (the very concept of the university has Catholic origins), and 637 nonprofit hospitals (accounting for the medical care of 1 out of every 5 U.S. citizens, Christian and non-Christian alike). It is very easy to see that some religions, at least, have been a force for good in the world.

Summary
I urge you to reconsider your stance on atheism. I think you will find that atheism is unwarranted and unsupported by evidence (both scientific and philosophical) whereas Christian theism is supported by both scientific and philosophical evidence. I wish you luck on your reading of the Bible and will keep you in my prayers. Also, I cannot recommend highly enough the Mere Christianity book written by C.S. Lewis!

Thanks, back to Con.
Debate Round No. 2
hayhen13

Con



1 God can’t be real



So this whole debate is on whether God is real or not. So in this paragraph I will show how this is impossible. In your response in the comments you said Matter (like the universe) cannot be eternal for the reasons I have already given. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the big bang, the expansion rate of the universe, and the absurdity of infinity.” Now I would like to focus on the “absurdity of infinity” part. It never mentions who created God, it just says that suddenly he decided to create the world. So if nobody created God, and God existed, then he would have to be eternal, or therefore infinite. Your response to the bible having lies in it was that, By no means is the Christian held to the view that there was a literal man named Adam, a literal women named Eve, and a literal talking snake.” But Jesus, in his teachings believed it was literal so you disagree with the very person you worship. “Jesus believed in the Garden of Eden, and taught that Adam and Eve were two literal people that existed in history.” http://www.bible-history.com... This contradicts what you said yet again. I’ve noticed that you seem to water down religion so much to fit reality. As a metaphor: let’s say a hole is truth. And religion is an object that you are trying to fit through the hole, the object can’t fit, so you change the object and say that you’re not supposed to take the bible seriously and then contradict so many facts about religion to make it the object fit reality and truth. You say that the Big Bang was God creating the Earth and that evolution is in the bible. God just can’t exist, like in the comments, to think you have to have a physical form. God is supposedly a spirit or invisible so he can’t think. It is impossible for him to exist.



My Thoughts on Your Labeling



I did not agree at all at what you said when you labeled all atheists as people who have to believe: “There is no such thing as truth, There is no such thing as right and wrong, There is no such thing as consciousness, Humans and other organisms have no value, Life has no meaning or purpose, There is no such thing as intentionality (you cannot think about anything), Everything is predetermined, You and I do not actually exist.” This is stereotype, labels people and tells them what they have to believe. I do not believe in any of those things and do not plan to. If you think that I have to believe these all to be atheist, then I shall change to whatever suits my thoughts and interests. You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine what’s right from wrong, you lack empathy not religion.” I believe morality comes from human nature not gods. Being atheist lets me believe what I want to believe and gives me freedom. Instead of being told what to think by a book that was written 3,000 years ago by primitive people. “An intelligent person does not need the promise of a heaven to see merit in good deeds.” Atheists don’t need religion neither does anyone else.





Even If God Did Exist, I Wouldn’t Worship Him



As I was reading the Bible, God did many… stupid and contradicting things. “And God saw everything that he made, and, behold, it was very good.” This is very wrong since if he created everything why did he create diseases. Each year, nearly 100,000 children under 15 die from cancer worldwide. That's almost 250 children a day.” God calls his creation an intelligent design? Then why are there more than 4,000 genetic diseases, war, greed, death, girls can’t be educated, children dying of hunger, think about all the things that are wrong with the world and God calls it “good.” I don’t mean to point out every bad thing that’s ever happened; the world is a beautiful place. But God is supposed to be perfect, yet he creates so much evil. So now the human race is punished forever because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. If God didn’t want anyone to eat or touch the tree of knowledge, then why in the world did he make it! He also made it so accessible, and made it so “that it was pleasant to the eyes.” But if that wasn’t enough he even created a snake to persuade them to eat the fruit too. It was almost as if God wanted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit. So we are all punished for something we didn’t do, which is very unjust. He also created something that rebelled against the “Most High God” and the one who leads the evil spirits in their rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven and God's purposes. I don’t know why God would create his own mortal enemy.God also said, “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.” (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT) The bible also says about slavery, “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB) “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” There are also lots of other verses on how the bible is sexist. But I am running out of room I wish to include more morals of the bible next time. So far the bible is pro slavery, sexist, and punishes people for things they didn’t do. I cannot believe in a god who wants to be praised all the time.” Friedrich Nietzsche. So even if there is a God, I would never pray to him because of all that he stands for and has done. There are many, many more examples but I have to finish.



