The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
TesterPot
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The Christian god cannot logically exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,359 times Debate No: 15329
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (4)

 

socialpinko

Pro

I will take the pro position that the Christian god, who is all powerful, all knowing, and all caring cannot logically exist. Con will take the position that the Christian god can logically exist.

Definitions:

Omniscient: having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Omnipotent: almighty or infinite in power, as God.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Omnibenevolence: unlimited or infinite benevolence
http://www.reference.com...

Logically: according to or agreeing with the principles of logic
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Exist: to have actual being; be
http://dictionary.reference.com...
TesterPot

Con

Hello, socialpinko & all those reading. I will be your devil's advocate for today. While I'm not personally invested in my position, I hope to give you more than the usual "because the bible says so"-type responses.

-

My opponent has posted no opening arguments, but given his choice of word definitions and the number of times I have encountered this debate before, I feel I have a good chance at guessing the arguments he will likely be making. Therefore, rather than waste a round, I will address the assumed issues and my opponent may in the next round either confirm their accuracy and continue the discussion or correct me and the debate will begin anew.

Typically, the "(Christian) God is illogical" advocates will highlight contradictions caused by traits attributed to said God. For example, the classic example of the omnipotent God creating a rock that it cannot lift. For the sake of convenience, I think it's acceptable to distill everything following these lines down to basically, "God is a logical contradiction." This way I don't have to address individual example scenarios.

There are two approaches I could take in this debate, one of which owes to a missing clarification of what exactly the Christian God in question, is.

-

1. Omnipotence is a self-empowering get-out clause.

By definition, it is stated that omnipotence is not bound by logic. To support this as a possibility: as far as our human knowledge and cognitive abilities allow, we can't be sure that there isn't some truth - be it deep in the realm of mathematics or quantum physics - that allows for the extraordinary. Some other examples (which will hopefully be free of any automatic anti-religious bias) are:

- The existence of the universe is also subject to paradoxes. If it came to exist, how did something come from nothing? If it's always been here, how can something exist stretching infinitely back in time - can something even exist without an origin?

- The hard problems of consciousness have proven difficult to understand. We may understand how on a biological level light is converted into electrical signals of varying colour values - and on a higher level, a possible mathematical explanation of how the brain condenses the massive amounts of visual input it receives per second into something it can more easily process - but how exactly we come to consciously experience colour (see also: qualia) remains a mystery. Perhaps this also is a phenomenon with roots in areas that we've not yet uncovered.

So to clarify my point: (a) omnipotence by definition is unbound by logic - and (b) if you find it initially hard to swallow, there are other areas where unknown truths may explain more tangible problems.

As a slightly weaker argument, you may also question the intended use of the "omni-" words. Perhaps it was never intended to literally mean "can do absolutely anything conceivable, even in spite of itself" but rather just to poetically express the immense and realistic might of this divine entity.

-

2. As the Christian God hasn't been completely described in this debate, the term's meaning in the debate is open to interpretation.

If the term is intended to described the God REFERENCED by Christians and their bible, it'd be fallacious to draw conclusions and make statements regarding said God based on how it is described by humans. For all we know, the God could be very real, but his exact nature has just been wildly exaggerated and distorted by humans over time.

If the term is intended to describe a God exactly as religious authorities claim, the above doesn't stand. Though in this case, one would have to question the relevance of arguing against a hypothetical construct taken literally from a book instead of the divine being believed in by religious persons of differing opinions and interpretations in the world.

-

This concludes my opening argument. I look forward to hearing my opponent's point of view.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

"My opponent has posted no opening arguments, but given his choice of word definitions and the number of times I have encountered this debate before, I feel I have a good chance at guessing the arguments he will likely be making. "

I apologize. I should have clarified that the first round would be reserved for acceptance of the debate and defitions regarding the resolution. However, as con decided to post his opening arguments I will respond to them accordingly.

"By definition, it is stated that omnipotence is not bound by logic. To support this as a possibility: as far as our human knowledge and cognitive abilities allow, we can't be sure that there isn't some truth"

We can be sure according to the laws of logic. It is positively fallacious to just elevate god above the laws of logic without actually positing an argument.

"The existence of the universe is also subject to paradoxes. If it came to exist, how did something come from nothing? If it's always been here, how can something exist stretching infinitely back in time - can something even exist without an origin?"

