The Instigator
Eccedustin
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
arturo
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

The Christian God's existence is as unlikely as Zeus or Thor

Do you like this debate?NoYes-2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
Eccedustin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,672 times Debate No: 13972
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (58)
Votes (13)

 

Eccedustin

Pro

My argument is that the God of Judaism and Christianity (Yahweh or Elohim) is as unlikely (or as likely) as any of the commonly accepted mythological gods of antiquity, such as Zeus or Thor or Odin. I am NOT arguing against the existence of a historical Jesus of Nazareth, however. I AM arguing about the God of the Jews, described in the Old and New testament and the "Father" or perhaps "Holy spirit" aspect of the divinity in Christianity.

I contend that there is zero scientific or historical evidence for the existence of Yahweh. I also contend that there is no reasonable reason to believe in the existence of Yahweh, over that of Zeus or Thor.

We all consider the mythological Gods of antiquity such as Zeus and Thor and Odin to be just that, mythological beings that do not exist. I argue that we should also, by the same exact logic, see Yahweh as mythological and non-existent being on par with Thor or Odin or Zeus.
arturo

Con

Hello, I will be debating that the existence of a monotheistic Abrahamic God (that is acknowledged by Islam, Judaism and Christianity) is much more likely relative to the existence of Zeus or Thor (mythological pagan gods).

I think that in order for this debate two succeed, two questions need to be appropriately answered.

1) Who is God? What are we proving?
2) What is evidence? What is the type of proof we are looking for here?

So I'll begin.

1) My opponents arguments stem from a large misunderstanding of who God is. He commits the fallacy of equivocation by making God equal to Zeus or Thor. To demonstrate why this is false, we have to understand who God is. God is defined by monotheistic religion as a being who is all-powerful, all-good and all-knowing. He is the one and only perfect standard. Aristotle regarded God as the uncaused cause. In Greek times, there were good and evil gods. They were enemies of one another. The reason why Aristotle rejected his old notion is because it is contradictory. How can two perfect beings rival one another? This is not possible. This is why it's impossible to relate Zeus to the Abrahamic God - they are not the same.

2) Now that I've defined who God is, I'd like to provide evidence for his existence. My opponent believes that evidence can only be scientific / historic - but this type of evidence can only prove material things. God is immaterial, he exists outside of time & space. He can only be known through reason. Aristotle recognized that God is the first cause or first mover. We recognize in reality that everything is governed by the law of cause & effect. If there is no God, first cause, we fall into an infinite regression - to reason against this logical problem we assign a first cause to the universe- God. Zeus & Thor do not fit this definition because they are not God properly speaking (see #1).

In short, God is not the same as Zeus/Thor and has philosophical evidence for his existence while the latt
Debate Round No. 1
Eccedustin

Pro

Thanks.

1.
God is defined as all powerful, all good and all knowing? Is this true? Perhaps. I'll assume it to be true for the sake of this argument. We'll define "God" as having these qualities.

To answer your question about Greek gods,, you ask, how can 2 perfect beings rival one another. Well, How many Greek sources define their gods as all being "perfect"? Moreover, what did they even mean by their term "perfect"? Did it mean all powerful? Of course not, simple readings of the Greek stories prove this. None of the gods were "All powerful".

Thus, Even if we define the Monotheistic God as being all knowing, all perfect, and all powerful...This does not mean that his existence is any more likely than the Greek gods. Your argument against their existence, the fact that they rivaled each other, doesn't really work out unless you can prove that they were all considered "All powerful".

2.
You argue that evidence can only prove "material" things. First of all, what does "material things" mean? Modern physics deals with non-material forces and phenomena and things on a daily basis. Especially quantum physics.
So, you must mean "material" to mean things that actually can be measured or shown to exist in any way. Because, after all, modern physics can prove things even if we've never officially measured them. Why isn't "Spiritual" also "material" if, for instance, strings in string theory or other exotic physical things are "material".

Moreover, to address your "uncaused cause" argument. You argue that God is the "first cause" or "first mover". Even assuming that the creation of our universe requires a first cause (This is an assumption), why does "God" need to be the first cause? Why couldn't the universe have caused itself?
If God exists then who or what caused God to exist? Did God cause himself to exist? If so, Why can't our own universe be the "First cause"? Why does our universe require a causer but God does not? Please explain.

