The Christian God exists (10)
Debate Rounds (4)
The Christian god is the god as described by Jesus and the Bible.
Rounds 1-4 are all for claims, rebuttals, and counter-rebuttals.
Since I would not be able to refute my opponent's fourth-round claims, I request that they write "no round" in the fourth round of the debate.
You can use any type of evidence, or you could simply use logic and reasoning to make your arguments.
This debate is not about providing definitive proof either way, but more providing valid evidence that the Christian god exists.
I await my opponent's arguments.
I will refrain from using the Bible as a source in this first round, because I wanted to ask if Con has any explicit restrictions regarding the Bible. What I mean is that I am asking if Con means a literal interpretation of the Bible? Or any specified version of the text? There are many different versions, and the text itself can be argued as metaphorical, so I leave it to Con to set parameters if they so choose.
Now, I would first like to state, for the record, that I am a Christian, and freely acknowledge that there are an infinite number of things that I don't know about the being I refer to as God, and possibly never will. However, I do believe that God exists, regardless of whether or not he's the particular God that I have in mind. That being said, I intend to try and provide evidence or reason to believe that the God of the Christian faith does exist, or at the very least, that some form of a Christian God exists.
The first issue I would like to discuss is that of creation.
If we choose to disbelieve in the possibility of God, than we are forced to rely solely on the Big Bang Theory for explaining our miraculous existence. This theory constitutes that all life and matter is the result of an ancient cosmic explosion of energy. Scientifically speaking, this theory appeals to the concepts of abiogenesis, and astrophysics, which both are proven as support for the Big Bang, but the interesting concept that tends to be overlooked is the concept of spontaneous generation, which is inevitable if we do not believe in some supernatural force. This theory means that matter, through time, was spontaneously created from physical and literal nothingness.
The origin of life can be theorized. The creation of physical life from simple organic compounds is known as abiogenesis, and is a supported natural process. It is the process by which simple organic compounds will advance into organic life over a prolonged period of time. However, these simple organic compounds would theoretically have been synthesized from nonorganic material. So, in order for organic material to exist, we have to believe that it was spontaneously generated at some point in the timeline, and spontaneous generation has been thoroughly disproven as a scientific theory. Therefor, where did all this matter come from, if not from some supernatural beginning? The most common answer is that it has always been there, a theory which requires just as much faith as the belief in God.
So, in essence, to deny the possibility of supernatural creation, you are required to either believe that the energy and matter have always existed within our universe, which we as humans are mentally incapable of comprehending. The other option is that you believe that somehow, energy and matter are literally the result of physical nothingness eventually morphing into a universe filled with complex intricacies and life that relies on the concept of spontaneous generation. It takes just as much faith to believe in spontaneous generation as it does to believe in God.
When asked to prove the existence of God, which I will admit is an impossible task, many people simply argue that God cannot be scientifically observed. Believers will argue that "you just gotta have faith." Nonbelievers will take this argument and reply by saying that a lack of scientific evidence constitutes a lack of God. Simplified, the argument is that "if we cannot prove or explain that something exists, then it does not officially exist," which follows the scientific method. However, if we are to follow this method, then any inkling of existence before the Big Bang, and really, any theory that cannot be explicitly proven according to modern records, should be entirely dismissed by the scientific community. This is not the case, except for when spirituality is discussed.
I would next like to raise the issue of the limitless universe.
If you would indulge me: I would ask if you support the theory that our universe is an infinite space, going on forever (as we perceive it)? If we accept that the universe as we understand it is endless, then the possibilities are also endless.
Even if I subscribe to the possibility that God does not exist, I must submit that there is something else out there. Theoretically speaking, if we believe that the universe extends beyond even our imagination, then the chances for intelligent life are raised to an almost certainty. If man is a result of the Big Bang Theory, surely there are other planets with the capacity to support life, and surely life would have taken form on one or many of those sister Earths. It is entirely possible that there is life on another planet, possibly less advanced than we are, and possibly more advanced. For all we know, what we perceive and have labeled as God could feasibly be an extraterrestrial life form of some type.
