The Instigator
Rednerrus
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Cliff.Stamp
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

The Christian God VS Everyone else: Morality, Logic & Reason and Epistemology.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,746 times Debate No: 14274
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (24)
Votes (8)

 

Rednerrus

Pro

This debate started with several weeks worth of back and forth comments on this Youtube video.
And we both decided to move it here to make it easier for ourselves to explain our arguments.

It is mainly about the validity of the Christian world view, and the impossibility of all other world views, including the one my opponent holds, atheism. Proving the Existence of the Christian God, which is a very important topic considering the implications.

The main topics are Morality, Logic & Reason and Epistemology.

MORALITY
The God of the Bible exists and this why and how universal moral absolutes exist. My opponent argues that morality is a convention among men, not unlike the rules of grammar. This means that morality is culturally relative, and arbitrary. Since it is arbitrary, he has no real basis for defining something as good or evil to create this conventional standard to begin with. And since, it's culturally relative, He has no valid reason to condemn the culture of the Nazi society. Now Im not arguing that my opponent or any non-believer lack moral values, Im arguing that they can't account for morality and that they are actually assuming the Christian worldview when they appeal to moral standards to condemn any evil act.
The Christian worldview, on the other hand, comports with the reality that universal moral absolutes exist. The Christian claims that God is is the necessary precondition for moral absolutes to exist.
He's also brought up the infamous Euthyphro Dilemma. I maintain that it's not a dilemma at all. God's very nature is the standard of morals. God is perfectly good, everything He says and does are good and everything else that contradicts his nature is automatically evil. Godlessness is evil.

LOGIC & REASON
Similar to his version of morality, my opponent also holds the position that the laws of logic are products of the human mind, and are conventional. He claims that the laws of logic are not absolute but instead, are also conventional, or agreed upon. This of course causes many problems. For example, how do we conclude that the produced system of logic is indeed logical?
I hold the position that the laws of logic are universal and absolute. This is why and how we can go on this website and debate who is logical, who is reasonable, who is right, etc. No one here will be saying, "well im using a different set of laws of thought, so your arguments do not apply"
Universal Absolutes exist. Agreeing or disagreeing with that statement proves that the laws of logic are absolute.
I also disagree with the claim that they are the products of human minds. This becomes a circular, self refuting argument as we shall see.

EPISTEMOLOGY
My opponent stated that we gain knowledge by experience and observations. But of course you would need proper logic and reason to make conclusions and convert experiences and observations to actual knowledge. However, this proves to be a vicious circle. If we follow the logical conclusion of this world view, it would mean that, we gain knowledge by experience and observation, using the laws of logic, which our minds produced by experience and observation, using the laws of logic, which our minds produced by experience and observation...
My epistemology is simple, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" -Proverbs 1:7. Logic existed before human minds were able to express them. "In the beginning was LOGOS" -John 1:1 (one of Jesus' many names was "the word" or "logos" which is where we get the word logic) We know everything else by knowing who we are, and we know who we are by knowing who God is and our relationship with him, namely, creator-creature. This is what "self awareness" is.
The laws of logic are not products of the human mind. The laws of logic would exist even if no human mind existed. The universe was not illogical before the alleged evolution of the thinking man. They are the most basic laws the govern reality itself. The laws of logic existed and applied to our universe before Aristotle's parents did the nasty. We did not and we can't possibly produce the laws of logic, saying so would be circular argument. We "discovered" these laws. But how can we discover the laws of logic and make any sense of them without having logic to begin with? The answer is we can not and we did not. They were revealed to us. We believed, and we based everything on these ultimate axioms. "Credo ut intelligam" as Anselm said, which means I believe in order that I may understand. "Fides praecadit intellectum" or faith precedes knowledge.
You see, both the Christian and the non-believer presuppose that the laws of logic are true. The difference is the Christian can account for them, without committing logical fallacies. The Christian's ultimate authority is God, while the non-believer's ultimate authority is himself, making himself his own God.
Cliff.Stamp

Con

"The God of the Bible exists and this why and how universal moral absolutes exist."

If it is accepted as a valid to simply state an assumption and then draw a conclusion, then the rebuttal to this is as simple as - The God of the Bible does not exist, and this is why and how (insert desired moral stance here) ...

"My opponent argues that morality is a convention among men, not unlike the rules of grammar. This means that morality is culturally relative, and arbitrary."

More specifically, I would assert morality, being defined as the behavior which categorizes decisions as being right or wrong is an evolutionary development.

"Since it is arbitrary, he has no real basis for defining something as good or evil to create this conventional standard to begin with. And since, it's culturally relative, He has no valid reason to condemn the culture of the Nazi society."

Consider the following :

Is there a Bible which can be referred when there is a dispute among scientists - no. Is it then a valid assertion to state that all conclusions are arbitrary? Science as a body of knowledge obviously progresses, it does not simply wander in circles with arbitrary decisions endlessly diverging - thus this assertion, as a general principle fails.

Or lets look at something a lot more subjective.

As there is no Bible which notes what is or is not art, does this mean that it is pointless to support the arts because it is all arbitrary and you might as well just decide in a random manner to encourage any activity with no way to quantify talent in a young child and encourage them to focus on that area as they show signs of an emergent artistic genius. Is there really no way to judge the wit and humor of Tom Arnold vs George Carlin or the acting ability of Megan Fox vs Hilary Swank, all such decisions are completely arbitrary without asking God?

"God's very nature is the standard of morals. God is perfectly good, everything He says and does are good and everything else that contradicts his nature is automatically evil. Godlessness is evil."

