The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

That "God Exists" should be added to the "Big Issues" on DDO

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 915 times Debate No: 63085
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)




I accept full BoP.
DDO means
Round one acceptance only.


Thanks to 9spaceking for challenging me to this debate. I eagerly accept his challenge and await his opening contentions.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello, new debater! I'll be light on you this round to test your skills out. :D
All of the "Big Issues" on DDO are pretty big and controvercial. From the Death Penalty to Animal Rights, they are discussed quite often and have a big part in society.
God's existence is a incredibly controvercial and discussed topic. Just the topic "God Exists" has been repeatedly debated 107 times to this date. [1] "Does God Exist" adds another 143 massive debates to the list. [2] "God does not exist" adds yet another small, but notable 39 debates. [3] Just the mere word "God" has spurred out 24 debates. [4]
What am I trying to get at here? That God is a big topic. As cited from Wikipedia [5], "Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others for thousands of years." Although I agree with Wikipedia about the philosophical arguments, it must be noted that scientific arguments, such as Occam's Razor, or the Cosmological Argument, are all heavily used to debate about God. A page reserved for the "Big Issue" God would be quite easy. There are loads of good arguments for both sides, and loads of data and information availible, and most times "God" comes to the common definition "Omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient", so it's easy to come down to one single term definining "God". Sure, there will be alternatives to the definition sometime, but it is agreeable.

Overall there is no reason why such a controvercial, easily accessible debate with many arguments shouldn't be considered a "Big Issue" or added to DDO's page reserved for "Big Issues". It would be easy for the moderators to just look up on some google articles for big board arguments against God's omni- -science, -potence, or -benevolency. "God's existence" is a very controvercial topic thought out by many. It is time that it be added to the "Big Issues".
Onto you, Jolly.

[1] number at the end indicates which debate this is as of the same name)
[2] at end once again)


Thanks again to 9spaceking. I will now offer some thoughts on our resolution and then advance my own case. I will respond to his case in the next round.


Quoting from the DDO homepage, the purpose of the Big Issues is to encourage DDO members to "[i]nvestigate today’s most controversial debate topics covering society’s biggest issues in politics, religion, education and more. Gain balanced, non-biased insight into each issue and review the breakdown of pro-con stances within our community" [1]. According to Merriam-Webster, to investigate is to "to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry" [2]. A good example of an issue like this is the flat tax. Debaters are encouraged to explore the empirical and philosophical arguments for an against such a proposal and to weigh the relative benefits and harms in order to devise a terse case. You can take a position on an issue such as the flat tax based upon empirical inquiry. However, you cannot do the same with the question of "God."

The Big Issues have one binding feature: they can be posed to members in the form of a question to the effect of "Do you support X?" Note that this isn't a question of whether a member believes in X, but whether he or she supports X. The Big Issues, by their very nature, are clear, concise and possess truth value--you can determine and investigate whether a flat tax will yield desirable outcomes, for instance. However, you cannot do the same for God, who is thoroughly beyond our reach and is, with our limited information, nothing more than a theoretical construct. In order to win this debate, Pro has accepted the full burden of proof in demonstrating normatively that the question of God's existence ought to be featured in the Big Issues.



Going back to the flat tax example, we have a very simple definition widely known by the populace: "A system that applies the same tax rate to every taxpayer regardless of income bracket" [3]. With respect to the question of "God exists," however, I see two potential problems with this. First, about which God are we speaking? There are about 4,200 religions [4], neither of which is necessariy more right or wrong than another since one's religious affiliation is based largely on factors such as geographic location and upbringing [5], and some people tend to subscribe to amalgamations of these, such as unitarian universalism [6] and deism [7]. Just looking at DDO statistics at this present moment, 188 members self-identify as Deist [8], 3,217 self-identify as agnostic [9], 272 identify as Sunni Muslim [10], 4,813 identify as Christian [11], etc. Note, also, that there are various sects of Christianity, and both Shitte and Sunni Islam, so there are even distinctions among very similar elements of one religion. When my adversary adds "Does God exist?" to the Big Issues, to which God will he appeal to and which one will he leave out? Why is he only posing the question with respect to one god, and thus disenfranchising people who believe in multiplie gods? Why is he using "God" with a capital "g," to imply a personal as opposed to deistic god? Why is his policy imposing one rigid worldview on others with starkly different opinions? There may be scenarios, as I will discuss later, where there is no simple "yes" or "no" answer to this question