Conclusion


The human instinct to know, and to know why has led to the invention of religion to help comfort their frustration of not knowing. But now we actually know the truth and the why. So why do we keep religion? Because it comforts us? But does living in a world that is completely inconsistent with everything we have observed in the universe really necessary to help our depression? We need to stop letting religion blind us from true reason so that we can progress as a human race. “I question everything, and worship nothing.” Like in that picture on Pinterest, we need to break free from the totalitarianism society and be able to think. Not hide behind the comfort of faith. As I have mentioned in my response, I have proven on many points that God can’s exist and that religion is obsolete. This is a very fun debate and I thank you for it and I respect you. I apologize if any of it is rude and good luck! (I would recommend searching atheist quotes on Pinterest for they have many very interesting ones.) J


1Credo

Pro

Thanks Con.

Rebuttal

"So this whole debate is on whether God is real or not. So in this paragraph I will show how this is impossible."

I'd like to note the severity of this claim. You're not merely saying that you don't think God exists, you're going as far as to say that it is impossible that God could exist. This is a radically bold claim.

"So if nobody created God, and God existed then he would have to be eternal or therefore infinite."

This is a pretty common misunderstanding with regard to the eternal nature of God. God is eternal in the sense that He exists outside of time. It is not as if God has an infinite past and an infinite future, but rather He has had no past and has no future because He is not constrained by time. He is beginningless and endless; He transcends time itself. But an eternal universe would result in an infinite regress of past events (as time is clearly a component of the universe). Does this help? It's a tricky subject, but the key lies in recognizing the difference between God (who transcends time) and the universe (of which time is a component).

"But Jesus, in his teachings believed it was literal so you disagree with the very person you worship."

This is false. Jesus by no means took every Old Testament story to be literal. Here are two sources which examine alternative explanations to Jesus' references to these Old Testament stories:
http://www.godofevolution.com...
http://scibel.com...
The idea that Jesus took each and every one of these stories to be literal is pure speculation. The Christian is not constrained to this sort of fundamentalist ideology, but is apt to take a more rational view of these stories if he or she so wishes. I think it is far more likely that these types of stories were not literal, but were instead figurative and meant to make a point (theological, moral, etc.)

"I’ve noticed that you seem to water down religion so much to fit reality."

If you mean to say that I've "watered down" fundamentalist Christianity, then I suppose I'd have to agree with you. But I don't believe that the fundamentalist view is true! For this reason I don't think that there is any sort of issue. To give an analogy, consider two different ideologies, ideology A and ideology B. Ideology A is radical and full of things that contradict our own personal knowledge and experience with the world. Ideology B, however, fits perfectly well with our own personal knowledge and experience with the world. You might be accurate in saying that ideology B is a watered down version of ideology A, but that does absolutely nothing to show that ideology B is therefore false. It could be just as plausibly argued that ideology A is just a radical, nonsensical version of ideology B. But you don't seem to have any sort of issue with those who take the more rational ideology. Perhaps this is because you've only interacted with individuals who take this view. But as I said, just because one view may be a watered down version of a more radical view, it obviously does not follow that therefore the more radical view is more probably true.

"Contradict so many facts about religion to make it the object fit reality and truth."

Are you arguing that stories like Adam and Eve are "facts"? If so, this seems to contradict your own view. If not, then there is no inconsistency between my own view and Christianity. Furthermore, I would argue that it is the atheist who has tried to change the object to fit it through the hole (to use your analogy). Atheists maintain that the universe is either eternal or else it caused itself, that the initial conditions of the universe that support intelligent life came abound by random chance, that there is no such thing as good and evil, and that the very idea of God is incoherent. Atheism blatantly contradicts both modern science and elementary logic. It is a prime example of a view that must drastically alter reality in order to remain relevant.

"God is supposedly a spirit or invisible so he can’t think."

Who's to say that a physical body is required for thought? We know that animals can not be intentional (they can not think about something, say they're future plans) whereas humans can be intentional. This would suggest a different between animals and humans, a difference beyond the physical (a soul). If God is a soul, then we can reasonably conclude that He, too, can be intentional. For example, if animals have property A (a physical body) and humans have properties A and B (a physical body and a soul) and humans are the only ones able to be intentional, then it is reasonable to conclude that any being with B (a soul) can be intentional. Thus, God's immaterial nature presents no issue.