If this is true, then the immediate question which shows the nature of the problem here is - 'If God told you to [insert some extreme action here] you would happily and cheerful do it with full confidence it was moral?'

Now it is clear you can not reject this action by saying, 'God would not do [insert some extreme action here].' because what is good and moral is simply defined only by what God does.

If you say for example, 'Well God could not lie.' this means you have an external framework which you are applying, you have decided God can not lie and you would reject something which is lying as being not God.

If you were to say 'God has said he can not lie.' this again means that God has acknowledged that morality is not what is the nature of God but what constrains the nature of God. The question then becomes what compels him not to lie, how is lying decided to be immoral? If he simply decided not to lie how is that any less arbitrary than if anyone decides not to lie as they consider it immoral?

"He claims that the laws of logic are not absolute but instead, are also conventional, or agreed upon."

They are not agreed upon, there is considerable contention about the various frameworks, though yes, I would assert they, like language, are simply evolutionary constructs. One obvious indication of this is that as our mathematical ability increases we invent new logical frameworks to solve problems which could no be solved in the existing ones.

This is no different than the various number systems, natural, rational, irrational, imaginary, which ones are the absolute and true numbers? Note we thought we knew that each time we had a particular set only to find some very clever person could define a new set and use it to produce very interesting results.

"For example, how do we conclude that the produced system of logic is indeed logical?"

A system of logic can not be assessed as logical, that is like asking if a defined number system contains numbers, they obviously do and it is by definition. A system of logic is evaluated by its utility, i.e, what, if applied can it produce.

"I hold the position that the laws of logic are universal and absolute."

Which laws are universal and absolute?

"If we follow the logical conclusion of this world view, it would mean that, we gain knowledge by experience and observation, using the laws of logic, which our minds produced by experience and observation, using the laws of logic, which our minds produced by experience and observation..."

Exactly, and this process is not, again, a divergent arbitrary wandering path. For example :

'An Adaptive Filter Based Fuzzy Logic Controller Incorporating MTPA for IPMSM Drives' (Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/KESE.2009.63 )

Quote :

'A fuzzy logic controller (FLC) for the IPMSM drive has been found to maintain high performance standards with a much simpler and less computation implementation.'

Fuzzy logic is a logic which rejects the classical law of the excluded middle. If logic is an absolute, then which one of these systems is the absolute one (fuzzy or classical) - they can not both be as they contradict each other.

"The universe was not illogical before the alleged evolution of the thinking man."

Our current best understanding of the nature of the universe comes in the form of Quantum Theory, which certainly defies classical logic - so again what system of logic applies to it?

"The Christian's ultimate authority is God, while the non-believer's ultimate authority is himself, making himself his own God."

It would not follow if one rejected God that they would assume a complete supreme ego centric viewpoint. Just as an individual could decide to give themselves to the will of God, an individual could decide to give them self to the will of another person, or group of people.

I would end with a series of questions :

1) How do you know know God exists and how do you know his nature is moral?
2) What could you experience which would falsify this belief?
Debate Round No. 1
Rednerrus

Pro

MORALITY

"If it is accepted as a valid to simply state an assumption and then draw a conclusion, then the rebuttal to this is as simple as - The God of the Bible does not exist, and this is why and how (insert desired moral stance here) ..."

I purposely made it clear that Im presupposing the existence of the Christian God so I can point out that you have presuppositions as well. For example you are presupposing that, the only way we can know if something is true is by thorough observation using logic and reason. You did not use that same standard to prove that statement, you presupposed it and took it for granted.

"More specifically, I would assert morality, being defined as the behavior which categorizes decisions as being right or wrong is an evolutionary development.

Consider the following :

Is there a Bible which can be referred when there is a dispute among scientists - no. Is it then a valid assertion to state that all conclusions are arbitrary? Science as a body of knowledge obviously progresses, it does not simply wander in circles with arbitrary decisions endlessly diverging - thus this assertion, as a general principle fails.

Or lets look at something a lot more subjective.

As there is no Bible which notes what is or is not art, does this mean that it is pointless to support the arts because it is all arbitrary and you might as well just decide in a random manner to encourage any activity with no way to quantify talent in a young child and encourage them to focus on that area as they show signs of an emergent artistic genius. Is there really no way to judge the wit and humor of Tom Arnold vs George Carlin or the acting ability of Megan Fox vs Hilary Swank, all such decisions are completely arbitrary without asking God?"

This is exactly the problem. In your presupposed worldview, morality comes from humanity, we developed it through evolution. And just like our tastes in art, as you mentioned, we have differing views. On what ground then can you tell a rapist that he is immoral? He thinks its ok, it makes him happy. On what ground do you say, you're doing something evil? Believe it or not I honestly think Keanu Reeves is a good actor. Most of my friends disagree of course, but they can't force me to change my opinion, since I have my own standards of what a good actor is.

"If this is true, then the immediate question which shows the nature of the problem here is - 'If God told you to [insert some extreme action here] you would happily and cheerful do it with full confidence it was moral?'"

Yes.

Now it is clear you can not reject this action by saying, 'God would not do [insert some extreme action here].' because what is good and moral is simply defined only by what God does.

If you say for example, 'Well God could not lie.' this means you have an external framework which you are applying, you have decided God can not lie and you would reject something which is lying as being not God.

If you were to say 'God has said he can not lie.' this again means that God has acknowledged that morality is not what is the nature of God but what constrains the nature of God. The question then becomes what compels him not to lie, how is lying decided to be immoral? If he simply decided not to lie how is that any less arbitrary than if anyone decides not to lie as they consider it immoral?"