In addition to the logical appeal for God, a strange discovery was made in June by the Wyoming Institute of Technology, regarding linguistic patterns within our biological coding. This instance can potentially be construed as coincidental, but is one of the few more compelling resources I have seen. The scientists at WIT were analyzing DNA code when they discovered that "Junk DNA" in humans, which had previously been discarded as useless, bared traits of linguistics. The genetic material was analyzed and the patterns corresponded explicitly with ancient Aramaic, the language that is most commonly associated with Abrahamic religions. Furthermore, when the material was translated, there were multiple lines of text that matched up with biblical verses.
Matthew Boulder, chief linguist for the project, issued this statement: "As for the evidence- it is there and it is, to my view, undeniable. The very word of God, elegantly weaved in and out of our very bodies and souls, as plain as day."
In conclusion, logic dictates that there is some supernatural being, labeled as God, that exists and is far beyond our ability to comprehend it. I look forward to Con's round 2, argument and rebuttal, and will be doing my homework in the meantime.
Thanks to Pro for accepting, I too hope we can have a very useful discussion which provides some food for thought.
You can use any interpretation, translation, or arguments from the Bible as you see fit. I see them all equally as wrong, so you can use whichever version you'd like.
I'll respond to Pro's paragraphs number by number.
1. Spontaneous generation is not the term you're looking for. Spontaneous generation was used to describe life popping out of thin air, as maggots and mold were thought to do back in the day. However, we believe that it was through cosmic evolution that simple life forms came about, which is completely consistent with the laws of physics. We don't know exactly what the first life form was or what the conditions it formed in were, but we have some proof-of-concept-like experiments which show that it could have happened. Overall there's no proof of abiogenesis, but it's the most consistent explanation we have in current day.
2. Again spontaneous generation is not really the term you're looking for. All these natural elements can be created from the elements that the universe started out with. I won't (and probably couldn't) go into detail about how all the different elements can create one another and lay out a whole model where the universe only needs a few key elements. However, as an example of elements creating other elements, we can look at the sun, where hydrogen becomes helium. This brings us back to the origin of the universe, and I say that the universe was an uncaused cause. This does not require as much faith as a belief in God because we can observe the universe (look around you), yet we can't observe god.
3. Just because we can't comprehend something does not mean it does not exist. Just because we can't understand infinity doesn't mean infinities don't happen.
4. No, that's not what atheists say. We say that because there is no evidence for god, it is very unlikely he exists and we see no reason to believe in him (a negative claim), rather than the positive claim and logical fallacy of saying that "there's no evidence for god, therefore he doesn't exist." Also, these theories, etc. should not be rejected because there's valid evidence to back them up, of which there is none to back up god.
5. No, I do not believe that our universe is made up of infinite space, but that is simply my personal belief because I have seen no evidence indicating the universe is limitless or that it is limited, but a limited universe makes it easier for me to comprehend the universe, so I go with that. I'm very willing to change my ideas about that, though.
6. Yes, I believe in extraterrestrial life because I believe that the universe is such a vast place that there must certainly be something else out there. So I do agree with you on that.
7. Oh, yes, I am very familiar with this study. In fact, I just recently refuted it. You can see that refutation here; I will quote the entire refutation if you'd like.
8. I do not believe that logic dictates that there must be any supernatural being. I look forward to Pro's response to this and will be watching anime in the meantime. Good luck.
I will follow suit and address your paragraphs in the same format, adding new discussion points as necessary.
1. Spontaneous generation is precisely the term I intended to use, as it appropriately describes what inevitably took place if we disbelieve in a supernatural origin. I do not believe you fully comprehend my intent when I bring up spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation is the theory "that life could come from nonliving things." This, at its core, is what we are required to believe if we do not attribute life to some supernatural entity.
If there is no supernatural entity, then at some point, organic matter was somehow spontaneously created from inorganic matter. This nonliving organic matter would then have supposedly spawned organic life forms over time, which is commonly known as the theory of abiogenesis. If we don't believe in supernatural origins, then these two theories are forced to be considered. The laws of physics have influenced evolution; this, I fully accept, as I fully submit to the theory that we are an evolved species. However, we do not have the ability to chronologically place the origin of life, and we cannot successfully recreate the first organic life form through our limited scientific capacity. So far, the closest we have come is to supplement organic compounds with artificial genomes.
