The Instigator
superbowl9
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
WileyC1949
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

The Christian God exists (4)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
superbowl9
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,523 times Debate No: 60018
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (6)

 

superbowl9

Con

This is a debate about whether or not the Christian god exists. I will be refuting arguments from my opponent, who will have the burden of proving that the Christian god is real.

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.

I await my opponent's arguments.
WileyC1949

Pro

I accept this debate. I will be basing my arguments primarily on logic and science.

You stated that your arguments are against the "Christian God". Christians believe that there is only one God and that He is the "Supreme Being". That has been defined as "that which there can be nothing greater", or the "greatest being". Logically the greatest being MUST exist.

Of all the buildings in the world only ONE can be “the tallest building in the world”. Of all the men that exist in the world only ONE can be “the strongest man in the world”, even if no one knows who he is. In the same way of all the beings that exist within the universe only ONE can be “the greatest being in the universe” and of all the beings that do exist inside or outside of the universe only ONE can be “the greatest being in or out of the universe whether they be physical or non-corporal”. Therefore logically the “Supreme Being” or “that which there can be nothing greater” must in fact exist. Please note that I am not using Anselm’s argument of “the best that can be imagined” but rather the more practical argument of “the best that actually is”.

Christians BELIEVE this Being to be a Triune God made up of the three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe Him to be transcendent (not a part of the universe), immanent (involved in the affairs of the world), omnipotent (capable of doing all that He wills to do that is not self-contradicting), omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omniscient (having all knowledge), and the creator of the universe. Certainly we may be wrong in that assessment... the "Supreme Being" inside or outside the universe could be Fred, the guy who picks up my recycling on Thursdays and who has no special attributes at all. But an the examination of the universe, its form and structure, that life sprang from the non-living and intelligence sprang from the non-intelligent, the huge list of "outside the normal" events both past and present, and even the fulfilled prophesies found in texts which we call "Sacred" have proved to theists that the Supreme Being must have these attributes.

I understand that you can obviously argue that the Supreme Being does not have these qualities, but the fact remains that the Supreme or "greatest" Being MUST logically exist. And please note that the debate is NOT about whether or not the Supreme Being has these qualities, but rather whether or not He exists. I have logically proved that He must.

Recent scientific studies can also be seen to be on my side in this. Last year two different studies were released which if treated logically together can be seen to be a strong indication of the existence of God.

The first was a study released in the premier scientific journal “Icarus”. The scientists involved were studying a problem brought to them by SETI. What it concludes is that terrestrial DNA was in fact “intelligently designed”. http://www.sciencedirect.com... As a result there are only two logical conclusions: either our DNA was programmed by an alien intelligence from within our universe, or that the programming was done by a supernatural intelligence from beyond our universe. Also note that the code is not designed simply to pass along biological date but non-biological information as well. The last sentence of the abstract above reads: ”Overall, while the code is nearly optimized biologically, its limited capacity is used extremely efficiently to pass non-biological information.”

The second study also released last year was the result of a three year study by Oxford University in 20 different nations. It concluded that humans are in fact PREprogrammed to believe in God and in an afterlife. http://www.ox.ac.uk... It basically is stating that to believe in God is as much a part of human nature as breathing is. History and anthropology have proved that man has sought God from the very beginning of the species. So this is not some sort of learned behavior that was passed on, but rather something encoded in our DNA.

When you take this study with the first one I think it is clear to see the logical implications. Of the two choices give us as the result of the “intelligent design” of our DNA in the first study, alien race or supernatural intelligence, the far more likely becomes the supernatural intelligence. Likewise the first study showed that non-biological information could be passed along. The second study shows that to believe in God was a part of our DNA. This is non-biological information. So we are left with one question concerning an alien species doing the programming: Why would an incredibly advanced alien species program us to believe in a God which they themselves did not believe in? As a result in either case it strongly affirms the existence of God, or the Supreme Being.

Debate Round No. 1
superbowl9

Con

Thanks to WileyC for his great arguments and acceptance of this debate.

This looks like a good one.

As most of Pro's arguments revolve around three central points (one using logical reasoning and two scientific studies), I will summarize Pro's points and then refute them.

REBUTTAL

I agree with Pro's first point that there must be a "greatest in the universe", but I'd inquire about the criteria to be the greatest. And for the sake of debate, yes, I will accept that "Fred the garbage man" is the greatest in the universe.

Pro has logically proved that the best being that currently exists exists, not that an omnipotent, omniscient, etc. being exists. I would argue that no being currently exists that is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. or worthy of being worshiped. I would also argue that no being is currently his own son who is also a "holy spirit" (add all the things that the god of the bible has done and all his attributes). You have basically proved that there is a best basketball player of all time, which anyone would agree too, not that there is an omnipotent etc. baller.

I also have taken note that you say that only "the best that actually is" occurs, not the best that can be imagined. I argue that the best that ca be observed is what we'll have to settle for, as if something is better than what we can now observe yet we can't observe it, that makes it somewhat useless. If you can't observe the effects of god (which I argue), what use is he? If there's no evidence for him, why should we assume that he exists?

That was quite a disorganized rebuttal, but I feel I have gotten my point across, so I'll move on to the studies you present.

