The Instigator
superbowl9
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
guylaquit
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Christian God exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
superbowl9
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 407 times Debate No: 59100
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

superbowl9

Con

Round 1: Opening Argument
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Counter-rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Arguments

The BoP is on Christians. If you'd like to debate that, message me.

For this debate, Christians must prove that their God exists.

You may use any type of evidence you'd like, however some types of evidence are more easily dismissed than others.

New ideas and arguments may be put out at any time, save for round 4.

I don't really need a starting argument, as the burden of proof is on Pro, so good luck, and I await your arguments.
guylaquit

Pro

Thank you for this debate opportunity; I look forward to some good arguments. I would like to begin by asking you how you believe that you came into existence. I am not looking for an answer such as "at the moment of conception..." but how you think that you and every other thing in this universe came to be. Could it have been as simple as a big bang? Who, or what, decided that every piece of matter be composed of atoms? Who decided that nothing can go faster than the speed of light? Is this all just a coincidence? Are you, every thought you've thought, every emotion you've ever felt and every decision you've ever made just a by product of a grand coincidence?
Obviously I haven't begun to prove the existence of God but I thought I'd start by giving you some ideas for your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
superbowl9

Con

Thanks for accepting, Pro.

Rebuttal

1. "I would like to begin by asking you how you believe that you came into existence....how [do] you think that you and every other thing in this universe came to be"

Short answer: I don't know. I'm not sure how the universe came into being. However, I think "God did it" is a cop-out; you know as little as I about the origin of the universe, and I find it silly to invent an all-powerful being to fill in the gaps. Although it is possible that God created the universe, it's also possible that Oden created the universe, or the flying spaghetti monster. I'd need a little more than just a possibility to accept that something happened. Again, I don't know what caused the universe, and I'm fine with that.

2. "Could it have been as simple as a big bang?"

Yes. There is no reason to overcomplicate the origin of the universe, and it is definitely possible for the big bang to have happened, just as it is possible that the flying spaghetti monster created the universe with an explosion of sauciness. Although there are problems with the big bang, I find it to be the best model we currently have for explaining the origin of the universe. However, even if you disproved the big bang and left not a shadow of a doubt in anyone's mind that it was false, it wouldn't make the existence of God any more probable.

3. "Who, or what, decided that every piece of matter be composed of atoms? Who decided that nothing can go faster than the speed of light?"

Nothing. It just happened that way. Asking why the universe is the way it is is a pretty futile question. Does there need to be a why? (No is the answer to that question.)

4. "Is this all just a coincidence?"

Most likely. Again, does the universe need a why? Maybe there is no answer. Maybe the universe just exists just because. However, I find the proposition that god made it to be an irrational claim.

5. "Are you, every thought you've thought, every emotion you've ever felt and every decision you've ever made just a by product of a grand coincidence?"

Maybe. If all these things are true, then O.K. That's great. Personally I believe that this is the case, and that I am just a product of random chance. Lucky for me. These things are what I consider the truth, and I am not afraid of them. So what if we are all products of chance? That should not make any of us any less valuable.

I look forward to your rebuttal and any further arguments you may have.
guylaquit

Pro

You presented some good rebuttals, and since I don't have much to rebut I'll just get into my first argument: Jesus Christ.
Before claiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of Man I'll present my proof for his existence.
1. The New Testament.
The New Testament of the bible is mainly composed of four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who were four of Jesus' closest followers. These books were written decades after the death of Jesus Christ by four different men who wrote them at different times and on different continents of the Earth. The fact that all of their contents of the retelling of the life of Jesus match up is incredible and disproves any theory that the story of Jesus is fictional.

2. The teachings of Jesus and how they lived on.
Claiming to be the son of God and the saviour of all mankind is an aggresive move for anyone and brings many to the conclusion that Jesus must have been insane. Why then, would an insane man claim to be the son of God himself and then proceed to live the most humble life imaginable, never once proclaiming the greatness of his power or demanding respect? There have obviously been many men insane or otherwise that have claimed to be God or the Messiah or something of similar grandeur, but none have lived on with humility that Jesus has. Why Jesus has been worshipped since his death and all others have not is another major proof that he is who he claimed to be.

