The Instigator
LiveLifeFreely
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
AbnerGrimm
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Abrahamic God Does Not Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
AbnerGrimm
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,007 times Debate No: 33223
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

LiveLifeFreely

Pro

I'm looking for a good, clean discussion on the topic of the Abrahamic God's existence with anyone willing to debate. I will allow the contender to post his/her argument for the existence of this deity, and I will post my rebuttal after.
AbnerGrimm

Con

Thank you for starting this debate. I accept.

Most myths are made up. However, real events are what sparks up mythical stories. What I am saying is religions may be myths but they are based off real events. Therefore the Abrahamic God may not be as claimed but the story and the deity can be actual.

I look forward to seeing Pros evidence showing that the Abrahamic God does not exist. BOP is upon Pro. GL.


Debate Round No. 1
LiveLifeFreely

Pro

Here are my arguments against the existence of the Abrahamic God:

First Argument
God is superfluous.

Here are the argument points:
  1. We needed many gods to explain things we did not understand
  2. Gaps in our previous understanding are now being explained by natural phenomena
  3. We now know that "God did it" is a non-answer
  4. This means that God is superfluous.
  5. Therefore, it is rational to conclude that this being does not exist
Second Argument
Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit

Here are the argument points (as made by Richard Dawkins):

  1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect, over the centuries, has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.
  2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. In the case of a man-made artefact such as a watch, the designer really was an intelligent engineer. It is tempting to apply the same logic to an eye or a wing, a spider or a person.
  3. The temptation is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable. We need a "crane," not a "skyhook;" for only a crane can do the business of working up gradually and plausibly from simplicity to otherwise improbable complexity.
  4. The most ingenious and powerful crane so far discovered is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Darwin and his successors have shown how living creatures, with their spectacular statistical improbability and appearance of design, have evolved by slow, gradual degrees from simple beginnings. We can now safely say that the illusion of design in living creatures is just that—an illusion.
  5. We don't yet have an equivalent crane for physics. Some kind of multiverse theory could in principle do for physics the same explanatory work as Darwinism does for biology. This kind of explanation is superficially less satisfying than the biological version of Darwinism, because it makes heavier demands on luck. But the anthropic principle entitles us to postulate far more luck than our limited human intuition is comfortable with.
  6. We should not give up hope of a better crane arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology. But even in the absence of a strongly satisfying crane to match the biological one, the relatively weak cranes we have at present are, when abetted by the anthropic principle, self-evidently better than the self-defeating skyhook hypothesis of an intelligent designer.

Third Argument
The problem of evil

Here are the argument points:

  1. If an all-powerful and perfectly good god exists, then evil does not.
  2. There is evil in the world.
  3. Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good god does not exist.

The first expounding of this argument was made by the Greek philosopher Epicurus:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

Those are my arguments against the existence of the Abrahamic God. I look forward to hearing my antagonist's rebuttal. Best of luck.

Sources:
1. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.

2. "Epicurean Paradox." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 May 2013.


AbnerGrimm

Con

Thank you Pro for your argument.


I would like to remind readers what the resolution is:


"The Abrahamic God Does Not Exist"


My opponent has accepted the Burden of Proof, therefore we should assume the Abrahamic God possible until Pro shows otherwise. Note, the resolution deals with certainty, not probabilities. My burden is to find flaws in Pros argument. If I establish one single contradiction or flaw in any way, it will make the Abrahamic God possible and I win the debate. I will now address my opponent's case, then present one of my own.


First Argument


My opponent starts by saying God is superfluous, that is nice, but it helps his case none. We are not here to determine if God is superfluous. In fact if we go ahead and say, "God is no longer needed for all humanity"(*sarcasm), that still doesn't show us God don't exist.


Here are his argument points:


"We needed many gods to explain things we did not understand"


We chose to use God to answer things we do not understand. My opponent must show that Christians and Judaism use God to explain things around them. If this were true then we would have never invented science. The point helps my case that God may exist.


"Gaps in our previous understanding are now being explained by natural phenomena"


Of course they are, we have been around for along time and we will learn even more. My opponent ignores supernatural phenomena when we cannot rule out almost any possibility.[1]


"We now know that "God did it" is a non-answer"


Of course we can use the 'God did it' answer. But, what we cannot do is tell people to stop believing in God. When have we reached the point we are we tell people to stop using God when we do not understand things? It hasn't been in this debate.