STUDY 1

This study (http://www.sciencedirect.com...) says that it has come to the reasonable conclusion that DNA was intelligently designed. This conclusion is drawn because the researchers have found "precision-type orderliness matching the criteria to be considered an informational signal" and "The signal displays readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero, the privileged decimal syntax and semantical symmetries." Basically, there are evident patterns in DNA which have less than a 10^-13 chance of occurring and look like they're intelligently designed.

I agree that there is a certain point at which something is definitely intelligently designed. If there is a line in everyone's genetic code that reads "Hi, I'm Jesus" clearly, then It'd be dumb to not think that this was intelligently designed. However, there is a much more viable option that we must consider when it comes to patterns in DNA. We find patterns recurring everywhere in nature which are statistical improbabilities [1]. For example, snowflakes. Look at these pictures[2]; they're so obviously patterns and look designed. They must have a designer, right? Nope. We actually know how snowflakes form[3] and know why they form the way they do[4]. It can all be explained through naturalistic processes and physics. basically, the universe needs no outside help to create these things on its own. No designer necessary, just physics.

I went on a bit of a tangent about the snowflakes, but the same reasoning applies to the DNA. The universe is capable of creating such complex things through the processes of evolution (natural selection, random mutations)[5] to create something that is patterned and can work in ways that are "optimized biologically" and "extremely efficient to pass on non-biological information." This brings me to the 10^-13 probability. This impossible probability was met by means of evolution, not by a designer. What is the probability that a deck of cards, randomly shuffled, comes out to any combination? 1 in 8.0658175e+67. However, some combination must come out, and every combination that does come out will be extremely unlikely, yet will still happen. I think this image summarizes my point quite nicely.



STUDY 2

This study says that
"children below the age of five find it easier to believe in some superhuman properties than to understand similar human limitations. Children were asked whether their mother would know the contents of a box in which she could not see. Children aged three believed that their mother and God would always know the contents, but by the age of four, children start to understand that their mothers are not all-seeing and all knowing."
and that
"Experiments involving adults....suggest that people across many different cultures instinctively believe that some part of their mind, soul or spirit lives on after-death. The studies demonstrate that people are natural 'dualists' finding it easy to conceive of the separation of the mind and the body."

The first finding in this study is what anyone would expect. Kids who are five years old or under find it easier to create a god of the gaps because they see no other solution or would rather comfort themselves than face a harmful truth. Many children also have imaginary friends for the same reason, so that they can comfort themselves in the face of a cold reality. They don't have any freinds, so how to fix that problem? By creating a false reality which is more comforting. This, in my opinion, shows how childish some aspects of religion really are, and far from proves the existence of the Christian god. This finding also shows how these kids grow out of the belief that their mother knows everything because they realize the truth of the situation.

The second finding is another example of the human mind trying to find some sort of "god of the gaps". We don't know a lot of things, and what happens after you die is one of them. Not knowing is quite a scary thing, as it's frightening to think that we might just cease to exist after we die. We'd like to think of ourselves as eternal, as it is comforting, but that might not be the case. We don't know, and since there's no evidence to cause people to lean one way or another (bsides religious propoganda), it seems only natural that humans would like to think that the more comforting option is true.

As for your last paragraph, I'd argue that if intelligent design were in fact the method by which the universe came about, it would much more likely be by aliens than God. Also, a belief in God is not in our DNA, every baby is born agnostic.

I hope I addressed your contentions to a point such that you were satisfied; if not please let me know.

I await your arguments and respectfully ask you to not make arguments related to this debate in the comments.

Sources:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.its.caltech.edu...
3. http://www.its.caltech.edu...
4. http://www.its.caltech.edu...
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...;
WileyC1949

Pro

Please note that I did not state simply “greatest in the universe” as you said but rather “the greatest inside or outside the universe whether they be physical or non-corporal”.

I wish to point out to the judges that you initially failed to define God with any specific attributes other than being the “Christian God” in the beginning of the debate. As I pointed out Christians and other faiths view God as the “Supreme Being”. [1] As a result in this debate I need not prove that God has particular attributes, but rather only that He exists which was the initial title of the debate. This, as you have agreed, I have logically done.

You also said:

I argue that the best that ca be observed is what we'll have to settle for, as if something is better than what we can now observe yet we can't observe it, that makes it somewhat useless. If you can't observe the effects of god (which I argue), what use is he? If there's no evidence for him, why should we assume that he exists?”

I would totally disagree. As physical human beings we can only observe that which is within our four-dimensional universe (space/time being the fourth dimension). The fact that you cannot observe something does not mean that it does not exist. One cannot “observe” true selfless love yet we all know that it exists. Your argument may be considered sound if our physical universe is all that exists. Science states differently when they speak of there being at least 11 dimensions rather than our four, each of which dimensions could have a universe of its own. A life form which has just one more dimension than our four could certainly interact within our four, because he has all of them, but because we do not have his fifth dimension we would never be able to observe him or know anything about him. That is, of course, unless he chose to leave clues to his existence. This high school kid’s explanation is actually extremely accurate.

