The Instigator
Nur-Ab-Sal
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
devient.genie
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The Existence of God

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Post Voting Period
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after 10 votes the winner is...
Nur-Ab-Sal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,879 times Debate No: 31627
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (187)
Votes (10)

 

Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

By God, I mean a classical theistic conception of God. An omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good God. Not a specific God, of course, just a being with these 'attributes.'

I'd ask that devient.genie use round 1 for acceptance of the debate, so that I can begin my case in round 2.
devient.genie

Con

Let's imagine that I tell you the following story:

There is a man who lives at the North Pole.
He lives there with his wife and a bunch of elves.
During the year, he and the elves build toys.
Then, on Christmas Eve, he loads up a sack with all the toys.
He puts the sack in his sleigh.
He hitches up eight (or possibly nine) flying reindeer.
He then flies from house to house, landing on the rooftops of each one.
He gets out with his sack and climbs down the chimney.
He leaves toys for the children of the household.
He climbs back up the chimney, gets back in his sleigh, and flies to the next house.
He does this all around the world in one night.
Then he flies back to the North Pole to repeat the cycle next year.
This, of course, is the story of Santa Claus.
But let's say that I am an adult, and I am your friend, and I reveal to you that I believe that this story is true. I believe it with all my heart. And I try to talk about it with you and convert you to believe it as I do.

What would you think of me? You would think that I am delusional, and rightly so.

Why do you think that I am delusional? It is because you know that Santa is imaginary. The story is a total fairy tale. No matter how much I talk to you about Santa, you are not going to believe that Santa is real. Flying reindeer, for example, are make-believe. The dictionary defines delusion as, "A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence." That definition fits perfectly.

Since you are my friend, you might try to help me realize that my belief in Santa is a delusion. The way that you would try to do that is by asking me some questions. For example, you might say to me:

"But how can the sleigh carry enough toys for everyone in the world?" I say to you that the sleigh is magical. It has the ability to do this intrinsically.

"How does Santa get into houses and apartments that don't have chimneys?" I say that Santa can make chimneys appear, as shown to all of us in the movie The Santa Clause.

"How does Santa get down the chimney if there's a fire in the fireplace?" I say that Santa has a special flame-resistant suit, and it cleans itself too.

"Why doesn't the security system detect Santa?" Santa is invisible to security systems.

"How can Santa travel fast enough to visit every child in one night?" Santa is timeless.

"How can Santa know whether every child has been bad or good?" Santa is omniscient.

"Why are the toys distributed so unevenly? Why does Santa deliver more toys to rich kids, even if they are bad, than he ever gives to poor kids?" There is no way for us to understand the mysteries of Santa because we are mere mortals, but Santa has his reasons. For example, perhaps poor children would be unable to handle a flood of expensive electronic toys. How would they afford the batteries? So Santa spares them this burden.
These are all quite logical questions that you have asked. I have answered all of them for you. I am wondering why you can't see what I see, and you are wondering how I can be so insane.
Why didn't my answers satisfy you? Why do you still know that I am delusional? It is because my answers have done nothing but confirm your assessment. My answers are ridiculous. In order to answer your questions, I invented, completely out of thin air, a magical sleigh, a magical self-cleaning suit, magical chimneys, "timelessness" and magical invisibility. You don't believe my answers because you know that I am making this stuff up. The invalidating evidence is voluminous.

Another Example

Imagine that I tell you the following story:

I was in my room one night.
Suddenly, my room became exceedingly bright.
Next thing I know there is an angel in my room.
He tells me an amazing story.
He says that there is a set of ancient golden plates buried in the side of a hill in New York.
On them are the books of a lost race of jewish people who inhabited North America.
These plates bear inscriptions in the foreign language of these people.
Eventually the angel leads me to the plates and lets me take them home.
Even though the plates are in a foreign language, the angel helps me to decipher and translate them.
Then the plates are taken up into heaven, never to be seen again.
I have the book that I translated from the plates. It tells of amazing things -- an entire civilization of jewish people living here in the United States 2,000 years ago.
And the resurrected jesus came and visited these people!
I also showed the golden plates to a number of real people who are my eye witnesses, and I have their signed attestations that they did, in fact, see and touch the plates before the plates were taken up into heaven.
Now, what would you say to me about this story? Even though I do have a book, in English, that tells the story of this lost jewish civilization, and even though I do have the signed attestations, what do you think? This story sounds nutty, doesn't it?
You would ask some obvious questions. For example, at the very simplest level, you might ask, "Where are the ruins and artifacts from this jewish civilization in America?" The book transcribed from the plates talks about millions of jewish people doing all kinds of things in America. They have horses and oxen and chariots and armor and large cities. What happened to all of this? I answer simply: it is all out there, but we have not found it yet. "Not one city? Not one chariot wheel? Not one helmet?" you ask. No, we haven't found a single bit of evidence, but it is out there somewhere. You ask me dozens of questions like this, and I have answers for them all.

Most people would assume that I am delusional if I told them this story. They would assume that there were no plates and no angel, and that I had written the book myself. Most people would ignore the attestations -- having people attest to it means nothing, really. I could have paid the attesters off, or I could have fabricated them. Most people would reject my story without question.

What's interesting is that there are millions of people who actually do believe this story of the angel and the plates and the book and the jewish people living in North America 2,000 years ago. Those millions of people are members of the mormon church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The person who told this incredible story was a man named joseph smith, and he lived in the United States in the early 1800s. He told his story, and recorded what he "translated from the plates", in the book of mormon.

If you meet a mormon and ask them about this story, they can spend hours talking to you about it. They can answer every question you have. Yet the 6 billion of us who are not mormons can see with total clarity that the mormons are delusional. It is as simple as that. You and I both know with 100% certainty that the mormon story is no different from the story of Santa. And we are correct in our assessment. The invalidating evidence is Immeasurable.