The answer is that God's perfectly good nature IS the standard of good and evil. There are no standards or absolutes outside of God. I wouldn't have a standard to apply to God since He IS the standard of good and evil. Just like light itself is the standard for what's light and darkness. If it's not light its darkness. But as you can see, darkness is nothing but the absence of light. We don't ask if light itself is light or darkness. In the same way the standard of good and evil can not be applied to God since He is the "good" of good or evil, and the absence of his goodness is automatically evil.

LOGIC

"They are not agreed upon, there is considerable contention about the various frameworks, though yes, I would assert they, like language, are simply evolutionary constructs. One obvious indication of this is that as our mathematical ability increases we invent new logical frameworks to solve problems which could no be solved in the existing ones.

This is no different than the various number systems, natural, rational, irrational, imaginary, which ones are the absolute and true numbers? Note we thought we knew that each time we had a particular set only to find some very clever person could define a new set and use it to produce very interesting results."

1. Can you define what a "framework" is, in regards to the laws of logic? and also give an example of a couple of frameworks.
2. So if it is like the rules of language and grammar, can an opposing system of logic be equally as valid? for example, If I produce a system of logic where contradictions are ok, will this be valid?
3. Which one of the contending "frameworks" is science based on?

"A system of logic can not be assessed as logical, that is like asking if a defined number system contains numbers, they obviously do and it is by definition. A system of logic is evaluated by its utility, i.e, what, if applied can it produce."

1. You're still proposing that there are different systems of logic. Define logic and define "laws of logic"
2. Do the laws of logic reflect reality and vice versa? if so how can there be varying systems of logic?

"Which laws are universal and absolute?

Exactly, and this process is not, again, a divergent arbitrary wandering path. For example :

'An Adaptive Filter Based Fuzzy Logic Controller Incorporating MTPA for IPMSM Drives' (Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/KESE.2009.63 )

Quote :

'A fuzzy logic controller (FLC) for the IPMSM drive has been found to maintain high performance standards with a much simpler and less computation implementation.'

Fuzzy logic is a logic which rejects the classical law of the excluded middle. If logic is an absolute, then which one of these systems is the absolute one (fuzzy or classical) - they can not both be as they contradict each other."

The laws of logic are universal and absolute. Aristotle's classical laws are absolute, and I would argue that every thought/statement can be reduced and simplified to either be truth or falsity. Fuzzy logic wouldn't be necessary if the the fuzzy thought is made more specific by giving specific definitions to each word.

"Our current best understanding of the nature of the universe comes in the form of Quantum Theory, which certainly defies classical logic - so again what system of logic applies to it?"

Explain how Quantum theory defies the classical laws.

EPISTEMOLOGY

"It would not follow if one rejected God that they would assume a complete supreme ego centric viewpoint. Just as an individual could decide to give themselves to the will of God, an individual could decide to give them self to the will of another person, or group of people."

Im wasnt talking about individuals only, im talking about humanity as a whole. If lets say an alien race asks us, "why is raping immoral?" our answer would be "because we say so" if they ask us "why is self contradiction illogical? " the answer again would be "because we say so, we never did any observations to conclude this, we just came up with it and went from there"

"1) How do you know know God exists and how do you know his nature is moral?"

He revealed Himself and His character to me through his creation, which includes me and his word (scripture).

"2) What could you experience which would falsify this belief?"

If my worldview refutes itself it would automatically be falsified. If one thing about Christianity is proven false then it is falsified. Its pretty easy actually, but impossible because Christianity is truth.

Let me ask you how with in your world vie
Cliff.Stamp

Con

"For example you are presupposing that, the only way we can know if something is true is by thorough observation using logic and reason."

I never asserted that the only way to know something was empirical. At most I would assert that empericism is a way to know something and that it has a high utility as it contains the concepts of demonstration and falsification.

"On what ground then can you tell a rapist that he is immoral? He thinks its ok, it makes him happy."

As noted, there is no Bible of Science nor of Art and yet both of these progress, this is evident - and thus there is an answer to that question, unless you assert that there has been no progress in science nor art.

"The answer is that God's perfectly good nature IS the standard of good and evil. There are no standards or absolutes outside of God. I wouldn't have a standard to apply to God since He IS the standard of good and evil."

And thus, if God told you to do anything, regardless of what it was you would do it, and be happy doing it because it was moral by definition - anything he would say without restriction? Clearly now - anything that God told you to do, anything at all - that would be moral - anything.

"1. Can you define what a "framework" is, in regards to the laws of logic? and also give an example of a couple of frameworks."

A framework is simply a way of thinking which is governed by one or more definitional statements. Classical logic is such a framework, which (depending on which philosopher you ask) has at least two, possibly more fundamental propositional statements. There are many frameworks which reject these and do not treat them as constraints, as noted fuzzy logic rejects the classical logic constraint of the law of the excluded middle.

"2. So if it is like the rules of language and grammar, can an opposing system of logic be equally as valid? for example, If I produce a system of logic where contradictions are ok, will this be valid?"

There are indeed such systems of logic.

"3. Which one of the contending "frameworks" is science based on?""

Natural Methodology and Natural Philosophy were at one point one in the same, so it used to be classical logic, it is no longer because that is too restrictive to explain all observations and handle all such problems. I gave you one very clear example of an engineering control which can not be developed using classical logic. Logic is simply a way to study an argument, science uses whatever logic it has to in order to handle a problem and when one is not available it creates one, just like math is also created when what is currently known also is insufficient, such as Newton and Calculus.