So the question becomes are there any beings like that and have they left indications of their existence? Based on the numerous apparitions and miracles which have been recorded through history the reply to that question is a resounding “YES!” One of the most dramatic was the much publicized “Miracle of the Sun” which took place in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. This event was witnessed by over 70,000 people who had gathered because an apparition of Mary had told 3 small children a month earlier that a miracle would occur at that specific time and place. This event was related in numerous newspapers around the globe including the New York Times; that it happened no one can deny. What the people witnesses was the heavy clouds part like a curtain and the sun seemingly zigzag across the sky with brilliant colors, then seemingly come so close to the earth as to touch it. It had been raining heavily and steadily for some time before the event, yet after the event the people’s clothes were completely dried as well as the ground. However no one was burned. No one has ever explained how ALL of these events could have occurred…. especially the prediction by three children. [2]

That this could be called the “supernatural” is quite evident. And there are a growing list of scientists, atheists and agnostics among them, who credit the “supernatural” or “totally unexplainable” for the existence of life and many other features of our universe.

“The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron …. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” -- Stephen Hawking [3]

Although an atheist, Hawking acknowledges that the universe is “finely adjusted” to allow for life. Something cannot be finely adjusted without an intelligence to do the adjusting. We are brought back to the results of the first study. Is it an alien intelligence of supernatural one?

Comments from other scientists:

"A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." -- Sir Fred Hoyle

"For the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." -- Robert Jastrow [4]

“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think a scientifically proven fact.” – Robert Jastrow.[5]

As a result of this I have sufficiently proven that the supernatural does exist and that there is a form of life or intelligence which has interacted with the physical world. Because of this we know that the “Supreme Being inside and outside of the universe” could not be “Fred the garbage man.”


In regards to my first study you stated:

Basically, there are evident patterns in DNA which have less than a 10^-13 chance of occurring and look like they're intelligently designed.”

First off I would like the judges to note that you asserted this statement concerning a study which I referenced that was done by prominent mathematicians and published in “Icarus”, the premier scientific journal concerning planetary science, and you did so with NO scientific backing of the statement. You are stating the “look like they are intelligently designed” and that they are about the same randomness which are found in snow crystals. However the scientists involved use stronger language than “looks like”. The bottom of the abstract states clearly:

“The code is shown to possess an ensemble of same-style precision-type patterns. `58; The patterns are shown to match the criteria of an intelligent signal.” [6]

That they “match” the criteria of an intelligent signal are far stronger than they “look like” an intelligent signal.

Likewise comparing them to the crystalline structure of snowflakes does not work because DNA strands do not respond like snowflakes whose pattern is completely random. Rather DNA passes along specific information inherited from the parents. The randomness found in a deck of cards and that eventually a specific pattern will occur likewise does not hold because the DNA intelligent pattern appears in every sample tested.

http://www.sciencedirect.com...

Concerning the second study you said:

“Kids who are five years old or under find it easier to create a god of the gaps because they see no other solution or would rather comfort themselves than face a harmful truth. Many children also have imaginary friends for the same reason, so that they can comfort themselves in the face of a cold reality.”

Once again I ask the judges to note that you are asserting your own opinion over that of the scientists who conducted the study. The study was led by Dr. Justin Barrett from the Centre for Anthropology and Mind at Oxford University. He drew on research from a range of disciplines including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and theology. They directed an international body of researchers conducting studies in 20 different nations that represented both traditionally religious AND atheistic studies. [7] Nowhere in the abstract was there any mention of “God of the gaps” which is a traditional evasion tactic employed by many atheists.

You likewise said:

“… since there's no evidence to cause people to lean one way or another (bsides religious propoganda), it seems only natural that humans would like to think that the more comforting option is true.”

Once again I point out that your statement is your personal opinion whereas mine was the result of legitimate scientific research.

Your final statement is in grave error:

“As for your last paragraph, I'd argue that if intelligent design were in fact the method by which the universe came about, it would much more likely be by aliens than God. Also, a belief in God is not in our DNA, every baby is born agnostic.”

You state that the intelligence responsible for the discovered design is far more likely to be alien, yet once again you give no support or explanation for that statement. I have pointed out how the logical conclusion from the two scientific studies is that it would be more likely that it was a Supernatural Intelligence. You failed to answer my question which I left you: Why would an alien species which was so obviously incredibly more advanced in both knowledge and intelligence preprogram us to believe in God unless they themselves also did?

Your final statement that “all babies are born agnostic” is likewise untrue as has been proven by my second study stating that humans are PREdisposed to believe in God and an afterlife. The only way that we could be predisposed to anything is if it were encoded in our DNA.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  3. http://www.montana.edu...
  4. http://www.montana.edu...
  5. as quoted by B. Durbin, “A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths: Interview with Robert Jastrow,” Christianity Today, Vol. 26, 6 August 1982, p. 15
  6. http://www.sciencedirect.com...
  7. http://www.ox.ac.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
superbowl9

Con

Thanks for your arguments, Pro.

I hold the position that the physical universe is all that exists, and that no objects or beings that exist outside this universe or that are metaphysical have presented themselves, nor has any valid evidence been presented for their existence.

Yes, I did fail to be specific about the nature or attributes of the Christian God almost every person has a different interpretation of the Bible and a different idea of what this god is. However, to be the Christian God, this god must have qualities which all Christians agree upon. A Christian is defined as "a person who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ"[1]. All Christians also base their beliefs off some part of the Bible, as well. To believe the teachings of Jesus, you must accept that he was divine. You must also agree with some of his teachings. This is by definition. Therefore, in this debate you must give some valid evidence that the God as described by the Bible exists. I ask the judges to use their own discretion to determine what can be classified as the Christian god, and to consider whether Fred the garbage man would fit the criteria for the Christian God. I also ask Pro whether he would accept Fred as god were there no other life in existence besides the life we observe here on Earth.