3. The Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is, as you most likely know, believed to be the cloth that Jesus Christ was wrapped in when he was laid in the tomb. The negative image of this cloth shows an image of a man that bears all the physical features of Jesus as described in the Bible, including the holes in his hands and feet and the hole poked in he side of his abdomen. It has been dated several times by several different methods and has been found by some means to be about 600 years old and by others around 2000. Either way, the way that the image is burned into the fabric is what has baffled critics and scientists. It is burned into the fibers in such a way that could only be replicated in the 21st century with laser technology and there is no current explanation as to how in this time period an image such as this could have been obtained. The only explanation is that Jesus Christ was really laid in this cloth and that it was He who created this image.

Before you go on saying that this debate is on the existence of God and not Jesus, remember that every source and everything Jesus has ever told us says that Jesus and God are one and the same. And since we are debating the existence of the Christian God, the existence of Jesus Christ proves the existence of God.

Debate Round No. 2
superbowl9

Con

Thanks for your arguments.

I'd like to remind Pro that this is his last round to introduce any new ideas or arguments. With that being said, I'll start my rebuttal.

REBUTTAL

"The New Testament of the bible is mainly composed of four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who were four of Jesus' closest followers. These books were written decades after the death of Jesus Christ by four different men who wrote them at different times and on different continents of the Earth. The fact that all of their contents of the retelling of the life of Jesus match up is incredible and disproves any theory that the story of Jesus is fictional."

I agree that these books were written by different people, but this does not disprove my argument that these books were not written as a recording of historical fact. All these people, if they truly witnessed the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, should be dead. If we know that Jesus lived for 33 years before he was crucified, even if the gospel writers were born on the same date as Jesus, they would have been dead within a decade after his crucifixion, as the average life expectancy in the Iron age was around 37.[1] All of the contents of these gospels do anything but match up, with contradictions everywhere such as the differing genealogies of Joseph, the missing mention of the virgin birth, and who found the open tomb.[2] The basics of most of Jesus' story are there, but the major contradictions and impossibility of the authors witnessing all of Jesus' life show that these writings were either made up after Jesus' existence, invalidating their use as historical documents, or that Jesus never existed and these writings were not historical recordings.

"2. The teachings of Jesus and how they lived on.
Claiming to be the son of God and the saviour of all mankind is an aggresive move for anyone and brings many to the conclusion that Jesus must have been insane. Why then, would an insane man claim to be the son of God himself and then proceed to live the most humble life imaginable, never once proclaiming the greatness of his power or demanding respect? There have obviously been many men insane or otherwise that have claimed to be God or the Messiah or something of similar grandeur, but none have lived on with humility that Jesus has. Why Jesus has been worshipped since his death and all others have not is another major proof that he is who he claimed to be."

If this is true, then I assume you would also say that the prophet Allah must have been who he claimed to be, and that Valmiki is who he claimed to be, and so on and so forth. Basically, there are countless religions out there, and most claim a different deity or historical figure to be divine, much like Christianity does. Just because there are people who worship someone does not mean that they were who they claimed to be. If Obama claimed today that he was the son of God and everyone believed it and worshiped him for the rest of eternity, that is still not proof that Obama is the son of God.

"3. The Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is, as you most likely know, believed to be the cloth that Jesus Christ was wrapped in when he was laid in the tomb. The negative image of this cloth shows an image of a man that bears all the physical features of Jesus as described in the Bible, including the holes in his hands and feet and the hole poked in he side of his abdomen. It has been dated several times by several different methods and has been found by some means to be about 600 years old and by others around 2000. Either way, the way that the image is burned into the fabric is what has baffled critics and scientists. It is burned into the fibers in such a way that could only be replicated in the 21st century with laser technology and there is no current explanation as to how in this time period an image such as this could have been obtained. The only explanation is that Jesus Christ was really laid in this cloth and that it was He who created this image."

I agree that the shroud of Turin's negatives produce an image of a crucified man who beard the same general characteristics of Jesus. However, many, many people bear the same characteristics of Jesus even in modern times, and many, people were crucified. It is possible that this is just another person who happens to resemble Jesus. This is further supported by the lack of a reliable date for the cloth, which shows that this could be any crucified person that looks like Jesus throughout history. The "impossible" image is clearly possible, as it happened, and just because science does not, at the moment, know what caused this image, does not mean that Jesus did it. At one point scientists didn't know what was causing illnesses, but that does not mean that the only explanation for illnesses was god.