"It is impossible for Him to exist."

Wild assertion? Atheists have been trying to show that God is impossible for thousands of years without the slightest hint of luck. I'm happy to see you're confident enough to make such a radical claim (that has absolutely no justification) but unfortunately it seems that you too have failed to disprove the existence of God.

"I did not agree at all at what you said when you labeled all atheists... This is stereotype, labels people and tells them what they have to believe."

These are not stereotypes at all. Rather, they are beliefs that must be held if atheism is affirmed. To give one example, you cannot affirm both atheism and the existence of objective moral values (right and wrong). You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want to call yourself an atheist, then you must hold to atheistic beliefs. If you want to believe in things like objective truth and morality, then you must abandon atheism in order to avoid holding contradicting beliefs. From what you have told me in this debate, you do not seem to be an atheist at all, but instead some sort of anti-Old Testament theist/deist.

"If you think that I have to believe these all to be atheist, then I shall change to whatever suits my thoughts and interests."

I think Christian theism is much more compatible and suits your "thoughts and interests" much better than atheism does. I'd encourage you to continue researching Christianity as I think there is great potential for common ground.

"I believe morality comes from human nature not gods."

If morality is a mere by product of human nature, then you have no ground to tell anyone that their morality is right or wrong. The man who rapes and tortures children is just as "good" as the man who is kind and generous under that view. This is the issue with atheistic morality- it leads directly to nihilism.

"Atheists don’t need religion neither does anyone else."

We're not debating whether or not atheists (or anyone else)"need" religion, we're debating whether or not a particular religion is true. Whether or not you think you need religion is a matter of personal opinion.

"As I was reading the Bible, God did many… stupid and contradicting things... This is very wrong since if he created everything why did he create diseases."

First of all, there is nothing contradictory about the existence of God and the existence of diseases. Second, I don't believe God "created" diseases.

"God calls his creation an intelligent design? Then why are there more than 4,000 genetic diseases, war, greed, death, girls can’t be educated, children dying of hunger, think about all the things that are wrong with the world"

This is critical- each of the things you listed (war, greed, etc.) are a result of human nature. It is irresponsible to blame all of these human errors on God. Do you really think that God wants war, greed, death, lack of education, hunger, etc.? Really? Are these not each examples of human selfishness and evil?

I'm out of room for now.

My opponent has failed in his attempt to show that the existence of God is impossible. He has also failed to knock down the arguments I gave in the opening round.
Debate Round No. 3
hayhen13

Con

Thank you for that response pro, I will now give my response.

Rebuttal:

I will start with about what you said about Atheism-

  1. “These are not stereotypes at all. Rather, they are beliefs that must be held if atheism is affirmed. To give one example, you cannot affirm both atheism and the existence of objective moral values (right and wrong). You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want to call yourself an atheist, then you must hold to atheistic beliefs.”

First off, this is wrong, incorrect and invalid information, for the literal definition of atheism is: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods” I do not believe in any Gods, therefore I am atheist, not “anti-Old Testament theist/deist.” I do not understand how this confuses you. I do hold “atheistic beliefs” therefore I am atheist, it is extremely simple. This therefore defeats 2 of your rebuttals.

  1. “If morality is a mere by product of human nature, then you have no ground to tell anyone that their morality is right or wrong. The man who rapes and tortures children is just as "good" as the man who is kind and generous under that view. This is the issue with atheistic morality- it leads directly to nihilism.”

In this response you say that I can’t tell anyone what’s right from wrong because I’m atheist. Then you relate to something along the lines of “atheist morality” is thinking that it is alright to torture children or rape people. This makes no sense whatsoever. You misunderstand again; morality coming from human nature is a fact, proven by scientific evidence. If you believe that only a God can give us morality then you are proven wrong with evidence and facts. You can look up the evidence yourself for I do not want to waste space with this; I know you will understand that. I would try visiting this website: christian-pastor-offers-atheists-100000-to-prove-god-doesnt-exist-atheist-proves-pastor-is-dumb and watching the second video for he mentions a study that proves my point. The only reason I am not saying my self is to save space. I hope you understand.

  1. “First of all, there is nothing contradictory about the existence of God and the existence of diseases. Second, I don't believe God "created" diseases.”

But God even says, in the bible that he created everything, so if he created everything then he has to have created diseases. You contradict yourself again. I assume you will respond to this by saying that you’re not really supposed to follow the Bible, which gets annoying since you have an excuse to get around every fact and you keep on evading truth by mentioning “fundamentalists” and not actually taking the Bible seriously.

