The Existence of God
Debate Rounds (3)
Since my opponent has elected to bear the burden of proof for his position that there is not a god, I will await his argument.
Here are more. Just to clarify, I will be defining God as a singular being who is:
6.Is ruler of the universe;
1.And is active in it;
1) Presupposition of Atheism
1.If a claim is extraordinary, then in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim may be considered false.
2.The claim that God exists is an extraordinary claim.
3.Therefore, in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim that a god exists may be considered false.
4.There is no extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor.
5.Therefore, the claim that god exists may be considered false.
This argument is often known as "Extraordinary claims means extraordinary evidence." To clear everything up, I will define an "extraordinary claim" as the following:
Extraordinary claim: A claim that contradicts the accepted physical laws or our common sense, everyday experiences in the world.
Fact: Extraordinary claims vary in their degree of extraordinariness. For example, allow me to provide three statements:
1.I ate a PB&J for lunch.
2.I won $1,000,000 in the lottery.
3.I rode a unicorn through the forest last night and saw the tooth fairy.
Statement 1 is the least extraordinary of the three. It would not contradict the laws of common sense, nor would it contradict our physical experiences. Therefore, little evidence is required for a (sane) person to believe the statement.
Statement 2 is even more extraordinary because most people do not win the lotto. This claim contradicts our laws of common sense as most people do not win the lotto. It also contradicts our personal experiences as most people have not won the lotto. However, we know that people do win the lotto, so if you see my ticket matches up with the numbers in the newspaper or on the news, then it is perfectly normal to accept it as truth.
The third one, on the other hand, is extremely extraordinary and highly unlikely. If you wanted to believe that latter claim, you would have to change your beliefs about:
1.The reporting of history.
2.The study of zoology.
3.The method of exploring the earth, etc.
Therefore, it is most rational to reject the account of the third statement as false, unless quite a bit of evidence was to be presented.
The claim that god exists is an extraordinary claim of the highest degree of extraordinariness. The claim is about a being who is not only different than all other creatures on earth, but also what we know about the universe. God is purportedly a being who is unfathomable and perfect in every manner—far different than anything on earth! Therefore, it is rational to reject the belief of god.
2) Incoherent Attributes
1.Paradoxes use logic.
2.Paradoxes prove logic wrong.
3.Therefore, paradoxes, or beings with contradictory properties, do not exist.
4.God is a being with contradictory properties.
5.Therefore, God does not exist.
It is possible that a being with unusual powers or characteristics may exist, but a being with contradictory features cannot exist. When I state that a being's attributes are "incoherent," I mean much more than the attributes of that being are strange or mysterious, but that they are contradictory. For example, we know that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves) cannot exist as it is impossible to be both invisible and pink.
There are numerous contradictory properties that are ascribed to traditional theism; however, the tradition is incoherent.
a) Omniscience v. Omnibenevolence: Knowing pleasure in sin
A human terrorist: Can know by direct acquaintance the experience of satisfaction derived from unjustly killing a human being.
God: Cannot know this by experience since he cannot sin and is omnibenevolent.
In this case, a human being can know something that god can't know. But god is supposed to be omniscient, so god must know it. But god can't know it. Thus, the syllogism is as followed:
1.A human being can know what sin is and can take pleasure in this.
2.God, because he is omnibenevolent, does not know what it is like to take pleasure in this.
3.God is omniscience (all-knowing).
4.Because he is all knowing, he must know what it is like to take pleasure in sin.
5.God cannot sin because he is omnibenevolent.
6.For God to know what it is like to sin, he must have sinned (necessary truth).
7.God does not exist.
An omnibenevolent God cannot know by personal experience the pleasure felt by a terrorist at killing large numbers of civilians. There are many other examples of cruelty or torture that can also be used to describe this. When I say that God is omnibenevolent, I mean that he is morally perfect. This precludes God from enjoying suffering or torture.
b) Omniscience v. Omniscience: Making a mistake.
Humans: Can know the experience of finding out he or she made a mistake.
God: Cannot know this as he is supposedly all-powerful and perfect in every manner.
In this case, God cannot know what it is like to make a mistake. Thus the syllogism is as followed:
1.God is perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing.
2.Because God is all knowing, he must know what it is like to make a mistake.
3.If God knows what it is like to make a mistake, God made a mistake.
4.God knows what it is like to make a mistake.
5.Hence, God knowing what it is like to know what it is like to make a mistake makes him not perfect and all-powerful.
6.Hence, God does not exist.
c) All-knowing v. Omnipotence
Human beings: Know what it is like to learn how to do something.
God: Already knows everything, so he cannot know what it is like to learn or how to do something.
So in this case a human can perform the action of learning, which god cannot, so it would seem that a human can also perform actions that an omnipotent being cannot.
In this case, humans can perform the action of learning, which God cannot, so it would seem that humans can also perform actions that an omnipotent being cannot. Thus the syllogism is as followed:
1.God is omniscient.
2.God is and always has been omniscient.
3.A being's omniscience entails, among other things, that it has all experiential knowledge.
4.Having all experiential knowledge entails knowing what it is like to learn.
5.God knows and has always has known what it is like to learn.
6.Knowing what it is like to learn entails having learned something.
7.Having learned something entails that one has gone from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.
8.God has gone from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.
9.There was a time when God was in the state of ignorance.
10.God has not always been omniscient.