To all those who cover your religious delusion by calling it a "disagreement" or "difference of opinion", please have a seat with your like minded peers, the Elvis, Hitler and Tupac are alive groups, and the flat earth-ers group :)

True Scripture, will help you see more relevance to the 21st Century, Not that watered down tripe from back in the day :)

We should all be saying "I dont know everything, that doesnt mean I know nothing or that I am wrong about everything". Whats so hard about saying "I dont know, lets look at what evidence we have and draw conclusions based on probability that this evidence demonstrates and if we cant figure it out lets keep going until we do"

Religion says "We're done looking, you guys keep digging and rolling up your sleeves looking for answers, we know god did it, it says so in my holy binky that he is concerned with my sex life"

Now we cannot prove or disprove god anymore than we can prove or disprove leprechauns, so that is a mute point.
Debate Round No. 1
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

I’d like to thank devient.genie for accepting my debate challenge on the existence of God. However, I specifically asked him to accept the debate in round 1. I'll present my case here.

Introduction

St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor of the Church, is one of the greatest Western philosophers of religion to ever live. In his magnum opus, the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas writes, “there are five ways of proving there is a God.” (ST, 1.2.3) These arguments rely on Aristotelian metaphysics which I will explain as the argument progresses. Out of the Five Ways, I’ll use the first – a simple cosmological argument based on the Aristotelian idea of motion. I’ll then analyze the implications of this argument and show how it affirms the existence of God.

The First Way, or the Thomistic Cosmological Argument

For Aristotle and Aquinas, motion did not mean spatial movement, it meant change. So in order to understand the First Way, let’s analyze the concept of change. However, for the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides, change is nonexistent; for this entails that a state of affairs, such as my microwave oven blaring obnoxiously, must come from another state of affairs, my microwave oven’s silence. To Parmenides, this is impossible – the being of my microwave’s blaring comes from the non-being of my microwave’s silence, but ex nihilo, nihil fit, Parmenides says: out of non-being, no being can come. Aristotle responded to this argument with the distinction between potentiality and actuality – that is, the new state of affairs exists as a potential within the previous state of affairs, until it is actualized by that previous state.

Now, we know that a potential cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist as a state of affairs yet. So only something actual can raise a potential to actuality. In the case of my microwave oven, the microwave oven must exist before it can raise its potential to trumpet cacophony. So what is actualized is actualized by an actual. However, we must stop somewhere – for only can we observe change if something is changing it; thus, an infinite regress of actuals is meaningless and would not be able to produce change. Note, however, that here Aquinas is referring to a hierarchical system of motion, not a linear system of motion. A hierarchical system is one in which potentials are simultaneously dependent on actuals; for instance, a microwave’s potential to be raised three feet in the air is actualized by a three-foot-tall refrigerator, which is in turn actualized by the Earth, and so forth. So Aquinas means there must be a “First Mover” in this sense. Further note that the “First Mover” exists as actus purus, pure actuality, without any potentials, for these potentials would only move the system of motion further back – or, in Aquinas’s words, “we arrive then at a first cause of change not itself being changed by anything, and this is what everybody understands by God.” (ST, 1.2.3)

Analysis

We know by definition that this unmoved mover is devoid of any potentiality. A being of pure act cannot be material, as that which is material inherently has potentials – for instance, to grow warmer, to move, etc. Incapable of any change, by definition, this immaterial being must be immutable and atemporal. We also know that this being is singular, for if there were more, then to distinguish between them there must be some unactualized potentiality – but we know that actus purus presents no potentialities.

Aquinas distinguishes between two forms of power: active power, the ability to act, and passive potentiality, the ability to be acted upon. Thus, as Pure Act, this being has all possible active power; that is, he has all possible ability to act, but no ability to be acted upon. Thus we can derive omnipotence.

Knowledge, in the Aristotelian tradition, consists of three sequential states: the ability to grasp concepts, the ability to form complete statements on those concepts, and the ability to form conclusions based on those statements. We know that a cause can only give what it has itself – for instance, a microwave oven cannot turn our leftovers into chickens, because it simply does not have that ability, while it can heat. As the mover of all forms (in Aristotelian hylemorphism, the form is the pattern of related things; for instance, the form of man is rational animality) this being must have all forms in this immaterial, noetic way. Thus we can derive omniscience.

An objective standard of goodness exists as the extent to which a being actualizes its essence or form. A form is just the universal pattern of a kind of thing -- for instance, tree-ness is just the form of an enormous plant with a great number of branches. So a good tree is one which actualizes this form to a reasonable extent. A worse tree would be one that does not realize its form to this extent, and has significant privations in its actuality. Because God is purely actual, He exists as absolute perfection, having no privations in His actuality.

Hence, there exists an immaterial, atemporal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good being which sustains all in the Universe.

Reminders

There's a few things I'd like to remind the reader before we continue.

• St. Thomas's argument relies on hierarchical motion rather than linear motion -- simultaneous motion. Appeals to scientific theories surrounding cosmogony do not attack the argument at hand.

• St. Thomas's argument relies on motion as change, not spatial translation. Hence, arguing from Aristotelian's outdated views on physics, such as impetus theory, do not attack the metaphysical premises of the First Way.

• St. Thomas's argument relies on the principle of motion, the idea that all potentials must be raised to act by something already in act. So in order to attack the relevant metaphysics, one must show where this reasoning is faulty.

Conclusion

In the First Way, I (or rather St. Thomas, to not take credit) demonstrated that the Aristotelian concept of motion requires there be a First Mover of pure actuality to actualize the potential for change. I then analyzed the properties this First Mover must have as Pure Act, deriving omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect goodness. And, after this long journey, we arrive at the affirmation of the existence of God.