2. As you said, natural elements can be created from the elements that the universe started out with. It is possible that the different elements can lay out a whole model where the universe only needs a few key elements, but then it is still missing those few key elements. Specifically, life. If I take your rebuttal at face value, then theoretically speaking, with an advanced chemistry laboratory, humans should be able to combine periodic table elements, without any organic tissue or matter, and be able to synthesize a living creature over time. We can manipulate chemicals, but we are utterly incapable of synthesizing organic matter from the Earthen elements. Scientifically, we can observe our modern universe, but all we can do is theorize about the origins of life, which is what I was implying. The literal origin of life is as unknown to us as God, and requires as much faith to believe any theory regarding it.
3. That is exactly my point, and when applied to the concept of God, is just as appropriate. Just because we can't comprehend him, doesn't make him nonexistent. Thank you for your support.
4. What you mean is that many atheists say that because there is no "scientific" evidence for God, there is no reason to believe in him. There are countless cases where individuals have powerful personal experiences, that strongly urge them to believe in the spiritually supernatural. You could arguably include personal ghost stories and other paranormal phenomena in this category. However, the reality is that many scientists do explicitly deny any possibility of God, by using the explicit reasoning that he cannot be scientifically observed. Alternatively, the scientific community heavily theorizes about space and dark matter, which is vastly unknown and unobservable in itself.
5. If the Big Bang Theory is accurate, then the initial explosion sent energy outward in literally every direction, faster than the speed of light. Since that point, the energy has slowed down, but theoretically will never stop expanding, therefore, space itself is forced to be infinite, unless we can somehow catch up to the spreading energy, and then we are faced with the question of "what lies beyond space?" "Nothingness?"
Also, you make an interesting comment. You state that "a limited universe makes it easier for me to comprehend the universe, so I go with that." But how is this any different from a Christian saying, "belief in God makes it easier for me to understand life, so I go with that." The two comments are essentially the same, since there is no explicit proof for or against your theory. So if you seek to go with the explanation that makes it easy to comprehend, then why is it not acceptable for one to go with the possibility of God?
6. Glad to know that you and I share this logic. And as I said, what I perceive as God, or what the Bible labels as God, could theoretically be extraterrestrial in nature.
7. I completely understand how this could be construed as coincidental, but I will address your claims nevertheless.
"DNA is not in any form of an alphabet and has nothing to do with language." Not explicitly, but linguistic patterns are extremely complex and distinctive, and this likely wouldn't have been noticed unless it was a glaringly obvious pattern in the code sequencing. Think of it as 4-bit coding, similar to binary computer code, and that is likely what would have been analyzed as a linguistic pattern, and translated into a language.
"Keep in mind that we humans have also named these chemicals this, and we're the ones who made up our alphabet." Technically true, but ancient Aramaic was developed in the 9th century BC, and predominant in the Middle East from 700s BC until 600s AD. Meanwhile the Periodic Table was only organized in 1869. The genetic coding elements of Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Thymine were isolated in 1885, 1891, 1893, and 1903 respectively. That's a difference of over 1200 years, and the chance of Aramaic language playing any part in the European naming of these elements is minuscule at best.
However, as I stated, I fully understand if this discovery is construed as coincidental, and will not attempt to cling to it any further, especially since there is a lack of further information regarding the project.
8. The main logical point of my debate so far relies on whether or not we choose to believe that life can be eventually synthesized and then evolved from nonliving, inorganic material. If we cannot support this theory, then we are encouraged to consider the possibility of something more supernatural. At the very least, there is no evidence against the existence of God.
In the 3rd Round, I will address Con's secondary rebuttals, and then raise any outstanding arguments for Con's 4th Round conclusion. Good luck to Con!
I will re-address my opponent's paragraphs in the same numbered fashion.