Second, we move to the ambiguity with respect to the word "exists." "Exists," according to Merriam Webster, means "to have actual being: to be real" [12]. However, from the same source, it may also mean "to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions" [12]. The first definition refers to objective existence, whereas the second refers to subjective existence. In other words, God may exist either objectively, as in he is the same for all of us, or subjectively, as a concept within our minds where we all have different conceptions of what he--or she--may in fact be. If God only exists subjectively, and may I remind PRO and our audience that we have no way of verifying whether God does, then this question becomes utterly meaningless. Any statistic would be irrelevant, because people would not be responding to the same question. If you were to make the question as objective as you could--e.g., in the form of "Does the Christian God as described in the Bible exist?"--you disenfranchise people of different beliefs, so there is necessarily a trade-off between tolerance and objectivity. Either way, the topic itself is far too touchy and ambiguous to be properly molded into the Big Issues.


I alluded to his argument earlier, and will briefly reiterate it now. Whereas you can investigate a subject such as a flat tax or national healthcare and come up with empirical arguments, you cannot do the same for God. God, by definition, is beyond human comprehension and beyond logic, and we have no conception of what God is or isn't and no way to understand God. Debating existence, therefore, is nothing more than opinion, as God is not an empirical question. This is in stark contrast with other other Big Issues. Even questions such as same-sex marriage, which boil down to an opinion, can involve appeals to moral questions, legal precedent, and empirical studies with respect to child rearing and adoption. The question of God, however, cannot.


The crux of this thought experiment conducted in 1935 by Erwin Schrodinger is that a binary to the effect of "either X or Y" isn't sufficient. Via his experiment, we cannot know whether the cat is dead or alive, so it is both dead and alive.

"The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the cat is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. (That is, there is no single outcome unless it is observed.)" [13].

The point I'm trying to convey is that binary assessments are often inadequate. The question "Does God exist," we would expect, would be answered with either a "yes" or a "no." However, many who describe themselves as agnostic would not answer in either direction, but would retort that they simply don't know. Not only, then, would including this as a big issue would discriminatory to these people and disparaging towards a valid point of point, but wholly inefficient and short-sighted, which would necessarily erode DDO's credibility.


I have offered my case against this resolution, and will rebut PRO's arguments in the next round. I thank him again for engaging in this debate with me, and would like to pass this debate over to him once more for his next round. Thank you for reading.

Debate Round No. 2


My *GOD*, he was fast! *Bah-tum-tsk!*
Anyhow, let's see what my opponent has to say.
My opponent tries talking about the ambiguity. I already stated previously that we can come to one conclusion that most people will agree to be true: "An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who grounds the universe." Regardless of your religion, your God will be pretty close to the God which I described before.

"In other words, God may exist either objectively, as in he is the same for all of us, or subjectively, as a concept within our minds where we all have different conceptions of what he--or she--may in fact be. If God only exists subjectively, and may I remind PRO and our audience that we have no way of verifying whether God does, then this question becomes utterly meaningless. "
See? This is exactly what I'm talking about. People can even debate about whether God's Existence even matters or not, in the core of the debate.

Not truth value: the question of God can infact invole appeals to what gay marriage can appeal to. There is the problem of evil in society, and God's omnibenevolence in addition to omnipotence can violate and contradict that. There is also the contradiction of free-will and God's omniscience, which is also very logical. These logical facts are objective and, if used effectively in a debate, can turn this tri-omni-being into, indeed, the empirical question my opponent suggests it cannot be.

" Not only, then, would including this as a big issue would discriminatory to these people and disparaging towards a valid point of point, but wholly inefficient and short-sighted, which would necessarily erode DDO's credibility. "

I see. Now I understand why God's Existence isn't included within the Big Issues. I think I should have made this a forum thread. -.-

Unfortunately the position seems too strong in favor of con's position.