I’d like to thank Dr. Edward Feser for his book Aquinas, and for his lecture at Our Lady of Mercy, which was very helpful in understanding the relevant parts of the Summa Theologiae.

devient.genie

Con

Another example

Imagine that I tell you this story:

A man was sitting in a cave minding his own business.
A very bright flash of light appeared.
A voice spoke out one word: "Read!" The man felt like he was being squeezed to death. This happened several times.
Then the man asked, "What should I read?"
The voice said, "Read in the name of your lord who created humans from a clinging zygote. Read for your lord is the most generous. He taught people by the pen what they didn't know before."
The man ran home to his wife.
While running home, he saw the huge face of an angel in the sky. The angel told the man that he was to be the messenger of god. The angel also identified himself as gabriel.
At home that night, the angel appeared to the man in his dreams.
gabriel appeared to the man over and over again. Sometimes it was in dreams, sometimes during the day as "revelations in his heart," sometimes preceded by a painful ringing in his ears (and then the verses would flow from gabriel right out of the man), and sometimes gabriel would appear in the flesh and speak. Scribes wrote down everything the man said.
Then, one night about 11 years after the first encounter with gabriel, gabriel appeared to the man with a magical horse. The man got on the horse, and the horse took him to jerusalem. Then the winged horse took the man up to the seven layers of heaven. The man was able to actually see heaven and meet and talk with people there. Then gabriel brought the man back to earth.
The man proved that he had actually been to jerusalem on the winged horse by accurately answering questions about buildings and landmarks there.
The man continued receiving the revelations from gabriel for 23 years, and then they stopped. All of the revelations were recorded by the scribes in a book which we still have today.
(Source: "understanding islam" by yahiya emerick, Alpha press, 2002)

What do you make of this story? If you have never heard the story before, you may find it to be nonsensical in the same way that you feel about the stories of the golden plates and Santa. You would especially feel that way once you read the book that was supposedly transcribed from gabriel, because much of it is opaque. The dreams, the horse, the angel, the ascension, and the appearances of the angel in the flesh -- you would dismiss them all because it is all imaginary.
But you need to be careful. This story is the foundation of the muslim religion, practiced by more than a billion people around the world. The man is named mohammed, and the book is the koran (also spelled qur'an or qur'aan). This is the sacred story of the koran's creation and the revelation of allah to mankind.

Despite the fact that a billion muslims claim some level of belief in this story, people outside the muslim faith consider the story to be imaginary. No one believes this story because this story is a fairy tale. They consider the koran to be a book written by a man and nothing more. A winged horse that flew to heaven? That is imaginary -- as imaginary as flying reindeer.

If you are a christian, please take a moment right now to look back at the mormon and muslim stories. Why is it so easy for you to look at these stories and see that they are imaginary fairy tales? How do you know, with complete certainty, that mormons and muslims are delusional? You know these things for the same reason you know that Santa is imaginary. There is no evidence for any of it. The stories involve magical things like angels and winged horses, hallucinations, dreams. Horses cannot fly -- we all know that. And even if they could, where would the horse fly to? The vacuum of space? Or is the horse somehow "dematerialized" and then "rematerialized" in heaven? If so, those processes are made up too. Every bit of it is imaginary. We all know that.

An unbiased observer can see how imaginary these three stories are. In addition, muslims can see that mormons are delusional, mormons can see that muslims are delusional, and christians can see that both mormons and muslims are delusional.

Now let me tell you one final story:

god inseminated a virgin named mary, in order to bring his son incarnate into our world.
mary and her fiance, joseph, had to travel to bethlehem to register for the census. There mary gave birth to the son of god.
god put a star in the sky to guide people to the baby.
In a dream god told joseph to take his family to egypt. Then god stood by and watched as herod killed thousands and thousands of babies in israel in an attempt to kill jesus.
As a man, god's son claimed that he was god incarnate: "I am the way, the truth and the life," he said.
This man performed many miracles. He healed lots of sick people. He turned water into wine. These miracles prove that he is god.
But he was eventually given the death sentence and killed by crucifixion.
His body was placed in a tomb.
But three days later, the tomb was empty.
And the man, alive once again but still with his wounds (so anyone who doubted could see them and touch them), appeared to many people in many places.
Then he ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of god the father almighty, never to be seen again.
Today you can have a personal relationship with the lord jesus. You can pray to this man and he will answer your prayers. He will cure your diseases, rescue you from emergencies, help you make important business and family decisions, comfort you in times of worry and grief, etc.
This man will also give you eternal life, and if you are good he has a place for you in heaven after you die.
The reason we know all this is because, after the man died, four people named matthew, mark, luke and john wrote accounts of the man's life. Their written attestations are proof of the veracity of this story.
This, of course, is the story of jesus. Do you believe this story? If you are a christian, you probably do. I could ask you questions for hours and you will have answers for every one of them, in just the same way that I had answers for all of the Santa questions that my friend asked me in Example 1. You cannot understand how anyone could question any of it, because it is so obvious to you.
Here is the thing that I would like to help you understand: The billions of people who are not christians look at the christian story in exactly the same way that you look at the Santa story, the mormon story and the muslim story. In other words, there are billio0ns of people who stand outside of the christian bubble, and they can see reality clearly. The fact is, the christian story is completely imaginary.

How do the four billion non-christians know, with complete certainty, that the christian story is imaginary? Because the christian story is just like the Santa story, the mormon story and the muslim story. There is the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on. People outside the christian faith look at the christian story and note these facts:

The miracles are supposed to "prove" that jesus is god, but, predictably, these miracles left behind no tangible evidence for us to examine and scientifically verify today. They all involved faith healings and magic tricks - see this proof.

jesus is resurrected, but, predictably, he does not appear to anyone today

jesus ascended into heaven and answers our prayers, but, predictably, when we pray to him nothing happens. We can statistically analyse prayer and find that prayers are never answered
The book where matthew, mark, luke and john make their attestations does exist, but, predictably, it is chock full of problems and contradictions

And so on.
In other words, the christian story is a fairly tale, just like the other three examples we have examined.