"This means that God is superfluous."


No, this simply means man uses God to explain things they do not understand. I doubt you will find many people who do that anymore unless it calls for it. This doesn't prove God does not exist.


"Therefore, it is rational to conclude that this being does not exist"


It is never rational to conclude such notions. You can never make such bold claims because you do not know. You may never know. Frankly, you have taken upon yourself a heavy burden in this debate. I feel you may not be able to carry it.


Second Argument


Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit


I am surprised Pro offers us Dawkins argument from his book, 'the God delusion'. This argument has been pretty well criticized. The reason for this is because the argument is a logical fallacy of begging the question. In order to have an explanation of a event, you don't have to have the explanation of the explanation.[2] This argument has been widely accepted as invalid.


Plantinga writes:


"So first, according to classical theology, God is simple, not complex. More remarkable, perhaps, is that according to Dawkins's own definition of complexity, God is not complex."[3]


For this argument to be a valid one Pro must show us materialism is true. I offer John Lennox to explain it to us......---> The video


Third Argument


The problem of evil


If an all-powerful and perfectly good God exists, then evil does not.


There is evil in the world.


Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good god does not exist.


There is a big problem with this argument because it assumes God and evil cannot co-exist. Pro needs to show us premises which bring out this contradiction. God could have sufficient reasons for permitting evil in the world. We are not in the position to determine whether God has morally sufficient reasons for the evils that occur. The Bible gives us doctrine how and why God and evil co-exist.


My Argument

I will offer one contention, Thomas's "five ways"


Thomas's "Five Ways"[4] or five proofs for the existence of God are often named as follows: Note* All these arguments together are strong. Individually they are much weaker.


(1) Argument from motion


This argument deals with motion. It contends nothing can move without reason and therefore needing a reason to move. This argument combines into the second which is the necessity for a first mover.


(2) Argument from efficient cause


The argument contends that nothing exists prior to itself. Nothing is the efficient cause of itself. It contends if a cause does not exist then the things does not exist. Therefore it is necessary to for a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God (I contend the Abrahamic God).


(3) Argument from necessary being

This argument contends that contingent beings come and go in and out of existence. Therefore there could have been a time when nothing existed. Therefore some being exists on its own and brought everything into being.


(4) Argument from gradations of goodness


This argument contends that there are good and bad things, some better or worse than others. Therefore there must be a being which causes there being so much goodness.


(5) Argument from design.


We can observe natural bodies which work for a goal. Natural things lack knowledge. Therefore some intelligence exists by whom all things direct their end; and this being we call God.


I send back to Pro and await curiously.


LINKS:


[1] http://www.albany.edu......


[2]


http://www.godandscience.org...


[3]


http://en.wikipedia.org...


[4]


http://web.mnstate.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
LiveLifeFreely

Pro

In reverse order:

Aquinas' "Five Ways"

These can essentially be used as a defense for any deistic or (if you prefer) theistic entity. This includes all of the other gods humanity has conjured up.The points do not prove a theistic deity, let alone the Abrahamic one.

Let's examine the points anyway:

(1) Argument from motion


This argument deals with motion. It contends nothing can move without reason and therefore needing a reason to move. This argument combines into the second which is the necessity for a first mover.

This argument begs the question, I'm afraid. The logic is faulty. One could ask what motivated this deity to make the first move?

With the benefit of modern physics we can get rid of this argument for good. Newton's First Law states that a particle would tend to stay at rest or move in a constant velocity if no external force is applied to it. It is as natural for a body to move as it is for a body to be at rest. A Prime Mover is unnecessary.

Aquinas' physics was based on Aristotle's, which states that the natural state of any body is to be at rest. Furthermore, the experiments done by physicists A.A. Michelson and E.W. Morley in 1881 (and in 1887) showed that there was no absolute frame of reference in the universe. Einstein used the conclusion of this experiment as one of his postulates in his Special Theory of Relativity. What this experiment and Einstein's theory shows us is that there is no such thing as absolute motion. All velocities can only be given relative to something else, none of which is an absolute reference. This makes the idea of a Prime Mover nonsense.