1. Yes, you may have intended to use spontaneous generation, however that is not an accurate term to describe abiogenesis. The process of abiogenesis was not spontaneous; there were millions if not billions of cosmic evolution before it. Also, much like the process of the evolution of species, the boundaries are blurry for what constitutes "organic material" and "life". You could, for example, say the first instance of DNA was the first organic material, or go back to RNA, or nucleotides, and the list goes on. It's tough to pinpoint exactly what these first organic materials and life were. So this life was not "spontaneously generated", but rather came about through billions of years of cosmic evolution. Yes, we don't know that much about what the first life actually was or the conditions it came in, however, as you say, a supernatural being should not be considered; this is a god of the gaps argument.
2. Yes, that's pretty much how cosmic evolution happens. Elements fuse, split, bond, etc. this forms other elements, coumpounds, etc. and eventally leads to the universe as we know it. Life is not an element, it's not on the periodic table. And yes, theoretically speaking, humans, with the best lab environment, tools, and conditions possible, over 13 billion years, and some luck, humans would most likely be able to create life. Abiogenesis requires some faith, but it's your theory against mine, and I find "we don't completely know, therefore God" to be a less coherent and evidenced explanation.
3. You're welcome.
4. Correct. Atheists say that there is no evidence for god because personal claims do not count as evidence. A woman has tried to drown her son in a puddle because "Jesus told her to". Does this mean that we should exempt her because god told her to do it? These cases are more likely skizophrenia and/or people seeing and hearing what they want to see and hear. Eyewitness accounts are not trustworthy. Many people are open to the idea of god, we just don't see any evidence for him.
5. Okay, just because we have questions doesn't mean god. Scientific theories are not complete, as there are some things we just don't know yet. This seems like somewhat of a pointless question.
As for my comment, I stand by it and see no problem with your's, either. I honestly don't care if somebody chooses to believe in god because they don't understand science or because they find it a more comfortable belief. However, when people try to shove that belief down my throat, infringe upon others' rights because of that belief, or substitute science with their beliefs, that's when I'll challenge their beliefs and show how unfounded they are. Also, debate is a good forum for getting your ideas out there and learning, which is why I debate. I don't walk around demanding debates and refuting god because I can leave others and their beliefs alone; however I do like to discuss these ideas so that we can progress as a society, thus why I leave the option to discuss with me on this site.
7. I'm feeling really lazy right now, so because you've dropped the point I won't counter-rebut.
8. I feel that you have not shown why abiogenesis is invalid.
The first organic compound, eons ago, must have been generated from nonorganic compounds. The organic matter had to be created somehow, and according to modern science, there is no inkling of proof to support any theory that any type of nonorganic matter could ever generate organic matter. Everything we know about matter supports Einstein"s theory that "we cannot create or destroy matter." If there is any scientific evidence to support nonorganic matter independently resulting in organic matter, then I politely ask for sources.
Spontaneous generation is a laughable theory in every scientific arena, and yet, if we do not believe in God, it is the only source of organic matter that we can theorize. Believing in the possibility that nonorganic matter can generate organic, nonliving, matter is spontaneous generation, and nothing less. Therefore, since spontaneous generation is not supported in any scientific arena, and fundamentally defies the laws of nature, then we are forced to scientifically dismiss it as a viable theory regarding the creation of organic matter.
Only after this original organic matter was created, was it subject to the process of abiogenesis. Abiogenesis, in case you have not thoroughly read the description, only accounts for the process by which simplified organic compounds evolve in to organic life. This process is a widely accepted scientific theory. However, no matter how far back we can trace abiogenesis, even if we could trace it back to the very first instance of nonliving organic material, we still would not be able to explain where this original nonorganic material had come from.
2. I find it interesting that you bring up the Periodic Table of Elements as your response, because in the last round you referred to a specific debate in which you suggested that the Periodic Table was a creation of man. Because this is so, I argue that the periodic table is subject to human error. If life is not considerable as a Periodic Element, then it is arguably disregarded because of man, rather than nature.