"1. You're still proposing that there are different systems of logic. Define logic and define "laws of logic"
2. Do the laws of logic reflect reality and vice versa? if so how can there be varying systems of logic?"

I am not proposing it, it is known that there are quite a few systems of logic, this would be like me proposing that there are different number systems beyond the counting numbers, that would take a fair bit of arrogance on my part. For a primary proponant, I would recommend "Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism" by Susan Haack which is a summary work on non-classical logic.

As we do not know the true nature of reality, it would be unknown what system of logic would need to be utilized in order to explain it. There are three current large theories all competing for fundamental explanative power and they all have fairly radical interpretations of the nature of the universe (loop quantum gravity, string theory and unified field theory) - it is unknown at this stage which of these, if any is, as Karl Popper (Phlosopher of Science) would say "least wrong".

It is known that as we have learned more about what we see that it is certainly not classical. The infinite history model of Feynman for example which is used to explain how one particle can intefere with itself (because it actually is in all places at all times in all states - just that it is only partially true for each case).

"Fuzzy logic wouldn't be necessary if the the fuzzy thought is made more specific by giving specific definitions to each word."

Fuzzy logic does not mean it is fuzzy in that the statements are unclear, as in "Go over there somewhere", it simply means that statements do not obey the law of the excluded middle. Note no one wants to use Fuzzy Logic in motor controls because it is much more complex than binary logic, it is used because binary logic controls have a very poor response time. If a binary logic control could be developed which did not have these issues then a PhD in Electrical Engineering awaits (as well a quite a number of very lucrative post-doctrate research/private sector positions).

A more extreme logic in regards to deviation from classical logic is Dialetheism which holds that both a statement and its negation can be true, Graham Priest would be a contempory advocate of Dialetheism.

"Im wasnt talking about individuals only, im talking about humanity as a whole. If lets say an alien race asks us, "why is raping immoral?" our answer would be "because we say so" if they ask us "why is self contradiction illogical? " the answer again would be "because we say so, we never did any observations to conclude this, we just came up with it and went from there""

I would hope that if an Alien race asked humanity why is rape wrong, our answer would be more explicit than "because we said" as that implies that they should accept it as wrong simply because we accept it as wrong, assuming of course that said race actually had the concept of morality (not all life does even on earth) and recognized a similar system of logic so a conversation could take place.

But even if it was not, and that was the only answer given, I would assert that would be a stronger assertion than one person saying "because this book said so" or "because I heard a voice that said so".

"He revealed Himself and His character to me through his creation, which includes me and his word (scripture)."

Various other religions would assert that what you experienced is the devil (or a devil) and it is trying to keep you from the true path (theirs). How can you falsify their position that they have the true word of God and you have a devils voice and book?

"If my worldview refutes itself it would automatically be falsified. If one thing about Christianity is proven false then it is falsified. Its pretty easy actually, but impossible because Christianity is truth."

It is easy or impossible to falsify?

Or both?

Note it is easy to make a claim which can not be falsified, that does not mean it is strong or overly interesting. For example, "Right now I just thought that the remake of True Grit was a superior movie." this claim is impossible to falsify, it is also impossible to demonstrate. The classical example of this is Russell's Teapot, which was intended to challenge directly the claim of God(s) by making an assertion which is also impossible to demonstrate or falsify challenge directly the claim of God(s) by making an assertion which is also impossible to demonstrate or falsify and thus asking the question - does that mean we should accept it (and thus any claim which can also be made under similar conditions).
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Debate Round No. 2
Rednerrus

Pro

Presuppostions

When I asked you what your epistemology was on youtube, this is what you said,


"As for my epistemology, I would assert that truth as we know it can come from naturalism.

However this is not an absolute truth and that the absolute truth of anything is unknowable.

I would defend these positions based on several current theories as we understand them (evolution, quantum, etc.)"


And then to clarify, I asked you If you believed that we gain knowledge from observation of the natural world, and you responded with,


"Natural presupposes that knowledge is gained from observation, it can not prove or deny it.

Nor can it prove or deny that the universe exists nor that even if it does we observe it as it exists.

These are just presupposed, there is no way to test if the knowledge gained is absolute nor universal."

All Im trying to point out is that you have your own presuppositions. You have a worldview that you didn't prove or conclude, but you actually presupposed. And that MY worldview that Im presupposing is the antithesis of yours.


Morality

In my worldview, the reason why morality always existed and is experienced by everyone is because everyone (even people who's never heard of the God of the Bible) has a God imbedded conscience. The written word is not the only source of our knowledge of God's moral standards. In your worldview, on the other hand, it can't be accounted for. Atheists are just borrowing the Christian worldview when they appeal to a moral standard that they think applies to everyone, either that or they are just pressing they're OPINIONS on others. You didn't answer the actual question though. On what ground can you or anyone who does not believe in moral absolutes, call a rapist evil?

Yes. Anything that God has done, commanded, will do and will command is moral. Just like everything that Light has emitted, and will emit I will automatically call light.

The Christian assertion is not "because this book or voice says so" The assertion is, because the God of the Bible is real. He is our creator and we are his creatures and He made a covenant with us that we are breaking. The Christian is asserting what he is claiming as reality, he is not just using scare tactics. So I boils down to either the Christian is right and God who made moral laws exists so we MUST obey him, or the unbeliever is right and there are NOT moral standards, its all just made up a lot of people who BELIEVED that this is the best way to live, so we need to press it on even the minority of the population who disagree.


Logic

So your view of the laws of logic are just, man made frameworks or tools to solve problems. You also claim that there are different CONTRADICTING systems that you can choose from, and there is no right answer. And you're also saying that we CREATE these system when we run into a problem that we can not solve?

