The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Scientific reasoning ultimately does not Matter when debating God's existance

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 407 times Debate No: 75966
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (2)




Does scientific reasoning really matter in the whole scheme of things when talking about whether the Christian God exists or not? Is it more important than the moral justifications in favor of the Christian God's existance? Why?

These are the questions I am charging Con with answering.

Obviously, the answer should be no. How is the question of what's right and what's wrong and why something is right or wrong less important than the question of where we all come from? Why do the scientific objections to the existance of God trump the moral implications that Christianity presents?

That is basically what this debate is going to be about. I'll let con start with his arguments and My rebuttals will follow.

To make this easier on the both of us, this debate will be only about the Christian God and Christianity and not Allah or something.


I will try to be as concise as humanly possible.

Argument from Interaction

This argument can be formulated as below:

1. Either God interacts with reality or he doesn't
2. If God does not interact with reality, then reality is exactly as if God does not exist
3.If God does interact with reality, then these interactions with reality will be epirically detectable
4. If these interactions with reality are empirically detectable, then scientific reasoning does matter
C. Thus, either reality is exactly as if God doesn't exist, or scientific reasoning does matter

However, Pro cannot grapple the first horn of this dilemma, since that would entail God's existance unlikely due to the law of parsimony (it is simply more likely that something that does nothing doesn't exist at all, then existing stoically by virtue of simplicity). Furthermore it contradicts the nature of God (with a capital G), since this is the God of theism, and hence God will interact with reality by virtue of his benevolence (be it interacting with people after they die, or a specific way God must have created the world), also if God does not interact with reality, then God could not have created the universe at all, which would contradict the definition of God, since God is by definition a creator.

Thus, in all cases, scientific reasoning matters when debating God's existance.
Debate Round No. 1


Regarding Con's assertion that either God does interact with reality or he doesn't, He does. Where I believe Con and other atheists err is the fact that God is not physical, but rather transcendent.

Where do we read about the Christian God? The bible. Does the bible give evidences of a physical God? No. But it DOES give evidences of a transcendent God. The bible illustrates God as one who exists out of and independent from the material universe. For the atheist to demand material evidence for a transcendent God cannot and does not work because you cannot assign materialistic properties to a transcendent being.[1] That is called a category mistake.[2]

This is why you cannot scientifically test the validity of God's existence.

What makes God Transcendent? Three things:[3]

1. Self revelation- A transcendent God would only be known through decision to reveal himself to our material world which he has done.

2. God is Authoritative- God's authority is documented throughout the bible, God never once defends his authority,

3. God is Miraculous- God's miracles are also well documented throughout the bible.

The bible is ultimately the way to determine whether God interacts with with reality. empirical dectectabilty does not matter as it is begging for material evidence, and you simply can not ask for material evidence when discussing the transcendent Christian God.

The only way to denounce God is to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bible is not true. And the only way to do that is to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is unreal. You then enter this infinite loop, like a dog forever chasing it's tail. There is no need for scientific reasoning as you cannot utilize it in this case





Thanks Pro.


Pro grapples the second horn of my dilemma, thus the argument follows. God’s interactions with reality affect reality, which leads to a posterori detectable effects. This is what empiricism deals with, anything that is detectable a posterori.

Whether or not God is transcendent is completely irrelevant to the question posed by this debate, since science will deal with the manifest interactions with reality that God makes. We seldom actually directly detect things in science anyway. The existence of exo-planets for example is detected by measuring the effects of the planets on the star with eclipses and “wobbles”, the Higgs Boson famously is detected by measuring its decay effects (since it is too short-lived to detect directly). In forensics, the existence of a murderer can be detected by evidential effects he has, for example fingerprints, damage to victim, etc.

Thus, regardless of what God is, his existence can be inferred from the interactions he makes through reality – which can be assessed via. scientific methods.