I'll be rebutting Pro's arguments paragraph by paragraph, excluding any of my quoted statements as such paragraphs, starting with the first paragraph after Pro first quotes me.

REBUTTAL

1. You say that space/time is the fourth dimension, yet the video you reference clearly states that space/time is NOT the fourth dimension and that this is a common misconception. I'm fine with either definition, but I ask you to clarify which one you are using. Your second point is very true, just because we can't observe something doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but everything that we know exists is observable, including true love. In fact, we actually know much more than you'd think about the biological mechanism of love, including exactly what brain areas are stimulated when you fall in love[2] and the chemicals which cause each stage of this complex process[3]. Love can be observed. Our physical universe is all that exists. I see no evidence for anything metaphysical or anything that exists outside this universe. M-theory says that there is 11 dimensions[4], but there's no evidence for a multiverse. That's why there is no multiverse theory. Can you show me any valid evidence that a life form with over three dimensions (according to the video, over four according to your paragraph) exists? Of course you give an example of a being leaving a clue in your next paragraph, but as you will see it is easy to cast doubt upon such "miracles".

2. I'd say it's a resounding "NO!". Such "miracles" can almost all be explained by coincidence, or naturalistic processes. The miracle of the sun can be explained through natural processes, as is evident by scrolling down Pro's source[5] to the "Critical evaluation" section. Some examples include:

"Sun miracles cannot be taken at face value and that the reported observations were optical effects caused by prolonged staring at the sun."

"Retinal after-images produced after brief periods of sun gazing are a likely cause of the observed dancing effects."

"The color changes witnessed were most likely caused by the bleaching of photosensitive retinal cells."

"The position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggested the cause may have been a sundog."

"The crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, since similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle."

"Despite these assertions, not all witnesses reported seeing the sun "dance". Some people only saw the radiant colors. Others, including some believers, saw nothing at all."

There are many ways to explain this "miracle". In some cases, however, there is no hypothesis as to why some seemingly supernatural event happened. However, this does not mean that the solution is god; that is a false dichotomy and the god of the gaps argument. Science does not have all the answers yet, and likely never will, but just because we do not understand the laws of physics enough to discredit a certain supernatural event at a certain time does not mean that it was definitely supernatural.

3. Yes, this event could be called supernatural, or you could choose to find the naturalistic explanation. As Auguste Meessen says, "It is impossible to provide any direct evidence for or against the supernatural origin of apparitions." As for Stephen Hawking, this out of context statement by him does not show him to be a supporter of intelligent design, but shows that he simply understands that the universe "seem[s] to have been finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." This does not mean that the universe is fine-tuned, just that it seems that way. In Hawking's words:

"Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator."[6]

Even if Hawking was a creationist and supporter of intelligent design, that does not really mean too much. He may, as many scientists do, cast aside all views on religion, politics, and other things irrelevant to science to perform scientific studies that are not trying to prove anything, yet end up invalidating evidence for god or creating evidence for god. Science really has no say on whether a god exists or not, so I fail to see your point when you bring up these scientists who believe in creation and find them irrelevant. I say the supernatural does not exist and that there is no evidence of anything existing outside the physical world. Thus I still argue that the supreme being is Fred the garbage man.

4. Yes, I summarized the abstract in the source you provided after providing quotes and the link to the actual article. People could easily have gone and deciphered the source by themselves, but I summarized it to give my position an easier read and to keep the fluidity of my arguments. I asserted this statement after thoroughly reading the abstract, citing and quoting it, and making logical conclusions about the article. I don't need scientific backing for a summary of a point. This is also irrelevant, as you could easily quote a part of the abstract that I did not refute because I generalized and that would be my error. I acknowledged several times that this was an almost impossibly unlikely chance that met the standards for intelligent design.

My point with the snowflakes was that many things look designed, yet are not. Yes, DNA passes along information inherited from the parents. That is exactly what I've been saying and this sis actually a good example of natural selection at work. If unfavorable DNA is passed on, that unfavorable DNA is less likely to find a mate and thus more likely to die off. That's why we see patterns in DNA, because they are beneficial to the storage of information and thus beneficial to human life and the life of DNA.

5. Just because these people did not include the god of the gaps in their abstract does not mean it was not present during the experiment. How is the god of the gaps an evasion tactic?

I find my quote about the tendency for humans to lean towards believing in an afterlife to be factually correct. There is no way to know for sure what happens after death, and people tend to accept things that are more comfortable to them. This statement should be fairly obvious and needs no scientific backing. Do you disagree with any part(s) of it?

Yes, if intelligent design is prove to be correct, it is more likely that aliens were the ones who designed us. This is because we have observed life in the universe (ourselves) and we know that the universe is so big that it is definitely possible for other life, maybe even more intelligent than ourselves, exists. However, I see no valid evidence whatsoever for the existence of a god. Therefore, design by aliens is more likely. I believe I answered your question when I said that we are not pre-programmed to believe in a god, as my statement "all babies are born agnostic" suggests. This statement is scientifically correct and factually accurate because there are no babies in the womb pondering whether or not a god exists. They could not wrap their minds around such a subject, as they are not developed enough. Thus it follows that no newborn has thought about the issue of a god and has not been presented any evidence for either side and is thus agnostic.