  1. “This is critical- each of the things you listed (war, greed, etc.) are a result of human nature. It is irresponsible to blame all of these human errors on God. Do you really think that God wants war, greed, death, lack of education, hunger, etc.? Really? Are these not each examples of human selfishness and evil?”

To answer this is relatively easy to understand. If God is a perfect, supreme, supernatural, omnipotent being, as it says so in the Bible, then God cannot exist. It is impossible for a ‘perfect’ being to create imperfect things such as humans. Also God created humans out of his own likeness, therefore God is proven to be impossible again, since if God is perfect he cannot create imperfect things.

  1. “My opponent has failed in his attempt to show that the existence of God is impossible. He has also failed to knock down the arguments I gave in the opening round.”

So then you end your response by saying that I have not proven the existence of God impossible and I have not knocked down your arguments. These are both untrue, and therefore lies since, I have just defeated, including this one, 5 arguments so far, and given significant proof that God can’t exist in this response and previous responses.

  1. “Who's to say that a physical body is required for thought?”

    Um… let’s start with everything we have observed in the universe.

  2. “Thus, God's immaterial nature presents no issue.”

    Ok admitting that God is not made of matter, and therefore can’t exist in any form (besides light and sound” is an issue for you, since matter, by definition is: “what all things are made of; in modern physics, matter and energy are regarded as equivalent, mutually convertible using Einstein’s formula, E=mc2.” Webster’s New World Dictionary. So if God is not made of matter, he is not a thing, therefore not existent.

  3. “Atheism blatantly contradicts both modern science and elementary logic. It is a prime example of a view that must drastically alter reality in order to remain relevant.”

    Sorry, but the “reality” is, that God, and the Bible, contradict almost everything we have observed in the universe. As I explained earlier, you escaped me stating that almost everything in the Bible doesn’t align with reality. By saying only “fundamentalists” believe that, and that you shouldn’t actually follow the Bible. But almost 54-57% of Americans are “fundamentalist” (found on surveys http://www.washingtonpost.com... and http://godisimaginary.com... ) Saying that people don’t actually follow the Bible, is in my opinion, an obvious excuse for my response. I actually laughed a bit when you said that atheists change their views to remain relevant when you blatantly did the same thing by mentioning fundamentalists and a bible that isn’t literal. Therefore you contradict yourself yet again.

  4. Really the only other thing you said in this debate was that I was extremely radical, by saying that “God is impossible.” To retort this I will say that someone being radical is an opinion, so this doesn’t prove anything for your debate.

    “Atheists have been trying to show that God is impossible for thousands of years without the slightest hint of luck.”

    Well I guess here I will prove God is impossible. To prove something is “to establish as true, demonstrate to be a fact through evidence or proof” So I will prove that God can’t exist through proof and evidence, this I have shown throughout my whole argument, on points: 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9. Therefore, I shall summarize here. To prove he is impossible, I will first use fact. God is magical, and magic has been proven to not exist, by facts. Now to show that God is in fact, magic. It says in the Bible that God is “supernatural” or “above nature.” The definition of magic is: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forcesTherefore I have proven that God is magic, therefore proven not real. Also, as you said God “transcends time” to do that, he cannot obey any physical facts or laws in our universe, therefore if he is not fact, he is lie and therefore untrue. Also, since God is perfect, he cannot make unperfect things, which he does a lot, therefore not possible. My evidence is the physical law of gravity, the law of matter, science, and fact. I wish I can elaborate more, but I am out of room. I have defeated almost all your arguments while you have defeated almost none of mine. I have proven God is impossible, like I would in a court case, through facts and reality, please respond through facts and reality. Thank you.

    The sources I used:

    http://godisimaginary.com...

    Webster’s New World Dictionary

    http://deadstate.org...


1Credo

Pro

Thanks Con.

I won't be presenting any new arguments/rebuttals here as my opponent would not get a fair chance to respond.

Conclusion

At the beginning of this debate, I presented two arguments in favor of God. My opponent has failed to knock down either of these arguments. Thus, we can reasonably conclude that there are at least 2 sound arguments in favor of theism.

On the other side, my opponent has not brought forward a single structured argument against God. He has instead made unwarranted assertions, such as "God is impossible". As such, we can reasonably conclude that there are not any comparably good arguments in favor of atheism.