This is my view of the laws of logic, (wikipedia) "The laws of thought are fundamental axiomatic rules upon which rational discourse itself is based. The rules have a long tradition in the history of philosophy. They are laws that guides and underline EVERYONE'S thinking, thoughts, expressions, discussions, etc"

Question, So whenever one says something or someone is being "illogical" which system of logic are they talking about? That "illogical" something or someone could just be using a different system of logic that contradicts the other one.

We do know the nature of reality, that is how we've been able to make accurate predictions everyday, this is how we are able to function correctly everyday. For example, we know that if a car is moving towards you, It is CERTAINLY the case that the car is moving towards you, and if it does not stop or turn, it will hit you. You can't try to use a contradicting system of logic to deny that the car is gonna hit you. You have to abide by the ONE reality that we all know. Those who don't are called mentally insane, we don't say, "He's using a different system of logic"

As you can see I nee denied that there are other systems of logic, but all they are really are systems that are claiming to be MORE ACCURATE than the classical laws. They ARE NOT alternatives. But like I said I can argue that EVERYTHING can be reduced so that these systems are not at all necessary.

What I was trying to say about Fuzzy logic is that every thought or proposition can be reduced to a binary statement if we make the definitions more specific. For example. "It's cold." We can make that statement absolute if we define "cold

Cliff.Stamp

Con

Round forfeit on request, see comments.
Debate Round No. 3
Rednerrus

Pro

cont...


What I was trying to say about Fuzzy logic is that every thought or proposition can be reduced to a binary statement if we make the definitions more specific. For example. "It's cold." We can make that statement absolute if we define "cold" as 65 degrees Fahrenheit and below. You no longer need fuzzy logic.
Also note that we are talking about the laws of logic as the very axiom of our thoughts. We are not talking about engineering and what not. We are talking about epistemology and how we can gain knowledge of reality. This is a discussion about worldviews. An electric fan with 5 fan speed settings is irrelevant.

In your worldview where logic and morality is produced by man. An alien race with a different system of logic and morality can simply start killing us, raping us, etc and we really have no reason to say that they are doing something wrong. When we don't even really have a reason why we say it's wrong.

We also can't all of sudden adopt a system of logic where, it's not the case that a bunch of aliens are killing and raping everyone.




Epistemology

I would falsify other religion's position the same way Im falsifying your worldview, and the same why I told you how to falsify mine, by using it to refute itself. Anything that does not reflect reality can be falsified. By the end of the day only one reality exists and Im here to argue that it's the Christian one. God really exists. You really are a sinner. You really do need a savior. Jesus really died for your sins and resurrected.


It's hypothetically easy to refute my worldview if my worldview is indeed wrong. But Im claiming it will be impossible since it's right.



You can demonstrate or falsify the statement "The remake of True Grit is a superior movie" by defining what "superior movie" is. Likewise since I am very specific with my claim of God's existence by telling you which God I am claiming exists, it is falsifiable.


You're still not addressing the fact that if logic is produced by man, then you're epistemology is circular and is actually impossible.
Cliff.Stamp

Con

"In my worldview, the reason why morality always existed and is experienced by everyone is because everyone (even people who's never heard of the God of the Bible) has a God imbedded conscience."

This is a clear assertion, now can this assertion be demonstrated or falsified or it is simply an assertion without evidence or an argument?

"You didn't answer the actual question though. On what ground can you or anyone who does not believe in moral absolutes, call a rapist evil?"

The question was answered quite clearly, there is no Bible of science, there is no Bible of Art, there is no Bible for very many things, and yet humanity has the ability to discriminate and make such distinctions, this is self-obvious. If that question is held to be a serious one, then by extension, humanity has no capability to make any distinction on anything unless there is a Bible written for it and thus everything is arbitrary (without restriction or constraint on its nature) without it.

"Yes. Anything that God has done, commanded, will do and will command is moral. Just like everything that Light has emitted, and will emit I will automatically call light."

There are two direct consequences to this stance :

1) Morality as defined as only to the nature of a being, and thus any nature, regardless of that nature is by definition moral. There is thus no constraint at all on what can, or can not be moral.

2) As there is no higher standard than God, and nothing to constrain it, in fact more than that, its actions are defining in nature, then all such laws are chaotic - they can be or can not be.

The most common refutation of this position which shows its severe consequence has been noted, and there has never been an answer which answers the following - "If God commanded you to do X, would you do it, and further would you be happy to do it knowing it was moral?". X here of course is some act which is so extreme and vile that it the answer has to be no, but yet the as held to position has to be yes. That is the problem with a statute of morality which is inherently definitive in nature, it is then not a definition at all.

Another way :

"On this view, nothing is good until God commands it. This, though, raises a problem too: if nothing is good until God commands it, then what God commands is completely morally arbitrary; God has no moral reason for commanding as he does; morally speaking, he could just as well have commanded anything else. This problem is exacerbated when we consider that God, being omnipotent, could have commanded anything at all. He could, for example, have commanded polygamy, slavery, and the killing of the over-50s. If divine command theory is true, then had he done so then these things would be morally good. That doesn´┐Ż€™t seem right, though; even if God had commanded these things they would still be morally bad. Divine command theory, then, must be false" - Tim Holt (The Euthyphro Dilemma).

"You also claim that there are different CONTRADICTING systems that you can choose from, and there is no right answer. And you're also saying that we CREATE these system when we run into a problem that we can not solve?"

There are multiple systems of logic, they have opposing tenants, and they are utilized as noted, references have been provided for the both the direct peer reviewed application and a literature survey.

