The Existence of God
Debate Rounds (3)
I'll start simply by stating there is no evidence God does not exist.
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. Now that I have disproven God's existence, we can move on. If you read the second paragraph, you will find this hard to believe. Let me just add that people think that what their senses show them are always correct and can be used as premises. But how does one know that what they show us is true? We don't. There is no evidence suggesting this, therefore any conclusions made with the premises made using our senses are hypothetical. One could say that this is a belief. However, like atheism, it is not a belief but a rejection of a belief. A common mistake is that the disproof on one thing means the proof of its opposite, or vice versa. Not so. I am simply stating that there is not sufficient evidence to support the
My opponent starts off by stating there is a presupposition of atheism, due to the fact that God's existence is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary (and presumably unsupplied) proof. There are three problems with this.
1) I have proof God exists. I will elaborate father on.
2) My opponent says that an extraordinary claim is a claim that would require you to reshape multiple established ideas. The problem is that God existing does not contradict any known facts about the universe. You would not need to revise the base facts of any natural science. You might need to revise thoughts on theology, morality, or man's purpose in life, but all these things are subjective and nonestablished, so changing them does not make a claim extraordinary. It is not comparable to the claim "I rode a unicorn through the forest last night and saw the tooth fairy."
3) Even if God's existence did require an unusual amount of rethinking known facts, it does not make an extraordinary claim. Normal extraordinary claims are extraordinary because they claim the facts that contradict conventional knowledge. God's existence does not claim a contradiction; it claims an exception. In other words, if I claim something exists, that by definition is not subject to the laws of the universe, including the law indicating there are no exceptions, then no conventional knowledge has been contradicted.
My opponent then goes on to state God's properties are contradictory, so he must not exist. His arguments seem to be primarily composed of pointing out that God cannot know what it is like not to be God (i.e. to learn something, to take pleasure in evil, to make a mistake), thus ruining His omniscience. I will point out that the requirement for knowing something by personal experience being actual experience is only true for human beings- God can know what experiencing something is like without actually experiencing it. That's one of His abilities. Furthermore, classic paradoxical questions of the nature of God (i.e. if God can do anything, can He create a rock so heavy He can't lift it? Can He create a being more powerful than Him? In essence, can He stop being God?) are generally answered fairly simply. Because these questions basically address whether God can do something logically impossible, they can be answered thusly; if it is possible for something illogical to exist- i.e. a being that can do anything including creating a task it can't do- than God can indeed create such an entity, and by extension, do anything, even semantical nonsense, which all these questions fall in the category of (i.e. God can create a square circle, can figure out the truth value of the statement "this statement is false, etc.) if it is impossible for an illogical thing to exist- then it is nothing, and the fact God cannot create it means he cannot create something which has no meaning, which means it does not detract from his powers, which by extension means all illogical things are meaningless and do not bear any effect on God.
Furthermore, since God is not a corporeal being, He may not be subject to the laws of logic. We have only seen logic applying to corporal being and physical manifestations. Something like God may not be subject to logic any more than an idea or thought is.
The following argument is primaraly taken from here- http://www.aish.com.... Further exposition is given there.
The Torah (Old Testament) claims that the entire people heard God speak at Mount Sinai, experiencing national revelation. God did not just appear to Moses in a private rendezvous; He appeared to everyone, some 3 million people. This claim is mentioned many times in the Torah.
[Moses told the Israelites]: 'Only beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld. Do not remove this memory from your heart all the days of your life. Teach your children and your children's children about the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horev [Mount Sinai]... God spoke to you from the midst of the fire, you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.' (Deut.4:9-13)
The Torah claims that the entire Jewish nation heard God speak at Sinai, an assertion that has been accepted as part of their nation's history for over 3,000 years.
To assess types of claims, gauge the level of credibility of the following scenarios.
Scenario #1: Inherently Unverifiable
"Last week, suddenly everything was awash in a tremendous light and God appeared to me, designating me as His prophet. He told me to announce this revelation to you at this time."
In theory this could have happened. It doesn't seem likely, but it's impossible to totally disprove or prove.
Scenario #2: Unreliable Verification
"Last night while I was with my family, the room started to suddenly shake and God's booming voice was heard by all of us. He designated me as His prophet and commanded me to announce this revelation."
This could have happened too. If the claimant were to bring in his family to confirm the story it would be more believable Scenario #1. However, it is very possible that his family is lying, and is thusly basically the same as Scenario #1.
Scenario #3: Inherently Verifiable
"Do you remember what happened 10 minutes ago just as you began reading this argument? Remember how the room started shaking, then the ceiling opened up to the skies, and you and I together heard God's booming voice come down and say 'Thou shalt hearken to the voice of Tower for he is my prophet!' And then the room went back to normal and you continued reading. You remember that, don't you?"