This is not a paradox as time is a construct of the universe. The universe never had a beginning because time did not come into being until the big bang.

"The hard problems of consciousness have proven difficult to understand. We may understand how on a biological level light is converted into electrical signals of varying colour values - and on a higher level, a possible mathematical explanation of how the brain condenses the massive amounts of visual input it receives per second into something it can more easily process - but how exactly we come to consciously experience colour (see also: qualia) remains a mystery. Perhaps this also is a phenomenon with roots in areas that we've not yet uncovered."

This is merely an argument from ignorance. You are assuming god's existence and puttig the BOP on the one who sees the logical fallacy.

"As a slightly weaker argument, you may also question the intended use of the "omni-" words. Perhaps it was never intended to literally mean "can do absolutely anything conceivable, even in spite of itself" but rather just to poetically express the immense and realistic might of this divine entity."

I defined the being as all powerful, all knowing, and all caring. It does not matter to me how others define god. This is how I define it.

"As the Christian God hasn't been completely described in this debate, the term's meaning in the debate is open to interpretation."

I did describe it. The Christian god according to my definition is all powerful, all knowing, and all caring.
TesterPot

Con

"We can be sure according to the laws of logic. It is positively fallacious to just elevate god above the laws of logic without actually positing an argument."

I believe my supporting argument immediately followed the statement in question. I said: "To support this as a possibility: as far as our human knowledge and cognitive abilities allow, we can't be sure that there isn't some truth - be it deep in the realm of mathematics or quantum physics - that allows for the extraordinary."

What I'm referring to has ties to epistemology and all the classical problems that have been raised in the form of philosophical zombies, evil daemons and the like. We can never be 100% absolutely certain of anything.

Within practical (i.e. useful for every day purposes) logic, we can adopt positions based on what seems to most likely represent reality. An example here would be the flying teapot, the portion of relevance to the point at hand being that we cannot prove it's not there nor know absolutely for certain that it's not. In our every day lives, we may accept for practical reasons that there's probably not a flying teapot out there somewhere, but we can't logically rule it out.

The same thing applies to a loophole allowing logic-contradicting logic. We cannot know that there isn't such a thing in the deepest unknowns of existence.

What followed in my original post were two examples to help point in the right direction of what I was ultimately trying to say. Your argument against my second example half confirmed what I was saying and was half irrelevant (I don't recognise a connection between not understanding the fundamentals of consciousness and assuming the existence of God). Your argument against my first example was also insufficient regarding its own individual subject matter.

However, as (a) these examples were only included to help better present a stand-alone concept, (b) the argument does not rely on them for its own validity and (c) I feel it'd be inappropriate to begin a whole exploration of the origins of the universe in this particular debate, I won't say any more about those examples.

"I defined the being as all powerful, all knowing, and all caring. It does not matter to me how others define god. This is how I define it."

There may have been some confusion here - possibly partly due to bad wording on my part - about what exactly I meant regarding the definition of the Christian God in question. When you say "The Christian God" do you mean (a) the entity that Christians believe in or (b) the entity that Christianity describes?

As an example scenario: There is a man named Ted who is a used car salesman. His family members, however, tell everyone that Ted is a doctor. If Ted were God and his family God's followers, would you be saying that (a) Ted doesn't exist or (b) Doctor Ted doesn't exist?

Hopefully this version of my position is clearer.
Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

"What I'm referring to has ties to epistemology and all the classical problems that have been raised in the form of philosophical zombies, evil daemons and the like. We can never be 100% absolutely certain of anything."

Just like you can use the laws of logic to prove behind a reasonable doubt that red is red and not green, because by definition red is red, you can apply the laws of logic to god.

"The same thing applies to a loophole allowing logic-contradicting logic. We cannot know that there isn't such a thing in the deepest unknowns of existence."

You seem to have not read the resolution properly. I wrote that LOGICALLY the christian god cannot exist. If the Christian god does exist and it supersedes logic then, while possible and I am not ruling it out, cannot LOGICALLY exist.
You're whole point about how we can never be 100% about anything is irrevelant. If god exist it does not abide by the laws of logic and is therefore illogical.

"There may have been some confusion here - possibly partly due to bad wording on my part - about what exactly I meant regarding the definition of the Christian God in question. When you say "The Christian God" do you mean (a) the entity that Christians believe in or (b) the entity that Christianity describes?"

And my definition is exactly how I described it. The Christian god in my definition is all powerful, all caring, and all knowing. There should have been no confusion.