There is another, more traditional, objection to the first way. The fundamental principle in the argument is that everything which initiates change must have been initiated in some way itself. Therfore, this principle must be applied to the Prime Mover as well. There is no logical reason why we should stop applying the principle at that point. This objection is conclusive. For the argument begins with an observation (that there is motion) and a fundamental principle (that every moving thing is moved by another already moving) which, at least in Thomas' philosophy, seems to be valid. Yet he postulated the existence of The Unmoved Mover, which violates the argument's own fundamental premise. The question of a naturally skeptical child sums up the main problem with the first way: If God created us, who created God?

If Con is to say that God "always existed" without a cause, then I can just state that the Universe always existed without a cause. To postulate that God is outside of time (in order to prove that he is eternal) is simply a cop-out and offers no ultimately acceptable explanation.

(2) Argument from efficient cause


The argument contends that nothing exists prior to itself. Nothing is the efficient cause of itself. It contends if a cause does not exist then the things does not exist. Therefore it is necessary to for a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God (I contend the Abrahamic God).

Not "everyone" gives it the name "God". Some people give it the name "Brahma". Others "Ra". It is not reasonable to say that everyone gives it the name God.

Let's see what David Hume says about this argument:

"In such a chain too, or succession of objects, each part is caused by that which preceded it, and causes which succeed it. Where then is the difficulty? But the whole, you say, wants a cause. I answer that the uniting of these parts into a whole, like the uniting of several distinct counties into one kingdom, or several distinct members into one body, is performed merely by an arbitrary act of the mind, and has no influence on the nature of things. Did I show you the particular causes of each individual in a collection of twenty particles of matter, I should think it very unreasonable should you afterwards ask me what was the cause of the whole twenty. This is sufficiently explained in explaining the cause of the parts"

What Hume is saying is that the observable succession of events require no beginning since we can conceive of it going back to infinity. The entire chain of causes and effects also need no explaining for it is just an act of our minds attempting to structure our experience.

Furthermore, Hume argued that even if the argument is valid (that is, that there is a first cause), it would not establish the existence of the Abrahamic God. For one thing, why shouldn't the first cause be the universe itself rather than God? This goes back to the point I made as a refutation for the First Way: If it is argued that the universe also needs to be caused, then the same would be true for God. If one then asserts that God is "uncaused", the same assertion can be made for the universe.

The second way is also unconvincing for the following reasons: it assumes that all sequences must be finite, though we do not have any rational reason for believing so; we have no way of determining which cause exactly is the first cause. It commits the logical fallacy of quantifier reversal; and finally the fundamental assumption: that every event must have a cause, is shown to be false by modern physics. The argument from efficient cause (or the First Cause argument) has been shown the direction of the first: both are invalid as proofs of a deity's existence, let alone God's.

(3) Argument from necessary being


This argument contends that contingent beings come and go in and out of existence. Therefore there could have been a time when nothing existed. Therefore some being exists on its own and brought everything into being.


This argument assumes the conclusion in one of it's premises. Again, if we must admit a necessary existent entity, why shouldn't it be the universe itself?

(4) Argument from gradations of goodness


This argument contends that there are good and bad things, some better or worse than others. Therefore there must be a being which causes there being so much goodness.

This is perhaps Aquinas' weakest argument. Although a sense of fairness, decency, and right and wrong is innate in us, most social standards and norms are ultimately subjective. Therefore it is unreasonable to conclude that this argument has any serious gradation.

(5) Argument from design.


We can observe natural bodies which work for a goal. Natural things lack knowledge. Therefore some intelligence exists by whom all things direct their end; and this being we call God.

Natural bodies work for a goal? What is this goal? It is evident that life developed to adapt itself to its surroundings, not the other way around. Therefore, it is impossible to make the assertion that inanimate objects or processes always seems to move towards a "goal".

The problem of evil still stands

The existence of evil is contradictory to a god who is supposedly omniscient and omnibenevolent.

God created Lucifer, knowing that the angel would rebel against him, thus creating evil, thus making God the ultimate cause of evil, since he created Lucifer.

Also, a God who punishes people with an eternity in Hell for failing an unspecified test during the few decades of life is wicked and deserves no respect.

God is not "simple" and materialism

A being who is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, can answer prayers and actually cares about us is anything but simple. He is complex in every sense of the word.