Research 2:7--If you want evidence we came from a "primordial soup", pull out next time :)
Debate Round No. 2
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

Thanks to devient.genie for his contribution to the debate. Unfortunately, he seems to have completely ignored my argument. I’ll make this round short.

The Thomistic Cosmological Argument

Con ignored St. Thomas’s argument concerning motion, and so there is nothing to respond here.

Con's Anti-Christian polemic

Con then goes on to attack Christianity with multiple points. I’ll remind Con that we are debating the existence of God, not the truth of any particular religion. So even if Con’s case were coherent, it’s not relevant to the debate at hand.

Concluding with “in other words, the christian story is a fairly tale, just like the other three examples we have examined,” Con has ignored my positive case for the existence of God and instead advanced three points in support of his anti-Christian polemic. Since Christianity is a revealed religion -- a religion that acknowledges divine revelation and intervention as fundamental to its authenticity -- its truth concerns both natural theology and revealed theology. However, the existence of God is by definition a matter relevant to natural theology; so, this debate only concerns natural theology.

Since St. Thomas argued only from nature, and not from any sort of divine relevation, as proof of the existence of God, my thesis stands strong in the face of Con's barely coherent criticism.

So it seems that devient.genie has completely missed the point of the debate.

devient.genie

Con

Now, look at what is happening inside your mind at this moment. I am using solid, verifiable evidence to show you that the christian story is imaginary. Your rational mind can see the evidence. Billions of non-christians would be happy to confirm for you that the christian story is imaginary. However, if you are a practicing christian, you can probably feel your "religious mind" overriding both your rational mind and your common sense as we speak. Why? Why were you able to use your common sense to so easily reject the Santa story, the mormon story and the muslim story, but when it comes to the christian story, which is just as imaginary, you are not?

Try, just for a moment, to look at christianity with the same amount of healthy skepticism that you used when approaching the stories of Santa, joseph smith and mohammed. Use your common sense to ask some very simple questions of yourself:

Is there any physical evidence that jesus existed? - No. He left no trace. His body "ascended into heaven." He wrote nothing down. None of his "miracles" left any permanent evidence. There is, literally, nothing.

Is there any reason to believe that jesus actually performed these miracles, or that he rose from the dead, or that he ascended into heaven? - There is no more of a reason to believe this than there is to believe that joseph smith found the golden plates hidden in New York, or that mohammed rode on a magical winged horse to heaven. Probably less of a reason, given that the record of jesus' life is 2,000 years old, while that of joseph smith is less than 200 years old.

You mean to tell me that I am supposed to believe this story of jesus, and there is no proof or evidence to go by beyond a few attestations in the new testament of a bible that is provably meaningless? - Yes, you are supposed to believe it. You are supposed to take it on "faith."
No one (besides little kids) believes in Santa Claus. No one outside the mormon church believes joseph smith's story. No one outside the muslim faith believes the story of mohammed and gabriel and the winged horse. No one outside the christian faith believes in jesus' divinity, miracles, resurrection, etc.
Therefore, the question I would ask you to consider right now is simple: Why is it that human beings can detect fairy tales with complete certainty when those fairy tales come from other faiths, but they cannot detect the fairy tales that underpin their own faith? Why do they believe their chosen fairy tale with unrelenting passion and reject the others as nonsense? For example:

christians know that when the Egyptians built gigantic pyramids and mummified the bodies of their pharaohs, that it was a total waste of time -- otherwise christians would build pyramids.

christians know that when the aztecs carved the heart out of a virgin and ate it, that it accomplished nothing -- otherwise christians would kill virgins.

christians know that when muslims face mecca to pray, that it is pointless -- otherwise christians would face mecca when they pray.

christians know that when jews keep meat and dairy products separate, that they are wasting their time -- otherwise the cheeseburger would not be an American obsession.

Yet, when christians look at their own religion, they are for some reason blind. Why? And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that the christian story is true. Your rational mind knows that with certainty, and so do billions of others.

This book, the holy binky, if you will let it, will control your free thinking.

If you are a christian who believes in the power of prayer, here is a very simple experiment that will show you something very interesting about your faith.

Take a coin out of your pocket. Now pray sincerely to Ra:

Dear Ra, almighty sun god, I am going to flip this ordinary coin 50 times, and I am asking you to cause it to land heads-side-up all 50 times. In Ra's name I pray, amen.
Now flip the coin. Chances are that you won't get past the fifth or sixth flip and the coin will land tails.
What does this mean? Most people would look at this data and conclude that Ra is imaginary. We prayed to Ra, and Ra did nothing. We can prove that Ra is imaginary (at least in the sense of prayer-answering ability) by using statistical analysis.

If we flip the coin thousands of times, praying to Ra each time, we will find that the coin lands heads or tails in exact correlation with the normal laws of probability. Ra has absolutely no effect on the coin no matter how much we pray. Even if we find a thousand of Ra's most faithful believers and ask them to do the praying/flipping, the results will be the same. Therefore, as rational people, we conclude that Ra is imaginary. We look at Ra in the same way that we look at Leprechauns, Mermaids, Santa and so on. We know that people who believe in Ra are delusional.

Now I want you to try the experiment again, but this time I want you to pray to jesus christ instead of Ra. Pray sincerely to jesus like this:

Dear jesus, I know that you exist and I know that you hear and answer prayers as you promise in the bible. I am going to flip this ordinary coin 50 times, and I am asking you to cause it to land heads-side-up all 50 times. In jesus' name I pray, amen.
Now flip the coin. Once again, after the fifth or sixth flip, the coin will land tails.
If we flip the coin thousands of times, praying to jesus each time, we will find that the coin lands heads or tails in exact correlation with the normal laws of probability. It is not like there are two laws of probability -- one for christians who pray and the other for non-christians. There is only one law of probability because prayers have zero effect. jesus has no effect on our planet no matter how much we pray. We can prove that conclusively using statitical analysis.