And you're first argument that god can actually exist actually affirms my own argument as you showed that if god does exist then it is not abiding by the laws of logic and is therefore illogical.

VOTE PRO
TesterPot

Con

Due to the fact that I made my original arguments during round 1 while my opponent did not, out of fairness I will say no more here. I trust that enough has been said on my part for readers to have an understanding of my position on this subject.

Thanks again to my opponent for this discussion. May the votes reflect the better side.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gileandos 6 years ago
Gileandos
I followed it well enough.
Though you will find no this site as I already have that people vote based on their existing belief systems. There are exceptions of course.

THough I will state if you feel you need to be clearer next time by all means pursue that. I did not have a problem following though.
Posted by TesterPot 6 years ago
TesterPot
It's frustrating to see people make comments and votes saying that I didn't do x, y and z when I did; it just seems that people got lost following my thoughts and failed to see the relevance when if you actually properly read what I'm saying, I'm fully addressing his exact concerns, but I'm trying to show that things aren't as simple as the instigator seems to think.

Perhaps I should have taken extra care to make the connection as clear as possible. In any case, it's over now.
Posted by TesterPot 6 years ago
TesterPot
I wouldn't agree that, in a discussion regarding an entity within our universe with massive implications, we can "easily assume" that we're taking a naive and restrictive logical approach.

Even with that said, it's inconsequential. While I may be pointing to some unknown "extra dimension" of logic, our dimension of known logic is forced to acknowledge said unknowns. By forcing us to consider it a possibility, we can't then conveniently choose to ignore it because we want to constrain God with selective logic.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
It can be easily assumed that I was not referring to some unknown logic that may or may not be made up. I did not point out that I was describing a different form of logic from our system of logic. I was defining third dimension logic. So sure you could make up a different type of logic to get around the problem without actually aswering the challenge.
Posted by Gileandos 6 years ago
Gileandos
Lol clicked on the wrong person to vote for.
Posted by Gileandos 6 years ago
Gileandos
@Social,
Hopefully Tester will not mind my example to illustrate why his argument completely shows the logical possibility.

If a being in a 4th Spacial Dimension who is not bound by 3 dimensional forms of Logic but possess a logic that "wraps" around our system of logic (thus invalidating our viewpoint of "simple" logic), does indeed possibly exist, then by default the resolution is false.
It is entirely possible that a superior logic that is not "simple" does indeed exist whereby logical fallacies are only "apparent" in this "World". Something that is logically inconsistent becomes quite possible superimposed with another logic system.

The question Roy Latham has brought up in the Past, is this a practical impossibility. Your resolution did not go into any aspect of the practicality of such a possible being.

Which of course would be refuted with Mathematical formulas of the 4th Dimensional space and eyewitness testimony to beings that defy laws of physics.
All he would need to do is show the slightest possiblity of a practical existence where by known "static" concepts like physics indeed change.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
You cannot be non-complient with logic and complient with logic at the same time. Of course you argue that he can which is itself illogical.
Posted by TesterPot 6 years ago
TesterPot
His ability to be non-compliant with logic has itself a basis in logic. Therefore, the argument that no logic supports God in the event of contradictions is void, as the contradictions are permitted under logic.

I'm running out of ways to word this.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
He is either logical or illogical and since you wrote that he does not necessarily abide by the laws of logic, according to the definition I used, he is illogical.
Posted by TesterPot 6 years ago
TesterPot
I clearly was repeatedly saying that "LOGICALLY" it's conceivable that a loophole might exist that would allow logical contradictions. This doesn't make the God illogical, but shifts from one frame/perspective of logic to another.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by IamZero 6 years ago
IamZero
socialpinkoTesterPotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both aruguments were confusing and awkward. Pro really made absolutely no sense though.
Vote Placed by Robikan 6 years ago
Robikan
socialpinkoTesterPotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "You seem to have not read the resolution properly. I wrote that LOGICALLY the christian god cannot exist. If the Christian god does exist and it supersedes logic then, while possible and I am not ruling it out, cannot LOGICALLY exist." Agreed, and con did not refute this.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 6 years ago
Gileandos
socialpinkoTesterPotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con gave a convincing argument of a superimposed logic system that is outside of understanding that makes the impossible... possible.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
socialpinkoTesterPotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument was to ignore the resolution, and argue could could exist but be illogical.