If everything that exists is natural (existing in nature), then the concept of "unnatural" (things that are abnormal) is void, since these things are a part of nature as well. Therefore, God does not exist since he is "unnatural".

Argument from Superfluity

This argument was meant to show that God is nothing more than a superfluous man-made construct. We don't need the assumption of God for anything. It's a failed hypothesis. There is no evidence for the supernatural and "God did it" is still a non-answer that stops people from thinking. I can just replace God with "Ra" and it would be exactly the same.

I don't have enough characters to post my sources..



AbnerGrimm

Con

Thank you Pro. Let us remember that last round I established it is Pro who must show the Abrahamic God doesn't exist, I don't have prove God exist.

"Five Ways"

"These can essentially be used as a defense for any deistic or (if you prefer) theistic entity. This includes all of the other gods humanity has conjured up.The points do not prove a theistic deity, let alone the Abrahamic one."

Aquinas himself believed in the Abrahamic God and used this system. Therefore we can use it unless Pro shows the Abrahamic God fails in characterization for this argument. [1] Lets see how Pro fared in his rebuttal.

(1) Argument from motion

"This argument begs the question, I'm afraid. The logic is faulty. One could ask what motivated this deity to make the first move?"

Pro says this argument begs the question then he follows himself by begging the question. This logic is far from settled or faulty. 'Motion' has a much wider meaning, it is a synonym for 'change', it does not only refer to change of position.

Newton's first Law

Newton's first law of motion declares that a force is not needed to keep an object in motion. The law never states the cause of motion needs no mover to cause motion in the first place.

Prime Mover
Pro attacks my argument by attacking Aristotle. A fundamental insight of Aristotle unused by Newton was the concept of power, the power that causes all motion.[2] General relativity and Newton deal only with motion that is already in place or motion without any acceleration. They do not deal with the original cause of motion to drift in line. Therefore the need for an original mover.

"If God created us, who created God?"

Pro obviously ignored my video. Pro ignores the understanding of eternal only when applied to God. God was not created therefore not needing a creator. God has always existed not needing a beginning. This is no cop-out it is simple logic. Pro cannot stand in the position that the universe has always existed because the current view of cosmetology maintains a Big-Bang occurred which caused the universe to expand. This leaves us asking what caused the Big-Bang? They do not know. Therefore making his claim even more confounding than God did it.

(2) Argument from efficient cause

"Not "everyone" gives it the name "God". Some people give it the name "Brahma". Others "Ra". It is not reasonable to say that everyone gives it the name God."

This is off topic and unless Pro shows how I cannot use the Arbahamic God for this argument then it my argument stands.

"What Hume is saying is that the observable succession of events require no beginning since we can conceive of it going back to infinity."

I mentioned how modern science contends that the universe had a beginning and until my opponent dismantles modern cosmetology and the Big-Bang theory my contention stands. Which is the universe had a beginning and is not infinite. Pro asserts we have no rational reason to think things are finite. We are born, we live, we die, the same for all physical things. We have much reason to believe all physical things are finite.[3]

(3) Argument from necessary being

"This argument assumes the conclusion in one of it's premises. Again, if we must admit a necessary existent entity, why shouldn't it be the universe itself?"

It cannot be the universe until the Big-Bang and modern cosmetology are proved wrong.

(4) Argument from gradations of goodness

"This is perhaps Aquinas' weakest argument. Although a sense of fairness, decency, and right and wrong is innate in us, most social standards and norms are ultimately subjective. Therefore it is unreasonable to conclude that this argument has any serious gradation."

The Argument from Degree

Something is the maximum or there would be no standard at all. "Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."[4]

(5) Argument from design.

"Natural bodies work for a goal? What is this goal? Therefore, it is impossible to make the assertion that inanimate objects or processes always seems to move towards a "goal"."

Pro offers us no reason not to believe in our natural instinct to see design. Humans design things and if something out there is intelligent like humans, and designs things, we would also expect to find design. If we find design, we have evidence of intelligence. If an intelligent agent caused design like humans do, and then we should find objects with human-like design, we do, we then can assume they were also designed by an intelligence like our own.