I await your
arturo

Con

"God is defined as all powerful, all good and all knowing? Is this true? Perhaps. I'll assume it to be true for the sake of this argument. We'll define "God" as having these qualities." I think that was a really silly post because my opponent clearly referred to the Christian God and not any other God, "In all of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, God is conceived of as eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and as the creator of the universe. God is further held to have the properties of holiness, justice omni-benevolence, omnipresence." [1].

It is precisely my point that the Greek gods aren't perfect. If they aren't perfect then they can't properly be defined as gods. When we make this distinction, we therefore make the distinction between the likelihood of their existence. The likelihood that I am referring to is philosophical reasoning. It is much more philosophically unreasonable to say that Zeus exists versus the Abrahamic God (more on this later). - This point on distinction that my opponent made has been rebutted.

2) The second point my partner made is that the evidence he is looking for proves only material things. His example is quantum physics - which talks about immaterial phenomena. This is untrue, physics is the study of matter and its motion. Quantum physics is a very theoretical field too - which means its not a good example. Physics doesn't prove anything until it is empirically observed (that is the nature of science). String theory is just a theory - it hasn't been proven. My opponent is begging the question by asking why spirituality isn't material - that's also not the point of this debate.

3) Uncaused cause. Why is the universe contingent? Because it had a beginning (verified by science - Big Bang). Philosophically:

1. Everything that exists or begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe exists and began to exist.
3. The universe must have a cause.
4. The cause of the universe is God.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Eccedustin

Pro

Yes, I already agreed that God is defined as all knowing, all powerful, and all good.

The Greek gods are "gods". They are called gods, and by definition they are gods: god - ( lowercase ) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

1. I agree with you, the "argument" made in support of the God in Christianity can not be used in support of Zeus or Thor. This is true. However, your conclusion is that because of this the Christian God must be "more likely".
This is a fallacy. You are assuming that the argument itself is true. Just because an argument can be made doesn't lend credence to what it is arguing.

2. I asked my opponent to define "material" and "spiritual". He has yet to do this. Would my opponent consider space-time itself to be "material"? We all know it exists, but it certainly isn't like any material thing we know. How about black holes? Are Black holes "material"?

I contend that my opponent has a vague and ambiguous definition of "spiritual" and "material".

3. This argument is a fallacy by definition. Even if we assume all of the 3 premises, the conclusion does NOT follow. As I have said before, why couldn't the universe have created itself? Who created God? Is God "timeless"? Do you have proof that God is timeless and uncaused?

The universe itself had a beginning, but we don't know what existed before the big-bang. Did the seed for the universe exist forever in the past? Did other universes cause our universe to exist? Questions science has yet to answer.

Even if we presume that our universe had a "beginning" (A term not very good to use with talking of the big bang), this doesn't necessitate an omnipotent all knowing, all "good" intelligent designer of the universe.

The mental stretching needed to draw that conclusion is, to be sure, ridiculous.
arturo

Con

This argument is taking a new direction. Instead of talking about arguments, we are talking about definitions. God, by virtue of his nature (the definition of his being), is uncaused, timeless, and omniscient/present/benevolent. You have accepted the definition by making this an argument about a CHRISTIAN God - I am just reviewing Christian philosophy with you.

1. That's why I first defined God (and differentiated Him from the contradictory definitions of Zeus / other pagan "gods") and why this definition (demonstrated in point 2) is more philosophically reasonable to exist (hence why it's more likely than the existence of Zeus/Thor). It was a rebuttal to your error - where you say Zeus & the Christian God are the same thing (in regards to the likelihood of their existance).

2. I don't see why I need to define spiritual - this has nothing to do with the debate. In regards to material - it's pretty straightforward, materiality refers to physical phenomena. A black hole is a scientific concept to describe physical behaviour in the universe. I'd prefer not to argue about what a black hole is but to return to the debate. Again, this is misconstruing the debate to a definition debate.

3. The universe can't create itself because the other premises state that anything that began to exist has a cause. If you accept the premises then the logic is there. My opponent is once again - BEGGING THE QUESTION. He has offered NO PROVEN, EVIDENTIAL OR PHILOSOPHICALLY REASONABLE ARGUMENT for why the Universe "created itself." I have already demonstrated why God is timeless & uncaused - its by virtue of his nature / definition.

It does necessitate that God is all knowing, all powerful and all good because these qualities qualify His ability to create the universe - it follows pretty logically.