I can assure you with 100% certainty that human DNA is not encoded with a belief in god, that's not how DNA works. Your DNA determines things like your hair and eye color, how tall you'll be, how much you sweat, etc. It does not give you a predisposed moral compass and political standing. What political party are all babies born into? How do all newborns feel about libertarianism? These questions are much the same as asking "Do all newborns believe in god?".

Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://online.wsj.com...
WileyC1949

Pro

You said:

I hold the position that the physical universe is all that exists, and that no objects or beings that exist outside this universe or that are metaphysical have presented themselves, nor has any valid evidence been presented for their existence.

Most physicists agree that more dimensions than our four exist. We only know of them because when they do interact with our 4-dimensions they leave behind “vibrations”.

“Further, string theory suggested that the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. Height, width, and length constitute three-dimensional space, and time gives a total of four observable dimensions; however, string theories supported the possibility of ten dimensions – the remaining six of which we cannot detect directly. This was later increased to 11 dimensions ...

These "strings" vibrate in multiple dimensions, and depending on how they vibrate, they might be seen in three-dimensional space as matter, light, or gravity. [1]

The word “supernatural” is defined as: “of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil” [2]. Other dimensions would therefore certainly qualify as “supernatural”.

That they do manifest themselves is shown by their vibrations. That supernatural beings have shown themselves has been shown by 20th Century history as witnessed by 70,000 people.

You said: “All Christians also base their beliefs off some part of the Bible, as well.... Therefore, in this debate you must give some valid evidence that the God as described by the Bible exists.”

I again disagree that I must provide evidence of anything but existence, as per the title of the debate. But I already gave evidence of the Supreme Being having the traits which are given Him. He is not be a part of the universe which I have shown via multiple dimensions. He is involved in the affairs of the world is shown by the various miraculous occurrences. There are strong indications that He is in fact the creator of the universe not only from the logical conclusions which can be drawn by the two studies I cited but also by ALL of the quotes from scientists who said that the UNIVERSE seems to be finely adjusted. An intelligence that “finely adjusted” the universe could not possibly be from within the universe, thus ruling out an alien species. Something like that could only be done by an intelligent creator. As Creator it logically follows that He must be omnipotent, etc. But as I said this discussion is unnecessary as they are not part of the original topic.

In answer to the points in your rebuttal:

1. With love you mistake physical love or attraction, in which hormonal changes can be measured, for the true selfless love I spoke about. Acts of kindness may be observed, but selfless love cannot be observed or measured.


2. Your attempt to debunk the “Miracle of the Sun” by numerous contradictory explanations of how it happened fails. The people you cited were not there. None attempt to explain how various other aspects of the miracle occurred, such as how the people’s clothing and the ground became instantly dry. Nor did they explain how three children could predict the time and place of the event a month before.

Of the seven eyewitnesses whose testimony was given in the article three were Doctors, including Dr. Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University who said:

"The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight."[4]

Another credible eyewitness was Avelino de Almedia, a columnist for Portugal’s anti-Church but most widely circulated and influential newspaper, O Século. His previous articles about the earlier events at Fatima were highly satirical and he was there to discredit any so-called miracle. However after actually witnessing it he wrote:

“Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, ...the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people."[5]

The testimony of eyewitnesses are always more reliable than statements made by people who are attempting to smear the event.

3. Referring to your quote from Hawking: "Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator". I agree that Hawking alternate theories to try to explain away the “fine tuning”. However your article goes on to describe one of the most controversial theories… that of a the “multiverse” where an infinite number of universes must exist or have existed for one to come into being that by chance has all the “fine-tuning” necessary for life to develop.

“Our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws. That multiverse idea is not a notion invented to account for the miracle of fine tuning. It is a consequence predicted by many theories in modern cosmology....for it means that our cosmic habitat—now the entire observable universe—is just one of many.”[6]

So the article you referenced is actually opposed to your statement that “the physical universe is all that exists”. Although the multiverse is not what this debate is about I do wish to point out that when I read his statement: “That the multiverse idea is not a notion invented to account for the miracle of fine tuning”, I was instantly reminded of a college psychology class when the professor explained that when someone goes out of their way to state that they are “not trying to” do something, in most cases that is precisely what they are trying to do. This is emphasized by his use of the word “miracle”. It also completely overlooks the fact that even if it were true there had to be a start to the process and therefore had to be a FIRST cause.

You are correct in stating that science says nothing direct about the existence of God. Science has discovered truths from which the existence of God can be logically deduced as I have pointed out in the two studies. You are incorrect in stating that the scientists I referenced have nothing relevant to say. They were not “scientists who believe in creation”; they distinguished scientists. In the group were also Hawking, an atheist, and Jastrow, an agnostic. Yet they all pretty much said the same thing which logically points to the existence of a supernatural intelligence.

4. Your stated opinion“I acknowledged several times that this was an almost impossibly unlikely chance that met the standards for intelligent design” does not hold against the legitimate scientific research which stated the opposite.

I also fail to see what bearing your introduction of the “Theory of Natural Selection” has to do with any of the points raised in this discussion. This topic was not being discussed.

5.
No legitimate scientist would use such an unscientific term "god of the gaps". It is an evasion tactic as it attempts to reduce legitimate arguments with a sarcastic inaccurate comment.