If you believe in god, watch what is happening inside your mind right now. The data is absolutely identical in both experiments. With Ra you looked at the data rationally and concluded that Ra is imaginary. But with jesus... something else will happen. In your mind, you are already coming up with a thousand rationalizations to explain why jesus did not answer your prayers:

It is not his will
he doesn't have time
I didn't pray the right way
I am not worthy
I do not have enough faith
I cannot test the lord like this
It is not part of jesus' plan for me
And on and on and on...
One rationalization that you may find yourself developing is particularly interesting. You may say to yourself: "Well, of course jesus doesn"t answer me when I pray about a coin toss, because it is too trivial." Where did this rationalization come from? If you read what jesus says about prayer in the bible (see this proof), jesus does not ever say, "don't pray to me about nonsense" like coin tosses." jesus clearly says he will answer your prayers, and he puts no boundaries on what you may pray for. You invented this rationalization out of thin air.
You are an expert at creating rationalizations for jesus. The reason you are an expert is because jesus does not answer any of your prayers. The reason why jesus does not answer any of your prayers is because jesus and god are imaginary.

"I'm not religious at all, but I believe that there is a god (super-powered being) who existed originally. This cannot be explained, but there are a lot of puzzles about dark matter too..."

TRANSLATION: I dont know everything, nobody knows everything, therefore since we dont understand something, god did it :)

Infections 8:1--Deism is the result of exposure to theistic writings, much like stinking is the result of exposure to second hand smoke :)

BestFriend 5:6--You cannot make fun of gods gifts, cancer is nothing, you dont even know how to make over 6,000 different birth defects so youre obviously not all knowing like god, he even knows how to make kids born allergic to water, best gift Ever :)
Debate Round No. 3
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

So, it seems that Con has repeated his rather faulty tactic of ignoring my central case and reiterating his anti-Christian polemic. I'll review both of our cases once again.

Thomistic Cosmological Argument

Because of Con's repeated ignorance of Aquinas's First Way, there is yet again nothing to respond to.

Con's anti-Christian polemic

I'll simply remind the reader that this debate concerns natural theology rather than revealed theology, so Con's case against Christianity, while unconvincing, is also wholly irrelevant to a debate exclusively on the existence of God.

However, Con seemingly advances an attack on the existence of the God as described in my opening argument, with what seems to be an appeal to the close-minded tactic of following a monotheistic God, rather than a polytheistic deity, such as that of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. I take this to mean a general critique of worshipping a particular God. Well, rejecting pantheism and such, the theist has two broad options in his worship of a deity: polytheism or monotheism. Ra was the solar deity of the ancient Egyptians, a specific element in a pantheonic set. However, there is good reason to hold to a singular deity over multiple deities.

As I've proved in round 1 that there exists a being of pure actuality, with remarkably Judeo-Christian traits, such as omnipotence, etc., we can also ascribe the attribute of singularity to God. For a distinction between two 'Gods' (beings of pure act) there must be some difference -- an unrealized potentiality. However, this is a contradiction in what it means to be Pure Act, so there can only be one being of this particular type. So, the very idea of a pantheon contradicts a classical theistic conception of God as Pure Act.

Thus, there is no good reason to believe in Ra, a contingent deity with unrealized potentialities, and every reason to hold to a necessary deity of pure actuality.

Conclusion

Devient.genie has once again completely ignored St. Thomas's argument from motion, and instead engages in a rehashed attack on Christianity, which I will repeat is irrelevant to the debate at hand. However, he concludes with an interesting critique concerning the existence of a singular God as described over a polytheistic pantheon. Consequently, I demonstrated that my proof of God as pure actuality is incompatible with multiple deities, necessarily with some unactualized potentiality.
devient.genie

Con

Nature is indifferent. It is not inherently evil. People are NOT born evil Nature doesnt care if you think the earth is flat, it will form a sphere whether you like it or NOT.

Nature will make the earth revolve around the sun, your belief that the earth is the center and everything revolves around it, will not influence the indifferent approach taken by nature.

Nature will evolve thru cumulative evolution by natural selection over 4 billion yrs. Wrapping your head around 4 billion yrs like a big kid, is a great way to wake up your intuition, intellect and instinct, and allowing those 3 attributes to stretch their legs, is the single most corrosive thing to religious beliefs.

In everyday use, theory means a guess or a hunch, something that maybe needs proof. In science, a theory is not a guess, not a hunch. It's a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations. It ties together all the facts about something, providing an explanation that fits all the observations and can be used to make predictions. In science, theory is the ultimate goal, the explanation. It's as close to proven as anything in science can be.

Some people think that in science, you have a theory, and once it's proven, it becomes a law. That's not how it works. In science, we collect facts, or observations, we use laws to describe them, and a theory to explain them. You don't promote a theory to a law by proving it. A theory never becomes a law.

In fact, if there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory. Laws describe things, theories explain them. An example will help you to understand this. There's a law of gravity, which is the description of gravity. It basically says that if you let go of something it'll fall. It doesn't say why. Then there's the theory of gravity, which is an attempt to explain why. Actually, Newton's Theory of Gravity did a pretty good job, but Einstein's Theory of Relativity does a better job of explaining it. These explanations are called theories, and will always be theories. They can't be changed into laws, because laws are different things. Laws describe, and theories explain.

Just because it's called a theory of gravity, doesn't mean that it's just a guess. It's been tested. All our observations are supported by it, as well as its predictions that we've tested. Also, gravity is real! You can observe it for yourself. Just because it's real doesn't mean that the explanation is a law. The explanation, in scientific terms, is called a theory.