"Question, So whenever one says something or someone is being "illogical" which system of logic are they talking about? That "illogical" something or someone could just be using a different system of logic that contradicts the other one."

It generally means classical logic, and yes, non-classical systems are illogical in a classical framework.

"For example, we know that if a car is moving towards you, It is CERTAINLY the case that the car is moving towards you, and if it does not stop or turn, it will hit you. You can't try to use a contradicting system of logic to deny that the car is gonna hit you. You have to abide by the ONE reality that we all know. Those who don't are called mentally insane, we don't say, "He's using a different system of logic""

Would it really be asserted that simply because an example of classical logic can be cited that non-classical logics do not exist. I can easily perform an experiment which can be quantified using only Newtonian Mechanics, can it then be asserted that Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity do not exist?

"What I was trying to say about Fuzzy logic is that every thought or proposition can be reduced to a binary statement if we make the definitions more specific."

If this is true then rewrite a fuzzy logic controller using binary logic. The paper is cited. Simply making the assertion really does not advance the argument, actually bring it to implementation.

"We are not talking about engineering and what not. We are talking about epistemology and how we can gain knowledge of reality. This is a discussion about worldviews. An electric fan with 5 fan speed settings is irrelevant."

The problems can not be solved with classical logic and they require non-classical systems, this is in the interpretation of observed reality. If it is abandoned that logic is absolute as it describes reality, then what is the nature of the "absoluteness"? It does not confirm to observed reality but is still in what way absolute?

"I would falsify other religion's position the same way Im falsifying your worldview, and the same why I told you how to falsify mine, by using it to refute itself."

Ok, so what observation(s) demonstrates this assertion (and only this assertion to be true) and what observation(s) would demonstrate it to be false. It is trivial to make an assertion which can not be falsified (see Russell's Teapot)

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

The point here is what exactly is claimed, and can it be strictly demonstrated and falsified, if it can not, then how can it claim to be true where there is no way to distinguish it from a similar competing claim.

"You're still not addressing the fact that if logic is produced by man, then you're epistemology is circular and is actually impossible. "

It would be circular if the argument was circular :

"This we know because we have obtained it from the scientific method"

-and-

"What is known is what is gained from the scientific method"

That is circular logic.

However that is now how natural methodology is so applied. The basic tenants go back much further and can be seen from the Dialogues where Socrates asks what does it mean to know.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu.... Theaet.

Knowledge is defined as a true assertion with a locus which is just to say that an argument must be able to be made for why it is held to be true.

Note this has nothing to do with naturalism, at this level of meta-analysis the locus is undefined it can be natural or supernatural, it is unconstrained.
Debate Round No. 4
Rednerrus

Pro

"This is a clear assertion, now can this assertion be demonstrated or falsified or it is simply an assertion without evidence or an argument?"

Yes, this is the Christian presupposition, and I've demonstrated that you also have your own presuppositions. I presupposed that the God of Bible exists, and my assertion was based on that. You're presupposing that God does not exist and that morality must be man made conventions. Now what Im asking here is which presupposed worldview can make sense of moral absolutes? Mine obviously does, while yours make moral absolutes impossible. Your worldview reduces morals to mere arbitrary opinions, which we have no valid reason to impose on each other.

"The question was answered quite clearly.."

No it wasn't actually. You couldn't provide a ground to why you would call a rapist evil. You've even admitted on youtube that if in the future, rape becomes accepted, it will then be considered moral. Your morality is merely the current majority opinion. The fact that people can make general moral distinctions even without the Bible does not answer the question or help your argument at all. All it does is prove Romans 2:14-15.


"As there is no higher standard than God, and nothing to constrain it, in fact more than that, its actions are defining in nature, then all such laws are chaotic - they can be or can not be."

Only if God is a self-contradicting, capricious, chaotic God. This is not the Christian worldview at all. God is described in the Bible as the eternally good, unchanging God of order.

"If God commanded you to do X, would you do it, and further would you be happy to do it knowing it was moral?". X here of course is some act which is so extreme and vile that it the answer has to be no, but yet the as held to position has to be yes.

The problem here is you're mistakenly asserting that we have the ability and authority to determine what is good and evil apart from, and unaided by, the one who revealed to us what good and evil is in the first place, God.
When God told us what good was, we didn't examine it first to see if God was indeed right about what he is claiming to be good. That would make us equal with God.

"...Tim Holt (The Euthyphro Dilemma)"

God is eternally good. He was perfectly good before he commanded anything, being perfectly good he could only command goodness. Moral laws are the expression of God's very nature. They are not random or arbitrary commands that God picked out of a hat. But again, the problem stems from the wrong assertion that we are capable of determining for ourselves if what God has commanded are good or evil, we want to use a different authority (ourselves) to judge the ultimate authority (God).
Another problem is the assertion that God could and would command something evil and tell us that its actually good. In other words, the assertion that God can lie. He can't. If He is the ultimate absolute standard of good then he has to be perfectly absolutely good, in other words "omni-benevolent".


"There are multiple systems of logic, they have opposing tenants, and they are utilized as noted, references have been provided for the both the direct peer reviewed application and a literature survey.

It generally means classical logic, and yes, non-classical systems are illogical in a classical framework."

As you can see we only appeal to ONE system of logic when we are talking about truth/reality. We appeal to the one that comports with truth/reality. Any logic that does not comport with truth/reality is false, and does not exist in reality.
Now you're gonna claim that Fuzzy logic for example contradicts the law of excluded middle. I disagree with that claim. Fuzzy logic is only needed if the definitions are not specific. For example, "That is a heap of sand" one would argue that you need fuzzy logic for that, but if you define "heap of sand" as a specific amount or weight of sand then the statement could only be true or false.