It seems to me that given the shared burden of proof in this debate, along with the sound theistic arguments and the lack of sound atheistic arguments, we can conclude that Christian theism is at least as likely to be true as atheism is.

I'd like to thank my opponent for his participation in this debate. I hope that he will continue to research these ideas with an open mind and will find the truth in looking to answer these difficult questions.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by amigodana 2 years ago
amigodana
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
I will assume you are actually curious and will answer along those lines. I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking about whether nothing can exist, about 3 months of thought. Then I read two books on Nothing hoping for a more expert perspective. The books never went deeper than nothing being considered a vacuum, from a physics perspective. This wasn't of much help to me. Anyway, I don't think there can be nothing, in a purest sense. Lightning emerges from a nature set of conditions. There is nothing to suggest a universe (meaning our visible universe) cannot emerge from a state similar to how lightning emerges from a state. What I suspect is the case, there is a natural foundation to everything. This natural foundation is a required state. It must exist. I think that is a vacuum. It is from this foundation that our visible universe emerged from. This really isn't a radical idea. It follows closely with scientific data. "Matter like the universe cannot be eternal." This isn't supported by anything. Who says? Why not? Why can't there be some natural state that is eternal? A vacuum can be an eternal natural state. I don't think there is another way. At least one that makes sense. The thinking thing. I have no examples of things without physical brains that think. If your god is made of no physical material, that is the claim, yet thinks, that contradicts all examples we have. We have zero examples of things without physical brains thinking. It is very likely, a physical brain is required for thought. What justification do I or you have for thinking that is possible?
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Assuming you affirm naturalism, it would follow that you believe that you and I cannot think either, as there could be no such thing as "thinking".
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Vacuum consists of matter (in the form of energy). Matter (like the universe) cannot be eternal for the reasons I have already given. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the big bang, the expansion rate of the universe, and the absurdity of infinity.
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
Credo, I cannot wrap my head around how anyone can believe a being that has no physical brain can think. But you do and many more do. So I guess we are even there.
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
Thinking the universe began to exist is a complete assumption. Including any scientist or creationist who makes that claim. Even as a young child, 9-11, when I heard someone say something along those lines, I knew they were making a claim of which they couldn't know. We simply have no idea what lays beyond or what came before. We have no way to know. Someone may claim our visible universe began to exist. O.K., there are arguments to be make there. But, no one has any idea beyond that. And the visible universe doesn't mean all. I don't think the universe began to exist. I think a vacuum is the least that can exist. Nothing is less than that. If that is correct, a vacuum is required. What we know about vacuum is they have energy, vacuum energy. E=MC2 tells us energy and matter are the same. There is all your ingredients to a universe. Vacuum is required. Vacuum has energy. Energy is matter. No need for a beginning. To say it began is an assumption, if you mean all of it.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
I'm not a creationist myself, but I find it very ironic that atheists jeer at creationists for being ignorant of science while they themselves hold views that contradict science on a much more radical level.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
The evidence of the finite nature of the universe is overwhelming. I really can't wrap my mind around how anyone can believe that the universe is eternal given the theory of the big bang, the universe's expansion rate, and most importantly the absurdity of an infinite past.
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
Sean Carroll, in his debate with William Lane Craig, on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. "That was cutting edge 2000 years ago. Today we can do better." Or, "It's not that it is wrong, it isn't even good enough to be wrong." "No one in Cosmology speaks like that." Then William Lane Craig spends considerable time on the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem claiming they say the universe began to exist. Only to be followed by a slide showing Guth holding a sign stating, "the universe is probably eternal." Criag almost chocked on his tongue. To bad he didn't. Either way, it was a thing of beauty.
Posted by amigodana 2 years ago
amigodana
You think reading it one time will give you everything you need to understand it, LOL!

Isa 28:9-12 "" Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dhardage 2 years ago
dhardage
hayhen131CredoTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: It is clear that Pro could not actually refute the information and arguments of Con and resorted to red herrings, unsupported assertions, and other logical fallacies.
Vote Placed by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
hayhen131CredoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Both argue well. I'm giving the argument points to Con for this reason. Con argues against the Bible by stating it contains untrue stories. Pro concedes this point. Stating that the Adam and Eve story isn't true. That means no original sin. No need for atonement. No need for Jesus. This pretty much undermines a primary pillar of Christianity, original sin and the need for atonement. Pro waters down his faith to such and extend that the Con position has proven its case.