If these elements can be isolated and manipulated, as you suggest, then life is the result of elemental compounds. We can analyze the elemental composition of just about every compound and phenomenon in the world, including the human body. Therefore, I ask, why can"t we isolate the compound for life? If life is truly a byproduct of the elements, then theoretically, there should be scientific support for life as a direct result of elemental chemistry, yet there is none.
Abiogenesis does not require faith. It is nigh undeniable according to our understanding of science, and will not/can not refute it. However, the origin of organic matter is as foreign to us as God himself, therefore, in that specific spectrum, the only two answers are either "We have no idea, so we say God made organic matter," or "We have no idea, so we say nothing made organic matter." Then, is it unfair to lump this in your whole, "this is easier to comprehend" mentality?
4. What you mean is that personal claims do not count as scientific evidence. Personal accounts used to achieve something or explain something away do not bear any real evidential weight, and rightfully so. However, something to consider is how many people believe in the supernatural without any explicit scientific evidence.
Theoretically speaking, if there was scientific proof that God existed and was observable, then there would be no burden of faith, and the spiritual concepts would be pointless. Theoretically, there would be no free will, no diversity of opinions, no need for science, and no real supernatural spiritualism. He would cease to be a supernatural being, because that is the nature of humanity.
5. My point with this question is that if we disbelieve in God, then the human race bears the burden of scientifically explaining every phenomenon that we can ever observe and even the ones that we can"t. Although we can"t observe even a fraction of our universe, we believe it exists, and theorize about itregardless of the fact that there is no support for it. Alternatively, why is it acceptable to scientifically disregard the supernatural, despite the many personal accounts?
And your comment is fair, but I would also argue that there are individuals who refuse to entertain the concept of God, just as stubbornly as those who deny science.
6. If you believe in extraterrestrial life, then why is it not permissible to theorize that God is a mistaken interpretation of an alien life form? Especially after considering that ancient civilizations have multiple references to extraterrestrial phenomena?
8. This is because I am not trying to prove abiogenesis as invalid. Abiogenesis is scientifically supported. Spontaneous generation is not, and you have not answered my arguments about the spontaneous generation of simple organic material at all. If you have any substantial evidence to support how naturally occurring gasses and minerals randomly result in an organic compound, I hope to see it.
I would be remiss if I did not bring up the concept of the Bible, as this text is critical to any version of the Christian faith. I would like to point out that this text was written by a group of authors who each wrote stories, which were then canonized into a single collaborative document. It contains references to real people, and many historically accurate references. I would also suggest that the majority of the contradictions and typical "errors" that nonbelievers point to, regarding the Bible, are only damning when taken in a firmly literal sense.
The last point that I would like to raise is that of philosophy. While many Christians and nonbelievers do take the Bible as an explicitly literal text, I would like to suggest that it is not necessarily so. If I do take this text as philosophical, then God, no matter what the physical implications of this world entail, is forced to exist as a concept, if not as a physical being.
One such case example is Plato"s philosophical allegory of the cave. Although the Cave itself physically is nonexistent, the Cave as a metaphor is one of the most profound and appropriate philosophical concepts that has ever been conceived.
In conclusion, Con has not yet successfully proven that nonorganic material can lead to organic material, and has thus far failed to provide any substantial evidence that life came from a purely scientific source. I hope that Con will carefully inspect all of my arguments and address them accordingly.
Being that I am not permitted to rebut Con"s 4th Round, I would like to thank them now for the stimulating discussion, and I will likely be challenging it back to him under the opposing banner that they cannot concretely disprove God.
Finally, I would like to thank our audience, and I hope that you have enjoyed the back and forth. If I have not provided sufficient evidence, then I hope that I have at least piqued your interest. Please Vote Pro.
Thanks to craighawley for the debate.
From what I gather from Pro's arguments, he has no problem with abiogenesis ("I am not trying to prove abiogenesis as invalid. Abiogenesis is scientifically supported."), but with spontaneous generation. Sorry if I did not exactly get this at first, I plan to refute this now.
1. I think I understand what you mean, you're saying that abiogenesis is not the same as the first organic matter coming into being, and you don't have a problem with organic matter building up over time to form life, but the origins of that organic matter.