Pro straight-up affirms the Christian God within this debate, which ironically works against Pro’s case, since the Christian God entails many well-characterised effects on reality that can be assessed empirically:

1.Age of the Earth & Universe and relational ages

The God of the Bible created the Earth and Universe within 7 days, as well as all of life. Thus, we should be able to test this interaction of God on reality via. empirical means – by dating various portions of the Earth, universe and evidence of the earliest life on Earth.

2. Global Flood

The God of the Bible entails a worldwide flood that is in the Noachian flood myth, thus clear geological and archaeological science can be performed to confirm or disprove this, which would have the potential to falsify God’s existence (since the Christian God is defined according to the Bible).

3.Subjective Interactions

Pro asserts that God interacts with reality via. revelation and miracles, these are also empirically testable via. various methodologies. For example the miracle of the raising of the dead:

The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:52)

This is a claim that must be true if the Christian God (so defined by the Bible) exists, thus we can test this empirically by second-order effects – for example by independent witnesses and testimony of the many local towns that must have seen these saints.


This case is pretty straightforward, and open&shut, regardless of God’s nature – if God interacts with reality, then science has something to say about his existence.

Debate Round No. 2


I gotta hand it to Con, he sure blindsided me. I thought he was going to talk about how it was scientifically impossible for God to exist. Instead he talked about God's interactions with reality.

However, he has failed to answer my questions I posed in the first round during my introduction, save for the first one

Is science reasoning either for or against the existance of God more important than the moral justifications that uphold a Christian worldveiw? Why?

I really have not seen any answer to this, and since this is what the whole debate is about, it demands an answer.

I did answer in the first round with a resounding no. But Con must answer this question and justify it to win this debate


Please note that Pro actually needs to present a case to win this debate. All he has presented so far is mitigation of my case, which is unsufficient for him to uphold the resolution even if the mitigation was effective. I not sure how answering the question of " Is [scientific reasoning] more important than the moral justifications in favor of the Christian God's existance?" affirms or negates either side of the resolution. Presumably I am Pro on this question, so I will simply affirm why scientific reasoning is more important than moral justifications in favor of the Christian God's existance.

Scientific reasoning vs. Moral Justifications
Scientific reasoning has two major advantages over other philosophical justifications (including moral justifications):

1. It is completely objective
2. It actually works

Science is a branch of philosophy, thus uses the best tools of logic and deduction that are on offer, however by operating within the contraints of evidence, it ensures that claims never extends further than what is actually demonstrable in reality. Scientific theories progress and build upon previous theories by provided additional explanatory power for the empirical dataset that is had. Purely philsophical reasoning however does not operate within these constraints, and consequently suffers from the "raft problem". Where even the most elegant and beautiful philosdophical theory may have absolutely nothing to do with reality - and no way to know whether it it does or does not since they are often untestable.

Moral justifications require that moral non-cognitivism is solved, and that even if it was, then it would entail God's existance. However in the presence of multiple explanations for any dataset (for example a naturalist position may posit that our "moral intuitions" are a complex mixture of emergent and innate biological behaviors and responses. This would explain exactly the same dataset, with no way to purely philosophically distinguish between the "God explanation" and the "naturalistic explanation". The only way to argue otherwise would to ironically appeal to scientific reasoning (such as explanation x is physically impossible/improbably).

In science, we have objective well-characterised (and thus unambiguous) expectations for any hypothesis (including the Christian God hypothesis), and thus we can confidently prove or disprove them by evidence-based reasoning. However in moral justifications we do not have objectively well-characterised expectations (e.g. what is the non-question begging definition of "moral", "good" or "evil"), and thus cannot be confidently proved or disproved based on evidence since we do not have fixed goalposts. Frequently we see these terms re-parameterised to fit social conventions (e.g. unequal womens rights, the execution of sodomites, and the enslavement of coloured people was seen by swaths of people to be the "good" thing to do). We have no such issues when defining "a centimeter", or "a second", since they are done so according to objective features of reality.

Ergo, scientific reasoning is immeasurably more valuable than moral reasoning, and must more important when discussing the question of God's existance.
Debate Round No. 3


kingcripple forfeited this round.


I pass back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 4


Apologies for forfeiting the 4th round. I have work and school to contend with.