Your statement opposed to belief in an afterlife is another attempt to divert the discussion. Belief in the afterlife is not the topic.

Your statement “if intelligent design is prove to be correct, it is more likely that aliens were the ones who designed us.” has already been logically and scientifically disproved. As I pointed out while the Icarus study suggest that an alien intelligence may be responsible for life on EARTH, please note that the quotes from the scientists were speaking about the intelligence that seems to be necessary for the UNIVERSE to exist. An alien life-form could not have created themselves nor the universe of which they are a part. This certainly IS valid evidence of a Supreme Being who is not a part of this universe.

You said: I can assure you with 100% certainty that human DNA is not encoded with a belief in god, that's not how DNA works. Your DNA determines things like your hair and eye color,...etc. It does not give you a predisposed moral compass and political standing.”

The Icarus study I posted in the first round stated clearly that DNA is capable of passing along NON-biological information. So despite your “100% certainty” I already cited a scientific study that says you are wrong. That we are born with a "moral compass" has also been shown by study published in 2010. The description stated:

“The currently prevailing theory on human development is that human beings start their lives with a "moral blank state," but new research contradicts this view. The researchers have found babies as young as six months old already make moral judgments, and they think we may be born with a moral code hard-wired into our brains. ...The results contradict the theories of Sigmund Freud and others, who thought human beings start out as “amoral animals”, or a moral blank state. Bloom said there is mounting scientific evidence that this may not be true and that “some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.”[7]

Once again this is not a topic of the debate.

Your statement “I see no valid evidence whatsoever for the existence of a god” contradicts your previous acknowledgement that a Supreme Being must exist. I have given scientific evidence which, if taken all together, can lead logically only to the conclusion that the intelligence behind the creation of the universe can only be supernatural in being. Although not necessary as a part of this debate I have also demonstrated how this being has the attributes which are generally assigned to Him.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] Ibid

[5] http://online.wsj.com...

[7] http://phys.org...

Debate Round No. 3
superbowl9

Con

As this is the last round of this debate, I would like to thank and commend my opponent for an excellent debate.

Because of space constraints I can't quote all of Pro's statements before I refute them, so I'll mostly be going in a paragraph by paragraph rebuttal in order of Pro's paragraphs.

REBUTTAL

I also believe that there very well may be dimensions beyond our four that may leave observable traces in our universe. However, I don't believe that any dimension which would not leave observable evidence of its existence exists. This is because since we would have no evidence of such a dimension, there would be no reason to believe an unsubstantiated claim.

You say we cannot observe other dimensions, yet you also say this: "We only know of them because when they do interact with our 4-dimensions they leave behind “vibrations”" and quote this: "These "strings" vibrate in multiple dimensions, and depending on how they vibrate, they might be seen in three-dimensional space as matter, light, or gravity.". You've directly contradicted yourself, which means that these alternate dimensions are not supernatural, since we can observe them in the third dimension.

I assume you're talking about miracles or other supernatural events, and by saying this you've provided yet another explanation for miracles: fourth-dimensional stuff interacting with our three-dimensional stuff. I don't like to use the word "stuff", but as there is no way to know what is in the fourth dimension, we don't know if there are beings there. Even if we did know these beings were there, how would we know that they have the attributes of a god? They could be a lot dumber than us because they evolved a million years behind us, or they could have the same intelligence level as us, but there's nothing to show that a being exists in the fourth dimension with godlike properties. Besides, this could all just be 4D space junk that happened to interact with the 3D world in an odd way at a certain time.

Yes, all you need(ed) to do is show that it is probable that the Christian god (the god as described by the Bible) exists. You can go with different interpretations of the Bible, such as striking the OT or other things like that, but you must make arguments for the god that has to do with the Bible, as Christians use the Bible to get their definition of god.

I disagree. These miracles can very well be chalked up to natural occurrences, the other dimensions you mentioned still exists within this universe, and you have not shown that any being even exists in these alternate dimensions.

"There are strong indications that He is in fact the creator of the universe not only from the logical conclusions which can be drawn by the two studies I cited but also by ALL of the quotes from scientists who said that the UNIVERSE seems to be finely adjusted."

I believe I've cast major doubt upon those studies and I plan to cast a whole lot more in this rebuttal. I'll get into fine-tuning in your next sentence, but I've argued against the fine-tuning argument with valid logic, and thus I believe you are appealing to authority and to popularity.

" An intelligence that “finely adjusted” the universe could not possibly be from within the universe, thus ruling out an alien species. Something like that could only be done by an intelligent creator. As Creator it logically follows that He must be omnipotent, etc. But as I said this discussion is unnecessary as they are not part of the original topic."

1. The universe is not fine-tuned, it seems fine-tuned. There's a major difference, and I've already explained this, but I'll give another example. Imagine if, instead of the universe we know and love and live in today, the universe was entirely made out of methane and gasoline. In this universe, a group of fire-people are the life that exists, and they find evidence that their universe is fine-tuned because "if our planet were just a few thousand degrees colder, life couldn't exist!" This is much the same as what we humans are saying.

2. Even if the universe was fine-tuned, there are a variety of ways to explain this without assuming a creator, for example a multiverse where this universe is the only universe that had exactly the right physical constants for life.