Evolution is the same. There's the fact of evolution. Cumulative genetic change over generations, happens, just like gravity does. Google it. The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is our best explanation for the fact of evolution. It has been tested and scrutinized for over 150 years, and is supported by all the relevant observations.

Next time someone tries to tell you that evolution is just a theory, as a way of dismissing it, as if it's just something someone guessed at, remember that they're using the non-scientific meaning of the word. If that person is a teacher, or minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better. In fact, they probably do, and are trying to mislead you.

Evolution is not just a theory, it's triumphantly a theory!

The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and others.

One 1987 estimate found that "ONLY 700 scientists out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists give credence to creation-science". Thats less than 1%

An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".

A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.

Additionally, the scientific community considers intelligent design, a neo-creationist offshoot, to be unscientific,pseudoscience, or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own.

In September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying "Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent."

In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying "intelligent design is not science" and calling on "all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory".

Paul Hanle of the Biotechnology Institute warned that the United States risks falling behind in the biotechnology race with other nations if it does not do a better job of teaching evolution. James McCarter of Divergence Incorporated states that the work of 2001 Nobel Prize winner Leland Hartwell which has substantial implications for combating cancer relied heavily on the use of our evolutionary knowledge and predictions. McCarter points out that 47 of the last 50 Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology also depended on the use of our understanding evolutionary theory :)

Humans belong to the taxonomic Order Primates, which is comprised of 11 Families, 52 Genera, & 181 species. Primates are divided into two main groups: Prosimians, literally "before monkeys/apes" and Anthropoids, literally "man like". The evolution of primates is characterized by trends toward more mobile limbs, grasping hands, a flattened face, binocular vision, a large, complex brain, even a reduced reproductive rate, look it up prude human :)

Most Primates are well adapted to living in trees. Primate evolution occurred primarily during the Cenozoic Era, Prosimians first branching off in the early Eocene Epoch 58 million yrs ago.

Around 33 million ago, during the Oligocene Epoch, the Anthropoids split off into 3 main groups: New World Monkeys with prehensile tails, Old World Monkeys, No prehensile tails, & the Hominoids, eventually Apes & Humans without any tails.

In the Miocene Epoch, around 15 million ago, Asian Apes & African Apes diverged paths. At approx. 6 million ago, African Apes & Human lineage split, producing Hominids, members of the taxonomic Human Family Hominidae, that was the start in a region of Central Africa called the Great Rift Valley. There, dense jungle gave way to great savannah plains, and walking upright became a helpful adaptation in surviving in a high grass environment with all kinds of predators.

To this day, Chimpanzees & Humans share over 95% of the same DNA sequences, even though millions of years separate us from a common ancestor.

NOPE 7:59--Accepting evolution and also claiming a god, is still delusional. Its delusional like claiming to be the number one Yankees fan and wearing Red Sox gear, while claiming to be the number one Yankess fan. Our understandings of evolution have done nothing but improve exponentially with the more evidence we discover, such as mapping the entire 6 billion nucleotide human genome for the first time ever, as in the history of all 21 centuries, as in Game Over, understanding evolution doesnt prove intent :)

Psalami 14:1--The fool hath said in his heart, there is no cumulative evolution by natural selection :)

Over 98.9% of all KNOWN species ever to exist on this planet are now extinct. Poor design or poor designer? :)

DUH 7:15--Fortune cookies predict the future in the same way that prayer to a god changes it :)
Debate Round No. 4
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

In what seems to be a drastic turn of events, Con has completely dropped his anti-Christian polemic in favor of a few arguments that vaguely attack God's existence.

The Thomistic Cosmological Argument

Again, not directly responded to, though Con will later provide some general arguments against the existence of the Divine.

Con's various argument(s) contra the existence of God

Con claims that nature is indifferent, and that it obeys certain laws completely irrespective of our acknowledgement of them. It's not clear how this is relevant to the debate, however. I have never confused the epistemic nature of the Universe with its ontology -- instead, my argument is based in a metaphysical principle that holds true without our knowledge of it. Hence, this critique is misguided.

Moreover, the repetitive and indifferent nature of the laws of the Universe appear to reinforce the Aristotelian theory of motion. For instance, Con gives us an example anent planetary formation and the heliocentric Solar System. All of this seems to affirm a natural order to the physics of the Universe -- we will never find a potential raising itself to act, for that contradicts itself, since a potential doesn't exist. Only that which is actual can realize a potential -- for instance, the various bodies of the Solar System gravitationally interacting, raising a protoplanetary disk's potential into the actuality of a new world. So the natural order of the Universe seems to affirm that it operates under immutable metaphysics.

Con's defense of evolution is irrelevant, since I've never once critiqued evolution. In fact, I happen to find evolutionary theories convincing, and thus reject young Earth creationism.

Next, Con attempts to explain the difference theory and law, all of which are irrelevant. My argument is not an appeal to the best explanation for some empirical observation -- rather, it's a metaphysical demonstration that God exists given the principle of motion. However, Con seems to have pasted this to reinforce his defense of evolution, which, I'll repeat, is irrelevant.

Con claims that God is a "poor designer," but since I did not use any argument from intelligent design (the First Way is not a teleological argument...) this is irrelevant as well.