With this I believe that I have cast enough doubt on Pro's arguments to make knowing for a fact that Jesus existed through these arguments and evidence an impossibility.

I agree that proving Jesus existed be a big step in proving the existence of god, however you would also have to prove his divinity, which is an entirely separate matter. I also remind Pro that this is his last chance to change his strategy in proving God's existence, as he cannot make any additional arguments or draw any additional conclusions from his arguments during round 4.

Sources

1. http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk...
2. http://infidels.org...
guylaquit

Pro

Rebuttal

"If we know that Jesus lived for 33 years before he was crucified, even if the gospel writers were born on the same date as Jesus, they would have been dead within a decade after his crucifixion, as the average life expectancy in the Iron age was around 37."

Thinking that the gospel writers could not make it past the age of 37 just because that was the average age of death is silly. The problem with an "average" is that it doesn't very accurately reflect what age people were living to at the time. Two thousand years ago the death rates of newborns and young children were very high due to lack of medicine and all around tough times. If out of 10 people, 5 die before the age of one and 5 live to be 74, then taking the average death rate would give us 37. You can see how infant deaths greatly hurt these numbers.

"If this is true, then I assume you would also say that the prophet Allah must have been who he claimed to be, and that Valmiki is who he claimed to be, and so on and so forth."

I am not in any way saying that the prophet Muhammad or any other is not who he claimed to be. Perhaps God has sent many prophets throughout the ages to preach to many different races resulting in many different religions. The difference between Jesus and all others, however, is that Jesus is the only one who has ever claimed to be God. All other prophets, from Isaiah to Muhammad, have called themselves prophets of God, but never God himself.

"If Obama claimed today that he was the son of God and everyone believed it and worshiped him for the rest of eternity, that is still not proof that Obama is the son of God."

Of course not, because no one has ever seen proof that Obama is the son of God. No one has ever recorded that he has made the blind see, the dead live and that he has walked on water. No one would bother taking the time to record what he says and no one would die a gory death simply in his name.

"I agree that the shroud of Turin's negatives produce an image of a crucified man who beard the same general characteristics of Jesus. However, many, many people bear the same characteristics of Jesus even in modern times, and many, people were crucified. It is possible that this is just another person who happens to resemble Jesus."

You could of course argue this, but that would be ignoring what the evidence shows. Would there be a man who looks like Jesus, bears the holes in his hands like Jesus and has the wound in his side in the exact same spot as Jesus that is not Jesus?

This concludes my rebuttals and I will now provide my final proofs.

The Old Testament of the Bible also has many things written in it that aid in the proving of both God and Jesus Christ. First off, some of the things that were written in the Old Testament thousands of years ago do not seem to coincide with the what was known at the time. For example, the Book of Job was written sometime between 6000 and 3000 BC. One line from this book reads, "God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 27:7) Somehow before the Earth was even thought of as flat, and it was thought that mountains connected the Earth to heaven, this prophet knew the Earth was sitting in space.

Next there are the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament which describe the things that Jesus did thousands of years before he did them. It is written that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) to the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and was to visit the Temple (Malachi 3:1) and to have risen from the dead (Isaiah 53:11). These are not ordinary events that anyone could just replicate if they chose to.

Finally, some proof that the New Testament is historically accurate and is not a legend, which would not make historical sense. Many details in the New Testament have been verified as not merely incidental, such as the pools at Bethesda (John 5:2).

I would like to remind Con that most historians, Atheists or Christians, believe that Jesus Christ was a historical figure that existed just as any other. It is only whether or not he was the Messiah and God that is still debated.
Debate Round No. 3
superbowl9

Con

I'll start off by saying that I am quite impressed with Pro's rebuttal and commend him. Great arguments.

I would also like to stress that no new arguments may be put forth in this round. This means that Pro and I can only rebut each other and sum up our positions from our previous points, and any deviations from this rule should result in a loss for the offender. It is up to you to judge if, during each rebuttal, any new arguments are introduced.

This being said, I would like to reiterate my earlier point that even if Pro proves that Jesus existed, that does not prove his divinity. I am quite doubtful that Pro can do this using only his previous points and a counter rebuttal of the rebuttal I am about to proceed with.