3. I have yet to see anything valid that shows that a supernatural being that created the universe exists.

4. There are many inherent problems with an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. being. For example, if he's omniscient, the problems with experimental knowledge and foreknowledge[1] and the omnipotence problems[2].

"With love you mistake physical love or attraction, in which hormonal changes can be measured, for the true selfless love I spoke about. Acts of kindnessmay be observed, but selfless love cannot be observed or measured."

I see no difference between "true" love and physical love besides the magnitude of the feelings, which can be measured.

"Your attempt to debunk the “Miracle of the Sun” by numerouscontradictory explanations of how it happenedfails. The people you cited were not there."

Yes, the people weren't there. However, they were going off the eyewitness testimonies of a huge gathering of religious people who were all waiting for a miracle to happen, so they were using biased accounts, which actually helps your case. These people could have made up anything as long as it was somewhat consistent with what others said. We can't just believe all eyewitness accounts, yet these people did believe the accounts of people who were there, so they have a pretty good idea of what was purported to have happened.

"None attempt toexplain how variousother aspects of the miracle occurred, such as how the people’s clothingand the groundbecame instantly dry. Nor did they explain how three children could predict the time and place of the event a month before."

The clothes and ground drying have multiple explanations. The sun could simply have dried them as they lost track of time and then looked down to realize that they were dry. However, the first mentions I've been able to find about the drying clothes and ground (I've researched for quite a bit) is in priest John de Marchi's book "The Immaculate Heart" (1952)[3]. The original newspaper article about this miracle (in Portuguese) says nothing about the ground/clothing drying[4], and this was published in 1917. So forty years of shoddy eyewitness accounts and one unimpressive aging photo[5] later, some of the facts might have gotten mixed up or we may have had an exaggeration on our hands. I think that covers the "miraculous" drying, so what about the prophetic nature of the miracle? Actually, the girls could not predict the time or nature of the miracle, as the incident is reported to have happened at around 1:30[6] and the girls said nothing about the nature of the miracle in their prophecy. This can be chalked up to a natural event coincidentally happening at the right place.

You give more testimonies, but the people who are trying to "smear" them are using these testimonies and explaining how these people could have saw this through natural means.

The article I referenced shows how Hawking does not believe in ID. That doesn't mean I agree with the article or multiverse theory, and just because Hawking believes this "fine-tuning" exists or is a miracle does not mean it is. I can't really understand the last sentence of your paragraph, so I can't refute it. Sorry.

I've shown that Hawking does not believe in creation (reversing his statement because of a psych. class doesn't count), and I've cast doubt upon what these people have said.

Are you saying that scientific research does not hold that I said something? If we look back in the debate, I think you'll find that I did say this and this is what the study actually says as well.

Evolution/natural selection were brought up because I was proposing alternative ways that the patterned DNA came about and showing that there is an alternative to design and explaining that alternative.

You make a good point about alien design, but how does the study in Icarus prove that a supreme being must have designed the universe? That only shows that DNA was designed, and I've cast doubt upon this conclusion. Therefore even if your first study holds up, it does not show that a being with godlike properties exists.

You say that our DNA gives us our moral compass and that we are born with this moral compass, but I can't see how the Icarus study came to this conclusion (or any conclusions for that matter) because it is locked on the site, and your other source studies six month old children, which is invalid. This is because these children have had six months of experience to learn and develop some sort of moral code from, so there would need to be an experiment which shows that newborns have moral compasses, which does not exist because that is not how DNA works (this is common knowledge)[7] and newborns only cry and sniffle because their brains aren't developed enough to form complex thoughts or moral compasses.

And yes, that is related to the debate because it directly disproves one if not bot of your studies.

Once again, supreme being =/= god. I believe I have cast enough doubt upon (if not completely invalidated) Pro's logic and studies to say that Pro has not upheld his BoP.

Sources:
1. http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
2. http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
3. http://www.ewtn.com...
4. http://www.apovni.org...
5. http://elizabethamorales.files.wordpress.com...
6. http://www.fatima.org...
WileyC1949

Pro

Thank you for a good debate.

As per con's request at the beginning I offer no rebuttal to his last round and trust that all judges will read what I have established in the previous rounds.

Thank you to all. I hope this has given some insight.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by superbowl9 3 years ago
superbowl9
Sorry, didn't include my 7th source for 4th round.

It's this:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
I'm an atheist, but Pro has made some pretty good arguments. Let's see how this debate turns out.
Posted by WileyC1949 3 years ago
WileyC1949
I apologize that the numeration of my sources was left off for some reason. They were there when I pressed "Submit". Likewise the video I referenced is out of place... it should be lower where I speak about the high schooler.
Posted by bigtown 3 years ago
bigtown
Ok Wiley. That's a shame. I wanted to be challenged, never mind. take care
Posted by superbowl9 3 years ago
superbowl9
A bit of a weak rebuttal, now that I reread it again, but I'm on vacation, so screw it.
Posted by WileyC1949 3 years ago
WileyC1949
Ron, no... my argument is right on track. Either you do not understand what I have said about the concept of growth in understanding that can be seen in the OT or you are deliberately trying to preserve your incorrect focus on talking points which you can put down God is not worthy of belief. You apparently do not get that different people living at different times wrote about how they viewed God. A primitive people had a primitive notion, and they looked on God in the way they described in the text. Later generations had a far deeper understanding and that too is reflected in the text. The "Christian God" is not God as He is described in the OT. He is God as He was described by Christ in the New Testament. To try to appeal to what ancient people thought and wrote about God and say "That is the Christian God" is the height of absurdity. For the vast majority of Christians the Christian concept of God goes well beyond the primitive views found in Genesis.
Posted by WileyC1949 3 years ago
WileyC1949
bigtown: It seems that we will have to agree to disagree.
Posted by bigtown 3 years ago
bigtown
You know what God said when the Israelites let up a bit too easily on those pesky Caananites, took there foot off the genocide gas as it were, He wasn't very happy :-)