Conclusion

Unexpectedly, devient.genie has once again employed the rather shortsighted tactic of ignoring St. Thomas's argument, instead offering a new argument mostly concerning evolution. Since my case's truth is independent of evolution, his argument is once again irrelevant to the discussion.
devient.genie

Con

Scientific Theories are Not scripture. You dont get to choose which ones you agree with, you dont get to interpret it to mean something thats "comfortable", ignorance wont stop the revolution of the earth anymore than ignorance will invalidate cumulative evolution by natural selection :)

1. The Atomic Theory
2. The Theory of Matter and Energy: Conservation of Matter and Energy
3. The Cell Theory
4. The Germ Theory
5. The Theory of Plate Tectonics
6. The Theory of Evolution
7. The Big Bang Theory
8. Chaos Theory
9. The "Gaia" Theory of a Sustainable Earth
10. The Theory of Quantum Mechanics
11. The Theory of Special Relativity which incorporates The Theory of General Relativity which incorporates Newtonian theories of motion
12. The Photon Theory of Light Energy and its speed of light
13. The Theory of Electromagnetism
14. The Theory of Radioactivity or Nuclear Theory
15. The Theory of Molecular Bonds
16. The Theory of States of Matter
17. The Theory of Thermodynamics
18. The Theory of Homeostasis within Living Organisms
19. The Constructivist Theory of Learning
20. The theories of self and development of mental processes in the brain.
21. Theory of Gravity

These and many other discoveries, make it clear the reason for gravity, evolution and everything else, is Not concerned with what people do naked, and the reason for everything, did Not make an appearance in the middle east for a human sacrifice and resurrection thousands of years ago :)

Its hard to rely on your good intentions. Thats especially true when it comes to advancing mankind to a higher standard :)

We can keep santa and tooth fairy and easter bunny. Great, big deal, once they crack the code on those cute fairy tales, they arent even 12 yet and those stories Do Not threaten eternal damnation for disobedience!

Religious leaders consistently caulk block science because they are threatened.

Are you unicornist, A-unicornist or agnostic to unicorns? Are you leprechaunist, A-leprechaunuist or agnostic to leprechauns?

Are you an astrologist, A-astrologist or are you agnostic to horoscopes?

Are you an alchemist like Isaac "chrsitian superhero" Newton, an A-alchemist or agnostic to alchemy?

Quit making atheism more than it is, besides an unnecessary word, its Nothing more than reasonable people standing up when unjustified religious beliefs run rampant infesting our government, our schools, hurting people, denying human rights, and telling lies!

Think about alchemy. Devout alchemist's today are ridiculous, however, if they were as influential as christianity, you would call us A-alchemist, a made up word to define someone reasonable who doesnt believe.

What about those pesky Leprechauns or unicorn beliefs. If those were as rampant as religion, we would be A-leprechaunist or A-unicornist.

However, leprechauns, alchemy, and unicorns are Not loud, divisive, destructive and annoying beliefs to our government and schools.

The only troublemaker is religion, and when reasonable people stand up against these unjustified beliefs, they get the label atheist.

So as you can see, atheist is an irrelevant and childish word, just like the "word of god", irrelevant and childish :)

Gullible Nation:

1) Believes all planets, stars and galaxies were created by a being that had a human sacrifice and resurrection in the middle east thousands of years ago.

2) Believes denying humans equal marriage rights is ok because the reason for gravity is homphobic

3) Believes that the reason for the sub atomic world of particles and DNA was all created by a being that knows how to keep slaves and told us how in his holy book :)

4) Believes that the reason for the earths rotation, helps Ray Lewis win Superbowl but still allows birth defects :)

Any human on the planet with half a brain understands that the biblical pansy many people call a god is against homosexuality.

You can twist things around and split hairs until youre blue in the face or a petty homophobe comes down from the clouds, but if he wont let any homosexuals into his fairy tale kingdom, he is going to have to monitor peoples sex lives to see who is gay and who is not.

Hey religious kids, what is it about zeus that is so ridiculous that a divine homophobic sex monitor is somehow more likely?

Get a clue kids, without the pages containing slavery, barbarism, sexism, homophobia, who to kill and why, what foods we are allowed to eat and not allowed to eat, all acts of violence or harm, or threats of violence and harm, dragons and other crazy creatures, plus remove all the plagiarism from other nonsense throughout time, the bible would be as thick as a dime :)

CheckMate 6:25--Original sin? The only way it can carry the word original, is in the one of a kind way of using the word "original" There is no equal in lunacy, original sin is definitely one of a kind lunacy, the lunacy that humans are born inherently bad with sin is a very original way to be delusional so original, ironically it is now in fact unoriginal to be religious, there are churches everywhere to prove the unoriginality of religious indoctrination available for our children's minds :)

Either god is not powerful or all knowing enough to know how to stop natural catastrophes and help children be born without birth defects, he doesnt care to help our children or he is imaginary?

Is your pansy impotent, evil, lazy, or fake?

Religious guy #1 Jeremy yelling outloud to himself at home in response to DevientGenie message online:

"Who the "F" does he think he is?"

Religious guy #2, the roommate Trevor

Come on Jeremy, youve got god, come on buddy, we're religious, grab god by the balls, hold on real tight, and suckle from the holy binky written 2000 yrs ago to get answers to the universe and life. Dont worry, that guys blashemy will see him burning in hell, remember that. Anyways, my family is going to Bethlehem, you up for a long trip :)

Remember jeremy, god will always shower you with his love. According to scripture in Fellatio 7:2--"In the year 2013, the first 8 Billion people, will have the opportunity to drink jesus sperm".

Theyre gonna use super soakers of holy semen. I got a private room in VIP with an "Experience Of a Lifetime" mentor, that teaches people how to ingest the holy semen from an actual baby bottle, wanna come? :)

(current known earth population is only 7 billion, obviously, jesus is just playing it safe in this scripture by saying 8 billion)

Recognize 6:24--Mankind lives longer, better, more comfortable, advanced lives, when more money is donated in the name of Genius, instead of jesus.

According to the 2009 Global Peace Index, very non-violent lives as well. :)

The catholics lead a whole list of big impact religions that just roll with the punches, and accept evolution as a mechanism put in motion by god.

Among many other obvious scientific reasons the bible is ridiculous, the most obvious question is, Why leave that out of the bible, its like leaving out the resurrection because its nothing important or big to report about...DUH!