"It is not at the end but at the beginning of our conclusions, among original principles, that we must place the truth, that such arrangements, manifestations, and proceedings as we behold about us imply a Being endowed with consciousness, design, and will, from whom they proceed." (Whewell 1834, 344)

The problem of evil

"The existence of evil is contradictory to a god who is supposedly omniscient and omnibenevolent."

For true love to occur there must be freedom. If God does not allow beings to choose then He is not benevolent. It is therefore against God's goals and against love to stop the possibility of evil.

"God created Lucifer, knowing that the angel would rebel against him, thus creating evil, thus making God the ultimate cause of evil, since he created Lucifer."

God did create Lucifer. God also loved Lucifer and allowed him the choice. If God did not allow this choice then He denies freedom and love to occur willingly. Lucifer beget evil not God. Pros argument is like saying it is my fault if my child kills or robs someone.

"Also, a God who punishes people with an eternity in Hell for failing an unspecified test during the few decades of life is wicked and deserves no respect."

Pro simply inserts his own opinion and objective moral compass. This helps his case none. If there is a God, then He has made Himself known and therefore Pro has no excuse to deny God could exist. He also has no excuse for blaming God for his own fate. We obviously have the right to reject whom has created us.

God is not "simple" and materialism

"A being who is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, can answer prayers and actually cares about us is anything but simple. He is complex in every sense of the word."

The imagination of man can envision such a God and therefore that shows us how simple God is. We require movement and work which is complex. How many of us have wished things would just happen without having to work? It is simpler to not have to move or work. God is this simple. Pro asserts that everything that exist is natural but has not validated this point.

Argument from Superfluity

Pro showed that people used God to explain things they did not understand. He has not shown us that God does not exist. He has not shown why people today do not use the 'God did it' explanation but still believe God exist. My opponent uses a fallacy when he says, "God did it" is a answer that stops people from thinking." I contend for people to say God did it requires thought to find a conclusion when no answer is available.

Summation

The link below shows Pro used an entire article for his rebuttal this round and not his own argument. Pro still has not shown the Abrahamic God does not exist. Pro has dropped arguments. His rebuttal to 'five ways' is shaky at best. Thank you and back to Pro.

Resolution Negated

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net...

Sources:

[1]

http://www.thatreligiousstudieswebsite.com...

[2]

http://www.mlahanas.de...

[3]

http://home.wlu.edu...

[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
LiveLifeFreely

Pro

LiveLifeFreely forfeited this round.
AbnerGrimm

Con

Arguments extended. Pro forfeits. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
I find the mention of Richard Dawkins a little funny, as he openly states there's a 1 in 7 chance of God existing; since such was not brought up by con, I will not weight it against pros sources.
Posted by lumm0x 4 years ago
lumm0x
Experience tells me that those whose ammunition consists mainly of Dawkins parallel those who say, "god did it". Dawkins says "evolution is fact", when unbeknownst to many non-scientific persons, the nitty gritty details establishes large gaps in this statement that can only be filled with "faith" that "evolution is fact".

Both the Abrahamic religions (judaism/christianity) and the atheist religion contain people who accept their faith at face value without really delving into the science and history.

Con did well to embed his own knowledge and understanding onto an established hypothesis while pro more or less regurgitated another's idea without establishing his own words on the subject.

While I want to stay neutral, I think this link is interesting in its scientific perspective and is worth a read (being a science graduate). Those who are faithful in the search for truth should always know what they are rejecting.

http://www.godandscience.org...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
LiveLifeFreelyAbnerGrimmTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Great job to both sides! Conduct: Missing the final round shifts conduct, but conduct was otherwise so clean from both sides I do not feel this was significant enough. Spelling: The formatting by pro was better, heck even his sources were cited professionally (I prefer links, but that's my bias). Argument: Pro asserts that if God exists, God must have been caused; okay how is that arguing against the possibility of the deity described in the various parts of the bible? To say Christian understanding of such is flawed, does not preclude the existence of it. Pro did however do a great job with counter points against con (who did not have BoP). I suspect I would be tied or in favor of pro were it not for the skipped round, but too much momentum was lost by it, and with BoP already questionable... Sources: I saw a lot of wiki from both sides, thus I'm leaving this tied (also to avoid my bias area).
Vote Placed by Pennington 4 years ago
Pennington
LiveLifeFreelyAbnerGrimmTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro got demolished. Offered no real evidence. I cannot vote so gl.