As far as Con's answers to my questions, he gave the following answers

1. It is completely objective
2. It actually works

Morals are completely objective as well. Or they should be. You don't have very many people saying rape, murder and theft are moral. This is how morals are objective as opposed to subjective.

As for Con's claim that the naturalist position "may posit that our 'moral intuitions' are a complex mixture of emergent and innate biological behaviors and responses", I am guessing he is trying to justify the idea that morals are in fact, subjective.But they are not. The question then arises for Con and any science minded person, how do these "innate biological behaviors and responses" develop? Where do they come from? The answer, for the science minded is "I don't know" Same with where do emotions come from and how do they develop. This is why scientific reasoning ultimately does not matter when debating God, there is no answer scientifically to this. You definately have the "God exlanation" for that, but not a very concrete answer coming from the "naturalistic explanation" When you debate creation vs evolution, which is essentially what this debate is about, these questions should be brought up. So often, they are not by the creationist, then they fail when the evolutionist spouts off with his scientific jargon.

In conclusion, morals DO come into play when debating the existance of God. Morals play a much bigger part to science, which makes scientific explanations and justifications superficial.


Thanks to Pro for keeping this brief.

Burden of Proof

Pro has quite spectacularly failed to lay out a case for the resolution. I could have said nothing in this debate and be rewarded the win. This is a strategic failure of Pro.

Points Dropped

Pro completely drops my argument from interaction, which alone is enough to negate the resolution. I will address the priority arguments in this round.

Science vs Moral Reasoning

Pro conflates the reasoning process with the essence in question itself. Regardless of whether or not morality is objective, i.e. regardless of whether or not there exist objective moral facts and values, the reasoning process to justify these and these existence is necessarily subjective.

Pro helps me in affirming this with the following, “You don't have very many people saying rape, murder and theft are moral. This is how morals are objective as opposed to subjective.”.

This is exactly what I am talking about, it is subjective in the method by which moral facts are determined, since it necessarily appeals to personal opinion, or intuition, or personal feelings, etc. This by definition is subjective.

Science doesn’t have this problem, since empirical data is the same regardless of who looks at it, who measures it, etc. We use machines to take measurements, too, which completely eliminates any human bias from the equation. A hypothesis forms a logical framework, from which well-characterised predictions are generated, and these are compared against empirical data. If they contradict, then the hypothesis is false, if they do not, then it is affirmed.

Moreover, hyes, I was justifying that oour moral intuitions are subjective, by their very nature – and science goes a way to explaining why that is the case. Thus it is impossible to satisfy any of the premises required for moral arguments based on them alone objectively. My point here was that we have two hypothesis for the same facts, and clearly the scientific explanation offers more explanatory power.


Voting for Pro should be impossible as already noted, although I do thank him for this debate.

Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro forfeited a round of debate, and forfeits are rarely considered acceptable conduct in any debate settings. Thus, I award the conduct point to Con. S&G - Tie. Both sides maintained adequate S&G. Arguments - Con. Con was able to demonstrate that if God exists, God *would* have to interact with reality, and science is the study of any interaction with reality. If God interacts with reality, there would be a posteriori detectable effects, as Con notes, thus empirical observation and testability, and, in extension, scientific reasoning, matter. Con demonstrates moral relativism via. Pro's own arguments, and demonstrates that empirical evidence remains unchanged regardless of perception, thus it would matter in anything in relation to *objective* reality, i.e. existence. Thus, Con negates. Pro also fails to fulfill their full BoP by not presenting an affirmative case and *only* rebutting Con's. Thus, args to Con. Sources - Tie. Only Pro used sources. Thus, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by Kryptic 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro put the burden of proof onto Con, Con then listed several ways that we could invoke a god, Con then went on to say how several assertions made by the Abrahamic God of the bible (as pro is clearly referring to) are simply not true. We have also reasoned these with scientific reasoning. Thus, scientific reasoning ultimately does matter when debating God's existence (assuming of course there is something to test, i.e; scripture or an assertion)