So while you pascal are making wagers based on a statistical improbability in the first place, I'll be a good human who is not only an organ donor, and philanthropist but an intellectual advocate with a propensity to benefit children simply because I want too, Not because im going to get a scooby snack when I die

BigKids 12:49--There are many ways to describe the tool known as science, however, the best way to describe science is by David Guetta, Sexy B-I-T-C-H :)

Pathetic 8:51--You know you live in a weak ignorant consciousness when in 2013, its uncomfortable in the United States to consider equal rights to all humans :)

STUDS 5:14-- A confident straight man is Not intimidated nor is he in any way threatened by gay men, therefore, if youre a religious homophobe, your girl gets "cheered up" better with the Genie :)

The preceding message is brought to you by our faithful sponsors, CHECK and MATE :)
Debate Round No. 5
187 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Greematthew 3 years ago
Greematthew
Devient the fact thy you said happy birthday to him rid me from my angry, sweaty sleep and now I can go about my day with a tickling feeling in my stomach. Thank you for being so thoughtful. Excuse me while I go walk down my dorm hallway faster than usual.
Posted by Greematthew 3 years ago
Greematthew
Goodness this is so unhealthy.
Posted by Greematthew 3 years ago
Greematthew
I'm eating a dozen case of Dunkin' Donuts and enjoying my beautiful morning. How about y'all?
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
For the record Charlie, I dont want to believe in anything, I want to know. Since nobody knows everything, and its impossible to know everything, I can only go on probability. Science and I have that in common, we like to think in probabilities based on logic, reason critical thinking, and our secret weapon, EVIDENCE :)

EVIDENCE, increases somethings probability, and a lack of evidence decreases somethings probability :)

Nothing is absolute, however, some things are more probable than others.

Its more probable that the magnificent and beautiful universe is Not under the watchful eye of a celestial dictator that made an appearance in the middle east to let people know they shouldnt work on a certain day or it's a death sentence :)

god is Not an explanation, its a placeholder for those who lack the courage or intellectual honesty to SIMPLY say, "I dont know, lets use logic reason, critical thinking and evidence and see what makes the MOST sense"

The same skepticism that killed Santa, is the same skepticism that kills unicorns, leprechauns, the boogeyman under your bed, the easter bunny, and tooth fairy, and when you turn that skepticism up a notch, and add evidence to finally break free, god falls as well

This lack of courage and intellectual honesty is Not an inborn weakness, its injected into the mind by religion, and for that lethal injection into a childs mind, I will forever despise the poison called religion :)
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Devient, I'm so happy right now that you said happy birthday that I'm not even going to rant. You're a good person and you believe strongly. I respect that. THANK YOU!
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Happy Birthday Charlie :)
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Positive argument? You said science cannot prove god, so what, Captain Obvious can tell me that. Tell me something I dont know.

Science cannot disprove leprechauns, what does sciences inability to disprove leprechauns have to do with the validity of leprechauns ?

Science cannot disprove unicorns, what does sciences inability to disprove unicorns have to do with the validity of unicorns ?

Science cannot disprove astrology, what does sciences inability to disprove astrology have to do with the validity of astrology ?

However, according to you, science inability to disprove a celestial dictator who drown children, is somehow a positive argument for a celestial dictator?

Cuckoo Cuckoo :)
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
It's my birthday devient.genie it literally is my birthday. Can you sing me happy birthday.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Damn right I openly admit. I'm not ashamed to despise religious ignorance that brainwashes children and teaches them Not to be satisfied with understanding our universe.

Now, obviously Not all children are going to be satisfied Not understanding the universe because they are exposed to religion, thats obvious, I went to church every Sunday. However, billions of children lack the courage or intellectual honesty to question what they have been indoctrinated with and for that reason, religion disgusts me.

At the fork in the road, to be born again or to grow up, religitards and I take opposite roads :)
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 3 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Okay, so you openly claim that you mock, insult, and hold in contempt to replace an actual debate. At least that much.

Where did I ever claim "not disproving something means it exists"? I provided a POSITIVE ARGUMENT for the existence of God. Can you give me a single quote where I claimed that?

And devient.genie, you're literally the most unpleasant person on this site presently.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 3 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Nur-Ab-Saldevient.genieTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used deep intellectual arguments to build a case for the existence of God while Con ignored most of Pro's arguments and instead gave straw manned stories directed at attacking Christianity and the idea of God but made no concrete case against God. An easy win and an easy vote.
Vote Placed by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made the most convincing arguments by describing each story in detail and showing how silly they are. Con had some good Bible sources, but is the Bible "reliable"? Spelling and conduct tied.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 3 years ago
jh1234l
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Reasons for voting decision: Con has ignored all of pro's arguments, leaving them not refuted.
Vote Placed by yuiru 3 years ago
yuiru
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Reasons for voting decision: Con basically forfeited the entire debate.
Vote Placed by Nimbus328 3 years ago
Nimbus328
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with the Con position, but the Instigator shows stellar performance for the Pro position. Kudos to Pro!
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Nur-Ab-Saldevient.genieTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's OK to make arguments, but it's not OK to ignore the opposing side's arguments.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: No contest.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 3 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Con never even attempted to address any of Pro's arguments, and his own arguments were non-topical, so it's obvious that Pro wins. Conduct to Pro, because Con broke the only rule.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
Nur-Ab-Saldevient.genieTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a pretty easy debate to judge. Pro gave an argument for God that Con never even attempted to refute. Con never gave any arguments against the existence of God. He made general arguments against Christianity from analogies, but those were irrelevant to the debate. he also attempted to refute an argument that Pro never made, namely, a teleological argument. Arguments obviously go to Pro. Conduct to Pro because Con violated the rule of "acceptance only" in the first round, and because he pretty much trolled the entire debate.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
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Reasons for voting decision: No sources used, Spelling and Grammar to Pro but only just, Much more convincing arguments made by Pro and I'd say that conduct is a tie.