"Would it really be asserted that simply because an example of classical logic can be cited that non-classical logics do not exist."

I was merely stating that we do know something about the universe. The main axiom of our knowledge of the universe is that the laws of logic is absolute. This is why we assume the uniformity of nature, this is how we determine what is what isnt, etc.
Show me a contradicting system of logic that can't be reduced to the classical laws but can be applied to reality. ie. show me something that is self contradictory, an apple that isnt an apple.


If this is true then rewrite a fuzzy logic controller using binary logic. The paper is cited. Simply making the assertion really does not advance the argument, actually bring it to implementation.

I can draw a pardoxical picture, that does mean it can exist in reality. Again, this is irrelevant.
http://www.optical-illusion-pictures.com...

The problems can not be solved with classical logic and they require non-classical systems, this is in the interpretation of observed reality. If it is abandoned that logic is absolute as it describes reality, then what is the nature of the "absoluteness"? It does not confirm to observed reality but is still in what way absolute?

The laws of logic are absolute as it applies in ALL cases. Without this, order and knowledge is impossible. Furthermore, the absoluteness of the laws of logic only makes sense in a Christian worldview.


"Ok, so what observation(s) demonstrates this assertion (and only this assertion to be true) and what observation(s) would demonstrate it to be false. It is trivial to make an assertion which can not be falsified (see Russell's Teapot)"

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

The point here is what exactly is claimed, and can it be strictly demonstrated and falsified, if it can not, then how can it claim to be true where there is no way to distinguish it from a similar competing claim."

The Christian God is hypothetically falsifiable since it has very specific claims and implications that can be refuted, unlike the existence of a flying teapot.

Russell's teapot is actually the problem of the unbeliever.
Russell's teapot can be applied to Russell's teapot. What reasoning can validate or falsify Russell's reasoning in his assertion? and what reason validates that reasoning?
The Christian worldview's claim of divine revelation is the only one that does not result in an infinite regress.





It would be circular if the argument was circular :

"This we know because we have obtained it from the scientific method"

-and-

"What is known is what is gained from the scientific method"

That is circular logic.

Is this not the atheist position?

However that is now how natural methodology is so applied. The basic tenants go back much further and can be seen from the Dialogues where Socrates asks what does it mean to know.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu....... Theaet.

Knowledge is defined as a true assertion with a locus which is just to say that an argument must be able to be made for why it is held to be true.

Note this has nothing to do with naturalism, at this level of meta-analysis the locus is undefined it can be natural or supernatural, it is unconstrained.


The link didnt work.

Since this is the last round for the first segment of our will be ongoing debate, I will close with this. You have yet to account for the validity of your morality, logic and epistemology. With out ending up with a circular, self-refuting assertion. And you have yet to present an argument against the coherency and validity of the Christian worldview. You've claimed that I have only made unproven assertions, but my assertions are proven by the impossibility of all other assertions. Unaided reason is both impossible and arrogant.
God exists and revealed Himself to us. This is how we know what we know, that we are God's creatures and that we are sinners in need of a savior.

Cliff.Stamp

Con

As this is the last round, I will summarize and not introduce any new arguments, just refer to past ones.

First, let us return to the opening statements :

1) "The God of the Bible exists and this why and how universal moral absolutes exist."

2) "Similar to his version of morality, my opponent also holds the position that the laws of logic are products of the human mind, and are conventional. He claims that the laws of logic are not absolute but instead, are also conventional, or agreed upon."

3) "My opponent stated that we gain knowledge by experience and observations."

Now, if we want to exploit the rules of formal debate, these conditions were proposed as a resolution which was a union of assertions, i.e., the resolution is affirmed if and only if all satisfy the burden of proof. If either does not, the union is falsified.

However, I would urge the voters to not be so restrictive as the opening was simply extremely ambitious, I will therefore be just as ambitious in closing and ask for any vote to note that the resolution is falsified if and only if the intersection is refuted (i.e. all assertions have to fail to satisfy the burden of proof).

"Yes, this is the Christian presupposition, and I've demonstrated that you also have your own presuppositions. I presupposed that the God of Bible exists, and my assertion was based on that. You're presupposing that God does not exist and that morality must be man made conventions."

I never advanced the presupposition that God does not exist, meaning it was claimed without argument. In fact no where in this debate did I even assert that it was a fact that God did not exist. What I contended were two things :

1) That logical absolutes do not exist, and further that there are multiple logical systems, and none of them apply absolutely.

2) That morality is an evolved behavior.

3) Observation is foundational to knowledge (but this is not an if and only if condition), i.e., knowledge can be so gained but it can not be so claimed that knowledge can only be gained by such a constraint.

Now #1 and #3 were explored in decent detail enough to affirm the resolutions, #2 was simply noted and not explored in detail and really requires its own debate as it is an extremely complex subject, is there a rape gene for example, is a topic of considerable research and contention in behavioral science.

That being said, I did explore in detail the problem which comes with the proposed counter to #2 which is defining moral to be the nature of God. This is a classical problem and I simply presented classical arguments. I have my own, but the extremely diverse nature of this debate precluded them from being presented in detail.

"No it wasn't actually. You couldn't provide a ground to why you would call a rapist evil."

That is true, I did not answer it directly, I answered it indirectly noting that was had no Bibles for many things, and yet we do not run around in arbitrary circles, this point was never refuted and thus stands.