One last note before I start my rebuttal: earlier I referred to "the prophet Allah" in my rebuttal to Pro's arguments. I would like to note that I am extremely embarrassed, and upon realizing this I would like to note that I meant to say "the prophet Muhammad". I apologize for any confusion. I will now begin my final rebuttal.

REBUTTAL

"Thinking that the gospel writers could not make it past the age of 37 just because that was the average age of death is silly. The problem with an "average" is that it doesn't very accurately reflect what age people were living to at the time. Two thousand years ago the death rates of newborns and young children were very high due to lack of medicine and all around tough times. If out of 10 people, 5 die before the age of one and 5 live to be 74, then taking the average death rate would give us 37. You can see how infant deaths greatly hurt these numbers."

Valid point. Well done, I agree with this; there is a possibility that the writers could have lived through the entirety of Jesus' life. However, this did not address my other point about bible contradictions, and I believe that alone is enough to cast doubt upon the notion that these people each witnessed the same events. Even if these people were "remembering it wrong", you'd expect things like the virgin birth to be present in all accounts, which is not the case.

"I am not in any way saying that the prophet Muhammad or any other is not who he claimed to be. Perhaps God has sent many prophets throughout the ages to preach to many different races resulting in many different religions. The difference between Jesus and all others, however, is that Jesus is the only one who has ever claimed to be God. All other prophets, from Isaiah to Muhammad, have called themselves prophets of God, but never God himself. "

There are many others who have claimed to be God. Although none have gained as much popularity or were as "humble as Jesus", that is irrelevant, as Jesus, as you said, may very well have been insane. He may have really thought he was the son of God, but that does not mean he was.

"Of course not, because no one has ever seen proof that Obama is the son of God. No one has ever recorded that he has made the blind see, the dead live and that he has walked on water. No one would bother taking the time to record what he says and no one would die a gory death simply in his name."

There is no evidence that these things, or any miracles, really happened besides the bible, which can be taken as historical fiction.

"You could of course argue this, but that would be ignoring what the evidence shows. Would there be a man who looks like Jesus, bears the holes in his hands like Jesus and has the wound in his side in the exact same spot as Jesus that is not Jesus?"

Yes. As I said, there were many other people crucified who looked like Jesus. It is highly possible that one of these people had a hole in his side in the same area as Jesus.

"The Old Testament of the Bible also has many things written in it that aid in the proving of both God and Jesus Christ. First off, some of the things that were written in the Old Testament thousands of years ago do not seem to coincide with the what was known at the time. For example, the Book of Job was written sometime between 6000 and 3000 BC. One line from this book reads, "God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 27:7) Somehow before the Earth was even thought of as flat, and it was thought that mountains connected the Earth to heaven, this prophet knew the Earth was sitting in space."

(Note: It's Job 26:7 for anyone who couldn't find it) These are Job's final words to his friends, so he could just be rambling and he is nowhere near specific enough to conclude that this is what he means. he could mean that God didn't connect Earth to heaven because there was sky. There are too many different ways you could interpret this.

"Next there are the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament which describe the things that Jesus did thousands of years before he did them. It is written that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) to the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and was to visit the Temple (Malachi 3:1) and to have risen from the dead (Isaiah 53:11). These are not ordinary events that anyone could just replicate if they chose to."

Many religions have stories similar to Jesus, so it's not impossible they were talking about those. There will always be prophets, and these prophets will all preach different things. These passages can also be interpreted differently.

"Finally, some proof that the New Testament is historically accurate and is not a legend, which would not make historical sense. Many details in the New Testament have been verified as not merely incidental, such as the pools at Bethesda (John 5:2)."

Just because some details were true does not mean the entire writing is historical fact. You could view the bible as historical fiction.

My main point is that there are many problems with the bible, including its many contradictions and the lack of evidence surrounding it.

I realize most accept the existence of Jesus. I am a bit skeptical about this, however if I see some solid evidence I would accept that Jesus was a real person.

In my efforts to not add any more arguments, my rebuttals were a bit lack-luster.