11.God has always been omniscient and has not always been omniscient.
12.Therefore, God does not exist.
I accept, with reservations, the definition of God as active in the universe: taken separately from the other traits, I doubt there is any meaningful way to discuss that point.
Concerning the omnipotence of God: We agree that 'God is all-powerful' implies that 'there is no power that god does not have'. The issue here is with the universe of discourse. I take the universe of discourse to be limited to that which exists. Since the power to create something that cannot be moved by an omnipotent being cannot exist, it is not a within the universe of discourse: While God does not have it, God is not required to have it. Simply put, 'all-powerful' means having every power which exists, so a power which does not exist is not a counterexample.
If you were to define your unicorn as the "all-colorful" unicorn, it could not be both invisible and pink, but it would not have to be invisible because invisible is not a color.
My opponent's first premise in her presupposition of atheism is as follows:
"1.If a claim is extraordinary, then in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim may be considered false."
I dispute this premise, on the basis that it holds true only when there exists one or more ordinary claims to be considered false. Lack of an ordinary alternative is extraordinary evidence that one of the extraordinary claims is true.
1) There is an explanation
2) The explanation is not ordinary
3) Therefore, the explanation is extraordinary.
The alternative to a creator is no creator. If there is no creator, then either the universe formed out of nothing, or it has always existed. In our experience, things do not form out of nothing, and so this claim is extraordinary. If everything always existed, it has already existed for an infinite time: in our experience, things loose energy over time (entropy), and so there should be no energy remaining: this is also an extraordinary claim. Therefore, we cannot reject a the claim of a creator as extraordinary, because all competing claims are also extraordinary.
If we cannot reject the existence of a creator, can we reject certain attributes of that creator?
Which of the following claims is more extraordinary?
If a creator exists, the creator is unfathomable.
If a creator exists, the creator is fathomable.
I submit that the latter is the more extraordinary of the two. How would you fathom a creator? A big bulldozer? A bulldozer cannot form a star.
If a creator exists, what is to stop the creator from setting the standard for perfection such that the creator meets that standard? If we got to decide what perfection was, it would be ordinary to define that standard such that we ourselves met it, and so it is ordinary to expect the same from a creator.
Thus, the existence of a god has not been shown to be significantly more extraordinary than any alternatives.
Furthermore, my opponent defined an extraordinary claim as "A claim that contradicts the accepted physical laws or our common sense, everyday experiences in the world". The example of unicorns is extraordinary because presumably unicorns, if existent, should have been found. Since we are working from the premise that God is transcendent, we have no reason to expect to see a caged God in the zoo.
To examine the proposed paradoxes of omniscience:
First: God has killed human beings. To show that he cannot know the satisfaction of unjustly doing so, one must demonstrate that the same satisfaction cannot be derived from justly doing so.
More generally, to show God can not have experienced the pleasures derived from sin, it is necessary to show that the same pleasures cannot be derived from non-sin. (This disputes statement a2.)
Second: Human beings can take pleasure from sinful actions. However, it has not been shown that they take pleasure in the sinfulness of their actions per-se, for any reason other than that their actions indicate they are not obeying someone else.
To show that God cannot have taken the same pleasures from his actions, it is necessary to show that there is some other pleasure derived from sinfulness itself, or that all of God's actions are in obedience to someone else. (This disputes statement a2.)
Third: All three arguments about omniscience presuppose that God must do a given thing in order to know what it's like to do a given thing. However, consider the example of hearing a story by a good author about doing a given thing. You get a sense of what it's like to do that thing. If they gave you more details, and pictures, and narrated it out loud so you could hear the emotions in their voice, you would have an even better sense.
To show that God cannot know something from someone else's experience, it is necessary to show that either that he cannot know perfectly what a person is thinking, or that the limiting case of being able to experience the hypothetical author's thoughts directly is insufficient to produce knowledge equivalent to performing the author's actions oneself. (This disputes statements a2, a6, b3, and c6.)
Fourth: All arguments about omniscience (having all knowledge) rely on a definition of knowledge that includes experiential knowledge in addition to factual knowledge. Some definitions of knowledge clearly omit experiential knowledge. For example, in the OED, definition 4b for knowledge reads: "The apprehension of fact or truth with the mind; clear and certain perception of fact or truth; the state or condition of knowing fact or truth". (This disputes statements a4, b2, and c3.)
(Fifth [And I don't mean this as a get-out of jail-free card. Seriously, pretend it's not here when you vote for who won the debate. If I would have lost without it, that means I lost. It confuses my opponent's assumption that God is a singular being anyway]: Christians believe God is triune, which means that 3 persons are somehow 1 God. So far Jesus isn't the ruler of the universe, so not all parts of God always meet all those criteria.)
To conclude, none of my opponent's arguments suffice to show that there is not a god. I look forward to her next round of arguments and the clarification of her premises.
quantummechanics97 forfeited this round.
In framing the debate, my opponent accepted the burden of proof, claiming that she would "provide... specific proof for the disproof of a god". My opponent then proceded to offer arguments against a specific God, each of which I provided a rebuttal to. Since my opponent did not contest any of these rebuttals, none of my opponent's arguments succeed in disproving a God.
I thank my opponent for her time, but she was unable to support her contention that the non-existence of god can be proven.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Crede 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Well considering that Con copied and pasted their entire argument and forfeited their round this is an obvious win for Pro.
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