You sentimentalists have no idea. Would you want some evil, child molesting giants burning your children for sacrifice and raping your a$$ for a bit of fun living next door to you? Oh, please can you keep the noise down over there in the next tribe, that'll work. Context please..... I'm not joking :-) These were evil humans if they were that. Apply your 21st century lenses to that, and what would you think? I think you'll think God did you a big favour, so you can sit in your relative position of comfort and criticize. I'm not joking :-)
Posted by Ron_Kingsley 3 years ago
Ron_Kingsley
Wiley, I think your argument is off-track. You're supposed to be proving the Christian God exists. The one from the Bible. Providing evidence that there logically must be some greater power is great, but how can Christians believe that greater power happens to be the God that the Christian Bible talks about? The one who killed all the first-born children in Egypt and did countless other evil things simply in order to prove some point to some human. (Yes, Christians say God never has to prove anything, but Biblical stories very obviously indicate otherwise).
Posted by bigtown 3 years ago
bigtown
Hi Wiley thought you might like to know this, Melchizedek - in Hebrew means King of Righteousness, Salem means 'peace' King of Peace. He was born with no apparent lineage, mother, father or family tree. He was Jesus Christ. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. They are one and the same, existing since eternity.

Zedek is not a god, no. If you want to know the idolatrous worship since post flood times it was Baal worship and the derived pantheons. Temples to Baal all over ancient civilisations, came under many names though. Thought to all derive from Nimrod and the Tower of Babel incident and maybe preflood transhumans. Look it up sometime. The Bible really is fascinating, as it shapes our very reality today. Don't dismiss it as absurd.
As I said, I'm quite happy to chat or debate if you like.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Empiren 3 years ago
Empiren
superbowl9WileyC1949Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not argue the Christian god. To his credit he did fairly well, but in the end kept relying way too heavily on the argument from ignorance and the god of the gaps. Also (as per usual) the "if you can't prove X claimed event is false, then it must be true" was used for the "Miracle of the sun.(Anecdotal evidence too) Pro, You should spend less time worrying about "alternatives" and trying to prove your own point. False Dichotomy aside, you did fairly well both of you.
Vote Placed by ChristianPunk 3 years ago
ChristianPunk
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro kept using sources to say the Christian God exists, but the sources could easily be used to say Allah and Vishnu could exist if it was merely based on Intelligent Design. Pro also was using valued research (mixing his Christian faith into the sources he used) which is what distorts truth when somebody uses something personal to hold them back. Con stayed neutral and realistic while not trying to say anything, but was honest.
Vote Placed by KhalifV 3 years ago
KhalifV
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Reasons for voting decision: Both debaters used very good sources, had good conduct and spelling. This was a tough decision, but I have to give it to con. Analysis of the resolution shall reveal that in order to affirm the resolution, pro needs to show, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Christian God exists. If the resolution read "a god probably exist" I would have gave it pro, however it does not. Pro's argument do not culminate in a christian god so I shall have to vote for con
Vote Placed by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
superbowl9WileyC1949Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow...this was very tough to decide. Both sides presented very good arguments. S&G, conduct, and sources are all tied. As for arguments, Con showed the line that even if there was intelligent design in this universe, it does not directly connect to the proof that the Christian God exists. Intelligent design could prove that any god exists, and the only source to show that it was the Christian God is the bible, but that is not a valid source since other sources say that it was their god who was the intelligent designer. I don't have enough room here to clarify all of my RFD, so if more is needed, please message me and I'll put it into the comments. It seems as if Con and Pro both agreed that the 4th dimension and its characteristics are unknowable, which in turn fails to prove the Christian God exists, and also fails to prove that he doesn't exist, and the reason I voted for Con was that I did not see Pro prove the existence of specifically the Christian God.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 3 years ago
Sojourner
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Reasons for voting decision: Con stipulates that Pro must offer existence of a transcendent being. Pro does exactly that and uses examples in the natural world. Con attempts to discount Pro by attempting to state that Pro's evidence can be naturally explained. The existence of a natural explanation does not necessarily refute Pro's arguments. Con did not adequately account for the scientific DNA studies other than making the case that he doesn't believe them and that they are an appeal to authority. He did not adequately refute eye witness accounts of the "Miracle of the Sun" other than it "could" be accounted for by natural phenomena. The bottom line is that Pro offered a multitude of eye-witness accounts and Con had no eye-witness refutations. In the end, the only evidence Con will accept is a naturalistic explanation of a supernatural entity. Pro met his burden of proving a supreme being exists and that this being transcends the natural world.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's evidence was more tangible, while con only offered arguments without evidence. Con was unable to give a plausible rebuttal for the scientific claims of Icarus.