My opponent has offered 0 arguments to prove his burden (that the likelihood is the same) and his rebuttals have been unsubstantiated and are begging the question. Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Eccedustin

Pro

In this, my concluding round, I am left to explain my reasoning throughout the debate and clarify my position. I will recreate a new debate, re-callenge my opponent, and clear all definitions in the OP. I will also provide a much higher character count.

1. God is defined as "uncaused". Ok.

2. The Universe had a "cause". Ok.

3. Does this mean God exists? No.

Even if we 'define' God as being 'uncaused', and agree that the universe had a beginning, the his doesn't actually prove that God exists. There are other problems as well. For instance, even if the universe came into being (The verdict is still out on this, we do know of the Big Bang an the start of space/time, but that does not actually mean that the cosmos had a "beginning" as commonly understood), Even if the universe had a beginning, this doesn't mean it had a "cause". (Hawking suggested the universe could have spontaneously came into being).

Moreover, Even if the universe had a "cause", why would we presume that this cause was an 'intelligent being' opposed to natural phenomena like multi-world theory (among many others). Why couldn't some non-intelligent natural force have caused our universe? Why is "God" necessary? Why is "God" even likely? As we know, in our universe, "intelligence" occurred very late in its history. Intelligence happened due to evolution over millennia. Why presume intelligence existed before the universe itself?

You need to define "spiritual" because we aren't on the same page as far as its meaning. IMO, if "spiritual" exists then it must be material. How is "spiritual" anymore less material than blackholes?

To address #3, Even assuming the premises (and causality is an assumption), this does not negate the possibility the universe could create itself.

I'm not arguing that the universe actually created itself. I'm suggesting that it could be a more natural and reasonable alternative than "God did it!".

Honestly, "God did it" is begging the question itself.
arturo

Con

Hello, despite my comments in the comment section, my opponent proceed to misconstrue and digress the argument from comparing the likelihood of the Christian God's existence to Zeus/Thor to proving that the Christian God exists. This is not at all what I was intending to do and I am going to do very little to continue to make the case for why it is 100% true that the Christian God exists. In my final round, I will briefly touch on the Pro's points, and rebuild my arguments.

1) My opponent has done little cite his work, construct an argument and analyze his statements. Numerous times he points to the names of scientific theories & prominent scientists (Hawking being the latest mention) but he has not expanded on their cases and why they are relevant. Why should the universe spontaneously come into being anymore than it should be caused by God? However - I actually provided a constructive case as to why while my partner continues to assert without proving argumentation.

2) My opponent continues to deny my arguments but has no argumentative basis. He continues to ask the question, why? As if it is implied that his argument follows. I've brought this issue up numerous times but he continues to do this.

3) To assume the premises of the syllogism is to naturally follow to the conclusion. He's trying to argue against the syllogism but again - cites numerous assertions with no rational basis. God did it because philosophically - it's reasonable to assert that there is an uncaused cause to being. This uncaused cause is one characteristic of the Christian God.

To rebuild my argument.

Zeus/Thor are pagan gods. First, they contradict their definition, gods are supposed to be powerful & perfect. Yet how can two perfect beings oppose one another? This is a contradiction. Two, they have no need for their existence. Yet the Christian God is defined by his nature to be the first cause. This leads us to a higher likelihood of His existence vs. Zeus/Thor.

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 4
Eccedustin

Pro

I never attempted to demand that my opponent "prove" God, he offered to do that himself through his arguments. All I did was show how his argument was fallacious.

Simply offering an "argument" for something does NOT lend credence to its existence if the argument itself is flawed.

I refer my opponent to Occam's razor.

The simpler explanation that requires less questions and proofs is the better explanation.

1: The universe formed itself (or existed as a seed infinitely in the past before forming itself, or was formed by other universes).

or

2: The universe was formed spontaneously, at a certain time in infinity, by an omnipotent, omnipresent, conscious and intelligent being who's origin is a mystery (or who existed infinitely in the past and who's inspiration to make the world when it did is a mystery)

The first explanation is clearly better. Why assume "God" in the scenario if he is not necessary?

I believe that I have provided a rational, reasonable and legitimate rebuttal to all of my opponents arguments. He claims that I fail to respond to them, but if you read the debate you will see that this is false.

My opponent claims that to assume the premises of an argument is to "naturally follow to the conclusion". This shows a lack of understanding of logic. There are such things as "logical fallacies", and my opponents "cosmological argument" is an example of a logical fallacy. His conclusion does not follow his premises.