"You've even admitted on youtube that if in the future, rape becomes accepted, it will then be considered moral."

Care needs to be taken when sourcing an outside reference, especially if it is part of a debate. Those who enjoy debates will often explore Pro and Con to gain experience. I can easily argue for either Pro/Con on that statement, and in fact on YouTube now I am exploring both sides (with different people).

"The problem here is you're mistakenly asserting that we have the ability and authority to determine what is good and evil apart from, and unaided by, the one who revealed to us what good and evil is in the first place, God."

No, it is precisely because you can not do that which is foundational to the problem.

"God is eternally good. He was perfectly good before he commanded anything, being perfectly good he could only command goodness."

Indeed, this is the other horn, if good is only defined by God's nature it can not be said God would only command goodness, because anything God commands by definition is good, that is how it is defined.

Once you argue that God can only do goodness this means there is something else which defines good and God is bound by that, thus it (God) does not define good.

"As you can see we only appeal to ONE system of logic when we are talking about truth/reality."

Again, no, I have cited a reference to a direct observational experiment which can not be performed with classical logic, is the contention really that electrical engineering works on principles which are not reflective of reality - that seems absurd.

"That is a heap of sand" one would argue that you need fuzzy logic for that, but if you define "heap of sand" as a specific amount or weight of sand then the statement could only be true or false."

This is an extreme claim, and again, if true as noted - reduce a fuzzy logic controller to a classical logic controller (which is far simpler to program and implement). It would be akin to an assertion that you could describe quantum observations with classical mechanics - if you were precise enough with your calculations. Excellent, and now as Feynman would note, lets see the math.

"I can draw a pardoxical picture, that does mean it can exist in reality."

Note there are indeed fascinating illustrations of the behavior of the eye, machines/models can even be built which exploit such behaviors, but the understanding of them is well known and can be explained by understanding how the eye processes information.

Once it is understood exactly how the observation is being interpreted there is no paradox. The eye (and brain) is however not fully understood and thus there are still some apparent paradoxes which are currently being researched such as motion blindness which can be exploited to create what seems to be a paradox :

http://www.michaelbach.de...

"The Christian God is hypothetically falsifiable since it has very specific claims and implications that can be refuted ..."

Again note that it was asked on multiple occasions as to how this claim can be demonstrated and falsified. It was unanswered aside from simply noting that it can be done. I would assert that resolution is thus negated.

"Is this not the atheist position?"

As noted, atheism is not a position on knowledge, it is a position on if God exists which comes from the application of a particular framework which produces knowledge (usually rationalism [evil negates God, etc.] or empiricism [i.e., there are no observations of God, etc., but not always).

In closing, given the above parameters I would assert the resolution is negated, but would encourage further debates to have a much tighter and focused resolution, especially when the subjects are so vast and intricate.

I will close with a quote from Feynman, which is a little relevant to this debate, but more so simply because of the subtle (or maybe not so subtle) irony :

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
Debate Round No. 5
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rednerrus 6 years ago
Rednerrus
"stand by your convictions" ?
gavin, go read my posts on this debate. the whole time i claimed that the laws of logic are universal and absolute. my opponent argued that they are not, since he claims that they are produced by the human mind.
my challenge to toronto.gavin was for him to prove that the laws of logic is indeed logical without begging the question, since he pointed out that i assumed the existence of God in the beginning of my argument. the purpose of my challenge to him is to point out that he does the same thing.

im also presenting you the challenge to show me how you concluded (not presupposed) that the laws of logic is absolutely and universally logical.

and again, you said i have circular arguments, point them out and lets debate.
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
No sir, stand by your convictions. You argued the logic of logic, based on circular reasoning. I am giving you an actual chance at a win with my challenge, as I can prove circular reasoning with one paragraph. At least you would have a chance, based on semantics only. Otherwise, your argument is utterly fallible, and based completely on faith, despite logic.
Posted by Rednerrus 6 years ago
Rednerrus
im sorry gavin.ogden you misunderstood me, it shows that you really didnt read my arguments in my debate. i never denied the logic of the laws of logic. my question to the other gavin was how he proved that the laws of logic was indeed logical without begging the question or presupposing it in the first place.

my challenge to you was to debate me about my alleged "circular arguments"
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
You have been challenged...
Posted by Rednerrus 6 years ago
Rednerrus
gavin.ogden
you can go read my views on the laws of logic, go start our debate.
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
Correction:

I was not calling you stupid. I was simply stating that if you are not truly convinced by logic, then you are stupid. Are you, personally, convinced by logic? If the answer is yeas, then you are arguing semantics. If it is no, then...
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
I was not calling you stupid. I was simply stating that if you truly convinced by logic, then you are stupid. Are you, personally, convinced by logic?
Posted by Rednerrus 6 years ago
Rednerrus
so you proved that the laws of logic are logical by saying "yes" ?
lol ok, why don't you go start the debate instead of name calling.
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
How have they failed? You can't prove a god. Also, morality is subjective so of course it will beg the question, "What should I do in this situation?" Everyone goes through that, religion or naught. The question, "is logic logical?", is a simple minded question to which the answer is yes. Just because it doesn't make sense to you does not mean it's not logical. It means you are stupid.
Posted by Rednerrus 6 years ago
Rednerrus
torontogavin

thats exactly right, i presupposed the existence of the Christian God to show that the Christian worldview is the only one that makes sense.
now, try proving to me that the laws of logic is logical without begging the question or presupposing it. try proving to me that good morals are indeed good without begging the question or presupposing it. also show me an epistemology that isnt circular.

people much smarter than me have tried to deny the existence of God and failed.
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