This kind of claim is completely different. The two previous scenarios at least had the possibility of being true, however unverifiable. This third scenario is impossible to believe. The claim states something happened to you that you know did not happen. Since you didn't experience it, you know I'm lying. I cannot convince you of something that you yourself know didn't happen.
This first type of claim -- that something happened to someone else -- is unverifiable, because you do not know for certain that the claim is a lie. Therefore it is possible for a person to decide to accept the claim as true if he really wanted to and take that leap of faith. However, the other type of claim -- that something happened to you -- you know if it is inherently false. People do not accept patently false assertions, especially those that carry significant consequences.
Could the revelation at Sinai have been a brilliant hoax, duping millions of people into believing that God spoke to them? Assuming Moses is making it up, the people would have immediately rejected him. They would know they did not just hear the voice of God- and Moses claim they did would instantly smash his credibility. It is preposterous to think Moses can get away with a claim that everyone knows is lie.
It is also impossible a hoax such as this could have been attempted at a later period in history. If the claim of national revelation did not originate at Sinai, but began hundreds or thousands of years after the event was said to have occurred, it would be equally rejected. An event of great significance with a large number of eyewitnesses cannot be perpetuated as a hoax. If it did not happen, everyone would realize it is false since no one ever heard about it before. Thus, if such an event was indeed accepted as part of history, the only way to understand its acceptance is that the event actually happened.
Let's assume for the moment that the revelation at Mount Sinai is really a hoax; God did not write the Torah. How did the revelation at Sinai become accepted for thousands of years as part of the Jewish Nation's history? Imagine someone trying to pull off such a hoax. The group would being duped would question why no one on earth- except the claimant heard or recorded- what would amount to the most significant event in world history. This is especially true when the claim is that the groups own ancestors were the ones experienced event! How could none of them have a family tradition of the claim?!
Everyone would know it's a lie. Yet, for thousands of years, Sinai was accepted as central to Jewish history. How else can this be explained? Given that people will not fall for a hoax they know is a lie, how could national revelation have been not only accepted -- but faithfully followed with great sacrifice by the vast majority of Jews?
The only way a people would accept such a claim is if it really happened. If Sinai did not happen, everyone would know it's a lie and it would never have been accepted. The only way one can ever claim a nation experienced revelation and have it accepted is if it is true.
Throughout history, tens of thousands of religions have been started by individuals, attempting to convince people that God spoke to him or her. All religions that base themselves on some type of revelation share essentially the same beginning: a holy person goes into solitude, comes back to his people, and announces that he has experienced a personal revelation where God appointed him to be His prophet. Personal revelation is an extremely weak basis for a religion since one can never know if it is indeed true. Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles, there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show -- assuming they are genuine -- is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy.
Suppose that I have a hole in my argument, and there is actually a way to perpetrate this fraud. There are roughly15,000 known religions in all of recorded history. Given its inherent weakness, why do all of them base their claim on personal revelation? If someone wanted their religion to be accepted, why wouldn't they present the strongest, most believable claim possible -- i.e. national revelation! It's far more credible. No one has to take a leap of faith and blindly trust just one person's word. It is qualitatively better to claim that God came to everyone, telling the entire group that so-and-so is His prophet. Yet, Judaism is the only religion in the annals of history that makes the best of all claims -- that everyone heard God speak. No other religion claims the experience of national revelation. If there is actually a way to do this, why has no one else- of 15,000 religions, started by what were presumably 1500 charlatans who desired the most believable claim to attract the most followers- ever pulled it off?
Furthermore, the author of the Torah predicts that there will never be another claim of national revelation throughout history!
'You might inquire about times long past, from the day that God created man on earth, and from one end of heaven to the other: Has there ever been anything like this great thing or has anything like it been heard? Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fires as you have heard and survived?' (Deut. 4:32-33)
The author writes a prediction that over the course of history no one will ever make a similar claim. That means if such a claim is ever made at some future time, the prediction will end up being false and his religion is finished. How could the author include in the book he is passing off as a hoax the prediction that no other person will ever attempt to perpetuate the same hoax when he just made that exact claim? If he could do it, he can be certain that others will too, especially since it is the best possible claim to make. If you are making up a religion, you do not write something you know you cannot predict and whose outcome you would think is guaranteed to be exactly the opposite.
It is only understandable how the Author of the Torah can confidently predict that there will never be another claim of national revelation in history, and how the claim was passed off to begin with if God exists- because only God could make it happen knew it would happen only once, as it did -- at Sinai over 3,000 years ago.
quantummechanics97 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Plagarism, lying about it, and forfeiting. It doesn't get any worse then that.
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