I hope to meet con once again in a debate I truly know about.


I'm slighty disappointed because I was looking forward to this debate, but I appreciate Pro's concession and am excited to see that I may have changed his mind on this issue. That, after all, is what we strive for with debate, and it warms my heart that I was able to do that.

For fun, I'm going to respond to some of the points that Pro made in the last two rounds.

Controversial Topic

I don't deny that the topic of God's existence is a popular or even controversial topic that exictes many member's, and rightfully so. It's a pervasive, thought-provoking question that we inescapable will come to face with at some point or another in contemplating our mortality. However, it is the fact that it *is* a controversial topic which ought to preclude us from making it a big issue: they say that religion and politics are the touchy subjects that we ought not discuss at the dining room table for a reason. People hold starkly different positions on the existence of a deity or even their conceptions of a deity, so attempting to conceptualize this notion by way of, as Pro suggests, O3 is far oversimplifying the issue. The O3 conception leaves out omnipresence, to name one, and scientific debates which focus on pinpointing the first cause would often focus on a deistic god. This doesn't even account for the pantheistic god that Christopher Langan and many others argue for. The point is, precisely because the issue is so pervasive and widespread is why it should not be a Big Issue. It cannot be properly pinned down nor precisely delineated, so it wold necessarily give rise to ambiguity and contentious kerfuffles among members, as well as highly variable framework analyses. The topic is *not* agreeable, as Pro contends. It will necessarily lead to the clashing of strong personalities, and well that it desirable at times, we should be promoting it with respect to something productive and conducive to intellectual advancement--that cannot possibly be the case with something as elusive and as difficult to formalize as "god."


Pro contends that, in spite of your religion, conceptions of God will tend to converge to O3. I have already demonstrated why this will not be the case of light of deism, pantheism, and polytheism. People even within different sects of Christianity, or of varying degrees of devoutness, may have differing views as to God's wraith and the role of the Old Testament of the Bible in their lives and religion.


Pro seems to have missed my point with respect to existence. Surely people could debate whether God's existence matters, but that is non-topical to our discussion at hand because the Big Issue would be "Does God exist?" He seems to concede, with this point, that there is a distinction between objective and subjective existence, which would necessarily make it extremely difficult and near-impossible to adequately define God such that we could establish a universal, DDO-wide definition.

Truth Value

Pro seems to concede that God doesn't have truth value, but then tries to liken the issue to gay marriage. However, as I mentioned in the last round, gay marriage involves appeals to morality as well as objective and empirical facts, such as sociological research on child rearing and adoption. Philosophical arguments to the effect of free will versus omniscience and the problem of evil could make for fascinating debates, but that would require defining God as 03, which would necessarily preclude various conceptions of God and disenfranchise a host of people with fundamentally different views.

I thank Pro for engaging in this debate with me, and look forward to the possibility of debating him again in the future.
Debate Round No. 3


I have conceded. Vote my opponent.


What Pro said, though please award him conduct.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JollyTodd 2 years ago

Posted by TheBookRevOlution 2 years ago
Jolly, please PM me.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
Jolly, that was awesome.
You'll do great on this site :)
Posted by DanK 2 years ago
What would you hope to prove/gain in a vote on god's existence?
Posted by JollyTodd 2 years ago
I would debate this with you, but I don't meet the criteria for acceptance.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
you can accept. I'm interested to see what you have to say.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
I kinda wanna accept this, but I feel like 9space wouldn't appreciate it XD
Posted by A341 2 years ago
If this isn't picked up by Tuesday I'll do it.
Posted by harrymate 2 years ago
What's BoP?
Posted by harrymate 2 years ago
Anyone who accepts this debate is begging for a loss.
I fully agree with you.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: A concession gets the arguments to Con. But I do like to award conduct for an honorable concession, especially since the alternative is usually a forfeit. Props to Con, though, for explicitly saying to do that in the debate--that's classy of you, Con. I mean, I was gonna do it anyway, but still, classy. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.