You go on to say that we have "no inkling of proof to support any theory that any type of nonorganic matter could ever generate organic matter." This statement is completely untrue. In this very argument I have provided a source that shows that organic matter can be generated from non-organic matter, and you can do this experiment at home. It's called the Miller/Urey experiment and is quite well-known within the scientific community. It is widely accepted as a proof of concept for what you would call "spontaneous generation".
Spontaneous generation is a hypothesis that's laughed at because "Spontaneous generation is the incorrect hypothesis that nonliving things are capable of producing life.". Notice that it does not state that nonliving things are capable of producing inorganic coumpounds, but that nonliving things cannot directly produce life. A rock can't make a butterfly. However, carbon can produce amino acids, as exemplified in the Miller/Urey experiment. This is the difference in our definitions of spontaneous generation and the differnece between science and science fiction.
2. Yes, the periodic table is subject to error, but life is not on the periodic table for a reason. There's no "life" atom or "soul" coumpound, if you find one of those I'd be glad to hear about them.
You use a false dichotomy when you say that the only two options are "we don't know, therefore god" or "we don't know, therefore nothing." I have a few additions to these. How about, "we don't know therefore we should learn" or, "we don't know, therefore we don't know (that god did it)". I don't see any evidence that points towards god's doing this. This whole point is pretty invalid anyway since I've shown that organic coumpounds can rise from inorganic coumpounds.
4. I think we should also consider the number of people who believe in Islam, or the number of people who believe 9-11 was an inside job, or the number of people who believe in alien abductions. There are a lot of people that beleive in a variety of crazy things, that doesn't make these beliefs right.
I'm not going to refute this paragraph because I'm lazy and even if it were true it isn't evidence for the Christian god.
5. There's support for a vast universe in the form of evidence; we've made predictive models of the universe that hold up and there's evidence for these models in the background radiation, redshifted light, etc.. We're not just blindly guessing here. Scientists have a little bit of faith, but the difference between scientists and the religious is that scientists are willing to change their views when they see that the evidence points in the oppositte direction.
6. This is implausible because, as one of my opponents has stated in a previous debate, if this alien life form exists within the universe, it could not have created the universe, and you'd have to be a pretty radical creationist if you say that god didn't create the universe. Also, the ancient aliens "theory" has been thoroughly discredited. See below if you'd like to see this debunking; it's actually quite informative and interesting.
8. I've already addressed the spontaneous generation argument.
I've seen creationists bob and weave around Bible contradictions ad nausea (shoutout to KalifV for showing me that term) and I can say that it all really comes down to how you interpret the text and semantics. Some people say there are Bible contradictions, others don't. You can pretty much clear up any contradiction if you try hard enough, but that doesn't meant they're not there.
I'll cite some contradictions for anyone cuurious: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...
Yes, I've heard of the cave, and it's quite a brilliant peice of philosophy, but it's still philosophy. As you said, the cave only exists as a concept, not in reality.
I would also like to thank Pro for his civility and good arguments.
I believe I have addressed all of Pro's claims, especially the main one, spontaneous generation. I also wish the reader good thought and hope we all learned a thing or two from this, myself included. However, I don't believe Pro has upheld his BoP, so vote con.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Empiren 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't argue the Christian god. Since Pro had the burden of proof for the positive claim and did not provide anything, but spent the ENTIRE debate trying to disprove science, i'm also giving conduct to Con. Fallacies used throughout by Pro: -God of the gaps -Argument from ignorance A huge incorrect use of Occam's Razor, and arguing a false dichotomy of "if I think X is wrong, then Y must be right!", completely ignoring other religions, any other theories, and so on. I don't usually give conduct to someone for debating(albeit poorly) , but when the entire point of your debate is avoided, that's a pretty big issue.
Vote Placed by Domr 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did a poor job at refuting Pro's points. Pro proved spontaneous generation nearly impossible. Meaning, to me, you would need as much faith in every other theory of earth's beginning, as you would need to have faith in God creating the earth. The Miller/Urey experiment that synthesized complex organic compounds from simpler organic compounds. Not "non-organic" to "organic" as Con suggested. link in comments.
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