However, I still believe that I deserve the vote, as all the evidence that Pro has given for proof of Jesus' divinity is also lack-luster and can be easily dismissed. Therefore Pro has not fulfilled his burden of proof, and I deserve your vote.
guylaquit

Pro

Rebuttal

"However, this did not address my other point about bible contradictions, and I believe that alone is enough to cast doubt upon the notion that these people each witnessed the same events. Even if these people were "remembering it wrong", you'd expect things like the virgin birth to be present in all accounts, which is not the case."

Remember that not only were the writers of the gospels recalling events from decades earlier (an incredible feat in itself), but not all of them were present at all of the events of Jesus' life and through oral retellings facts can get muddled. The shear fact that the most important events (crucifixtion, ressurection...) all line up and that these writers were no where near eachother when they wrote the gospels is clear evidence itself.

"There are many others who have claimed to be God. Although none have gained as much popularity or were as "humble as Jesus", that is irrelevant, as Jesus, as you said, may very well have been insane. He may have really thought he was the son of God, but that does not mean he was."

This is exactly my point. Out of all the men that claimed to be God, why would one end up changing the lives of millions and living on for millennia when all the others became nothing? (This is not a new argument, I mentioned essentially the same thing earlier).

"There is no evidence that these things, or any miracles, really happened besides the bible, which can be taken as historical fiction."

No evidence besides all the evidence I've already named such as the Shroud of Turin and the fact the New Testament's historical facts all are correct.

"Yes. As I said, there were many other people crucified who looked like Jesus. It is highly possible that one of these people had a hole in his side in the same area as Jesus."

This is just blatant burying of one's head in the sand. I can hand you all the evidence you want and anyone can simply shoot it down with "I don't think so."

"These are Job's final words to his friends, so he could just be rambling and he is nowhere near specific enough to conclude that this is what he means. he could mean that God didn't connect Earth to heaven because there was sky. There are too many different ways you could interpret this."

It seems to me that the fact that at the time they had no idea the Earth even was a sphere, this can only be taken one way.

"Many religions have stories similar to Jesus, so it's not impossible they were talking about those. There will always be prophets, and these prophets will all preach different things. These passages can also be interpreted differently."

You fail to give me specific examples of what you are saying. What religions? What specific stories? These are dead on predictions that all happened in Jesus' life that aren't very interpretable (rising from the dead?).

"My main point is that there are many problems with the bible, including its many contradictions and the lack of evidence surrounding it."

Of course. There are many problems with almost every historical document in terms of adding up, but we can mainly trust sources because of their ability to mostly add up, especially when they are written by many, many people.

This concludes my rebuttlals.

I am a bit disappointed that the Con did not really provide any evidence that God or Jesus Christ don't and didn't exist, but rather sat back on his heels and pushed aside my arguments with things like "That's debatable" and "I don't think so." Evidence can slap you in the face but if you simply refuse to accept it, it will never mean anything to you.

I'm not going to ask you to vote for me; vote for who you honestly believe won the debate. I won't be disappointed if I don't win because at the end of the day the atheists will probably end up voting Con and the christians Pro.

I would like to thank Superbowl9 for a superb debate.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by superbowl9 2 years ago
superbowl9
I'd like to give props to guylaquit for an excellent debate. Well done sir.
Posted by mrPrime 2 years ago
mrPrime
off to kind of a crappy start my theist comrade ;-
here's a tip.. you're never gonna prove God to non-believers with ideological theory. However, you can make several decent arguments for why it is quite rational and logical not to completely rule out the potential, based on a lot the lack of origin information we still have scientifically, and the still rather low probability of "chance" based on conditions.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
superbowl9guylaquitTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was the only one to provide sources. Mark against Pro for sources and arguments, as Pro made many claims (authorship of the New Testament, its historicity, Shroud of Turin) but failed to support literally any of his claims with any form of evidence. In addition, Pro (who had a very large BoP) presented some of the weakest arguments for Christianity and entirely constrained his arguments to historical nature (no ontologically affirmative arguments or empirical observation). Con provided (not good) but adequate refutation to those arguments that Pro could not satisfy BoP. Both sides could have done far, far better had they done more research and cited more. The Shroud of Turin should have been completely destroyed by Con (in terms of credibility) by showing the carbon dating results.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
superbowl9guylaquitTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con sucessfully argued that the Bible is not a valid historical truth.