"Zeus/Thor are pagan gods." -- Agree

"First, they contradict their definition, gods are supposed to be powerful & perfect." -- Wrong. Not all definitions of "god" include "perfect". In fact, only one definition does (The Christian God). I cited this already.

"Yet how can two perfect beings oppose one another? This is a contradiction."--

THis is a straw man. No one said that the Greek Gods or Norse Gods were "perfect". We already clarified this in the first posts.

Due to the character count, I wi
arturo

Con

Hi, for the last round, I will clean up the debate and summarize why I have won.

1) The universe formed itself - he said it's ok if it's infinite, however, the universe is finite (it has a beginning and an end) - if the universe was caused by another universe, that means it's caused by another universe - and so an infinite regression (and thus a contradiction to the finite nature of the universe arises). An uncaused cause must set things into motion, I have contested that this cause is God - my opponent has hasn't offered a good argument to replace this so I see this argument is uncontested. God is necessary because he is the uncaused cause.

2) "There are such things as "logical fallacies", and my opponents "cosmological argument" is an example of a logical fallacy. His conclusion does not follow his premises.". My opponent has yet to demonstrate the logical fallacy rather than just calling it that. Yawn.

3) "First, they contradict their definition, gods are supposed to be powerful & perfect." -- Wrong. Not all definitions of "god" include "perfect". In fact, only one definition does (The Christian God). I cited this already." - Great, you cited a vague definition that you didn't construct into an argument. The reason why Greek philosophers rejected the "gods" is because they go against their divine nature. They are supposed to be better than us, but it is cited in myths: "Xenophanes had complained that Homer and Hesiod attributed to the gods 'all that is shameful and disgraceful among men; they steal, commit adultery, and deceive one another'" [1].

Ultimately, I have actually fulfilled my burden in trying to say why God is more likely to exist vs. Zeus/Thor. My opponent has done very little to say why the likelihood of the existence of either one is exactly the same. Thus, while I contest that my arguments hold, please recognize my opponent has no arguments. Please vote appropriately

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
58 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by arturo 6 years ago
arturo
Def. not doing another God debate.
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
Arturo, that is ok. Maybe next time.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 6 years ago
TombLikeBomb
Godsands, Christians are the ones making a positive claim, so it's really their responsibility. I'm sure you'd agree that, as science has progressed, the more literal and intuitive interpretations of the Bible have fallen by the wayside. Christianity is always becoming less falsifiable. God has retreated, first from this planet and then from this very plane of existence. If he exists in any sense, it's an irrelevant one.
Posted by arturo 6 years ago
arturo
Sorry for declining your challenge Ecce, I don't have the time to re-do this debate.
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
Arturo has refused to accept my challenge to him to another debate with more words and a deeper format.

I wonder why Arturo declined?

Is anyone else willing to accept the debate?
Posted by GodSands 6 years ago
GodSands
Godsands, by any standard really. Evidence, proof, logic, etc."

You can't just say those words and expect me to take that as an answer, those words with atheists especially have become some kind of an escape root out of answering the actual question. It is fallacious to answer a question in the way you have. To put it into an analogy, it's like me being asked how I know the Gospel's are reliable, and I give an answer replying, "They are well written, good out side sources, and there were around 500 witnesses of the Resurrected Jesus." That isn't actually a credible answer, it's rather a show case of what a real answer would involve. So try again, logic, evidence, proof what not may play a part in the answer but they aren't the actual answer. You can use logic in a number of ways, you can be in or out of context with your logic, so you must explain how you know the standard by which you are comparing the likely hood of the existence of God to Zeus and Thor. Saying a few nouns won't pass as an answer.
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
http://www.debate.org...

My challenge to Arturo
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
I actually made that same argument in my new debate, Geo.

I went into much further detail in my new Debate challenging Arturo.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 6 years ago
TombLikeBomb
2,000 characters seems more than enough for concession, but if you prefer the formality of a debate...
Posted by arturo 6 years ago
arturo
Uhh, well, if you insist on me answering I will do my best to answer within the next couple of days, I am however unsure if the comments section is the appropriate place to do so.
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by KymberLayne 6 years ago
KymberLayne
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by arturo 6 years ago
arturo
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by foxholemanifesto 6 years ago
foxholemanifesto
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by marker 6 years ago
marker
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Vote Placed by Sojourner 6 years ago
Sojourner
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Elmakai 6 years ago
Elmakai
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by WhiteWolf 6 years ago
WhiteWolf
EccedustinarturoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03